Christian faith demands a high view of human beings. If Christians are indeed called to compassionately steward our respective polities, then we are also called to a kind of civic engagement that wisely assesses our state of affairs with the type of nuance that transcends a liberal/conservative divide. Our public discourse, then, requires conversation over obstruction, vulnerability over combativeness, diversity, sacrifice and humility. In short, our civic lives require civic love.
Nicholas Kristof has been a columnist for The New York Times since 2001. Kristof has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of Tiananmen Square and the genocide in Darfur, along with many humanitarian awards such as the Anne Frank Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He grew up on a farm in Oregon, graduated from Harvard, studied law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and then studied Arabic in Cairo. He was a longtime foreign correspondent for The New York Times and speaks Chinese, Japanese and other languages. With his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, he has written several books, most recently “A Path Appears” (September 2014) about how to make a difference. Their last book, “Half the Sky,” was a No. 1 best seller. Mr. Kristof, who has lived on four continents and traveled to more than 150 countries, was The New York Times’s first blogger and has 1.4 million followers on Twitter, 1.3 million followers on Google+ and 600,000 followers on Facebook. Read his blog, On the Ground. Follow him on Google+, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. His column appears every Sunday and Thursday.
John Inazu is a Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He teaches courses in criminal law, law and religion, and the First Amendment. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related issues of political and legal theory. John is the author of Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference. He has written broadly for publications including USA Today, CNN, The Hedgehog Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. BSE and JD from Duke and PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Stephanie Summers is the CEO of the Center for Public Justice, an independent, non-partisan civic education and public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. that works to equip citizens, develop leaders and shape policy through a variety of initiatives including its publications Capital Commentary and Shared Justice. She is a co-author with Michael J. Gerson and Katie Thompson of Unleashing Opportunity: Why Escaping Poverty Requires a Shared Vision of Justice (Falls City Press, 2015). A frequent speaker and moderator, she also contributed a chapter to the edited volume The Church’s Social Responsibility (Christian Library Press, 2015), and has written for publications including Comment and Q Ideas.
Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000. He is also Chairman of Redeemer City to City, which starts new churches in New York and other global cities, and publishes books and resources for faith in an urban culture. In over ten years they have helped to launch over 250 churches in 48 cities. More recently, Dr. Keller’s books, including the New York Times bestselling The Reason for God and The Prodigal God, have sold over 1 million copies and been translated into 15 languages. Dr. Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary.