Spring 2013 | Volume 31, Issue 1
In a fragmented world, we get posturing, pronouncements, and political ultimatums. In other words, we get just the sort of public discourse we deserve: emotive appeals that shame our opponents, coupled with sabre-rattling denouncements that rally our troops. What's important is that we preach loud enough to be sure everyone in our choir hears us.
Well, we're not willing to play by these rules. So this issue of Comment is devoted to recovering a lost art: persuasion.
- On Slow Learning
Editorial: The Lost Art of Persuasion
We believe in persuasion as a mode of convicted charity—willing to meet one's interlocutors where they are, while unapologetically hoping to change their mind.
Persuading in a Divided Age: The Christian's Privilege
Persuasion should be based in discovering the reality of real people's lives.
Pilgrimage and Paradigm Shifts
In "Great Tradition" Christianity we find friends in the faith who we thought were opponents.
Why Christian Schooling Matters
The founding headmaster of the Stony Brook School synthesized the church fathers into five words: All truth is God's truth.
Persuasion in Education
Persuasion is a sensibility and a capacity that a good education cultivates in students.
Can Forgiveness Mute Justice?
How, wonders Nicholas Wolterstorff, have vengeance and "the reciprocity code" survived the crystal clear teaching of Jesus?
"Perfume from a Dress": How Poetry Persuades
Great poetry moves us because we remember it.
Social Media and its Hidden Persuaders
Facebook and its peers don't just mediate our social lives, they help to constitute them.
The (Not So Hidden) Persuaders
As I creatively market a brand through storytelling, I believe that truth wins and beauty uplifts the human spirit.
Earning Your Voice
"I was a participant in a shared human enterprise, rather than a combatant against the enterprise. That was crucial."
An Undersung Art
We need wordsmiths willing to speak with care and courage into a public forum where language is so often hijacked, held hostage, abused.
Slow Organizing for Kingdom Come
Community development means learning how to listen, persuade, negotiate, compromise, and reconcile.
Trade and Mutual Aid
There is no system that is incorruptible, but at its best, free trade orients us toward the good of others.
The Pros of Christian Organizations
Christian organizing isn't about frenetic imperialism—it's a passion to bring Christ's easy yoke to all facets of society, freeing us from captivities.
Protest and Persuasion: Productive or Pointless?
A public protest can be an effective means of enacting positive change, but only if it is done right.
The Devil's Advocate: Perfection Waits for Another World
Political obedience in our broken societies is not painted in black and white.
In Defense of Litigation
Dignity, reason, order, freedom, security . . . litigation gives voice to society's values—and its weaknesses.
Reading Others, Reading Ourselves
We read memoirs so we can view both self and others with a more tender and convicting eye.