Editor’s Note: Both/And

“Polarization” and “division” are big buzzwords in our current time. We’re often faced with the need to identify ourselves as either one kind of person or another, to assign ourselves to either this camp or that one, to declare ourselves either for or against a certain person or cause. There are some good reasons for this, to be sure. Among them is our desire to follow Christ in the best way we can, to live into the kingdom life to which we are called, to become who we ought to be. We want to choose well and stand on the right side of things. Still, these days, there are pressures and temptations that push us to choose between these “either/ors” with no room for an alternative way.

In this issue, guest editor Brad Strawn explains the psychological phenomena of ambiguity and ambivalence and their importance in our lives. In his introduction and in his article, he points out the significance of resisting either/or thinking and of embracing a both/and perspective. To be clear: We’re not talking here of a tame “both sides” mentality or of a timid morality with a muted sense of what is right and wrong. We are talking about a way of living that does not bend to polarization or dichotomy in cases where there is a better path. Such both/and thinking shows itself in how we exist in the world, the things we value, and the way we perceive ourselves and others.

In this issue, Amy Drennan shares what it has meant for her to both hold fast to conviction and also embrace uncertainty. Edgar “Trey” Clark writes about preaching both pastorally and prophetically. Euiwan Cho considers the light and shadow in both collectivist and individualist societies. Michaela O’Donnell takes on the elusive question of holding both work and rest well. Additionally, Matthew Aughtry’s story tells of his tandem calling as both a pastor and a filmmaker. And in the profiles on Christin Fort and Mark Fields, each shows how celebrating our many identities and holding them together can bring us all into deeper understandings of Scripture, each other, and ourselves.

The stories and articles in these pages gift us with living pictures of what it looks like to hold seemingly polarized things simultaneously in our hands—whether identities, beliefs, or ways of living in this world. May they be helpful guides for us, as we learn in each of our own lives what it means to walk a both/and way.

Jerome Blanco

Jerome Blanco, Editor in Chief

“Polarization” and “division” are big buzzwords in our current time. We’re often faced with the need to identify ourselves as either one kind of person or another, to assign ourselves to either this camp or that one, to declare ourselves either for or against a certain person or cause. There are some good reasons for this, to be sure. Among them is our desire to follow Christ in the best way we can, to live into the kingdom life to which we are called, to become who we ought to be. We want to choose well and stand on the right side of things. Still, these days, there are pressures and temptations that push us to choose between these “either/ors” with no room for an alternative way.

In this issue, guest editor Brad Strawn explains the psychological phenomena of ambiguity and ambivalence and their importance in our lives. In his introduction and in his article, he points out the significance of resisting either/or thinking and of embracing a both/and perspective. To be clear: We’re not talking here of a tame “both sides” mentality or of a timid morality with a muted sense of what is right and wrong. We are talking about a way of living that does not bend to polarization or dichotomy in cases where there is a better path. Such both/and thinking shows itself in how we exist in the world, the things we value, and the way we perceive ourselves and others.

In this issue, Amy Drennan shares what it has meant for her to both hold fast to conviction and also embrace uncertainty. Edgar “Trey” Clark writes about preaching both pastorally and prophetically. Euiwan Cho considers the light and shadow in both collectivist and individualist societies. Michaela O’Donnell takes on the elusive question of holding both work and rest well. Additionally, Matthew Aughtry’s story tells of his tandem calling as both a pastor and a filmmaker. And in the profiles on Christin Fort and Mark Fields, each shows how celebrating our many identities and holding them together can bring us all into deeper understandings of Scripture, each other, and ourselves.

The stories and articles in these pages gift us with living pictures of what it looks like to hold seemingly polarized things simultaneously in our hands—whether identities, beliefs, or ways of living in this world. May they be helpful guides for us, as we learn in each of our own lives what it means to walk a both/and way.

Written By

Jerome Blanco, Editor in Chief

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Fuller Magazine

Mark Labberton, Clifford L. Penner Presidential Chair, considers the ways both/and living is an important part of the Christian life.