On the whole I agree that they are not good ideas. Looking at them, I can't see any one of them that I think is a good idea, and, more important, I can't see any one of them that I would think of as a true idea.
I've met people who believe some of those things, and and who regard some, at least of those propositions as good ideas, but what is it about those ideas that make the author of the list say that they are so bad?
- The belief that all religions are the same.
- The belief that religion is irrelevant as a cause of anything.
- The belief that we all worship the same God.
- The belief that one can justify anything from any sacred text.
- The belief that the Christian Reformation was a progressive movement.
- The belief that dispelling ignorance will increase positive regard for the other.
- The belief that everyone is good and decent, and if you just make a sincere effort to get to know another person, you will always come to respect them.
- The belief that putting something in context will always produce a more innocuous interpretation.
- The belief that extremism is the problem, and moderation the solution.
- The belief that the West is always guilty.
- Two wrongs make a right reasoning.
- Belief in progress: everything will always get better in the end.
Until you put them in context.
Then they take on a whole new meaning.
As the the author says, one of the bad beliefs is:
The belief that putting something in context will always produce a more innocuous interpretation. This is not true. Attending properly to context can make a text even more offensive than it would otherwise have been. Conversely, if you take something out of context you may regard it more positively than you ought to.
So let's put it in context:
A Dozen Bad Ideas for the 21st Century | Free Christian Press:
Here is a list of false beliefs and modes of thought which make it hard for people in the West to come to terms with the challenge of Islam today. If you are deeply attached to any of these ideas or ways of thinking, you will have difficulty accepting the truth about Islam’s teachings and their impact.
And when you put it in context the whole thing is an anti-Islamic rant, and the impression one gets is that for the author the only good ideas for the 21st century are:
- To promote as much hostility as possible between Christians and Muslims.
- If you meet a Muslim on the road, kill him.
Let's reword the opening statement, but substituting Christianity for Islam:
Here is a list of false beliefs and modes of thought which make it hard for people in the West to come to terms with the challenge of Christianity today. If you are deeply attached to any of these ideas or ways of thinking, you will have difficulty accepting the truth about Christianity's teachings and their impact.
Isn't that equally true?
And shouldn't Christian theologians be more concerned with positively promoting the Christian faith rather than promoting the religion of anti-Islam?
As it is, the whole piece is so perverse that it smacks of perversity even to attack its perversions.