Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

'Yes' or 'No' Answer!!!

Some of the theological debating I have witnessed in these last few years -in which people demand an absolute 'yes' or 'no' answer to a complex question- reminds me of something. I heard about a man trying to trick a financial advisor. The man asked the advisor:

Is it an option for people to use bankruptcy to save money on life's expenses?
If he answered yes (because it is an option that some people actually do use, to their shame) he would sound as if he were saying that it was OK to do this, that it was acceptable. If he said no (because that 'option' was never what the bankruptcy laws were intended for) it would seem that he was denying that people could do this, which is not being truthful or realistic about what some people actually do within the bounds of the law.

I have seen questions like that a lot in the FG interior debates and the LS/FG debates. If one does answer certain issues with such simple answers, they are set up for being misunderstood. Don't you think certain questions cannot be appropriately answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer? Please answer 'yes' or 'no'. (just kidding)

122 Comments:

  • Rose,
    Yes.
    That's why all malice and supicion of motives must be absent from our discourse. Then we may answer with freedom and candor.

    By Blogger Steve Dehner, at 1/14/2009 8:45 PM  

  • "Don't you think certain questions cannot be appropriately answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer?"

    Maybe?

    LOL

    Hi, Rose.

    Another great and reasonable post. I see the allegory(spell check) in the bankruptcy question very clear. :)

    I agree with you also, Steve, well stated. I have been guilty of what you stated many times. I have no excuse, the bottom line is I am not living by the Spirit and love isn't ruling.

    Have great week, I look forward to more comments coming from "freedom & candor"

    Kris

    By Blogger Kris, at 1/14/2009 10:49 PM  

  • First let me ask you this...

    Are you still mean to dear Bro. John?...Well? Yes ot no!

    ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/15/2009 2:06 AM  

  • ("ot" = "or" on some planets)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/15/2009 2:07 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Unless it is of the "Have you stopped beating your wife?" variety, then sometimes a "yes" or "no" answer must be pushed for. I had to do it myself a few weeks ago when I perceived a double standard being applied. After a bit of "shovin'" I got there and the debate became a bit clearer as a result.

    Sometimes, I must answer "Yes and No!" to some questions - usually the one that runs, "Do you believe in man's free will?" If the questioner defined what he means by "freewill" then I might be able to be more helpful, but until then the "Yes and No!" type answer must suffice.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/15/2009 7:41 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Yes,definitely, since Jesus would answer questions with another question instead of simply saying yes or no.

    By Blogger Peggie, at 1/15/2009 12:14 PM  

  • Rose, this reminded me of my first job application. I was applying to a grocery store as a "sacker" in the late eighties and the new thing was this 200 question personality quiz to determine one's integrity. It repeatedly reworded about 20 twenty questions and requested a true/false-yes/no answer each time.

    I failed because I looked at each question and considered the specific scenario. I was extremely frustrated that I was unable to expound on my answers.

    My friend answered each question, consistently applying the underlying principle, and was hired.

    A couple of years later, that friend was prosecuted for skimming more than $150,000 from that store while I was successfully managing customer service at another.

    The people asking think they will get the answer they seek with a "yes" or "no" - but they don't, they learn nothing about the one they ask. This type of demand only tells me something about the asker - they don't really care to consider what I think. They already have a prepared answer for "yes" and "no" and anything outside of that would require them to actually listen to what I say and respond to it.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/15/2009 12:20 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Peggy:

    Sometimes the Lord Jesus answered the questions with a strait affirmative. this is most noticeable in Mathew 26:63-64

    The high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. [To apply these words to our discussion, they effectively asked: "Yes or no - are you the Christ etc.,]

    Mat 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: [This sounds to our ears as if He were ducking the question, i.e. "It is you (and not I) who has said that." but it is an affirmative i.e. "You have said it" i.e. I am indeed the Christ etc.,]

    Sometimes it is appropriate to give the straight answer - other times (from Chrisrt's own example) we may introduce another in order to reply or remain silent etc., - all strategies (if I may use that word) employed by Christ. I suspect that in the verses above from Matthew 26, that (in light of the solemn adjuration by the High Priest) it was best for the Saviour to give the straight answer, lest it be thought that the solemn oath was enough to make Him reconsider His claim.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/15/2009 1:35 PM  

  • KC! Thanks for sneaking in there, it warms my heart.

    Hi Rose.

    Missy, you said:
    "The people asking think they will get the answer they seek with a "yes" or "no" - but they don't, they learn nothing about the one they ask. This type of demand only tells me something about the asker - they don't really care to consider what I think. They already have a prepared answer for "yes" and "no" and anything outside of that would require them to actually listen to what I say and respond to it."

    AMEN! You nailed it.

    By Blogger Kris, at 1/15/2009 4:31 PM  

  • Hi again Sis. You need not answer my question, as I know you are not mean to John. ;-)

    This demand (yes or no) is a tactic often used to trap someone in debate or discussion by forcing him or her to accept an either/or argument as categorically valid.

