Friday, September 30, 2011

Learning Experience for the Christian Apologist

When I was a Christian I teamed up with other Christians, some of whom were Reformed, and we ganged up on Catholics. We'd laugh about how crazy their beliefs were and marvel at their inability to properly deal with our arguments. I'd learn a bit as I went.

But I learned a lot more when suddenly the disagreements within my own ranks came to the fore. I'm standing shoulder to shoulder with these people fighting for the true gospel and suddenly we've turned our guns on each other. That's fine really. Catholics are obviously supremely irrational. Since my fellow Protestants are so much smarter and more reasonable maybe we can make progress.

But of course it was a mess. They're really obnoxious. I never noticed before. They don't seem interested in understanding what I'm saying. I never noticed that before. Do they treat Catholics the same way? Do I? I needed to start paying closer attention to their treatment of their critics. These are my mentors. I expect others regard them as mentors. Maybe that is misplaced.

Steve Hays is not someone I knew while I was a Christian. But today he seems to be someone that others listen to. He seems to have a lot of readers at Triablogue. He's treated with respect. To me his inability to seriously interact with critics is more extreme than any other Christian I know. He's also among the most obnoxious apologists I know. But apparently Christians that read him don't see that.

Why? Same reason I couldn't see it. When they are on your team sometimes you don't notice.

James White didn't seem to notice. But maybe he does now. At least a little.

James White has others that contribute at his blog, and one of them, Jamin Hubner, has questioned evangelical devotion to the secular state of Israel (see for instance here). He raised this on his own personal blog, not James White's blog. So Steve, apparently dedicated to the secular state of Israel, essentially tried to compel James White to punish Hubner for this. Allahu Akbar and Omega Ministries. This compels James White to reply, which he did. Wednesday Musings. He's trying to be discreet with a title like that. Let's not have a huge division over an issue like this. Nope. Steve has a new post, once again trying to tweak White over his long running battles with Norman Geisler and Ergun Caner. Geisler Syndrome. White replies only to say wow, Steve didn't interact in a serious way with anything I said.

That's right. He didn't. But that's been going on for a long time in all of Steve's battles. This is the kind of incident that helps Christians see that for the first time.

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