Hey, as I am finishing up the first draft of the manuscript of my book, I am needing to come up with working names for the three different vantage points that I am exploring (see here for more info on these). In the current format I just simply call them “Vantage Point” 1, 2, 3 – but I have been told that becomes confusing. I don’t typically use labels , but if the lack of them is confusing then I am happy to rename them.
Some good names have already been suggested. One person proposed “spiritualist,” “personalist,” and “activist” for the three vantage points. Another person suggested the “spiritual formation vantage point” and the “social justice vantage point” as a couple of names.
Here is the first Vantage Point. Can you give me some suggestions as to what might be a good label?
Vantage point 1:
Consider faith important, consider Christianity a good source of inspiration for faith, but would not necessarily call themselves a Christian.
It is the man or woman who might see Christianity as a viable source for wisdom and insight on faith, but not necessarily the controlling factor in his or her own faith journey. They may like Jesus. They may include Jesus as one of the sources of inspiration in their faith journey. But they are not ready to say their spiritual allegiance is exclusively to Jesus.
What are some possible names for this vantage point? Do you like ‘spiritualist?’ What are some other possibilities?
Please give me some ideas!
I am a lifelong Chicagoan, a pastor at River City Community Church, and an author who writes a lot about resisting and confronting white supremacy from a faith lens.
Our church was founded in January of 2003 in the west Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and is centered on the core values of worship, reconciliation, and neighborhood development. We long to see increased spiritual renewal as well as social and economic justice in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and entire city, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God. It is also through the gift of this faith community that I have learned to see the profound historical and spiritual impact of the stronghold of white supremacy, and where I have been challenged to broaden and deepen my understanding of discipleship in the hopes of becoming a serious enough Christ follower who is able to meaningfully participate with those who have risen up in defiance of this evil principality.
The lessons learned in this journey have been captured in a pair of books on race. The first, White Awake, explores the barriers that white people tend to face – white Christians specifically – when we attempt to awaken to and understand white supremacy through a faith lens. I spend a lot of time here addressing the internal defenses that are bound to go off when this journey is taken seriously, and I chart out a path for developing a resilient spirit that steadfastly moves towards truth, justice, and equity. The second, White Lies, further builds out the path for the white Christian who longs to actively participate in the resistance and confrontation of white supremacy. I spend a lot of time here exploring why it is so hard to tell the truth about race, as well as expose the lies that sustain it, within white, Christian, Bible-believing environments. I then propose nine practices that position us for engaging in this task.
On the personal front, my career started in the marketplace, as I was part of three dot.com startups in the 90’s. My vocational path shifted when I joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in 1998, and I spent five years working there. I started River City Community Church in January 2003 and have been happily serving here ever since. On the education front, my undergrad was in Business (Purdue University), my graduate degree in theology (Moody Bible Institute), and my doctoral degree in community development (Northern Seminary). On the family front, my wife is a Professor of Psychology, and we have two amazing children (Xander and Gabriella).
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