    A good example would be the question of repentance. “Do you believe a man must repent in order to be saved? Yes or no!” In this case both “saved” and “repentance” are usually as defined by the one posing the question and are presumed as categorically valid aspects of soteriology without defense.

    Kris, I love ya brother!

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/15/2009 5:16 PM  

  • Yes. It's true some questions demanding a yes or now are setups.

    IE "Yes or No Joe. Are you still beating your wife?"

    However, most are not. It's not the demand for a clear answer that makes it a setup, it's the premise of the question.

    Is 1+1 equal to 2, please answer Yes or No. Is not a setup.

    Anytime I use this frame for a question it's because the person I'm asking doesn't like answering questions clearly.

    Even theologically based questions can be answered yes or no.

    For example it's often hard to get a clear answer out of a politician. At one of the debates I would have preferred the moderator ask his question about Evolution as a simple yes/no question.

    I can't speak for other people but if I'm asking you to give a simple Yes/No it's because you've been blowing smoke.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/15/2009 9:03 PM  

  • Kc,

    Your example about repentance is not a case of the "yes/no" being unfair. What would be unfair in that example would be to not openly define the question's definition of both Repentance and Saved.

    I find some people who avoid answering yes or no hide behind terminology that SOUNDS biblical but is actually completely redefined. This has the result of making the person's explanation no explanation at all because the truth of the person's answer is very well hidden behind the false usage of the terms.

    To get around this, I define the terms and ask for a simple yes or no.

    And yes I am aware how offensive being pinned down like that is to someone who plays with Truth.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/15/2009 9:07 PM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Hi Kevl. Thanks for the dialog. I think I can illustrate my point and the “unfairness” with the following question:

    ”Do you consider yourself the sole authority for the scriptural definition of both “saved” and “repentance”? Yes or no, please.”

    The question above is technically valid given your previous response, however, an unqualified answer of either yes or no allows me to dismiss your point and your arguments without further consideration and effectively removes you from the discussion.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/16/2009 12:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Theological discourse can be rough and we often speak right past each other. And many times the flesh gets involved and we look for the "killer question", that usually is in the form of a "yes/no" question. At that time, we look for our theological opponent to answer the question in order to have ammo to dismiss him out of hand.

    I really liked what Casey said:

    "This demand (yes or no) is a tactic often used to trap someone in debate or discussion by forcing him or her to accept an either/or argument as categorically valid."

    I have to admit that many, if not most, of the times I have been asked the yes/no question by a theological detractor I do not accept his argument, and/or the expression of the question, and/or the definitions of the terms as 'categorically valid'.

    The Bible does not come with a canonical theological dictionary companion volume. Terms must be agreed upon, or alternative words must be used.

    For instance, the term "repentance" in some FG circles is regarded as simply a change of mind, based upon its etymology alone. And many passages to this particular sort of FGer seem to regard "repentance" as a condition for eternal life. Neither the definition of "repentance" nor the necessity for "repentance" for salvation has been established by those arguing for it.

    #1) The term "repentance" never has the sense of "change of mind" anywhere in the New Testament. The sense is arrived at by etymology alone, and not determined by usage. This is, in linguistics, called the "root fallacy". Although I have argued against the standard Greek Lexixon, BDAG, on contextual and linguistical grounds, I have done so only very rarely, for I have found it to be reliable. BDAG does not find once instance in the NT of metanoeo (to repent) or metanoia (repentance) with the sense of "change the mind".

    #2) No passage whatsoever conjoins a command to repent with a resultant of eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification. It is interesting that Paul's epistles, who are held up by many who call themselves FGers as the final authority in matters of soteriology, contain repent or repentance only 5 times, and none deal with eternal salvation (repentance is very far removed from their usual consideration of 1 Cor 15:3-11).

    No passage enjoins a man to repent to become eternally secure in one's destiny, none.

    But on the other hand, I will admit, that for most people a change of mind will occur when they get saved. They will change their minds from whatever their position was on eternal felicity to that of believing in Jesus for eternal life. But it is not a universal requirement, for some, like children, will not have a mind to change on the matter, and in a vacuumm of knowlege, simply become persuaded that Christ can give them eternal life.

    Anyway, I probably steered this post to an area you didn't want it. That seems to happen alot in the comment threads of your posts.

    As a matter of courtesy and Christian virtue, I try not to ask any yes/no questions of those who I discuss theology with. I have done so, though, and I shall now think differently when I am tempted to do it again. Furthermore, I do not like being asked the yes/no questions for the reason(s) that Casey above brings up.

    yours truly,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/16/2009 12:28 AM  

  • Furthermore,

    It seems like smoke blowing to some when one finds the questions that are being asked and the arguments made as not being categorically valid and answers the question with explananations of terms, and nuances in position.

