Christianity and Pluralism (2): Coercion and Corruption of the Christian Message

Yesterday, I suggested that while a pluralistic attitude toward religion (i.e. saying that all religions are equally in the dark about ultimate things) is admirably humble, it is also deeply flawed. It turns out that while the pluralist says, “No single religion or worldview can get to the whole truth. So we should all just reject authoritative dogma and accept each others’ positions,” they are, at the same time, contradicting all those religions (like Christianity, Islam, various forms of Buddhism, etc.) that do make claims to ultimate truth. In fact, what the pluralist is doing is exactly what they tell others not to do–they are saying that their worldview encompasses and explains all other worldviews.

So why make this mistake? Why pretend to be inclusive and intellectually humble when we are actually exalting our worldview above all of the world’s great religions? Read more of this post

Pithy Post: Nietzsche and the Bible on Complaining

Although I don’t agree with all of Friedrich Nietzsche’s conclusions, he sure had some brilliant insights into the human heart. This is one is about complaining:

“A drive to find causes is powerful in [the human being]: it must be somebody’s fault that he’s feeling bad…Even his ‘beautiful indignation’ does him good; all poor devils like to whine–it gives him a little thrill of power.  Even complaints, the act of complaining, can give life the charm on account of which one can stand to live it: there is a subtle dose of revenge in every complaint… (The Twilight of the Idols, § 34)

Complaining is, according to Nietzsche, a kind of revenge. It is a way of gaining power over some person or institution that has a certain kind of power over you. But according to Paul, Read more of this post

Pithy Post: Truth in an Age of Politics

During this election season, going to factcheck.org is a necessary but altogether distressing practice. Too often, truth is not nearly as important as repetition and rhetoric is substituted for reason. As discouraging as this is to so many of us nowadays, the reality is that throughout history people in power have used language as a tool to gain and maintain that power. It is in this type of world that Jesus sent his disciples and sends us to speak and live authentically. Read more of this post