Reader Aaron submitted a link to a wonderful blog-post by Carlos Whittaker (the Worship Minister at the Buckhead campus of North Point church in Atlanta), telling us:

I found this wonderful story about a spontaneous worship by a homeless man while a church was shooting a video. It was so uplifting and amazing how the homeless man is already saved and worshiping and realizes his purpose and place in life despite how many of us might complain about it.

In Carlos’ article, he describes a recent situation, where he was recording part of an EPK for an album he was recording, when a homeless man came up and sat down with him…

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks for the tip, Aaron!

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 11:49 am and is filed under Church and Society, Music and Art. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

151 Comments(+Add)

1   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Thats very cool, but I wonder if they were singing about the same God. It seems Carlos was, but the whole Jah thing is sort of like Allah. You know, Allah is the moon-god, and Jah is personified in Haile Selassie in the Rastafarian religion.

Heres hoping he is indeed a believer, and Carlos didn’t miss an opportunity to share. Of course, according to Chad, the fellow will meet Jah and not be judged.

2   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:02 pm

sometimes a facepalm is the only adequate response

3   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:09 pm

#2 LOL
Where is Rick? He must be celebrating Festivus.

Seriously, nobody else picks up this whole Jah thing?

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Seriously, nobody else picks up this whole Jah thing?

I don’t, because I know a number of local churches who use “Jah” instead of “Jahweh” out of respect, not out of a black-helicopter-ish way of “fooling” people into believing they’re talking one thing instead of another…

5   andy    
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Beauitful video, thks for loading this Chris

6   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:55 pm

At the same time, people use Jah in the Rastafarian religion in a different way.

Don’t know, but the man looked and sounded Jamaican when he was rap/singing, so I went to Rastafarianism. I was not trying to be a black helicopter dude, but I guess I made a wrong assumption.

7   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Sorry,

Siding with PB on this one:

Wikipedia: Jah is the shortened name for God YHWH, and Jehovah most commonly used in the Rastafari movement and the world wide preaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses in upwards of 500 languages. . . In the West Indies, the recent popularity of Reggae, and the Rastafari movement’s referring to Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as “Jah” or “God,” has led to the use of the names “Jah” and “I and I” in Rastafari circles.

I have never even heard the use of “Jah” before and given the guy’s accent and Reggae-like musicality this is not looking good.

The Rastafari movement is a monotheistic, Abrahamic, new religious movement that has arisen from Judaism and Christianity.[1] It emerged in the 20th century, predominantly in Jamaica. Its adherents are known as Rastafarians, or Rastas for short.

Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former, and final, Emperor of Ethiopia, is the incarnation of God, called Jah[4] or Jah Rastafari.

The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis[5][6] and the rejection of western society

Today, awareness of the Rastafari movement has spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music—most notably, that of Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley.

“Test everything”. I doubt Carlos has heard of “Jah” either as it is rather obscure cultish terminology. So I’ll certainly give him a pass on not knowing that this seemingly cool encounter could have been a false fellowship encounter. However, we must not let the sentamentality of the moment cloud the issue that this man could very well indeed be a member of a cult and worship a different god.

Has anyone else ever heard of the use of “Jah” in any orthodox setting?

8   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Of course, according to Chad, the fellow will meet Jah and not be judged.

John, how’s the campaign coming for having your picture next to ‘non sequitur’ in the dictionary?

And don’t you lose fans every time you fail to drag Rob Bell into a comment that has nothing to do with him?

9   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I don’t, because I know a number of local churches who use “Jah” instead of “Jahweh” out of respect,

Just because find this interesting could you give some concrete examples? Are these Afro-American fellowships? I have never heard any orthodox body use “Jah” before and I really investigated these things at one time in my life.

10   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Are these Afro-American fellowships?

I guess I don’t try to categorize churches that way. One of the churches is predominantly African American, but has been around for decades (it is a Baptist church).

11   andy    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Surely the point isn’t that the gentleman might be a rastafarian, but that Carlos connected with him and maybe a friendship was struck, maybe they could help this guy out in his homeless situation etc etc..

On a side note don’t POD use the term Jah when singing?

12   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Surely the point isn’t that the gentleman might be a rastafarian, but that Carlos connected with him and maybe a friendship was struck, maybe they could help this guy out in his homeless situation etc.

Andy, yes of course. But this goes back to the heart of the observation that many perceive the Emergent movement elevates works at the expense of salvation. I don’t know all the details or even if this guy is a part of the Rastafarian movement, but I would say the circumstantial evidence points that way (i.e, use of the word “Jah”, Jamican accent/appearance, etc.). So no matter how cool the encounter, if this guy worships Jah instead of Jahweh then that becomes the most important issue. It’s not either or, but it’s not just helping the homeless either.*

*Spoken as a former board member of the New Orleans Gospel Mission to the homeless.

13   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Chris,

Good enough, but if they are using that term they are conscripting it from the Rastafarians so the question is why? Echocentric / nationalistic concerns?

14   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:41 pm

For out of the overflow of the heart the blogger types.

those who first and foremost look for god’s movement and spiritual beauty will find it.

those who first and foremost look for the wrong in anything and everything will find it.

15   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I’ve heard the people use “Jah” before in non-Rastafarian settings. One example that comes to mind is Sinead O’Connor’s Theology album. Also, Andy is correct, P.O.D. uses the term in several of their songs as well.

I also don’t know how you could really say that there enough evidence to call this guy a Rastafarian based on the video. There are plenty of black guys with dreads, and I’ve heard plenty of guys rap/sing in this style before.

16   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 2:44 pm

i think it is a form of spiritual xenophobia – it’s the same mentality that assumes arab christians cannot use allah or issa.

is the guy a rasta – who knows – but the fact that that is the first thing of importance is telling.

17   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

those who first and foremost look for god’s movement and spiritual beauty will find it.
those who first and foremost look for the wrong in anything and everything will find it.

fact that that is the first thing of importance is telling

That is very true Neil.

What fellowship has light with darkness? How about you start there and I’ll start with do I look for wrong in everything.

And in honor of transparency yes in my worldview right doctrine trumps sentamentality/emotionalism. Nothing wrong with either in its proper place.

18   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:17 pm

But this goes back to the heart of the observation that many perceive the Emergent movement elevates works at the expense of salvation.

