White Privilege

Is the kingdom of God the privilege of any one group of people? Emerging theology bellows a resounding, "No!" Yet the structures, doctrines and histories of our faith traditions are infused with the notion that there are those who are privileged and have some right to be. Our hope for the next cohort gathering is together to expose the hidden entitlements and subvert the unspoken privilege afforded those dominant within Western Christian culture as well as to consider the power unjustly levied by Christians in Western culture.

Those of us facilitating the conversation on Tuesday, 28 August 2007, believe that these power inequities are most dramatically revealed in matters of race, even within the church. "Race is a fiction we must never indulge and a fact we must never forget." In his 1903 seminal work, The Souls of Black Folks, W. E. B. Dubois prophesied that the problem of the 20th century in America would be "the problem of the color line." Since not even American religion chose to adequately address race during the 20th century, we believe the power dynamics connoted by the phrase "the color line" still haunt our efforts to participate in the work of the kingdom of God even today.

We invite you to prepare for our time together by reading an article by Harry Belafonte, "Is America a Burning House?" on King's fears regarding America's prospects—even Christian America's—for actually enacting justice. Then read an excerpt from Robert Jensen's The Heart of Whiteness found on NPR.org. While there, consider listening to Jensen's interview; it is also insightful. While reading, answer the questions and implications that both men
raise; don't let them pass as rhetorical. And overall, ask yourself,
" How should my current participation in the kingdom of God finally
adequately address the concerns that these and other followers in the
way of Jesus are raising about power and what its misuse has done and
is doing to the human family? "
This is not just a black-white conversation.

We hope to hear your voice in the conversation Tuesday, 28 August, 8pm-10pm. Location to be posted later today.

-Melvin, David and Jimmy

Labels: ,

1 Responses to “White Privilege”

  1. # Blogger Thomas Muse

    Thank you for the preparatory post. I am sad to be out of town once again (three times now) on the last Tuesday of the month. I really miss seeing you guys and taking part in the cohort conversations.

    Today, I will read the Belafonte and NPR articles and will pray for you guys this evening. It's not the same a being there but I look forward to it.

    At this point, I can guard the date for the next gathering. This is good. But, if a chance to get together pops up before then, let me know. It would be great to catch up.

    Grace and Peace - Thom  

Post a Comment

About Us

You're a part of a bigger conversation, a bigger story of God's creation unfolding and realizing it's Creator's dreams in the clue of Jesus. Gather monthly to re-imagine how we can best participate locally in this conversation, story, dreams. This is an Emergent Cohort meeting to flesh out four commitments: to God in the way of Jesus, to the Church in all its Forms, to God's World, and to One Another. This is a theological conversation for any practitioners in the way of Jesus.

What is Emergent?

If you are interested in learning more about the larger movement we are a local expression of, visit Emergent Village.