Part of the
> problem is the advocacy nature of our discussion--we take sides and hammer
> each other with facts... love is not
> always apparent, especially to those who instinctively associate debate with
> hostility. By dwelling on ambiguities in scripture, we can appear to doubt
> the clarity of scripture.
exactly so, which is why the Word reminds us to abstain from the
*appearance* of evil, I suspect.
On the "milk-to-meat" scale, our discussion is steak. From a well
exercised cow (i.e., little fat, and tough)....
"exercised" arguments or debaters? ;)
I think it's safe to say that new
> believers--and many an old believer--would break their teeth on what we are
> chewing here...
yes, indeed. Truly this is a forum where iron is sharpening iron,
but that's all the more reason to take the time to couch our language
carefully (yes, it's inconvenient; but misunderstandings and hurt
feelings do not honor Father God when His blood-bought children are
involved.) And I have to admit to being in a bit of a hurry sometimes
and not being as sensitive as I could.
> Language is not algebra, and there can be an enormous amount of imprecision
> in the simplest statements...
which is why it's helpful to identify one's presuppositions prior
to, or at least early in, a discussion where some rather serious
theological points are being presented for belief.
> Sometimes translators merely mistranslate...
here's where the "red flags" pop up. Who's to judge? On what
basis? This is the tent flap where the camel's nose can push in. God
tells us to examine, reason together (with Him), exercise ourselves to
discern good from evil, etc. etc. etc. If "we" decide it was a
mistranslation, some educated teachers warn their students
that we are setting ourselves up as the authority. Mighty soft "soil" on
which to build our house' s foundation. But we certainly cannot accept
every "wind of doctrine" just because somebody else said so... enter
1 John 2:27.
Oh the circles get larger and deeper as we go. I'm so glad it is
God Who is keeping us and guiding us as we think and wrestle and learn
what it means to "go with" what we do know and let go of that which might
not be quite as important sometimes...
> I speak, er, type, in all brotherly love. I find our discussions very
> refreshing, stimulating, and edifying--AND I feel closer to the Lord because
> of them.
me too, altho sometimes my brain starts sizzling around the edges
and I have to skip portions of more technical postings...
> But I can see how to some people, this could fall under 2 Tim 2:14 "Warn
> them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value and only
> ruins those who listen", rather than 2 Tim 2:15, "...present yourself to God
> as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who CORRECTLY
> HANDLES the word of truth."--which is what this list server is ultimately
that wonderful chapter continues: "the Lord's servant must
not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope
that God (not the arguer) will grant them repentance leading them to a
knowledge of the truth" 2 Tim 2:24ff
I realize the context is probably helping someone deal with
theological error where someone is in the "trap of the devil".
BY NO MEANS AM I IMPLYING THIS IS THE CASE HERE. I'm just trying to
point out what I think is the biblical way to argue, debate, discuss,
etc.(being kind, gently instructing, etc.) That's all.
Hope I didn't offend anyone!