A Change of Menu
If a member of any church comes finally to an opinion that requires him to leave it for doctrinal reasons, this rarely comes about through anything involving contention, which tends to harden rather than soften previous beliefs. For people with firm principles and good brains, the natural reaction to polemics is to dig in and reinforce their bulwarks rather than to surrender. The coming to another opinion on fundamental matters is normally the result of a pilgrimage in which the mind is free to consider what it will, rather than a capture at war. This is very difficult to understand for apologists who want to win fights on the basis of irrefutable evidence launched from ironclad systems.
If I wanted someone to consider a great change of mind, I would not deliver reasons at gunpoint, but insinuate them at a good meal, inviting him to eat well and go in peace to digest it. This is a dangerous method, for it must be based on the evangelist’s firm conviction of his own rightness. The great risk is that the guest thus served may discover the flaws in his host’s religion as well as his own, and the whole matter must end in the sad resort of being turned over to God.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
more on Christianity from the online archives
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor