Thursday, December 28, 2006
Yesterday, Baptist Press posted a fascinating piece by Mark Coppenger: "Is ‘Bashing’ Sub-Christian? Not Necessarily." To be blunt, he hits the nail on its head, so read the entire article. Here is his conclusion:
So what we have here is a moral or ideological judgment masquerading as the counsel of manners. It’s a way of stifling discussion or criticism without having to do the heavy lifting involved in supplying a thoughtful response. It’s perfectly designed for a culture obsessed with feelings and impatient with truth. If you can’t stand the heat of your critic’s argument, play the niceness card, and disqualify his argument from polite discourse. It’s ingenious, much like the “hate speech” ploy, used worldwide to blunt or silence biblical exhortation.
I should add that I think the expression, “bashing,” has its place. It’s a shorthand way of saying that certain criticisms are unfair. But you had better be ready to back up your claim that the critic has gotten it wrong. The problem is that some want to use it to say that sharp criticism is unfair (or unholy or tacky) because it is sharp criticism. They use the “bashing” charge as an all-purpose tool for stifling or deflecting rigorous examination of the case at hand.
Christians are particularly vulnerable to this misdirection play in an era when “seeker” sensitivity is regnant. Many scurry for cover or chase their spokesmen from the field when secularists cry, “You’re bashing!” God’s people might well retort, “It’s not bashing when it’s fair. Why don’t you save the touchy/tidy dismissal and show me precisely where I’ve gone astray? I’m happy to listen if you have thoughtful particulars.”
Labels: Apologetics, Christianity and Culture