Jim Belcher author of Deep Church discusses dialogue

The Final Apologetic

Jim Belcher
Category: UNITY & DIVISION | OUTREACH
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ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE: Jim Belcher (M.A., Fuller; Ph.D., Georgetown) is founding church planter of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California and is author of the book Deep Church.




DISCUSSION TOPIC:

Jim suggests that personal attacks occur out of insecurity. Do you agree? Tell us how insecurity has or hasn’t played a role in times when you’ve personally attacked another person.

Jim also presents the idea of having tiers for beliefs; some that need to be agreed upon in order to “fellowship” together and others that have room for continued dialogue. What characteristics do the values/beliefs you prioritize tend to have?


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2 Responses to “The Final Apologetic”

  1. benjamin ady says:

    Jim talks about there being differences that are worth splitting over–no longer being able to have fellowship, but it doesn’t mean we stop being civil or stop loving those people. I’m really curious to know what he is talking about. I want him to tell me a story about a time this happened to him. I was trying to imagine a time when that has happened to me, and almost without fail it was because I didn’t feel safe around those people, so i stopped hanging out with them, or else they didn’t feel safe around me, so they stopped hanging out with me.

    So yes–the thing about insecurity makes sense to me. I would call it a sense of powerlessness. The person who feels truly powerful, perhaps, never has to attack the other or stop hanging out with the other because of a sense of lack of safety or powerlessness or insecurity. Jesus seems to come across that way a bit, although not always.

    In answer to your last question, Craig, I’m thinking about beliefs I tend to, or at least want to, prioritize. I prioritize choosing happiness. I prioritze learning and curiosity. I prioritize self exploration. But these feel more like values rather than beliefs. I guess I could say I have chosen to believe these things are very good. =). Also lately I’ve tended to prioritize my beliefs that beliefs themselves are freely chosen, and thus can be easily changed at any time–I really like this latter belief and find myself falling back on it a lot =).

  2. c benbow says:

    I have a very clear memory of my “best” friend coming up to me in 6th grade saying I had to choose her or my other “best” friend. Looking back, I can see it is because she was threatened by how much time I spent with my other friend and she was worried about being valued less. I can see that theme played out time and time again in my workplace, at church and among friends, even in myself – people who are afraid that they won’t be valued because they place so little value in themselves, so they attack or belittle someone else’s contribution or ideas.

    There are definitely tiers or levels of belief. I love my current church because the politics are split 50-50 and still, everyone can get together for fellowship and support and reasonable dialogues. If you cannot hold a civil conversation with someone you disagree with, that would be a reason for me to split ways. (Civil does not always mean quiet or bland, but it does mean respectful). And if you cannot admit you could be wrong (not that you are wrong, just acknowledging the possibility), then we probably won’t be friends for too long.

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