Thinking Logically

Just a short note. Yesterday evening I was doing some sermon prep on the Fourth Commandment and our ongoing obligation to keeping the Sabbath (in the Christian sense), when I came across an article which read in part;

True Christians are Anti-War

A fundamental, foundational tenet of our belief is opposition to carnal warfare. Of the ancient Waldenses, it is reported, “Their opposition to bearing arms, and to war in all its operations, was unanimous and unequivocal. Whoever commanded them to the field they refused to obey, alleging that they could not conscientiously comply. No contingencies would induce them to assume the weapons of death; and this peculiarity was well understood by all the world, and made the onsets of the inquisitors and crusaders upon these weaponless Christians the more cruel and contemptible.” See link here

Now, my point here is not to interact with the above quotation in regards to its anti-war stance. Let me just say that I personally believe that the Bible explains general principles that allows Christians to engage in war in a just manner (Just War Theory, see Bahnsen HERE). Rather, I would simply like to mention that the above header to the quotation, True Christians are Anti-War, engages in what is known as the “No True Scotsman Fallacy.” The fallacy goes something like this, (1) Christians would never drink alcohol, (2) Jeff is a Christian and Jeff drinks alcohol, (3), Well, no TRUE Christian would ever drink alcohol.  Dr. Jason Lisle states the following regarding this fallacy;

The “ no true Scotsman fallacy” could be considered a sub-category of begging the question. The fallacy is committed when someone attempts to protect his claim from a counter-argument by defining a term in a biased way (which begs the question). The example from which the name is derived is something like this: Person A asserts that no Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. Person B attempts to counter this claim by pointing out that Angus is a Scotsman who puts sugar on his porridge. Then person A responds, “Ah, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.” The fallacy begs the question by simply defining a true Scotsman in such a way that the claim is assumed to be true. It amounts to saying, “A true Scotsman does not put sugar on his porridge, because otherwise, he wouldn’t be a true Scotsman.” Since the premise and conclusion are equivalent, the argument begs the question. (Lisle, Jason (2009-05-17). The Ultimate Proof of Creation (Kindle Locations 1632-1639). Master Books. Kindle Edition.)

My point is this. When were are speaking to issues that are so vital in our Christian walk and experience, it is extremely necessary that we utilize clean methods of reasoning. The anti-war quotation above is simply fallacious and thus, unreasonable. Also notice that there is no appeal to God’s word in the quotation, but rather, an appeal to tradition. This also ought not be, because any philosophy that we adopt must be according to God’s word and not mans opinion (Col 2:8).

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