When the rules change… liking people
October 24, 2007
I’m currently reading Jim and Casper goes to church by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper. Quite an enjoyable book, I’ll blog about it when I’ve finished (at this rate within the next couple of days). So far it’s not the deepest piece of theology I’ve ever read, but still quite insightful stuff, and simply fun to read, it’s really funny at places. (Where you aware that Saddleback church is on the corner of Saddleback drive and Purpose drive? According to Matt and Casper yes, really!).
Actually, this is just some thoughts on one thing they (or Henderson, I think he wrote most of it), wrote. The book is all about conversations between Christians and non-Christians, and in the introduction he makes the comment that when people like each other, the rules change. And how true is this. In conversations, the rules of the conversation completely change when the participants like each other. The same differences get handled in totally different ways.
When reading this, I suddenly understood many of my own conversations over the past few years. I don’t always have the same ideas about things as my friends, even (especially?) regarding theology, there is mayor differences. And while we watch churches tear each other apart over things, we just go on, keep the conversation up. Why, from the outside, working with the standard church rules, some of us shouldn’t even want to talk to each other. We should be sitting on the opposite ends of synod meetings. But since we actually like each other, we just go on, the rules have changed.
Now, I am aware that this is a total neglect of the complications of human relations. One could bring in a lot of other stuff, saying that it’s our postmodern worldview that cause us to keep on talking, or it’s the fact that we have found some central point which bind us together. Especially this last one I’ve considered a lot in the past, the fact that we are bound by a passion for a world in need, and believe we should help change it really helps. But whatever the reason, the fact remains that I like some people with whom I differ, and because I like them, we can talk. I also like some non-Christians, and because we like each other, we can talk. The rules change when you like someone. So how about it, try it out, start out by actually liking those you differ with, and then continue the conversation with new rules.
For some more thoughts on conversations, also some thoughts from David Bosch: On God-talk