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It’s not only the left that expresses alarm when Christians jeopardize the “separation” between church and state when they stir from their slumber and begin to make a difference in the public square. Some Believers object, too. One Evangelical leader offered this stern warning: “There should not be even a hint of anything political in our public discourse.”
All Justices of the Supreme Court pledge fidelity to the Constitution with these words: I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. It occurs to me that no one with a “living document” view of the U.S. Constitution could make this pledge in good conscience. This oath requires that the words of the Constitution have determinate meaning; the words mean something fixed and particular.
Did you ever hear someone say, “You think God is on your side. He thinks God is on his side. You’re both wrong. God doesn’t take sides.” This, it turns out, is a self-refuting view. Listen to the way it works out in conversation: “You think God is on your side. He thinks God is on his side. You’re both wrong. God doesn’t take sides.” “Is that the view you hold?” “Yes.”
When people ask me if I believe in separation of church and state, I always say no. I believe in non-establishment. Here’s why. On January 1, 1802, Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, in which he used the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state.” His note was meant to quell the fears of the Danbury congregation who were concerned that a national denomination would be established. Here is the text in question:
Does Scripture teach we should be silent on anything that doesn’t have to do with saving souls? Is it God’s desire that we abandon everything this side of the grave as profane and utterly lost? Is nothing in this life valuable, important or worth redeeming?
Sometimes objections come in pairs that are logically inconsistent and therefore oppose each other. I call this "sibling rivalry" because they are like children fighting.
Philosopher J.P. Moreland points out that conservative Christian scholars have a point of view, like everyone else. The Christian's bias, though, doesn't inform his conclusions the same way biases inform the conclusions of the Jesus Seminar and liberal theologians.
This is known as a pseudo-question. It’s like asking, “Can God win an arm wrestling match against Himself?” or, “If God beat Himself up, who would win?” or, “Can God’s power defeat His own power?”
I want to teach you how to assess a basic argument. How can you know if an argument is a good one or not?
Does the Bible require making a private correction when you disagree with a published author?