Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blogging to the Choir

The commentary on my recent posts on Jews and witnessing seems to have struck a chord with the commenter. On his blog "Random Thoughts" Jack's Shack has taken to another attack on Southern Baptists, using President Mohler's commentary on the issue (see previous post "Southern Baptist Witnessing") While I was kind enough to attempt a (perhaps futile) response, I reflected on the whole deal about religious debate. I think I have reached a preliminary conclusion: Antagonism by the anti-religious (or more specifically anti-Christian) is in general largely emotional with little basis on fact and reality. Whew, that's a very large generalization. While I certainly don't expect in ministry nor on this blog to get a chorus of "Amens" every time I preach, teach, witness, or post (as the case may be), I do expect someone who disagrees to at least have a convincing reason for doing so. And I don't want to hear silly arguments such as "because I want to;" "because I don't like it;" "that offends me;" "because you're a fool and so is everyone who listens to you;" and so on. There's actually a lot more than these, but these seem to be the most common. They are emotional arguments, and arguing from an emotional base doesn't foster debate--on the contrary it stops debate in its tracks. I have almost never seen anyone antagonistic to religion (and Christianity in particular) debate points of fact; instead they attack the messenger, decrying their words to be such things as "offensive, racist, intolerant, bigoted" or what have you. I enjoy those few who actually engage the point--in fact I count one of those people to be one of my greatest "online friends," and I regularly seek his opinion on issues. And this guy isn't a Christian--at best he could be described as agnostic! I think we as Christians need to encourage debate on issues and not on emotion. Granted, religion has a deep emotional component, but when those antagonistic cannot debate without emotion, we need to shift gears and remind them of the point.


Blogger Jack's Shack said...

The funniest thing about this post is that do exactly what you accuse me of doing. That is, there are no facts or evidence to support your position.

BTW, I looked at your profile and have to say that I am a big fan of Star Wars and LOTR.

I can read/watch them repeatedly.

One more comment. You said that you were confused by why we might be upset about the witnessing.

I gave multiple reasons including a history of antisemitism. You didn't address any of that. It is part and parcel of the problem.

10/12/2005 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Sorry, Jack, you don't get points on this one. I tried to discuss the issues you brought up, and specifically attempted to clarify your misunderstandings about the SBC and our views of evangelism in particular, and you flatly dismissed me out of hand.

Furthermore, you persisted in an emotional argument ("that offends me; that's intolerant and disrespectful; etc. etc.") and never once tried to actually talk about these things. Instead you chose to run in circles around my words, attack my character and that of Southern Baptists in general, and generally drop stink bombs on the whole issue. That's not going to work.

If you really want understanding by "my side," then you've got to stop the silliness and actually talk to us instead of going off on a rant.

10/13/2005 05:30:00 AM  

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