In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Jerome Gay to discuss and define dominant and subdominant cultural dynamics—and break down how members of each group can interact in an understanding way that promotes deeper love for each other and for God. Jerome Gay helps us see and avoid common mistakes and pitfalls such as power dynamics, preferences, and self-hatred. The group addresses:
- An introduction to Jerome Gay (1:07)
- Defining dominant and subdominant culture (2:18)
- Differences between dominant and subdominant cultures (4:14)
- Individualism vs. collectivism (7:06)
- Societal influence (10:15)
- Culture and the regulative principle (13:09)
- Cultural impact on exegesis (17:18)
- High-profile cultural moments (19:06)
- Subdominant cultures in dominant-culture churches (25:28)
- Common misunderstandings of churches in the dominant culture (28:15)
- “We want your color but not your culture” (30:37)
- What members of the dominant culture should know about subdominant culture (32:19)
- Why that question matters to gospel advancement (35:24)
- Internal dynamics between subdominant cultural groups (40:48)
- Urban apologetics (52:30)
Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.
1. What does it mean for there to be a dominant and minority culture? How would you identify the dominant culture and minority culture in America? Your church?
2. What are some values that might be different between a dominant and minority culture?
3. Jerome Gay points to the values of individualism and collectivism. How do these values shape the church, and how does this differ between cultures?
4. What does it look like for a dominant culture to become domineering? What are ways that can happen subtly or unintentionally? How does this affect the church?
5. How does a church seek to make space for both dominant and minority cultures in its ministry and worship?
Books referenced in this episode:
- The Whitewashing of Christianity: A Hidden Past, A Hurtful Present, and A Hopeful Future by Jerome Gay
- Divided by Faith by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith
- Rediscipling the White Church by David W. Swanson