A response to "Dress code" Case by case: Case by case

Read Ellen Blue's fictional narrative first.

While this is a “teachable moment,” Bill’s knock on the door will remind his minister that the words uttered at previous teachable moments in the pulpit and in the classroom have fallen on rocky soil. Bill attends worship regularly and even stays an extra hour for adult education. He has a vague awareness that how he drives his car and what he does in the office has something to do with his faith. That he prefers private to public places as an architect might suggest to us that Bill is more apt to act unobtrusively as a disciple than he is to articulate the gospel in public—more apt to “show” rather than “tell.”

Now he finds himself in a situation where his speech and action have everything to do with his faith. Despite a lifetime of listening to sermons that have wrestled with the complicated relationship between God’s chosen people and God’s adopted children, Bill does not know his mind on the matter. He also finds himself lost between two people who do: one whose newfound faith makes Bill long for a deeper commitment to God in his own life and another whose brand of commitment to the singular truth of the Christian religion makes him nervous.