“From Pope Francis to Jefferson Bethke, folks are tired of the trappings of religion – and particularly the divisive politics too often associated with religion – and want to talk about Jesus again.” — Joshua DuBois
Next month, Christianity 21 comes to Denver, bringing three days of exciting and provocative speakers to muse on the future of faith. One of those speakers is Joshua DuBois, former Spiritual Advisor to President Obama and author of the gorgeous new book, The President’s Devotional.
DuBois served as Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during President Obama’s first term. He now teaches at New York University and is founder of the Values Partnerships consultancy. And while we didn’t get him to respond to our 7 Questions Before C21 series, we did have the honor of interviewing him for our new Scribes blog. Here is an excerpt from the interview; to read the rest, click here.
Q: Since leaving the White House, you’ve become a writer, teacher, and consultant. What’s the single biggest lesson you take with you from your time working for President Obama?
DuBois: That we live in a country filled with inherently good people. There are good people working in government, who are doing their best every single day to serve the American people. There are good people on the other side of the aisle, who may disagree on some issues but whose moral compass is strong. And there are good people across the country: the vast majority of Americans are just trying to live their lives, support their families, and stay out of the divisiveness in Washington. The caustic debates and politics that we see on television and social media are a caricature of America, not a reflection of the real country most of us live in.
The intersection of religion and politics has always been deeply fraught. As a front-row observer of the roles religion plays in cultural and political battles, what broad trends do you see occurring in the United States in the years ahead?
Within my own Christian tradition, I’m excited about a “back to the basics” faith that seems to be spreading across the country, and around the world. From Pope Francis to Jefferson Bethke, folks are tired of the trappings of religion – and particularly the divisive politics too often associated with religion – and want to talk about Jesus again. I think that will bring people back to the church, in a lasting, durable way.
I also think we have some tough debates ahead at the intersection of religious liberty and progressive change. As LGBT rights expand and women’s issues continue to be hotly debated, we’ll need a serious conversation about the role and rights of the church, and especially the theologically conservative church, in a changing public square.
Finally, I think this will be a decade marked by an expanded role for women leaders within traditional religious institutions – and I think that’s a very good thing.
Don’t miss Joshua DuBois – and 20 more Christian thought-leaders – at Christianity 21, January 9-10, 2014 in Denver, CO.
More 7 Questions Before C21 Interviews: