Speaking of faith, here’s a nice insight from Tippett

July 11, 2013

I thought I had previously said an unkind word or two about Krista Tippett’s NPR show On Being (formerly Speaking of Faith) on my blog. I typed her name in the blog’s search box, however, and didn’t come up with anything. Still, what I have said to friends over the years is that the show seems more interested in religion as a sociological curiosity than as something that most people in the world actually practice. Maybe that’s unfair since I’ve only heard it a handful of times.

Regardless, I like the insight that she shares in this interview with Christianity Today. It corresponds to my own limited experience talking to people of other faiths. Interfaith dialogue doesn’t happen best when we minimize or relativize the differences that separate us.

I make no apologies for the fact that I have a religious life of my own. I’m speaking as a Christian because I’m speaking as myself.

When I first started this, there was a young Catholic reporter who was excited about the show. I’d just done something with the Dalai Lama, and she said, “Do you feel you get converted by talking to these amazing religious leaders?” The truth is, I don’t.

When profound encounter happens, it has paradoxical effects. At one and the same time, you are able to appreciate and even to learn from this other person and their tradition. But the other thing that always happens—and I’ve honestly never heard of a story that it hasn’t happened in—is that you become more richly planted where you are. You become a better Christian.

I think that some of the most deadly phrases in the English language are ecumenical and interfaith. They’re so boring, but the experiences people have are not boring, and the experiences are transformative, and they’re not relativistic.

2 Responses to “Speaking of faith, here’s a nice insight from Tippett”

  1. revdrsusant Says:

    On Being–I still prefer the previous name, Speaking of Faith, always causes me to think and on numerous occasions has provided me with sermon content. I usually listen to it as a podcast. Always thoughtful questions from Krista Tippett who is excellent with interviewing her guests as they reveal who they are and where their heart is centered.

    • brentwhite Says:

      Yeah. “On Being” is very nebulous to me. I need to listen more. “This American Life” provides sermon material for me!


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