The Loss of Pastoral Credibility in the Age of the Internet

The title of this post is a little misleading, but its main idea is spot on. The author exposes our growing inability to engage opposing viewpoints, which was not a huge liability when many in the church were not exposed to them.

However, now that we have grown accustomed to wading through a torrent of information every day, we may more easily be swept aside by conflicting ideas if we cannot keep our feet firmly planted. This article exposes the problem and offers some solutions for those of us who desire to teach and extend the Christian faith to current and future generations.

I strongly recommend teachers, pastors, preachers counselors, etc. to read and consider these ideas.

Consider the article a cousin to my recent “How to Have an Intelligent Discussion with Anyone About Anything”

Alastair's Adversaria

Rockwell - Freedom of Speech

The Internet has introduced a new level of visibility to areas of our social life, exposing certain uncomfortable realities. Rod Dreher recently wrote a perceptive and troubling piece on the way that the Internet reveals corruption and abuse within the Church and other institutions, provoking a reaction of distrust and a loss of these institutions’ effective authority. While the dramatic collapses of trust in the institutional authority of the Church following the exposure and scrutiny of cases of abuse may receive the most attention, there are other ways—albeit slower and more gradual—in which this trust is being eroded. Perhaps the most significant of these in my experience has been our greater exposure to Church leaders and their thinking.

On Twitter earlier today, I remarked that the Internet exposes the fact that most people were never trained to function effectively in the context of an argument. As forms of discourse such…

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