Including ‘generates controversy,’ but excluding doesn’t

Including ‘generates controversy,’ but excluding doesn’t July 2, 2012

Greg Horton of Religion News Service writes about the end of one great Christian music festival and the beginning of another: “As Cornerstone wraps up, Wild Goose Festival takes off.”

Here are a couple of paragraphs that get at the core of the current situation in American evangelicalism:

As Cornerstone prepares for its final act, Wild Goose, in its second year, is still finding its footing. Both festivals strongly emphasize justice and aesthetics, and while Wild Goose is clearly more to the left than Cornerstone, both have attempted to promote an understanding of Christianity that is big-tent, honest, and conversational.

Wild Goose’s organizers have intentionally created an event that pushes the limits of theological discussion, even on issues like homosexuality. The conference generated some controversy last year by inviting singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp, a popular artist who recently came out as a lesbian.

Jennifer Knapp is a popular, talented musician. She’s a Grammy nominee and the winner of a Dove Award — the Nashville-based Christian music industry’s subcultural version of the Grammy.

So Wild Goose invited a popular, talented Dove Award winner to perform and that “generated some controversy.”

But when Cornerstone, Creation, Ichthus, etc., shunned a popular, talented Dove Award winner because she’s a lesbian, that didn’t generate any controversy at all.

Inviting is “controversial.” Shunning is not.

I think I see the problem. …

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