Sunday, February 10, 2008

Transforming Culture

Rod Dreher has an outstanding piece in today's Dallas Morning News discussing the unique ministry of Dallas minister Trey Hill. Warming to his subject, Mr. Dreher asks:

But what happens when a Republican white guy who grew up north of the river – and not just northern Dallas, but Highland Park, the richest, whitest part – hears a call from God, gathers up his family and crosses the river to settle in one of the blackest, brownest and poorest parts of the city?

The decision of Rev. Hill actually to move his family to west Dallas -- rather than just work there -- makes him unusual. However, he considers that decision to be fundamental to what he is doing there:

"It's not that the church doesn't care about the poor," Trey says. "Our churches are so segregated racially and economically that we just don't know the poor. It's hard to love someone you don't know...."

"Being a white guy living in a predominantly black and Hispanic community, my own presence is important here as well," he says. "The suburban churches' typical involvement with the inner city is to drive in and drive out ... not living among the people and sharing their lives and experiences. Our example is Christ, who vacated the perfection of heaven to live in the slums of our world, so that he might redeem a people for himself."

This is the way that Christians should be working to transform culture. Evangelical churches need more Trey Hills -- and fewer people concerned about whether James Dobson intends to vote or not.

Disclosure. Though The Oracle is not a member, he regularly attends the church that supports Rev. Hill's work.


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