Conclusions, no arguments.

I had titled this post, ‘random thoughts.’ But many of these are things I’ve thought a lot about. They aren’t random, they’re just topics I’d like to write about/discuss with folks but probably won’t write about for fear of wasting my time (only about two of my posts here have comments).

  1. Matthew’s gospel really was written first.
  2. Sex differences are real, down to the molecular level.
  3. With respect to #2, sex differences should be considered a first principle when it comes to raising children.
  4. The Beatles are overrated, the Stones and even Fleetwood Mac are better.
  5. Other than occasionally being motivating on a hormonal level or linguistically intriguing, rap music is pointless.
  6. The typical Protestant/Evangelical articulation of justification by faith alone and ‘once saved always saved’ are incorrect and potentially dangerous to peoples’ souls.
  7. Capitalism, insofar as it means, ‘non-coercive commerce’ is not workable in nations where Christianity is not the publicly preferred religion and practiced with sincerity by a large visible minority.
  8. In connection with this, free trade agreements are a mistake.
  9. The average humanities degree in the modern university is pointless economically and intellectually empty.
  10. The New Testament simultaneously makes room for women as prophets in the church while maintaining the existence of some form of hierarchy in the household.
  11. Attempts at analogies for the trinity are bad most of the time.
  12. Fiction can be truer than history.
  13. The Old Testament has a lot more information about demons are fallen powers than Old Testament scholars tend to acknowledge.
  14. While deontological ethics (right and wrong are right and wrong regardless of consequences) is correct with respect to knowing morality, consequentialist reasoning is best for getting people to behave morally.
  15. The distinction between law and morality is important for interpreting Scripture.
  16. There are multiple true senses to Scripture, particularly the passages of poetry and the archetypal stories prior Abraham.
  17. In line with #16, many Biblical stories appear to be designed to promote inquiry from several angles rather than to promote a specific point of view.
  18. Dante’s Inferno is as much psychology as it is theology and poetry.
  19. The average school, if studied without presupposition, would appear to be designed to promote listlessness, ignorance, and inattention.
  20. Aristotle’s metaphysic is, at least with regard to actuality/potentiality, and therefore causality and the soul.
  21. Evolutionary theory contains several logical leaps, provides many satisfactory explanations of the life on planet earth, has no business in a high school biology class, and poses no threat to Christianity.
  22. Genetic differences between human groups are selected for environments over thousands or millions of years. (my apparently Scottish self has no business in south Texas, stepping outside is asking for a heat rash, sun burn, or worse).

2 Comments on “Conclusions, no arguments.

  1. 1. I’d read your arguments. But, the synoptic model of Mark – then Matthew and Luke (with access to a mysterious Q and their own sources), then later John – was drilled into my head.
    2-3. The “molecular level” might be interesting, but probably over my head.
    4. No argument there.
    5. I have listened to rap music off and on since college. I find I enjoy the linguistically interesting songs, but tire of genre quickly.
    6. You are stirring the pot here. What do you mean by “typical?” I’d enjoy reading a discussion on the pastoral issues of helping believers with issues of assurance, while also warning believers of the danger of “easy believism” and apostasy. All while they are in the same congregation listening to the same sermons week after week.
    7-8. I think your assessment of capitalism is probably correct. Christian ethic combating greed and loving neighbors is ballast for the economic boat.
    13. I’m assuming you mean ‘recent’ OT scholars. Also, I’d read posts on this topic.
    14. By consequentialist reasoning, do you mean the basic practical application of the deontological ethic?
    16. I’d read this. Do you mean multiple TRUTHS? or a multifaceted truth that we miss because we under-read the text? And what do you mean by archetypal? Usually, my red flags go off with that kind of language because I find the person saying it is trying to say something stupid about the truthiness of the story, even though the story never happened.
    17. I think I disagree with you here. The ‘rather than’ is the problem. But a post on this would be interesting.
    19. Do you mean schools of thought, or actual brick-and-mortar places were kids go?
    21. Poses no threat to Christianity. Does anything? Or do you mean individual professing Christian’s faith? Because I think that is demonstrably false. I know personally people who have jumped ship because of evolutionary theory.
    22. Could you imagine a way to account for this if the world were “young?”

    You caught me in a mood this morning. I can’t guarantee interaction in the comments section with any of these potential posts. But, I do read most of your stuff when it comes in the email.

    1. Thanks for the substantive comments. Briefly on 21-22:

      21. You’re right, people have abandoned faith on account of evo-theory. But I suppose I should have said, ‘rightly understood in the context of a robust understanding of the relationship between scientific theory and the basics of the Christian gospel.’ But I’d say that other ideas like Arminianism, poorly explained trinitarianism, the Old Testament, and Calvinism have all also been dangerous to the individual faith of some (I’m just picking examples of which I’m aware). But yeah, it’s certainly true that understood in a totalitarian way, “everything about life, meaning, and metaphysics is contained in natural selection,” evolution dissolves faith in Christ, ethics, a personal sense of meaning, and civilization itself.

      22. Yeah. I’d just decrease the time line. We know that certain genes express differently within a generation without even calling on natural selection due to changes in the ‘epigenome.’ So enough of those changes over 10 generations may make a huge difference.

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