Fish on Liberalism Again

Stanley Fish, in Why We Can’t All Just Get Along

If you persuade liberalism that its dismissive marginalizing of religious discourse is a violation of its own chief principle, all you will gain is the right to sit down at liberalism’s table where before you were denied an invitation; but it will still be liberalism’s table that you are sitting at, and the etiquette of the conversation will still be hers. That is, someone will now turn and ask, “Well, what does religion have to say about this question?” And when, as often will be the case, religion’s answer is doctrinaire (what else could it be?), the moderator (a title deeply revealing) will nod politely and turn to someone who is presumed to be more reasonable.

This is why if evangelical Christians ever find themselves with a public voice, they should look to use it to repeat what God says about the nation’s sins instead of listing horizontal, sociological effects that anyone at the table can potentially agree on. Christian reasoning on the most important points is ultimately doctrinaire. Who else will tell the world God’s doctrines?

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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