I’ve posted my last email to Hanna Rosin over at Slate. It has been a wonderful exchange and I look forward to her final response later today.
Here is part of what I had to say. To read it all, go here.
“…We who call ourselves Jesus’ followers need to remember once more that our hope isn’t set in creating the best social policy or saving America through politics. Our hope and our job, as my friend Greg Boyd says, is “to individually and corporately imitate Jesus in sacrificially serving the world—including our enemies. This is where our time and energy should be spent. And this is where all of our hope for the world should be placed.” This is the message that Patrick Henry desperately needs to teach. It is a hard and costly message and not a very popular one. I chafe at it daily … hourly … all the time. It got Jesus killed.
You ended your note challenging me to show you that these kids can change. OK.
I’ve seen it among some men and women I know in their 20s who went to a very conservative Christian college and who came to D.C. to work in politics. Over the past several years, I’ve seen them grow in a church where the pastor says he knows they would welcome and love Hillary Clinton, were she to come to a service, as much as they would George W. Bush. I’ve actually seen them up on the altar surrounding, in loving prayer, a Democratic senator who also attends the church. And one of these guys e-mailed me the other day to say he had read Bill Clinton’s new book and loved it—no matter how much he was appalled by that thought.
Will there always be a certain number of political warriors for Christ? Sure. But there is another story—perhaps you can make it your next book—developing out there in evangelical circles about kids more concerned about serving others in Africa than engaging in political wars. This isn’t a “run behind the gates” detachment. These kids are just acutely aware of the limits of politics. And when “your” kids at Patrick Henry start crossing paths with these older, wiser guys, a lot of the youngsters will change. They won’t be a “delta force” for conservative politics much longer.