Moderator: Bruce Gourley
I'm a Christian. I do believe in God, and I have my own reasons for that (some of them pretty unbelievable and insane-sounding). I don't go to church because every church I've been to thus far has had members that are overly self-righteous and really, really judgmental, and I grew weary of all that. I do celebrate Christmas based on the Christian belief behind it, but I do respect your decision if you choose not to do so. These people on the internet, these so-called "WARRIORS OF CHRIST" or whatever, are annoying and should be ignored. They seek to bring nothing but misery to a day that should be filled with joy. I refuse to be that grating and unlikeable. Have a great Christmas, everyone. Stay off the internet today.
The abortion controversy is exhausting, but it is anything but boring. It has been a proving ground for strong-arm strategies that are now the stock-in-trade of a Republican Party taken over by people who learned what politics was about from what happened with single issues such as anti-choice. They saw that it was possible for a small minority to hamstring business as usual by presenting itself as “public opinion.” The unabashed mendacity, the extreme and implausible goals (the contraceptive-free Christian family that lurks right beneath the surface), and the ginning up of protest by elites with deep pockets and political plans: these were all road-tested on the long march against Roe.
According to Worthen, Schaeffer styled himself as an intellectual and as culture-savvy and sensitive while all the time hiding a basically fundamentalist attitude toward inquiry and knowledge. Worthen’s portrayal of Schaeffer is so harsh as to border on being uncharitable. But charity isn’t her concern; she’s a historian. She honestly believes, apparently, that Schaeffer was a charlatan who convinced even himself, to say nothing of millions of readers and followers, that he was the epitome of a Christian intellectual. In fact, if Worthen is right (and others have said the same), Schaeffer was a fake. He was to evangelicalism what many gurus (and she uses that word for Schaeffer and many evangelical leaders) are to Hinduism—tricksters who cast a spell over their followers and have even come to believe their own press when, in fact, they are the proverbial Wizard of Oz—all bluster and show but no real depth.
You doubt me? Read her treatment of Schaeffer in the sections subtitled “A Thinking Christian” and “The Uses of History” (209-216). Here’s a sample: “[John Howard] Yoder was not the only one appalled by Schaeffer’s hamfisted caricature of history. For all of his emphasis on careful argument, Schaeffer was notoriously irresponsible as a scholar. ‘Schaeffer didn’t read books,’ said his son-in-law, John Sandri. ‘He got his material from magazines, Newsweek, Time—he’d take them to the beach. He did go to seminary, so he had that, but when he was here [at L'Abri], he went through the summarized version. He was out to give broad strokes. It was not necessary to give you the details of Kierkegaard.’ Schaeffer wowed audiences by explaining 500 years of intellectual history in paragraphs and a casual chalkboard diagram—but he did so with exaggerations, oversimplifications, and misinformation that would make a specialist cry.”
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