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Jun 08, 2010


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Although I have friends that work with Sojourners, I've stopped subscribing to their e-newsletter because the headlines usually involve Jim's more sensational rhetoric. Whenever I could do an old fashioned "Mad-Libs" and fill in the blank with what you'll say, that's when the rhetoric fails to inspire or even convict.

I do lament the fact that there are few forums for honest, mutually respectful dialogue and cooperative action when it comes to most social issues. The Church has especially been delinquent in offering such a space. Yet even when we do offer it, our dialogues lack the power to move people toward taking action or changing themselves.

Economic issues are often so complex that we in the Church often feel powerless to effect change. One thing which might decrease the effect of that feeling is for congregations and denominations to pair up face to face dialogue across socioeconomic lines with service and social entrepreneurship, so as to avoid talking about the issues of the day in a vacuum of philosophical chatter.


As soon as a debate becomes focusssed on the character of any of the participants, that's when I change the channel.

Michael W. Kruse

JMorrow, I think it is always best to begin relationships based on what unites us. And I do sincerely hope and pray for ways to effectively engage people in dialog about economic issues.

Travis Greene

Heh. I do tend to ignore the more hyperbolic emails. They're usually the ones asking for money anyway (not that I'm unsympathetic to that).

However, I don't think there's anything Orwellian about the comment code of conduct. Somebody not living up to their values is no reason to not hold those values

Tony McCargar

There is a pretty good site for open dialogue without the hyperbolic comments called Front Porch Republic
http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/ Perhaps if the church preached more of the Gospel and our duty to our gracious God instead of social justice we might have some changed hearts which then translates to changed lives which then transforms our local worlds. A bit simplistic, however I do believe that the church's responsibility is the Gospel and its faithfulness to the Word. We the congregation are called to "do" in the world. Though I'm not to optomistic of a transforming society as we are made up of sinful people, we do still press on because this is what God calls us to do. We live our lives daily under the Grace of God and answer to Him at the close of our day.


Jim Wallis seems to think that social justice IS the end goal of Christianity. I don't see anywhere in the Gospel where Jesus prioritizes political movements or social action over coming to faith in Him and believing the end goal to be feeding on the Bread of Life. Social justice, like family values, doesn't change people from within.

Michael W. Kruse

Dan I do think social justice is part and parcel of Jesus message. Paul talks about things like justification in Romans and other places, but what permeates the New Testament is inclusion in the family of God, an expression of oneness across human division. The mandate at creation was to have dominion over the earth and part of what Christ is redeeming is the dominion call. Jesus announces his ministry at Nazareth by appealing to the jubilee in which all sorts of injustice is set right again. The doesn't diminish the call to personal salvation but it can not be distilled to only that. We are saved from something, to someone, for a mission ... the redemption of humanity, including human institutions and structures.

My problem with so many who talk about social justice is that, intentionally or not, the "smuggle in" Marxian and liberationist orientations as biblical dogma. And my problem with Wallis is his devolution into this pervasive cultural warrior mentality.

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