What does cross-cultural learning have to do with our faith?
I believe it's at the heart of the good news that Jesus taught and lived: Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with each other. These are not mutual exclusive concepts. When we reconcile with each other, we have a more full sense of who God is and how God works in the world.
Reconciliation is not just when we are in conflict, although that may be important. I think reconciliation can work proactively - across boundaries of culture, language, stereotypes, and assumptions of the other that we build up when we only have access to communication with people who are like us. I think that God can work through our efforts to learn about each other to prevent conflicts and misunderstandings and to prepare us as agents of reconciliation for when conflict does occur.
I think this is the purpose of the work of the church: to participate in the transforming and redeeming work of the kingdom of God in our world, with all of our neighbours near and far.
Nice reflections Cheryl. I just participated in the 4 day Bridgefolk 2013 Conference in Waterloo. The focus this year was Reconciliation. Bridgefolk is a gathering of Mennonites and Catholics, and reconciliation between denominations and churches is often part of what Bridgefolk does.
One of the participants at the conference was a Muslim scholar from Iran. We were blessed by his presence and his desire to be in relationship with Mennonites and Catholics. That's one current example of cross-cultural reconciliation in the church!
Nice post. Yoder’s interpretation of nonconformity should have been startling to the traditionalists and refreshing to the young people of the age
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