The Really Recommended Posts this week have some mixed in that are sure to get your noodle going. Can a doctrinal system which emphasizes free human choice in salvation affirm total depravity? Is the Big Bang model wrong? Would evangelicalism label some of its “favorites” heretics? Do skeptics dehumanize Christianity? These, and more, are questions for you to ponder with this week’s reading choices. Let me know what you thought, and if you liked them, be sure to leave them a comment as well. That’s a major reason why we write–to get your feedback!
Skeptics Dehumanizing Christianity– Does the “New Atheism” affirm equality across lines of religion, culture, and the like? How do some skeptics talk about people of faith in ways which may dehumanize them? Check out this thought-provoking article to read some insights on these and other topics.
Do Arminians Believe in Total Depravity?– One constant point of contention between Arminians and Calvinists (and others like Lutherans) is the notion of “total depravity” and the charge that Arminianism denies it. According to this article (following Roger Olson), Arminius himself affirmed the doctrine. It was an interesting read, but I wonder how consistent it would be with the consequences of Arminianism after all. What are your thoughts?
One Very Misleading Article About Six “Heretics” Who Should Be Banned from Evangelicalism– Recently, I saw an article being passed around on how some prominent figures within Christianity often cited by evangelicals would allegedly be labeled as heretics by contemporary evangelicalism for some of their beliefs. I thought it was interesting, but also clearly mistaken on some of the figures mentioned therein. This article took the time I did not by outlining numerous errors in the argument about “consistency” and evangelicalism.
More Than a Piece of Jewelry (Comic)– The cross is more than a piece of jewelry to hang around your neck. Check out this poignant comment which puts that into perspective.
Selection Bias– The universe isn’t expanding after all! So said a lot of headlines around the web of late. Is that really the case? Check out this article from an astrophysicist explaining some difficulties with this supposed problem with Big Bang Cosmology.
Regarding the first article, it doesn’t speak to New Atheism or describe New Atheism accurately. It fails to make an important distinction prevalent within the New Atheism community, namely, that ideas are not people and not deserving of equivalent political and legal rights. Poor ideas are not worthy of respect, of privilege, of protection. Those who conflate their religious beliefs to be equivalent to the people who hold them are also deserving of criticism for promoting this confusion… like this article.
Yes, one form of this criticism is satire. Another is applying the ancient religious prescriptions within today’s context to show how outrageous the prescription really is. These reflections are meant to arouse, meant to offend, meant to insult, meant to challenge those who hold them to have to justify, rather than assume privilege for, them. None of this dehumanizes believers but exposes the paucity of intellectual virtue derived from their religious beliefs.
Tildeb, I don’t see how the article author Tom Gilson is confusing people with the ideas they hold. That’s a very elementary mistake some people might make, but I find it hard to see that someone like him would. If anything, I am sure he would agree with those New Atheists that believe that all ideas are subject to criticism.