Earworm Wednesday: I want to know what love is ~ Amason


Yes you may blame Carl Truman, Aimee Byrd, and Todd Pruitt aka the hosts of Mortification of Spin for this week’s earworm.  On the latest podcast they ended it with this song.  So instead of giving you an aging pop princess’ cover of the song I found an obscure Swedish band with an outré video.

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Theology Thursday: Dr. James White’s Four Keys to effective debating.


Today’s Theology Thursday comes from The Cripplegate’s Clint Archer.  He had the chance to interview Dr. James White and ask him how to effectively debate an opponent.

1Seek to be consistent. (Use equal scales)

This is mandatory in a serious debate: you can’t use unequal scales. You need to apply the same level of respect and understanding of how they employ their source material as you would want them to apply to how you employ yours.

Rookie debaters attack aspects of their opponent’s system that they would dismiss with an exasperated eye roll if the favor were returned. He offered a smattering of examples. Here’s some of his riff on this point, transcribed from a recording and cleaned up a bit…

A lot of arguments used against Islam or Mormonism will involve picking on their writings…..eg the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born in Jerusalem and apologists will say “see, Joseph Smith did not know what he was talking about.” But when we defend the Old Testament we often point out that that there are places where the author has used a very specific geographic term referring to a wider region. We defend against these alleged errors using that methodology—so we must be consistent and allow the Mormon the same methodology; i.e. they would say that Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem, in the same general area.
There are a lot of arguments that I would not use when attacking the Qur’an because I realize that when defending the Old Testament I am going to have to utilize very similar responses from what I would expect from a Muslim. So we need to be very careful.
A lot of people attack Joseph Smith’s false prophesies – and there are false prophecies – but Mormons allege that there are false prophecies in the Old Testament too. So your argument saying that Joseph Smith was giving a false prophecy might boomerang and they will say that Jonah was giving a false prophecy, or Ezekiel when prophesying against Tyre (referring to Ezekiel 26:1-14).
Most Christian apologists are better at attacking the other side rather than defending the best arguments made against Christianity.

2.   Strive for accuracy in representation of the other side (use original source material)



How much attention would you pay to a debater who learned what they know about your faith from watching a YouTube video posted by an “ex-Christian” who “suddenly realized” the Bible was full of contradictions and that his church leaders didn’t have answers? Probably zero.

You need to examine and familiarize yourself with your opponent’s original source material. When you explain their view on an issue, they should nod in agreement with everything you are saying before you explain why you disagree. If they don’t believe you understand their position or if they think you have misrepresented their beliefs, they will dismiss any argument you proffer against the faulty position you have presented.
So, when you engage a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness or a Muslim, make sure you have read Joseph Smith, C. T. Russel, or the Qur’an.

It is “Absolutely vitally important to use original sources, to know their version.”

Some people disagree with this point because they say you are exposing yourself to false teaching. But you know what: Paul quoted from Aratus the Greek philosopher and when he wrote Colossians he uses the very language of the proto-gnostics and the Docetists. The writers knew that those people believed and actively refuted them. We have nothing to fear, true Christianity has nothing spiritually to fear from Islam.

Jot down chapter and verse to show your counterpart that you have taken the time to actually read and understand what they actually believe. Interact with that. Do not erect straw men and throw fallacious darts at them. You will only make yourself feel superior while getting no closer to winning the argument or the soul for Christ.

3.  Show love for your opponent. (Win souls not just arguments)

Speaking of winning, you need to decide if your goal is merely to win an argument or to win a soul.
Sometimes those two go together. By convincing them of what the Scriptures actually say, you win the person over to the truth by winning the argument. But sometimes your words might be true, while your attitude belies your lack of concern for the person you are debating and the people who hold their view.

