Turning the Tide over Time: Kristof Speaks

When I got into this campus ministry gig, I wondered if I would ever see significant change in the fabric of society in my time.

Today, I got to read something I never thought I’d read – NY Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof actually calling his own liberal readership “snobs” and actually affirming evangelical Christians for their humanitarian work.  Granted, he also calls out Evangelicals of some of our junk as well, but still, this is overwhelmingly positive.

I would read and forward Kristof’s op-ed pieces to many friends who were absorbed in Christian culture to see how the rest of the world views Evangelicals.  Needless to say, I took a few whacks from friends who didn’t like me very much for putting this in their lap.

I remember when I got to design the first “World Changers” track at a conference for privileged fraternity and sorority students, talking about poverty and AIDS and how Christians are required to respond – and got lots of looks that I seemed crazy.  “You really think students are up for this stuff? Particularly the students with whom you work?”

Being on the leading edge can be fun – but sometimes the leading edge feels more like the bleeding edge. I’ve been called lots of names from other Christians over the years, and we saw our ministry numbers take hits when we started talking about difficult things.

But it’s reading stuff like this by Kristof that makes me realize that I actually am making a difference by calling students to what Rich Stearns and others are increasingly bringing greater attention to how the gospel must speak to the realities of our broken world.

Turning the tide over time is tough – but seeing gains like this makes it seem worth it.

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March 2010

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