Thursday, March 05, 2009

Transmitting faith

The early church had to reject culturally irrelevant traditions in order to transmit the faith across cultures.

Some of us are keenly aware of the tensions that arise while transmitting the faith. A Korean congregation must decide how to reach the second and third generation who mostly speak English. A denomination that baptizes infants is faced with Hispanic congregations who embrace believer’s baptism. A mostly White suburban church wonders how to respond to new minority residents who’ve been displaced from the city by gentrification. Paul’s rejection of cultural monopoly seems downright impractical in these situations. Wouldn’t it be simpler for new converts, new immigrants, and new generations to adapt to our established traditions?

So asks David Swanson in a post entitled Urban Exile: Whose History?

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