The complex issues surrounding cultural pluralism are rapidly turning the public square into a battlefield that divides our country. As Charles Haynes summarized, “At issue for this nation, as for much of the world, is the simple but profound question that runs through modern experience: How will we live with our deepest differences?” (Haynes, 1994). At a time when many citizens of our diverse nation have become disillusioned with the motto e pluribus unum, the Christian higher education community deals with issues involving race, ethnicity, and gender through a variety of responses ranging from isolationism to unqualified inclusion.
Evangelical institutions of higher learning are not new to the discussion of multiculturalism. They have rather a rich history of commitment to living out Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Mk 12:31) regarding each other through the unity of faith in Christ (Gal 3:28). This paper addresses the historical context for understanding cultural pluralism together with the scriptural and religious imperatives for engaging Christian and secular audiences on this issue. It identifies several of the issues surrounding cultural pluralism faced by evangelicals today, while also developing criteria for celebrating and confronting pluralism. Finally, it articulates strategies for pursuing common ground in the public arena and discusses implications for Christian higher education in addressing cultural pluralism within and beyond the college classroom.
Hsieh, J. L., Gallien, L. B., & Lederhouse, J. N. (2014). Addressing Cultural Pluralism from an Evangelical Christian Perspective. International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal, 9(1).