Reflections on Being a Theologue

Recently, a fellow-church member — who also happens to be the retired founding pastor of our church and had read some of my articles here — labelled me a “theologue.” When we discussed what he meant by the term, he made the following points:

  • Theologues are “watchmen on a wall” called to warn those whom he protects or encounters of the impending dangers of false doctrines and dangerous heresies.
  • It is a role vital within the Body of Christ.
  • No other ministry gifts are equipped by calling or temperament to do this.
  • Theologues are often lonely, having few friends, and are generally unpopular with pastors and/or their congregations.
  • Their job is far from easy and often thankless.
  • There is little fame or positive feedback to be had from those being watched over.

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Critical Thinking #3: Logical Fallacies

So far in this series, we’ve explored the concepts of critical thinking and a hindrance to it, cognitive biases.

In this article, we will discuss a second hindrance: “logical fallacies.”

What is a Logical Fallacy?

Again, let’s define some terms:

logic
reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity
fallacy
a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument; a failure in reasoning which renders an argument invalid

So putting them together, we arrive at this:

a mistaken belief, especially one based upon unsound argument, caused by a failure to accurately assess reality.

Accordingly, such arguments and their conclusions should always be regarded as invalid. The use of logical fallacies as rhetorical devices are one of the primary tools of propagandists to exploit biases, both real and imaginary, within their hearers.
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Critical Thinking #2: Cognitive Biases

In the previous article in this series, we discussed what defines the term “critical thinking” and why Christ-followers should care about it. In this installment, we’ll discuss the topic of cognitive bias.

Bias is easy to grasp because we’ve all encountered them in others, especially those of us who are not Caucasian, though we all tend to be completely oblivious to biases within ourselves. We who have performed some serious self-examination during our getting free from various addictions, abuse/neglect, or a bad marriage or two have been brought face-to-face — often quite painfully! — with their presence in our own thought-lives so those barriers to our recovery can be removed.

But before we proceed further, again let’s establish some solid definitions to work with:
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