Thinking

From the Archives – Toward Arguing Better

Conservative Christianity needs more people who argue well. It does not need more people who quarrel well!

Scripture opposes quarreling, along with the behaviors the KJV renders as “strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings” and “tumults” (2 Cor. 12:20). But arguing is something else. Scripture calls us to argue and to do it well. Every Christian is obligated to develop and exercise the skill of thinking and communicating clearly with the goal of persuasion.

With that as a working definition of argue, let’s consider a few basics for arguing better.

Argue for the right reasons.

Why do people argue? Unflattering reasons come quickly to mind. As sinners, we often argue to gain the esteem of others, to defeat someone we don’t like, or to try to win an imagined (or real) competition for loyal supporters. Sometimes people argue because they have a contrarian disposition and enjoy the challenge and repartee. (For these, the question is not “Why argue?” but “Why not argue?”)

But for Christians, the proper goal of argument is to establish the truth or rightness of ideas or actions.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth (NKJV, 2 Tim. 2:24–25).

911 reads

Are We Outsourcing Our Brains to Google?

"Cars, light bulbs, telephones, and compact discs exist outside of us. When we engage with social media, however, when we take information from blogs and make it our own, we are merging our hearts and minds with a machine. Blithely, we continue apace in this transformation, most often unaware of the change we are undergoing." - Intellectual Takeout

299 reads

Falling IQ Scores Suggest We’re Getting Dumber. Can We Reverse Course?

"A Norwegian study published Monday found a seven-point dip in IQ test scores per generation among men born from 1962 to 1991. The results suggest a reversal in the Flynn effect, an observed increase in IQ scores throughout the 20th century in developed countries." - Intellectual Takeout

466 reads

Review – Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes

Reposted with permission from Proclaim & Defend.

Finding Truth is a relatively recent book (pub. 2015). Others have taken in hand to review it already. For a survey of the main argument of the book, you can see Challies’ review, here. For numerous reviews by readers, see Good Reads, here. In my review, I’d like to focus on ways this book can be useful to train our thinking, correct our own attitudes, and aid in evangelism. No book is without flaws (save the Bible); two stand out to me which I will note in due course.

2493 reads

What If Tackling Multiple Tasks at Once Hinders Our Ability to Be Good Stewards in the Workplace?

"In a nutshell, the cognitive detriments associated with [task-switching] keep us from accomplishing all that we are capable of accomplishing. Thus, our minds are not being stewarded well. We are wasting our valuable, God-given cognitive abilities."

1557 reads

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