Friday, October 20, 2006

Wanna Fight?

I have been off, in my wanderings, looking into different possibilities about God. Mostly talking about God creating Time. What a spiritual realm consists of. And how to resolve the Problem of suffering. It is rather long, and fairly boring. I wouldn’t bother reading it if you are at all sleepy:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

When we start a lawsuit, we have a period of “Discovery” which is exactly what it sounds like—I discover what witness, documents and testimony the other side will bring, and they equally discover the same about my position. There is no more “Trial by Surprise” anymore. (Although it really only reduces surprise, not eliminate it by any stretch.)

Before I debate, I like to “discover” what their position is. Not so much to avoid strawpeople, (my new PC term) but to actually communicate with a person as to what their particular belief is. Just saying you are a “Christian” is not very limiting. That means a whole variety of things from Catholic to Liberal to Charismatic to Mormon to Calvinist. And anything else, besides.

Admittedly, it is frustrating when the “Constant Fight” light is on, and the other person wants to pick apart every single possible item conceivable. “You are arguing against the Presuppositionalist position of the Missouri Synod of 1952, and I am of the Presuppositionalist position of the Indiana Conference of 1942. Second division.”

Give us a break, will ya? This may come as a surprise, but I have not memorized every position, every nuance, every offshoot branch of each and every God that has come out of the Tanakh!

And even then, it is better than the:

“Nope, that is not what I believe.”
“Nope, don’t believe that either.”
”Not my belief.”
“Nor is that.”

Do me a favor—tell me what you DO believe! Please. The constant guessing game begins to feel exactly like a New York Three Care Monte.

“Nope, wrong card.”
“Nope, wrong card.”
“Nope, wrong card.”

I am sure it is part of my presentation (and maybe even my reputation) but people get their hackles up when all I want to do is make sure I know what the heck they are talking about.

So much of the internet debate on theism has become “Who can win?” and less of “How do we believe differently?” And parties on every side of every issue are equally to blame.

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