“See how dumb I am” moments

Jennifer Rubin is a conservative.  But she is sick and tired of Republican candidates and office holders who flaunt their  ignorance and celebrate unintelligence:

Republicans have sometimes mistaken anti-elitism with anti-smarts. Put differently, Republicans should not have contempt for the voters or for ideas, lest they be judged unworthy of serving in office. It’s one thing to heap scorn on liberal elites who parrot unsupportable leftist dogma or who show contempt for ordinary Americans’ values; it’s quite another to celebrate ignorance.  We’ve had two rather appalling examples in 24 hours, which I would suggest, are perfect examples of what conservatives should reject.

After the Florida debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Fox passed on a comment from someone she purportedly spoke to after the debate who claimed that the HPV vaccine that Texas Gov. Rick Perry had attempted to make mandatory caused mental retardation. This is complete nonsense. . . .

Then today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry went to Liberty University. It was, at least in part, a celebration of ignorance. The Post’s reporter at the scene Phil Rucker tweeted some of the remarks. Jon Ward at Huffington Post likewise recorded some comments. Things started off on a poor note with Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. praising Perry’s seccessionist remarks as “gutsy.” Are we to believe now that Perry was serious about secession? Then Perry, apparently deciding to make ads for the Obama campaign, came out with a series of “See how dumb I am?” one-liners. He observed that he needed to pull out a dictionary to see what “convocation” meant. The next knee-slapper: He didn’t have the grades to be a vet, so he became a pilot. And then the real howler: He was in the top 10 in a high school class of 13.

Yes, he was trying to be self-deprecating, but it’s disturbing to see that he thinks being a rotten student and a know-nothing gives one street cred in the GOP.  . . .

But what if, for example, a really smart Republican with a great track record, lots of policy ideas and the ability to counteract the stereotype of Republicans ran? Oh, maybe there already is one or two in the race. Maybe there could be more, and perhaps conservatives would be relieved not to have to make excuses for candidates who think ignorance is virtue and intelligence is a vice.

via GOP should not fall into the trap of being proudly ignorant – Right Turn – The Washington Post.

Now it turns out that Gov. Perry at Liberty University ended up giving a very personal, non-political account of his faith.  Good for him.

But what bothers me even more than conservatives who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent are CHRISTIANS who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent.

People who act this way are seldom as dumb as they present themselves, or, one would like to hope, they couldn’t have risen to their current stature in life.  They are joking, trying to be self-deprecating.  (Well, I think Mrs. Bachmann was just firing off the top of her head.)  But why is that attractive to some people?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Who holds the record for most “see how dumb I am” moments?

    Could it be Joe Biden?

    The thing is lefties do the same thing with at least the same frequency. So what?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Who holds the record for most “see how dumb I am” moments?

    Could it be Joe Biden?

    The thing is lefties do the same thing with at least the same frequency. So what?

  • WebMonk

    “People who act this way are seldom as dumb as they present themselves, or, one would like to hope, they couldn’t have risen to their current stature in life.”

    Depends on what area it is in which they’ve risen. Politics? Management? Those are areas where intelligence has virtually zero correlation to achievement.

    High level executives, such as large business CEOs, tend toward the more intelligent side of things, but “upper management” has a zero to slightly negative correlation with intelligence. Politics is the same way, only there is no sufficiently high point at which elected officials start to correlate with intelligence.

  • WebMonk

    “People who act this way are seldom as dumb as they present themselves, or, one would like to hope, they couldn’t have risen to their current stature in life.”

    Depends on what area it is in which they’ve risen. Politics? Management? Those are areas where intelligence has virtually zero correlation to achievement.

    High level executives, such as large business CEOs, tend toward the more intelligent side of things, but “upper management” has a zero to slightly negative correlation with intelligence. Politics is the same way, only there is no sufficiently high point at which elected officials start to correlate with intelligence.

  • Tom Hering

    I suspect this discussion is going to get meaningless real fast.

  • Tom Hering

    I suspect this discussion is going to get meaningless real fast.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    The article said it well: anti-elitism is good (provided it does not become in and of itself elitist to be anti-elitist); anti-intellectualism is not.

    Some of the greatest Christians in history have been extremely intellectual. I refer to Johnathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, Benjamin Warfield, and J. Gresham Machen for starters. Each of them had a brilliant mind, yet they understood the proper place of man’s reason and intelligence in the broader context of our imperfection and sinfulness. They valued intellect, yet never exalted it above Christ.

    And as I recall, Luther had a few smarts as well.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    The article said it well: anti-elitism is good (provided it does not become in and of itself elitist to be anti-elitist); anti-intellectualism is not.

    Some of the greatest Christians in history have been extremely intellectual. I refer to Johnathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, Benjamin Warfield, and J. Gresham Machen for starters. Each of them had a brilliant mind, yet they understood the proper place of man’s reason and intelligence in the broader context of our imperfection and sinfulness. They valued intellect, yet never exalted it above Christ.

    And as I recall, Luther had a few smarts as well.

  • Pete

    So much of this is political posturing that candidates are forced into. On the one hand, they have to appeal to the crowd that is suspicious of the intelligentsia, without coming across as dopey or anti-intellectual themselves. And, on the other hand (Charybdis, perhaps) they need to present themselves as smart yet avoid being seen as viewing the unwashed masses as “clinging to their guns and Bibles.” At times, as we’ve seen, they wander into one of these two minefields, with the gleeful help of the media.

  • Pete

    So much of this is political posturing that candidates are forced into. On the one hand, they have to appeal to the crowd that is suspicious of the intelligentsia, without coming across as dopey or anti-intellectual themselves. And, on the other hand (Charybdis, perhaps) they need to present themselves as smart yet avoid being seen as viewing the unwashed masses as “clinging to their guns and Bibles.” At times, as we’ve seen, they wander into one of these two minefields, with the gleeful help of the media.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 2 got a link for that? I call BS.

    I would argue that verbal facility plays a role more than technical expertise, but negatively correlated is an overstatement.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 2 got a link for that? I call BS.

    I would argue that verbal facility plays a role more than technical expertise, but negatively correlated is an overstatement.

  • http://www.messiahlacrescent.org Matthew Lorfeld

    One of the few things that is almost universal amongst Texans that I have spoken to, is that inevitably they will bring up the fact that Texas can secede from the Union. It baffles me how this can be a point of boasting, especially since that didn’t work out so well last time.

