Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Moments of Theological Stupidity: "Stupid Is Forever"

Welcome to the second installment of Moments of Theological Stupidity! Dan "Booyah" Phillips gives me yet another priceless line over at Team Pyromaniacs. In the same vein as Mr. Frank Turk's son, Dan quotes:

Ignorance is curable, but stupid is forever.

Hahahahaha! This quote was uttered in reference to the book making the rounds in the bookstores called Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman. Ehrman, a secular Jew, has made a career out of recycling old and debunked semi-accusations against the Bible as reasons not to be a Christian. His latest book named above is nothing more than a rehashing. In the post, Dan Phillips gives the listing, in summary, of reasons Ehrman gives that supposedly ought to "shatter the Christian faith." Now, such a book can be safely ignored by Christians, if not for the problem of those who are a) weak in their faith, or b) not Christians. For those who are weak in their faith, they are the "curable." They simply do not know. That's all well and good; it is the duty of their churches and their brothers and sisters in Christ to disciple them by educating them about the Bible. So "weak" Christians ("baby" Christians as well as those who have weak faith) have a built-in means of overcoming the disturbance in the Force they are experiencing. But for those who are not Christians, they are simply stupid. Yes, stupid. Even the Bible calls them stupid. Ever read the book of Proverbs? That book is overflowing with the word "stupid!" And that's an apt word to describe Ehrman's book. In fact, Dan Phillips, in his post, says "the stupidity of articles like this is thick, palpable, almost sliceable and spreadable." What is the remedy for this stupidity? The enlightenment brought about by the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the only way such a stupid world will ever be redeemed. That is why debates, conversations, witnessing opportunities with non-believers that do not depend on the Gospel powered by the Holy Spirit will fail. F-A-I-L, fail. We must pray that every interaction we have with a non-believer is led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, and that the Gospel is clearly presented or at the very minimum touched on in some way, shape, or form. A great paraphrase of the great hymn could even read: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That enlightened this idiotic Joe Blow; I once was lost, but now am found, Was stupid, but now I know! I close with these words from Dan's post: "The world is stupid. It has to be. It's a matter of survival of the world qua world. But not as stupid as Christians who take their cues from it."


Blogger J Hearne said...

I don't know how comfortable I am with how some of this sounds. I may be misunderstanding but I don't really like the idea of a knowledge-based-soteriology.

You write:
"The enlightenment brought about by the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the only way such a stupid world will ever be redeemed."

I'm not sure that I can agree with the human condition being necessarily a problem of ignorance. I'm willing to entertain the possibility but if we're being saved from our ignorance what does that imply about our soteriology?

Aren't we being saved from our corruption?

5/25/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Yes, we are saved from our corruption. That is the main thing. But what is being discussed here is an aspect of that corruption.

Stupidity is not our main problem, agreed, but that stupidity is a major result of the Fall. We have blinded ourselves to God and His will. That's what makes our fallen condition so difficult to reverse as to be impossible to be redeemed, unless God intervenes.

I readily agree that salvation is not knowledge-based. If it were we wouldn't have people like Bart Ehrman or John Shelby Spong writing decidedly unchristian things about the Bible, Jesus, and God. They would simply read the Bible and believe wholeheartedly. That's why the power of the Holy Spirit must drive the Word, else the Word is falling on deaf ears and stone hearts.

Good to hear from you bro! I'm gathering my stuff for John 3!

5/25/2006 01:47:00 PM  

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