Which books of opposing opinion to your own have you learned most from?

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alexanderjames

Puritan Board Sophomore
God can use anything to teach us. What stands out that you have learned from books of opposing views to the historical reformed faith? Nothing is off limits here with regard to the question.
 
I enjoyed reading The Case for Catholicism by Trent Horn. It revealed a lot about the differences between the Roman church and the reformed faith, quite a bit of it boiling down to how we view scripture and the church differently. I dont think I learned something in the sense that my mind was changed, but rather my views on scripture and the church (consistent with reformed theology) we’re strengthened as a result of engaged with opposing viewpoints.
I’ve also found myself listening to Sam Harris (new atheism) from time to time and I read one of his books (not sure which one). It was quite valuable to learn more about the new-atheists and understanding what they believe, as well as equipping me to better answer questions from non-Christians. It definitely proved to me that atheism is not able to produce any universal standard of morality. Morality from an atheistic viewpoint, taken to logical conclusions, become terrifying.
 
This one is definitely on my list. Most recently is Matthew Pinson's 40 Questions on Arminianism.
I’ve heard of that one, but not read yet. I’ll have to give it a whirl one of these days

Forlines is the best ground level defense for Arminianism I have read. A lot of people turn to Olson for that, but I think he’s rather weak in his argumentation.
 
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John Rawls, A Theory of Justice.

Very thought provoking to me because it is sort of the manual for smart people's social justice. As such, most liberal political activists find it not revolutionary enough, and the conservatives who read it find it too reliant on man's good nature.

Then I read Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia, as a counter-balance.

Neither men are Christians, but both are thoughtful.
 
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, especially with the Morning and Evening Prayer services, has taught me what's missing in a lot of modern Reformed worship, namely huge amounts of Scripture and the Psalms. Unfortunately, that's been exactly not the lesson many have taken from it re: the church calendar. Rather than less calendar and lots of Scripture and Psalms, it's been lots of liturgy for its own sake, calendar stuff everywhere and more limited readings + few to no psalms. I appreciate the Regulative Principle the more because of it.

Wrestling with the Lutheran approach to Communion in college found in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism helped me appreciate far more what it means that Christ really is present in the Supper as outlined in our confessions.
 
The Autobiography of Malcolm X. While I disagree with his conclusions, I now understand how his outlook was formed by his experiences.
 
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice.

Very thought provoking to me because it is sort of the manual for smart people's social justice. As such, most liberal political activists find it not revolutionary enough, and the conservatives who read it find it too reliant on man's good nature.
I had to read that in grad school. I really hated it because neither he (nor my prof who loved him) ever gave a decent argument for why government has any right to use force against people because of all of these hypotheticals as to what they might prefer in the "original position." That "original position" talk was very interesting in itself, but he just took it for granted that its findings should, therefore, be enforced by law. It also failed to account for the fact that some people are risk acceptant while others are risk adverse. (as I recall; this was 20+ years ago)
 
Good idea for a thread. We need this for developing good thinking skills.

Council of Trent documents on why Rome was wrong 500 years ago yet they are at least clear.

VII docs and Rome’s latest catechism on why Rome is wrong nowadays though she can be good on some things.

There are several reporters, often unbelievers that are center-left by conviction, yet courageous. They demonstrate critical thinking in their writings though I often don’t agree with their underlying worldviews. Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald come to mind.

John McWhorter is an academic in that same camp.
 
There are several reporters, often unbelievers that are center-left by conviction, yet courageous. They demonstrate critical thinking in their writings though I often don’t agree with their underlying worldviews. Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald come to mind.
That reminds me how I’d read some writers on Counterpunch while reading New Republic and the Wall Street Journal. Plus several foreign newspapers from right and left perspectives. It is a good way to discern propaganda from all sides.
 
I am not totally with these guys on everything but again they are helpful even where they are/may be wrong.

Michael Shellenberger - Apocolypse Never
Brent Turvey- his various criminology textbooks.
 
God can use anything to teach us. What stands out that you have learned from books of opposing views to the historical reformed faith? Nothing is off limits here with regard to the question.
The works of Adam Clarke - I have read his commentaries and other works for decades. He was prolific and brilliant, a classicist, and historian alongside theologian (like many from that era), and a highly proficient scholar in languages including Latin. Reading him exposes you to a wide variety of literature.
 
That reminds me how I’d read some writers on Counterpunch while reading New Republic and the Wall Street Journal. Plus several foreign newspapers from right and left perspectives. It is a good way to discern propaganda from all sides.
Yeah. I still miss the late Alex Cockburn from Counterpunch.
 
WILLIAM THE BAPTIST gave me a shock for a while year. I read it in college as a young convert almost fifty years ago. Call it WILLIAM THE STRAWMAN now ... ;-)
 
I really miss the New Republic of the mid-2000s. It was a fantastic publication of an unapologetically Left perspective that provided thoughtful articles especially on economics and international policy. Subscribing to it and the National Review together was quite beneficial. It's gone way downhill now.
 
I really miss the New Republic of the mid-2000s. It was a fantastic publication of an unapologetically Left perspective that provided thoughtful articles especially on economics and international policy. Subscribing to it and the National Review together was quite beneficial. It's gone way downhill now.
The early to mid-2000s was an interesting time as it was still the wild west of the internet before everything was so filtered and driven by algorithms. It was a short transitory of time where you could still research alternative news in ways that are far more constrained now, or flooded with an avalanche of noise where legitimate sources are fewer and/or difficult to find.
 
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