Getting out of Our Trenches to Meet in No-Man’s Land

Main Article Content

Helen Paynter


The penetration of the culture wars into the church on both sides of the Atlantic is a deeply worrying trend. The two polar extremes are pulling hard, and in opposing directions, with a huge breakdown in trust, respect, and courtesy. People are being hurt or becoming disillusioned, and the name of God is not glorified. How can we rebuild trust and unity in this climate? In this article, I offer three biblical tools: self-criticism, from Amos; the concept of no-man’s land, developed from the Joshua narrative; and compassionate listening, from Job. The article then considers, as a worked example, how these virtues might operate with regard to one particular shibboleth of our time: Critical Race Theory.

Article Details

Author Biography

Helen Paynter

Revd Dr Helen Paynter is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, Bristol Baptist College.