I'd like to add a little note about the flavor of this particular congress. The people behind it, Howard Butt and his Foundation, have interested me, who am often nervous about some things evangelical, in that I think that they're in a self-critical stage. Sometimes, some of us have felt left out. I belong to a church body that has the word "evangelical" in its title and then would get introduced at some gatherings as a non-evangelical. Well, evangelical means "of the Gospel of Christ," and to me it's a terrible insult to be thought of as non-evangelical. There's not a hint of that in this kind of lay person who gathers here. They know the faults of their movement, as well as the faults of ours. I think they're not trying to do like the Christian Yellow Pages, namely, simply extend a sect and make it the same size as the country---that you can only be elected to office is you're one of us.The questions they're asking at this congress have no such borders or barriers at all. They just want to know, "What is a good politician, what is the good life, what is good art?" I think that's one of the things that cheers me more than many other features.
Openness, honestly, and humility. I think Dr. Marty has hit the nail on the head—these qualities are absolutely necessary for healthy relationships, both within the church and between the church and secular society. They imply something that no amount of publicity, money, or rhetoric can establish: authenticity.
Being fortunate enough to know Howard Butt, Jr., I can't think of a word that more aptly describes him, or his faith. It's amazing that, because of that faith, we are able to have this conversation, to keep asking these questions, to continue to strive for authenticity in our own lives.
This is part three in a three-part miniseries of Vintage High Calling videos. You can find a playlist with the rest of the interviews over at the High Calling YouTube Channel.