Celebrating The Other

Celebrating The Other

A friend told me the other day: “doing a personality profile and studying all the different personalities of this model finally helped me to understand that not everyone works like me. This was a huge relief. It helped me to understand that I am not strange nor are others.”


When we think of personalities, organizations, and different cultures, it is safe to say: it is not bad or odd, they don’t have bad intentions or bad habits, they are just different. This is what it means to be the Other. We can learn to appreciate and even celebrate the Other’s differences when we learn to see them as different and not negative. It is important that we humbly admit that I am only a little part of the much bigger Other.


But how often do I circle around myself, measuring everything and everyone by my standards and through my perspective, pretending that they are the only right and accurate ones. Well, we cannot, of course, always understand everyone else’s world . While our own world gives us stability and security, we also need to live with the consciousness of the Other even if that is uncomfortable.


Through the EEA News we try to widen the horizon of our readers. We try to be inclusive of many different viewpoints in Evangelical Europe and beyond. We try to intentionally show how differences in worldviews, cultures, religions, political systems, etc. interact and relate to each other. We try to showcase how builders in the kingdom of God complement each other.


The next few issues of the EEA News are dedicated to the topic East meets West – West meets East (within Europe). We are aiming to broaden our understanding of the Other’s perspective, for example: In the West it is assumed that the Enlightenment based worldview is part of everyone’s history. While in the East, this isn’t the reality at all. The East has a very different view of the Enlightenment than the West. This is just one of the many differences which has shaped nations and churches and made them go very different directions. We will try to show the effects of this and other aspects of evangelical life as well. We will do this by talking and listening to people from the East and from the West. This isn’t just our opinion, but actual experiences from men and women living in the different European regions.


We are aware that this huge topic cannot be dealt with in a few issues of the EEA News. In fact, we will barely scratch the surface. But we will hopefully raise awareness and build unity in diversity. And it will be nudging us to make sure to be even more inclusive of the Other in the future.


We hope you will be able to appreciate the Other even more after having gone through the various contributions. And yes, please let us know if you would like to contribute as well. And please be prepared when we knock on your door to ask for the Other contribution. The EA family is a wonderful expression of the many Others.


Let’s celebrate together these many Others which express the kingdom of God among us.


Thomas Bucher


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