Friday, November 02, 2007
"Majoring in Submission" Exchange
Rebecca Merrill Groothuis has a long response to the comments of Steve Cowan under the post (below) "Majoring in Submission." She defends in more detail her claim that the traditionalist account of gender roles is logically incoherent. Please read it.
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this has nothing to do with this speific post however i think it is appalling and hope you refute saying this
"One must be a critic from within the church if one is to be a Christian."
this was found in an article about "blue like jazz" and was quoted with your name attached.
if being in a church is what you call christian then you are misguided. hopefully this was pulled out of context and has no reliablity.
however this is a stement miller directly cooses to adress in his book, this quote advocate practicing religion, not experiencing a friendship.
this post has nothing to do with your specific post, however i came across anappalling statement in a news article about you and hope you can refute/back up your opinion
I don't know about Groothuis, but I'll gladly attach that quote and its context in which Groothuis said it to my name!
Slightly off topic, too, but I read that review and I applaud your harshness. Blue Like Jazz is nothing more than some liberal attempt to undermine classic, literalist fundamentalism. I applaud your approach and think that this was a much-justified rebuke. I winced a little bit about your merciless slaughter of his tripe, but I suppose that sometimes you just need to be exceedingly harsh with such ideas. Perhaps one day your ideas will get an academic voice within the halls of intelligensia? I sure hope so. J. Wallis, M. Volf, and other liberals who deride our literalistic biblical interpretation get "plaudits" in the academic sphere, but I hope that one day they recongnize your ideas, too. That's my prayer plain and simple.
One more thing:
One thing that really, really makes me angry is the response to this book. I know of "Christians" who read this book and talk about how blessed they are, etc... My gut-reaction is to say that he's a devil in sheep's clothing; I'd prefer to cast my mepris with you on this "movement."
"Mepris"? Meaning contempt?
Why not just use the English word?
In response (begrudgingly so) to RF's second half of his first comment:
WHAT? Clearly you are operating (albeit this is possibly the intention) on a faulty or at best, a vastly incomplete definition of academia, i.e. "only liberals are academic and intellectual". Please stop perpetuating this false definition and attempting to drag others into it, regardless of your intentions. It is not helpful or constructive in any way.
Mepris is French, yes, but it is used in everyday speech. Other examples, such as Schadenfreude "happiness in other people's misery" is another example that is particularly apropos in this case. Sarah seems to enjoy pointing out how her definition of intelligensia is different than mine.
A fascist would demand that I desist from definitions contrary to theirs. But just because Sarah chooses to disagree with the standard definition "intellectuals considered as a group or class, esp. as a cultural, social, or political elite." (quoted from Dictionary.com). BTW: Dr. Groothuis does not define himself as a member of the cultural, social, and political elite, thus there's no reason to get extremely angry and upset about my adoption of Dictionary.com's definition that Groothuis tacitly accepts. None of us, as far as I'm aware are part of the intellectual elite of this country: we teach at bible colleges (me), seminaries (Groothuis), and other places. Nor do we aspire to teach at an elite institution.
Bear in mind, the term was originally Russian, and if you've read War and Peace, you'd know that the intellensia sat in the court of the king, occupied the chairs, and incidentally spoke French. You might enjoy reading it Sarah; it'll help you sharpen your definitions. You might also enjoy Ecclesiastes; therein you'd learn about the vaingloriousness of promoting ourselves with academic pedigrees.
Hmmm. Intriguing that "Schadenfreude" (a word I know well) shows up in my Webster's New Collegiate but "mepris" does not. Just how common a usage is that "everyday" word, rf?
I would teach at an elite institution in a heart beat if given the chance. I have lectured (at least) at a few, such as CU-Boulder.
righteousness first writes, “None of us, as far as I'm aware are part of the intellectual elite of this country: we teach at bible colleges (me), seminaries (Groothuis), and other places. Nor do we aspire to teach at an elite institution.” What is he talking about? He keeps on saying things that are simply false. Francis Beckwith has a pro-life book with Cambridge University Press. In addition, Quentin Smith writes, “…This [God and Other Minds] book, followed seven years later by Plantinga’s even more impressive book, The Nature of Necessity, made it manifest that a realist theist was writing at the highest qualitative level of analytic philosophy, on the same playing field as Carnap, Russel, Moore, Grunbaum, and other naturalists…in philosophy, it became, almost overnight, “academically respectable” to argue for theism…” One could go on and on with many, many other examples. Doug Groothuis writes, “I would teach at an elite institution in a heart beat if given the chance. I have lectured (at least) at a few, such as CU-Boulder.” I’m amazed that righteousness first is writing these things that are clearly incorrect. It is almost as if he is joking or something. I'm not trying to be mean, but his views should be corrected. We do need to put a lot more effort into working on the plausibility structure. J.P. Moreland writes, “In summary, the plausibility, content, strength, and centrality of our beliefs play a key role in determining our character and behavior. And various activities of thought and study affect our beliefs and thereby impact our character and behavior. Because thoughts and beliefs are contained in the mind, intellectual development and the renewal of the mind transform our lives.”
