Thursday, May 21, 2015
COMING TO TERMS
Where does fruitful dialogue begin in matters of faith, politics, culture and daily ethics? How do we gain a common understanding with someone who calls our Christian confidence into question? Sometimes, our conversations on and offline seem adrift. You and I feel as if we grasp at straws when sorting out a friend, co-worker or family member's perspective. We feel foolish later when reality sinks in: Our words fell like led bricks away from their understanding. How does the ardent student of Holy Scripture, who takes its commands and promises seriously, avoid playing fast and loose with provable facts? No matter what the issue, we wish to speak the truth in love. (Eph. 4:15) Our hope is to convey an answer for the hope we have amidst a growing wasteland of ad hominim, soundbite-style banter, not just win a debate. When every conspiracy theorist populates the blogosphere with clickbait, even the well-rehearsed facts swim in a quagmire of hearsay, hoopla and gossip. How do we slow down the rapid-fire spray of 50-kalliber bullets known as cherry-picked citations from mismatched sources and form a coherent, rational response? How do we sort the wheat from the chaff and remain faithful to an orthodox confession of Jesus Christ as Lord? Not all these questions have clear answers. They do provide avenues or entries by which we can come to terms with people who converse with or criticize us and our Christian ethics on a daily basis.