About Bridging the Divide

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Communication Strategies for Bridging Differences

In network studies, a “bridge” is a node – human or technological – which connects different groups or clusters through a “weak tie.”  These bridges make “six degrees of separation” possible by connecting the otherwise unconnected.  (See Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks p. 42 by Mark Buchanan)

Through my experience as an English as a Second Language Troy_headshotinstructor, I have gained quite a bit of insight into cross-cultural communication.  I have spent much of my adult life serving as a bridge between cultures, whether between the cultures of my international students in the US or between Americans and those of other cultures.  People talk about a “culture war” here in the US as though it is something inevitable, but I have hope that there can be reconciliation and Christian unity.

at Green Springs Gardens

at Green Springs Gardens

Jesus said that His followers would be known by their love (John 13:35), but Christians today are known for their judgment of anyone who disagrees with them, whether inside or outside the church.  It is my position that the Kingdom of God is not served by the divisive language that is all too frequently employed.  That there is an “us” and “them” in the Christian community must sadden the heart of God. That one must be either “liberal” or “evangelical” takes such a narrow view of what it means to be “Christian”.

My intention for this blog is to enable Christians to engage in dialogue with other Christians as well as with those outside the Christian faith, those with whom they disagree on the issues of our day.  There are so many things that need to be addressed in this world, such as pursuing justice for the oppressed within US borders and beyond.  It is time to listen to each other so that together we can find solutions to the issues that threaten our communities, our society, our nation, and our world.

dialogue, not diatribe
discourse, not dismissal
reconciliation, not retribution
the open exchange of ideas, not the closed explication of ideologues

I am currently writing on a rotating schedule of topics each month:

Week 1 – Dreams & Purpose
Week 2 – Connected Influence
Week 3 – Conflict Resolution
Week 4 – Personal Development & Growth
Look for new content on Tuesdays!
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