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As followers of Jesus we face the daily challenge of navigating faithful living in the context of cultural realities.  And those of us who are leaders in congregations are constantly confronted with creating a safe place to inspire, inform, and engage believers in important conversations about our faith and the world.  This reality has prompted the Siburt Institute at Abilene Christian University to give voice to that dilemma.  Is it possible to be Christian and also deal with hard questions?

We think the answer is yes.  We also think that it takes courage and a little help from others!  In other words, the best place to ask hard questions is with believers who themselves have experience and wisdom and who are willing to share their own navigation over difficult terrain.

So here is what is emerging.  Beginning on September 7, the Siburt Institute will launch a series of videos entitled Contemporary Christian Conversations. The series is comprised of interviews exploring important issues in the context of personal stories. Randy Harris, spiritual director of the Siburt Institute, talks with committed Christ followers whose lives have been directly impacted by the subjects discussed.  Below you will find a brief note about the first three videos to be released.

To highlight the importance of these conversations, I want to especially note the video, Black Rage.  Over the past two years the conversations surrounding race in America have taken on new energy and urgency.  The problems and challenges of racial reconciliation are vast; they have been with us for a long time.  But one way to seek clarity and find a path forward might be to attend to some wise voices.  One wise voice comes from Steven Moore.  Dr. Moore bears witness to the pain of racial discrimination; he also demonstrates a possible path forward—a path marked by promise.  We think his conversation with Randy Harris will make for good conversations and perhaps even some redemptive action among disciples of Jesus Christ.

Disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to ask hard questions about matters of faith.  And when they seek to navigate hard questions, faithful living emerges.

Fall 2016 Overview and Release dates:

Black Rage.  Randy Harris interviews Dr. Steven Moore, Associate Professor of English and Director of the McNair Scholars Program, Abilene Christian University. Dr. Moore shares his personal experiences and perspectives on Black rage. He and Harris explore the complexities of being followers of Christ when racial injustices are commonplace. (Release date: September 7th, 2016)

Clean and Unclean. Randy Harris interviews Dr. Richard Beck, Department Chair and Professor of Psychology, Abilene Christian University. Dr. Beck explains our often-irrational reactions to things (and people) we perceive as “unclean.” He points out how practice is more important than preaching when attempting to address the resulting irrational behaviors. (Release date: October 7th, 2016)

The Crossroads of Art and Faith.  Randy Harris interviews Dan McGregor, Professor of Art and Design, Abilene Christian University. McGregor discusses the value of art to faith in an image-based culture. He highlights how art has the potential of conveying the divine in a way that words alone cannot. (Release Date: November 7th, 2016)