In a recent episode of Thinking in Public, a forum dedicated to examining cultural and theological issues, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks with New Discourses founder and President Dr. James Lindsay about his new book, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody.
Both Mohler and Lindsay are signatories of the Philadelphia Statement, so while they approach the conversation from different worldviews – Mohler is a Christian and Lindsay is an atheist – they find common ground in valuing viewpoint diversity.
During the show, Mohler and Lindsay cover a lot of ground, touching on critical theory, classical liberalism, and the current state of public discourse in America. “As a means of conflict resolution, [classical] liberalism allows you to forward your idea, me to forward my idea, you check my ideas, I check yours, and ideally, we would be carving away wheat from chaff by that process,” Lindsay remarks. Diversity of opinion is a critical feature of a free society and without it, we’re unable to explore truth through open debate. After all, as Lindsay points out, “ideas have consequences,” and the ideology driving cancel culture serves as a perfect reminder of this.
Mohler and Lindsay’s conversation is an example of what it looks like to patiently and charitably analyze even hotly contested issues with someone holding different opinions. To create a culture in which we can fiercely disagree with one another and yet still treat each other with dignity, this vision must be fostered – and it starts with every one of us. Join the movement to protect free speech and diversity of opinion and sign the Philadelphia Statement today.