Dialogue presumes good-faith actors
1 min read

Dialogue presumes good-faith actors

John Inazu on Christianity Today's Quick to Listen podcast:

A dialogue like the one we're having where we go back and forth and sharpen ideas presumes good-faith actors on both sides of the dialogue. The vast majority of speech and expression is not that.

In most cases, I don't think that more speech is going to remedy bad speech. A further confounding factor is that we have so much speech now that we're crowding out even the possibility of listening to the good speech.

This is tied also to the collapse of institutions and lessening respect for expertise. In some Christian circles, there are dangerous attempts to impugn experts. It becomes more a question of celebrity and trust the person who is witty on Twitter.

That's a bad recipe for trying to figure out how to resolve hard issues and how to persuade one another. That seems to be the direction that we're headed. I think Christians need to figure out how to cut through the noise, how to decrease their inputs, and how to focus more on a select few trusted inputs.

We need to be doing more about local authority and actual relationships, rather than relying on celebrity authority. Do you trust the leaders of those churches and if they're not trustworthy, how do we get different people in there?

Also, here's a complementary piece by Inazu.

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