on rhetoric and responses

I should probably say something about the link I posted earlier and the reference to Phil Zuckerman. A week or so ago Mr. Zuckerman published a piece denigrating American Christians. As I noted in a comment on another post, Zuckerman starts with a blatant non sequitur. On that foundation of sand he attempts to portray American Christians in the worst possible light with all of the classic methods of misrepresentation and selective citation of evidence.

The obvious rejoinder to his entire premise is taken up by Mr. French, using data about the actual activity of living Christians as the basis for describing them, in contrast to using abstract perceptions based on hypothetical Christians derived from polling data. French only explores one area, financial donations, which by itself would raise the problem of the extent to which American Christians try to replace personal involvement with monetary giving. But he alludes to the time commitments and life choices of many American Christians, which are undiscovered by polling and ignored by critics like Zuckerman.

There are a lot of issues related to the topic engaged by Zuckerman and French that do need to be considered. There are ways American Christianity has not represented Jesus well, and there are important ideas to discuss. The problem in my opinion is that by his blatant hostility and apparent disinterest in discussing ideas in good faith, Mr. Zuckerman has helped to undermine the likelihood that American Christians will receive useful critique.

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One Response to on rhetoric and responses

  1. This Zuckerman sounds like a grade A arsehole to me – psyche him out!

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