The odd thing about using the whole boogeyman Emergent canard in this case is a non-starter. Buckhead/North Point aren’t Emerging or Emergent. They fall more into the Evangelical/Mega-church model (which is rather antithetical to the sensibilities of E/E’s)…

19   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Also, as background, this world view comes out of the 70’s / 80’s and the rise of the Hyper Charismatic / Word Faith movements where unbridled emotialism trumped sound doctrine.

20   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:19 pm

At some point, “being a Berean” is little more than a dignified gussying up of dogs sniffing each other’s crotches, instead of just finding joy where God places it.

21   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:20 pm

The odd thing about using the whole boogeyman Emergent canard in this case is a non-starter.

This is an emergent blog, Chris. I am writing in this context to the internet family here, not the Buckhead context.

22   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:21 pm

At some point, “being a Berean” is little more than a dignified gussying up of dogs sniffing each other’s crotches, instead of just finding joy where God places it.

They sniff Butts I think, not crotches and there is even a God given reason for that I suppose

23   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:22 pm

“Accept Everything” vs. “Question Everything”. The Bible response is obvious. If I am going to err it’s going to be on the side of discernment.

24   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Also, as background, this world view comes out of the 70’s / 80’s and the rise of the Hyper Charismatic / Word Faith movements where unbridled emotialism trumped sound doctrine.

What doctrine are we actually talking about here? What doctrine says that the use of the term “Jah” is prohibited?

This is an emergent blog, Chris. I am writing in this context to the internet family here, not the Buckhead context.

This is an Emergent blog? That’s funny, because just yesterday we were more or less told it’s a blog run by a right-wing nutjob…

Actually, I don’t even know if any of the writers here are really involved in any congregation that you could even call “Emergent”. Joe goes to Mars Hill, so I guess he’s our token Emergent guy… ;-)

I go to an independent Pentecostal church where the congregation is mostly African American, and I doubt the vast majority of the members have even heard the term “Emergent” as it pertains to the Church at large.

25   corey    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:28 pm

John #23 – “Question Everything”

How very emergent of you :)

26   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:30 pm

This is an emergent blog, Chris.

Wow! That’s news to me (and I manage the place).

Let’s go down the current list of writers (with apologies for missing anyone off the top of my head):
1) Me – not E/E. I’m from a Restoration-movement church (150+ years old), and from that tradition my entire life.
2) Phil – Assemblies of God. Not E/E.
3) Jerry – Restoration-movement & (some) Episcopalian
4) Joe M. – Mars Hill Bible Church (which is independent and does not consider itself part of the Emergent church). For your sake, we’ll count him as 50% Emerging
5) Neil – I don’t know that he’s declared his denominational bent, but it’s non-Reformed and Evangelical (not Emerging/Emergent)
6) Christian P (who’s been busy moving into a new house the last few weeks) – Restoration-movement minister – not E/E
7) Brendt – Calvary Chapel/Calvinist – not E/E
8 ) Chris Paytas – Reformed church, not E/E
9) Joe C – attends a traditional (non-E/E) church (haven’t seen him in awhile, as he tends to fall off the grid as a member of the military)
10) There’s a few more that haven’t written in awhile, and none of them are E/E, either.

So, the count is 8.5 non-E/E to 0.5 E/E writers. So, no, this is not an “emergent blog”…

27   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:35 pm

“Accept Everything” vs. “Question Everything”.

This is like the week of the false dilemma

There is a degree of assumption of Christian charity which requires neither extreme.

I’ve come to believe that the greatest danger in being a moderate is that you’re accused by the leftist moonbats of being John Birchers, and you’re accused by the right of being sympathetic to the Jesus Seminar. Certainly it is safer on the extreme wings, since having to concentrate 95% of your energy on one line of defense is much easier, but I’m not sure that’s where we’re called to be.

28   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

And in honor of transparency yes in my worldview right doctrine trumps sentamentality/emotionalism. Nothing wrong with either in its proper place.

i agree, but that’s not what i was talking about… i was talking about the first place a person’s mind goes.

For out of the overflow of the heart the blogger types.

those who first and foremost look for god’s movement and spiritual beauty will find it.

those who first and foremost look for the wrong in anything and everything will find it.

29   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:38 pm

John #23 – “Question Everything”

How very emergent of you :)

You beat me to this one. On another thread, we’ve got PB in a lather that Tony Jones questions the systematic interpretation of Mary’s virginity. Despite Jones confirming the veracity of her virginity (while questioning/rejecting the traditional explanation for it), it is the very fact that he actually does the Berean thing that gets the laser-sights set for kill…

30   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:39 pm

For out of the overflow of the heart the blogger types.

You should submit that for the next version of “The Message”…

31   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:39 pm

This is an emergent blog, Chris. – john hughs

That’s funny, because just yesterday we were more or less told it’s a blog run by a right-wing nutjob… – phil

wait – he was talking about us? that ppp is an emergent blog?

32   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm

5) Neil – I don’t know that he’s declared his denominational bent, but it’s non-Reformed and Evangelical (not Emerging/Emergent)

non-denominational, evangelical, quasi-reformed, typical mid-sized suburban nondom church.

we do do a version of stations during holy week – does that count?

33   corey    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm

#29 – So I think we’re allowed to be Bereans about people but not about doctrine…but I’m not really sure. These discerners are slippery, like trying to nail jello to a wall ;)

34   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:46 pm

wait – he was talking about us? that ppp is an emergent blog?

That’s how I took the comment.

Did I get it wrong, John?

35   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:49 pm

this blog is so not emergent that i assumed he must be referring to something else, one of the other blogs linked… i was gonna check them to see… but if he means THIS one… yikes!

36   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:51 pm

The ones linked to in the article are from Buckhead church and their Worship Minister (Carlos’) blog. So as I read the statement, it seems he’s referring to PPP as “emergent”…

37   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Of course, when Rick F and I post our articles on the acceptability (in my argument) or non-acceptability (in Rick’s) of “just war” doctrine, that will really make heads spin, if we need to pigeon-hole/label folks…

38   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 22nd, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Heres hoping he is indeed a believer, and Carlos didn’t miss an opportunity to share.

Well, ask a civil question, with hopefulness he is a believer, Just wondering etc. and I get jumped on by Neil that I am looking for evil.

I wasn’t.

I really liked the video, the music, etc. I didn’t judge anybody, I just wondered.

