Monday, July 13, 2015

Where do these people even come from?

i) On the latest front in the cultural wars, involving LGBT "rights," you have two basic groups that oppose Christian ethics. 

The first group consists of atheists. That's superficially consistent. We expect atheists to oppose Christian ethics. Mind you, it's inconsistent for them to support human rights, but their opposition to Biblical norms for gender and sexuality is predictable. 

ii) What's odd is the second group. You have people who presume to speak on behalf of Christianity, attacking Bible-believing Christians, and assuring the LGBT community that Christian ethics is fully compatible with homosexuality. 

Who are these people? Unlike the first group, which repudiates Christianity, the second group doesn't even know what Christianity is. They have no idea what Christianity stands for. Where do they come from? 

Are these professing Christians? "Progressive" Christians. Are they regular churchgoers? If so, what churches do they attend? Mainline denominations? "Open and affirming" churches? 

They make the most demonstrably ignorant statements about Jesus, the Bible, and Christendom. 

They say silly things like Jesus never judged anyone. Or that most Christians support "gay marriage." 

Have they ever read the Gospels cover-to-cover? Have they ever read the NT cover-to-cover? Have they ever read the OT cover-to-cover?

Have they ever read a classic exposition of the Christian faith, viz? the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Westminster Confession, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Augsburg Confession? These people remind me of John Derbyshire:

I was once hanging around in the National Review offices talking to an editor (since departed) who was also an Anglican, though an American one — which is to say, an Episcopalian. We got to talking about the Thirty-Nine Articles that define Anglican faith. Did she actually know any of the articles, I asked? No, she confessed, she didn't. I admitted that I didn't either. We looked them up on the internet. There we were, two intelligent and well-educated Anglicans, a fiftysomething guy and a thirtysomething lady, gazing curiously at the articles of the faith we had professed all our lives. That's Anglicanism. In England it is quite a common thing for some Anglican bishop to get into the news by saying publicly that the Virgin Birth, or some other point of doctrine, is most probably false, and worshippers shouldn't feel bad about not believing it. 
Working in America, and especially exchanging emails for several years with National Review readers, I lost my Anglican innocence. Take a fish out of water, it dies; take an Englishman out of Anglican England, his faith takes a blow. It doesn't necessarily die — I know plenty of cases where it didn't — but people of really feeble faith, like mine, need every possible support, and emigration knocks one prop away. In America, at any rate for most conservatives (taking my Episcopalian colleague as an exception), you are actually supposed to think about your faith, and even, for heaven's sake, read about it! With the keen immigrant's desire to be more native than the natives, I did my best with this, but found I constitutionally couldn't. The books sent me to sleep; and when I tried to think about Christianity, it all fell apart.

Do they know the first thing about global Christianity? What African and Asian Christians generally believe?

Even in the Western world, do they know the membership figures for evangelical denominations in contrast to mainline denominations?

In many cases, they regurgitate village atheist objections. Did they get that from Internet atheist sites?

Or are these irreligious people who get their information from Beliefnet, the "Progressive Christian" patheos channel, Matthew Vines, Rachel Held Evans, &c., then presume to lecture real Christians on Christian theology and ethics? 

The combination of their theological ignorance with their self-confidence is startling. They remind me of white protesters lecturing a black policeman (who grew up under Jim Crow) about racism:


  1. "Who are these people?"


    Seems like pretty good credentials to me.

    1. The fact that you think he represents good credentials says a lot about both of you, but nothing intellectually commendable.

    2. - PhD in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary
      - M.Div from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
      - Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University
      - Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University
      - Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at SBTS
      - Guest Teacher at Fuller Theological Seminary
      - Founder of Seeking The Kingdom class at First Baptist Church
      - Manuscript Reviewer for Journal of Christian Ethics
      - Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian Church
      - Pastoral Leadership Team at Northbrook Church
      - Youth Minister at St. Matthews Baptist Church
      - Ordained to Christian Ministry at Walnut Hills Baptist Church
      - Chapel Speaker/Retreat Leader at Dallas Baptist University
      - Lecture: Suffering in Marriage at Calvin Theological Seminary
      - Lecture: A Christian Vision for Marriage at Calvin College
      - Guest Lecturer at Oklahoma Baptist University
      - Founders Week Addresses at Biola University

      And that's just a small sampling of his credentials. Is he a professing Christian? Yes. Is he a regular churchgoer? Yes, in fact he's been in positions of leadership at churches, and lectured at mainstream, respected Christian universities.

      What are *your* credentials?

    3. I didn't raise the issue of credentials, you did, so the tu quoque fails.

      Yes, he has a resume. As far as that goes, Noam Chomsky's resume is far more impressive than Gushee's:

      Does that mean I should bow to Chomsky's political views?

      You're resorting to an illicit argument from authority. But, of course, lots of conservatives have "credentials" which match or exceed Gushee's.

      In addition, Gushee has been moving to the left.

      A professing Christian? A regular churchgoer? You mean, like Gene Robinson?

    4. Come on, Steve. You obviously painted Christians who disagree with you on homosexuality as not knowing anything about Christianity or Christian ethics. The issue here isn't whether Gushee is correct, it's whether he knows anything about Christianity and Christian ethics.

      Can you admit that David Gushee knows quite a lot about Christianity and Christian ethics, as is painfully obvious from his CV?

    5. Peter Singer has a very impressive resume, too. Should I bow to his views on infanticide, euthanasia, and bestiality?

    6. He's an example of a "progressive Christian." I mentioned that in my post.

    7. You suffer from deficient reading comprehension. I drew a distinction:

      "Or are these irreligious people who get their information from Beliefnet, the 'Progressive Christian' patheos channel, Matthew Vines, Rachel Held Evans, &c.?"

    8. Judas had a very impressive C.V. too.