Published on September 24, 2013 by Steve Donaldson  

Dr. Steve Donaldson of the Samford University Center for Science and Religion will lead a six week seminar series at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church on the theme, "How to Have Difficult Conversations." Sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in Room 303 West from October 9 - November 13, 2013.

Synopsis: Christianity is full of paradoxes (e.g., lose life to save it, humble self to be great, first will be last) but some of the paradoxes for which Christians are best known are not ones about which we can be proud. There are, for example, the paradoxes of Christians who expect others to be open to what they have to say but aren’t willing to reciprocate, or those who stress eternal security but are afraid to confront difficult issues because they might lose their faith. And there continue to be Christians who fail to see that their interpretive stance might stand in need of some adjustment, despite the fact that even the most dedicated throughout Christian history have been subject to errors of discernment. Unfortunately, for these and other reasons, Christians frequently stumble when it comes to advancing creative approaches to difficult issues such as Biblical interpretation, ethics, or the claims of modern science. This six week seminar will explore the barriers that prevent Christians from being able to engage in constructive dialogue with those whose opinions differ from their own, explore how to maintain a productive open-mindedness while being true to the basic tenets of the faith, and consider why being able to do this is essential not only to personal growth but to the mission and ministry of the church.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.