So we’re looking at a really interesting time; there’s a lot of contesting going on; we’ve got President Trump, we’ve got Brexit, we in Northern Ireland have an election of some stuff going on there, so right at the minute, lots of uncertainty and lots of fear, and it’s a wonderful time to be speaking into that. There’s this whole phrasing around post-truth, and in the midst of that we’re saying actually we’re a people of truth. So Pete Greig has commented on some of that, and what I love in his comment is he says that we need to know the text well, and we need to know the story, and I absolutely agree with that. When it comes to an issue like justice, we want to be speaking into it like the prophets did, and the prophets really in my view reeled against two things as I best understand the bible: idolatry and injustice.
The problem with idolatry is not only does it displace God, but in the process it undermines we who are to be the only image bearers allowed and once you do that you start to undermine what it is to be human and that leads to the injustice, so we start treating others wrongly. And so he said just keep going back to those two things, and around that then we have a better framing for these justice conversations. There’s a lot of talk around justice, I don’t think we all understand what it means, so get back to the text (I’m with Peter Greig on that), and the other thing he was talking about is the need for grace. Absolutely, we’ve got to be really careful how we speak in these moments, and so I think if we have something to say, we’ve got to do it graciously, because when we do that, that changes the conversation – it unsettles people, they’re not quite expecting it.
in a time of uncertainty, they’re looking for clarity
So, know the text, speak graciously, that’s a great way to respond in this moment to the current uncertainty and the current fear, because in a post-truth world, people are looking for truth, in a time of uncertainty they’re looking for clarity, and in this time when so much is up for grabs, anybody who comes with a clear story and offers community, love, and grace is going to stand out.