The Church as a Community of Dialogue

In this paper I propose that, within the current polarized public discourse, the church needs to relearn how to be a community of dialogue and, in this way, contribute to the reconciliation so badly needed in our divided world. In order to present my case, first, I argue that the church participates in God’s reconciliatory work in the world not only by having been reconciled through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection but also by being a witness to Christ’s reconciliatory work in the world. Therefore, the church is called to be a reconciled and reconciling community. Second, I highlight that one of the key elements that need to be worked out by the church in our global yet divided world (specifically in our public discourse) is to be a community of dialogue. For this dialogue to be authentic and not become a monologue of the powerful, the church needs to incorporate and privilege the voices that historically have been marginalized.

This paper aims to contribute to our public theology by engaging with one of the more pervasive issues of our day: our polarized public discourse. Based on a case study of Acts 6:1–7, the paper highlights how the Church can relearn to be a community of Dialogue where everyone (including the marginalized) has a voice.

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