This week we have more of an announcement than a typical post. Ordinarily I wouldn't want to use the blog for something like this. But what's coming up feels so important, so full of potential, and so close to my heart that I wanted to give it the attention it deserves.
Ordinarily, we would wait to get word out on something like this until we have all the details locked and loaded and ready to view at gccwired.com. We're not quite there yet on this, but I figured you guys would want to hear about this sooner than later.
Our society is experiencing a crisis of dialogue. It is most evident when the stakes are high. We're digging trenches instead of building bridges. Theology, politics, economics, ethics have all become battlegrounds where every party looks to defeat the others. When I see the debates taking place in our culture, I feel defeated. Not because my position is losing. But because the mode of conversation ensures that everyone loses. This is not what God’s kingdom looks like.
We believe we can do something about it.
In our 2016 vision at Granger, we said we want to activate our campus to serve our community. God has given us an extravagant venue for mission and ministry at 630 E. University Drive. And He has given us influence in our community. We want to leverage all of that to serve our neighbors.
So we’ve been dreaming about a series of forums in which high-stakes conversations are hosted in Christ-like ways. Less debating, more dialogue. Less turf-guarding, more truth-seeking. We’ll act on the conviction that understanding is better than villainizing.
This past weekend at Granger, we talked about the possibility that there’s room for doubt in a living faith. Thomas — famous doubting Thomas — had questions he needed answered before he could jump into the resurrection hope that his friends had embraced. Jesus responds to those questions and allows him to see firsthand what’s going on. And then Thomas — doubting Thomas — is the FIRST person in John’s gospel to express the fullness of faith. “My Lord and my God!”
Because we’re ready for high-stakes conversations, and because we believe in a faith that has room for our questions, our first forums will enter into the highly fraught science and faith conversation. The very first night will tackle questions of origins — creation and evolution, with a healthy dose of cutting edge science and biblical scholarship. This is a space where false battle lines have been drawn, and we intend to disrupt the battle. We’ll hear from preeminent scholars who take both faith and science seriously, but who arrive at different places in the intersection between those two pursuits.
Mark your calendars for September 17, the first forum. More details to come!