Vail Valley Voices: Christian rationality
Vail, CO, Colorado
Dear Mr. (Richard) Carnes: I am writing in response to your commentary (Tuesday, June 9) on rational thinking.
I wanted to let you know that I have read your work in the Vail Daily since I moved here four months ago, and up until Monday, I appreciate what you have had to say.
However, I must address the fallacious thinking in your column. You throw out a nonsequitur argument and draw, by definition, conclusions that do not follow your premises.
You believe that because of what was done in Wichita we must give up on any religion or anti-religion and just “stick with rationality.”
The invalidity of such reasoning can be seen in the following questions: Do we do away with mathematics because some people get the answers wrong? No, you correct them and help them see their mistakes. Do we stop manufacturing cars, because Clara Harris repeatedly runs over her husband? No, we lock her up. Do we give up reading the newspaper because some people choose to publish articles that are not well thought through? No, you respond to them in humility and love hoping to correct some misconceptions.
Likewise, do we throw out Christianity because of some irrational action of some professing Christian? No. We admit that this killing was atrocious and we seek to show the true meaning of the Christian faith.
The logical outworking of biblical Christianity is love. 1 John 4:9 says, “We love because He first loved us.” Those who are to be “godly Christians,” then, are those who should love like Christ loved. He sacrificed himself unto death so that others might live.
We as biblical Christians are called to love all people regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, etc.
Christ commands us to love God and love our neighbors, which in context means everyone, even those who oppose us.
Do we agree with what Dr. Tiller was doing (late term abortions)? No. Do we kill him? Absolutely not.
Let me tell you that there are Christians in the Vail Valley and across this country who were saddened by the death of Dr. Tiller. We were sad for his family, for the church, for the one who shot him, and for those who are peacefully fighting for the rights of unborn children.
In addition, we stand opposed to those unreasonable “Christians” who think what was done to Dr. Tiller was a good thing.
To oppose such nonsense, Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written an article called “Moral Reasoning in Light of Wichita.”
In this, he calls arguments for the killing of Dr. Tiller, “embarrassing” and the act itself “a grotesque denial of the sanctity of human life.” It was published in The Chicago Tribune, but you can access it here http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=3909.
In addition, if you would like to understand the Christian faith from a philosophical perspective, you could read Ravi Zacharias’ “The Shattered Visage.” In that book he quotes one who said, “Good philosophy must exist if for no other reason then to answer bad philosophy.”
You could read a favorite of mine, J.P. Moreland’s “Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of The Soul.”
Finally, you could read anything by Alvin Plantinga, a Christian with a Ph.D in philosophy from Duke and professor at Notre Dame.
I assume that you being a columnist for the Daily want to be intellectually honest and present the best information in the most reasonable manner.
Here’s my challenge to you: You and I could read Dr. Tim Keller’s book “The Reason for God” together. I’ll buy the coffee.
I would love to think through the book with you to understand a non-Christian’s perspective on Dr. Keller’s arguments.
You can frequently find me at Yeti’s in Eagle or at Brush Creek Elementary on Sunday mornings.
Judd Rumley is the lead pastor of Eagle Bible Church.
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