We Should Expect Diversity in Holiness

April 3rd, 2015 / 1 Comment

In previous blogs, I’ve mentioned nine dominant themes present in the new book of essays, Renovating Holiness. The final dominant theme in the book is the most frequently mentioned in the essays, so I list it as the most dominant theme overall.

The Renovating Holiness book brought together 100+ Millennial and Xer leaders in the Church of the Nazarene. The nearly 500-page book includes contributors from more than 30 countries and six continents. My co-editor, Josh Broward, and I are excited that a large number of women contributed essays as well.

Given the diversity of contributors, it may come as little surprise that the number one dominant theme in the book is…

  1. When it comes to understanding holiness, diversity reigns.renovating holiness

Renovating Holiness offers a smorgasbord of assorted subjects, emphases, and perspectives. If these essays are any indication, Millennials and Xers do not think holiness is one-size-fits-all!

As I have mentioned, we asked many non-North American writers to contribute essays to the book. Contributors come from all the continents (except Antarctica, alas!). We also sought gender and ethnic diversity. While we could always improve on this score, we think the book is far better than most of its peers in this respect.

When inviting, we did not assign topics. On their own, essayists chose the diverse set of issues you find in the 100+ essays of Renovating Holiness.

The essays reveal that a person’s cultural, social, and geographical location influences how she or he thinks about holiness. It may be that age, gender, and ethnicity also shape one’s view of holiness. We may all read the same Bible and be members of the same denomination, but our diverse experiences shape our understanding of holiness. Holiness is at least partly contextual.

I think this book teaches a crucial lesson: Millennials and Xers believe healthy diversity should be expected and accepted in the holiness tradition. Leaders of today and those in the future would be wise to learn this lesson.

As the denomination moves ahead into its second century of existence, it will likely have to work at accounting well for diverse issues and voices. Shutting out voices will not make for a healthy denomination. John Wesley said holiness is a social endeavor. That at least must mean we should learn from one another what it might mean to be holy as God is holy.

If you’d like to read the essays for yourself, you can get the book in a print version from Amazon.  The Kindle version is also available. To get bulk orders of Renovating Holiness at drastically reduced prices, see the book’s own website, www.renovatingholiness.com

Shutting out voices will not make for a healthy denomination. Click To Tweet

 

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