I had an amazing experience at Intervarsity’s Urbana15 Conference. I am fascinated by Culture and learning about the way people live around the world. Living in the New York City area allows for plenty of opportunities to engage the world without leaving the state.
However, we don’t always have to tools to engage the world around us well. This is partly because we underestimate the influence of our environment. Yes, even if you grew up in a diverse area like NYC, there are subtle forces and cues that misinform our view of others and cause us to form opinions of others before they even say a word to us.
As Christians, we need to be particularly willing to identify and override these ideas that have taken root in us. We need to invite the Holy Spirit in to convict us and to transform us. We cannot simply change a few external behaviors and hope to see real change in our communities.
On a day like Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I challenge you to hear this talk by Dr. Christena Cleveland. As a social psychologist, this discussion goes beyond the buzz words and taglines and seeks to address core issues. I truly admire her, and the perspective she brings to the Church universal. Her honesty and passion comes through. I am really looking forward to reading her book Disunity in Christ when I finish my Spring semester!