-Lifetime effort in Bible study “to rescue truth from familiarity” ~ Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey.
-Any current interpretation of the text must be held “tentatively final,” meaning we’re always open to learning more ~ Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey.
-Being “Pro-Palestinian” is not the same as being “Anti-Israeli”—Evangelical Christians need to be visible and supportive on both sides of this national-ethnic divide.
-We need to include in the dialogue the whole family of Abraham.
-We need to create a non-polarizing language about being “Pro-Jesus,” “Pro-Palestinian” or “Pro-Arab,” “Pro-Jewish,” “Pro-Nonviolence,” and “Pro-Peace.”
-Some suggested that American Christians need a primer on the Middle East – we don’t get it.
-Or we need a “Pastors’ Toolkit” for leading discussions about the Middle East.
-There are 15 million Latino Evangelicals in the United States – their issue is immigration.
-We live in the “golden age of advocacy” in that one person can reach one million instantly online.
-It’s easy for internationals to become dependent upon the West for help, but this is not always best for them or the West. Need to help develop leadership in the Church in the Middle East.
-Jesus must be the center of all our work. He means more than conversion. He is hope for the hopeless. He is the only one who can create a future for humanity that’s worth living. He can bring real justice, real peace.
-Christians need to speak up more often and more pointedly challenging fellow-Christians who advocate violence or other negative responses to people in the Middle East and elsewhere.
-God said, “Love your enemy,” so we must not ever reinforce violence in any form.
-The media focuses upon the loudest and often the most extreme voices within a movement, thus creating and perpetuating stereotypes, which can create grossly inaccurate perspectives within the public.
-Negative stereotypes foster a toxicity across divisions.
-WASP = "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" or "Wealthy, Alienated, Separated, Protected"?
-Young people want authenticity, faith reality, living-out faith, service…they want to see real faith in action.
-“The right to believe anything does not mean anything people believe is right” ~ Os Guinness.
-“The art of after-dinner speaking is the act of speaking in someone else’s sleep” ~ Os Guinness.
-Os Guinness: Key question—“How will we live with the deep differences in the world?” – 3 corollary questions”-
1--Will Islam modernize peacefully and be a force for peace?
2--Which faith will replace Marxism/Communism?
3--Will the West recover its foundations?
-Guinness: There will never be one way fits all for relating religion to public life. Each country and culture has to figure it out, but there are three types--
--Sacred Public Square – Established churches or dominating religious participation…Religious Right, England and Anglican Church, Europe.
--Naked Public Square – Secular, all religions excluded as private or as a problem…France, Soviets, Communist Countries, Ataturk in Turkey, US leaning toward French model.
--Civil Public Square – Public life where everyone of every faith free to engage on basis of faith with clear understanding of rights, respect, and responsibility toward all faiths…Guinness’s view.
-Civil Public Square not a way to compromise faith, very different from “inter-faith dialogue,” which promotes unity over all religious differences. But there is no common denominator. There never will be; there are irreducible religious differences in beliefs and these need not be compromised in a free society in free discourse.
-Freedom of Speech is a right of believers, not a right of certain beliefs that must be protected above all others with special political correctness or tolerance measures or hate speech legislation. Freedom of conscience protects believers, not all ideas as sacrosanct or untouchable. Ironically, the Left supports restrictive, protective legislation that undermine the freedom of conscience they believe in. The Right argue in ways that do not align with the Founding Fathers and also tend to undermine a truly free society.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010
*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow Dr. Rogers at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.