When I read your post “Idiocracy,” the first person to pop into my mind was Bart Ehrman. Maybe it was his recent discussion with Peter Williams that brought him to mind. He is a clear example of one who knows so much about his area of expertise, that what he knows, he knows to the exclusion of other relevant disciplines. His pride in his scholarship blinds him to the theological and philosophical assumptions which undergird his skepticism. (I do believe he really thinks he’s being “neutral.”)
I deal in a world of “experts” and in my experience, nothing puts blinders on personal limitations as quickly as knowing much within highly specialized field. In a charitable moment, I would say that this phenomenon occurs because said person is doing their best to contribute what little they can with what little they have. The reality is that “expertise” is always a power play, where pride demands a sacrifice and everyone must bow to the one who knows better.
I see this in Ehrman, which is why his popularity is a mystery to me. His animus is apparent, and his lack of charity is the foundation of his scholarship. But he can’t see this because he refuses to listen to others’ critique of his work. He suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, because in his mind, he knows more than God about how things should have been done.
On the flip side, one of the blessings of knowing the pollution of sin is that you know just how blind you are. The world tells us how terrible it is to burden ourselves with a sin nature. But here’s the reality: as God reveals to us our pride, we can see how self-centered our perspective is—which puts us far ahead of myopic experts. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
David, amen and preach it.
Chick fil A
Responding to “The Devil’s Smoothies”:
Thanks so much for your ministry. I owe a great debt to you for the insights and teaching which the Lord has brought me through your faithfulness.
Regarding Chick-fil-A, I have read that they dumped about 80 charitable organizations in order to focus their giving on only a few. My understanding is that the two Christian organizations they dumped were only incidentally among the 80. (I’ll include a link to an article below).
If this is true, then it really isn’t the case that they have “gone liberal”. I’m concerned that our Christian response to this news has been too rash and not totally fair to this business.
I was just wondering if you knew anything more about this, or had more insights into the topic. Maybe I have read fake news!
Thanks again for your ministry and your courage
Bryan, thanks. But I believe that Chick fil A actually caved, and worse than that, looks to be moving left deliberately — while trying to provide some sort of cover story for what they are doing. Here is a piece from Robert Gagnon that sets it out clearly. And Snopes is the one that fact checks the Babylon Bee.
I’m poking around looking for the interpretive superstructure of your old post, “When Remarriage is Theft” (2007). There you seem to hint toward a paradigm that Deuteronomy is an organized exposition of the decalogue. Could you point me offhand toward a basic defense of that paradigm, from yourself or from another?
Keith, I have a number of posts that are tagged Deuteronomy, and if you go back to the beginning with those, it should be laid out there somewhere. But I got it from Jim Jordan, and I believe that Biblical Horizons published a monograph on Deuteronomy that has that break down as well.
Not Piratical Enough?
Sir, No Quarter November has been to this point not quite piratical enough. You need to be less like the well mannered Long John Silver and more like the savage Israel Hands. You target the perverts and cowards, well done. How about the gluttons and the idlers? A stern look at ourselves shows a people beset by diabetes, heart disease and mental illness, all of which thrive in our intemperate culture. Our church culture is more Cretan than Corinthian, and perversion is bred amidst luxury.
P.S. The word “uxury” could be dusted off and put to good use. Maybe even earn you a hanging!
P.P.S. Your work is greatly appreciated, God’s richest blessing on you as you teach the truth.
Jonathan, that is what you call the dilemma of living in a target-rich environment.
Thank you for your writing ministry. I am grateful.
I appreciate this post on privilege and envy. Good word.
I rarely see you write on greed which seems to be the contrasting sin on the Right which defines most of your audience although I expect we all deal with envy at some level as well. Perhaps you can do an NQN post on greed.
Duke, thanks. All these carrots get thrown into the crock pot.
While I agree with most of your article and do not believe that interracial marriage is always a sin, it does not seem to me that Miriam was punished because she criticized Moses’s black wife. When God rebuked Miriam and Aaron, he did not say anything about the woman (who Josephus believed was a woman who Moses married in his youth when he was prince of Egypt and who likely died or left him before the Exodus), but instead asked them why they opposed him when the Lord would speak face to face with him. It seems, then, that they used that Ethiopian woman to make Moses look bad, and to say that they were equal to him. As the Harper Study Bible note says “In any case it was Moses’s authority, not his wife, that was in question” (This does not mean that Moses was necessarily wrong to marry the Ethiopian woman.)
James, our positions perhaps overlap here. According to Josephus, the woman was the queen of the city of Saba, and Moses was the Egyptian general who was besieging the city. She fell in love with him from her vantage on the city wall, and offered to surrender the city if he married her. He agreed, and all in Moses’s younger days. I believe she was left behind at the Exodus, but for some reason came out and joined the Israelites later. This threw off the balance of power in the leadership, and there was some court intrigue, which God then interrupted. I don’t think Miriam was objecting necessarily to her blackness, but more to her presence.
Re: The Grace of White Privilege. Finally! It’s about time Dr. Germaine Fischer-Baine Tinkweiler has some recognition. A timely and needed counter-balance to your enthusiasm for Sowell!
Ross, yes. I was feeling bad about that.
What Is the Plural of Consensus?
Considering the nature of consensus, in today’s world, would you say that we should separate “media consensus” from “actual consensus”, or “laymen consensus” from “academic consensus”? Because, for example, it seems to me that the media is propagating the political correctness scheme in larger numbers than I think the populace is doing, skewing the bigger picture. Or, to take an example for the latter, universities are, by numbers, more inclined to house socialists or Marxists than, say, your average company. What I’m actually asking is: would it not be wise to keep in mind that there are a variety of herds all pulling in different directions? Because in certain dark, smelly circles – there may really be positive consensus about the vague notion of “climate change”. Consensus nonetheless…
Excellent article, keep up building God’s kingdom.
Willem, yes. I believe there is a very great difference between actual consensus (even when wrong), and the kind of stage-managed consensus we frequently get now.
Buy a Copy Now
In case anyone attempted to find a copy of “Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap” shortly after the “Lost Virtue of Sexism” post was published and found it effectively impossible, I wanted to alert everyone to the fact that the book has been republished through Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats and is now available for a reasonable price.
Jane, thanks, and see below.
Thanks for mentioning my “Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap” book. Unfortunately, I ran into some trouble with my employer and I had to unpublish the book. Then I got laid off, so . . . I guess that doesn’t matter any more. I’m trying to get the paperback online again.
In the meanwhile, people can get the kindle version very cheaply.
Greg, thanks for a good book. And from what Jane said above, I take it that it will be available in paperback soon, if it isn’t already.
A Growing Dilemma
I am faced with a predicament at work related to the LGTBQ issue. My employer has created mandatory training related to how employees are to interact with persons who do not hold to a Biblical understanding of men and women. To date, I have not taken this training but the pressure to do so is increasing. I have come to understand that at least a portion of the training is the requirement to refer to LGTBQ persons according to their desired pronouns.
Have you written any books that deal what the Christians response should be to demands from employers to take this kind of training?
Chris, no, I haven’t really written on this yet. I really need to. In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to stand fast.