You guys need to come off of the old argument with Chad, and deal Civilly with people asking civil questions.

39   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:03 pm

This is not an emergent blog? I stand corrected. All this time I thought it was. No really.

Go figure. :-(

40   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

pastorboy,

ok – maybe a glimmer of truth in 38… my intent was not to jump on or judge you – just point out that the very first comment and the thing you went to first was negative… as if you MUST find the dark lining in anything good.

41   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

PB. #38 I think Neil was referring to my comments.

42   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:06 pm

This is not an emergent blog? I stand corrected. All this time I thought it was. No really.

Go figure. :-(

No problem, John. I do think, though, that it underscores a point for all of us that once we attach a label to something, we automatically approach it differently, via confirmation bias and/or diagnosis bias, which can lead to bad assumptions. This is often my problem when I reply to Chad…

43   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

my first comment on the subject, comment 14, was directed at the impulse to seek the negative in anything/everything… it was displayed first by pastorboy then by you. but since he opened the door it could be argued you just walked through.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I could not clearly understand what the blcok man was saying. Perhaps it was creole? It was a neat moment however similar to ones I have had in Manhattan.

45   Neil    
December 22nd, 2009 at 4:16 pm

re 42: and just a couple weeks ago we all asked pastorboy “who are you and what have you done with pastorboy” because he made several comments in a row that were so out of character.

46   Chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Late to the convo but I was at the party store today and the girl behind the counter stated “Thank God”. Now I know she’s not a believer but she used the correct terminology to describe God. So she must be going by the logic that if you use Jah you’re not a Christian.

Who knew?

THANK YHWH!

47   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 5:47 pm

#46 – Chris. Really? Really?

Upon simple research of the word “Jah” it is evident that this is NOT a common nominative for God with every evidence that anyone who uses “Jah” does so for a reason since it is so out of the norm. Give me a break, please.

If someone came up to me and said praise “Jah”. My first response would be “????”, and I am fairly well versed in Christian apologetics and the cults and the nuances thereof. Even this was a new one for me (not to say I’m a Walter Martin or anthing). But the point being that is a pretty obscure term for God even for a generous orthodoxy.

48   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

AND begs the question.

49   Chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 6:03 pm

But the point being that is a pretty obscure term for God even for a generous orthodoxy.

In your culture maybe…but I’ve been to Jamaica (mission trip) and very devout deeply convicted Christians use the term “Jah” for God. Additionally P.O.D. a very strong Christian band uses the term a bunch.

So while your “Appeal to Authority” was intriguing it won’t help you win this debate.

BTW “God” isn’t a valid term for “YHWH” rather it’s culturally integrated and accepted.

50   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 6:31 pm

In your culture maybe…but I’ve been to Jamaica (mission trip) and very devout deeply convicted Christians use the term “Jah” for God. Additionally P.O.D. a very strong Christian band uses the term a bunch.

Your comment is adding only weight to my argument as “Jah” evidently originated in Jamaica as a part of the Rastafarian cult and the use of it outside of Jamaica is suspect. It’s an odd term and culturally relevant to only a very small population and should at least make one question the user as to who they are refering to.

If an “orthodox” Christian uses Jehovah or Yahweh all the time in stead of “God”, 10 times out of 10 it’s because they have an agenda with a specific underlying worldview slightly outside the normal “orthodox” parameters.

51   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

People are certainly free to use whatever appellation they want, but words and the specific use thereof have meaning.

If that man were a Jehovah’s witness how would you have assessed that event?

52   Chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 6:44 pm

John,

Words do have meanings but interpretation is oft left up to experience, culture, and/or preference.

Your assumptive about the man being a JW can easily be applied in reverse and I can ask “What if the man is a believer from Jamaica?”

Additionally the man is using Christian words as well… “Hallelujah”.

While I choose to assign pure motives in the hope that the affirmative is likely there are large stripes of believers who are so dogmatic in their belief (regardless of topic) charity is impossible.

53   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 7:18 pm

so dogmatic in their belief (regardless of topic) charity is impossible.

Some questions, like this particular one, can be answered with just one simple question asked in a very respectful manner and then either true fellowship can be affirmed and celebrated or one can take the opportunity to witness to the truth should the need arise.

I can certainly see how one can argue “you’re so negative” while the other can argue “you display absolutely no discernment even when given a red flag and just accept everything without question.”

I really do try to balance the two, but I am going to err on discernment.

Obviously from the comments on the author’s blog this video has ministered to a lot of people and that is, indeed, “cool”.

54   chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Some questions, like this particular one, can be answered with just one simple question asked in a very respectful manner and then either true fellowship can be affirmed and celebrated or one can take the opportunity to witness to the truth should the need arise.

I’m not sure what this is a reference to. A little help please.

I can certainly see how one can argue “you’re so negative” while the other can argue “you display absolutely no discernment even when given a red flag and just accept everything without question.”

Struggling here as well but let me answer to what I think you are saying. “You’re so negative” is not an argument rather it’s a statement of known/perceived fact. “you display absolutely no discernment even when given a red flag and just accept everything without question” is a sweeping generalization based on opinion without verifiable data.

I really do try to balance the two, but I am going to err on discernment.

Glad to hear that. As do I. :)

I’m not sure why discernment is necessary about a homeless in a video saying the word “Jah” with no verifiable “proof” of his “true” spiritual condition. It’s a beautiful video shared by a confessing believer that is edifying to me. That’s all the discernment I need.

55   John Hughes    
December 22nd, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Chris: BTW “God” isn’t a valid term for “YHWH” rather it’s culturally integrated and accepted.

Chris, just for clarification “God” as used in the New Testiment is the English translation of the Greek word “theos” which means — ta da — “God”. I can’t find where any derriviative of Yahweh is used in the New Testiment. Did Jesus ever use it to address his Father? Did any of the Apostles ever use it? So I really don’t see your point here.

56   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
December 22nd, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I started crying when I watched the video…then all emotion dried up when I started reading the comments.

Lord help us!

57   chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Chris, just for clarification “God” as used in the New Testiment is the English translation of the Greek word “theos” which means — ta da — “God”. I can’t find where any derriviative of Yahweh is used in the New Testiment. Did Jesus ever use it to address his Father? Did any of the Apostles ever use it? So I really don’t see your point here.

