Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Welcome to with arms wide open: a cartoon-based exploration of exclusion and embrace.

This blog is about moving away from the stance of exclusion and rejection of others which is found in so many people who call themselves Christians, and moving to embrace other people no matter what. Just like Jesus. He continually moved toward those at the margins of life. He ate with tax collectors and sinners, he touched lepers, he interacted with outcasts. His arms were wide open to those around him, loving them, accepting them where they are at, and inviting them to take part in the kingdom.

My vision is that followers of Jesus would be known for being for those who are oppressed and  marginalized, and that those who are marginalized, oppressed, poor, outcast could walk into any church and be welcomed wholeheartedly and without hesitation.

My goal with this blog is to provoke thinking about our attitudes and actions, in a way that results in us being more like Jesus in our interactions with one another, and specifically with people who are marginalized. This blog falls into the general category of "social commentary" (definition) and as such uses a variety of techniques including hyperbole, tongue-in-cheek, sarcasm, inversion and quotes from others in supplementing the actual cartoons. Of course, once in a while you might just find some silliness without a deeper meaning.

I'm not an artist. I'm just a guy who draws in order to communicate ideas, which is why many of these cartoons have stick or circle-head people. Some cartoons have more detailed people which look okay after several drafts (for example, in the early version of one cartoon, Jesus' disciples looked like they were from the Planet of the Apes). You can generally expect six to ten posts per month. Generally, posts with [square brackets] around the title indicate that they are about third-party material (quotes from others, book mentions, etc) and posts without square brackets indicate that they contain material by me -- usually cartoons and commentary or a lengthier article but sometimes other content like horrid false apology poems.

Though I like thinking about things and my mind keeps generating new ideas for cartoons, I'm not a philosopher either. I'm hoping that the comments and discussion which you contribute will help all of us learn how to live together as the one body of Christ.

Inviting you to journey with me,

rob goetze
amateur lover. aspiring stigmatoclast. fledgling advocateur.

p.s. Despite having a similar title, this blog is not about Miroslav Volf's amazing book Exclusion and Embrace, though I have been reading it and quote from it on occasion. I would have liked to have some variation of "with arms wide open" in the web address, but they were all taken. "Exclusion and embrace" struck a chord and was available for use.

Last edited February 11, 2015

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