Telling Both Sides of the Story

The following text will be published as a “My Turn” column in the October 4, 2023 issue of the Capital-Democrat, a local newspaper serving Sioux County in Iowa. In our increasingly tribalistic us-versus-them culture, in which so many Americans believe that “me and my people” (e.g., my Church, my religious denomination, my political party, my […]

Possible Limits on Free Speech

The Supreme Court recently made three momentous decisions on Affirmative Action, the forgiveness of student debts for college education and religious freedom. The media and internet have been flooded with differing positions as to the validity of these decisions. I will now add to that abundance by presenting my position on the religious freedom case.[1] […]

These “Truths” I Now Embrace About What It Means to Follow Jesus

What does it mean to follow Jesus? Highly regarded representatives from twelve Christian traditions told us how those within their traditions answer that all-important question in the twelve-month conversation that I recently hosted on this website (which you can access at the bottom of this Home Page). But what did I learn from this conversation? […]

Grad and Faculty Roundtables that Explore the Intersection of Faith, Science, and Philosophy

I recently added an icon to the top bar of my website, titled “Other Models,” which identifies excellent initiatives that seek to foster loving and respectful conversations among persons having strong disagreements that nicely complement the approach that is modeled on this website. One of these complementary initiatives is the “Grad & Faculty Roundtable” program, […]

Other Models of Respectful Conversation

There are other excellent initiatives that seek to foster loving and respectful conversations among persons who have strong disagreements that complement the approach that is modeled on this website. To read a brief description of some of these initiatives, go to a new icon on the top of my Home page, titled “Other Models.” David […]

A Dynamic View of Following Jesus

As teenagers at Fifty-Ninth Street church in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn who had made a commitment to following Jesus, we used to flock to Saturday night church rallies, particularly attracted to announced sermon topics like “How to Find the Will of God for Your Life.” An underlying assumption behind such sermons seemed to […]

Some Concrete, Practical Suggestions for Churches Wishing to Discuss Contentious Issues

The following Musing presents an adaptation of the highlights of chapter 8 on my “Let’s Talk” book, titled “Followers of Jesus Creating Inclusive Conversations Within Churches.” What follows is informed by both my successes and colossal failures in my attempts for more than a decade to orchestrate loving and respectful conversations among persons who have […]

Weak and Strong Views of Acceptance and Peace

The following Musing is drawn from the beginning of chapter 8 of my “Let’s Talk” book titled “Followers of Jesus Creating Inclusive Conversations Within Churches.” As I gather with friends for coffee and cookies after the Sunday morning worship service at my home church we often talk about the Cubs or the Twins (with me […]

Exposing Myself to “Theological Otherness”

The following Musing presents the bulk of chapter 2 of my book “Let’s Talk” that is titled “Feeling, Thinking, and Doing.” After I committed my life to Christ at the age of 13, I was discipled in a rather insulated, pietistic Lutheran church community. This left me with a view of personhood that was, for […]

Dig Down Deep to Christian Values

The following Musing is an edited version of one section of chapter 6 of my “Let’s Talk” book that is titled “Lessons Learned and Questions for Conversation.” You will have noticed by now that I place great importance on posing questions about values (what philosophers call “axiological questions”). This is based on my belief that […]

Political Conversation as an Alternative to Domination or Withdrawal

This Musing is a much abbreviated variation of chapter 4 of my book “Let’s Talk,” titled “Political Domination, Withdrawal, or Conversation.” Should followers of Jesus become involved in the political process? If so, how? I will present, and reject two common responses to these questions, the Domination and Withdrawal approaches. I will then build a […]

Changing Your Views About Those Who Disagree With You

OOPS! I apologize for a mistake in the title for my February 15 posting. It should have been “A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath,” not “A Soft Answer Turns Away Truth.” Harold Heie __ This Musing draws on sections of chapter 7 in my book “Let’s Talk,” titled “Planting Tiny Seeds of Redemption” and a […]

A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

The following Musing is one section of chapter 1 of my book “Let’s Talk,” titled “Major Obstacles to Inclusive and Respectful Conversations, With the Essential First Step.” Those Christians who believe that their Christian tribe has singular insight into all of God’s truth will have little incentive to combine strong commitment with an openness to […]

Can We Please Practice a Little Humility

This Musing is the conclusion presented in chapter 6 of my “Let’s Talk” book, titled “Lessons Learned and Questions for Conversation.” As I have already proposed, elements of my personal biography deeply inform my beliefs, as do other elements of my social location, such as my gender, my race, my sexual orientation and my socio-economic […]

Strong Listening that Goes Beyond Politeness

This Musing is drawn from some highlights from chapter 7 of my “Let’s Talk” book, titled “Planting Tiny Seeds of Redemptive Conversation.” We should all aspire to practice politeness, which seems to be in short supply these days. But, in our increasingly tribalistic culture, being polite is not enough. In a conversation with another person […]