The etymology of the word “God” is vague and while we use it as the commonly excepted descriptro it does not quantify the entirety of “God”. It is human language to describe something beyond description. Therefore Jah, YHWH, espiritu, Dios, etc…are IMO acceptable descriptors of the Christian conception of “God”.

58   chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Chris, just for clarification “God” as used in the New Testiment is the English translation of the Greek word “theos” which means — ta da — “God”.

ta da so you would have accepted ‘Danny’ saying “theos” instead of “Jah”?

59   chris    
December 22nd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

and to continue the beating of the equine.

From the Columbia Dictionary:
Jah (yä), generally considered an archaic form of the Hebrew ineffable name of God (Yahweh, Jahweh). It occurs in the Book of Exodus.

60   Mike    
December 22nd, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Really enjoyed the video. And I see where PB and John are coming from but…

I always TRY to give people the most generous benefit of the doubt when reading their theology, TRYing to assign them motivations or listening to their artistic expressions…

I tend to enjoy things more and it just makes me happier. I also argue alot less :)

61   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 am

You guys need to come off of the old argument with Chad …

Well, my irony meter just pegged.

62   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 am

I started crying when I watched the video…then all emotion dried up when I started reading the comments.

Then I guess my work here is done. Right Chris? Right Neil?

Next topic please.

63   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 am

John,
I have a few minutes, so I’ll chime in. I was not trying to stifle the conversation. I enjoy a good debate as much as the next guy.
But this was clearly an emotional video where two men (one of them free-styling) were singing of the one God, the one Creator, of mercy, singing Hallelujah. I highly doubt this homeless man was pushing an agenda.

I’m sorry if I sounded melodramatic and trite.
Shalom

64   chris    
December 23rd, 2009 at 10:12 am

Then I guess my work here is done. Right Chris? Right Neil?

John I don’t know what work you were doing?

You stated that

Upon simple research of the word “Jah” it is evident that this is NOT a common nominative for God with every evidence that anyone who uses “Jah” does so for a reason since it is so out of the norm. Give me a break, please.

Simple research yields that this statement is wrong with the etymology of both the word God and Jah. My experience in Jamaica yields that your statement is wrong that it’s used because it’s out of the norm. As far as giving you a break I responded with many “acceptable” terms for God and more proof of my argument. I’m not sure I’ve seen a rebuttal.

Anywhoo…this is quickly falling into the meaningless conversation category.

65   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 am

Here’s my 2 cents: I liked what I saw. Period.

Kind of sad that we need to pick something like this apart. I can understand a little of the questioning as this might be new exposure for some, and rest assured, Rastafarianism is a messed up religion.

(As a side note, when Salassie first visited Jamaica, he was taken by surprise that a religion had been built around his name)

As a personal background, about 75% of the church I attend is Jamaican, not only black (we refer to God as “Father”, not Jah).

We can debate the Dred’s understanding, but there are some clues that he understands a few things from the perspective of a Christian (though probably mixed with some of the reggae culture):

- Jah is synonymous with God, at least in some people’s understanding. He is genuine.

- he also references the Holy Ghost (the phrase “Moving just like a magnet” is one of the most common phrases in traditional/conservative Jamaican gospel music). To me, this is a clue that he is not ignorant of who he is singing of.

- “Hallelujah is the highest praise”: again, understood from gospel music (not necessarily reggae)

REGARDLESS, this was a first meeting and interaction. I bet the guy on the guitar didn’t walk away from the park without some sort of follow-up. God knows where it will go.

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 11:25 am

Behold _ Paul gives the accurate and substantive version. I agree totally – I am your servant!

67   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Let’s go down the current list of writers (with apologies for missing anyone off the top of my head):
1) Me – not E/E. I’m from a Restoration-movement church (150+ years old), and from that tradition my entire life.
2) Phil – Assemblies of God. Not E/E.
3) Jerry – Restoration-movement & (some) Episcopalian
4) Joe M. – Mars Hill Bible Church (which is independent and does not consider itself part of the Emergent church). For your sake, we’ll count him as 50% Emerging
5) Neil – I don’t know that he’s declared his denominational bent, but it’s non-Reformed and Evangelical (not Emerging/Emergent)
6) Christian P (who’s been busy moving into a new house the last few weeks) – Restoration-movement minister – not E/E
7) Brendt – Calvary Chapel/Calvinist – not E/E
8 ) Chris Paytas – Reformed church, not E/E
9) Joe C – attends a traditional (non-E/E) church (haven’t seen him in awhile, as he tends to fall off the grid as a member of the military)
10) There’s a few more that haven’t written in awhile, and none of them are E/E, either.
So, the count is 8.5 non-E/E to 0.5 E/E writers. So, no, this is not an “emergent blog”…

I concur that this is not an emergent blog.

A mere glance at the writer’s list will tell you that. It looks more like a roll-call for a Republican National Convention – all white, heterosexual (I’m assuming) males who, with the exception of one, lean rather rigidly to the right.

68   corey    
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Just read through the comments at Carlos’ blog where he posts the video. I think I like that thread better…

69   andy    
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Loving the clip with him on LA ink on his blog,, pretty cool the way he got his story out …

70   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

re 67 – funny thing is, i never really looked at “us” from a position of race – it never really mattered (and still doesn’t) to me.

71   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

A mere glance at the writer’s list will tell you that. It looks more like a roll-call for a Republican National Convention – all white, heterosexual (I’m assuming) males who, with the exception of one, lean rather rigidly to the right.

I can’t vouch for the exact ethnicity of all of the writers, as I’ve not met them all. And I’m not sure what that has to do with the price of Tea in China, since the most “progressive” big cities tend to also be the most white ones.

As for “leaning rigidly to the right”, I don’t see anyone on the list that fits that particular bill. Of course, if you’re fighting to move as far left as possible, everybody who’s got a lick of common sense looks to be “rigidly to the right”.

72   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Chris: John I don’t know what work you were doing?

Being head party pooper.

73   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Straining on a gnat while lunching on camels.

74   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Ever learning without coming to the knowledge of the truth.

75   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Chris: John I don’t know what work you were doing?

Being head party pooper.

That’s not how I see it but okay.

76   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Whitewashing the outside of tombs.

77   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Chris,

Tongue in Cheek. Believe it or not I do have a sense of humor.

