The Common Good

Where The Culture War's Fault Lines Really Lie

Source: First Things
Date: May 12, 2014

John Murdock’s “A Crash Course in Q” was an intriguing piece with one big weakness. Though Murdock’s critique resonated with many of my own reservations about how we frame Christian engagement with culture (including conference-culture), my experience of Q is completely vicarious, so modesty requires me to withhold or temper my own evaluation of the conference. But my experience of the fault lines that Murdock highlights for us is more extensive and direct. I see in them a much bigger challenge than Murdock’s essay suggests…

As Murdock writes,
A standard Q tactic is to pair apparent opposites together and have them talk about something on which they can agree. Two years ago in Washington, Moore’s predecessor, the conservative Richard Land, was seated next to the left leaning Jim Wallis of Sojourners to tag-team immigration reform. The odd couples this year included the state’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam and Nashville’s Democrat Mayor Karl Dean who traded compliments and discussed public education. A Jewish Israeli mother who had lost a son and a Muslim Palestinian father who had lost a daughter shared the emotional stories that brought them together to work for peace. Theologians Matthew Levering and Timothy George summarized the unity achieved through twenty years of work by Evangelicals and Catholics Together, an effort begun by Gabe Lyons’s mentor Chuck Colson and First Things’s own Richard John Neuhaus.