Gay Christian Network Third Way Workshop: Notes On Power and Privilege


Four of us from the Blue Ocean Faith, Ann Arbor staff team attended the Gay Christian Network Conference (GCN) January 7-10, 2016 in Houston, Texas. This incredible gathering of over 1500 people inspired and uplifted. GCN revealed how people with great ideological and experiential differences can come together and worship in acceptance of one another. Perhaps in part because of the sting most people had experienced from mainstream Christian culture around the acceptance of LGBTQ people, the worship and conversations were rich with God’s presence. During the conference, Pastors Emily Swan and Ken Wilson were invited to give a workshop on Third Way. Emily and Ken invited Cassie Brabbs, our worship leader, and me to share about going Third Way. My portion is included here and reflects some insights around power and privilege that I gained as we transitioned towards full inclusion.

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A Pacifist’s Thoughts on Being Among “The Weak”

One of the frustrations I have discovered writing about LGBT questions from a Third Way perspective is that I, and many of us who take this perspective at present, end up writing from the standpoint of the “strong”. As a result, I am constantly in danger of coming off as condescending (a perennial temptation for “the strong”) and am regularly accused of arguing for an approach which would privilege my take on the relevant theology. Continue reading

Third Way and the Debate Within the Church Over Evolution

Third Way, rooted in Romans 14-15, is a biblical approach to being together in a faith community despite sharp disagreements over a host of controversial matters. Third Way was forged in the heat of the LGBTQ controversy, but it applies to many issues that Christians divide over.  With this lengthy article, we introduce the application of Third Way to another controversy affecting large segments of the church: evolution. Continue reading

Thoughts on the “Why Christian?” 2015 Conference by Emily Swan

A week and a half ago I attended the Why Christian? conference in Minneapolis. I’m not much of a conference person; I was there to support my wife, Rachel Murr, one of the speakers.

But, wow. What a conference.

Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber created Why Christian? for two primary reasons: 1) to elevate the voices of women in the church, and 2) to inspire hope using the age-old art of the testimony. Hence the title and ultimate question: Why are you a Christian? Even in the face of how messed up the church and Christians can be, why are you a Christian? Continue reading