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The following is an interesting excerpt from Tony Jones’ post entitled, “The Orthodoxy of Down Syndrome”
Since I’m probably as philosophically as theologically bent, I’ve often struggled with the more conservative conceptions of orthodoxy because they surely tend to overestimate the ability of many human beings to articulate complex theological ideas. Jesus (“Come, follow me”) and Paul (“if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”) both had thresholds of belief to which, I assume, most developmentally challenged persons could rise.
1. Scott McKnight exposes fundamentalism within the political Left.
2. Speaking of fundamentalism … What to make of this Greek Orthodox leader saying all non-Orthodox people are anathema?
4. Travis is an atheist (you can read his story here), but he has a cool blog and his response to the question “What is your favorite color?” is very interesting. It’s the epitome of a philosopher’s answer.
5. Might as well get used to Tony Jones promoting the inclusion of “our GLBT sisters and brothers” [GLBT: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender]
6. The Atheist Revolution author Vjack informs us that the Atheist blog world is divided over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren. Vjack casually refers to Rick Warren as the “Christian extremist pastor,” then grounds his dislike of Rick on the ghost claim that Rick hates gays, muslims, and even moderate Christians.
7. A Pastor accused of murder claims innocence. His lawyer says evidence was suppressed, but the judge didn’t find any wrongdoing in the case.
8. Mike Fox making a plea not to look at evangelicals through President Bush and making a plea to change the name of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Tony Jones laments Ted Haggard’s re-emergence.
The AP’s fine religion reporter, Erik Gorski, this weekend dropped a story about the re-emergence of Ted Haggard, once-powerful president of the National Association of Evangelicals, now struggling insurance salesman. Much to the chagrin of his former church, Haggard, his wife, and five children have moved back to Colorado Springs, and Haggard has taken back to the spotlight to promote an Alexandra Pelosi documentary on him, to air next month on HBO.
It’s hard to know just what to make of Haggard, who also says in the piece that he’s never claimed to be heterosexual. And that he bought the meth but never used it.
Some people you just wish would step away from the public eye to heal. And never return. I wish this for Haggard, but I’m afraid it’s a vain wish.
Evangelical Village recently posted this quotation from Tony Jones.
I now believe that GLBTQ [people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, queer] can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. —Tony Jones
In the past I had always defended Tony Jones against anyone who accused him of sanctioning the homosexual lifestyle as compatible with Christianity because he never had come right out with a statement about his position. Even Mark Driscoll said he didn’t know where these men stood. When people would accuse them of things, my response was usually to challenge people to offer quotations from their writings or lectures or sermon’s in which they could demonstrate warrant for their accusations. I suppose I won’t be doing this anymore with Tony on the issue of homosexuality.
I prefer still yet, however, to see that people have attempted to understand where these guys might be retaining their integrity in their own minds. I think the key to understanding how Tony might consider his statement as compatible with the biblical teaching is his parenthetical statement. (at least as much of any of us can)
Sure homosexuality is sinful, but so is pride, and who would argue that there aren’t plenty of Christians who “live in” pride?
Sure the bible claims that those who are “homosexual” will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9), but it also says that the “slanderer” will not inherit the kingdom of God. Who is willing to defend a position that no Christians are consistently engaged in slanderous activity?
So you see … it’s not like Tony thinks there is some verse in the Bible that says, “Homosexuality is not a sin,” nor is he claiming that. He’s just trying to do a little interpretive realism. We don’t seem to be eager to conclude that slanderous behavior calls people’s Christianity into question, so why consider homosexuality that way? Tony (and others) may think such a hermeneutic is arbitrary when you consider the list in 1 Cor 6:9. Why interpret one form of sin in this list as on a different level than another?
I’m not saying Tony is right. I don’t think he is. Maybe we should just treat slanderous activity as having more ability to call someone’s Christianity into question. Before I would consistently interpret this 1 Cor 6:9 list so as to water it down, I would be more inclined to interpret them all more strictly.
But I do understand how Tony might justify his position biblically, even if I disagree with him.
___-___-__–__–_—_—HT: Evangelical Village—_—_–__–__-___-___
Rob Bowman offers a penetrating critique of the rhetoric featured in Tony Jones’ recent posting about same-sex marriage, concluding that Jones’ eloquence is brilliantly deceptive. Some have critiqued Bowman by pointing out that Jones never intended his opening sentence as an actual argument. That may be true, but it is certainly intended as persuasive rhetoric, and in this respect, I think Bowman has ruined Jones’ beautiful and shapely rhetorical artwork with a logical and sharply pointed chisel, stripping Jones’ post of its persuasive effect. Furthermore, his critique of its logic is still relevant since many people actually do offer similar rhetoric as arguments in the broader culture and media. Here is an excerpt.
Early in his essay, Jones manages to commit three logical fallacies in one sentence (one of which is repeated twice in the following sentence). Jones reports his mother telling him when he was just seven or eight years old (emphasis in original):
“I want you to know that your father and I will still love you no matter whom you love. And you can always bring home, to our house, anyone you love.” – [Tony Jones]
The first fallacy to note here is called the euphemism fallacy. It is a kind of rhetorical fallacy in which a euphemism is used in such a way as to confuse the issue. For those unfamiliar with the term, a euphemism is a more polite, circumspect, or roundabout expression for something often unmentioned in mixed company, typically having to do with bathroom functions (“visit the little girls’ room”), death (“he passed on”), or sex (“spent the night together”). There’s nothing wrong with using euphemisms, but their use as a rhetorical ploy to confuse the issue results in fallacious reasoning. Using the word love to refer to the sex act in this context does just that. Had Tony’s mother said, “…no matter with whom you choose to have sex,” or “no matter with whom you have a sexual relationship,” the meaning would have been plain but the desired rhetorical effect would have been lost. The use of the euphemism is fallacious because its purpose is to make the activity seem inoffensive and even laudable. The fallacy is ubiquitous in the abortion debate, especially when those who are “pro-choice” (Itself a euphemistic term) say that they are simply “defending a woman’s right to choose.” Who wants to oppose a woman’s right to “choose”? Likewise, who wants to reject someone because of the person he “loves”? But articulating the issue in this way confuses it. I encourage my daughter to make many choices for herself, but I do not want my daughter to “choose” to have her unborn child killed. I have “loved” plenty of women, and men, without having sexual contact or engaging in sexual activity with them.
Jones actually commits this fallacy twice in the second sentence. There is, of course, the repeated use of “love” to mean “have a sexual relationship with” in both sentences. The expression “bring home, to our house” is really another euphemism. In this context, the expression would seem to mean “have sleeping with you in our house” (and even here I am using “sleeping with you” as a more transparent euphemism for the sake of being polite).
__—__—__—__—__—__—__—__—__—HT: Between Two Worlds
A well known Muslim blogger, Aziz, posts his thoughts about the attacks in India.
Feel Blog reports that Rick Warren like’s Matthew Elliot’s new book Feel. If you haven’t read it yet … you need to.
Celucien L. Joseph calls for bloggers to post about Racial Reconciliation. Why not? It’s an important part of God’s new creation, the new humanity. Big deal.
Just for laughs, check out the Elf dances from the Emergent guys on The Crimson Window.
Tony Jones said in the latest edition of Emergent Village podcast that it was the result of hundreds (thousands?) of e-mails and conversations in which people expressed concern that EV was going to become like all the other organizations with Big-Wig’s at the top who speak disproportionately for the group as a whole and spend too much money on staffing etc. They want to “de-centralize” the thing. Very interesting perspective and mindset the Emergent Village has huh?
(HT: Emergent Village)