Dumb Christians, or, Love Thy Neighbor and Defend the Faith

  • Introductions: What does the public at large tend to think of Christianity?
  • Restatement of theme:
    • “If this issue was the reason a non-believer gave as their obstacle to Christianity, what would we say to them?”
    • Theme verse: “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” (Matthew 13:19)
  • Topic for Today: Dumb Christians, or, Love Thy Neighbor and Defend the Faith
    • Dumb Christian quotes.
      • “For a long time now Christians have been accused of abandoning rationality, putting their minds on the shelf, doing something ludicrous and ridiculous by becoming Christians. It’s an intellectually indefensible way of thinking. You’ve got to be an idiot to be a Christian…You’ve got to be dumb or stupid or ugly, or all three in order to become a Christian.”
      • “Today right-wing political activist (disguised as stage-named conservative Christian preacher) Jerry Falwell made the preposterous claim that a popular children’s TV character is a homosexual.”
      • “Frank is a product of anti-intellectual dumb Christians in the current Fundamentalist Dark Age.”
      • “Why is it that Christians insist on making dumb things dumber, more infantile, and just plain tackier.”
      • “I hear christians always talking about the “Revelations” and how ‘the time for the begining of the end is near’ Holy Crap. If god wanted the end of the world to happen you would think he would’ve done it by now.”
    • Read Matthew 22:15-46.
      • What does Christ’s example tell us about the problem of “dumb Christians”?
      • “And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.”
    • Read 1 Peter 3:13-17.
      • Is being a “dumb” Christian okay?
      • “…being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
    • There are “dumb” people in every category. It doesn’t make a good argument against Christianity, but it certainly seems that we ought to strive, to some degree, not to be in that category, but rather to be loving, gentle, and even shrewd (or wise). (Matthew 10:16)
    • “Dumb” isn’t really talking about intellectual depth. I don’t think the only good Christians are smart Christians. Rather, with the Holy Spirit’s help, I think we are to learn to use the gifts that we have to the best of our ability—I suspect all of us can learn a lot about being less foolish in the things we say.
  • Defending the Faith
    • I’m going to present an argument that I heard from the president of the Minnesota atheists when he presented at Dordt both last year and the year before: The God of the Gaps
    • I’m not sure where the argument originally came from.
    • There have been many things about our existence that have historically been unknown: lightning, earthquakes, disease, why people do bad things, and creation.
    • When we didn’t know, we simply decided to make God the one responsible.
    • As time went on, we have found “natural” explanations for pretty much all of these: electricity, or plate tectonics, or germs, or psychology, or evolution.
    • All of a sudden, we have rather pushed God out of the picture.
    • Let’s have at it—what do you think?


© 2005-2007 David and Rita Hjelle