“Foreword”

David Rust commenting on “Radical Welcome” by Stephanie Spellers – CHURCH PUBLISHING INC. Kindle Edition.

I am proposing the following format to get discussion started on this blog. I will summarize in a few sentences a section of the book “Radical Welcome” and then add a few questions or comments of my own. Then, after you have read the same section, you are invited to post your comments on this blog related to the section of the book being discussed. I’d appreciate it if we avoided stating an opinion without knowing the context of the comments from the book. I trust that as we consider the book, we all remain open to the to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to possibly lead us to new insights rather than simply restating what we believed on the topic prior to reading the book. And so……

FOREWORD:
This book “gives us a framework and … gives us practical tools. In a step-by-step journey of discovery into what radical welcome is and how it can work…. [this book] offers us a blueprint for planned growth, change and mission…. [the book] shows us that there is a great, untapped source of strength for every congregation. It is the presence of The Other within the pastoral neighborhood: that group of persons who stand just beyond the social/ cultural threshold of the congregation. We are asked to confront how we all “participate in systems of inclusion and exclusion.”….. This is not a “feel good” book. It is not about how we should all be nice to strangers at coffee hour. This is a book about the very hard challenges that face any of us when we decide to step outside of our isolation for the sake of the gospel.” (p. ix – x)

David’s comments: I read the Foreword, and already my senses are tingling. Go look for The Other. REALLY? Confront how we include and exclude people in our church. REALLY? Step outside of our isolation for the sake of the gospel. REALLY?
This could be a threatening book to read. I need to trust the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts here.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrea

     /  Friday May 10th, 2013

    Thanks for walking us through the book, David. At first I thought that “Radical Welcome” would be a really lame idea, because I took it to mean precisely that “we should all be nice to strangers at coffee hour”. I am glad it is so much more than that! But I agree, it takes us beyond our comfort zones. Well, being challenged and stretched like this is good for us, and I am looking forward to reading more.

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