Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen has a thought provoking post entitled “Are You a Tabloid Theologian?” I think that a deep consideration will explain many of the errors and misinformation that is being spread around. Unfortunately too many people are looking for soundbytes, for quick answers, and shallow understanding so that while the truth is out there, it appears difficult to discern. If the phenomenon of tabloid theology is anything like tabloid journalism, then this is something that will be around for a while:
Tabloid journalism. You know what this is. It is sensationalistic journalism. It is a billion dollar business. It preys on our naivety to believe something unbelievable. It exists because we like to let down our critical guard and indulge our minds by believing that which naturally would be rejected. From alien abductions to pregnant men, the tabloids have it all.
Tabloid theology is the same. It is sensationalistic theology. More than this, it describes the attitude of much of our religious culture today. It is the result of a culture that dichotomizes between the intellect and faith. It is fueled by peoples uncritical methodology. A tabloid theologian is one who constructs his or her theology based upon naivety. In the Bible, this is called a “simpleton.” In Christianity, as long as something tags their message with the name “Jesus,” with a prayer, or a Bible verse, tabloid theologians will believe it.
Example of Tabloid Theology:
2. Stories of miraculous healings need to be believed without question.