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Home » The Commons

The 4.74 degrees of separation between you and me

Submitted by on November 30, 2011 – 4:00 pm3 Comments

So, apparently, the six degrees that used to separate you and me has shrunk. The number of people separating anyone from anyone else in the world is now 4.74.

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The 4.74 degrees of separation between you and me


  • Jonna says:

    I have only read a few of your articles in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, but sad to say I have been disappointed by all of them. As a lay person reading the religion page in the newspaper I am always so excited when one of your articles appears. At last, some one who is going to write about Jesus as our Savior and how this is the core of Lutheran theology. Each time I am so disappointed. While you may be representing yourself and your ideas you are not representing our church body.

    Maybe I don’t understand the mission of this section of the newspaper. But I expect my church to be using every venue it has to proclaim Jesus as my Redeemer, the core of the Christian faith.

    • Travis Scholl says:

      I regret your disappointment, Jonna. Although I’m grateful you keep reading! I believe you are accurate when you mention the “mission” of the Saturday religion page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. What the newspaper expects from its writers is civil public discussion on the issues of the day from people of faith. Part of that expectation is to provide commentary that promotes dialogue among people of a wide spectrum of faiths, and not as a pulpit for our own denominations. I sometimes find this limitation frustrating (perhaps not as frustrating as you do), but I am grateful for the forum they provide and the opportunity they give me to speak within it. This is especially true when I consider all the newspapers across the country that are eliminating their religion coverage altogether and laying off their religion reporters.

      I believe if you looked at the comments to my posts at the online site (, you will find that I’m more straightforward about my own faith when I respond to those comments. In other writings too, like my occasional columns for the Lutheran Witness magazine, I am much more explicit about our faith in Jesus Christ as the core of Lutheran theology.

      For what its worth, I believe that a faithful Christian witness to the world encompasses all we say and do as human beings and citizens. We provide a powerful witness to the world when we are able to speak with others with civility and respect no matter the topic or issue. This builds the kind of trust that allows us to then speak genuinely with others about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer.

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