Solutions June 2016 - Page 11

Q & A with Dr. BARRY COREY Author of Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue As the president of a leading Christian university, you have a lot on your plate. What led you to carve time out of your schedule to write a book on kindness? I’ve been distressed in recent years by so many Jesus followers who are more interested in picking a fight than making a friend. Someone told me recently that we never lead our enemies to follow Jesus, but we do lead our friends. Christians have been quick to bypass kindness and prefer to begin a shouting match, or they just talk among themselves about how awful the other side is. We have ranted before we’ve related, deeming the latter too soft on sin. Christians – and I’ve seen this especially in American Christians in recent years – have employed the strategy of winning the combative way, and it’s not working. The “culture wars” have done little to change our society, and we’ve lost many if not all of these wars. As a result, the church too often is marginalized and mocked, and increasingly people are viewing the Bible as just as intolerable as our aggressive tactics. It’s time for a new way of living lives of radical kindness, not to be accepted but to be faithful. I’m willing to bet that if Christians leaned more into kindness and understood more its revolutionary power, the world would see a side of us that would cause many skeptical and irate folks on the other side to take notice. Our radical gestures of kindness may be rejected. They may be received. But they will not be forgotten. I wrote this book because I believe it’s time to rediscover the hidden power of kindness. I wrote this book out of frustration that those who represent the gospel are often caustic and harsh, picking fights with those whose views are hostile to theirs. In other words, Christians are often starting with unkindness. Unkindness has little effect beyond marshaling other Christians to admire our toughness and raising our own profile. This has gotten us nowhere in the cause of the gospel— our Christian call to be redemptive voices to that which is broken. I wrote this book as an alternative to the voices of barbwire-wrapped Christians who are picking fights from pulpits, blogs, talk shows, town meetings or political platforms. I also wrote this book to demonstrate that kindness is not anemic or without conviction. Rather, it has the power to influence others, revealing the truth and grace of the Christian faith far more than the insecurity SMG Solutions 11