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Friendship is a beautiful and potent thing, and one of the uncommon joys of writing for First Things is that it allows unexpected friends, such as ourselves—a Catholic archbishop and a conservative Presbyterian—to delight in working together with a spirit of mutual support and respect.

Here we stand, on the shared ground of love for Christ and the towering doctrines contained in the great creeds of the church, to face our common challenges: the conflicts of the age, the worldliness of the churches—the perennials of life in a fallen creation. 

And yet at First Things we do not have to diminish or ignore the differences that still exist between our communions in order to engage in such collaboration. First Things friendships respect differences as opportunities, not roadblocks, for constructive engagement with the world. 

In our fragmented culture, that combination of conviction and respect is rare. But it is also powerful: First Things, by precept and example, in content and in ethos, shows others that Christians across the orthodox spectrum can make thoughtful common cause against the dehumanizing spirit of this present age, even in these fractious times.

If you too have found friendship, encouragement, and common cause in First Things, please consider contributing to the First Things spring campaign.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., is the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia.

Carl Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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Photo by Alice Chodura via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

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