April 1, 2003
Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation
Volume 1:1 Spring 2003
Welcome to the maiden voyage of Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation. What you are seeing is the result of hundreds of conversations—honest dialogue among friends about how real change happened in their lives—and why it didn’t.
In this inaugural issue of Conversations Journal, published in 2003, founding editors Gary Moon, David Benner, and Larry Crabb invite readers into honest dialogue about living life in the Kingdom of God. Their vulnerable and authentic talks inspired the journal’s name, Conversations, and paved the way for fifteen years’ worth of content on becoming like Christ.
“Yes, honest dialogue is healing. Pouring from oneself into another gives life—whether the words are audible or in print, whether they are found in the mouths of peasants or the lives of saints.
So the more we talked, the more we dreamed. And after a while, most of the dreaming was about a bigger table where others could sit too and join in: Orthodox and Pentecostals, Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, liberals and fundamentalist, pulling up chairs and putting differences aside to discuss what they hold in common—the desire to live life in love with God and each other. The desire to be transformed into a thinking, feeling, willing, behaving, and relating image of Christ.”
What was unique about the journal was the variety of Christian traditions represented among the writers, editors, and readers. As David G. Benner put it in this first issue, “Expecting everyone to meet God in the same way fails to take account of the infinite creativity of God in encountering us where we are, and in ways that will help us hear the still, small voice within.” The editors aimed to have a “seat at the table” for everyone, and curated articles and interviews which gave readers a variety of ways to experience God, and learn from those in traditions other than their own.
We invite you to join the conversation—find a comfortable place to rest a bit with this issue, and see how God might be speaking to you through the words of these writers. You'll get to hear from Brennan Manning, Dallas Willard, and others. Juliet Benner wrote a lovely meditation on Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity. It is a treat for the senses, and a wonderful way to slow down and receive the gift of God’s presence through this spiritual practice.
We’ve also provided a deeper look into the theme of the issue through a class written by Joannah Sadler on Father Gregory Rogers article. He explores themes of spiritual transformation through Isaiah’s vision of God. We invite you to read that article, then use the questions and spiritual exercises provided by Joannah to accompany it. See Class Here.