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The Intolerance of Tolerance

D A Carson

The Intolerance of Tolerance

D A Carson

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We live in a culture obsessed with the idea of ‘tolerance.’ However, when tolerance, poorly defined, is made an absolute good, it drifts towards intolerance. It must then, argues D. A. Carson, be thoughtfully challenged, both for the good of the church and for the good of the broader culture.

Carson examines how the definition of tolerance has changed. It now has less to do with putting up with a person or stance while still seeking to disagree, and more to do with not saying others are wrong. It is impossible to deploy this new tolerance consistently, so that actual practice is often whimsical and arbitrary. Worse, the words ‘tolerance’ and ‘intolerance’ have become merely rhetorical terms of approval and disapprobation.

Despite the many negatives about these new, often ethically deficient definitions of tolerance, from a Christian perspective there have been gains as well. In this valuable and accessible volume, Carson uses examples and quotations to illustrate his analysis and concludes with practical advice on exemplifying and promoting the virtue of civil civic discourse.

 

Commendations

“Sadly, the debate about Christianity has shifted from ‘is it true’ to ‘was anyone offended.’ The Bible assures us that the gospel message will be offensive, although the gospel messenger should be loving. Carson has done a masterful job of helping Christian leaders understand how to navigate a cultural context that is increasingly tolerant of seemingly everything but Christian belief.”

– Mark Driscoll, Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle

“Nothing is more intolerant than a tolerance that requires the absence of all convictions. Don Carson thoughtfully shows how tolerance, once defined as respecting others’ right to hold differing perspectives, has morphed into a pervasive insistence that no one should hold firm convictions. The consequence of such a shift is a challenge to biblical faith that needs a biblical response, which Carson ably provides. In doing so, he gives the biblical basis for true tolerance in a just society and shows the inevitable tyranny of tolerance ill–defined. Not to hear and heed him is to enter a nightmarish world in which zeal to discern truth is replaced by zeal to keep anyone from claiming anything is really true.”

– Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis

  • Title

    The Intolerance of Tolerance

  • Author(s)

    D A Carson

  • Series

    Carson

  • ISBN

    9781844744053

  • Format

    Paperback

  • Publisher

    IVP

  • Pages

    256

  • Published

    01/02/2012

D A Carson

D A Carson

Donald Arthur Carson is an evangelical New Testament scholar and is currently Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1978. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from McGill University, a M.Div. from Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto, and a PhD in New Testament from Cambridge University. He is a co–founder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

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Exegetical Fallacies
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The Cross and Christian Ministry
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How Long O Lord?
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Basics for Believers
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From The Resurrection To His Return
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Collected Writing On Scripture
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