Hopes for Big Tent Christianity



September 8-9 is Big Tent Christianity right up the road from us in Raleigh, NC. There will be some great panel discussions and I’m sure challening/inspiring side conversations. Friends connecting again that haven’t seen each other in a while. There will be a wide array of Christian bodies and traditions represented. Everything from Storefront Pentecostals (like myself) to Mainline Protestants to Catholics. This will be an opportunity for us to practice the hospitality we see exemplified by Jesus. I’m pretty sure popular issues of the day will be debated, discussed, and side-lined (e.g. sexuality, race, poverty, et al.).

I’m schedule to be a panelist on the discussion about Justice. Not sure what I’ll say yet. I’m sure I’ll be throwing racial justice into the mix along with justice issues related to doing ministry in the margins. We’ll see. I grow weary of talking about race. The only cure I’ve managed to see for racism is friendship. Everything else is coerced diversity and tokenism.

My passion these days is doing ministry in the margins. I’m learning how to see Jesus at work in the forgotten places in my community. Here is where I’m finding my calling to live justly. I’ll talk more about that at Big Tent Christianity.

My hopes?

1. Big Tent Christianity will be one more prophetic catalyst in bringing about North American Christianity’s shift from an absolutist religion to an embodiedment of the life of God we find in Jesus. What does that look like? I hope that Big Tent Christianity will help give us some starting clues.

2. Big Tent Christianity will help Christians find friendships of virtue centered around a more minimalist understanding of Christianity (Love God, Love Neighbor). A Christian minimalism set within the context of a wider range of issues than the normal left-right issues that carry the day.

3. Big Tent Christianity will challenge, deconstruct, and provide theological/ecclesial re-toolings to reconstruct my (our?) understanding of God, how God works in the world, and how God expects us to participate in this redemptive work.

Here are the hopes/expectations of others (synchroblog) for Big Tent Christianity.

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3 thoughts on “Hopes for Big Tent Christianity

Add yours

  1. How is this post and its comments relevant to the central focus of BTX and Transforming Theology – transforming the Church so it can effectively address the common and daunting issues facing humanity?

    Absent keeping this a central focus, BTX is a waste of time, if not worse, given the purpose of Transforming Theology.

  2. Thanks for participating in the Big Tent Synchroblog.

    I hope you are able to participate in the upcoming synchroblog “Christians and The Immigration Issue”

    Here’s the info:

    CHRISTIANS AND THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE – 9/8/2010 (second Wednesday of the month) As Congress debates how to handle undocumented aliens already within U.S. borders and how to more effectively handle hopeful immigrants in the future, Christians will need to consider what it means to love these new neighbors in our midst.

    Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Sonja Andrews at synchroblog@gmail.com by close of business CST on 9/7/2010 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

    Here’s a link to help keep up with monthly synchroblog themes and dates:

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150485758312726&ref=mf

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