Respectful and courteous dialog on religious differences is a rare thing. In many cases, people of faith are suspicious and sometimes blatantly antagonistic with anyone who is not of their faith. This is not limited to religious matters. Political parties, nations, scientists, philosophers, etc. often have a hard time respecting the view of the other. They assume anyone thinking along a different path must be foolish, deceived, or evil.
Into a rarely taken path of civility steps Greg Johnson, former Baptist pastor and head of Standing Together Ministries , and Bob Millet, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. Together, they host an evening of dialog where the audience sees first hand how a discussion with different streams of thought may be accomplished in a respectful manner. They talk about the hot-button issues that exist between Mormons and Evangelicals and demonstrate how one might discuss these in candor without being caustic. I had an opportunity to see their dialog last night.
I was particularly looking forward to meeting Bob Millet (no slight to Greg, but I see him regularly at church). When my wife and I first announced that we were going to Salt Lake City, we had many people offering us books about Mormons. These books tended to be written by non-mormons, and could best be described as negative. We decided to forgo these and instead waited for an opportunity to learn Mormonism from Mormons. During our first few weeks here, I recorded a round table discussion about C.S. Lewis on BYU TV (Letting God have His way: A conversation about C.S. Lewis). It was hosted by Bob Millet and I couldn't have enjoyed the discussion more. Bob was my first real introduction to Mormonism.
I am neither Mormon nor Evangelical but I was grateful to spend an evening in fellowship with these two men and our small group that had gathered to discuss the things of God. Though everyone in the room may have had different lenses through which they see God, it was a night where suspicion was tabled and understanding flowed.
If you cannot feel that the other faith is as true as yours, you should feel at least that the men are as true as you. ~ Gandhi