Most of Internet debate is not scholarly wisdom seeking understanding and mutual respect. Instead, it tends to be an attempted validation of an already-acquired intellectual position, no matter the cost. What that translates to, unfortunately, is insults masquerading as intellectualism. People are, generally, less interested in the truth than in validating whatever worldview they happened to imbibe from the TV, college, and surrounding culture. There are, of course, many people who are exceptions (and it’s also true that the Internet tends to bring out the worst in us).
So what’s the alternative? Well, we could just take abuse on the Internet, but that doesn’t seem very appealing, or fruitful. We could just abandon the Internet. But then the only popular level treatments of things will be non-Christian, and we’ve already seen how disastrous it can be to leave an area of life without Christian influence. Instead, perhaps we can continue to progress in our scholarly goals, refuse to be drawn into fruitless engagements, and use the popular level to show people that it is at least rational to be a Christian. For those who don’t want to know, literally nothing we say will convince them. For those who are genuinely seeking for something, may this attitude and trajectory be what God uses to have them realize the truth. What do you all think about how we can do this?