Friday, September 21, 2007


At a recent conference I attended, the facilitator made the following statement: "It's more important to be kind than to be right." At first this statement resonated with me, but upon further reflection I think it was unfortunate that the conversation was being framed "kind" versus "right." It is not an either/or. It is a both/and. Jesus was full of grace AND truth. And He asks us to speak the truth IN love.

We can go off the tracks in either direction. Fundamentalists prize being right, over being kind. This has led to a lot of pain and heartache for people in conservative churches. But just as problematic is to be kind, and not right. Kindness devoid of truth leaves people groping in the dark, without real answers.

To be sure, if you are not kind, you are not right. On the other hand, if you are not speaking real truth to people you are not being particularly kind to them, either. Upon reflection, I think a better statement for the facilitator of this meeting to make would have been, "It is important to be right. It is just as important to be kind."

Kindness at the expense of truth is not the kindness of Jesus. He was full of truth. He was also full of grace. This balance is what we are shooting for, not the extremes.

It was said of Abraham Lincoln that he was "a man of steel and velvet." I like that description. I think the same could have been said of Christ. Could it be said of you?


Am I a fundamentalist? My view of scripture and salvation is pretty conservative, so I occasionally get this question. My answer? It depends on what you are talking about. Fundamentalism comprises both an affirmation, and an attitude. The affirmations of fundamentalism are often correct. But the attitude of fundamentalism I reject. So if you are talking about the authority of scripture, then yes, I am a fundamentalist. If you are talking about being harsh, judgmental and legalistic, then no, I'm not....or at least don't want to be.


I recently had a cool thing happen to me. Someone talked with me about publishing my book, Deliberate Simplicity. They said they were interested in the book because they liked the "tone" of it. They felt it was gracious toward the Traditional Church, even while drawing contrasts to it. This made me happy to hear this. It was also a reminder to me that just as important as what you say is how you say it. It is possible that CTK will become known, not so much for the ideas we hold, but the manner in which we hold them.

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