On the Christian duty to find error attractive

Exam marking season–oh joy!–intensifies a thought that I have had for a while. One of the repeated problems in theological debate is a particular form of caricature. I can think of published examples of this sort of caricature in theological criticism of historical Biblical scholarship; Evangelical criticisms of Barth; post-liberal criticisms of classical liberalism; liberal criticisms of Evangelicalism; proponents of divine passibility criticising classical theism; and lots more. It is endemic in student papers. The common caricature is this: a position is attributed to an opponent that highlights the (supposed) errors of their position without pausing to recognise the strengths; as a result, what is criticised is a straw man, a malformed parody that...

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