Paul's Passing Thoughts

How Most Protestants Respond When Orthodoxy Is Challenged

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on November 2, 2018

Any time one of us here at TANC engages someone in some debate over some tenet of Protestant orthodoxy, something major is always missing in these conversations that we don’t talk about nearly enough. Due to the research myself and others have done for this ministry over the past 10 years, we tend to ply our argument with objective points and expect counter-points in return.

That almost NEVER happens!

I am not even sure how I would frame this issue/observation, but the following may get close: it would seem that our objective arguments are not answered with counter-points, but vague statements of authority. It’s interesting, but we often converse with people who are not anybody important by religious standards, yet they answer us as if their pedigree of authority is to be assumed and we are wrong just because they say so. Responses are really nothing more than the usual talking points that we hear all of the time.  I can only assume that folks think they speak with authority that is not to be refuted because they are repeating what the religious authorities tell them. In other words, no matter what objective argument we pose, it is going to be answered by some talking point that has been certified as “authoritative.”

Also telling in these conversations are answers that are unnecessarily wordy. For example, instead of simply saying “pursue love”, all kinds of stuff about “walking in the Spirit” is added as well as various and sundry Christo-centric verbiage.

Someone may make the observation that, “You have this attitude that someone is wrong because they don’t agree with you.”

Um, Yeah! After all, you can’t have opposing viewpoints and have both be right. And that’s the whole point. If I think you’re wrong, the burden is upon me to provide a rational argument for why my ideas are better. Likewise, the burden is upon you to provide a similar rational argument for why my ideas might be wrong.

But most people don’t argue this way. They don’t know how to provide rational arguments for their ideas. They only know how to rely on appeals to authority. In other words, their ideas are correct only because some authority (whatever that source may be) has deemed it so.

~ Andy

One Response

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  1. lydia00 said, on November 3, 2018 at 3:27 PM

    And when that appeal is their interpretation of scripture, then there is no point.


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