By Nick Dennig | Contributor
My name is Nick Dennig, and I support Excalibur. I am a Christian who is also a conservative, and I affirm the theological and moral-social positions articulated in the first section of the article by Excalibur. I believe the positions in the article are supported biblically and through church tradition. The sanctity of life, a creationist worldview, traditional marriage among other issues and stances are supported throughout scripture.
I want to highlight Excalibur's understanding of the Imago Dei and its importance to any conversation we enter into. Seeing others who are different than us as image bearers completely changes the way we enter conversations. As Excalibur emphasizes, there is common ground to be had by Christians on both sides of the aisle if we all acknowledge that every human being, born and unborn, is created in the image of God. I believe Excalibur does an excellent job of allowing the Imago Dei to serve as a foundation to their viewpoints.
Beth Felker Jones and Jeffery W. Barbeau emphasize the importance of the humans bearing the image of God in their book "The Image of God in an Image Driven Age: Explorations in Theological Anthropology" and say, "Beginning with the conviction that the doctrine of the image of God (often written using the Latin Imago Dei) offers truth and health in a culture inundated with images . . ." (Page 12). Our society has distorted images of those that disagree with us because of our clickbait, social-media-driven culture.
Rather, we should see others as created in the image of God; our conversations have a starting point when we do this. I, as a conservative, immediately respect and desire to hear what others have to say because of the Imago Dei. Do I act in this way perfectly? Absolutely not. Am I a broken and fallen individual who has so much to learn and grow in? Yes I am. But I believe that the Imago Dei can bring us to a point of entering into conversations on hard issues.
Secondly, we should strive to have open-mindedness when it comes to these issues. Professor of philosophy and religion Jim Spiegel, in the article, "Open Mindedness and Intellectual Humility," says, "The open minded person tends to be more irenic less dogmatic than those who are closed-minded," (Page 35). Open-mindedness is a virtue we have been afforded here at Taylor, and people on both sides should steward it well.
The one criticism of Excalibur I agree with is that I do not think it should be anonymous. I believe the reasonable positions articulated by Excalibur should have names next to them. As a supporter of Excalibur, I want to engage in conversations with those who disagree with me and learn from them.
I do want to know your positions about these topics, but I care much more about your story. I believe if we enter into conversations seeing the person sitting across from us as an image bearer with a unique and handcrafted story by a God who loves unconditionally, our conversations will be more honest, more heartbreaking, more difficult and more rewarding. It is in these moments where we can see how the person sitting next to us is uniquely created by God.
Many believe that those on the right do not want to engage in these conversations for a plethora of reasons. But I have seen and know there are many conservatives on this campus who want to talk about these issues in thoughtful and meaningful ways.
My name is Nick Dennig, I support Excalibur, and I want to hear your story.