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:10 pm

funny thing is, i never really looked at “us” from a position of race – it never really mattered (and still doesn’t) to me.

Yet it does matter. A consortium of writers that are all male and all white sends a message of its own.
You might want to consider that.

can’t vouch for the exact ethnicity of all of the writers, as I’ve not met them all.

That’s silly, Chris L. You know as well as I do they are all white. All of them with the exception of you are friends of mine on Facebook. I’d imagine this would be something you should know – being the BDOD, and all.

79   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Yet it does matter. A consortium of writers that are all male and all white sends a message of its own.
You might want to consider that.

i wonder how someone would feel being brought on because of their skin color…

anyway, i don’t want to start yet another argument… i just don’t care what race we all are… and i’m not about to start taking inventory to make sure some supposed pc scales are balanced.

it is what it is – now, had we excluded anyone that would be a REAL message… but since that is not the case – nbd

80   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:27 pm

79 – You can choose to ignore it if you like but it does send a message. And race does matter, Neil.

One of the best critiques of Borg’s “all roads lead to heaven” analogy is by N.T. Wright who said that while that may seem very “liberal” (in the best sense of the word) it is really an insulting posture to take. It suggests that your story doesn’t matter. It is to say to the Jew or the Buddhist or whomever, “What you believe doesn’t matter.” It is to take something that matters to someone and tell them it is a non-issue.

I find the cavalier attitude towards race on this site equally insulting. To say to an African-American that their race doesn’t matter is a slap in the face. It does matter. It is a part of who they are and because of their unique experiences they can bring something vital to the table – something that we white people may not consider or overlook because we have for so long sat in the place of privilege.

A new pastor in my town is a black man and we were talking at a retreat the other weekend. I was enquiring about how well he is settling in and so forth and we got to talking about doing some combined worship services between his all black church and my all white (albeit my two kids) church. He shared with me how the other day he was going to head into a restaurant for something to eat but given some of the race issues he had already encountered in his short time in town he thought it best to call a member of his church to ask if it was OK for him to go eat in this place. I was stunned – and speechless.

You see, that is something I have never had to deal with. By virtue of his race he has experiences that I do not. I am grateful for the chance to learn from him and to see the world through the eyes of people who KNOW race matters.

81   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:33 pm

One more thing…

My wife and I recently saw a documentary of a white family who adopted a black child. When asked what helped him the most as a child to assimilate he said that it helped to see his white parents had black friends – people that looked like him.

My wife and I are intentional about things like this because we think it very important. Not just for our own kids sake but because we see the role of family life to be in mission to within the world as a means (small as it may be) to project what the kingdom of God is like. I make it a point to try to befriend people who are not like me. And I know that if I were putting together a group of writers for a theological sort of blog I would most certainly be intentional about finding writers who do not look like me or think like me.

82   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 2:55 pm

as in the past, it is apparent that we cannot discuss the issue of race without you taking it into realms that were never intended.

of course race matters to the individual – and that goes for the white as well as the black.

but since that is not what i meant, nor said, i will leave it at that.

83   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:02 pm

*ding* *ding* *ding*

race card

You knew it was going to come since we’re in a thread w/ Chad, and we’re all just Klansmen w/ our sheets hidden in our closets.

What a crock.

84   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

i agree with chad to the point that having other races on the posting staff (for lack of a better term) might add a new dimension.

that said, it’s not like the current staff is deficient based on our racial make-up either.

and as offensive as it would be to excluded someone based on race – so it would be to include them for the same reason.

85   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:09 pm

That’s silly, Chris L. You know as well as I do they are all white.

Actually, I thought one of the writers was part Native American, but I guess they don’t count in Chad’s world…

We choose writers based upon 1) basic Christian charity that allows for multiple denominational views; 2) demonstrated writing and logical abilities as commenters; and 3) interest in being a writer here. Zan writes here, as well (though I didn’t include her in the list, since one can assume her Church background and non-Emergent-ness is the same as mine), and she’s definitely not male. Julie used to write here, and would be welcome back if she was interested in our topic matter.

About the only “diversity” I’ve sought in writers was a diversity of church background, since we’re weighed a little bit toward independent Christian churches. I’m not into racial quotas simply for the sake of saying that I’m diverse. That, in itself, is racist.

86   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I find the cavalier attitude towards race on this site equally insulting.

cavalier = we could care less about the color of your skin, just the content of your character. I’ll take that, and continue insulting you until the cows come home. I’m not into victimology and the like, but you’re welcome to wallow in as much guilt as you like, Chad. That’s your prerogative.

To say to an African-American that their race doesn’t matter is a slap in the face.

Unless people tell me their race in a blog-ish forum, I don’t really care. Until he told me, I didn’t know that Paul C. was black (African-Canadian?), and while it gives him a perspective I do not have, I don’t think more or less of him because of it. I’ve found him to be a thoughtful writer that I sometimes agree with and other times disagree with (in some cases rather vehemently, IIRC). I would not seek him out or exclude him for reasons of race, because I happen to believe in color-blindness. That’s not a slap in the face, it’s what Paul preached and what (in the modern era) MLK asked for.

87   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

And once more, #83 is about as meaningless to me as if Jim Crow or David Duke said it.

and as offensive as it would be to excluded someone based on race – so it would be to include them for the same reason.

Neil, says who???

I’m sorry, but that is simply not true.

My guess is if you asked an African-American to be part of your online discernment group because you desire to have perspectives that are not limited to solely the views of white males, I would be he OR she would be impressed rather than insulted.

Same can be said of ignorant comments like this:

I’m not into racial quotas simply for the sake of saying that I’m diverse. That, in itself, is racist.

88   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:20 pm

And I know that if I were putting together a group of writers for a theological sort of blog I would most certainly be intentional about finding writers who do not look like me or think like me.

Actually, the writers I’ve sought out I’ve been somewhat purposeful about finding folks that don’t think like me. I could care less if they do or do not look like me. Aside from Zan, there is not a writer here I met to see if “they look like me” before I asked them to join up.

In fact, right now we’re having some discussions along these lines (looking for folks from other branches of Christianity we don’t currently have writing here). Their race and sex have nothing to do with whether or not we’d be looking to engage them.

89   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm

and as offensive as it would be to excluded someone based on race – so it would be to include them for the same reason.

Exactly, Neil.

