Church, Culture, Reflections

Adam Hamilton is “Seeing Gray in a Black and White World”

As in the national election last fall, health care is now emerging as an issue that divides us to the left and to the right. Many of us find ourselves in the middle on this an other divisive issues. When we stand in the middle we are often accused of being soft, muddle-headed, wishy-washy, etc. Adam Hamilton, author of Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White (Abingdon Press, 2008), suggests that the middle with its gray is often exactly where we ought to be. As pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, Hamilton became increasingly uncomfortable with trying to align himself and his congregants with one particular side of the political aisle. He writes: “Each has valuable perspectives to offer, but each seems to see the world only in black and white terms. The problem is that sometimes things are gray, and we must train our eyes to spot them.” To address his concerns, Hamilton preached a five-week series on matters that most only hear about on Capital Hill. The outline of his book detailing this sermon series is listed below:

Introduction: Are Jerry Falwell and John Shelby Spong Our Only Options?

Part I: Seeing the Gray in a Black and White World

  • 01. Are you Liberal or Conservative?
  • 02. Straining Gnats
  • 03. “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…”
  • 04. Stage Five: Spiritual Maturity
  • 05. Finding the Sweet Spot
  • 06. Shhh! Just Listen!
  • 07. Being Pentacostal without Losing Your Mind

Part II: The Bible, Beliefs, and the Spiritual Journey

  • 08. The Battle Over the Bible
  • 09. The Galileo Affair
  • 10. Apes, Evolution, Adam and Eve
  • 11. Is Your Jesus Too Small?
  • 12. Will There Be Hindus in Heaven?
  • 13. The Logic of Hell
  • 14. Where Is God When Bad Things Happen
  • 15. In Praise of Honest Doubts
  • 16. The Messy Truth about Spirituality

Part III: Politics and Ethics in the Center

  • 17. Ethics and WWJD
  • 18. Abortion: Finding Common Ground
  • 19. Homosexuality at the Center
  • 20. The Question of War
  • 21. Faith and the Presidential Elections
  • 22. A Worthy Vision of America
  • 23. The Radical Center