Tribalism and Your Church

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 15 Comments

Does the name Ludwig Wittgenstein mean anything to you? It should. Wittgenstein was a mid-20th century philosopher who gave us “language games.” That is, the way communities use language is similar to a game, and every community gets to make up its own rules of the game. Two other philosophers of note, John Dewey and Richard Rorty, added a pragmatic …

The Rule of Non-Imposition

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

One of the inviolable doctrines of the postmodern university is what I call the rule of non-imposition. It means that no group on campus can impose its understanding of the world on any other group. Picture the university as a huge bowling alley, with every lane occupied by a different group. These groups, or “tribes” as they’re often called, could …

To Inculcate or Evangelize?

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

The danger in giving parental advice is manifold. First, it implies a direct cause-effect relationship between parenting techniques and children’s behavior. Second, it can leave parents feeling guilty over wayward children, often falsely so. Third, since Sharon and I got lucky with our own kids, it gives the impression we really knew what we were doing. With those qualifiers, I …

On the Atheist’s Lap

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 1 Comment

My daughter Kelli was an inquisitive, expansive thinker right out of the chute. I remember one time she asked me why God wouldn’t show himself if he was actually in the room with us. And why Florida was so far from Minneapolis. When atheist Benjamin Pierce came to dinner one evening sporting a long beard, Kelli hopped into his lap …