Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Discussion in the Public Square

My friend and colleague, Philip Johnson of Australia, has a thought-provoking post on his blog about the "Problem of Polarisation" in terms of the way in which issues are shared and discussed in the public square. See his post here: http://circleofpneuma.blogspot.com/2007/03/problem-of-polarisation.html

He concludes the post with a great quote by Eric Sharpe:

"The best dialog is one in which those old-fashioned virtues of courtesy and mutual respect are allowed to have the upper hand of what our culture seems to best at: points-scoring and vilifying the opposition. I can think of no better way to conclude here than with a biblical word; the most frequently broken of the ten commandments is not the one about not commiting adultery or not stealing, but the one that follows it: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' For the ultimate limitation on dialog is that one must not bear false witness, either in your neighbor's hearing or more especially behind his or her back."
- Eric Sharpe, "Faith at the Round Table" Areopagus 7, 4, 1994, p. 34.

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