Pure Bred Spaniel

“Paul tells us what kind of character a prospective minister should have. He must be a one-woman man, he must be temperate, and he must not have a quick temper. We have a better idea, which involves a good deal of graduate study. In order to get his certification, he must ignore his wife for three years, and teach her what the back of his head looks like. Now this is in no way a criticism of the classical Reformed emphasis on a learned ministry. The problem is not that we seek wisdom and learning in our pastors; the problem is that we measure it by means of stamped papers, as though his wisdom was a pure bred spaniel.”

The Cultural Mind, pp. 92-93

Bad Things, That’s What

“The principle here is that you cannot export what you don’t have, and if you try, you will only wind up exporting what you ‘do’ have. Whenever Pharisees go on a mission, the result is Pharisaism overseas. When scriptural ignorance goes on a crusade, the result is crusading ignorance. The applications to our situation should be obvious. The evangelical world in North America is doctrinally confused, morally compromised, liturgically anemic, and culturally superficial. So what happens when we take the show on the road?”

The Cultural Mind, p. 88

A New Category of Suberroneous

“If there is no absolute standard of morality, then anything goes, including the worst forms of absolutism. If biblical absolutes are figments of our own minds then the first thing we could do, if we wanted to be consistent, would be to hang all the relativists and burn all their houses. Of course, trying to be consistent like this is inconsistent, which, in an odd sort of way, makes it consistent again. It is kind of like looking at that endless series of the back of your head in the opposing mirrors at the barber shop. Ethical relativism is not just wrong; it is incoherent.”

The Cultural Mind, p. 85