  • http://www.messiahlacrescent.org Matthew Lorfeld

    One of the few things that is almost universal amongst Texans that I have spoken to, is that inevitably they will bring up the fact that Texas can secede from the Union. It baffles me how this can be a point of boasting, especially since that didn’t work out so well last time.

  • http://www.greenleafblog.net Caleb Land

    I am a minister and teacher at a Christian school in a small, rural town in the Bible belt. I completely understand why these people play dumb. They do it because far too many conservatives and Christians in towns like the one where I live are suspicious of intelligence and actually teach in their churches that education and learning are morally wrong. This is not a joke and it is more widespread than you would like to imagine.

  • http://www.greenleafblog.net Caleb Land

    I am a minister and teacher at a Christian school in a small, rural town in the Bible belt. I completely understand why these people play dumb. They do it because far too many conservatives and Christians in towns like the one where I live are suspicious of intelligence and actually teach in their churches that education and learning are morally wrong. This is not a joke and it is more widespread than you would like to imagine.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Matthew @7
    If we are living in anecdote world, let me add my two cents. I am a lifelong resident of Texas (yes, that means I was born here as well) and I can count on one hand the amount of secession claims/conversations that I have heard in 44 years. There is obviously a lot of Texas pride around (a sweeping term I know), but the universal Texas secession fantasy is just that, a fantasy. Rick Perry has been known to bluster just a bit, if you haven’t noticed. (He is also a pretty skilled retail politician and fundraiser, which goes a long way toward explaining his electoral track record of success. I am not a big fan of his, but he should not be underestimated and I can’t say I am all that enthused by the other candidates.)

  • Steve Billingsley

    Matthew @7
    If we are living in anecdote world, let me add my two cents. I am a lifelong resident of Texas (yes, that means I was born here as well) and I can count on one hand the amount of secession claims/conversations that I have heard in 44 years. There is obviously a lot of Texas pride around (a sweeping term I know), but the universal Texas secession fantasy is just that, a fantasy. Rick Perry has been known to bluster just a bit, if you haven’t noticed. (He is also a pretty skilled retail politician and fundraiser, which goes a long way toward explaining his electoral track record of success. I am not a big fan of his, but he should not be underestimated and I can’t say I am all that enthused by the other candidates.)

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Sadly, I must concur with Caleb @ 8. I was born and raised in a small town in the Bible Belt and was brought up in a very, VERY conservative Baptist denomination. The view among many around me was that formal education and “book learnin’” was inherently sinful and one of the greatest tools of the Evil One that existed. There was general agreement that the more education one had, the less likely one was to cling to Christ. Add to this religious viewpoint an attitude among many that true WORK was manual labor and that formal education was something for sissies (a view perpetuated by my late grandfather that hindered my dad’s desire to go to college…a decision he regrets to this day at age 82), and I think it goes a long way to explaining such a prevalent attitude among some on the political right….and feeds the stereotype on the left that such people are backward, ignorant religious hacks. Religion always gets thrown in as a sign of such ignorance…a view that largely goes unchallenged in mainstream popular culture.

    Fortunately for me, my parents instilled in me the view that all truth is God’s truth…that God gave us a mind that He expects us to use and we have no reason to fear knowledge in any form…and that no faith is worth having that cannot stand up to testing. I also discovered the Augustines, Luthers, Machens, Chestertons, and Lewises (among many others) of the world that demonstrated that knowledge can actually strengthen faith. At the same time, I recognize that formal education does not always equal intelligence (a mistake that too many on the left make in the opposite direction of celebrating ignorance on the right). It’s a very fine line at times.

    Now, as a college US history professor and department chair at a small regional university, I still face these challenges with many students…some of whom are afraid to that getting too much “edumacation” will either undermine their credibility with friends and family who have less formal education or will steal them of their religious faith. I work concertedly to try and show them that this does not have to be so. I also try to get across that regardless of one’s political persuasion, it is a good idea to be able to support one’s views with arguments that go beyond emotional, postmodern “opinionism.” It isn’t easy though!

    One last thing. I have noticed in recent years, especially among young men who enter college, a growing attitude that acquiring education and doing it well is a sign of weakness…nerdiness…and that it makes them less, for lack of a better term, “badass” (pardon my language). These aren’t kids from rural backgrounds either. In some ways, they uphold their ignorance as a badge of honor and “cred.” It is also a big challenge.

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Sadly, I must concur with Caleb @ 8. I was born and raised in a small town in the Bible Belt and was brought up in a very, VERY conservative Baptist denomination. The view among many around me was that formal education and “book learnin’” was inherently sinful and one of the greatest tools of the Evil One that existed. There was general agreement that the more education one had, the less likely one was to cling to Christ. Add to this religious viewpoint an attitude among many that true WORK was manual labor and that formal education was something for sissies (a view perpetuated by my late grandfather that hindered my dad’s desire to go to college…a decision he regrets to this day at age 82), and I think it goes a long way to explaining such a prevalent attitude among some on the political right….and feeds the stereotype on the left that such people are backward, ignorant religious hacks. Religion always gets thrown in as a sign of such ignorance…a view that largely goes unchallenged in mainstream popular culture.

    Fortunately for me, my parents instilled in me the view that all truth is God’s truth…that God gave us a mind that He expects us to use and we have no reason to fear knowledge in any form…and that no faith is worth having that cannot stand up to testing. I also discovered the Augustines, Luthers, Machens, Chestertons, and Lewises (among many others) of the world that demonstrated that knowledge can actually strengthen faith. At the same time, I recognize that formal education does not always equal intelligence (a mistake that too many on the left make in the opposite direction of celebrating ignorance on the right). It’s a very fine line at times.

    Now, as a college US history professor and department chair at a small regional university, I still face these challenges with many students…some of whom are afraid to that getting too much “edumacation” will either undermine their credibility with friends and family who have less formal education or will steal them of their religious faith. I work concertedly to try and show them that this does not have to be so. I also try to get across that regardless of one’s political persuasion, it is a good idea to be able to support one’s views with arguments that go beyond emotional, postmodern “opinionism.” It isn’t easy though!

    One last thing. I have noticed in recent years, especially among young men who enter college, a growing attitude that acquiring education and doing it well is a sign of weakness…nerdiness…and that it makes them less, for lack of a better term, “badass” (pardon my language). These aren’t kids from rural backgrounds either. In some ways, they uphold their ignorance as a badge of honor and “cred.” It is also a big challenge.

