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Tossed Salad Church | Learning Guide

June 11th, 2023


Tossed Salad Church​


Exodus 12:37-38 (NET)

The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men on foot, plus their dependents. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and flocks and herds—a very large number of cattle.


If you’ve studied American history at all you’ve come across the term “melting pot” to describe the integration of immigrants from all over the world into a uniquely American people. The first known use of the term in this way is found in the writings of a former French nobleman turned colonial farmer named Hector St. John, in his essay ‘Letters from an American Farmer’. Here he writes that the American "leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world." I would argue that this imagination of America as a melting pot has overly influenced our thinking about the Church. In his book ‘Fellowship of Differents’, Scott Mcknight argues that we should not think of the Church as a “melting pot" so much as a “tossed salad”. The term we come across in our text this week is referred to as “mixed multitude”. So which is it? Melting pot, tossed salad, or something different? Let’s dig in this week and see what we can find.

Grace and peace y’all,

John Ray and the teaching team


Big Idea: The Kingdom of God is the ultimate place of individual freedom in perfect tension with Gospel unity.

Take Away:

The Church, as a working test case or communal witness bearer to the Kingdom of God, must always work towards the ultimate goal of individual freedom in the context of a community seeking Gospel based unity.

How does this fit in with Belong, Become, Believe?

At Grace Church our practice of radical hospitality is based in the conviction that the Kingdom of God is open to everyone, regardless of cultural, biological or social differences. This practice helps us in our process of becoming more and more like Jesus. These practices are guided by what we say we believe.


Scott McKnight Fellowship of Differents and A Church Called Tov

Questions to Ponder

This week we are considering the idea that the Kingdom of God is the ultimate place for the flourishing of individuals in the context of a unified group. How would you describe this? When you think of the twin goals of individual freedom and group unity, which seems more important to you? Why do you think that is?

What's Next?

Lowell Taylor of The R Word podcast and NWA Reparations Task Force shares with us.

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