Last night, I wrote on the movie “Religulous” and how this is an indictment. Amazingly, the other side keeps saying over and over that they’re not allowed to critique religion or debate it. One wonders where these people are. Religion is hardly treated as sacred any more. You can find several jokes on television shows about religion and our government isn’t exactly friendly to it anymore.
Is my concern with Maher’s *coughs* arguments? No. My concern is that he thinks they’re arguments. Too many times, it seems that these ideas that have been blown out of the water a constant number of times are presented as if they were garlic to Dracula. If we present these, the Christian will have to run and hide from the obvious truth.
Take, for instance, the concept Maher used of the Trinity that was actually modalistic. (And note that the guy defending the Trinity was also using a modalist concept.) One wonders if Maher never thought that the Niceans would catch such an obvious error. You may think that the Niceans were wrong, but they would not overlook, “Guys. God is giving birth to himself in this view.” No. That is actually unipersonalism which is a direct contradiction of Trinitarianism.
What’s sad is not only that this seems to stump Christians, but Maher is convinced that it’s a good point as is whoever was speaking to him. All one would have to do is pick up a book by a Trinitarian Christian scholar and learn what the real view is. I don’t mind people bringing up hard questions to me on my Christianity. I mind them presenting straw men like this and thinking they’ve done something.
This brings me to my point. We need to recover our ground.
Some of you will think I’m an odd duck. (Okay. A lot of you already think that.) There are many times I’ll go to bed at night and be thinking about all the reading I can get in the next day. I simply love learning something new and I get excited and energized by being in a good debate. Most of my money aside from bills, goes to books.
As I write this, I just got finished with a shopping spree on Amazon. I’m having to write a paper for class that’s a philosophical defense of the Trinity and so I ordered some more books with the thoughts of Aquinas and Augustine on the doctrine. Thus, I’m quite excited. I look forward to getting new books and just digesting them. (Although my “to read” pile is enormous now!)
Now I’ll grant you my readers that I need to read more. I need to have more discipline not only in my reading but in my thought life. If any of you dare think for a moment that all I do is read, then please get rid of that idea. In fact, I wish I spent more time reading. I wish I was more capable of focusing my thoughts. I digress, but I did it also so many would have no pre-conceived notions.
I’d like you to think though of a sports team that claims to be a great team. They claim to be #1. The problem is though that when the other teams come to town, this #1 team doesn’t want to play any longer. They accuse the other teams of wanting to destroy their record and they’re just ignorant of their great ability.
Now I realize it’s not a perfect analogy, but I don’t see the church much differently. We have the idea that we have the truth. I agree with it. We think everyone else is wrong. I also agree. The trouble is, we don’t act like it. Imagine if the #1 team never went out on the field to practice but still claimed to be the best. One would think them ludicrous. Are we any better? Do we spend any time practicing through Bible Study, reading, and prayer? (And I say this to myself as well.)
If we have the truth, then we should be glad to enter the area of the intellect. There was a day and age when the church was seen as a bastion of intellectual truth. Now, it’s seen as anything but. The least intelligent people are those who are religious. It is the secularists that have all the brains in the society.
The truth is that Maher should have been terrified to make such a documentary. He should have wanted to avoid gatherings of Christians like the plague. Instead, he didn’t hesitate to go to them. Why? Because he thought he could bank on the stupidity of Christians and too often, it seems as if he was not disappointed.
Do you think we have the truth? The best way to answer is not with yes or no. The best way to answer is by your actions. Do you think Christ is the truth as he claimed? Then live accordingly. Don’t cower and hide and run into an emotional shell every time some criticism comes up. We need to boldly approach the throne of grace, but we also need to boldly enter the public square and be able to say to the skeptics, “Bring it.”
Imagine if just 20% of the Christian community could do that! What a difference it would make!
Or maybe I just have a pipe dream.
You, my readers, will determine if I do or not.