  • Tom Hering

    Being less intelligent has become a sign of manliness in our culture? Sheesh. And we wonder why we’re becoming less competitive with China and the rest of the developed and developing world.

  • Tom Hering

    Being less intelligent has become a sign of manliness in our culture? Sheesh. And we wonder why we’re becoming less competitive with China and the rest of the developed and developing world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@1), Biden makes gaffes, which are unintentional errors. This article is referring — at least in Perry’s case — to intentional self-depictions of golly-gee-shucks I’m-no-smarter-than-you variety.

    Matthew (@7), I realize this is one of them “intellec’chul” questions, but have you ever asked them what their legal basis is for this belief? Pretty certain none exists. (Sssh, don’t tell Perry. Might ruffle his hair.)

    Steve (@9), welcome to the Internet. You may need more hands to count now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@1), Biden makes gaffes, which are unintentional errors. This article is referring — at least in Perry’s case — to intentional self-depictions of golly-gee-shucks I’m-no-smarter-than-you variety.

    Matthew (@7), I realize this is one of them “intellec’chul” questions, but have you ever asked them what their legal basis is for this belief? Pretty certain none exists. (Sssh, don’t tell Perry. Might ruffle his hair.)

    Steve (@9), welcome to the Internet. You may need more hands to count now.

  • Carl Vehse

    Well, there’s “playing dumb” and then there’s just “plain dumb.” For example, Michelle Obama publicly claims: “We get up and they [her daughters] want ten more minutes so they can come in my bed and if Dad isn’t there – because he is too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want ever to get in the bed with him – but we cuddle up and we talk.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Well, there’s “playing dumb” and then there’s just “plain dumb.” For example, Michelle Obama publicly claims: “We get up and they [her daughters] want ten more minutes so they can come in my bed and if Dad isn’t there – because he is too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want ever to get in the bed with him – but we cuddle up and we talk.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    From the original article in the liberally biased, elite Washington Compost, Rubin said:

    Republicans have sometimes mistaken anti-elitism with anti-smarts.

    Unfortunately, Rubin goes on to make that same mistake all of two sentences later:

    It’s one thing to heap scorn on liberal elites who parrot unsupportable leftist dogma or who show contempt for ordinary Americans’ values; it’s quite another to celebrate ignorance.

    See what she did there? She gave her approval to “heaping scorn” on “elites”. Not elitists, mind you. Of course, understanding this distinction may require a dictionary, so it’s likely over Perry’s head. Hyuk hyuk.

    But it is very common in “conservative” circles these days (and not a little bit on this blog) to hear rants against “elites”. The subtext (or, often, the text) being a sort of “Who are you to think you’re better/smarter/etc. than me?” attitude. Which, of course, belies the attitude that no one is smarter than anyone. You can see how easily anti-intellectualism, or even an anti-education mindset, arises in such situations.

    Ultimately, of course, it’s anti-authority. Most people railing against “elites” don’t think so, but that’s where we’re headed. People rail against science, against the media, against people who claim or appear to know more than they do. They rail against people with experience in governing. I mean, really, where do you think this will end? Have you seen Idiocracy?

    These days, too many Republicans seem to be running on the motto: “Government can’t do anything right. Elect me and I will prove it to you. I am no more competent to lead this nation than you are. I’m just as dumb as you.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    From the original article in the liberally biased, elite Washington Compost, Rubin said:

    Republicans have sometimes mistaken anti-elitism with anti-smarts.

    Unfortunately, Rubin goes on to make that same mistake all of two sentences later:

    It’s one thing to heap scorn on liberal elites who parrot unsupportable leftist dogma or who show contempt for ordinary Americans’ values; it’s quite another to celebrate ignorance.

    See what she did there? She gave her approval to “heaping scorn” on “elites”. Not elitists, mind you. Of course, understanding this distinction may require a dictionary, so it’s likely over Perry’s head. Hyuk hyuk.

    But it is very common in “conservative” circles these days (and not a little bit on this blog) to hear rants against “elites”. The subtext (or, often, the text) being a sort of “Who are you to think you’re better/smarter/etc. than me?” attitude. Which, of course, belies the attitude that no one is smarter than anyone. You can see how easily anti-intellectualism, or even an anti-education mindset, arises in such situations.

    Ultimately, of course, it’s anti-authority. Most people railing against “elites” don’t think so, but that’s where we’re headed. People rail against science, against the media, against people who claim or appear to know more than they do. They rail against people with experience in governing. I mean, really, where do you think this will end? Have you seen Idiocracy?

    These days, too many Republicans seem to be running on the motto: “Government can’t do anything right. Elect me and I will prove it to you. I am no more competent to lead this nation than you are. I’m just as dumb as you.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow, tu quoque really has a powerful attraction among “conservatives” today!

    Anyhow, Carl (@13), not that it’s on topic, but (1) why are you linking to a New York Times article, and why do you believe those librul lies? and (2) what, exactly, is “plain dumb” about that? Oh, and, um, that’s from 2007. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t you? What, is NewsBusters’ site down?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow, tu quoque really has a powerful attraction among “conservatives” today!

    Anyhow, Carl (@13), not that it’s on topic, but (1) why are you linking to a New York Times article, and why do you believe those librul lies? and (2) what, exactly, is “plain dumb” about that? Oh, and, um, that’s from 2007. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t you? What, is NewsBusters’ site down?

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    One reason that some are suspicious of intellectuals is that most of the destructive ideas over the last 150 years have come from academia. Communism, the most visible, but fascism has polysyllabic roots. (Dr. Veith can give you an ear full, also Jonah Goldberg.)
    Less dramatic have been the faith corroding effect of certain schools of Biblical criticism and the anti-theist culture that has thrived in western intelligencia.
    The suspicion is broad brushed and indiscriminate, I readily concede, but it is not without cause.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    One reason that some are suspicious of intellectuals is that most of the destructive ideas over the last 150 years have come from academia. Communism, the most visible, but fascism has polysyllabic roots. (Dr. Veith can give you an ear full, also Jonah Goldberg.)
    Less dramatic have been the faith corroding effect of certain schools of Biblical criticism and the anti-theist culture that has thrived in western intelligencia.
    The suspicion is broad brushed and indiscriminate, I readily concede, but it is not without cause.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    On the topic, here’s a quote (from Slate) from Christopher Hitchens on Perry’s theological assertions on creation and inerrancy-

    “And this is what one always wants to know about candidates who flourish the Good Book or who presume to talk about hell and damnation. Do they, themselves, in their heart of hearts, truly believe it? Is there any evidence, if it comes to that, that Perry has ever studied the theory of evolution for long enough to be able to state roughly what it says? And how much textual and hermeneutic work did he do before deciding on the “inerrancy” of Jewish and Christian scripture? It should, of course, be the sincere believers and devout faithful who ask him, and themselves, these questions. But somehow, it never is. The risks of hypocrisy seem forever invisible to the politicized Christians, for whom sufficient proof of faith consists of loud and unambiguous declarations. I am always surprised that more is not heard from sincere religious believers, who have the most to lose if faith becomes a matter of poll-time dogma and lung power.”

