Public Discourse

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.

1752 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

207 reads

LifeWay research: evangelicals' views on civility and respect in public discourse

"Two in 3 Americans with evangelical beliefs (66 percent) believe being civil in political conversations is productive, with 22 percent dissenting and 12 percent not sure...While 58 percent say they tend to believe those who disagree with them have good motivations, 54 percent say when they disagree with someone politically, the other person tends to take it as a personal attack." - BPNews 

226 reads

Love Your Enemies, Even on Social Media

"Union Seminary’s actions deserve criticism; confessing and praying to plants is full-on paganism and should be named as such. But deserving criticism and even denunciation does not supersede Jesus’ commands to speak and act charitably nor undo Paul’s admonition found in Ephesians 5 where followers of Christ are commanded to 'walk in love, as Christ loved us.'" - John Ellis

685 reads

Handling Controversy With Rules of Persuasion

"No matter the theological issue, we can be sure that a litany of quick-fire responses often only exacerbate the issue for those who are in need of biblical instruction and theologically nuanced clarity. To that end, I would suggest that the antiquarian tripartite modes of persuasion (i.e. ethos, logos, and pathos) are helpful when seeking to engage in theological controversy." - Church Leaders

251 reads

"Without maintaining at least some cultural norms, all the formal law in the world can’t save a polity from becoming a nasty, poor, brutish dystopia."

"... by using presidential rhetoric more to praise cooperators than to slay perceived enemies, the next Oval Office inhabitant should re-inspire a sense of shared identity and common purpose." - Washington Examiner

298 reads

“The Christian Twitterverse is often embarrassing on this score, betraying both shallowness of thought and also cavalier contempt for the reputations of others.”

"Bandying terms like ‘cultural Marxist’ and ‘racist’ around simply as a way of avoiding real argument is shameful and should have no place in Christian discourse." - Carl Trueman

508 reads