Review of my Book and Work on Sojourners Blog – God’s Politics

Here is the link that Ron Sider, President of Evangelicals for Social Action, a professor and director of the Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote on Jim Wallis’ really well read blog about my book.

He gave some praises as well as some critiques. I thought it was an interesting article.

What do you all think? Any questions for me about what he wrote?

Much love.

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  • Mrs T

    Good article, but I thought you went to the U of I at that time. Please clarify.

    What you wrote(your book) & what that pastor did in Grand Rapids are plain common sense. Why is the church so slow in understanding that!??

  • Good call! When my 3 best friends came out to me I had just finished my freshman year at Univeristy of Illinois – Chicago. It was the summer of the year 2000 when that happened. I was at UIC from 1999-2003. I attended seminary at Moody from 2005-2010.

  • Abby

    I agree with Mrs. T. It is common sense and especially common “Biblical” sense that’s God’s grace extends to all people, no matter the nature or type of sin. He is far too good and far too merciful to ostracize any of His children and I believe it hurts His heart to see us doing it.

    I think the author’s criticism of you being too individualistic in your approach is interesting, because I too used to feel a responsibility for moral discernment and accountability. But lately, my vision has shifted and I can see that everything that is happening, all of our experiences, good or bad, are perfect; Our lives unfold exactly as they should for the proper development of our souls.

    Now, I believe what the author terms “individualism” is really a question of honor. By “letting God speak to that person ‘personally and individually telling each of his beloved children what he feels is best for their life’ “, I feel you are honoring (i.e. respecting) that person’s relationship with God. You are honoring their paths and their decisions and also honoring God’s role in their life. I believe that honoring others (and especially their heart connection with God) is one of the BEST ways to love them.

    Keep up the good work. I hope to be able to make it to a “Living in the Tension” gathering soon.

    Also! You should read “Putting on the Mind of Christ: The Inner Works of Christian Spirituality” by Jim Marion (if you haven’t already). It is an amazing guide and explanation of God’s love, heaven on earth and how we are all called to the “Christ consciousness.”


    • Abby – I would write my explanation of my thoughts regarding his claim of my indiviaulistic apporach to church and my LGBT friends, but you actually summed it up perfectly. Thanks!

      Ok…maybe just one thought:

      I find that too often in the church we tend to be too individualistic in our approach to others – that we feel it is our responsibility to do the convicting, judging and loving all wrapped up in one package. So it was interesting for me to read that he said that living in my Kingdom Job Description (Holy Spirit’s job to convict; God’s job to judge; and my job to love) was labeled as individualistic. I guess our understanding of that word means two different things.

      At the end of the day, I don’t believe a relationship (from a personal perspective) in Christ is determined by the outcome. I believe the outcome is secondary to the faithfulness in the relationship. I say that because I can only control how I live in relation to, and relationship with others. I cannot control their outcome no matter how hard I might want to, or even try to do so. As my friend Chris Heuertz says in his unreal book, Friendship at the Margains: Friendship evangelism is a betrayal of the friendship itself because there is a pre-determined outcome that is expected. Then what happens when that pre-determined outcome doesn’t happen?

      That would be my question back to Sider. Where do you go when ‘the other’ doesn’t agree or want what you have or believe? I find my understanding of faithfulness provides room for a continued relationship no matter what the other person’s outcome might be…

  • Andrew, its an interesting observation about the “individualistic” critque. I believe some of that at least, is because of your own story. One of the things unique about your story is that your story of love in friendship compelled you to immerse yourself into a new culture. And, for the most part large portions of faith communities (on both sides of the spectrum) were drawing lines in the sand rather than seeking to listen, dialogue, and “dwell” in close proximity to their neighbor. So, it was a challenge for you to find a “formal” community to move forward behind you to do this. But because your three closest friends came out, this stirred you to begin thinking outside of the box in ways of loving your neighbor in continued fidelity to your friends–which was unique and rare.