Over at AEI's Values & Capitalism blog, I posted a review of an exchange between my friend Dr. Jay Richards and an atheist writer name Gregory Paul on the topic of the relationship between Christianity and socialism.
Here's an excerpt:
"No one likes a cherry-picker.
Participants in pick-up basketball games everywhere will attest to the unfavorable stigma immediately attached to any player who lollygags while getting back on defense, hoping that his teammates can somehow get a quick steal and hurl a long pass to him for an easy, un-contested layup. If you’re cherry-picking, it typically means that you’re either physically out of shape, flat-out lazy, really bad at the sport you’ve put rec-specs on to play, or you’re a raging narcissist who needs to score at any cost (even to the detriment of your teammates and the gentlemanly spirit of competition).
With that said, let me tell you about a guy named Gregory Paul.
Mr. Paul is a secular-progressive atheist whose profession – “free lance paleontology writer who dabbles in theology” – appears to be a combination of studying those extinct creatures from Jurassic Park and finding ways to make religious folks look silly.
Last year he was (I imagine gleefully) asked by The Washington Post to pen a 2,000-word repudiation of all Christians who are so foolish as to think that the Bible supports any form of free-market enterprise. Exhibiting all the skills of a rhetorical cherry-picker in the basketball game of intellectual inquiry and debate, Gregory Paul lazily attempts to make the case that Jesus and His Scriptures were pro-socialism, anti-American, and the inspiration for Karl Marx’s worldview.
The editors at The Post then benevolently reciprocated by giving Dr. Jay Richards exactly half the amount of word-space to rebut Gregory’s “From Jesus’ socialism to capitalistic Christianity” piece.
Their mistake! Little did they know that they could have given Jay Richards nothing but 120 seconds and a stick to write in the sand with and he would have steam-rolled this light-weight. This is because Gregory Paul is a cherry-picker and lollygagger. He’s both slothful in his scholarship and blatantly partisan in his pre-conceived conclusions.
Let me quickly run through a few of the major points Paul tries to make first, then summarize Richards’ rejoinders, and close things out with a few thoughts of my own.
After opening with the predictable “Conservative Christians are hypocrites, and who better to diagnose this than an atheist who has written extensively on how bad he thinks Christianity is for any nation to practice” patter, Mr. Paul then latches on for grim death to the assertion that all religious proponents of capitalism and free enterprise are unapologetic knights in Ayn Rand’s objectivist service.
Christians, Paul claims, have awkwardly aligned themselves with a woman and her ideology that has as their sole motivation the dissolution of Judeo-Christian values in the culture – a subject Gregory Paul is, actually, quite qualified to speak on. Not only that, he protests, but we knuckle-dragging rubes on the Religious Right have unwittingly signed off on all forms of godless “social Darwinism” by supporting competition in the private sector.
It’s a good thing that this Dinosaur Whisperer with a 4th grade Sunday School student’s comprehension of church history and evangelical theology is here to keep us on the “LGBT and narrow”!"
Read the entire piece here!