Spectrum of Views, Discussions



Perspectives on the Open Letter (2013)
10 voices on the Open Letter  •   Events leading up to Open Letter
Historical context surrounding Open Letter  •   How and why these views


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spectrum-of-views-and-discussions-outline-300x165AsianAmericanChristian.org is a proposal for a ministry that among other things, SETS US UP TO CONVERSE AND RELATE.


frameworksWe hope to summarize and archive past and current conversations.  
By “conversations,” we mean things publicly discussed, debated or shared in writing, in recordings, at conferences, etc. These conversations are currently not in one place, and can be very difficult to find. We want to make them accessible so that ministries can stop their cycle of re-pioneering, we can benefit from the wisdom of others, and we can build upon what we already know.

We hope to always seek out a spectrum of current views to pressing issues.
Given our diversity, we will inevitably disagree. We think it is best to embrace this from the start, because disagreement is part of our collective strength. In Christ, it is a gift as we all have different roles to play. (1 Corinthians 12, etc.). Our Perspectives on the Open Letter (2013) is an example of this.

We hope to host and experiment with discussions.
As every medium has its shortcomings, not every conversation is best on the Web. The web’s strength is to information accessible to others. We would like, however, to experiment with some offline and online discussions, which we will summarize and archive.

We hope to experiment with articulating hard things.
Communication is not just verbal; there’s a lot that’s said with gestures and looks, with silence. There are also some things you can never say to certain people, some that we don’t hesitate to say to others, and some that we hope a third party would pass on. Many of these nonverbal and silent and private conversations hold important insights that if heard and addressed can help many of us. We want to experiment to help us articulate these hard things.

For example, we’ve given a fair amount of thought to the use of anonymity. We think used responsibly with the right forms and expectations, it can help us say those hard things. Rant to the Cross is one of our experiments.  Though it was never publicized, its aim is to allow for an anonymous place to share things you cannot tell anyone else. We hoped to use it to figure out which topics to prioritize and cover more deeply.

We’ve also promoted the use of anonymity on our website. Almost every interviewee has been offered the option of being interviewed anonymously. Two of our Open Letter respondents were anonymous. We recognize that there is sometimes a harsh cost to sharing your views, and we’d rather hear honest views. We vet our respondents. This quote is from our shared thinking behind gathering a spectrum of views for the Open Letter. You can read more of those thoughts here.

“Opinions must be honest and true. While we know and can check the true identity of an anonymous person, we cannot check if this is truly his or her opinion. We trust them to God that they are speaking honestly. We pray and ask enough questions to try to discern if this person is a provocateur, someone who seeks controversy only for its own sake.”

Additionally in time, we hope to feature the work of artists. Their mediums have long allowed them to express the inexpressible and we need and value their insights.