Multicultural churches: A gospel imperative
I couldn't agree more. But this does present a serious question to those who believe that evangelism is best carried out among groups of a single culture so that the folk being reached have as few barriers to cross as possible as they come to faith.
This idea was first articulated as the "Homogeneous Unit Principle" by the Church Growth advocate Donald McGavran, back in the 50s. It has resurfaced in the modern "Fresh Expressions" movement, who strongly advocate doing evangelism among folk with a common interest (be that bread-making or film criticism) or a common background (which may be ethnic, class- or age-related).
To my mind this is great for evangelism, but totally against the spirit of a church in which male and female, Jew and Greek, all find an equal place; a microcosm of God's Kingdom and a tremendous witness to the unifying and reconciling power of Christ.
So we are in a quandary. Any ideas, folks?
Thanks Israel, and with increasing diversity all over the world there is a huge opportunity - and challenge - for the church to demonstrate the new humanity that God creates as people of all ethnicities, cultures and background are drawn into Christ. Andrew, I think there are two questions: how will specific people/groups RECEIVE the gospel? and how are those who receive it to LIVE the gosplel? Acts shows us both specificity in presentation to speak directly to particular groups, to convince them that the gospel does not exclude them; and then both Acts and NT Letters show the struggle to bring those who have received the gospel in the specificity of their own contexts to recognize and live out the truth of the gospel that includes not only them but all sorts of people, together.