Home > Uncategorized > One-on-One with Bryan Loritts on Being a Stranger in White Evangelicalism

“If God can raise a dead Jesus, then he can step into the divisive sociological milieu we find ourselves in and bring healing.”

Today, I am excited to welcome Bryan Loritts to The Exchange. Bryan is the lead pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Silicon Valley and author of Insider Outsider: My Journey as a Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All.

Ed: Share with me a little of your story of feeling like an “insider outsider” in white evangelical circles.

Bryan: Great question. I grew up in a home where my parents served on staff for what was formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru), which is a predominately white organization, but attended an all-black church on Sunday mornings. I graduated from a conservative white evangelical Bible college and seminary, but worked at all-black churches in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

What’s kind of disorienting in a great way is that I never felt fully at home in either homogenous setting, thus the title “Insider, Outsider.” I didn’t have the language to articulate it at the time, but my disequilibrium stemmed from the fact that I was a C2 leader (a point I explain in my book, Right Color, Wrong Culture).

Now your question wants me to drill down into how I felt like an insider outsider in the white evangelical space. Naturally, with much of the theology I was taught and exposed to in white evangelicalism, I felt at home—like I was an insider. But there were some aspects where I felt like an outsider, much of which was because I was an ethnic minority in those spaces.

However, I also felt like an outsider because there was this emphasis on individual responsibility to the detriment of systemic culpability. I remember being in Bible college when the Rodney King verdict was read, and being overwhelmed with grief. More crushing was not …

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