Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Idealogues; impossible to explain to them

I could not think how to point out this problem with President Obama in a way that reflected the purpose of this blog until I read something from Clifford Goldstein this last week. First President Obama, in an example of saying one thing the opposite of what is true. At the recent Obama question and answer session at the House Republican Retreat in Baltimore President Obama in referring to a fictional account of some none existent Republican plan that was to do twice as much as Obama’s plan and cost nothing Obama said:

“And the notion that I would somehow resist doing something that cost half as much but would produce twice as many jobs -- why would I resist that? I wouldn't. I mean, that's my point, is that -- I am not an ideologue. I'm not. It doesn't make sense if somebody could tell me you could do this cheaper and get increased results that I wouldn't say, great. The problem is, I couldn't find credible economists who would back up the claims that you just made.”

Notice the part where he says I am not an ideologue. An ideologue by the dictionary definition is:

1 : an impractical idealist : theorist
2 : an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology

It is the second definition that is most often used, a partisan advocate of a particular idea.

Notice later in the speech how Obama verifies that he is an ideologue:

“Now, what I said at the State of the Union is what I still believe: If you can show me -- and if I get confirmation from health care experts, people who know the system and how it works, including doctors and nurses -- ways of reducing people's premiums; covering those who do not have insurance; making it more affordable for small businesses; having insurance reforms that ensure people have insurance even when they've got preexisting conditions, that their coverage is not dropped just because they're sick, that young people right out of college or as they're entering in the workforce can still get health insurance -- if those component parts are things that you care about and want to do, I'm game. And I've got -- and I've got a lot of these ideas.”

This is an ideologue position because it puts forth that these components have to be met; even though they cannot be met. For instance any insurance plan that includes preexisting conditions will not reduce people’s premiums because the premiums have to cover more people with already known problems that will require more treatments. If you cover more people who currently don’t have insurance then again those already paying for insurance will have to pay more to cover those who don’t have insurance. Of course the young people just out of college could get health insurance but don’t want to pay for it because they don’t expect to use it that much. So what he has done is present an impossible ideal that he claims if you have a plan that can cover those components he will listen. But of course since there is no plan including that coming from the Congress or the Senate democrats that can do that, clearly the Republicans can’t do the impossible either.

Now why this example is included on a Adventist religion blog is because it is a frequent tactic of Adventist as well as other Christians in dealing with ideas that they oppose. Here is a portion of what Clifford Goldstein recently wrote on the Spectrum blog comments in response to Ron Osborn’s article:

“My big question, as I said, was in reference to evolution and the cross, because I can't see how evolution can be true and the cross, at least the subtitionary model (the only model the Bible teaches [I know that's a zinger on here]) could possibly be reconciled with it. I was waiting for your response to that.

I must admit I was disappointed. Is what you wrote above your answer? If so, then I am confirmed even more in my belief that one has to chose evolution, or Jesus, but not both.

Your words, "Or does this narrative in fact keep the cross as far away from the creation as possible? The standard legal-forensic model of Christ’s death may in fact be a desperate attempt to isolate the creation story in Genesis in a way that allows us to read it without any reference to Christ at all" . . . ? Maybe I'm missing something here, but what in the world, brother, are you talking about? Am I alone in finding those two lines uncomprehensible?

Can anyone on this blog give me a logical, coherent, biblical way of harmonizing evolution with the cross? I'm even willing to listen to someone harmonize a Maxwellian-subjective-view of atonement with evolution, if they can. “

Goldstein even while challenging someone to show him an alternate view posits that his view is the only real view anyway. In other words he sets himself up in the ideologue position. He is asking for someone to explain a different view from his own that incorporates all of his already preconceived notions. Particularly his Substitutionary view of Atonement. He says: “at least the subtitionary model (the only model the Bible teaches…)” and then later says “Can anyone on this blog give me a logical, coherent, biblical way of harmonizing evolution with the cross? I'm even willing to listen to someone harmonize a Maxwellian-subjective-view of atonement with evolution, if they can.” Setting up the impossible mission where the subjective view of atonement most be based upon the Biblical version which he has already told us is only Substitutionary. There is thus absolutely no way for anyone to present a logical coherent view that will be viewed as logical and coherent to Clifford Goldstein. The ideologue position prevents the ideologue from ever listening to anything that is not their position even if their position is impractical.

This does remind me that I have to finish my article which may help answer Cliff’s question. But even as you read it you will realize that there are vast differences in ways of interpreting things that have to be considered. You can’t declare this is what has to be incorporated for me to accept the idea behind theistic evolution and the reconciliation to God through the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. I even doubt that people like Cliff would read to the end of part two and maybe that is why it has taken me so long to work on part 3. See: Ecclesiastes the Anti-Fundamentalist Book

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