Society has lost the ability to agree to disagree. You’re either in or you’re out — choose your side of the fence and cut yourself off from the other side. Debate and dialogue has been largely reduced to abusive tweets and inflammatory accusations.
But as Christians, we must know how to disagree respectfully, and engage in dialogue while remaining true to our convictions.
That is where pastor Drew Sokol and philosopher Cory Markum can help to inspire us. These friends host a podcast, Hinge, dealing with real issues of doubt, identity and the search for the real Jesus. The podcast shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Religion and Spirituality podcast charts as soon as it was released.
Despite being worlds apart in their respective beliefs and worldviews, the pair manages to engage in fascinating discussions on many of life’s biggest questions.
Cory talked to Relevant Magazine about his experiences growing up. He was brought up in a Christian home but began to become disillusioned with the whole thing. That being said, he wouldn’t say he came to an intellectual conclusion to reject God.
“There’s this idea that you come to atheism purely through an intellectual process of thinking through all the issues and questions analytically. But that’s clearly not true. Atheists are humans too. There’s all sorts of emotions and life experiences that are all caught up in this crazy thing that we call life,” he told Relevant.
He admits he went through a period of “militant” atheism, before realizing that this was a highly unproductive way of engaging the other side.
“I went into like a militant atheist phase. I’m kind of embarrassed about that now, cause all I wanted to do is argue and prove other people wrong—a very Dawkins and Sam Harris kind of guy. And then I think over time it kind of matured and evolved into something else. I’m more interested in having productive conversations.
Understanding the other side and making sure they understand me as well, and then, who knows what will happen. Hopefully we can at least make some progress.”
Drew explained how it is of the utmost importance people of differing viewpoints are able to engage in decent discussion. It seems simple, but it is something that has been largely lost in our public discussion.
“I think there’s always a part of you that wants to convince the other person. [But] I think entering into conversation [that says] either way, I can understand them a lot better and I can understand why people view something a little differently than the way I do. I think that’s enough of a positive to shoot for,” he told Relevant.
The guys are under no illusion that it is unlikely for one of them to be convinced of the other’s views, but that doesn’t stop them from engaging in fruitful and important discussion.
“Both Corey and I expect that we’re gonna keep our own views, but we’ve really been intentional to try and say “I could be wrong and I want to explore the potential that I’m wrong,” said Drew.
Learn more about Hinge here.