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 6-8 pm 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.
RSVP to me here: email@example.com
Where: Hill House, a ministry to the UT community, but open to the public.
2104 Nueces St. Austin, TX 78705
Parking may be had across the street from the front door of Hill House in the Callaway House parking garage, on the street, and in other parking garages nearby.
When: 6 p.m. for Dinner and 7-8 for Teaching and Discussion
Seven Wednesday Nights from June 5-July 17
Feel free to come to one or all sessions. Each one covers different material all on the broad topic below.
Engaging Controversy, Exhibiting Courage, and Exemplifying Christ-Like Character: Is it Possible in Today’s Climate?
We live in turbulent and divisive times. Many Christians tell me that they can’t talk about political differences…with their best friends! How much hope is there then to discuss controversial matters with those we don’t know? Most are pessimistic about the prospect.
I believe we can do much better. The tools to do so are available.
For many years, I’ve been thinking and writing about how people ought to engage on issues that they vehemently disagree on. I’ve decided it is high time to speak on it.
Backhouse has written a terrific book.
This study of Soren Kierkegaard is eminently relevant to us today. Kierkegaard wanted to reintroduce Christianity to those who thought they knew all about it already. Our pews are full (though American pews are emptying) of folks who are bored and self-satisfied in their spiritual apathy.
Kierkegaard is a great antidote to apathy. Read Backhouse’s wonderful book and see why!