vasfzKyl you are correct about A. Plantiga, but I'd quibble with what constitutes an elite institution. I spent my first two (undergrad) years at Brown, which is on an entirely different level than CU Boulder. And if I had to guess, probably only 3% of the students at Brown either were accepted/or would have been accepted at Harvard and I'd guess the difference is as stark between Brown and UCB.
I highly doubt that you'd be happy at a place like Brown, which I'd hesitate to even call an elite university. Several schools: Stanford, HPY, Duke, Caltech, etc... are more competitive. The atmosphere there is more arrongantly liberal than low-tier secular schools such as UT Austin (where I've studied summer CG--which probably constituted the top 10% of UT Austin students) or some similar state schools where I've attended briefly. The students generally work hard and are bright at low-tier secular school, but most lack the superciliousness that comes with more elite universities. I think anyone who's been to both would recognize this.
Unless you've been affliated with this type of environment (which sounds unlikely), I doubt you'd be happy. Being an evangelist and counter-cult player wouldn't fly, as you know, just like it won't get you published in the AAR journal, etc... you have to adopt a spirit of plurism or become some specialist in a non-contraversial topic.
I guess I'm surprised, Dr. G., that you'd give up your entire approach--your ministry--in a heartbeat. Perhaps Colorado U. would tolerate your ministry, but I would scarcely call that elite. I know that Brown would not.
NB: I say the same about Baylor, a Baptist Universitat, or the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Having and eating your cake is mere chimery.
Lastly, I fail to see how writing as a realist theist is tantamount to writing as a conservative evangelical. I, too, could list scores of authors, including the like of T. Morrison or H. White if you use such perfunctory requirements.
Kyl: I guess you've thrown down the gauntlet for your own academic pursuits. We disagree on one simple fact, I have admitted to myself that evangelicalism has very little academic credibility, a handful of thousands of Ivy-League (or other top-tier schools) as professors, while I think that you would disagree. I guess it behooves you to first get your PhD from Harvard (or the like) and to then teach at a better school--otherwise, your arguments and optimism won't mean much.
I may disagree with you on another fact. I don't think that academia has some agenda and that they fail to interpet the data correctly, etc.. With the available data, if I were looking at the data and trusting the minds of the majority of our nations best and brightest, I would agree with their secular approach. But rather than looking at data primarily, I look to the Bible. In other words, I don't think all these liberals are dumb or have conspiracies--I think they are right when they examine their own data. I, instead, eschew the data and look to the Bible. And I'm honest about this assessment.
righteousness first writes, “I have admitted to myself that evangelicalism has very little academic credibility” As if the work of the great Christian intellectuals of our time is garbage. Why would you say something like that? The above quote is (once again) simply false. I’m consistently finding that Christians have far stronger arguments (on the non-Christian thinkers own terms of scholarship) than, for example, secular humanist. Are you trying to say that Christians don’t have brilliant, convincing, and sophisticated apologetic arguments? Do you think that apologetic arguments can’t make a positive impact on, for example, secular universities? If you do, there are a lot of people that strongly disagree with you. I’m not saying that there are not many, many intellectuals in the universities that hold that Christianity is obsolete or irrational. You should simply say something like “Christians have been making incredible academic accomplishments (e.g., especially in the philosophy departments), but we need to make even greater academic accomplishments. Because the cultural milieu greatly influences how people view Christianity, we must make even greater academic accomplishments. We need even more Christian scholars that can compete with non-Christians on their own terms of scholarship. The university is the most important institution shaping Western society.”
righteousness first writes, “…I fail to see how writing as a realist theist is tantamount to writing as a conservative evangelical.” Atheist Quentin Smith writes, “Naturalists passively watched as realist versions of theism, most influenced by Plantinga’s writings, began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians. Although many theists do not work in the area of the philosophy of religion, so many of them do work in this area that there are now over five philosophy journals devoted to theism or the philosophy of religion, such as Faith and Philosophy, Religious Studies, International Journal of the Philosophy of Religion, Sophia, Philosophia Christi, etc. Philosophia Christi began in the late 1990s and already is overflowing with submissions from leading philosophers.”
