Friday, January 23, 2009

Conversations about Faith

One of the things I enjoy about my writing life is the dialog that often emerges after people get into my work. 

With the newspaper - especially my opinion column - it runs the gamut; everything from "You're an idiot, you should be taken out and shot!" to "Your column today said what I've always believed, only I have never been able to express it before."

Now that I'm writing books the conversation becomes neccessarily more involved. Sometimes there simply isn't enough time to engage every question that comes along, and then other times short answers turn into speaking engagements and friendships and even retreats with whole groups of people interested in talking together about what it means to be a Jesus-follower in this Twenty-first Century world.

This week I fielded a question about a short section in my book "GET REAL: a spiritual journey for men." A group of guys in an Atlanta church are studying the text together. This is what came up... "Last night we discussed your claim of the emergence of a new spiritual man in America.  Many said that they really didn't see evidence of this and wondered where you were coming from on this. Can you expand on this any?"

My response will - hopefully - get all of us to thinking... 
 I'll give you a quick answer for right now. 
  • First, the idea is - hopefully - prophetic. This is how I see God using men in this emerging 21st Century, this is where I believe we can make a difference in shaping the culture. 
  • Next, it's kind of an ideal as set against the more conservative politically compromised man the "religious right" tried to create over the past 20 years. 
  • Most importantly the new spiritual man in America is potentially sitting in a circle in the room, discussing this stuff together and making renewed commitments to follow Jesus faithfully. We can be a force for cultural change inasmuch as we follow Jesus and commit ourselves to actually being the presence of Christ in our day-to-day lives. That's how we can change this culture - by living faithful redemptive lives. It's more effective than trying to legislate a political agenda... 
  • OK - that's probably more than I intended but - hey - if they don't see any evidence they can step up and BE the evidence...

More on this conversation as it unfolds - DEREK

1 comment:

ericpet said...


Re: "a new spiritual man in America", I am a 'new spiritual man' in America. Whether there are others like me, I can't say outside our church.

Re: "hey really didn't see evidence", how can you gently and graciously remind them ,as we speak of all the time, you see what you are looking for. That fact is one the biggest ways God's grace plays out in my life!