A Look in the Book! Chapter Titles and Forward By Soong-Chan Rah

Foreword, by Soong-Chan Rah

Author’s Preface Introduction

1.   Shalom: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

2. Jesus: From Kingdom to Community of Creation

3.  God’s First Discourse: Connected to Creation

4.  We Are All Related: Life Governed by Harmony

5. The Great Thinking/Doing Divide

6.  When Time and Place Collide

7. Narrating Our Lives and Ideas: The Importance of Story

8.  Joining the Party: Essential Community




Sitting in the bleachers of a Seattle-area high school gymnasium, I listened intently to the words of my friends, Randy and Edith Woodley. I was visiting the Pacific Northwest for a speaking engagement, and Randy and his family graciously agreed to accompany me to my very first powwow. I tried not to ask too many questions as Randy patiently narrated the pow- wow unfolding before us. I sat enthralled at the richness of the culture being revealed on the gym floor. The visual display was only a part of the learning experience for me. More importantly, I delighted in the privilege of hearing my friend weave vivid explication, cultural insight, theological wisdom, and truthtelling into a compelling narrative. As an outsider to the community, I was honored that the Woodleys would extend such authen- tic hospitality toward me. Later, I did what any twenty-first-century American would do—I Facebooked my experience: “Went to my first powwow with Randy and Edith Woodley. Everyone should have this experience.”

American Christians are increasingly aware of the diversity that comprises Christianity in America. Multiethnic, multiracial, and multicul- tural ministry (we often use these three terms interchangeably, oftentimes incorrectly, conflating the three terms) is now in vogue. Diversity is applied superficially. Usually the application of multiculturalism (or any of the other terms) degenerates into tokenism. Churches and Christian orga- nizations look for diversity in how we appear to outsiders. Diversity looks particularly nice in group photos and websites. But diversity is usually for appearance purposes only. Everyone must toe the social, cultural, political, theological line. Token minorities should be seen but not heard. Continue reading