Why Do Conservative Christians Blindly Follow Big-Name Moderates and Liberals?

You cannot crowd-source truth.

Cody Libolt
Apr 18, 2019 · 3 min read

For instance, why are conservatives even asking whether Evangelical Inc.’s “third-way” leader Timothy Keller can be a trustworthy source?

What led to this trend?

Also known as not thinking independently.

We rely on the authority of others.

My seminary professor seemed to trust this guy, so I’ll trust him. And this other guy appeared on a stage with one of the “good guys,” so he’s a good guy too, I guess…

Intellectual laziness eviscerates our discernment.

Even the institutions that promote orthodoxy are susceptible to this danger. When orthodoxy has already been defined by others, independent thought can take the appearance of a liability.

Is it harder to think independently in orthodox institutions? Only if you let it become so, through cowardice. But some orthodox institutions do seem to frown on independence of thought, or to be oblivious even to the possibility.

For instance, when I asked my Systematic Theology professor if we know how it was that Jesus was able to make a penal substitutionary atonement, he didn’t even understand the question. He simply repeated the verses that say that it happened.

I was wanting to understand how it worked. I was not merely asking where in Scripture we who believe the Bible can find the teaching.

In a similar discussion, this same professor once said, “It’s only logic.” I burst out in surprise. What a low view of logic! This, from the heirs of Aquinas and the Reformation?

Jacob Brunton pointed out that it’s hard to remain independent-minded in, “institutions that promote traditionalism, fideism, or any other lazy method of thinking other than taking full responsibility for your own beliefs.”

Why? Jacob explains:

“Because it is difficult to teach free thinking at the same time you are teaching a specific set of conclusions. Especially if you distrust philosophy, as most Protestants do.”

Confront the problem of second-handedness head on.

May we each be thinkers — which means, may we each be independent thinkers.


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