The thing I most enjoy about being involved in the effort to deconstruct abusive philosophies (like reformed theology) is using reason as a weapon. Once we have successfully debunked all the equivocations the emissaries of the neo-Reformed movement employ in the service of peddling their false ideology, we reveal it for the rank mysticism it is.
On SpirituallyTyranny I successfully backed Tom into a logical corner whereby he was forced to admit that he had no rational counter-argument (here). The only place left for him to go was A. The admission that “faith” precluded reason (I COULDN’T be right, because who the hell am I to demand that Christians actually have a BETTER explanation for their beliefs than your run-of-the-mill witch doctor?), and/or B. More equivocation…which he proceeded to do in his last comment to me. Which really pissed me off but I’m through arguing with someone who considers “truth’ a fickle target…they can never be wrong because they merely change the definition to suit their argumentative whims at any given moment. For example:
Tom: Argo, you are dead to me
Argo: Tom believes he is morally pure as a “Christian” in his hatred of me; because according to his doctrine I am sub-human. I am controlled by satan…I AM depravity incarnate.
Tom: My attitude never approached the level of hate you attribute to me.
Argo: And I quote: “Argo, you are dead to me.”
And the rest of his comment was equally as nebulous in its logic.
The reason I harp on this kind of thing–aside from the fact that it is impossibly exasperating arguing with a demagogue (it’s a waste of time) because they are irrational by definition…reason is an insufficient vehicle for truth–is because our purpose should not necessarily be to convince these true believers of their rational folly (again, won’t happen because truth is bestowed by God, never learned), but instead to prove that what they peddle isn’t the “way” or the “truth” or the “life” AT ALL. Indeed…absent any reasonable definition, these terms cannot have ANY relevant meaning to man’s life. So while Wade, for example in his above comment, attempts to use them as a form of compassionate persuasion, he can’t really define them. As such, they peddle, again, mysticism. Or the idea that all truth and all determinative power which causes all things including man’s thoughts and ways is OUTSIDE of human epistemology. Humans are, in fact, non-existent as such. And therefore, are disregarded as stumbling blocks to God’s will…and abused and exploited accordingly.
This makes Christianity “proper”, as it were, NO different than any other religion on the planet. The fact is that though I am often accused of being a universalist (which is a riot, because I submit there will be fare FEWER people saved than most Christians believe…and I can tell you that reformation teachers should be very worried about their souls; for they cannot define man or God in their doctrine, and that is NOT going to be a good thing for them on the last day), the real universalists are the the “orthodox” Christians. Because they have no reasonable argument to offer for what they believe, and as such they offer no different “way” or “truth” or “life” in their message. People can go to any one of a hundred religions and be presented with the exact same metaphysical and epistemological assumptions regarding man. These “orthodox” Christians think they are saved because they merely use different names for their gods; they use different, perhaps more cerebral, equivocations to defend their ideas; they have different semantics by which the “explain” their faith.
It isn’t a better message because “better” to them has no rational explanation. What is better about being a Christian? Well, if you concede the same metaphysical and epistemological assumptions as every other two bit shaman or Islamist terrorist shithead or atheist communist party dictator, then…well, there is nothing better about being a Christian. By definition.
That is why it behooves us to do two things: Possess a thoroughly rational explanation for our beliefs; and make human life the objective plumb line for truth.