Re: [asa] Why I may be less open

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 12:31:50 EDT

Rich, I don't know what we're disagreeing about, if anything. I agree with
everything you said below. And it seems to me we both feel the same about
expressing opinions publicly on things we believe in, even if those opinions
might get us "in trouble" -- as all our discussion here about global warming
shows! Yet I think we also agree that sometimes prudence is the better
part of valor. I've been on the internet since before it was cool too, BTW
-- I was the first lawyer in NJ to have a web page (back in 1993), and I got
in big trouble for that at my white shoe firm, but that's another story....

If you're suggesting that a private, more collegial, members-only ASA
discussion forum would be a good idea, I heartily concur.

>  *Ah, if it were all that simple. The group of people on this e-mail list
> have strong opinions and we are not shy about giving them. It's not the
> accurate assessment and opposition to our opinions that causes pause but the
> abusive twisting of them. *
> * *
> *Recently I posted some research showing from brain scans that
> partisanship was irrational. There was one response how the OTHER partisans
> were irrational but not OUR partisans. Yeah, right. For all their flaws, the
> Puritans anticipated this. Two characteristics they saw as the opposite of
> charity were a party spirit and a censorious spirit.  *
> *I have been on the Internet for a long time. For example, I still
> remember bang-paths to uunet. I remember in the 80s how USENET was a very
> collegial place (and you could read EVERY message posted!).  Even big P
> politics was much more collegial. Now, particularly with the rise of the
> blogosphere it is a much more bare-knuckle place. Again, if all we are
> talking about is a more intense marketplace of ideas everything would be
> well. But, the personal invective has gotten WAY out of hand. Flame war and
> trolling have become part of the popular lexicon. You might respond that
> this is the world and the world is fallen and I would say yes that's true.
> But, what I find deeply disturbing is that the world has infected the church
> here. *
> * *
> *Because of the adoption of the warfare model the church and individual
> Christians have adopted an intellectually lazy approach to orthodoxy. You
> are asked are if you are YEC, or ID, or TE by different groups in different
> contexts. If you answer the question wrong you are punished. If you mapped
> the groups and questions with a Venn diagram it would come up with the empty
> set. Then there is a follow-up response presuming to know why you picked one
> of those positions. You are also judged if you refuse to choose. Again, if
> this was just the world I wouldn't be so disturbed. *
> * *
> *The matrix of positions that are a substitute for thinking is not limited
> to the question of origins. Big P politics also plays here. When Gregory
> Boyd announced he believed in open theism there was little effect on
> his mega church. When he didn't do a special patriotic 4th of July service
> his church's attendance dropped dramatically. Biblical fidelity as we see
> here is not the issue but making sure we fill the right set of bubbles on
> our multiple-choice tests. *
> * *
> *David, please note how often the following refrain is mentioned. "I
> really enjoy the national meeting and seeing people face-to-face. But, the
> e-mail list is just too much." The ASA has wisely chosen in my opinion not
> to take a position on origins and is why the meetings are considered
> "safe".  Many in the ASA don't want to fall into the same "party spirit"
> that sadly many parts of society in general and the Internet in particular
> have fallen deeply into. *
To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Mar 29 12:32:15 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Mar 29 2007 - 12:32:15 EDT