    Of course, Hitch, is no ally, but his points are often well taken and always well articulated. Were that I could say the same of a Republican presidential candidate. :(

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    On the topic, here’s a quote (from Slate) from Christopher Hitchens on Perry’s theological assertions on creation and inerrancy-

    “And this is what one always wants to know about candidates who flourish the Good Book or who presume to talk about hell and damnation. Do they, themselves, in their heart of hearts, truly believe it? Is there any evidence, if it comes to that, that Perry has ever studied the theory of evolution for long enough to be able to state roughly what it says? And how much textual and hermeneutic work did he do before deciding on the “inerrancy” of Jewish and Christian scripture? It should, of course, be the sincere believers and devout faithful who ask him, and themselves, these questions. But somehow, it never is. The risks of hypocrisy seem forever invisible to the politicized Christians, for whom sufficient proof of faith consists of loud and unambiguous declarations. I am always surprised that more is not heard from sincere religious believers, who have the most to lose if faith becomes a matter of poll-time dogma and lung power.”

    Of course, Hitch, is no ally, but his points are often well taken and always well articulated. Were that I could say the same of a Republican presidential candidate. :(

  • Lou

    Pastor Spomer, Nice reference to the Hitchens piece. “It should, of course, be the sincere believers and devout faithful who ask him, and themselves, these questions. But somehow, it never is. ” Amen to that!

  • Lou

    Pastor Spomer, Nice reference to the Hitchens piece. “It should, of course, be the sincere believers and devout faithful who ask him, and themselves, these questions. But somehow, it never is. ” Amen to that!

  • Lou

    Within Reformed circles, I attribute much of the malaise about intellectual engagement with issues of culture and politics to the overwhelming acceptance of Presuppositionalism. Probably doesn’t answer why the politicians are doing it, even if it does explain in part why we don’t seem to care that much.

  • Lou

    Within Reformed circles, I attribute much of the malaise about intellectual engagement with issues of culture and politics to the overwhelming acceptance of Presuppositionalism. Probably doesn’t answer why the politicians are doing it, even if it does explain in part why we don’t seem to care that much.

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 10 A lot of the objection to book learnin’ comes from the feeling that many in the comfortable world of value transference professions are basically cheating honest working people. So the book learned types would be like the Wall Street scammers who, while smart, do not actually serve others so much as themselves. Did the anti intellectuals to which you refer feel the same way towards medical doctors and the engineers who built things like bridges and cars etc? I bet they didn’t. Real ingenuity serves people. Sophisticated scamming doesn’t. Those simple people may well have understood that while yet lacking a clear expression of the view. Just 2¢

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 10 A lot of the objection to book learnin’ comes from the feeling that many in the comfortable world of value transference professions are basically cheating honest working people. So the book learned types would be like the Wall Street scammers who, while smart, do not actually serve others so much as themselves. Did the anti intellectuals to which you refer feel the same way towards medical doctors and the engineers who built things like bridges and cars etc? I bet they didn’t. Real ingenuity serves people. Sophisticated scamming doesn’t. Those simple people may well have understood that while yet lacking a clear expression of the view. Just 2¢

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer said (@16):

    One reason that some are suspicious of intellectuals is that most of the destructive ideas over the last 150 years have come from academia.

    Yeah, that’s the same reason I’m suspicious of my toaster oven. It also is based on ideas that came out of academia.

    Seriously, how is that not a pretty ghastly logical fallacy? I mean, I realize logical fallacies are, themselves, tools of the fat-cat, ivory-tower elites, used to subjugate the good, honest people of small-town America, but … just to be clear, you’re saying that since some of the ideas that came out of “academia” had “destructive” results, then people are “not without cause” to be suspicious of “intellectuals” in general?

    Intellectuals like … you, pastor? Pretty sure you’ve spent more years in fancy-pants institutes of higher learning than normal, moral folk.

    I mean, I think I get that you’re not entirely endorsing this suspicion, sort of, but …

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer said (@16):

    One reason that some are suspicious of intellectuals is that most of the destructive ideas over the last 150 years have come from academia.

    Yeah, that’s the same reason I’m suspicious of my toaster oven. It also is based on ideas that came out of academia.

    Seriously, how is that not a pretty ghastly logical fallacy? I mean, I realize logical fallacies are, themselves, tools of the fat-cat, ivory-tower elites, used to subjugate the good, honest people of small-town America, but … just to be clear, you’re saying that since some of the ideas that came out of “academia” had “destructive” results, then people are “not without cause” to be suspicious of “intellectuals” in general?

    Intellectuals like … you, pastor? Pretty sure you’ve spent more years in fancy-pants institutes of higher learning than normal, moral folk.

    I mean, I think I get that you’re not entirely endorsing this suspicion, sort of, but …

  • Joanne

    I clicked on the very first link to Governor Perry’s college transcripts that passed under my snoopy nose. I inhaled deeply. What I found was a young man at the wrong school studying the wrong subjects. The several good grades indicated he had the capability to benefit from university level education, but he had obviously not found his location and focus. I might have steered him to engineering and Texas Tech while taking AFROTC, with some hindsight folded into that counseling decision. Still, graduating with a 2.5 from A&M is, in Texas, a badge of survival somewhat like survival in the Marines.

    When it comes to the intelligence I want our president to have now and what I rue our past few presidents not having, is a native and learned economic intelligence. He needs to be immune to Marxian and Keyesian economic schemes. He (or she) needs to be able to relate to a roomful of shouting economists and financiers yelling “emergency” and counsel due process, the rule of law, the value of the dollar, stability, and calm deliberation. And above all, he needs that special knowledge to know who knows what he needs to know, and to keep them at his elbow. (Tim Geithner need not apply.)

