A Theological Critique of the Multi-Ethnic Church Movement: 2000 - 2013
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This dissertation attempts to answer the following question: Does Scripture call all churches to be as ethnically diverse as their communities? Chapter 1 introduces the "multi-ethnic mandate," the belief the Scripture instructs all churches to be ethnically diverse. Chapter 2 isolates seven arguments in favor of the multi-ethnic mandate: the Babel/Pentecost argument, the hospitality/love argument, the argument based on Christ's ministry, the unity argument, the Jew/Gentile argument, the heaven argument, and the argument based on NT examples. Chapter 3 argues that these seven reasons do not provide compelling proof for the multi-ethnic mandate. Chapter 4 highlights four biblical values that mono-ethnic churches support: God cares about preserving culture, Christians retain their ethnic identities, contextualization can make ministry more effective, and God uses the natural connectedness of people to expand his kingdom. Chapter 5 summarizes the thesis, warns of some potential dangers of affirming the multi-ethnic mandate, and points to possible areas of further research. The over-arching point of the dissertation is to demonstrate that churches need to reach out to all ethnicities to the best of their abilities, but if the natural byproduct of such ministry is a mono-ethnic church, then such a church is not unbiblical or unhealthy.