“I guess I'm surprised, Dr. G., that you'd give up your entire approach--your ministry--in a heartbeat. Perhaps Colorado U. would tolerate your ministry, but I would scarcely call that elite. I know that Brown would not.” As if Dr. Groothuis couldn’t make an impact at the aforementioned university.
“You might also enjoy Ecclesiastes; therein you'd learn about the vaingloriousness of promoting ourselves with academic pedigrees.” As if there is something immoral about being a Christian scholar.
“I think they are right when they examine their own data.” As if Judith Jarvis Thomson's pro-abortion choice view is correct. Since she examined her own data, it must be correct (sarcasm). As if Smith’s atheism is correct. Since he examined his own data, it must be correct (sarcasm).
I hope I didn’t sound mean. Thanks for your comments, righteousness first.
righteousness first writes, “I have admitted to myself that evangelicalism has very little academic credibility” William Lane Craig writes, “There is, for example, a revolution going on right now in the field of philosophy, which, as [Charles] Malik noted, is the most important domain for thought and intellect, since it is foundational to every other discipline at the university. Christian philosophers have been coming out of the closet and defending the truth of the Christian worldview with philosophically sophisticated arguments in the finest secular journals and professional societies. The face of American philosophy has been changed as a result.” If the mentioned Christians have very little academic credibility, why are they writing in the finest secular journals and professional societies? I want to emphasize that I’m not claiming that all, for example, leading secular humanists think highly of Christian views, but some of your very general descriptions are not useful (e.g., the above quote of yours).
Oh, but i am misunderstood.
I think the book is eyeopening.
similar to "Insights of the Unchurched."
They offer a window into other peoples mind, with which Christians can use as a tool.
Also, Christianity is not about rules, lest ye seek to gain the historically villified status of the pharisees, but a relationship with the being named Jesus.
I just looked at my old school's website and didn't see anyone who published with conservative presses. I also look at the NYU and Pitt site and saw the same thing.
I guess you would equate BIOLA with these other schools. That's where we differ. Perhaps I'm too cynical and should be more optimistic. I'm seeing a few blips on the life-o-meter, a dying pulse from the medieval ages, while your seeing a full-blown resescitation. But a few blips don't convince me.
My general impression is that there are far more Christians in football doing evangelism than at philosophy departments at secular schools.
righteousness first writes, “I'm seeing a few blips on the life-o-meter, a dying pulse from the medieval ages, while your seeing a full-blown resescitation. But a few blips don't convince me.” The quotes I have given are glaringly clear. Do you know how things were fifty years ago? Talk about God was widely regarded as literally meaningless. However, can you imagine an informed philosopher taking that type of view today? You can’t get any more clear than “There is, for example, a revolution going on right now in the field of philosophy…Christian philosophers have been coming out of the closet and defending the truth of the Christian worldview with philosophically sophisticated arguments in the finest secular journals and professional societies…In fact, many of America’s finest philosophers today are outspoken Christians.” How do you refute that? We are talking about the finest secular journals and professional societies! We are talking about some of the greatest intellectuals of our time. We are talking about Christian intellectuals. Although we are making an impact, we can do far better. The above quote is from Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig. Earlier I quoted from Love Your God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland.
Talk about God used to be regarded as literally meaningless. Talk about God is no longer regarded as literally meaningless. Are we supposed to say “It was defiantly just a few blips. Our Christian thinkers haven’t made much of a difference. Our Christian thinkers won’t make much of a difference.” I obviously don’t agree with that. This is nonsense.
righteousness first writes, “My general impression is that there are far more Christians in football doing evangelism than at philosophy departments at secular schools.”
righteousness first writes, “…evangelicalism has very little academic credibility…”
Are we supposed to believe that, for example, the master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics at Talbot has very little academic credibility? Should we merely describe it as an almost worthless blip? The answer is no. Below I put some quotes from this article http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/june/6.46.html
“…none of them could think of a master's in philosophy program with greater enrollment.”
“Their [Scott Rae and J.P. Moreland] hope was that once these students earned their Ph.D.s, they'd have a chance to teach philosophy at secular schools.”
"we're placing people in the best Ph.D. programs in the country."
“A CT survey of some of the best philosophers in the English-speaking world rendered much praise for Talbot's graduates. Those Zimmerman has known were "among the best prepared of grad students; they understood what serious scholarship was like.”
"a supernatural movement. Things cannot be explained by synergy of human effort and talent. It's bigger than all of us."
“Their writings—such as Does God Exist? (Prometheus Books, 1993), coauthored by Moreland—are being studied at hundreds of schools, secular and Christian.”
"He's good at addressing large general audiences and taken very seriously by people who work in metaphysics. He writes for good journals and speaks at APA."
"do careful research,"
“the renaissance of interest in philosophy at Talbot”
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