Comments 4

  1. Thank you Carlye! Keep leading the Anglo world and dominant white church toward God’s desire for his creation.

  2. I’d like to summarize Dr. Charles Adams’ view on the matter of Diversity. (Dr. Adams has passed away, otherwise I’d let him speak for himself.) Dr. Adams points out that we need to understand why diversity should be sought.

    Often diversity is recognized as simply racial diversity. Strictly speaking, this is a biologically qualified diversity. (“different level of melanin”) However just as often, this is also intended to include the ethnic and cultural differences that come along with racial diversity. These differences are economic, social, linguistic, and aesthetic in character. Sometimes diversity is not necessarily racial in its foundation, but is rather a seeking after moral diversity. This type of diversity is has to do with justice, ethics, and faith. We should be aware of these aspects of diversity.

    Racial diversity has a valuable biological aspect. Consider the opposite–a deliberately strong emphasis on creating more homogeneous races, such as was attempted in Nazi Germany, or the apartheid of South Africa in a past era. Also consider the laws of biology regarding reproduction. Farmers rotate crops and plant varieties of plants for good reasons. Families do not intermarry.

    We live in a culture that is obsessed with entertainment, with diversion, and with the quest for novelty. Cultural diversity can be understood by recognizing that the words “diversion” and “diverse” have the same root. We tire quickly of our home’s decor, we move from place to place, we buy different cars, etc. In so doing, we trivialize the very differences we seek since nothing endures with us. We become dull to truly valuing any of the variety we seek.

    There are good reasons to seek diversity–reasons having to do with biology and social health. But there is also danger in an unqualified seeking after diversity. Christians should be aware that seeking diversity can carry with it some baggage from our surrounding western culture.

    (Abridged and paraphrased from a “Plumbline” broadcast that aired on KDCR on April 3, 2000. This “Plumbline” is titled “Diversity and the Pursuit of Diversion” and was written by Charles Adams (Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Dordt College. The full transcript of the “Plumbline” broadcast can be found in the book, Exercising Our Worldview: A Collection of Essays by Charles Adams. )

    1. I think when we operate out of a model of strategies instead of embracing cultures, this is when we encounter diversity as novelty. This is where people like Ariel feel like “the token black man.” So in that sense I can understand, Dr. DeBoer, where you are coming from. But on the whole, I’d have to disagree. It sounds like what you’re saying is being a church of diversity is just something trendy to do. My church says “If we have to chose between the insider and the outsider, we’re going to choose the outsider every time.” When churches operate out of this model, this (hopefully) creates diversity. It seems to all boil down to loving others with arms open instead of clenched fists.

  3. I would like to reply to Marta and Doug. I believe Charlie would say Marta is correct in embracing racial and cultural diversity. Charlie states in this essay that what the Germans did in World War II to Jews and what America did with black people and slavery are sins that we need to repent of. We need to continue to repent of these sins because the effects are still present.
    The only time in this essay that Charlie disparages diversity is when we just like differentness as a value. I don’t believe Charlie or the Bible would look at that type of diversity as a value we should embrace.
    Charlie was a seeker of Biblical truth and he would feel as I do that it is hard to see how minorities are treated as “black.” Our black son was treated differently by some people in Sioux Center but many of these same people also enjoyed and embraced our son. I hope this is getting better because of my grandchildren who are black or who are partially black and might want to be educated at Dordt.

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