90   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Anyways, I was only agreeing with Chris L that this blog isn’t NOT an emergent blog. Most emergents are aware of the non-verbal messages their make-up sends and are inclined towards inclusiveness. This site, made up of entirely white males, obviously does not care what message that sends.

Ergo, it is not emergent.

91   John Hughes    
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Have that pastor move to Houston. We’re so cosmopolitian the whites are already in the minority.

92   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:30 pm

FYI – While Eugene happens to be white (if his facebook photos are really him :) ), he brings a totally different perspective as a South African. His skin color didn’t even figure into the mix, but we did think that having a non-American church view would be valuable, and it has been.

93   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Most emergents are aware of the non-verbal messages their make-up sends and are inclined towards inclusiveness. This site, made up of entirely white males, obviously does not care what message that sends.

What a crock of crap.

Not surprising, though. Personally, I’d be insulted if someone included me or excluded me based upon my race. Filling a quota is about as dehumanizing as it comes, unless you happen to be an “enlightened” racialist like Chad…

94   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Have that pastor move to Houston. We’re so cosmopolitian the whites are already in the minority.

Better prep your racial %’s and make sure they reflect the population at large, lest Chad call you a racist.

95   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

And knowing Eugene as I do I bet he would think it a good idea to be intentional about having racial diversity on a blog like this. And I bet he would not call that being racist but being sensitive and living into our Christian vocation as ministers of reconciliation.

But hey, if you don’t care about that stuff that’s fine. You won’t ever haver to worry about being confused for an “emergent” blog by me.

96   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:35 pm

i’m not denying that having other races posting would add a different perspective. i just disagree that there is some ontological deficiency that we have not sought them out.

97   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:35 pm

What a crock of crap.

What is a “crock of crap”? The fact that the make-up of a “ministry” sends non-verbal signals or the fact that you don’t care about that?

98   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 pm

The fact that the make-up of a “ministry” sends non-verbal signals or the fact that you don’t care about that?

1) I don’t consider this a “ministry”, per se, as that seems rather egotistical.
2) Since you’re the only person that’s brought it up in 4-5 years? Not really.
3) If they’re unable to judge us based not on the colors of our skins, but on the content of our character, I’m not sure I’d want someone that shallow and racialist writing here…

99   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 pm

And BTW, I disagree with the idea of being “color-blind” in the way it is used by Chris L here. Being “colorblind” can be good in the sense of ensuring equality for all people but it is not good when it comes to respecting people’s humanity. Race does matter. It is part of who we are as God has created us. Being “colorblind” denies people their humanity at a fundamental level and denies that their race has a story and history significant to it.

I hope we are all colorblind when it comes to so-called “rights” but I hope we also see color and celebrate it in all its diversity and wonder.

100   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Chad, I know you are eager to see me “on-staff” here at CRN.info, but I agree with this:

I’m not into racial quotas simply for the sake of saying that I’m diverse.

I guess it was only a matter of time before a post like this devolved into one on race.

Guys, please forgive Chad. No doubt racism is alive and well as ever, though perhaps more subtle, but I have never sensed it even once that I can recall, while interacting on this blog – outside of my interactions with the infamous Rick “Billy Bob” Frueh :) .

Honestly, these kinds of discussions are irritating as it will inevitably end with “I have black friends”, or the “trip I made across the other side of the tracks” and a list of lively interactions with people of another race, as a sign of credibility.

BTW, did you hear that Prince William slept under a bridge last night with the homeless? It’s true. Great photo opp.

I guess it was only a matter of time before this post devolved into one on race.

Chad, it might be helpful to find a different cause here. And stop taking tips from this blog – it’s a parody. :)

101   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

#98 – that is why I put “ministry” in scare quotes.

But you didn’t answer the question. What is a crock of crap? The fact that our racial and gender make-up speaks a non-verbal message OR the fact that you don’t care what message that sends?

102   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Chad, I know you are eager to see me “on-staff” here at CRN.info

Paul C, on the contrary, there is a rather large pool of reasonable and sensible African-Americans they could choose from. :P

However, since we are talking about THIS site, perhaps you would be a great fit.

103   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Paul C, on the contrary, there is a rather large pool of reasonable and sensible African-Americans they could choose from.

Well, I’ll send an email to Oprah and ask if she’s interested. No doubt she matches up perfectly with your sensibilities – at least from a religious perspective.

104   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Actually, the writers I’ve sought out I’ve been somewhat purposeful about finding folks that don’t think like me

And this isn’t exactly true. I would argue that with the exception of one, most of the writers here are mini-me’s of BDOD. You are not purposeful about finding writers that think differently than you and I am speaking from direct experience. Several writers were telling me that I was being considered to be asked to write here a year ago but my views on universalism were causing you to poop gerbils (my words, not theirs…well, sort of).

Not that I mind – I would have turned the offer down any ways. But please don’t try to say you are “purposeful” in finding people who think differently than you. I know for a fact you do not.

105   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:59 pm

What is a crock of crap? The fact that our racial and gender make-up speaks a non-verbal message OR the fact that you don’t care what message that sends?

1) Our racial and gender make-up only speaks a non-verbal message to folks who have their own hangups with gender and race.

2) No matter what you do, you’re going to offend somebody. I’m not into being a racialist like you, Chad, so no, I could care less if you are offended I’ve not “checked the box” on my diversity scorecard. I believe that every person brings a unique perspective, because every person is unique – and race is only a small piece of that – smaller for some and bigger for others. Since this blog is about a deeper look into theological issues, I’m more interested in a theological diversity (which may or may not have to do with how someone’s DNA has changed their view) than the shallow view of ‘diversity’ you seem to subscribe to.

Paul, I might be wrong, but as I’ve read your opinions, I’m not sure you’d be interested in writing here if we asked you to, since we’re pretty accepting of the idea that Catholics are within the realm of Christianity (among other items we’ve discussed). I could be wrong, but is that the case?

106   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Well, I’ll send an email to Oprah and ask if she’s interested. No doubt she matches up perfectly with your sensibilities – at least from a religious perspective.

case in point.

107   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Our racial and gender make-up only speaks a non-verbal message to folks who have their own hangups with gender and race.

Translation: our racial and gender make-up only speaks a nonverbal message to people who are not of the same racial and gender make up as we!