    In reality, when one is allowed to answer for himself, and allowed to express freely, rather than tied to someone else's yes/no killer question, his position will not seem as heretical or erroneous to the unbiased hearer. Such questions seem to be a favorite weapon in the aresenal of those whose positions are the weakest.

    Theological dialogue, when divisions are present, ought not to take such dead end streets. It ought to allow for free expression and the discussing of evidence for terms and other definable issues.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/16/2009 12:41 AM  

  • Good morning Rose:

    There seems to be two extremes to avoid here:

    [i] The gunslinger with the Yes or No silver bullet
    [ii] The waffler who hasn’t the decency to give a straight answer

    It is better then to say something like: “Yes or No – qualify later.”

    On the matter of man’s free will raised earlier, I would normally (whether being pressed on it or not) would give a “Qualified Yes” and take a minute to explain my position.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/16/2009 4:43 AM  

  • "It is better then to say something like: 'Yes or No – qualify later.'"

    Colin, although I do agree with your assessment of extremes to avoid (both in avoiding the use of them and those that use them!), I respectfully disagree with the quote above.

    I think it is better to say, "I cannot give you the type of answer you request." Time and testimony has proven that the "Yes" or "No" will be published as fact without the later qualification or even context. And it will be used with a victorious yelp of "Gotcha!"

    Unfortunately, we consistently find ourselves as Christians debating under the guidelines the world has set, rather than those Christ modeled.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/16/2009 8:27 AM  

  • Hi Missy,

    Fair enough comment on your part.

    Very few, if any, (at least from my experience) rush in rightaway with "Yes or No?" or even its modified form of "Yes or no - qualify later" I have only used it as a last resort and when people noted for the strong statements have declined to be consistent in a particular case. Certainly there is no shame in sayng "I don't know" (or any similar statements) -I do it myself from time to time.

    What would you say is the Christian way to draw an answer from someone when probing questioning of a reasoning sort has failed and the opposing friend won't "come clean" when he is well able to?

    Without opening up an old sore, it happned me recently when a statement another made (and which I supported) was branded as Satanic etc., The one who made this rather strong allegation wrongly thought it to be the statement of a third party whom they have long opposed and really went to town on the matter. When it was discovered that the original statement came from one well respected within his own ranks, there was a relutance to brand the real "culprit" as a purveyor of Satanically inspired messages. It was only then that I felt it necessary to go for the "yes or no" (minus the option of qualification later!) challenge. It had come to that. Outcome: A consistent (though grossly mistaken) view that even the one admired had purveyed Satanically inspired thoughts. At least, we now know where this person stood.

    If some folk want to misrepresent you, then nothing will prevent it from happening. I have seen carefully crafted and protected statements just as carefully unravelled, denuded of any qualification and presented as fact. Lesson: Insist on context and check the sources etc.,

    Regards,

    Hey! We haven't reached the 100th posting already, have we? :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/16/2009 8:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose.

    Consider the question:

    Do you believe in the existence of gods, yes or no?

    Since we believe in the God of the bible, we might be inclined to answer "yes" - but that is not the question that is being asked.

    We must answer "NO" - and by that we simply mean that we deny pantheonism.

    The problem is not that questions like this are unfair, it is that the are often asked by people who are [1] beating up straw men, and [2] who lack the sophistication (or integrity) to properly interpret your accurate answer.

    It is quite tiring (after answering a thing honestly) to have to thereafter spend time dismantling the caricatures that are then painted by the other as representing your "true" opinion.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 1/16/2009 11:34 AM  

  • I did join in early, didn't I? :D

    As you said, "If some folk want to misrepresent you, then nothing will prevent it from happening." But I don't agree with your conclusion. When you recognize that the person is consistently doing this, don't insist on a thing, simply tell the truth that you cannot answer the question with the conditions applied. This person is striving for a dispute - for division amongst the hearers - and you add fuel to their sin in continuing. Respectfully decline.

    The dispute furthers the lust to win the debate. Remove the dispute and the lust can subside, then maybe the conversation can continue and produce good.

    I keep thinking of 1 Corinthians 6:7-8; "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers."

    Choose to be slandered rather than continue to feed the flame of my brother's sin? Novel. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/16/2009 11:45 AM  

  • Rose/Colin - I read this post from my friend Susan, right after my last comment here, called Free to Be Quiet. I thought it was very relatable to my point.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/16/2009 11:56 AM  

  • I agree with you again, Missy. I have done that too – usually preceded by the words “Sorry, I can’t help you…” and just walk away.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/16/2009 12:06 PM  

  • Steve,
    Thank you - I think that would sum up my thoughts on what is the problem with it.

    Kris,
    Thank you as well.
    With freedom and candor ;~),
    Rose

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 12:43 PM  

  • KC,

    YES.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 12:44 PM  

  • Colin,
    I can't remember being in a discussion where I felt that I had to press for a yes or no answer. I could be forgetting it.

    If you say that you have done such without the intent of cornering the person you were asking, then I take your word for it.

