“Kindness frees us to hold deep moral convictions, minus the vitriol.” Barry H. Corey
Barry H. Corey is the eight president of BIOLA University, the alma mater of three of my four “kids.” His newly published book, Love Kindness, is filled with so many quote-worthy words that I’ll spend two blogs sharing his thoughts with you. Consider this my version of a book review. I offer it with my recommendation that you pick up a copy of the book. But if you don’t, at least you’ll have my highlights.
First, though, a few words a Washington Post interview with President Corey, published on Feb 24, 2016:
“As president of a Christian university, I am watching with worry how the rising generation perceives incivility from the evangelical tribe. I have been guilty of lobbing my own acerbic one-liners at people who have ideas I don’t like…when we could be on the streets serving neighbors, we are on social media rattling sabers. We have used our hands less to serve than to shake our fists. We’ve used our voices far more than we’ve used our ears…
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for how often Christians have disregarded God’s call for his people to ‘do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your god’ (Micah 6:8).”
But lest you think that Dr. Corey is ready to sacrifice his spiritual and moral convictions on the altar of “getting along,” here’s one more quote from that interview:
“Kindness that bends to accept as valid everyone else’s viewpoint is not kindness. We can be kind and strong in our perspective. Kindness is not built thoughtlessly on the cliché that we should “agree to disagree,” never engaging in conversation. Kindness opens doors and transforms minds more often than a bullhorn ever could.”
Here, now, is just one of the quotes I wish to share, with more to come next week. The pages where they are found are indicated in parentheses. As you read, you’ll get the false impression that Love Kindness is a highly philosophical treatise. Hardly. The pages are filled with honesty, transparency, and humor as Dr. Corey takes readers along on his journey from Boston to California, teenage son in tow, and climbs the learning curve unavoidable in his first weeks as a college president. Somehow, by the time he is settled in the L.A. suburbs, we’ve learned a whole lot about living out Micah 6:8.
“‘Love kindness’ is the partner of ‘do justice.’ If doing justice is the firm center, then loving kindness is the soft edges. Both are what God expects of us, not one or the other.” (xxii)
I hope that whets your appetite. “Tune in” next week for two dozen more bits of wisdom from Kindness.