Monday, February 4, 2008


In "Retraining Ourselves for Conflict Transformation", Dr. Charles Hauss expressed surprise that he "discovered a whole world of Evangelicals whose conflict resolution work (with Scripture) is coherent with and often similar to the work we do in reconciliation at Search." Search USA is a secular NGO that specializes in conflict resolution, with Dr. Hauss serving as one of its leading members.

When I read this, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. On one hand, for Dr. Hauss to describe his exposure to the Scripture-based values of Evangelicals in regard to peacemaking as his "discovery" is somewhat amusing. For too long, Evangelical scholars have been marginalized by the world, simply because they take Proverbs 1:7 seriously ("The fear of the Lord is the beginng of knowledge"). Many secular scholars hold such a worldview in contempt, which accounts for their being slow to consider the insights and perspectives of their Christian counterparts.

On the other hand, when it comes to the topic of conflict resolution in particular, we Christians do not always have the best reputation before a watching world. One of the goals I had for writing "Where Do We Go From Here: The Path To Biblically Resolving Conflict" and for launching was to spotlight the emphasis our Lord puts on relational harmony. Jesus said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 15:35). We must not underestimate the role that biblical same-mindedness plays in fulfilling Jesus' command.

I pray for the day to come when, rather than surprise, the world feels confident that they can turn to Christians as a first resort to gain help and insight with conflict resolution, because they see how the biblical principles work in our lives. And they well remember the passion of our commitment for the sake of our testimony and the reputation of our Lord.

Note: For more information on the process of biblical same-mindedness, check out "Where Do We Go From Here: The Path To Biblically Resolving Conflict" by Randal L. Gilmore. Available here.


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