    I don't see any reason in certain situations why I couldn't offer the answer yes or no, but sometimes, I just can't. For me, I am remembering a 'discussion' when I was pressed to do so and accused of skirting the issue and dishonesty. I just wasn't sure what my answer was!!!! For others, I understand that some of these questions are like the one I posed in the post - it is a BAD question and the intent of having asked it seems to be for malicious purposes.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 12:48 PM  

  • Thanks, Peggie - good point.

    Missy,
    Great thoughts!!

    You said:
    This type of demand only tells me something about the asker - they don't really care to consider what I think. They already have a prepared answer for "yes" and "no" and anything outside of that would require them to actually listen to what I say and respond to it.

    EXACTLY!!! I feel you, sister.

    Thanks for sharing the story about the job interview. It is a good example about how working with a narrow, closed-ended communicative posture really doesn't help at all.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 12:53 PM  

  • Colin,
    Yes, I also understand why Jesus would answer that question the way He did. It really wasn't a trick question as such. It was a strightforward question and it served His purposes to answer it directly. I also remember another time (Mark 11) when He was asked by what authority He did the things that He did. He did not answer that question the straighforward way, but rather with a question. I think it did not serve His purposes to answer directly, but would only be used as ammo by His opponents. Then again, it was not a yes or no question. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:00 PM  

  • Hi Kevin!
    I am glad you are here to discuss these things.

    You said:
    I find some people who avoid answering yes or no hide behind terminology that SOUNDS biblical but is actually completely redefined. This has the result of making the person's explanation no explanation at all because the truth of the person's answer is very well hidden behind the false usage of the terms.

    Are they unwilling to define their terms when asked?

    Let me suggest that there are certain words that do need defining... and expanding the definition actually helps one understand different portions of the Scripture. FOR EXAMPLE (and I know my friend Colin won't like this) but in James when he talks about faith saving someone - the faith without works - can it save someone? Some of us hear the word "save" and we automatically think it means "save from hell." Upon further thought and challenge, I have seen that it could mean a lot of things. (I can't get into all of this now, but it is an interesting study.) It changes the whole possibility of what James was talking about to consider this. (It would have helped Martin Luther, too, so that he wouldn't have wanted to disclude James from the canon of Scripture for its supposed contrast with Paul.)

    Is this a "sneaky" thing as you suggest for other terms? You need to consider that there are valid expansions of some of our terms and you need not take offense that others have widened understanding of them. You sound as if you view them wearing a cloak with a dagger hidden beneath, when they are honestly trying to understand the Bible like yourself.

    I understand this, though, I have this difficulty with LS and their expansion of the word "faith." It is difficult, Kevin, not to be irritated at this.

    You said:
    To get around this, I define the terms and ask for a simple yes or no.

    And then do you get offneded if the person tells you that they don't see the terms the same way you do?

    And yes I am aware how offensive being pinned down like that is to someone who plays with Truth.

    those who disagree with you are "playing with the truth." I think you should be careful thinking that about the people that you are referring to. They are honest bible-believers like yourself - they just see things differently. You can't judge them to be "playing with the truth."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:15 PM  

  • I see now that my comment to you was not dissimilar to what KC is asking you. KC and I often think alike. That makes him a good guy.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:17 PM  

  • Antonio,
    I think you have a good solution to this:

    Terms must be agreed upon, or alternative words must be used.

    That is why I don't like the word "repentance" in many discussions - I think it is better to just use the phrase that one thinks it to mean. IMHO

    Antonio,
    You said:
    As a matter of courtesy and Christian virtue, I try not to ask any yes/no questions of those who I discuss theology with. I have done so, though, and I shall now think differently when I am tempted to do it again.

    I want to encourage you along in this posture!!! I am so glad to see the way you have grown in this blogging thing over this last couple of years. I am sure it is also evident in your in-person communica as well, but we don't get to see that.

    We all could use a bit of growing. Pray for me on this?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:22 PM  

  • Colin,
    I was aked a yes/no question some months ago. I gave the "yes, with qualifications" answer. It was just taken as a yes and used against me.

    Another time, to a different question, I also gave the answer "virtually impossible, extremely unlikely" (and something else like that)

    I read later where my answer was analyzed thus:

    "In other words - YES"

    To someone, my answer meant YES. This floored me. That is when I decided how much I hate these kinds of questions. They allow for no exceptions or qualifications.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:25 PM  

  • Daniel,
    You get it!! Hey, I want to apologize to you if I or any of my compatriots have ever done this to you. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 1:29 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Why not then, "Generally, Yes, but with some exceptions..." or "Generally, yes and with no exceptions?" (and the same with "no" etc.,)

    If someone is out to get you, then they'll do it ayway. Even your silences can be interpreted in whatever way your tormentor wants.

    What if someone says to you:

    Do you believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ - Yes or No? - I'm sure that you would have no problem with that!

