Derek Rishmaway (blogger and Ph.D. candidate in Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) writes a short but pithy article warning the thinking that being contentious and argumentative is not “discernment” but rather is CYNICISM. And there is WAY TOO MUCH of that in the cyberworld!
I have been thinking about cynicism the last couple of weeks. (I have piece coming out in a couple of months on cynicism for CT, so I won’t repeat that bit.) The thing that struck me this morning, and I tweeted about, was its appeal.
I think, teach, and write for a living. I’m supposed to know some things. To have insight into either Scripture, or God, or the world. Wisdom, of sorts.
The thing about cynicism is that it offers an easy shortcut to the appearance of wisdom.
“Seeing through” the stated reasons and motives of others is a particularly prized form of insight in our context. (We’re all Nietzscheans, squinting to get at what’s really going on.)
And so if I’m in a dispute with someone, it’s pretty easy for me to come up with a fairly plausible rationale for why someone believes, says, or does something…
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