Apologetics – especially electronic apologetics – is a very dangerous skill because it allows you to say things to other people you would never say to their face. It allows you to sit there and think that you are glorifying God when the reality is that you are just trying to get your sword bloody – you don’t care what damage you do in the process.  If you don’t love the people you are dealing with, if you don’t really believe that you are going to be praying for them, if you wouldn’t reach out to them in a meaningful fashion, then don’t even do it. You’ll end up doing more damage than anything else.

The easiest way to show love to a person is to actually love them. Jesus said to do this, so if you don’t you are being a poor debater and a bad Christian at the same time.

4.  Stay in the context of a local church.

Apologetics is not a balanced field. You spend your time immersed in error. If you are doing that divorced from a ministry in the local church you are missing the point of your gifts, you are stunting your own spiritual growth, and you are neglecting your responsibility to the local church in favor of the Universal Church.

I found this to be the most surprising and encouraging of Dr. White’s insights. He is an elder at his church, teaches a Bible study (from the Bible, not the Book of Mormon), and ministers alongside Christians. His apologetics and debating is his career, not his only ministry.

Apologetics must be done within the context of the church. The vast majority of apologists I know are not churchmen. They go from church to church each weekend and give their presentations but they themselves are not churchmen.
Apologetics is not a balanced Christian ministry, you’re always in defense mode. I jokingly tell my audience – I listen to the heretics so you don’t have to – and there is an element of truth in that. And that is not good in the long run if that is all you do. So if you are a churchman you will be forced to have balance.

This is just the main points of the article to read the entire article go here: The Cripplegate

Frenetic Friday


And what a week it’s been folks.  Well we have a little bit of everything here even some Robotic Over Lords!

So this appears in my feed in the first part of the week

Now let’s state the obvious only one combination is going to keep you in your seat on a plane.  And frankly if the others are actually offered I’m not flying KLM I’ve been in turbulence.  But this is the best response I have seen.

HT: Doug Wilson

And then we have a new update from the culture of death featuring James Franco.

Pay special attention to Franco’s face as Princeton philosophy professor Elizabeth Harman gives her argument for aborting some babies.  No matter how she tries to justify it her argument just doesn’t hold water and Franco’s face reflects it. 

And in the culture wars a former soldier who is transgender warns about the danger of gender dysphoria in the military.   One of the most interesting quote of that article is this:

When a service member becomes nondeployable because of gender transition related surgery, they’re going to not only not be on duty in some cases, but they will also be on light duty for most or all of that time.

They’ll have a medical profile against either performing their duties at all, or one that limits them. Commanders are forced to respect these limitations. But the health and fighting capabilities of a military unit are determined by how many of its members are deployable. It’s that serious.

As a former platoon sergeant I know this to be true.

Think about that.  

And now our Robotic Over Lord’s.

First something truly terrifying.

Who thought giving the robot a sword was a good idea?

And now let us send the kids out of the room.

So there are these things called sexbots.  That apparently are being programmed to be used in rape fantasies.  And yes it is amazing just how depraved men are.  

 But riding in on the robotic white horse comes Professor John Banzhaf, a well-known activist professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School.  He is concerned about the sexbots being used in such a manner and he wants Congress to rule and regulate the sexbots industry.  (Click on the link if you want to read the article)

Now is it me or does he want Congress to regulate a type of sexbot prostitution?  

But on another note the thought of people having sex with robots reminds me of a quote from  That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis:

 There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place.”

And this ends another Frenetic Friday.

Wednesday!


What do you mean it is Wednesday?  Well unfortunately I have had my eye on the ball nose to the grindstone and my ear to the ground.  Which hasn’t really given me a chance to listen to anything other than podcasts.  So no Earworm Wednesday today.  But stay tuned who knows when a song will ricochet off the inside of my head and come out here.

Monday, monday 


Ah technology how wonderful it is.  Just a FYI gentle readers no matter what they say, no matter how shiny and new it all is, count on no less than 48 hours to one week to get everything switched over when transferring from one smart phone to the next.  But that isn’t what I wanted to talk to you today.  Officially I am off hiatus the wife is back to semi normal so I can devote time to the blog.

