"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Karnick in Christianity Today

Although Mr. Karnick isn't reviewing films very often these days, he makes a successful foray into theology for this critical review of David Klinghoffer's book about Jewish-Christian conflicts.

The dialogue between writers like Karnick and Klinghoffer is interesting because it occurs within the confines of a political alliance. It's as if fellow soldiers turned to one another and said, "Let's talk about something that's been bothering me." Dangerous, but probably necessary.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is it dangerous?

Jay D. Homnick said...

Klinghoffer is a nice fellow, very earnest and well-meaning as well as bright. I did not read this book but I throughly enjoyed his first, autobiographical, offering. If I remember correctly, its title is The Lord Will Gather Me In.

As to this latest book, certainly Mr. Karnick seems to be correct that Klinghoffer is in over his head. Disputations are a) better left to scholars and b) not a really effective way of achieving mutual understanding.

Hunter Baker said...

It's dangerous because the external assaults have not been eradicated. Conservative Jews and Christians should not allow themselves to be distracted from their natural co-belligerency to a thoroughgoing materialist worldview.

Anonymous said...

Since the external assaults will never be eradicated, are you suggesting that philosophical discussion among theists cease forever?

S. T. Karnick said...

I certainly think that the "discussion" has to continue, as my choice to critique Mr. Klinghoffer's book indicates. In a civilized society, people have a right to say or write what they think, and others have a right to react. Overall, I think that allies should be able to disagree amiably on aspects of life on which they do not have consensus. Insofar as Mr. Klinghoffer and I agree on other matters (which I have not taken the trouble to investigate in his case; we may disagree on many things, for all that I know about it), we are allies on those matters. That's good enough for me. Same with anybody else.—STK

Hunter Baker said...

Good points, all. Let the theological guns blaze.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Where I think Klinghoffer made his mistake is in using the always ill-fated approach of explaining the "reason" for disagreeing before saying, "Let's agree to disagree."

In general, the Jews I knew always said, "We weren't there; all we know is that our Rabbis believed that our tradition should be continued." And the Christians I know said, "We understand that you're just continuing your tradition and we respect that."