A House United – How the Church Can Save the World
October 24-26, 2018
Princeton Theological Seminary
Americans are more politically polarized today than at any time since the Civil War. Our land needs help, and a church for whom Jesus prayed, “that they all may be one” (John 17.21) ought to offer that help. But Christianity is infamous for the opposite. Crusades, Inquisitions, bloody Religious Wars in Europe, and the Fundamentalist-Liberal battles, to name a few, tell a sad tale of widening chasms. In the U.S. in 2018 Christians continue that tradition as foot soldiers on the far left and the far right – participants and propagators of life as “two nations under God”. Is the Way of Jesus inherently divisive?
In this course, Dr. Hilton proposes an unlikely unifying role for Christianity in culture. He traces out Jesus’ and the early church’s vision of bringing difference together in community. Students will ground this vision in scripture, remembering Jesus’ choice of Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector, Paul’s celebration of “a variety of gifts…for the common good”, and those astonishing, boundary-crossing living-room-sized early Christian gatherings. This biblical momentum will drive inquiry into the practices (e.g., Courageous Conversations, Christian Mingle, and Big-Tent Bible reading) and habit changes that a unifying vocation would require.