New Series at Respectful Conversation: Evangelicals & Politics


A couple of months ago, I pointed out a newer blog which I’ve been frequenting as of late. It’s known as Respectful Conversation. Simply stated, I love that blog title.

It’s headed up by Harold Heie, a Senior Fellow at The Colossian Forum and at the Center for Faith & Inquiry at Gordon College and, as stated on the blog, he offers some thoughts as to the purpose of why it’s been created:

That better way is to create welcoming spaces for those who disagree with one another to have respectful conversations. As a Christian, I believe this better way is integral to the call for Christians to love others, for a deep expression of love for another person is to provide a safe, welcoming space for that person to disagree.  That goal can be shared with all persons of good will, whatever their religious or non-religious convictions.

Such rings true to my heart – that true dialogue could take place amongst Christians of differing perspectives and traditions. Unfortunately, such is not always the case. Of course, Christlike love is not a mish-mash way where nothing actually matters. But true dialogue begins by loving well and listening well to one another. Continue reading

The Church Engaging in Culture

I’m currently reading Stanley Hauerwas’ and William Willimon’s work, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony. The book was published 23 years ago, so one might argue it’s a bit outdated. But it basically looks at how the church is to engage in culture, especially the church in America engaging in American culture.

In the second chapter of this book, Hauerwas and Willimon reflect on some thoughts of Anabaptist-Mennonite theologian, John Howard Yoder. Yoder is most known for his defence of Christian pacifism. In one particular work, Yoder distinguishes between 3 perspectives on church: 1) the activist church, 2) the conversionist church and 3) the confessing church. Yoder argues favourably for the confessing church.

Hauerwas and Willimon do not agree with every detail of Yoder’s in respect to the confessing church, but they go on to share their own perspective of what the confessing church should be like. And I was quite gripped by their thoughts in regards to what is church: Continue reading

Paradigm Shift – Election Campaigning

I read something posted by a friend this morning that got me thinking:

What if the 100’s of millions of dollars (maybe 1 billion plus) spent on election campaigning had been utilised to help the poor and disadvantaged?

What would have happened? Would we have had a paradigm shift in American perspective?

Maybe if we start now, we could see some kind of change in 2016. Just maybe…

GOP Republican Debate

Living in a land (Belgium) far, far away from my homeland (America), I don’t always get to stay in touch with all things from the homeland. But, yesterday, I did finally get to catch up on the GOP Republican debate from this past week (it’s here if you didn’t catch it yourself).

The eight Republican candidates are:

  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Ron Paul
  • Rick Perry
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum Continue reading

The Faith of Barack Obama

Just over a week ago, Scot McKnight pointed out a very intriguing article over at CNN by reporter Dan Gilgoff. The article looks at the faith of Barack Obama, specifically noting some of his words from the National Prayer Breakfast from Thursday, 3 February.

The article begins with these words:

President Barack Obama gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that “it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed,” in address to a prayer breakfast in Washington.

The speech, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he’s a Muslim.

“My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time,” the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. “We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God.”

“When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people,” Obama said later. “And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord.”

Quite interesting to read and ponder. You can read the rest of the article from CNN here, as well as see the interaction of commenters at Scot McKnight’s blog.

Below is a video with some of Obama’s words at the National Prayer Breakfast.