The central identity of the church has been formed around Westernization and Whiteness. In order to reimagine the church it is imperative examine key concepts of our theology with the aid of a postcolonial lens. I would like to start with our theology and [re]imaging of Jesus. He is after all, our model for extending the Kingdom.
How do we imagine Jesus? Why is it important? They lay out how a new Christology helps us move away from a Western social imagination to one that opens us up to the interdependence of humanity.
To do so they speak of two important concepts in postcolonial studies: hybridity and solidarity. Building on their work, I want to connect how reimagining Jesus can help shape the church by creating space for space for non-western narratives and embracing others. If someone is bi-racial, they are often categorized by their minority identification. Hybridity, however gives voice to the experience of being bicultural. One understands both the dominant culture while also having experiences of being a minority.
The concept of hybridity gives place to examining a dialectic narrative. Hybridity does not negate one part of identity at the cost of another. It builds a capacity for tension and to hold different experiences together. When applied elsewhere, hybridity offers stepping stones to move away from dichotomized thinking and systematic ideology which limits our interpretation of the theology and the Gospel. A Western approach asks questions about what can be understood and explained.
Westernization also has a dualistic approach to Christology. We either focus on his divinity or his humanity. These categories then imply that one must choose which side to relate to. It opens a way of understanding how Jesus was able to relate to our experiences fully man yet simultaneously have a different experience because he was fully God.
Our social imaginations open to understanding how others may have a different but equal way of identifying with Christ. Solidarity reimagines a people who acknowledge their difference and common humanity. He knew that the dominant structure of their faith removed them from power, position, and influence.
In light of recent events and our national climate, how we re-imagine Jesus is an imperative question for how we understand the gospel. How did Jesus relate to the underrepresented in his community? What if Jesus looked like a Syrian refugee? What if his face was that of a non-documented worker?
What if we pictured the boy Jesus who stood at the temple and preached as TamirRice? Would we reimagine 12 year old dark skinned boys not as threats but as prophets? When we apply these questions to our churches and places of influence it can help reassess our ministry. Solidarity addresses power dynamics through relationship.
Diversity and capacity is about more than cultural difference and numbers. More so, diversity points to our capacity for social imagination. He said those who wanted to follow Him had to deny themselves and take up their cross daily. And each one of His stories had a point, a directive that was to guide action or expose truth. He was not trying to entertain. The adulterous woman was brought to Him and He told her to stop sinning.
The woman who the Pharisee Simon identified as a sinner and who poured perfume on Jesus was actually a disciple of Christ.
Luke tells the whole story ff and ends with Jesus reproving His host for his self-righteousness. If sinners came to Him, He never turned them away. RSS feed for comments on this post. Rebecca, I just checked and there are still keyboard prints in my forehead from a couple of our past conversations. This piece however, goes not only into your own unbelievably great bin, but also somewhere on my list of most needed and useful blog posts of all time.
Like Like. You have some great thoughts here!
Ahh lovely words, Becky. This is an issue that often frustrates me. Christ did come to teach and to call sinners to repentance, which is not quite the same thing as we have to love everyone and judge not, and be so open minded about everything our brains just fall right out. Like Liked by 1 person. Reblogged this on stones from the quarry and commented: A must read.
Please take the time to read this important blog. Reblogged this on Jan Verhoeff and commented: So often, I read a post that so thoroughly grips my heart, it must be repeated. This post must be reblogged, repeated, and READ often. Thank you so much for sharing the article with your readers and for encouraging them to do the same.
Reblogged this on sistersreachout and commented: A dear fellow blogger has already reblogged this, but I want to share this with my followers too. I think this article has some important things to say in light of where many Christians thinking is going.
I hope it speaks to your heart as it did mine. God bless you all. Their own little tin gods. Thank you for reminding us of the Truth. God is Who He says He is. So also His Son. Great article.
A few months back I was doing some reading in an OT Survey book where the author was covering the subject of idolatry. God clearly sets forth who He is through His word, and it is up to us to conform to who He is rather than trying to make Him conform to what we wish Him to be. Jesus was the epitome of grace and truth John He was always full of love and compassion, but He never shied away from the truth. Thanks, Walter. Rebecca, as always, wonderful thoughts!
I am nominating you for the Starlight Blogger Award! Thank you SO much for breaking this down. It helps me in my understanding of Christ. Thank you, Shii. I always appreciate it when readers pass an article along. Praise God this post helps in your understanding of Christ. Sign me up! Available as an ebook on Amazon. Graham M.
He ate and drink with the people from the different phases of the life, he kept the company with the people normally on or beyond the borders of respectable society. France, R. Christ and the Kingdom. Heath Salzman added it Dec 07, While Re-Imaging Election is firmly rooted in the Reformed tradition, the re-expression of the doctrine presented here opens up new possibilities for dialogue across the theological spectrum and offers suggestive directions for reclaiming an often-divisive doctrine in the life of the church. We're sorry, an error occurred.
Brauer, M. Create a free website or blog at WordPress. RSS 2. A Christian Worldview of Fiction A look at fiction and other bits of culture through the lens of the Bible.