Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Years ago, when I was in the thick of writing and speaking against the New Age movement, I was being attacked by a Christian who was accusing me of having New Age sympathies. This was, of course, absurd, but this writer and speaker had a reputation for irresponsibly attacking other Christians in the harshest terms for the slightest reasons.

I talked about this attack with Walter Martin (d. 1989), the great counter-cult author and speaker--and a man with a personality as big as any room he was in. He said, "You can fight a skunk and win--but who wants to?" He then told me to write a letter responding to the charge and send it to the barracuda by registered mail. I did so.

Yet it is hard to remember this lesson, particularly concerning the anti-intelligent design "skunks" out there. I am not impugning all Darwinists or opponents of ID, but there is a certain strain of them that simply taunt and mock--for example, through comments on reviews. I am tempted to fight back a tit-for-a-tat, but this is really just a waste of time. As Jesus said, "Do not caste your pearls before swine."

It is difficult for a philosopher to have his arguments disregarded and to be mocked or scorned instead. Nevertheless, this is the strategy of the skunks. We need to let them stink alone and turn our attention elsewhere.


Jim Pemberton said...

One of the most important lessons to learn in living in this world is learning which battles to fight, and which to walk away from. We tend to talk about this world in idealistic terms and waste too much energy complaining that other people are not ideal. Rather, it is important to recognize that the world is in reality not ideal and in order to accomplish things in this world, we must work within the context of the reality of this world. Only then can we effectively affect positive change.

Emily said...

Those who study your pages for careful contemplation and genuine philosophy will not be distracted by the petty shallowness displayed in those comments. In fact, such ill-constructed attacks and arguments (if they even justify the term) leveled against your work often reinforce your solidness to serious seekers. Their "odor" repels us as well as it does you. Save your concern for those who bring true, weighty commentary to the table.