Being neighborly, even online

Adirondack chairs A visitor by the name of Rachel asks:

I’m very interested in seeing that the two of you have teamed up for what looks to be a very interesting blog on the crossroads of urban planning and religion. I know that both of you have deep Christian convictions, so I am wondering how you anticipate treating those who post comments and view your blog who may come from another religious perspective?

So here was my response (and Rachel gave permission to post her question here):

Hi and thanks for writing. That’s a really good question, and you’ve inspired me to find a metaphor that describes how we do things around here.

I’m treating this blog like my front porch. It’s similar to setting up a table and a few Adirondack chairs and inviting neighbors and passers-by for coffee and conversation.

In this situation, no way can I expect everyone to agree with me. Some may be Christians who disagree with my conclusions. Some may be non-Christians who agree with my conclusion but don’t like my reasons. But I am confident enough in my God to know that I can listen to my neighbors and love them and not beat them over the head with my 20-pound study Bible. At least not on the first visit.

And those who drive by and throw eggs will not be treated gently.

And like I told her in a follow-up email, if I can’t be neighborly on this web site, I have no business writing about neighborhoods!

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