Monday, October 30, 2017

Back to theology

This column is very interesting; more or less, it chronicles a group of men I'd characterize as "rules fundamentalists" and how they approach some issues of personal behavior.  More or less, you've got beer-drinking, beard-wearing, cigar-smoking "young, restless and Reformed" men talking about how they can enjoy pop culture on the one side, and on the other, you've got rules fundamentalists arguing that all this is evidence of being worldly.  The links are informative, ....sad to say.

Why "sad to say"?  Simple.  In general, the fundamental side of the argument is simply assuming that it's wrong to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, listen to heavy metal or rap music (especially as part of church services), get a tattoo, view an R rated movie, and the like.  On the flip side, the Reformed side seems to be, to an extent, simply assuming their permissibility. 

The closest I saw the "rules fundamentalists" come to an argument is to assume that heavy metal and rap are driven by drugs.  OK, so we have a guilt by association fallacy that ignores that a fair number of rappers and heavy metal musicians are in fact teetotalers, but more importantly, if we do guilt by association, it's going to get very quiet in church when every musical genre contaminated by drunks, stoners, fornicators, and the like is eliminated.

It's not a surprise, to put it mildly, that such a discussion doesn't go anywhere, and it's objectively harmful to Christians to have rhetorically vacuous arguments presented by so-called theological leaders.  If they can't adhere to Informal Logic 101 when it comes to hot button issues they've theoretically done a lot of thinking on, that is going to inform the response when they attempt to preach on the arcane details of Hebrews or Obadiah, or delve into prophecy. 

There may be good, sound arguments for and against all of these issues, and I'd love to hear and read them.  Sad to say, I haven't, by and large.

Note: I refer to "rules fundamentalists" instead of "legalists" because few people who like their rules would fess up to trusting in them for their salvation.

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