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Showing posts from 2018

John Crist Demonstrates the Poor Thinking Skills of Modern Christians

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In a recent rant on Instagram, Christian comedian John Crist demonstrated just how bad modern Christians can be at critical thought. Now, to be honest with you, I had no idea who John Crist was until about 5 minutes ago, though a quick check of YouTube showed some of his comedy to be marginally entertaining. But perhaps he should stick with entertaining rather than trying to lecture believers on matters of substance.
The subject of Crist’s rant was the criticism Lauren Daigle has received regarding her failure, when questioned, to communicate the clear teaching of Scripture on the issue of homosexuality. There is no doubt that Daigle is wrong. Perhaps she is merely Scripturally illiterate, or she is capitulating to maintain her popularity, but she is wrong. In her interview with radio host Domenick Nati, she repeats the error that so many Christians have accepted – the conclusion that if I get to know someone living in immorality, and they don’t seem like a terrible person, then I mus…

Impressions of the Shapiro-MacArthur Interview

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I finally got around to listening to John MacArthur and Ben Shapiro’s discussion on Shapiro’s show from a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say that I am quite impressed. It is a discussion worth hearing, and I won’t rehash the entire thing, but you can go and listen to them here.
There are a couple of points upon which I differ slightly from MacArthur: First, I applaud his willingness to raise the question of whether the American Revolution was something Christians ought to have supported. I think it is an important discussion to have if for no other reason but that it encourages the politically-obsessed religious right to reconsider its eagerness to endorse wars and rebellion. Clearly, Christians should not be involved in revolts against the government, but to remain submissive to civil authority which God has ordained.
However, the American Revolution wasn’t really a revolution. It was a war waged by local governments against the government of Great Britain, rather than citizens …

The Many Dangers of "Woke" Christianity

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If you ever want a reason to question your faith in humanity, read the comments section of a controversial news story. For me, it is most difficult to read the comments that come from people arguing for a position with which I agree, but in all the most mean-spirited, unhelpful and generally idiotic ways.
Granted, comments sections generally draw in all the Internet's cousin Eddy's like a porch-light brings in moths at night, nevertheless, it forces me, and I imagine many other Christians to fight the urge to shout to anyone who will listen that "We aren't like those Christians."
I think this instinct is part of the draw of "woke" Christianity, which recasts Christianity into primarily a social justice philosophy. I think it comes from a not-so-wrong desire for a kinder gentler Christianity more preoccupied with meeting the needs of the hurting, than with shouting opinions through bull-horns on the street corner.
But, here be dragons. Progressive, or "…

Can You Recognize Media Bias?

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Bias often doesn't manifest itself through bald-faced lying. That is much too easy to counter and much too costly to the source's credibility.  Often it is carefully injected into media through loaded language and incomplete reporting of important details. A prime example of this is an AP report published by Snopes.com, entitled "Attorney General Launches 'Religious Liberty Task Force'" 

Here are some of the highlights:

The article claims that Session's statement, "nuns were being forced to buy contraceptives" is "not fully accurate," but it leaves that accusation hanging, with no supporting evidence or argument. We're supposed to believe that it's not accurate for the mere fact that the AP says it isn't. So, really, the writer is just voicing an unsubstantiated emotional opinion on Session's terminology.

At one point it describes Christian belief as "religious dogma." Show me a case where this term is anything…

Feeling Your Way to Error

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A belief based on emotion isn't necessarily wrong. You could conclude, for example, based upon nothing but a personal feeling, that it's morally wrong to take food from starving orphans, and you would be absolutely right. However, emotional thinking as a system for arriving at truth has a number of pitfalls that become more problematic the longer a person lingers on that path.

It often overlooks a greater good in favor of immediate results. For example, I don't want to see my child experiencing emotional pain, so I jump in to solve all of her interpersonal problems, and she never learns to solve problems on her own.

It often refuses to accept hard truths. For example, a friend dies in a car accident because she couldn't get her seatbelt unfastened fast enough. It was a million to one situation with no equipment malfunctions. Does that mean that seatbelts are bad and that someone should be prosecuted? No, but it does mean that for the multitudes of people that safety devi…

You're Not as Right as You Think You Are

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What does it mean to be so convinced that your opinion, judgment, or intuition is right that you can't conceive of any intelligent person disagreeing?

It means that you lack epistemic humility - regular humility's rarely discussed, mostly abandoned, stepbrother.

Epistemic humility is difficult because it comes with this simple acknowledgment: "I could be wrong." For many, that is an unbearable thought, especially when it relates to the ideas that are near and dear to our hearts. It brings psychological and emotional pain, even to the point of triggering the physiological "fight or flight" instinct designed for life and death situations.

Humans want to believe that we have an accurate and complete perception of how the world works. When that desire for certainty meets the uncertainty of our own fallibility, we are left with a vacuum that we are tempted to fill with dogmatism.

Dogmatism pushes us to devalue others for the sake of elevating our own feelings of…

Wrong Arguments on the Right Side

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“I strongly object to wrong arguments on the right side. I think I object to them more than to the wrong arguments on the wrong side.”  - G. K. ChestertonIn an observation that surprises no one who is paying attention, it turns out that today's Evangelical Christianity not only tolerates many wrong arguments, but often embraces and celebrates them. Yet, the one who dares to point them out risks the intense enmenty of members of the Evangelical/Conservative tribe. I will save you the particulars of the incident that most recently and painfully reemphasized this truth in my own life, but it is a problem that threatens to undermine the integrity of any ideology or movement. 
As Christians, we should select our arguments with the discriminating taste of a fine chef choosing ingredients for her signature dish. We don't choose ones that are "probably okay" or "good enough." We ought to choose only the best and reject the others, while abandoning any previously h…