How Can Christians Communicate what We Believe Without Being Denigrating or Inflammatory?

Those who read this blog on a regular basis (they are not many,  I am sure, but quality rather than numbers is what matters) know I am a big fan of Mark Galli, from Christianity Today.

This time I recommend a text where he discusses the topic of dialogue, Since this is a very actual matter in Romanian Evangelicalism (I want to say, the lack of it), I suggest we could all benefit from engaging with Galli’s pointed argument. Here are a few quotes, for a teaser.

* * *

Seriously, the following is my attempt explore this, yes, serious question, especially in the context of Christians’ relationship to Muslims and Jews, a relationship too often characterized by insults and anger, not to mention death and destruction in many parts of the world.

A simple reading of this story [Mark 11:15-18], and a few others, suggests that the gentle Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, could have used a few lessons in how to communicate without being denigrating or inflammatory!

The point is this: There were moments in Jesus’ ministry when he denigrated—that is, according to the dictionary definition, “attacked the reputation of another”—and inflamed—”excited to excessive or uncontrollable actions or feelings.” What we find in the Gospels is an uncomfortable reality: There is something about Jesus that makes some people want to kill him.

I cannot speak from the Muslim perspective, but I don’t think I’d get much of an argument looking at it from that point of view. I know enough about Muhammad to know that he infuriated people in his day from time to time. As for Jews—well, they have the heritage of the prophets, who were not exactly famous for their peacemaking skills! The point is that Muslims and Jews too, if they are faithful to their traditions and honest with themselves and with us Christians, will sometimes feel called to say things that will offend us.

* * *

I hope this was sufficient to raise your interest. If so, please read HERE the whole text. Read, think and pray. You may learn a few things. I did.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

8 thoughts on “How Can Christians Communicate what We Believe Without Being Denigrating or Inflammatory?”

  1. I am having trouble finding the link
    (could just be my laptop).
    and I’d really like to read and print this.
    I’m glad you also posted Dyo’s piece,
    that one’s a keeper too.


    1. nu ar trebui sa va ingrijoreze :-).
      Aveti unul dintre cele mai active blog-uri,
      si se pare ca cititi foarte, foarte mult.
      Iar noi beneficiem de cititul dumneavoastra!


  2. Am reușit să parcurg tot textul lui Galli.
    Interesant detaliul cu vindecarea făcută DUPĂ Sabat. N-a făcut o simplă minune ci și-a adus dușmanii în poziția de a lua decizii numai pe baza convingerilor proprii (care s-au văzut clar fiind determinate de orgolii și nu de înțelepciune sau morală) și nu manipulând mulțimea din templu împotriva Lui.

    Am mai dedus că Isus s-a revoltat împotriva asupririi, manipulării, ipocriziei fariseilor în relațiile lor cu co-religionarii lor și nu neaparat împotriva fariseilor luați separat ca indivizi. Bănuiesc că-L revolta mai mult coalizarea celor tari (intelectual, politic, religios) în dauna și prin folosirea celor mici ca masă de manevră. Relația Lui personală cu indivizi luați separat n-a fost niciodată atât de tranșantă cum a fost cu cea a lor luați ca grup, ca și coalizanți la acțiuni ignobile.

    E un fel de a spune: nu vă ucideți unii pe alții pentru că slujiți doar interesele unui grup de oameni care se folosesc de voi pentru păstrarea și înmulțirea privilegiilor lor. Luați-i pe ei de guler pentru că lipsa lor de morală sau lipsa lor de responsabilitate vă aduce în postura să doriți moartea aproapelui.


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