Good Faith: Contextual Responses


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends, in their book Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons clarify four situations that need different approaches.

Here are the four situations - and their responses:
Q. What is wrong? A. Stop and confront. (83)
Illustration: Kirsten Powers raising the Dr. Kermit Gosnell story in national media.

Q. What is confused? A. Clarify and compel. (84)
Illustration: Jeremy Courtney and Ann Vosskamp working together to clarify a particular way we could effectively respond to sex trafficking in Iraq.

Q. What is right? A. Celebrate and cultivate. (86)
Illustration: Selma, a movie that captures the goodness of the Civil Rights movement.

Q. What is missing? A. Create and catalyze. (89)
Illustration: Sarah Dubbeldam, founder of Darling magazine, that celebrates “the art of being a woman.”

Sarah wants her magazine to offer women the opportunity to “discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation (92).

What I appreciate about this chapter is clarifying that there is a wide and diverse range way of interacting with people. Instead of starting with what we know (content) or how we like to do things (approach), this mindset starts with looking externally first:

  • What is the situation? What is going on? What are the questions? What is the problem?

Once that has been understood, then they move to exploring how we respond. A good principle!

If you’re up for the challenge, why not share a story or an example that you’ve come across, categorize it (wrong/confused/right/missing), and then suggest an answer?


(SeanO) #2

Confused: Children have the ability to decide what they want in the future merely based upon their internal desires.

Clarify: An article from psychology today points out that " People can trust feelings more when they can deal with the same people in the same environment over a long period". It cites farmers in rural communities as a good example. Where as mobile young urban dwellers whose context changes frequently may get into more trouble if they trust their feelings.

What this article recognizes is that our feelings our conditioned by our surroundings - not the other way around. It also acknowledges that following our feelings is only a good idea if they have been properly trained.

Compel: Children are isolated from the real world and lack experience - therefore their feelings will often be out of sync with reality; especially since they have never experienced the adult world. Expecting them to make good decisions based only on their feelings is naive and unhelpful. We as a society need to help train our children’s feelings to be in tune with what will lead to successful living.

At one level we all understand this fact - we make our children share. We force them to clean their room and mow the grass to teach them responsibility. We do not let them drive when they are too young.

So take a moment and think - are there any areas where we are encouraging young people to make decisions based only on their own desires? What are they? Who pays the price if their decision is wrong - us or them?


(Carson Weitnauer) #3

Hi Sean, I really like how you took an authority like Psychology Today to make the point. Starting with a source that a skeptic might trust is wise. I also like how you ended with questions that could lead someone to see the implications of your point in a personal way. Nice!