There are two books I am thankful for as they speak to a key issue of change in the time of coronavirus. One is The Way Up is Down by Marlena Graves. This is a book that will be releasing soon and I HIGHLY recommend you get it. She is a powerful writer and also brings the perspective of a Puerto Rican woman.
The second is Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger. This one has been significant because the American Church is in a DEEP culture shift and we simply don’t know what to do about it.
This is being exposed (again) in this time of coronavirus. We’ve dug into our ideological and political trenches and offered up “single view” narratives as to “why” all this is happening. There is suspicion of the numbers, the methods of quarantine, the need for vaccines, etc.
Our “single view” or “single story” narrative is crippling us. We are not looking very well into what is ahead. This is why Graves and Bolsinger bring refreshing angles to what is needed. Graves constantly points out the view from the margin. She is from the margins. (I am refreshed that a great publisher like IVP has her because Graves is not a “megachurch superstar.” She has a voice to be heard, though.)
Bolsinger uses the narrative of Lewis and Clark throughout his book to demonstrate how the Church needs to shift mentality when it comes to moving into uncharted territory. We have to ditch the canoes we expected to use (like Lewis and Clark had planned) and learn to listen to other voices. The other voice they need was Sacagawea. A young native American mother led them through what they did not know. They needed to listen to a voice they would rather ignore if they were not only to survive, but complete their mission.
Bolsinger also brought up the Ted Talk from Chimamanda Adichie I had heard a few years ago. It is about the need to ditch the “single story” view. You can take 19 minutes and see it HERE.
Single story will not help us. It is harmful. It is keeping many of us in the American Church from truly evaluating what is next. We want to “go back.” BACK… is not an option. We need new voices to lead us into new territory. And the Spirit will lead us.