I could care less if you are offended I’ve not “checked the box” on my diversity scorecard.

as I suspected – you don’t care what sort of message that sends.

Ergo, this is not an “emergent” blog (be happy! we agree on something!)

You are welcome.

108   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Race does matter. It is part of who we are as God has created us.

a fact you keep insisting on – yet, no one has denied.

109   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Several writers were telling me that I was being considered to be asked to write here a year ago

Actually, it was not just me, and it was not limited to your view on universalism (though it certainly played a part), but also your lack of logic, your tendency to consistently reflect back hypotheticals at people that put them in the worst possible light … kind of like Ken, and your always finding a way to play the race card when things aren’t going your way. Those things have nothing to do with only wanting people who “think like me”, but simply wanting folks who aren’t unbalanced.

110   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

actually, i think it was your view on homosexuality that caused him to poop a gerbil…

111   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Paul, I might be wrong, but as I’ve read your opinions, I’m not sure you’d be interested in writing here if we asked you to, since we’re pretty accepting of the idea that Catholics are within the realm of Christianity

In terms of Catholicism, I believe that the RCC is completely a false representation of Christ, though I would not go so far as to judge individuals themselves.

112   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:10 pm

My only point is that this same issue was raised at EV (Emergent Village). Some commenters noted that the EC should be more intentional about its racial diversity and the fact that most (if not all) of the writers at EV were white was an issue.

The writers at EV did not get defensive (like here) but noted that this was a good idea and recognized their own failures at mirroring the kingdom of God in all they strive to do.

That is the sort of humble attitude that I think makes one blog an “emergent” one and another not so much. Of course, blogs tend to take on the ethos of the “leader” and this one is probably no exception.

113   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:12 pm

109 – lol.

110 – that’s the funniest thing I think you ever said!! HA! (seriously, that was funny!)

114   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

as for 109, seriously, I guess that means your other writers are liars who have spoken with me outside of here about that.

Or, perhaps you are a good redactor of history and just want to tell yourself all of that. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

115   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:16 pm

chad,

i for one am not feeling defensive. since i find you accusation not worthy of being defended against.

the bottom line is, we are not going to go out of our way to choose someone based on their race anymore than we would deny them based on their race.

in that sense we are color-blind.

the ONLY message that that should send is – we have not targeted anyone in an attempt to be diverse. we have just grown the writing corps without strategy.

anything beyond that is a figment of you heightened sensationalizes

116   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:18 pm

And Neil, all I am saying is that is more evidence to suggest this is not an emergent blog. An emergent blog would be sensitive to those issues and strive to be more inclusive.

You guys aren’t. I get it.

Once more, I was only trying to show one more reason why this is not an emergent blog.

117   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Translation: our racial and gender make-up only speaks a nonverbal message to people who are not of the same racial and gender make up as we!

No.

Translation: If you’re offended that we don’t have someone with _X_ box checked writing on staff here, then you’ve got a chip on your shoulder and much bigger issues than a discussion on theology is going to resolve, and a therapist is probably a better investment of your time.

as I suspected – you don’t care what sort of message that sends.

Not true. While I don’t desire to unintentionally offend anyone, no matter what I say or do, I will succeed in offending someone.

As such, I will operate in a way that is truest to what I believe we have been taught – that, as it pertains to theological opinion and discussion, race is not an issue of spiritual “diversity”. While one’s individual racial make-up might be important to them, it does not, by itself, create a unique theological perspective.

Heck, to this day, I’ve never met Neil. He might be a 7-foot-tall alien, for all I know (Neil?), but his brotherhood in Christ is all I need to know in regards to his “race”, and the diversity of opinion (and temperment) he brings is valuable in the discussions we have.

I have met Jerry – a lifelong Democrat – a couple of times, and while we have a similar church background, he is to the right of me on some issues (like Creation) and to the left on others. I could care less if Homer Simpson could be his twin brother ;) – sorry Jerry, couldn’t help it…

118   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Confused: did anyone declare that this was an “emergent” blog?

I wonder, if you take a poll of Chad’s emergents, what percentage would be black? I’m guessing: less than 1%.

But regardless, Chad, show a little Christian kindness here… your tone and comments are just dripping with hatred as far as I can see.

119   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:26 pm

While one’s individual racial make-up might be important to them, it does not, by itself, create a unique theological perspective.

Sorry, but that just not grounded in any sense of reality.

Theologians from South America (Justo Gonzalez, for instance) or from Africa (Desmond Tutu as a popular example) would beg to differ with you.

A person’s race and ethnic background DO offer a unique theological perspective, as any Jew would tell you.

It is highly arrogant to assume that someone’s ethnic make-up does not provide a unique theological perspective apart from your own as a white American male.

120   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Confused: did anyone declare that this was an “emergent” blog?

See John’s comment #21…

As I reread the thread, it looks like we all jumped on him a bit for that, probably a bit overkill in making the point.

To Chad’s point, we’re not an Emergent blog, though not for the reason(s) he suggests. 1) We have no single theological background; 2) Some of us have more issues than others with the liberties taken by some (but not all) in the Emergent movement.

Chad’s sensibilities about race get mixed into his theology, and the reason EV reacted as it did was not out of a theological reason, but out of the basic political underpinnings of EV, which value diversity simply for its own sake, and deride a lack of diversity for no other reason than its absence.

121   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Chad’s sensibilities about race get mixed into his theology,

What I like to call, Incarnational Theology.

Yeah, God forbid we be “sensitive” about issues of race.

122   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:33 pm

It is highly arrogant to assume that someone’s ethnic make-up does not provide a unique theological perspective apart from your own as a white American male.

I said nothing about ethnicity. Just race.

One’s ethnicity is based in their environment, upbringing, and a host of external factors. For example, while Eugene is a white male, his ethnic perspective is much different than mine because is lives in another country on another continent.

Even so, I’m not going to go recruit writers just so that I can say we’re an ethnically diverse group. Diversity for its own sake is shallow enabling of a rather uniquely American form of victimhood. The sooner it dies, the better.

123   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:34 pm

and the reason EV reacted as it did was not out of a theological reason, but out of the basic political underpinnings of EV, which value diversity simply for its own sake, and deride a lack of diversity for no other reason than its absence.

That is not entirely true.

Your source for this?

