One’s proximity to someone who struggles with whatever (depression, gluttony, etc.) makes one interact in a very different way.
One may still not change their overall convictions about the problem, but the problem is no longer simply a problem. It is a person who is struggling with a problem.
Perhaps our frustration with certain problems belies the fact that we are not close enough to those who struggle with such things!
Lutzer, the longtime pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, has made an important contribution to our understanding of Nazi Germany.
Hitler’s Cross is a troubling account of how moral decay and timidity results in disaster. And the disaster, as was the case in Nazi Germany, is usually far more reaching than we could ever imagine.
I appreciated this book very much except for the author’s desire to tie Nazi ideology to a certain view of end times. For those who don’t hold to dispensational theology, they might be tempted to write the author off, and thus would sadly miss an important book.
“It takes courage to stand up against your enemies. It takes more courage to stand up against your friends.”
Social context is huge. It does not need to be determinative. It does seem however to be determinative many times.
I have been in and among many churches and Christian organizations. One question I’ve asked which shows the power/influence of social cohesion is: Name one person who has raised an issue of concern about their respective church, school, etc. and was that person marginalized, fired, or promoted? I get lots of silence.
Sad reality and it is the kind of thing which made Niebuhr cynical about groups, including the church. But the church can and must do better. And I know several pastors who do, so I stay sane!
I am preparing for my interview with Joseph Loconte on his terrific book, God, Locke, and Liberty. On pages 13-14 (check out the Amazon link) there is wonderful model of how theological differences ought to be discussed:
“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.”
—DR. PAUL FARMER
Chief Strategist & Co-founder of Partners in Health
I am currently reading Scot McKnight’s terrific, new book, Kingdom Conspiracy. Stay tuned for my interview with Scot.
In Scot’s book, he mentions Pastor Wayne Gordon. Watch the ministries of Lawndale Community Church. Wonderful example: