Clear Thinking

Consistent Inconsistency: 4 Ways to Address Churchgoers’ Contradictory Beliefs

"The average person in your pews isn’t setting out to be a heretic, but they’ve not taken the time to learn how Christian doctrine forms a cohesive tapestry that holds together." - Lifeway

Related: Eric Geiger: What the ‘Alarming’ State of Theology Report Means for the Church - C.Leaders

117 reads

When “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” Is All the Logic Left

"Our field of reasoning goes only so far as the stories take us, and no further. ... the validity of any argument must, indeed, can only be demonstrated through a personal narrative. Do I believe that the healthcare profession is completely corrupt, full of greedy, lying malpractitioners? I need only share my personal story of falling afoul of poor medical care" - Ref21

182 reads

Gospel Coalition to launch Good Faith Debates video series

"Starting May 4, we’re releasing a five-part video debate series featuring prominent Christian thinkers discussing some of the most divisive issues facing the church today. . . .  we hope to model this—showing that it’s possible for two Christians, united around the gospel, to engage in charitable conversation even amid substantive disagreement." - TGC

249 reads

Book Review of Logic and the Way of Jesus: Thinking Critically and Christianly, by Travis Dickinson

Catastrophic Consequences

Something has changed. Christianity no longer shapes society. Culture-shifting Christian thinkers, artists, musicians, and writers have all but disappeared. The church is no longer able to meet the intellectual challenges it now faces. Why has this happened and what can be done about it? These are the questions Travis Dickinson, professor of philosophy at Dallas Baptist University, seeks to answer in his new book, Logic and the Way of Jesus: Thinking Critically and Christianly (B&H Academic, 2022).

Dickinson begins his book by asserting that the Christian faith has become less reflective and intellectual and more emotional and experience-based. Instead of valuing a Christian intellect, many Christians have detached their faith from reason and have embraced a growing anti-intellectualism within the church. Because of this intellectual decay, the church has become irrelevant and impotent in shaping the culture for Christ. To reverse this intellectual famine in the church, Christians must once again obey Jesus’ command to pursue God intellectually (Matt. 22:36–38). This intellectual pursuit involves learning to think critically and think Christianly about all of life (p. 8).

1828 reads

How Do You Decide Who’s Right?

One of the ways the Greek rhetors of old used to classify arguments was under the headings of ethos, pathos, and logos.1 Ethos referred to character and credibility: arguments appealing to one’s reputation, standing, experience, expertise, and trustworthiness. 2 Pathos referred to longings, drives, appetites—and what we today call emotions. Logos had to do mainly with facts and reasoning.

Those skilled in rhetoric were able to use all three in the work of persuasion, emphasizing one or the other depending on the situation.

The three categories of rhetorical argument also work pretty well for analyzing how we tend to approach conflicting views—and how we decide who’s right. In turn, that can help us better understand one another and better discipline our own thinking toward wise discernment.

2723 reads