sometimes it sucks to humanize people. because when you do, they’re so much harder to:
5. treat as two-dimensional
6. all of the above, darn it!
first it was that darn brett kunkle from stand to reason. he was easy to dislike when i just thought he was two-dimmensional blog guy. he was rather completely impossible to dislike once he drove down to san diego and we had lunch and shared life stories and all that stuff i say i believe in.
tony jones had initiated dinner with the stand to reason peeps and the a-team peeps, during the national pastors convention last week, and invited me to join in the *fun*. it seems the whole lot of ’em (doug pagitt was there also, and a couple professors — roger blogged about it here — retired to a zondervan suite to have a quiet conversation about substantive theological stuff. but i had to leave before that, and joined them all for the two hours in a noisy restaurant. i would have enjoyed listening in on the meatier stuff, i’m sure. but the truth is: it was great to sit between brett and roger, and across from amy, and not be able to hide in the really-smart-guys-club at the end of the table (tony, doug, greg k from str, and a prof from talbot named scott, i think). it forced roger and i to talk. and it forced amy and i to lean in (to overrule the background noise) and talk. and we didn’t talk about what we disagree on. we didn’t talk about postmodernism or modernism of apologetics or brian mclaren. we talked about our lives, and why we do what we do. we laughed. we didn’t cry, but — heck — we might have if it weren’t for the really bad piano bar entertainer in the next room (shoot, he almost made us cry!).
roger and amy have both emailed me since — very nice emails, both tracing back to our ugly days in august. i’m sure i could find 100 things i disagree with them on. and i’m sure they could find 200 things they disagree with me on. but meeting people face-to-face forces us into one of those “well, look at that, we can find 1000 things we agree on” situations.