Trying to Live as a Christian in a Polarized Society: Friendship, Church, and Political LifeRobert Benne Friday, April 21, 2017 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. St. Olaf College, Tomson Hall 280 Part of Two-Day Symposium on Religious and Political Disagreement
On the religious side of the topic, Robert Benne will argue that differences over core Christian teachings will lead to division — but what is difficult to decide is what belongs in the core, especially since there are shared and non-shared essentials among Christian traditions. Christians can recognize each other as Christians if they share crucial essentials but differ on other items that are essential to them, but probably cannot be in the same denomination.
On the political side, he will argue that — with a few exceptions — Christians should be able to belong to the same church yet hold a wide variety of political positions. Those exceptions are hard to discern, but Benne argues that we are obligated to be alert for them. He will also argue that Christians ought to be able to move in roughly the same general direction on a cluster of issues, including protection of life at its beginning and end, care for the poor, and religious liberty.