On January 29, Soong-Chan Rah, the Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth & Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary, spoke at Wheaton College's chapel service.
The title of his talk was "White Privilege," and out of Acts 15 he diagnosed the critical issue for the (evangelical) church -- western white captivity. Citing the demographic changes afoot in America and in the Christian church as a whole, Rah issued a critical wake-up call to those slumbering in the warm, cozy caves of Euro-American whiteness.
According to Rah, this white western captivity shows up in areas areas of biblical interpretation and understandings of the self and society, and thus, to borrow a phrase from Cornel West, adopt the "normative gaze" of white Euro-American culture.
The essence of the Christian message, Rah argued, is about reconciliation, restoration, and unity; the Cross reconciles division, restores dis-union, a draws all peoples together.
At his Xanga site Rah also mentions this about Urbana 2006:
"Easily, the most impressive talk I heard was by Pastor Oscar Muriu. Amazing. This talk is long, long overdue at a major mission conference. It's way past time to realize that "missions" in the 21st century is more likely to be the Christian South/East (i.e. Asia, Africa and Latin America) evangelizing the "mission field" of Europe and North America."
Rah then offers two quotes from Muriu:
1. "To drink from the cup of Western theology is to drink from a poisoned chalice."
2. "The African church knows that it needs the American church. How does the church in North America need the African church?"
Listen to Oscar Muriu's talk here. He is the pastor of Nairobi Chapel in Kenya.
I wish I heard more messages like this. I'm listening....