    Regards,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/16/2009 2:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said Is this a "sneaky" thing as you suggest for other terms? You need to consider that there are valid expansions of some of our terms and you need not take offense that others have widened understanding of them. You sound as if you view them wearing a cloak with a dagger hidden beneath, when they are honestly trying to understand the Bible like yourself.

    Huh?

    If someone has a "widened" understanding of a term they had probably let everyone else in on their understanding when they ought to know the other person doesn't expect them to be using the word in the manner they are.

    For example in an episode of House the doctors asked the students in a classroom if they had any pets. The child answers - "no" but it later comes out that they have a pet bird. The child says "That's a Bird, not a pet."

    It's "reasonable" for a child to act this way, but it's not for an adult to act that way.

    Seeing as I'm the one trying to be open, and the other person is the one with the hidden "widened understanding" of a word I don't think I'm the one with a dagger hidden under my cloak... whatever that's supposed to mean.

    You asked
    And then do you get offneded if the person tells you that they don't see the terms the same way you do?


    No.

    You then quoted me
    And yes I am aware how offensive being pinned down like that is to someone who plays with Truth.


    And replied to this quote with the following;

    those who disagree with you are "playing with the truth." I think you should be careful thinking that about the people that you are referring to. They are honest bible-believers like yourself - they just see things differently. You can't judge them to be "playing with the truth."


    Rose is this being "reasonable"?

    Did I say that those who disagree with me are playing with the truth?

    I said those that don't like to answer clearly so that everyone can see what they mean are playing with the truth. I believe that was perfectly clear. If it was not, it surely is now.

    Who exactly was I referring too? How would you know if they are "honest bible believing" people or not?

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/16/2009 4:06 PM  

  • Rose,

    The tone of the last had to be the way it was - I really didn't feel fairly treated by you in the least.

    But I've got a question. You said to Antonio above (I have not read the entire thread so please forgive me if I have some wrong understanding), anyway you said that you don't ask yes or no questions to people in theological discussions. Why not?

    I guess I just don't get what is so offensive about stating something flat out clearly.

    One must allow a person to not have an answer because they don't have something figured out. But if someone clearly has a position I see no harm in asking them to be clear about it.

    What could a Christian possibly have to hide about what they believe?

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/16/2009 4:12 PM  

  • I find that truth is hardly ever a yes or no proposition :)

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 1/16/2009 5:07 PM  

  • Hi Kev,
    I'm sorry - I did not mean to be less-than-fair with you. I suppose I still had your last comment to me on your blog still in my head when I took this...

    And yes I am aware how offensive being pinned down like that is to someone who plays with Truth.

    ...statement of yours to mean in reference to Antonio, who is presently in disagreement with you. If that is not what you meant, then I stand corrected.

    So is that right? You would not mean Antonio in that sentence?

    You end by saying:
    What could a Christian possibly have to hide about what they believe?

    Which I answer with a Reaganism: "There you go again." ;~)

    No one in the current FG debates seems to me to be trying to HIDE what they believe, Kevin. That is NOT my problem with the yes/no question. Scroll back up and read these comments - by several people who get it - why many times a yes/no question is meant to trap another person, not come to an understadning with them.

    I think this:

    What could a Christian possibly have to hide about what they believe?

    Is probably a great example of a straw man (someone correct me if I am wrong on the fallacy): anyone who doesn't like yes/no questions is trying to hide what they believe. Not so. Like I said, read. How about just start by reading Daniel's comment above?

    God bless, Kev.

    I commend you for this statement:

    One must allow a person to not have an answer because they don't have something figured out.

    Others have not been so gracious.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 5:28 PM  

  • Goodnightsafehome:

    To answer your question: YES, ABSOLUTELY

    :~)

    Bob,
    Thanks for your thoughts!!! Some things are easy and others are more difficult.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/16/2009 5:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I don't have an issue with you taking note of people who try to trap others with yes & no answer questions. But they aren't always a trap - that's my reason for posting.

    I wasn't discussing Antonio or his take on theology. But to answer your question clearly;

    You asked So is that right? You would not mean Antonio in that sentence?

    I believe Antonio's conversation often fits into what I was expressing but I was not referencing Antonio. I don't identify a person by their actions, but I do not ignore their actions because of who they are either.

    I hope that was clear... it's a bit complicated. I am talking about a conversation style, not a person. There are many people who can converse in that offensive style - not just Antonio. And what's more there is no person, including him, that must always, or does always, converse in that style.

    Someone above say they don't find truth often comes down to a yes or no.

    I find that it always does. Truth, by definition is one right answer in the midst of an endless amount of wrong answers.

    Jesus Christ is THE way, THE truth and THE life. He is the only way. He is the yes, everything else is the no.

    blessings,
    Kev

    must go now, will try to read Daniel's comment later - in case I have missed some part of your point.

