Protestant theology of other religions and Dunning-Kruger effect

Christain theology, particularly Protestant and evangelical thinking, about other religions and about those who hold different views and traditons has often infuriated me. I get so upset that someone can be so narrow minded to claim to have exclusive and the only salvific truth when they are ignorant on the background of such beliefs or what other beliefs really are.

The Dunning-Kruger effect, however, describes this perfectly. People who lack real knowledge or understanding of a topic simply don’t know what they don’t know and from their simplistic perspective make things overly cut and dry and believe themselves to be masters of the subject. Christians who say you need to accept Christ as your personal savior or need to “believe” in Christianty have an overly simplistic view of faith and God and human history. It becomes easy then to say “do you accept Jesus as your personal savior the same way I do? No, well to hell with you!”
They often dont even see why this would be upsetting to someone. Surely everyone is secretly yearning to hear thier version of truth, right?

But if you know anything about the variety and depth of human experience of the divine, such things are laughable. Being knowledgeable about comparative religon does to some degree make you a realtivist and unable to state anything simply, becuase as the pyschological effect describes, you know all that you don’t know. Those of us who have experienced other religons know it’s not too simple and God is beyond categorization. He simply shows up when we don’t expect and can’t be contained.

I think one of the problems with protestantism is the need to protect the principle of self interpretation and self authority on Scripture on the one hand, but on the other hand they need to feel that they have the Truth themselves and tell others they have got it wrong. It requires dissociation to be able to entertain those two mutually exclusive principles.

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There’s nothing to get “infuriated” or “upset” about. They’re wrong, that’s all.


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