Discernment

“I lived in an alternate universe during 1972 and 1973, so I know ideological addiction.”

"My Communist Party addiction lasted only 16 months, but even then I needed God’s merciful intervention to leave that drug behind. Others, though, may be able to regain a grip on reality by popping their right-wing-media-only or left-wing-media-only bubbles. One way to do this is by deliberately developing a Twitter stream that includes both liberals and conservatives." - Olasky

470 reads

Russel Moore: How Do I Talk to People Who Fall for Conspiracy Theories?

"I’ve been asked this question more times and by more people than I can count over the past several weeks. ...First of all, realize that the wisdom is true that one cannot reason someone out of something one was never reasoned into in the first place. ...There is no easy step-by-step argument to pull someone out of a Facebook echo chamber. Even so, here are some suggestions." - Russel Moore

299 reads

Crisis of faith: How can Christians prevent political passion from turning to unholy furor?

Jeremiah Johnson, after publicly admitting January 7 that he had wrongly prophesied that Trump would win the election: “Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. … I truthfully never realized how absolutely triggered and ballistic thousands and thousands of saints get about Donald Trump. It’s terrifying. It’s full of idolatry.” - WORLD

585 reads

Conspiracy theories prevalent in churches, new LifeWay study finds

"A new study from Nashville-based Lifeway Research finds 49 percent of U.S. Protestant pastors say they frequently hear members of their congregation repeating conspiracy theories they have heard about why something is happening in the country." - BPNews

1628 reads

Waking Up After QAnon: How Can the Church Respond?

"As QAnon and other conspiracy theories begin to lose traction, pastors and church leaders face a decision. We can pretend that conspiracy theories were never really a threat to our congregation and simply move on unchanged.... Or, we can engage our people refocusing their attention back to the gospel and learn how we need to disciple better." - Stetzer & McDonald

4389 reads

“Since the question of falsifiability has cross-disciplinary value, it is a question that we should ask not only of our theological opinions, but also our political and medical and economic opinions”

"This brings me to another question of discernment, viz., the question of falsifiability, or, 'What would it take to change my mind?'" - Snoeberger

922 reads

“...sometimes we lose sight of this principle and become irrationally suspicious of the scientific community.”

"My point here is not to say that we must believe everything that the scientific community says about masks and social distancing and recommended shutdowns and vaccines. It is possible that there are some very terrible mistakes being made. But if so, they are just that: mistakes. The medical/scientific community at large are trying to bring the pandemic to a swift end; there is no logical reason why they would be collectively trying to dupe us all." - Snoeberger

1227 reads

Discernment in 2021: We Have Work to Do

Christians understand that they have a special relationship with truth. Our Savior described Himself as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and declared that faithfulness to Him leads to soul-freeing truth (John 8:31-32). Both Old and New Testaments exalt insight into truth, as “wisdom” (e.g., Prov. 4:5-7, Matt. 10:16) and “discernment” (Phil. 1:9, Heb. 5:14). We worship the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4, Psa. 31:5, Isa. 65:16), and are called to be lights of truth in the world (Phil. 2:15).

But we’re only human.

Though truth is central to our identity as Christians, we easily fail to see the practical implications of that. We forget who we are. We get confused. We get lazy. Soon, we’re tripping over the same obstacles unbelievers do and clinging to many of the same attractive lies.

In recent years, we face some special challenges.

The rise of “infotainment” means that, more than ever, our culture overvalues drama, emotion and visual dazzle over facts and reason. The most popular sources of information have a built in bias toward stimulating emotions and senses rather than provoking thought and sound judgment.

Identity politics, all across the spectrum from left to right (yes, also the right), means that our culture overvalues fighting for the claims and language of our group and undervalues listening, seeking points of agreement, and accurate disagreement.

2099 reads

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