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/16/2009 5:38 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Of the Yes and No answer question framework I wrote;

    "Anytime I use this frame for a question it's because the person I'm asking doesn't like answering questions clearly. " 1/15/2009 9:03 PM

    If a person can answer a question clearly so that I understand what they mean and they are not trying to deceive me or someone else I don't use a yes or a no.

    I use it to get past the smoke screen of people.

    I'm never offended by a yes or no question myself - at least I haven't been yet.

    I'm able to identify when they are a trap, and when it is I do not feel compelled to comply with the asker's demand of a simple yes or no.

    However, if I were to be trying to cover something up then it would become clear to everyone.... you can only ignore their instructions and get away with it if it really is just an unfair trap.

    If you're hiding something (for whatever reason) the yes or no answer question will almost always reveal that fact.

    I don't know why Christians feel compelled to play "hide and go seek" with what they believe... but check any forum or blog and you'll see people dodging questions....

    I see some people who call themselves Free Grace dodging questions about what they believe all the time. I don't mean to box you in at all, but I do see it.

    By Grace, through Faith,
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/16/2009 6:06 PM  

  • Kev,

    Some old examples may help here.

    1. During the icon controversy, an iconophile bishop was brought before the emperor. The examiners brought out an icon of Jesus, and asked him: Is this just a picture of Jesus, yes or no? Given the choices, he said yes. Then they threw it on the ground and demanded that he step on it, since it was just a picture. Of course, had he said no, it was not just a picture, he would have been accused of idolatry. (As it was, he took a coin with the emperor's image on it, laid it on the ground, and stepped on that, which got him executed, but certainly made his point.)

    2. In the vicinity of the Reformation, there were a number of groups that believed the state should not back the church in any way. It was common to examine these 'heretics' by asking them whether God had ordained the civil magistrate to keep order: Yes or no? A 'yes' answer would be taken as an affirmation that jailing heretics was appropriate; a 'no' answer would be taken as an anarchistic rejection of the magistrate's right to punish common criminals. Mainstream society did not recognize a clear distinction between ecclesiastical and civil offenses at that time.

    My point here is that while we can readily see that the questioners were smuggling in unexamined baggage in their questions, they did not see this. They believed that their 'clear' questions cut through all their opponents' smoke and mirrors and got right to the heart of the matter -- and so they did, if you accept the premises behind the question.

    But very often that's precisely what is at issue.

    The lesson of history is that when you think you're being clear, but your opponent says you're missing the point, he might very well be right. If there's a problem with your categories, you'll be the last one to figure it out; that kind of thing is hard to see from the inside, and therefore, a measure of humility is called for.

    His forever,
    Tim Nichols

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 1/17/2009 5:04 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Concerning Matthew 26:64
    To believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God is saving truth (1 John 5:1a). Jesus wants people to come to that conclusion themselves and not just be told by Him that’s who He is (Matt 16:20). By answering the way Jesus did was too get the High Priest to come to that conclusion himself for it was he who needed life, and it was only found in that name! Jesus wasn’t concerned with what people might think but was concerned for the one who was asking the question. Remember when Jesus was on the cross He was asking the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do, He was not concerned for His own life or what people might think, but their lives! So Jesus real motive here and the reason He answered the way He did is His love for each and every person to come to the knowledge of who He is. That He indeed is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. Sound familiar? John 20:31 We don’t want to miss Jesus heart for people, even this High Priest!

    alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/17/2009 8:35 AM  

  • Hi there Rose!

    Bro. Alvin, that is excellent exegesis & Bible interpretation as far as I am concerned, bro! Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 1/17/2009 10:13 AM  

  • Tim,

    If the person being asked believes there is baggage they can reveal it and still answer with a yes or no.

    The reason to ask someone "yes or no" is to get them to commit, not to trap them into affirming something they don't believe.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/17/2009 11:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Another thing to avoid is when we agree with someone but for different reasons. Thus we might both agree that Hyper Calvinists are wrong - you because you disagree with Calvinism in any degree and me because I detest the OTT kind that ignores man's responsibility and decires the free offer of the gospel.

    In such a case, I would usually qualify my nodding of the head with words like: I agree - but for different reasons.

    Another thought - the withholding of certain doctrinal information especially when dealng with sinners need not be demonised.

    If we are throwing a lifeline to a drowning man, we need not wait to explain the whys and wherefores of how a hard plastic ring that only weighs so much can support the weight in water of someone many times heavier.

    It is recognised though that there are those who may want to slip in under the radar, pretending to be one thing when they are another. This is to be condemned.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/17/2009 12:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose/David

    Yes it’s easy to look at Scripture through a man-made grid and miss the heart of Jesus for the individual. Jesus was going to go to the cross and pay for this High Priests sins in fact the sins of the whole world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; 1Tim 2:3-6). By removing the sin bearer (2 Cor 5:19) Jesus would make it possible for this man to take of the water of life freely ( Rev 22:17; John 4:10), but to be in harmony with God he would need to submit to the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 3:2,6,8,11;6:14,15; 10:5,7;Acts 2:38).

    Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

    We see here that many of the priests believed and were in Harmony with their God (Acts 20:21)!

    Alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/17/2009 9:34 PM  

  • Kev,

    When the person tries to explain the baggage, and why the question as asked is not a simple yes or no question, the questioner accuses him of trying to muddy the water: "It's a simple question. Why are you dodging a simple question? Just tell us -- yes or no?"

    You said, "The reason to ask someone 'yes or no' is to get them to commit, not to trap them into affirming something they don't believe."

    If I may be blunt, I think you just don't get it. The whole point is that from the inside, the latter often looks like the former.

    Let me try a different approach. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the church-state separation advocate in my second example.

    The Constable doesn't know what to do with you. Poor man, his job is to determine what you've been teaching in those unlawful private meetings you've been holding. One minute, you're saying that the state should not enforce civil order by arresting and punishing those who clearly threaten the civil order. The next minute you're saying that of course the state should punish pickpockets, and you never said otherwise. You only meant heretics – you know, matters of conscience. But theft is obviously a matter of conscience, so you’re talking nonsense. Clearly you don't want to admit what you’ve been teaching, and that raises questions. What could you have been saying that you're so afraid to talk about?

    "Come now," he says to you. "I've been very patient. Answer my question. Have you been teaching that the state should not punish those disturb the peace and purity of good Christian society? Yes or no?"

    You try to explain again, but his patience is at an end, and his fist silences you.

    "Yes or no," he says, quietly. "The irons are heating in the fire, young man, and they’ve broken better men than you. You will tell me what you have been teaching. Now answer me simply, like an honest man should. Yes or no?"

    Well, Kev, what are you going to tell him?

    His forever,
    Tim Nichols

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 1/17/2009 11:55 PM  

  • Tim,

    Clearly you are failing to see beyond your own argument. You want it to be known that yes or no questions can be abusive. I believe every single person here agrees they can be.

    However, citing example after example of abusive situations does not mean that every situation is abusive. Giving examples of abusive uses of yes or no questions does not mean they are only ever abusive.

    In your situation, it depends on how much your character is convicted about what he's teaching. If it's important to him then he'll endure the pain of the situation. If not he will not.

    The same is for Theological questions. If you believe in absolute truth and are willing to get to it, if it's really important then you won't mind the work that is sometimes painful to get to it.


    Is it possible to ask a yes or no question of someone without being abusive? Please answer with a simple yes or no so that I am sure to understand your answer.


    Have I asked an abusive question there?

    I think not.

    I feel sorry for people who feel like victims because they are asked to present what they believe clearly.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/18/2009 8:58 AM  

  • Kevin,

    I think everyone in this conversation is aware that no one believes that EVERY yes or no question is abusive. Rose's post asks if there are SOME questions that simply cannot be answered with a yes or no. The answer is yes - there are questions that cannot be answered as simply as that. We have all witnessed individuals actually insist that Rose answer a question she had not fully resolved herself yet - forcing her to take a position of less commitment than themselves, which in turn forced her to be labeled an enemy. I think most everyone here is in agreement that to ask one of those questions and insist on a yes or no answer is at the very least ignorant and at the worst, abusive. Somewhere in the middle it is disengenuous.

    But here's a yes or no question that is not disengenuous: in your example above, it appears that you are implying that it is defensible of a questioner to employ torture (physical or emotional?) to prove the viability of an argument, and that the one being questioned should welcome and perservere through the pain to prove themselve to the questioner.

    Do you believe this?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/18/2009 11:24 AM  

  • Kevin,

    After thinking on that question for a moment, I thought I should disclose in advance of your answering that the reason I fall closer to your side of the gospel debate is that I believe Jesus teaches the "end" does not justify the "means" for mere humans.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/18/2009 11:48 AM  

  • This has turned into an interesting comment thread.

    Colin Maxwell (goodnightsafehome) seems to be offering an answer to Kev's question "why would a Christian ever want to hide what he believes?"

    I am taking Kev's question to be a reflection of suspicion of those he doesn't agree with - and for that I may be wrong.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/18/2009 3:42 PM  

  • Missy you asked,

    But here's a yes or no question that is not disengenuous: in your example above, it appears that you are implying that it is defensible of a questioner to employ torture (physical or emotional?) to prove the viability of an argument, and that the one being questioned should welcome and perservere through the pain to prove themselve to the questioner.

    Do you believe this?


    No.

    I think if someone is convicted of something - they really believe it - they will be willing to endure. Not that it's OK to force someone to endure something.

    In the context of the discussion, I think it's wrong for people to project a false representation of what they believe.

    My only use of yes no questions is to get someone to commit who will not do so another way. I attempt to be a fair as possible.

    The tone of the comments I have read seem to be that it's wrong to ask someone to answer with a yes or a no.

