What Jon Stewart and Archibald Alexander have in common

I purchased a mini-subscription to the magazine Rolling Stone a few months ago for 5 dollars. I then received about 6 or 8 different issues. Some of the stuff in Rolling Stone magazine is a bit over-the-top vulgar (as I found out), but I figured the articles might help me better understand a culture who reads Rolling Stone. As it so happens, no such culture exists where I live. So it obviously didn’t help, and I was quite turned off by much of the content anyway. I didn’t renew the mini subscription. 

However, the final issue I received had a fairly telling article with “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart. I figured this was worth a read for a number of reasons. Many college students and young adults (and at times older adults) get their news from “The Daily Show.” Jon Stewart is viewed as an honest and reliable authority, so I finally figured I’d get my 5 dollars worth.

I think I would have, had I been able to finish the article. My three year old Connar, decided to pee all over the bathroom one day and thoroughly saturated the magazine. So needless to say, I didn’t get to finish. But I did get half way through the article, feeling as though I at least got my $ 2.50 worth.  

Stewart actually posited some information that would be helpful for the church to hear.

I would like to use exact quotes, but since I don’t have online access to the article, and the urine soaked magazine was thrown away before I had a chance to read a potentially “sun-dried” version with gloves on (my wife tossed it), I’ll have to speak with italics instead of quotes.

I try to stay away from demonizing my opponents. I mean, I realize that not everyone who is against gay marriage is homophobic. 

What a breath of fresh air! Just because someone may vote against gay marriage, does not mean that they hate gay people. Obviously. But its great to hear someone who has such a voice use it, at least this time, so correctly. 

Christians have a hard time following Stewart’s example. We tend to demonize the other side, whether it be with other Christians whom we disagree, or those of opposing political parties, religions, etc….

Tim Keller offers some helpful and godly ways to disagree and debate, that if followed, may allow you to actually be heard by your opponent. That should be our goal, not just hearing ourselves speak. In other words, we need to be careful to love our opponents, whether they be a brother/sister in Christ, a colleague outside of Christ, or a flat out enemy. 

It looks as though Jon Stewart already read the article and has applied “Alexander’s Rule.” 

1. Carson’s Rule – You don’t have to follow Matthew 18 before publishing polemics…

In short, if someone is publicly presenting theological views that are opposed to sound doctrine, and you are not in the same ecclesiastical body with this person (that is, there is no body of elders over you both, as when, for example, both of you are ministers in the same denomination,) then you may indeed publicly oppose those without going privately to the author of them…

2. Murray’s Rule – You must take full responsibility for even unwitting misrepresentation of someone’s views…
In other words, to misrepresent reality to others is always wrong. He grants, of course, that there is a great difference between a deliberate lie and unintentionally passing on erroneous information…
3. Alexander’s Rule – Never attribute an opinion to your opponent that he himself does not own…
In other words, we must not argue in such a way that it hardens opponents in their views…
The rest of the article can be found here.

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