Wisely prophetic words here:
“This shift from “accepting the existence of different views” to “acceptance of different views,” from recognizing other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices to accepting the differing views of other people, is subtle in form, but massive in substance.3 To accept that a different or opposing position exists and deserves the right to exist is one thing; to accept the position itself means that one is no longer opposing it. The new tolerance suggests that actually accepting another’s position means believing that position to be true, or at least as true as your own. We move from allowing the free expression of contrary opinions to the acceptance of all opinions; we leap from permitting the articulation of beliefs and claims with which we do not agree to asserting that all beliefs and claims are equally valid. Thus we slide from the old tolerance to the new.” (D. A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance)
It is my humble opinion that anyone involved in interacting in public discourse or counter-cultural reflection needs to read Carson’s book. In that past two months there hasn’t been a day where I don’t either think about what he is saying here or actually quote him and refer people to his book.
With that being said, I’ve noticed that there are some who understand how the new “tolerance” is ridiculously intolerant who also feel it necessary to argue this fact in quite unloving ways. I think we, as followers of Jesus, need to be careful with that. I’ve actually had some rather gracious conversations with people who hold to what I’d call an “intolerant tolerance” and seen that if you take the time and do so humbly, you can actually get them to transition from today’s form of “tolerance” and embrace a more historically accurate form of tolerance. In other words, if you love people and talk to them like you care, you can actually see a lot more fruit in the discussion about differences.
What say you?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.