Improving Disagreement since 2009

Old Life may not be every Protestant’s pint of IPA. But at least critics can’t fault Old Lifers for attributing the worst to non-Old Life Protestants (sorry if that sounds like the Pharisee’s prayer). Consider:

ad hominem is a problem, but if you watch cable news, or follow Twitter, or reflect on the way that Donald Trump engages with Democrats, or Democrats with other Republicans, you notice a style of argument every bit as pernicious. It consists of constantly elevating the very worst of the other side, attacking only the weakest rather than the strongest part or version of the ideas held by the other political party or ideological tribe or cultural identity group. As Scott Alexander puts it, “The straw man is a terrible argument nobody really holds, which was only invented so your side had something easy to defeat. The weak man is a terrible argument that only a few unrepresentative people hold, which was only brought to prominence so your side had something easy to defeat.”

To call a Presbyterian like Tim Keller an evangelical is not ad hominem. No either-or here. Old Life recognizes many shades of Christian. The question is whether Presbyterians really want to be Reformed or whether they simply want a better grade of Protestantism than Baptist or Christian & Missionary Alliance.

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4 thoughts on “Improving Disagreement since 2009

  1. Old Life is more like one of those “Craft Collaborations” that is half IPA and then a bunch of weird stuff like elderberry, Indian spices and fruit – too complex to identify with what us lowly regular Presbys gather to be Reformed. Being a convert to Southern California beer (especially IPAs), I’m inclined to take umbrage with such a generalization of IPAs (in general). This Presbyterian certainly wants to be Reformed, not just “more reformed” including covenants and sacraments and 2 kingdoms and such, eschewing 5-pointers running around saying lots about soteriology and nothing about Promises and Mysteries and Table-Fencing and such. In local pride, I’m willing to hazard the Capitol of IPAs and Craft Brewing in general would tell Senor TKNY to “vaya con dios” if he was an IPA.

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  2. Rob, being Reformed is not a craft brew. It is no frills. The weird stuff comes from the person in their vocation.

    Since Keller is a minister in the tradition of Reformed ministry, he’s supposed to keep it plain. Like a good Pilsner.

    If he’s IPA it’s one of those Sam Adams pretenders.

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  3. The question is whether Presbyterians really want to be Reformed or whether they simply want a better grade of Protestantism than Baptist or Christian & Missionary Alliance.

    Interesting. Anyway, if the purpose is Luke 10:27, w/update John 13:34 (the whole point of anything, per Jesus that is), it’s keep pretty under wraps well here.

    Maybe on purpose? ‘cause men shouldn’t have hearts? oh, or “Men over 35 should not let their heart show”

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  4. Just because you are not the worst doesn’t mean you are not doing something wrong.

    And regarding Keller, he is Presbyterian. But calling him evangelical is not a fault. What is a fault is nitpicking what is perceived to be wrong, with some perceptions being right and some being wrong, and never acknowledging his contributions and what he says right.

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