Mentioned in Relevant Magazine’s Newest Edition

I just heard through the grapevine that the work of The Marin Foundation and my book were written about in the newest edition of Relevant Magazine. In an Open Letter to This Generation by Ron Sider – that many call one of the founders of the current social justice movement within Christianity – Ron briefly takes on four questions and answers that he feels will shape 21st Century Christianity:

Evangelism vs. Social Justice

Affirmation of Moral and Intellectual Truth

Honoring Marriage Vows

Church and Homosexuality

I was very humbled when I read the section where our work was mentioned, as Ron talks about us as being the example for evangelicals of what must happen moving forward between evangelicals and the broader LGBT community. You can find and read the article here.

The Bridge Building Movement continues to spread…

Much love.

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  • pm

    page 55 in the column 3 about 1/2 way from the top

  • Do you have to be a subscriber to read the magazine? It looks like it.

    • I’m not a subscriber and I was able to access it and print off copies of the article, too.

  • I find it interesting that he used TMF as an example of an evangelical Christian group doing it the right way with regards to relationship-building between gay and Christian people. Meanwhile, in almost the exact same spot in the 2nd column, he refers Christians to read Robert Gagnon’s work to learn more about the Bible and gay people. Given the harsh criticsm Gagnon and his followers made towards you last year, I wonder what he would think about both of you being lauded by Sider.

    That said, I personally don’t find much about Sider that comes off as “radical” (his self-description). He finds gay relationships to be sinful. He doesn’t think we should be killed or beaten up. We should be encouraged to remain celibate. We should be nursed while dying of AIDS. And Christian groups that affirm gays (in this case, the American Evangelical Church) are borderline racist and definitely arrogant because those in the Global South believe that our families and relationships are sinful.

    • Jon – I’m sure if Gagnon saw that he would most definitely not be to pleased in any regard that The Marin Foundation and my book got singled out as a way to move forward. I also thought it interesting, even Sider, made a sidenote that Gagnon’s tone could be more gentile. More gentile, indeed 🙂

      As for Sider being ‘radical’ – that version of radical is defined by conservative evangelicals. Most all of Sider’s work has been on social justice issues of systemic poverty, immagration, etc, as many accuse him of being a socialist in the lines of accusations against Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis. I wouldn’t say Sider is radical at all when it comes to the topic of sexuality.

      The Global South phenominon that many bring up today is because in Latin America, Africa and Asia, those are the three fastest growing Christian places in the world…and by mid-century those three places individually will have more Christians than anywhere else in the world combined. If that trend continues, the reason, Sider sees, to listen to them has to do with the fact that they will have the majoirty world voice pretty soon – at least that is how the scenario goes. I, however, still don’t think that will be a true statement. They might have more people, but for whatever reason, the Western world still has the majority voice. We’ll see…

  • Drew

    I’ve failed to find this article after several attempts. Can anyone provide the exact url?


    • The link above brings you to a digital issue of the magazine. To reach the article, flip through the pages to 57. TMF is mentioned towards the end of the article. It’s titled “An Open Letter to this Generaion” by Ron Sider. I don’t know that it’s possible to link to the specific article.

      The problems that some people might be experience might relate to using older computers or slower modems, but I’m definitely no computer expert. If you want to read the article but can’t access it online, I’m sure you can get a copy of Barnes & Noble or some similar place. It’s issue 50 of “Relevant” and has a big circle on the cover with the words “50 Ideas that changed everything” in the middle of the cover.

      • Drew

        Thx Jon. (What an incredibly annoying interface.)

  • Philip

    Thank you Andrew for clarifying that “radical” implies how one is in contrast to something else. e.g. a man with 20/20 vision is a radical in a room of blind persons and a traditionalist when he is in a room of persons with 20/20 vision. Radical, however, also relates to fundamentals–or origins.

    So Jesus is brought a woman caught in adultery. Will he be a traditionalist, uphold the basic law and have her stoned? Will he be a fundamental revolutionary and throw out the law?

    Will his response build a bridge–or will everyone hate him??

    Two things I want to say to you Andrew (not as if you have not noticed this most every day and hour): When one builds a bridge, people on both ends will continue to demand that you prove you are on their side. I encourage you to trust the integrity of the One whom is the bridge; the integrity of the grace which is from Him (and not from you) to be the bridge-builder. The second you start defending or try keeping either end of the bridge attached–the bridge builder is compromised.

    Often the bridge will be an island. Jesus, on the cross, hung abandoned by his family and followers and Father. The integrity of the bridge is not defined based on whether either end stays connected. The majority of the time you will be an island.

    We just never will produce the bridge in our power.

    Secondly I just want to encourage you to not take the complexities of the issues you confront to discourage you. Bridge-building (as demonstrated by Jesus in many accounts) is a way of being and doing that is greatly needed in almost all ministry endeavors. Persons like Sider will lift you up as an example of how we proceed. But I would tweak that comment and remove it from context of gay-evangelical relationships. Although we need to look at you as modeling something very important there; more fundamentally I would say you are modeling bridge-building period.

    I spent much of last evening in internet conversations about our relationships to Muslims. Same issue. I was at table at McDonalds this week. In next booth was a young woman who barely had enough strength to get in the door and sit down. The Spirit sent a wave of compassion over me–that this woman was battling for her life; and I prayed for a long period before speaking to her. As most people she was a big mix of God-given dreams/gifts and lots of life-mess.Gods compassion was for me; His grace is enough.

    I think those are the words to you–His grace is enough. Let it be.

    Those of us who see your ministry as a model have to confront whether we believe God’s grace is sufficient. Will we allow it to bridge. Will we allow it to reconcile. You may feel alone as bridge builder–but know there are many others–standing in very different kinds of chasms and brokenness.

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