Saturday, February 17

Whoa, Whoa, WHOA!!!!

Okay...

So, I'm reading this book, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches... Five Perspectives, and I come across this statement:

"... society, instead of 'one large happy American family moving in the same direction,' became a nation divided by groups, all demanding their 'rights.' These groups - homosexuals, feminists, BLACKS [emphasis and capitalization mine], environmentalists, skinheads, moralists - all wanted to be 'heard,' to have their rightful place in life."

EEEERRRRRRRRTTTTTT!!!!!

Now... what was THAT???? Whoa, whoa, WHOA, whoa!!! Every African-American person who read that statement just got up and looked for somebody to slap (just kidding... really)! Seriously, though... where'd that come from??? What was he thinking with those groupings? How can you stick us with that crowd?

Now, to be fair, let me give you the context of the editor's statement: it is in the introduction of the book, and the editor is dealing with the changing evangelical church culture in our country over the last several decades. He asserts that there have been four "turnings" (time periods/transitions) since 1950 that have produced the "current evangelical diversity" that we see today in our churches. The first was the High Evangelicals, which took place during 1946-1964; the second turning, the Awakening Evangelicals, from 1964-1984; the third turning, Evangelical Unraveling, 1984-2004; and the fourth and current turning, the Emerging Church and Younger Evangelical Leaders, 2004-present (if you don't understand all that, don't worry... if you want to understand it, purchase the book... lol).

Anyway, it was under his label of the Third turning that the editor made his statement. It just made no sense at all to include African-Americans, or any other racial group, with the sub-cultures that he mentioned. Please understand: I am not overly-sensitive about race... don't even go there. I can have fun, and joke around, as much as the next person when it comes to race. In fact - and I find this hilarious - my 3-year old says that his mom (who is a light-skinned African-American woman) is "white-white" and that I'm "dark black." :-) He cracks me up!!! But when a person - a widely-read author/leader, at that - makes a racially asinine statement such as was made, he or she needs to be confronted... it's as simple as that... at least to clarify that it was (hopefully) a misunderstanding.

So, I did email Zondervan (who published the book) and expressed my disappointment... and I'm hoping that they'll get me in touch with the editor so I can dialogue with him. I'll let you know in a later post what becomes of all that...

Until proven otherwise, though, I'll assume his intentions were pure.
He's a fallen human being just like me, and is prone to make mistakes.

He probably just had a Jimmy the Greek moment...

2 comments:

rindy said...

Have to agree with you on this one...that was exactly what I thought as I read your excerpt...

djchuang said...

yeah, I feel slighted that Asians and Latinos were left off the list :)