We live in turbulent and divisive times.
We may be tempted to focus only on the ungodliness of the “culture” in general, but ungodliness is hardly limited to those outside the church.
Inside the church there is suspicion among Christians, even hatred. Christians have told me that they can’t talk about their differences on important issues…with their best friends! How much hope is there then to discuss controversial matters with those we don’t know? Growing numbers seem pessimistic about the prospect.
The gadfly sensation, Jordan Peterson, likes to tell young people that they have no credibility to protest in public unless they first keep their own bedrooms neat and tidy. It is good counsel and one we Christians ought to take more seriously, even if others don’t. To change the imagery a bit, I like to say that we Christians regularly want to start a landscape company when the weeds in our own backyard need serious attention.
Consider the following not so hypothetical conversation:
Pro-Life Christian: I can’t believe that people think partial-birth abortion is okay.
Pro-Choice Friend: How come?
Pro-Life Christian: Because it is the killing of a human being!
Pro-Choice Friend: Why do you believe anyone two and younger is human?
Pro-Life Christian: Because the Bible says so!
Pro-Choice Friend: Would you show me a few of those Bible verses?
Pro-Life Christian: Uh, let me see…I know they are in there somewhere…
Whether it is engaging in conversation with those inside or outside the church, we ought first to consider whether we are adequately literate to speak with such confidence and conviction.
The final chapter of Stuck in the Present offers a way forward…