Guest / Limited Access /

EDITOR'S BOOKSHELF INTERVIEW

Biblical books like Ephesians and Luke give us examples of inclusion, but the language of inclusion is not itself scriptural language. Where does the language of inclusion come from? And how did it come to be dominant in mainline Protestant circles?

I really don't know, but I hear it all the time. I hear inclusion and inclusivity, and statements like, "We are an inclusive parish." When I looked up the word inclusion, I found that part of its root meaning has to do with commitment. And so if I am to be included in a family, a congregation, or a club, then there's some commitment on my part to what that group stands for. And then there's some commitment on their part to be with me.

I think that we are, as Christian congregations, called to be always welcoming the stranger. But inclusion is more serious than welcoming because it has to do with commitment. I get nervous when I hear people say, "Everybody is included here." I want to say, "Yes, but what do you stand for?"

You talk about how a commitment to the essentials is necessary before we can choose how to work things out. How do we decide what the essentials are?

First of all, it's a community exercise to determine the essentials. It's not something that Caroline and David figure out on their own.

Also, it must be done prayerfully.

And there are certain basic documents. For me, it's the baptismal covenant, those five promises we make. Does this respect the dignity of every human being? Does this proclaim by word or deed the good news of God in Christ? Does this work toward justice? Just keep asking all those questions. Does this do that? And so we must have community and prayer and prayer in community. And we must have some plumb lines against which ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Deconstructing Gulags
U.S. evangelicals win key legislation for freedom.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickCompassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
Compassion Has 'Very Little Hope' for India, Sets Deadline to Shut Down Sponsorships
About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
Christianity Today
Sloppy Inclusiveness
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.