  • Joanne

    I clicked on the very first link to Governor Perry’s college transcripts that passed under my snoopy nose. I inhaled deeply. What I found was a young man at the wrong school studying the wrong subjects. The several good grades indicated he had the capability to benefit from university level education, but he had obviously not found his location and focus. I might have steered him to engineering and Texas Tech while taking AFROTC, with some hindsight folded into that counseling decision. Still, graduating with a 2.5 from A&M is, in Texas, a badge of survival somewhat like survival in the Marines.

    When it comes to the intelligence I want our president to have now and what I rue our past few presidents not having, is a native and learned economic intelligence. He needs to be immune to Marxian and Keyesian economic schemes. He (or she) needs to be able to relate to a roomful of shouting economists and financiers yelling “emergency” and counsel due process, the rule of law, the value of the dollar, stability, and calm deliberation. And above all, he needs that special knowledge to know who knows what he needs to know, and to keep them at his elbow. (Tim Geithner need not apply.)

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    @tODD 14, Good point. I’ve often suspected that an anti-authoritarian bias stands beneath much popular back-lash against learning.

    @Pastor S 16, Past 150 years? How about for all of recorded human history? Ideas come from thinkers. Of course, that includes the good ideas too. I do understand the romantic notion of returning to simpler times to avoid the dangers of nuclear war and aluminum-based anti-perspirant, but I suspect such views are hopelessly naive.

    @Lou 19, I have often wondered the same thing. Mind you, what passes for Presuppositionalism in contemporary evangelicalism seems to be varnished post-modernism rather than a careful interaction with the ideas of Van Til, etc.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    @tODD 14, Good point. I’ve often suspected that an anti-authoritarian bias stands beneath much popular back-lash against learning.

    @Pastor S 16, Past 150 years? How about for all of recorded human history? Ideas come from thinkers. Of course, that includes the good ideas too. I do understand the romantic notion of returning to simpler times to avoid the dangers of nuclear war and aluminum-based anti-perspirant, but I suspect such views are hopelessly naive.

    @Lou 19, I have often wondered the same thing. Mind you, what passes for Presuppositionalism in contemporary evangelicalism seems to be varnished post-modernism rather than a careful interaction with the ideas of Van Til, etc.

  • –helen

    “The next knee-slapper: He didn’t have the grades to be a vet, so he became a pilot.”

    1. It is harder to get into veterinary school than medical school.
    2. I don’t know how the Air Force operates, but in the Navy it takes some intelligence to be a pilot. (Was Perry, really?)
    [We have a Navy pilot (veteran) in the family.]

    Maybe it takes some “smarts” to act as dumb as Perry does?
    (I still don’t like him. The anti-intelligence attitude is inbred, IMO.)

  • –helen

    “The next knee-slapper: He didn’t have the grades to be a vet, so he became a pilot.”

    1. It is harder to get into veterinary school than medical school.
    2. I don’t know how the Air Force operates, but in the Navy it takes some intelligence to be a pilot. (Was Perry, really?)
    [We have a Navy pilot (veteran) in the family.]

    Maybe it takes some “smarts” to act as dumb as Perry does?
    (I still don’t like him. The anti-intelligence attitude is inbred, IMO.)

  • SKPeterson

    tODD @ 14 and 15 – I think you’ve hit on something, but I’ll add this explanatory twist. What we are seeing made manifest is the reaction of people against an elite (real or perceived) that has repeatedly stated “we’ve got everything under control, don’t worry,” while things have gone south, the elites appear to be getting wealthier, and the people in the hustings getting poorer. Again, this is as much perception as reality, but the political elites that have played on their intellects have managed to botch things to such an extent that it cannot be quietly swept under a convenient political or economic rug. These elites have largely lost credibility with much of the electorate and those who want to sway that electorate towards their campaigns are going out of their way to differentiate themselves from this intellectual elite by appeals to an aw shucks, down home, common sense political image. Soon, they’ll be wearing more flannel shirts than Lamar Alexander and butchering the English language left and right in order to prove their common-man bonafides.

  • SKPeterson

    tODD @ 14 and 15 – I think you’ve hit on something, but I’ll add this explanatory twist. What we are seeing made manifest is the reaction of people against an elite (real or perceived) that has repeatedly stated “we’ve got everything under control, don’t worry,” while things have gone south, the elites appear to be getting wealthier, and the people in the hustings getting poorer. Again, this is as much perception as reality, but the political elites that have played on their intellects have managed to botch things to such an extent that it cannot be quietly swept under a convenient political or economic rug. These elites have largely lost credibility with much of the electorate and those who want to sway that electorate towards their campaigns are going out of their way to differentiate themselves from this intellectual elite by appeals to an aw shucks, down home, common sense political image. Soon, they’ll be wearing more flannel shirts than Lamar Alexander and butchering the English language left and right in order to prove their common-man bonafides.

  • steve

    “But what bothers me even more than conservatives who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent are CHRISTIANS who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent.”

    There’s a whole television network based on Christians coming across as ignorant and they’re doing very well. Until the people demand more (from preachers or from politicians) this is what they’ll continue to get.

  • steve

    “But what bothers me even more than conservatives who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent are CHRISTIANS who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent.”

    There’s a whole television network based on Christians coming across as ignorant and they’re doing very well. Until the people demand more (from preachers or from politicians) this is what they’ll continue to get.

  • kenneth

    I believe naturalism is one cause in the demise of the appreciation of intelligence. Reductionist scientists have been ruling out intelligence for centuries because of their theory of random change. No creator, just junk happening to be without explanation except as a presuuposition so they may proceed with NOOOOO CREATOR worldview. It’s, according to them , no being an existent, even no person, only life without purpose. I am so glad Christians must say no to them.

  • kenneth

    I believe naturalism is one cause in the demise of the appreciation of intelligence. Reductionist scientists have been ruling out intelligence for centuries because of their theory of random change. No creator, just junk happening to be without explanation except as a presuuposition so they may proceed with NOOOOO CREATOR worldview. It’s, according to them , no being an existent, even no person, only life without purpose. I am so glad Christians must say no to them.

