Détente

On Friday evening, Pascal and his lovely wife did something amazing. They opened their home and invited me, my wife (CC from The Counterfeit Christian), and six other people (including their oldest son and a couple that we’d only previously met as bloggers here) to sit down with food, wine, and fellowship. We each listened intently to those with sometimes similar, and sometimes wildly different world-views — but we did so with gentleness and respect. Free from hostility we were able to be open and vulnerable. This environment was very refreshing and led to real connections. We were each advocates of the legitimacy of our adversaries as people, which often led us to legitimize one another’s point of view.

CC wrote about her experience that night in this excellent post that I’m reblogging.

When Pascal and I started the online adventure that is russellandpascal.com, we hoped it could grow to be more than a blog. Gentleness and respect was and is more than a tag-line — its a recipe for understanding and friendship. Our meetings originally started across a physical breakfast table and continue there. The blog is just one medium of our communication. We wanted the meaning behind the blog to be a movement that reached into lives of people.

CC describes a ripple effect in her post, and that’s a bit like what’s happened here. This blog is just another tiny pebble dropping in the pond. We didn’t start the ripple, it’s been emanating for thousands of years — but we do want to join it. We hope that each of you will take it to your own communities and the effect will grow.

Pascal decided to call this meeting a détente, which means the easing of hostility or strained relations. It’s now a monthly affair. Consider opening your homes and lives to those of different points of view in your own détente.

Questions

If someone cared enough to invite you to a meeting like this, would you go? Why or why not?

Would you consider hosting a détente of your own? Why or why not?

Gentleness and respect,
—Russell

The Counterfeit Christian

dinner table

Détente, n: The easing of strained relations

It’s my friend Pascal’s word. I guess it’s really anybody’s word, but he was the first in my circle to use it in the context I’m writing about.

Where is the tension? What relations are strained? So many. I’ll start on the inside and work my way out.

There’s a battle within me. I want to believe, but I can’t intellectually justify it. The tension is so great that I’m discovering that it’s the one thing I can’t really even talk about with my usual eloquence. I can’t figure out the denouement of my own story.

When I try to tell it, I start with the background story of why my faith matters to me in the first place. I went through times when it was the only reason I had enough hope to keep living. My faith told me that God…

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