Scott McKnight on Who We Listen To

Scott Knight of Jesus Creed (a blog devoted to the Emerging Church movement) has a very compelling essay on the need to include in our circle those who have different views:

What happens when we sit at table all the time with those who are just like us? What happens when we are at church, at breakfast and lunch, in committees and at work with folks just like us? Christians and social justice workers and business folks each have this tendency — it is natural and easy for this to happen. But what happens to us when we spend all our time with the same kinds of people? I’ve got a few suggestions for those of us who find ourselves in the “circle of the same.” What do you observe about what happens if we are always in the circle of the same?

1. It creates a situation where an ideology — political or theological or social — rules instead of one in which the gospel rules, the gospel that routinely reminds us that we don’t have it right yet.

2. The circle of the same builds, reinforces, and thickens walls between people instead of building bridges between peoples.

3. The circle of the same tends to lead us to spend our time thinking about the past and how to preserve it instead of pondering the present-future and how we can change it.

4. The circle of the same leads to fights with one another. Why? Because we fight to maintain our own identity with those who are most like us and with whom we barely differ. This leads us to magnify our minor differences … all this instead of fighting the real enemies of this world.

Read it all.

As I discussed in a previous post, the blogosphere is quite guilty of creating circles of sameness. We read and link to blogs we agree with--and not to those we disagree with. the results are what McKnight aptly describes. (Note to self: link more to Kendall Harmon and Father Dan. Oh and don't forget the atheist blogs at

And I think this is true of our church life as well. We need to make sure that our church is place that welcomes both the liberal and the conservative and, yes, the orthodox and the alleged heretic.


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