  • mendicus

    Webmonk@2. Seriously? Zero-to-negative correlation between intelligence and reaching upper management? Hogwash. Any smart CEO is going to surround himself with smart specialists in the various fields (finance, operations, law, etc.) in order to be able to make the best decisions possible and thereby maximize the value of his (and their) stock options. Of course there are instances where it doesn’t work that way, where verbal facility or personal connection or plain ruthlessness wins in spite of a lack of technical competence. But generally, because money is involved, smart and creative people tend to make their way to the top.

  • mendicus

    Webmonk@2. Seriously? Zero-to-negative correlation between intelligence and reaching upper management? Hogwash. Any smart CEO is going to surround himself with smart specialists in the various fields (finance, operations, law, etc.) in order to be able to make the best decisions possible and thereby maximize the value of his (and their) stock options. Of course there are instances where it doesn’t work that way, where verbal facility or personal connection or plain ruthlessness wins in spite of a lack of technical competence. But generally, because money is involved, smart and creative people tend to make their way to the top.

  • Lou

    But, Kenneth @28, one of the smartest and most insightful things said on this topic thus far came from a quote by Christopher Hitchens, an avowed atheistic naturalist.

    John #24 – excellent point!! I’m not a huge VanTil fan, but will grant that the finer points of his presuppositionalism have been lost on today’s post-modernish neo-cals. Not sure if that’s exactly what you meant, but I agree with your point nonetheless.

  • Lou

    But, Kenneth @28, one of the smartest and most insightful things said on this topic thus far came from a quote by Christopher Hitchens, an avowed atheistic naturalist.

    John #24 – excellent point!! I’m not a huge VanTil fan, but will grant that the finer points of his presuppositionalism have been lost on today’s post-modernish neo-cals. Not sure if that’s exactly what you meant, but I agree with your point nonetheless.

  • kenneth

    Lou —So what? =======Respectfully========= ken.

  • kenneth

    Lou —So what? =======Respectfully========= ken.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    John@24
    “Past 150 years? How about for all of recorded human history? Ideas come from thinkers.”
    Yes, as you say. I picked 150 years so as not to expand the debate on the virtues of the enlightenment, which had many virtues, as well as errors.
    As I equivocated, “The suspicion is broad brushed and indiscriminate, I readily concede..”
    I don’t believe for a moment in anti-intellectualism, I meant that to rectify the prejudices of some we must first understand its origin, and address them respectfully. It is not the case that there are the educated on one hand and the hoi polloi on the other. There are intellectuals that speak on behalf of common wisdom and tradition (a tradition passed down by parents and churches more than universities) William Buckley comes to mind, Chesterton too. The poet Robert Frost, who was accessible to the unlettered but never patronizing or vulgar.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    John@24
    “Past 150 years? How about for all of recorded human history? Ideas come from thinkers.”
    Yes, as you say. I picked 150 years so as not to expand the debate on the virtues of the enlightenment, which had many virtues, as well as errors.
    As I equivocated, “The suspicion is broad brushed and indiscriminate, I readily concede..”
    I don’t believe for a moment in anti-intellectualism, I meant that to rectify the prejudices of some we must first understand its origin, and address them respectfully. It is not the case that there are the educated on one hand and the hoi polloi on the other. There are intellectuals that speak on behalf of common wisdom and tradition (a tradition passed down by parents and churches more than universities) William Buckley comes to mind, Chesterton too. The poet Robert Frost, who was accessible to the unlettered but never patronizing or vulgar.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Lou @30, that’s exactly what I meant…and I think it’s rooted in intellectual laziness.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Lou @30, that’s exactly what I meant…and I think it’s rooted in intellectual laziness.

  • fws

    sg @ 21

    Real ingenuity serves people. Sophisticated scamming doesn’t. Those simple people may well have understood that while yet lacking a clear expression of the view. Just 2¢

    Try substituting “morality” where you said “ingenuity”. That is what the Lutheran Confessions would say then….

  • fws

    sg @ 21

    Real ingenuity serves people. Sophisticated scamming doesn’t. Those simple people may well have understood that while yet lacking a clear expression of the view. Just 2¢

    Try substituting “morality” where you said “ingenuity”. That is what the Lutheran Confessions would say then….

  • fws

    The morality of those who rule consists of having the government do Goodness and Mercy that God demands.

    To claim to pass the moral litmus test of believing in God (muslims do too…) or to believe that what the bible says is true (satan believes this too) or even to know that abortion is wrong and murder (even those who make “exceptions” and kill babies that are the product of rape or incest “know” this !…. ahem.) is false morality and so sinful to hold out as qualifications for public office,.

    Deeds not creeds DOES apply here.

  • fws

    The morality of those who rule consists of having the government do Goodness and Mercy that God demands.

    To claim to pass the moral litmus test of believing in God (muslims do too…) or to believe that what the bible says is true (satan believes this too) or even to know that abortion is wrong and murder (even those who make “exceptions” and kill babies that are the product of rape or incest “know” this !…. ahem.) is false morality and so sinful to hold out as qualifications for public office,.

    Deeds not creeds DOES apply here.

  • Lou

    #31 – my point@19 proven. Thanks.

  • Lou

    #31 – my point@19 proven. Thanks.

  • kenneth

    G K Chesterton is a great example that speaks to everyman and most particularily intellectuals. His mysteries show up God’s insrutable grace to all. Crime is God’s judment on sin but Chesterton shows how He over and over again offers mercy to those who will accept on faith alone.

    Thank you Pastor Spomer for pointing him out among others who try to follow God’s command to teach and preach the Gospel to anyone.

  • kenneth

    G K Chesterton is a great example that speaks to everyman and most particularily intellectuals. His mysteries show up God’s insrutable grace to all. Crime is God’s judment on sin but Chesterton shows how He over and over again offers mercy to those who will accept on faith alone.

    Thank you Pastor Spomer for pointing him out among others who try to follow God’s command to teach and preach the Gospel to anyone.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @36 Just snarky rudeness. Nothing is proven @31.

    Lou @30 is just an example of the ecological fallacy.

    But, Kenneth @28, one of the smartest and most insightful things said on this topic thus far came from a quote by Christopher Hitchens, an avowed atheistic naturalist.

    Just because some, or even many, atheists make insightful comments doesn’t change the trend kenneth notes @28. Lou @30 is like noting a few very tall women to refute the assertion that on average men are taller. So what if there are a few very tall women? On average women are about 5 inches shorter.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @36 Just snarky rudeness. Nothing is proven @31.

