I had originally envisioned all Conversation Circles being carried out locally, hosted by interested readers who want to model respectful conversation in their geographical settings. I still hope that happens frequently. But then a friend noted that in light of my purpose of facilitating forums for respectful conversation, there is no better place to model such conversation than on my own web site – an obvious great idea that had eluded me.

So, that feature has now been added to my web site. Instructions for initiating or joining an electronic Conversation Circle can be accessed at eCircles.

I hope that many readers will avail themselves of this new opportunity to initiate eCircles, and I encourage many other readers to join an eCircle of their choice.

I have just initiated an eCircle on The Elusive Search for Unity in the Christian Church. My keen interest in this topic flows from my belief that a prayer that Jesus offered to God has been unanswered; his prayer that all Christians “may be brought to complete unity” (John 17: 20-22). In that light, I am seeking conversation partners who are representative of a wide variety of Christian traditions, including persons who fit one or more of the following descriptions:

  •  Persons who are willing to share either painful personal experiences of disunity or encouraging expressions of unity within the Christian Church (a good subject for your initial posting on this eCircle)


  •  Scholars who have a particular interest in the topic of Christian Unity (including, but not limited to, scholars in the academic disciplines of religion, history and sociology) 


  •  Church leaders and active church laypersons from Christian denominations or movements that are struggling with the attempt to create unity in the midst of significant diversity in Christian belief and practice

The purpose of this conversation will be to gain greater clarity as to the reasons for disunity within the Christian Church, and to gain understanding as to how Christians can work together to forge greater unity. In particular, we will address eventually address all of the following questions:

  •  Why is there such great diversity in Christian belief and practice?


  •  Has this diversity in Christian belief and practice always been a characteristic of the Christian Church?


  • What are some of the approaches that have been taken to forge unity in the midst of the great diversity in Christian belief and practice, and how successful, or not, have these various approaches been?


  • Is there an adequate basis for forging unity in the midst of the great diversity in Christian belief and practice?


  • At the same time that we seek to forge unity in the midst of our diversity, how should we engage those Christians with whom we disagree about significant aspects of Christian belief and practice?

It is my hope and prayer that many readers who share my interest in this topic will decide to join my eCircle, and will encourage other friends and acquaintances to do likewise.

Use this link to skip directly to the eCircles page.

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