Unhealthy Craving for Controversy

In Walter Percey’s novel The Moviegoer, the protagonist Binx Bolling reflects:

Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals. Though I do not know whether I am a liberal or a conservative, I am nevertheless enlivened by the hatred which one bears for the other. In fact, this hatred strikes me as one of the few signs of life remaining in the world. This is another thing about the world which is upside-down: all the friendly and likable people seem dead to me; only the haters seem alive.

In this one paragraph, Percy may or may not have summed up his own age, but he has certainly summed up ours.

To be sure, controversies happen in every era since people will have differing views on important issues, and sometimes even disagreements about how important those issues are. But Scripture speaks repeatedly about those who have what the apostle Paul calls “an unhealthy craving for controversy” (1 Tim. 6:4). Of course, Paul was more than willing to speak into controversies himself—from opposing Peter to his face for refusing to eat with Gentiles to some of those fiery letters to the Corinthians.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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