English Standard Version (ESV)
It's fascinating to read this tale from 2,000 years ago and realize how little has changed. Today's culture is filled with people who rush to conclusions by reading the headlines, who storm into arguments and debates without first coming to a full understanding of the issue. We speak and live in soundbytes, hoping for something to go viral without worrying about context. As a society, we are often a mile wide and an inch deep.
This is why I appreciate Tim Keller's preaching so deeply. He tackles the biggest issues of the day, and he does so with great intellectual depth. His preaching is robust and unafraid, but it is also informed -- primarily by Scripture, but also by culture.
In my mind, there are two ways to win an argument. The first is to rush in head first, gathering a crowd and a head of steam and overwhelming the opponent by brute force. This seems to be the preferred method in today's social media landscape. The second is perform deep analysis of both sides of an issue, grasping the nuances and then entering into a two-sided conversation with humility and boldness.
When we speak of faith, when we tell the story of Christ, when we invite our friends and neighbors into discipleship, it is my hope that we would do with humility, having a deep knowledge of Scripture and an awareness of how it intersects with the lives of our loved ones and colleagues, that we may speak with hearts immersed in the love of God and the condition of the world, that our witness may be informed and authentic, and that our neighbors may see us as willing to lay down our lives in love rather than overtake them by force.