Christianity and Western Culture vs the “Fact-Check” Cowards

It seems to me that the whole “fact check” industry is just a front for “I’m afraid to face ideas that run counter to my own thinking”. Fact checkers seem to be simple ideologues who all quote from the same ideological sources. It’s a big echo chamber. And it’s cowardly.

That’s precisely the opposite of why universities (for example) rose up in the first place. Universities were hotbeds of ideas in the middle ages.

I don’t remember the exact citation, but I was surprised to hear that Carl Trueman suggested (around the turn of the year 2000) that the most important “event” in the previous 1000 years was NOT the Reformation – rather, it was what he referred to as “the rise of the universities” in the middle ages.

It was here that all learning and systems of learning came together. It was here that the chain of events began that led to genuine understanding in virtually every field of knowledge.  

… early and high medieval scholasticism is marked by synthetic and systematic thought in all disciplines, the creation of general syllabuses including everything a student needed to know, organized in coherent form.

The goal of pedagogy [teaching] was now to train professional, full-time scholars with a substantive and methodological grasp of entire fields of knowledge, enabling them to push back frontiers [i.e., learn new things] and to defend their own positions against rival views.

Debate with other interpretations, articulated by proponents both living and dead, was expected to take place as a normal condition of intellectual labor.

In all fields, the expression of a range of competing views within the boundaries of acceptable teaching was seen as a natural outgrowth of scholarship and was regarded as invigorating and healthy, not threatening.

From Marcia L. Colish, “Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition: 400–1400”, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, ©1997 [Reprinted 1998], p. 265.

It is this systematization of every discipline (including theology, philosophy, and natural sciences) that led to the Protestant Reformation and also to the development and implementation of the scientific method.

Rodney Stark writes:

As the distinguished historian Edward Grant noted, “Within Western Christianity in the late Middle Ages … almost all professional theologians were also natural philosophers. The structure of medieval university education also made it likely that most theologians had early in their careers actually taught natural philosophy.”

… in the West, Grant explained, “natural philosophy could attract talented individuals who believed that they were free to present their opinions publicly on a host of problems that formed the basis of the discipline.”

It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the bond between theology and natural philosophy for the rise of Western civilization. As a result of this bond, the pursuit of knowledge about the natural world became central to the medieval university curriculum and led, ultimately, to the rise of Western science.

Stark, Rodney. How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity (p. 183). Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ORD). Kindle Edition.

Not all cultures are alike. Western culture and civilization became what it is because Christianity enabled westerners to have the freedom to explore unknown avenues and to learn what those avenues could teach.

The “fact check” industry wants to shut off other roads. This doesn’t preclude the fact that some people will follow Marx or Q, but these also need to be subjected to questioning by “rival views”.

Above all, we need the kind of openness and honesty that a strong Christian faith will foster. The entire universe is God’s universe. “Fact-checking” as it is practiced today is simply a road back to the dark ages.

Take care of your health!

Taking care of your health means more than just avoiding Covid! I recently turned 60, and my ABMarketing Leads business associate Michael just turned 53. He had a check-up, and he said on Facebook,

“Here is what a 30lb weight gain for this 53yo, during Covid, has caused: 1) blood pressure high enough requiring meds 2) cholesterol high enough requiring meds 3) pre-diabetes 4) likely sleep apnea 5) lack of energy and a few other downers resulting from 14 abnormal lab results. Point being: this surprise hit me like a ton of bricks SO get your check-ups! I will be fine as I drop the weight, eat better, and do more cardio to get back to where I was pre-30lbs. Then push for prime fitness.”

This is the down side of the lockdowns. Even with winter coming, get out and walk! Lift weights if you can, and eat right. Building muscle mass, especially as you are older, is critical. Belly fat = sewage collection for your body. Get rid of it!

The difference between Intelligent Design and Creationism

“The truth is that [Intelligent Design] (ID) and creationism have always differed fundamentally in their methods and starting assumptions. Creationism starts with a commitment to a particular understanding of the biblical text of Genesis and aims to reconcile scientific data with that understanding. [Intelligent Design], on the other hand, starts with a. Commitment to the essential principles of science and shows how those principles ultimately compel us to attribute life to a purposeful inventor—an intelligent designer. [Intelligent Design] authors settle for this vague description not because they want to smuggle God into science but because the jump from “intelligent designer” to “God” requires something beyond the essential principles of science.”

Douglas Axe, “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed”, New York, NY: HarperOne (HarperCollins) ©2016, p. 48.

Just testing

I’ve downloaded the WordPress app for iPad. I have it for my iPhone, but it’s pretty clunky. I’m just testing it out right now. I know I haven’t kept up with the WordPress interface(s) — I’m more accustomed to the old way of things — but I want to see how things are working at the moment, just in case I want to do anything with it. Thanks for checking in here!

A quiet rainy Saturday

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Top to bottom: John, Dani, Sissy, Nate.

I had four kids in the house today. It was a quiet rainy Saturday, and after doing the weekly food shopping, I took a nap, then I made my famous lemon pepper chicken. It’s one of the few things I cook that everyone seems to love.

Several of us had some really good and deep talks about what’s going on in our lives. To be sure, there are some things that we’d all change, but one of the things we are most happy about is how close we are as a family. We’ve all been through so much together (and on our own). The die is cast: we know we’re all in it together.

Later tonight we’re all going to see the new Justice League movie. It’ll be a letdown. All of my kids are already superheroes.

The only game in town

I’m at the airport for a 5:00 am flight. The sign says “Breakfast served 4:30-10:30”, but the guy here is open and crankin’ them out at least 3:45. He’s the only one open, and he’s “suggestive selling” too. He’s the only game in town, and he’s probably the guy who consistently makes and exceeds his numbers. Love the attitude!

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.

16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? http://esv.to/Ps71.15-19