A friend asked me how Chesterton and H.G. Wells could respect each other so much when their disagreements were so stark.
Here’s the quote about Chesterton and Wells:
“Despite their creative goading, Chesterton, in his Autobiography, completed just weeks before his death, wrote movingly of their relationship: ‘I have argued with him [Wells] on almost every subject in the world, and we have always been on opposite sides, without affectation or animosity. . . . It is necessary to disagree with him as much as I do, in order to admire him as I do; and I am proud of him as a foe even more than as a friend.'”
And here is my response:
I was doing some work on the forthcoming “Stepping into Controversy” seminar this morning when your note came.
Reviewing my research to various books I’ve read it seems that it is hard to downplay the role of technology, esp. social media.
One of the books I read is written by two Catholic scholars: A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of Distraction. The best part of the book in my estimation is where they show how technology robs us of our “face.”
Tribes today can be nasty because you can so easily hide your face. In contrast to this, we need to cultivate being WITH people. I like to say that “proximity produces perspective.” If you are not close to anyone who has a different view than you, it is easy to be nasty and detached from the need to be gracious in disagreements. Chesterton and Wells had a more difficult time hiding from one another!
Here’s the official announcement from Hill House. And yes, the meals are free!
2104 Nueces Street (Austin, Texas)
Garage parking available across the street and parking can also be found on the street
Simply RSVP to me here.
Starting Wednesday, June 5
and running through Wednesday, July 17
from 6-8pm we will be hosting a weekly dinner and study at Hill House
taught by Dave Moore.
Students and non students alike are welcome to attend.
STEPPING INTO CONTROVERSY…WITH COURAGE AND CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER
IS IT POSSIBLE IN OUR DIVISIVE AND TURBULENT TIME?
Taught by Dave Moore
Imagine that you are at your favorite coffee shop. Everything about the place is great, except the tables are a bit too close to one another. This, of course, makes it difficult to avoid eavesdropping. Your reading tends to zone you out from the conversations of others, but not on this day. To your utter amazement you listen in on a conversation between an ardent Trump supporter and one who gladly voted for Hillary Clinton. It is not the various arguments that are being mustered for one candidate over the other that intrigues you. Rather, it is the evident respect each person has for the other even while articulating their significant disagreements.
It is hard to go back to your reading for the day. You become preoccupied with why the kind of exchange you just heard is as rare as it is refreshing…even in your local church.
For seven weeks we will discuss several areas that can hurt or help us as we discuss controversial subjects. A sampling of these include:
*Taking honest inventory of our own failure to be prepared and/or interact with grace
*The need to slow down and pay more careful attention to the definition of words
*Diagnosing how much of an echo chamber we live in
*The need to read and listen to those who make us angry…and to pay close attention to what our “opponents” can teach us
*Why the focus must be on our own challenges rather than being frustrated with those we disagree with
We will also be looking various points raised in How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds by Alan Jacobs. Copies will be available.
Regardless of whether you agree with Ben Sasse’s politics, you will benefit from his terrific book, The Vanishing American Adult. Sasse’s book is well-written and contains a wonderfully informed, yet accessible treatment of history. Senator Sasse is a highly educated man with a PhD in history from Yale.
By the way, some of the negative Amazon reviews make me wonder if those folks read the book very carefully…
It is wonderful to see publishers who care about a book’s design and aesthetics. Baylor University Press consistently hits home runs in these areas.
John Swinton has written a terrific book that makes us look more honestly at our ideas of time and how they impinge on our treatment of those with disabilities. Non-spoiler alert: we don’t do very well at either!
There is much to like about this book. It helps us wrestle with issues of great consequence and yet maintains a gracious tone throughout.
Perhaps this quote by Scott Bader-Saye from page 57 well describes the tenor of this terrific book: “The ways we experience, name, and interpret time contribute to the kinds of communities we imagine and inhabit.”