Please, let’s look at some old words in a new (even older) way. To converse comes from con-(a prefix meaning “with’) and -vers(a word meaning “turns” or “taking turns”). Conversation means “taking turns with someone,” that is both listening and speaking, mediated by thinking.
Dialogue comes from dia-(a prefix meaning “with”) and -logo (Christian, do your eyes light up here? It means “the word”). So dialogue means “through the word.”
Are you aware of any culture that does not have some form of rite wherein people, however limited, sit in a circle and dialogue, or at least converse? This is a rite of passage. When societies reduce government to a vote, the next thing that happens is sides form, adversaries arm and the greater good dies before the onslaught of the politically expedient (“This is the best bill we can get passed. Neither side wants it.”).
So, last week, we sat down with my rabbi friend and loved on each other. There was dialogue. A rite of passage occurred.
If I understand the disciple-making evangelism of Jesus, our Lord invites people, usually Jews, to walk with him, talk with him, eat with him and to join him in his ministry. Some come for awhile, some for a meal, some for good, some for evil. He just keeps inviting them. He just keeps including them.
Apparently, the choice of companions is still an issue and that is alright. I am not questioning the motives of anyone or the sincerity of any critic.
I do want to find myself always in the company of those whose mere presence causes good religious people to question me. Jesus is always doing that and I think He is the best guy I know.
Albert Reyes says there are two main things that keep most people from becoming Christian. That is:
1. They do not know a Christian.
2. They do know a Christian.
I desparately want to be one whose presence helps point people to Christ. I don’t want to offend those who already know Him, either. You guys and girls help me with the dialogue. Through the words, I find the Word and am found by the Word.
Peace and love.