    Lou @30 is just an example of the ecological fallacy.

    But, Kenneth @28, one of the smartest and most insightful things said on this topic thus far came from a quote by Christopher Hitchens, an avowed atheistic naturalist.

    Just because some, or even many, atheists make insightful comments doesn’t change the trend kenneth notes @28. Lou @30 is like noting a few very tall women to refute the assertion that on average men are taller. So what if there are a few very tall women? On average women are about 5 inches shorter.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hmm @ 38 my blockquote didn’t work.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hmm @ 38 my blockquote didn’t work.

  • Lou

    SG: you trying to extract meaning and context out of a single statement in order to advance a character attack is not a very becoming move (especially since we’re trying to talk about why Christians can’t have intelligent conversations). You might like to consider trying to understand what others are saying before you launch out in attack mode. (side note: I like you and even though I don’t comment on everything you write, I actually respect most of the things you say here. However, personal attacks are not included.)

  • Lou

    SG: you trying to extract meaning and context out of a single statement in order to advance a character attack is not a very becoming move (especially since we’re trying to talk about why Christians can’t have intelligent conversations). You might like to consider trying to understand what others are saying before you launch out in attack mode. (side note: I like you and even though I don’t comment on everything you write, I actually respect most of the things you say here. However, personal attacks are not included.)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What personal attack?

    I thought the comment was snarky and rude.

    The rest is just an explanation of a fallacy.

    I didn’t mean to offend.

    Anyway, lots of people read and never comment. So, if you actually explain stuff rather than assuming people know what you mean, it helps those readers. I hope this doesn’t sound condescending.

    Sometimes, the tone of stuff in print comes off other than intended.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What personal attack?

    I thought the comment was snarky and rude.

    The rest is just an explanation of a fallacy.

    I didn’t mean to offend.

    Anyway, lots of people read and never comment. So, if you actually explain stuff rather than assuming people know what you mean, it helps those readers. I hope this doesn’t sound condescending.

    Sometimes, the tone of stuff in print comes off other than intended.

  • Lou

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me about my point on presuppositionalism (a lot of guys I go to church with disagree greatly with me on this point), but I can recap it for you, so you can get the meaning.

    @19 Lou’s assertion: Overwhelming acceptance of (neo-cal) presuppositionalism within Reformed circles prohibits intelligent engagement between Reformed Christians and those out in secular culture. Also, explains in part why Reformed Christians don’t seem to care that much about the lack of intellectual engagement in politics.

    @28 Kenneth’s assertion: The naturalist, reductionist scientists’ presupposition has resulted in the demise of the appreciation of intelligence.

    @30 Lou’s assertion: The smartest and most insightful comment was a quote from a self-avowed atheistic naturalist. (Note: the quote indicts “sincere believers and devout faithful” for not questioning their own anti-intellectuals and correcting them accordingly.)

    @31 Kenneth asserts (respectfully and succinctly): So what?

    @36 Lou asserts (succinctly and perhaps not as respectfully as Kenneth): Kenneth’s response reflects what Lou previously asserted about how presuppositionalism leads Reformed Christians to disengage from intellectual discourse with the secular culture — to not care. Hence, @31 was ironically illustrative of my original thesis @19, even though I don’t entirely disagree with Kenneth’s original thesis at @28.

    So, Kenneth, I know you and I are big boys, and that if I offended you, then you would say so. However, I wish to extend my sincere apologies to you, Kenneth, if I came across as disrespectful to you in any way. That was not my intention. Glad we are big boys, right?

  • Lou

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me about my point on presuppositionalism (a lot of guys I go to church with disagree greatly with me on this point), but I can recap it for you, so you can get the meaning.

    @19 Lou’s assertion: Overwhelming acceptance of (neo-cal) presuppositionalism within Reformed circles prohibits intelligent engagement between Reformed Christians and those out in secular culture. Also, explains in part why Reformed Christians don’t seem to care that much about the lack of intellectual engagement in politics.

    @28 Kenneth’s assertion: The naturalist, reductionist scientists’ presupposition has resulted in the demise of the appreciation of intelligence.

    @30 Lou’s assertion: The smartest and most insightful comment was a quote from a self-avowed atheistic naturalist. (Note: the quote indicts “sincere believers and devout faithful” for not questioning their own anti-intellectuals and correcting them accordingly.)

    @31 Kenneth asserts (respectfully and succinctly): So what?

    @36 Lou asserts (succinctly and perhaps not as respectfully as Kenneth): Kenneth’s response reflects what Lou previously asserted about how presuppositionalism leads Reformed Christians to disengage from intellectual discourse with the secular culture — to not care. Hence, @31 was ironically illustrative of my original thesis @19, even though I don’t entirely disagree with Kenneth’s original thesis at @28.

    So, Kenneth, I know you and I are big boys, and that if I offended you, then you would say so. However, I wish to extend my sincere apologies to you, Kenneth, if I came across as disrespectful to you in any way. That was not my intention. Glad we are big boys, right?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    (Note: the quote indicts “sincere believers and devout faithful” for not questioning their own anti-intellectuals and correcting them accordingly.)

    I am going to assume many folks here are sincere believers and devout faithful, and I am reading as they are questioning and correcting right here as we are reading. Are we unusual in that respect? Probably not. But our voices are not amplified. The voices of ignorant Christians, and smart secularists are amplified. There are plenty of dim secularists, and smart Christians, as you know.

    If sincere believers and devout faithful question and the media doesn’t cover it, does it still count?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    (Note: the quote indicts “sincere believers and devout faithful” for not questioning their own anti-intellectuals and correcting them accordingly.)

    I am going to assume many folks here are sincere believers and devout faithful, and I am reading as they are questioning and correcting right here as we are reading. Are we unusual in that respect? Probably not. But our voices are not amplified. The voices of ignorant Christians, and smart secularists are amplified. There are plenty of dim secularists, and smart Christians, as you know.

    If sincere believers and devout faithful question and the media doesn’t cover it, does it still count?

  • Lou

    “Are we unusual in that respect?” Yes, and I think that’s the whole point. Somehow, it has become en vogue to play “see how I dumb I am”. Being anti-intellectual is now a virtue. It’s true of both Christians and secularists. Guys like Chris Hitchens and Gene Veith are never going to be pop icons or elected politician.
    Gotta run.

