I want to say a word about friendship. The foreward to After the Election is written by my friend Scotty McLennan. Our paths crossed when I was a newly minted campus leader for Cru at Stanford University and he was appointed Dean for Religious Life. Scotty is both a lawyer and an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Church. He would describe himself as a progressive or liberal Christian and wrote his book, Jesus Was a Liberal in 2009. We see Christianity and some of its social implications differently, but during our time working together we sat on panels together, lectured in classes together, and worked on several projects together. Through all this we became good friends.
We would meet fairly regularly to talk about faith, Stanford football, our families, and questions that we had. One of the things that I appreciated about Scotty the most was his commitment as the dean to create religious & interfaith conversations based on an authentic expression of each religious tradition. He didn’t try to wash out some of the important distinctions of each tradition to make the conversation easier. He thought that these kind of conversations would produce a more authentic faith and would allow Stanford students to grow in their own faith or explore a different religious tradition on their own terms.
The other thing that I appreciated about Scotty was his generosity. He believed the best about people until they gave him reason to believe otherwise. You can see this generosity in the “Foreward” to my book. Sometimes we thought about recording our personal conversations because they were so meaningful to both of us; in the end we decided that this wasn’t a good idea. My own faith is stronger because of these conversations. I appreciate his generous contribution to the book.