Ross Douthat on the Possibility of Pluralism

This is exactly why I read Ross Douthat. He holds out more hope for the possibilities of pluralism than I do, though I wish I could join him. I just find it hard to see any true pluralism in a large nation to be stable long-term. The fall has so deeply affected us. But I won’t say that the Bible’s clear teaching about the fall demands my pessimism; Paul holds out hope that “quiet and peaceable lives” are possible.

Then again, he appeals obliquely to the fall himself in the last paragraph of the piece:

I think anyone involved in these debates, whether they’re the ones appealing to pluralism or the ones to whom those appeals are being addressed, would profit from a certain realism about how human nature works around these issues, and how easy and natural it feels for the winning side on a given issue to declare, with Emily Bazelon (and like her, with the best intentions in the world), that while error may have some rights, it has slightly fewer than the erring thought they had just yesterday, or the day before.

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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