“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8
The word “rubbish” here is translated by Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message, as “dog dung.” Poop, Crap, or whatever your favorite word for excrement is. Personally, I think that it’s a tired and intellectually irresponsible dismissal of other believers, because of they’re supposed trapping in a “western mind-set.”
Some insist that these western-thinkers abandon their message/information/logos-centered theology, beliefs, and ideologies because they are steeped in Western or Greek thought. Instead, or so it is thought, they must move towards a more mystical, experiential, or existential embodiment type theologies (i.e. more Hebraic and Eastern).
This false dichotomy between western and eastern thought is pushed by people who want to show you that they’re too sexy for your thoughts. Arguments that rely on these false dichotomies between “Greek and Hebrew” or “Eastern and Western” may look sexy but they are often nothing more than power plays. Beyond that, it’s just plain offensive. Hurling accusations at other believers for not thinking “holistically” Hebrew is like calling them halfwits. Despite what they say, ‘both & and’s,’ are not the proof of an enlightened mind. At the end of the day, the appeal that we embrace more “Eastern” or “Hebraic” thinking often is a ploy to lead us further from the Biblical text which points to the Christ. John 5:39
It’s not Eastern or Western thought that should categorize your thought journey. Nor is it any philosophy of thought that would set itself up against biblical thinking. Biblical thinking is that which takes ever thought captive and subjects it to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 It is that thinking which shaped by the things that are true, noble, just, and of good report. Philippians 4:8. It is an ever sanctifying thought process which results in the renewing of a believer’s mind. Romans 12:2
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
It’s high time we reject such shoddy argumentation and see it for what it is–the use of smoke and mirrors to mislead. Let’s bag the poop and move on.
When someone tells a follower of Christ that they’re stuck in a Western Mind-set, or any other, then they’re as much as saying that Christ’s renewing of their mind is not happening, at least according to their liking. In essence, they’re saying that Christ is not at work in them. Believers understand these things, because they have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)