  • Lou

    “Are we unusual in that respect?” Yes, and I think that’s the whole point. Somehow, it has become en vogue to play “see how I dumb I am”. Being anti-intellectual is now a virtue. It’s true of both Christians and secularists. Guys like Chris Hitchens and Gene Veith are never going to be pop icons or elected politician.
    Gotta run.

  • steve

    Lou, it isn’t “now a virtue”. Anti-intellectualism has been popular for decades. But I think it’s been heralded by revivalists, charismatics, and pentecostals. The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism to be anti-intellectualism is questionable. Personally, I haven’t seen it and I can’t imagine a person could be guilty of the latter while at the same time having a firm grasp of the former.

  • steve

    Lou, it isn’t “now a virtue”. Anti-intellectualism has been popular for decades. But I think it’s been heralded by revivalists, charismatics, and pentecostals. The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism to be anti-intellectualism is questionable. Personally, I haven’t seen it and I can’t imagine a person could be guilty of the latter while at the same time having a firm grasp of the former.

  • steve

    An edit gone awry. Should read:

    The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism leads people to be anti-intellectual is questionable.

  • steve

    An edit gone awry. Should read:

    The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism leads people to be anti-intellectual is questionable.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Maybe those whom we would say are acting dumb are trying to affect a patina of down to earth commonality with people rather than the condescending I know better than you simple people attitude.

    Speaking of down to earth. I never thought much of that phrase until I took an art class where it was explained that human subjects whose heads didn’t rise above the horizon were visually represented as tied to their earthly condition where as noble figures were depicted with their heads above the horizon. It made me look at art and even photography differently.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Maybe those whom we would say are acting dumb are trying to affect a patina of down to earth commonality with people rather than the condescending I know better than you simple people attitude.

    Speaking of down to earth. I never thought much of that phrase until I took an art class where it was explained that human subjects whose heads didn’t rise above the horizon were visually represented as tied to their earthly condition where as noble figures were depicted with their heads above the horizon. It made me look at art and even photography differently.

  • steve

    sg, 47, Politicians pandering to to get votes? That would never happen, would it? I mean, that would be like Obama suddenly dropping the g’s wen he gets in certain crowds to raise his street cred. Unthinkable.

  • steve

    sg, 47, Politicians pandering to to get votes? That would never happen, would it? I mean, that would be like Obama suddenly dropping the g’s wen he gets in certain crowds to raise his street cred. Unthinkable.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    “The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism leads people to be anti-intellectual is questionable.”

    I’m a student at a Reformed Baptist seminary, and have encountered a great many who use presuppositionalism to shield their anti-intellectualism. I would not say that it leads them to this position, so much as that it provides an epistemological shelter for their intellectual laziness. This is just my experience, though, which is limited to one seminary in one part of the country in one denom…

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    “The degree to which Reformed presuppositionalism leads people to be anti-intellectual is questionable.”

    I’m a student at a Reformed Baptist seminary, and have encountered a great many who use presuppositionalism to shield their anti-intellectualism. I would not say that it leads them to this position, so much as that it provides an epistemological shelter for their intellectual laziness. This is just my experience, though, which is limited to one seminary in one part of the country in one denom…

  • http://www.sally-apokedak.com/whispers_of_dawn/ Sally Apokedak

    But what bothers me even more than conservatives who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent are CHRISTIANS who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent.

    If a man is ignorant or unintelligent, he should not be slammed for admitting the truth. Pretending to be what we are not is hypocrtical. I can’t understand why you would be bothered by Christians who ARE unintelligent. Is that different from being bothered by Christians who aren’t good looking?

    I find honesty attractive. I don’t care if a man is intelligent or not. Many intelligent people are unattractive.

  • http://www.sally-apokedak.com/whispers_of_dawn/ Sally Apokedak

    But what bothers me even more than conservatives who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent are CHRISTIANS who are or try to come across as ignorant and unintelligent.

    If a man is ignorant or unintelligent, he should not be slammed for admitting the truth. Pretending to be what we are not is hypocrtical. I can’t understand why you would be bothered by Christians who ARE unintelligent. Is that different from being bothered by Christians who aren’t good looking?

    I find honesty attractive. I don’t care if a man is intelligent or not. Many intelligent people are unattractive.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @50 :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @50 :-)

  • Michael

    “The view among many around me was that formal education and “book learnin’” was inherently sinful and one of the greatest tools of the Evil One that existed. There was general agreement that the more education one had, the less likely one was to cling to Christ”

    If you’re talking about fundamentalist Christianity, then statistics completely agree with them, however, and not you. While one can be educated and be Christian, education is poisonous to fundamentalism. A person can only take so much before it starts to have an effect. How often do you come across a highly educated person who thinks all non-Christians are going to hell or the earth was created in 6 days? Does anyone really think having a 4-year bachelor degree has no statistical bearing on these issues? If I were a fundamentalist Christian, I wouldn’t let my kids go near college.

  • Michael

    “The view among many around me was that formal education and “book learnin’” was inherently sinful and one of the greatest tools of the Evil One that existed. There was general agreement that the more education one had, the less likely one was to cling to Christ”

    If you’re talking about fundamentalist Christianity, then statistics completely agree with them, however, and not you. While one can be educated and be Christian, education is poisonous to fundamentalism. A person can only take so much before it starts to have an effect. How often do you come across a highly educated person who thinks all non-Christians are going to hell or the earth was created in 6 days? Does anyone really think having a 4-year bachelor degree has no statistical bearing on these issues? If I were a fundamentalist Christian, I wouldn’t let my kids go near college.

  • Martin

    Michael @52: Wow. I think you said it all. (That is if “It” equals what’s wrong with growing number of Christians in this country who delibrately try to be unintelligent. ) If this is what fundamentalism means, we need to run from it! and then get busy engaging the various fields of education with true intellect.

  • Martin

    Michael @52: Wow. I think you said it all. (That is if “It” equals what’s wrong with growing number of Christians in this country who delibrately try to be unintelligent. ) If this is what fundamentalism means, we need to run from it! and then get busy engaging the various fields of education with true intellect.

  • kenneth

    Say Lou, Brothers indeed! And we are going to be one happy family! No fighting ever! Just great fun.

  • kenneth

    Say Lou, Brothers indeed! And we are going to be one happy family! No fighting ever! Just great fun.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X