Now I know that Mondays have been devoted to movie reviews and I have an amusing story regarding that.  As you know Sunday was Father’s Day.  And my son wanting to the Dad/Son thing decided to take me out to the movies.  Now we had seen most of the new releases so our choice was limited,  Seeing that we decided to see the latest Johnny Depp/Pirate movie.  Well we are about two-thirds through the thing when the fire alarm goes off and the building is evacuated.  My son being the good man that he is saw me to my car first before going to his.  I love that boy.  But in regards to the movie, well it was drabbing awful.  And I speculate that someone pulled the alarm to keep our brains from leaking out our ears.  So my recommendation is to skip that movie and go see something else.

And speaking of drabbing awful it amazes me sometimes the people who follow me in twitter.  Some I just block, immediately some well they are subtle in their awfulness.  Take for instance a fellow that goes by Balm of Gilead.  He tweeted that we must die an perish in the lake of fire removing the vapor of our lives to leave behind the substance of Christ.  It’s not often that I am gob smacked on twitter but he did it.  So I told him to check his theology one thing led to another and I find out that he is a gnostic.  But not the old gnostic he is gnostic 2.0 He experiences his theology.  Can’t stand that I use quotes from commentaries and confessions not to mention the Bible itself to disprove his heterodoxical views.  I use words he, being so much more enlightened {he really is like the old gnostics isn’t he} uses experiences.  But it is the Faith not the force that I follow.  That what was once for all delivered to the saints.  You know where we study not experience to show ourselves approved? Anyway the upshot of this is be careful who you follow  dear readers especially on social media because you just don’t really know who they might turn out to be.

See you next time.

Hardware


So my laptop died the other day and I had to replace the hard drive with a new one.  I opted for a solid state drive and after I installed the drive and reinstalled the operating system I was doing my usual “Things to do after installing Xubu 16.04 LTS” when I noticed a caveat regarding solid state drives.  It was a warning that solid state drives need a few extra tweaks to make it work well and long.  So I have yet to do the tweaks because​, well, I haven’t done this before and my natural inclination is to read about it five times and then do it around midnight.  

So I am obsessing over the fine tuning, and since it is spring Mrs. Keachfan wants me to remove non-working hardware.  Which everything in my little hacker heart screams no.  So I will be busy this week and still try to get a few thing written.  

MEH


Yeah I know I haven’t done a Frenetic Friday for awhile.  I am going to get back into the swing of things now that I am not in a constant job search mode.  Until then a little reminder. 

Frenetic Friday!


Frenetic Friday or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sweet Sweet Meteor of Death.  

And a strange love it is indeed!

So it is eleven days until the election and I am not going to tell you whom to vote for frankly I think that people that tell you to vote for one person or the other because if you don’t then you’re the reason why (insert candidate here) didn’t/did get in to office.  Are part of the problem not the solution.  Your vote belongs to you and you must decide whom to vote for or not vote for and that is your right.

Speaking of numbers here is a report from the Duffle Blog that shows that amongst World War 1 veterans Hillary Clinton is heavily supported.

Oh and now a Public Service Announcement:  Last Living WWI Veteran dies in 2011

 

And I think Andrew Klavan directed me to this and frankly I almost wet myself laughing and you will too.

So do you remember that list of Prager University videos that I posted? Yes the videos that have been restricted by YouTube. Well they have done it again with the latest video. Take a look here:

Do you suffer from the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect? What is the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect? The late author Michael Crichton explains:

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.” Gell-Mann Amnesia

It’s been pointed out to me that there is this holiday that is coming up that causes people to dress up in costumes. So as a public service we bring you this from Rebel Media:

Fred Butler over at Hip and Thigh was recently on Echo Zoe Radio and gave his opinion on Halloween and Christians it is worth listening.

And in honor of the 499th anniversary of the protestant reformation I give you the Lutheran Insulter