Michael Battle is an African-American who is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Virginia Theological Seminary. He has worked with Desmond Tutu in South Africa and is interested in the ways in which Christians can inhabit God's life and become emissaries of peace and reconciliation in a violent world. Battle believes that people can let go of anger, hurt feelings, and fixed ideas and learn how to be reconciling instead. He outlines five steps in this process: contrition and confession, which we can do ourselves, and repentance, forgiveness, and renewal, which are gifts of God. To shed further light on the subject, he presents a typology of reconciliation: the communal-justice model, the individual-peace model, the communal-peace model, and the individual-justice model.
Battle also presents many passages from the Bible to animate us toward more openness and hospitality toward others. There is so much hostility and tension in our world right now between conservatives and liberals, straights and gays, rich and poor, whites and people of color. Now is the time to practice reconciliation to bring change and renewal to all of our rifts with others.