124   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:35 pm

here is a good example of a possibility being turned into an absolute.

chad said A person’s race and ethnic background DO offer a unique theological perspective, as any Jew would tell you. – emphasis his.

yet he gave as an example people of both a different race and culture.

someone who is of a different race but the same culture MAY or MAY NOT offer a different theological perspective.

125   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Yeah, God forbid we be “sensitive” about issues of race.

more arguing of something NO ONE is denying.

126   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I said nothing about ethnicity. Just race.

Same answer applies.

Harriet Jacobs had a very different theological perspective than her master did. And guess what? So do many of her progeny – and for good reason.

I mean, good grief, Black Liberation Theology is an entire theological perspective that is due to race (a perspective I do not agree with, but to say one’s race does not provide a unique theological insight is naive at best).

127   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Neil,

Just so you are aware, when you say this:

someone who is of a different race but the same culture MAY or MAY NOT offer a different theological perspective.

You are disagreeing with BDOD when he says this:

While one’s individual racial make-up might be important to them, it does not, by itself, create a unique theological perspective.

IOW, you agree with me (sorry). I never said it ALWAYS provides a unique perspective. However, Chris L said in so many words that it never does.

Now, who is making absolutes???

128   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Chad, any chance you can fill me in here?

I wonder, if you take a poll of Chad’s emergents, what percentage would be black? I’m guessing: less than 1%.

129   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:42 pm

While one’s individual racial make-up might be important to them, it does not, by itself, create a unique theological perspective.

the point chad is overlooking is the phrase – “in itself” – being born a certain race does not, in itself, mean that you will have a theological perspective that is unique.

it MAY play a factor, or t may not. but i agree a person’s race – in itself – does not demand a unique theology.

130   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Paul C – what do you mean?

I don’t have “emergents” and am not sure what you mean.

131   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:44 pm

129 – nice dancing.

132   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:48 pm

re 130: sorry… I forgot you’re not a group, but a conversation.

Here’s what you said:

My only point is that this same issue was raised at EV (Emergent Village). Some commenters noted that the EC should be more intentional about its racial diversity and the fact that most (if not all) of the writers at EV were white was an issue.

Obviously this issue was raised due to observation. Otherwise it wouldn’t have come up. So my question is, how is the progress on racial diversity going?

Additionally, if you had to guess (very random), would you consider a 1% number inaccurate in terms of the percentage, say in North America, of blacks that subscribe to the emergent movement?

133   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

chad,

i posted that before seeing you comment 127 btw – and it’s not dancing… unless you take “dancing” to mean “looking at all the words of a sentence and taking them into consideration.”

he said “in itself” and that cannot, should not be ignored.

134   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Paul –
I have no way of knowing. And to be honest, I haven’t popped in to EV in months.

As for a guess – you may be right about 1% – give or take.

135   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:51 pm

And Neil, you said race MAY or MAY NOT be a factor in someone’s theology.

That fact should not be ignored

136   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:52 pm

whether you like it or not chad, every example you have given of a person whose race effected a unique theological perspective also had other factors – nationality, historical context, etc… so, “in itself” is a valid modifier.

137   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 4:54 pm

And Neil, you said race MAY or MAY NOT be a factor in someone’s theology.

you have accurately quoted me.

138   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:00 pm

134: my point is that the EC might be the most lily white organization on the planet, made up of latte-sipping, skinny jean wearing, soul-patch sporting, Obama-voting individuals who differ from each other only insofar as whether or not the milk used for their lattes should be whole or skim.

Bottom line: the demographic is very narrow, as you yourself acknowledge.

Second bottom line: I find your attempts to nail someone (Chris L) to be very childish and foolish. It just comes off as babyish – a man who watched one documentary too many and runs out on his horse to enlighten the world.

139   Neil    
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:00 pm

chad & chris, if i misunderstood – correct me.

chris said:

While one’s individual racial make-up might be important to them, it does not, by itself, create a unique theological perspective.

and chad repsonded:

A person’s race and ethnic background DO offer a unique theological perspective, as any Jew would tell you.

It is highly arrogant to assume that someone’s ethnic make-up does not provide a unique theological perspective apart from your own as a white American male.

i interpreted the inclusion of “in itself” in chris’s original to limit it to race along – and therefore it is a may or may not situation becuase we do not know the other issues of their sitz en leben.

chad, on the other hand said race and ethnic background DO offer a unique theological perspective – emphasis his.

i interpreted that to mean that race MUST lead to a unique theological perspective, other circumstances notwithstanding.

140   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Neil – That is how I read it, as well.

Paul – Yes, thank you.

141   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:10 pm

First of all, the video was awesome. Secondly, can we hide this comment thread from visitors to the site because it’s a bunch of crap?

142   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:11 pm

And yes, “by itself” was to isolate race from other environmental factors.

143   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 5:28 pm

And yes, “by itself” was to isolate race from other environmental factors.

The problem, however, is you cannot isolate race apart from environment.

Paul C, you would make a great fit around here :)

Chris L – where is your source that EV was motivated by political correctness over theological concerns?

144   chris    
December 23rd, 2009 at 7:06 pm

All those who have been in the minority of any institution for more than a year please raise your hand.

:raisehand:

145   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Chris, does marriage count? If so, *raising hand*

146   Mike    
December 23rd, 2009 at 7:25 pm

You know, I come to this site because sometimes the discussions made me view theology and ideas from a different perspective. But for the last few posts, the comments just degenerate into discussions of Universalism, racism and etc. I think that what ought to happen is that if someone raises an interesting question or idea, you dialogue with them.

When someone starts hurling insults and accusations, maybe we should just ignore them and get bak to the actual discussions.

147   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 23rd, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Merry Christmas, Mike!

148   Mike    
December 24th, 2009 at 9:33 am

Merry Christmas Chad :)

149   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 24th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Chris L – where is your source that EV was motivated by political correctness over theological concerns?

Still waiting.

150   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 24th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Then you’ll wait for awhile if you want links, as I’m tied up with playing three services tonight and spending time with the family.

There are a number of blog posts on the EV site, itself, and a couple by Tony Jones from back when this was a hotter topic that made it clear to me that the issue was one of politics varnished with theology. There is no theological basis for forced diversity within a localized set of believers, and most of the posters & commenters in the EV blog posts on the subject were simply talking about diversity for diversity’s sake.

151   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Well, I am patient.

I remember the conversation very differently and believe you are embellishing.