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Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Swear I Run into These People All the Time

Michelle Malkin describes a conversation (links in the original) the likes of which I've had, in person and electronically, waaaaaaay too many times. The sort of conversation wherein someone who thinks he knows something about Christianity and/or Christians does nothing so much as reveal what a buffoon he is.
Here’s the errrrrrudite liberal journo Richard Wolffe mocking Sarah Palin for citing famed, beloved Christian author, novelist, lay theologian, and apologist C.S. Lewis as a source of divine inspiration (via The Daily Caller):

Incredibly, Wolffe derides the author of “Mere Christianity,” “The Abolition of Man,” “The Screwtape Letters,” and so many other seminal works as merely a writer of “a series of kids’ books” in order to jab at Palin.

Fellow Palin-basher Chris Matthews tried to save Wolffe from himself by counseling him not to “put down” Lewis. Wolffe ignored him.

When I think of Wolffe and his smug media peers in the intellectual establishment, I think of Lewis’s brilliant musings on Men Without Chests.

He had them pegged.


Brian Faughnan called Wolffe out on Twitter. Here was his response. Seriously:

She said “divine inspiration”. Not the traditional reaction to theological essays, even formidable ones by Lewis.

And here’s a reminder again of Wolffe said on MSNBC:

WOLFFE: “Look, divine inspiration from a series of KIDS’ BOOKS. I don’t think, um, C.S. Lewis really would want that.”

MATTHEWS: “But…I wouldn’t put down C.S. Lewis down…”

Wolffe sputters about Newsmax, which Palin says she reads, before again hitting at Palin for — gasp! — drawing religious lessons from a profoundly religious author.
Not to be uncharitable, but it certainly appears that Mr. Wolffe was completely unfamiliar with Lewis' philosophical and scholarly stature, apparently thinking of him "merely" as an author of children's books.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen crap like this.

People telling me this or that about the text or the canon of scripture--blissfully unaware, every one of them, that I've almost certainly read more on the subject than they are aware exists, and that assertions and arguments with which I'm not familiar are DARNFEW and almost certainly of no significance--that is, yes, I think I have at least a lay-level understanding of all the significant arguments. Darn near every one of them relying on pseudo-scholarship that has been discredited for decades (in some cases, for centuries). More than a few relying on half-remembered misinformation from authors that are regarded by more accomplished scholars as little more than bad jokes.

I had one "idiot"--actually, he was a friend of mine, and a fellow member of Mensa--tell me over and over again about the canon of scripture. I had never heard quite the theory he was spouting, and eventually, I asked him for the source. Turned out his wife--a wee snip of a girl probably not more than twenty at the time--had heard it in some college class on religion. Couldn't cite an author, couldn't cite any source, couldn't even remember the teacher's name. But shoot, he thought his wife's half-remembered, probably garbled, "information" from only-God-knows-who was authoritative. That kind of thinking is why I just referred to him as an "idiot," despite his demonstrably above-average I.Q.

I'll be blunt: the number of non-Christians I've encountered who have more than a blithering idiot's understanding of canonicity, textual criticism, textual reliability, sola scriptura, basic Christian theology, Christians, even religious history in general, is exactly zero. They gaily spout criticisms they found in the writings of some pop-culture dipstick as though they were Holy Writ, and never, ever, ever exert themselves to see if anyone has a comeback.

They have never read F.F. Bruce. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Van Til. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Norman Geisler on apologetics. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Webster and King. Never even heard of them.

They have never read Metzger. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Zacharias. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Schaeffer. Never even heard of him.

They have never read Kreeft, they have never read Augustine, they have never read Johnson, they have never read Morris, they have never read Morison, they have never read Kaiser, they have never read Luther, they have never read Calvin, they have never read Bunyan, they have never read Piper.

A few--darn few--will have heard of Josh McDowell, but if they've read a sentence he's written, it will be nothing more than his famous tract, "More Than a Carpenter."

Most of them have not even read the Bible and saying that they have only the most tenous grasp of what it says is being extremely charitable.

Oh, there are such non-Christians out there, non-Christians who've made themselves familiar with at least some of these, or other, authors. I am not saying otherwise. But the ones I meet? No. They are not familiar with these authors, indeed, with any authors critical of their hilariously misinformed and one-sided views of scripture, Christianity and Christians. They have not made the smallest effort to become familiar with them. They have not made the smallest effort to even find out if such people exist. Yet they expect me to take their opinions seriously.

Anymore, though, I don't spend a whole lot of time trying to disabuse those folks of their quaint little notions. I don't generally recommend books anymore. I just tell them what the Bible says. I have come to see, per the first chapter of Romans, that these folks' problem is analogous to the sighted man who goes outside and says he doesn't see a sky.

He knows it's there. He can see it. Everybody can see it. It's obvious, so obvious that when he denies it's there, nobody bothers to try to convince him otherwise. Nobody tries to argue for the sky's existence from the evidence. They just look at him as though he's deranged and go about their business.

People that don't believe in God are like this. They know He's there. They can see it. Everything in creation points to His existence. It's obvious. You can try to argue with them all day long, but it's pointless. Their problem isn't the evidence, which is abundant and clear. Their problem is that they don't want to see.

Hey, man, don't blame me. I got it from Paul, who got it from God.

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