Any evangelical who thinks we have no common ground with folks who disagree with us has not been paying attention to the news for the past two weeks. One obvious thing that we have in common with everyone else is that we–even our most trusted leaders–are just as likely to mess up in our moral lives as the next person.
To be sure, we rightly nurture strong, non-negotiable convictions about Jesus, salvation, and other crucial topics. But we are all sinners, desperately in need of all the help we can get—and this, too, should be one of our basic convictions.
This is not a time for evangelical arrogance. The business of living together as good neighbors in a complex, pluralistic society is no easy task. We need to talk to each other, sharing our deepest hopes and fears about our common life together. And there are very good, Christian reasons to believe that a serious, broad-ranging conversation about matters of common concern can produce better understanding. Unfortunately, when conservative Christians talk about “creationism,” we tend to fixate on fossil records. It is time to make it clear that a belief in divine creation also means that we all share a common human nature. If we believe that, we have every reason to believe that it is worthwhile engaging serious dialogues about matters of fundamental human importance.