Diversity of thought is indispensable to a free society.
When the marketplace of ideas is open to differing opinions, we not only learn from each other, but we are forced to confront diverse opinions and even learn how to best defend our own. That’s why it’s vital that we protect the ability to speak freely in the public square and the right to search for truth with confidence that we won’t be punished for our beliefs.
But today, Twitter mobs condemn diversity of thought. Colleges bar students from sharing their faith with classmates. Even corporations are censoring and economically discriminating against certain viewpoints
Thankfully, over ten thousand people have taken a stand to commit to free speech and civil discourse, by signing the Philadelphia Statement. Signatories to the Philadelphia Statement include a diversity of thought leaders like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dr. Robert P. George, John Stonestreet, and Dr. James Lindsay.
And now, theologians Wayne Grudem and John Frame are adding themselves to the many signatories joining the movement against cancel culture.
Dr. Grudem, an evangelical theologian and professor of theology at Phoenix Seminary, said he signed the statement because “freedom of speech is increasingly threatened today, not just by governmental power but also by unruly mobs that have discovered that they face no punishment for using physical violence or social media intimidation and blacklisting to silence dissenting voices.”
“Freedom of speech enables us to shine a light on falsehood and reveal truth,” notes Dr. Grudem. “Because, after 3,000 years, the statement still holds true that ‘The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him’” (Proverbs 18:17).
Dr. Frame, professor emeritus at Reformed Theological Seminary, likewise shares the concern that free speech is under attack:
I do believe that there are some kinds of evil speech like slander and libel that God condemns and that government should restrict. But this role of government should be sharply limited and subject to court challenge. No government official has the right to tell me what I should think or write. I have always been deeply grateful to God for allowing me to live in a country that has freedom of speech written into its very constitution. And I am terribly grieved that some groups are trying to take that freedom away from us.
From a Christian perspective, everything is under God’s control, even the fraught political discourse of our age.
“I believe that the Gospel has implications for all areas of life,” writes Dr. Frame. “If God is King, then only he has ultimate authority over our speech, feelings, and actions. This principle is a great blessing to the politics of nations: for if God is King, nobody else is absolute. If God is sovereign, people are free. If God alone can govern our speech, nobody else can.”
Join Wayne Grudem, John Frame, and thousands more in the movement to restore a culture of free speech and civil discourse by signing the Philadelphia Statement today!