Big Tent …

A reader writes …

Hi Brian,
I am an avid follower of your blog and am reading one of your books right now for the first time. You’re different way of thinking has truly helped me re-frame my traditional evangelical upbringing. I had never heard of “Big Tent Christianity” until your recent post about it as part of the synchroblog. From your post, I gathered it was a pretty cool concept. Then I read another post from a blog I follow “Ethnic Space and Faith” where the writer talked about an injustice done to him from White Christians…in relation to being asked to contribute to the Big Tent synchroblog. I am continually trying to broaden my perspective and be more vigilant against the subtle kind of discrimination and racism that is (some would say) inherent in dominant culture. So I wanted to ask someone I respected, what is this blog writer referring to? Is there something about Big Tent Christianity that only serves dominant white Christians at the expense of others?
the blog post I’m referring to:

The writer, Randy Woodley, is a good friend of mine for whom I have a lot of respect. Randy is hitting hard at the issue of white privilege … something that relatively few white people like me really get. He’s not singling out the Big Tent gathering, but is reminding us of the need to be proactive on seeking a better way forward.
Randy wrote a really important chapter in The Justice Project, which I helped edit. He talks there about the importance of people of privilege staying at the table – not walking away mad – when people who have suffered under their power bring up uncomfortable topics and perhaps do so in provocative ways. If something of value comes from the Big Tent gathering, it will be essential to pay attention to issues of white privilege (and male privilege, etc.).
See also Randy’s post here …
I hope more and more people will listen to Randy, and not leave the table mad when we feel uncomfortable. Discomfort is often the fanfare heralding the arrival of major insight.
On a more hopeful note, see this – an example of Baptists (and others) in Virginia supporting needed action on past and continuing racism. It’s been said that racism is America’s original sin – and recent news suggests we haven’t faced it very well yet.