Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dialogue

One of the favorite sayings of Jim Wallis (of Sojourners and author of God’s Politics) is: “The monologue of the religious right is finally over and a new dialogue has just begun.” For Wallis, this is not just a slogan but a reality. Wallis has recently started a new blog.

However, rather than just offering his own opinions, he has opened it up as a place for some dialogue about important religious issues. All week he has been discussing back and forth with Ralph Reed. Yes, that is correct—Wallis has given Reed a chance to write in on the blog. It is an interesting discussion thus far as there have been several back-and-forth items that have sparked a lot of comments.

Wallis explains that others will be joining him in this blog, including Brian McLaren, Amy Sullivan, Noel Castellanos, Robert Franklin, Diana Butler Bass, Obery Hendricks, Sister Helen Prejean, Ron Sider, and Tony Campolo. This should be an interesting development to watch and engage in. (If only they had as big of names there as we have here!)

Some may not like that Wallis has given Reed a place of prominence in the new discussion. However, dialogue is what is desperately needed in the Christian community. Christ prayed that we would be one, but that will never happen if we are unable to listen to each other.

Too often our fundamentalist brethren refuse to even listen to us or other voices because they are so sure they are right. We must not make the same mistake. We must be willing to treat them as our neighbors, even if they do not return the treatment. We must be willing to treat them as our brothers and sisters, even if they do not return the treatment.

It is time to end the monologues and start some dialogue. I hope that we will be part of that positive development. Simply by being here we are able to offer some new voices and interact with others. Let us be careful, though, to not act like those we feel have been wrong. May our posts and comments always invite dialogue rather than shutting people out of the conversation.

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