Here at The Faitheism Project, we’re all about starting conversations that, on paper, shouldn’t be do-able. Of course, once two people realize how much common ground they have (versus how little they thought they had), they naturally begin to build on that ground. As we also keep discovering here, most of us are on very similar spiritual journeys; it’s only the vocabulary we use to describe our journeys that differs. Still, some differences are truly fundamental. At least they seem that way to us — and that makes them fundamental. How do we reconcile two people or two positions that, to them, seem irreconcilable?
Our guest for this podcast, Mike Harbert, works for the Presbyterian church as a kind of “reconciliation specialist”. When estrangement strikes a church community, Mike’s the guy the church sends in to talk everyone off their respective ledges. As you’ll hear, Mike is very good at his job. Some of that is because of the person Mike is (you’ll meet him and like him a lot!) But some of that has to do with the process Mike uses to defuse the powder kegs he confronts.
Reconciliation after all is a process. That means it’s repeatable. And — most importantly — teachable and learnable.
But, as you’ll also hear, just because you’re the calm, adult in the room doesn’t mean that inside your head you aren’t groaning in exasperation and wringing your hands. Getting people to get along ain’t easy. That’s no revelation. But, the better we get at getting past our differences? What could be bad about that?
Or, if you’d prefer to watch —
NOTES & SOURCES
Alan’s How To Live Bullshit Free blog can be found here —