Public Discourse

“The offense caused by the truth does not detract from the necessity of the truth. On the other hand, rash words can devastate.”

"The Latin term ad hominem literally means 'to the man.' ... 'attacking the person of a source rather than his or her qualifications or reliability, or the actual argument he or she makes.'" - Ref21 

178 reads

Facts don't matter to the already-made-up mind

"In a recent article, Dennis Prager lists four practices that are destroying America from the inside. One of those he outlines is demonization, where an entire class or group of people is labeled as inherently evil. Heather Mac Donald’s WSJ editorial challenged this very thing." - CPost

468 reads

Is Social Media the New Responsible Realm for Influencers or the Battleground for Fools?

"What we often end up doing is speaking before listening, and driving wedges between people who should live in love and unity. I read one writer recently on Facebook who said that spiritual leaders have a responsibility to use social media as a channel for influence, but there are some major obstacles .... I am just going to be transparent here about my own problems and concerns about posting on social media." - P&D

223 reads

Arguments and “narratives” aren't the same thing

"Arguments tend to be focused on facts and logic.... A person presents arguments in the hope that someone else will have their understanding or thinking altered as they consider the arguments.... Narratives, on the other hand, tend to be focused on personal stories and experiences. ... Increasingly, the discourse in our culture is bereft of arguments but filled with competing narratives." - Ben Edwards

252 reads

“We seem to feel free to pass along rumors and insinuations, as long as they further our agendas.”

"...assigning motives to actions is hardly a godly thing to do. These “discernment” guys generally seem to regard themselves as having a nearly infallible insight into the minds and hearts of those they bite and devour." - SBC Voices

246 reads

“Social-media platforms have transformed over time to reward mob mentalities instead of civil discourse.”

"Managing social media for a large Christian organization, I see Christians shine the bright light of the gospel and mercilessly eviscerate others online every single day. I fear many of us have fallen into feedback loops created by algorithms intended to generate engagement, and have lost sight of our calling to be known by our mutual love (John 13:34–35)." - TGC

228 reads

Christians—Our Loyalty Is to Truth, Not Political Party or Brand

Main points:

  1. Only Scripture is infallible.
  2. Truth is more powerful than human leadership.
  3. “Our” sources aren’t always right.
  4. “Their” sources aren’t always wrong.
  5. We should seek genuine understanding, even of what we reject.

In the midst of controversy, it’s often hard to tell what problems have been created and what problems have merely been revealed. Whatever we might say about problems the election and impeachment of Donald Trump has created, it has certainly revealed some!

One of the most serious Trump-revealed problems is that many Christians who claim to revere the Bible lack truly biblical habits for evaluating truth claims. As a result, they also aren’t very good at judging the ethics of situations that aren’t directly addressed in Scripture. This is important, not only from the perspective of citizenship and voting, but for Christian living in general: we face conflicting truth claims about all sorts of things every day.

Those of us who are involved in preaching and teaching ministries have an opportunity to help with this problem. We should teach a genuinely Christian (biblical) view of truth and how to evaluate truth claims. That view includes five principles.

Principle 1: Only Scripture is infallible.

Christians understand that God is completely reliable on the subject of reality, which is what I mean here by “truth”—what actually is.

3333 reads

'Golden Rule 2020': Churches pray for civility in presidential election

"Known as 'Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics,' the prayer campaign [began November 3], as it marks exactly one year before the election. Golden Rule 2020 was part of the Revive Civility project, which is overseen by the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse." - Christian Post

283 reads