Seeing Gray In A World Of Black And White: Thoughts On Religion, Morality, And Politics
Brand: Abingdon Press

Seeing Gray In A World Of Black And White: Thoughts On Religion, Morality, And Politics

  • Publish Date: 2008-04-01
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Adam Hamilton

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Everyone agrees that America is polarized, with ever-hardening positions held by people less and less willing to listen to one another. No one agrees on what to do about it. One solution that hasn't yet been tried, say Adam Hamilton, is for thinking persons of faith to model for the rest of the country a richer, more thoughtful conversation on the political, moral, and religious issues that divide us.

Hamilton writes: I don't expect you to agree with everything I've written. I expect that in the future even I won't agree with everything I've written here. The point is not to get you to agree with me, but to encourage you to think about what you believe. In the end I will be inviting those of you who find this book resonates with what you feel is true, to join the movement to pursue a middle way between the left and the right --to make your voices heard-- and to model for our nation and for the church, how we can listen, learn, see truth as multi-sided, and love those with whom we disagree.

Newsweek:
How Would Jesus Choose?
By Lisa Miller April 14, 2008

Adam Hamilton does not call himself pro-choice. He prefers pro-life with a heavy heart. What that means, as he explains in his new book Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, is that he believes abortion should be available and legal, that there are instances in which it might be necessary and that those instances should be very rare. Further, he says, the abortion debate has been too hot for too long, and that, as a Christian minister, his job is to try to support people no matter what decision they make. As an evangelical megachurch pastor in Kansas, a man educated at Oral Roberts University, Hamilton speaks carefully, aware that he's staking out a controversial position.

Or maybe not. About a third of white evangelicals say that abortion should sometimes or always be legal, according to the Pew Research Center a number that hasn't changed in a decade. In recent election seasons, however, these moderate voices have been drowned out by hard-line shouting on both sides. In the past, an evangelical who might condone abortion in the case of his ailing wife or 14-year-old daughter would never say so in public. Now, the abortion rhetoric has faded somewhat as evangelicals turn their attention to other things: AIDS, the environment, Darfur. In 2004, megapastor Rick Warren announced that abortion was a nonnegotiable for evangelical voters. This year, he's been silent. What's new, then, is not that a pastor like Hamilton would take a softer approach to abortion, but that he would feel comfortable enough to say so from the pulpit and in print.

Hamilton wants pro-choice and pro-life advocates to join forces to reduce the number of abortions and he enumerates seven areas where they could find common ground. Let both sides agree that adequate information about birth control can help prevent pregnancy, he says. And let both sides agree that the longer a pregnancy progresses, the more morally problematic an abortion becomes.

As for his heavy heart, Hamilton comes by it honestly. Seven years ago he received a letter from a parishioner describing her own teenage pregnancy in the years before Roe, the pressure from her parents to abort and her refusal to do so in spite of the cost. That letter was from his mother.


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