    One person went so far as to say they don't think truth comes down to a yes or no.

    the only thing that I've seen legitimately of issue that has been brought up is unfair practices in asking these questions. However, unfair practices can be employed in many ways. It is not the yes or no that makes it unfair. It is the other practices.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/18/2009 3:52 PM  

  • Kev,
    You say:
    I feel sorry for people who feel like victims because they are asked to present what they believe clearly.

    Kev, dear, here is a problem. No one feels like a victim around here for being asked to present clearly what they believe. I would say that most Bible believers DO WANT to present what they believe clearly. That is *WHY* the yes/no question doesn't work all the time. It HINDERS this.

    I the case of a debate over something scripturally complicated, if you set up the parameters for undersatnding by offering a closed-ended question and demand a yes/no - you will get NO understanding of that person you are asking.

    Let me be frank: I did feel victimized by your friend for this. He asked me 5 times, I believe, in one comment thread to answer a question yes/no and really rudely insisted and BADGERED me to answer it. I wasn't sure about the premise of the question - I felt that THAT question with a yes or no next to it would NOT Represent my understanding (or lack of understanding) of the issue. That is why I didn't like it. That is why I felt *victimized.*

    Also what one person means by the question is not what the one answering the question would mean to convey in these yes/no approaches to difficult issues.

    You should try to stop looking at it as people trying to hide what they believe.

    I think what they are trying to do is to avoid being misunderstood.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/18/2009 3:57 PM  

  • Hi Tim!

    I love your visits here, but in order to be fair, I must direct you to the first rule (for which I am a stickler - well, when the mood strikes me) under "guiding principles for visits here" on the left side of my sidebar.

    ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/18/2009 3:59 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, an interesting thread indeed. What are your thoughts, then, if after someone insists (rightly, if such a position exists) on an "Yes or no" answer, finally gets it?

    The key to the above question is, of course, the word "rightly" - is the one who was pursued rightly not better off for having come clean?

    Of course, someone could be badgered into a comment they would have been better not making. It would really be better for them to pull the plug on the close interrogation. "I cannot tell" might suffice, although it might lead to them having to withdraw earlier comments. Had my last "yes or no" assault have been put off like that, I would have gone for the withdrawal of earlier remarks. And, as you all know, I am a dove ... :o)

    What risks we all take when we put our heads above the parapet!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/18/2009 4:10 PM  

  • Kevin,

    Thank you for the frank answer and excellent clarification. I am comforted by your answer.

    You said, "the only thing that I've seen legitimately of issue that has been brought up is unfair practices in asking these questions. However, unfair practices can be employed in many ways. It is not the yes or no that makes it unfair. It is the other practices."

    I agree. I think that for the most part we are all thinking of the same elephant in the room. And I also think that many of us believe that in this particular case, unfair practices have often been employed when asking these questions; whether in an ambiguously defined term - a blatantly unagreed upon term - or entrapment by a double-edged question, for example - often for what appears to be the purpose of a personal debate victory. I am not saying that this is truth, simply the overwhelming perception with terms like "nail in the coffin" so frequently bandied about.

    When this person(s) answers a question with disclaimers and definitional caveats, he/she believes that he/she is simply making the question better suited to a proper yes or no answer - which is entirely an acceptable practice. However, when another does the same, he/she claims that that person is dodging or making the answer more palatable.

    What I have seen, for the most part, is those the GES position have taking those with your position at face value in terms of the sincerity of beliefs and trust you are being forthwith - even though they are in disagreement. While your side has come in with the belief that they are in deliberate deceit and disobedience to scripture rather than misunderstanding the scripture. They have been portrayed as individuals who know that your position is absolutely right, and yet choose to deceive as many as possible. Do you truly believe that?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/18/2009 5:12 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said (stuff about [my] friend) and
    You should try to stop looking at it as people trying to hide what they believe.

    I think what they are trying to do is to avoid being misunderstood.


    Clearly I have said many times that I use yes no questions for the purpose of getting people to tell me what they believe.

    If you have some other experience with people asking such questions then you are free to express that. But I don't think it's proper to exclude my experience with asking them because you want to make a point about those you've experienced.

    Plainly, the problem is not with the required answer but with the method of asking.

    If you have a problem with my friends you should take it up with them. I'm not hear talking about them any more than I am about your friend.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/18/2009 9:35 PM  

  • Hi Missy,

    I'm aware of the hidden elephant as well. I'd like to see someone attempt to pin that one down here on their home turf.

    I'd be very interested in seeing that done without the use of a yes or no question actually.

    I'd be interested in how we can come to know the "truth" with out such a question on that topic.

    I'm not going to ask. Or even define the question - mostly because I know the answer and am not interested in playing games. However, those who know.. and feel that yes/no is somehow abusive should show me how they can get the elephant to speak without using such.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/18/2009 9:39 PM  

  • I may be wrong, Kevin, but I think we may be talking about 2 different elephants - and it's entirely possible that yours is correct and mine is the one that is different. ;)

    I think that a good way to know the truth is to ask the question (yes/no or otherwise) with a sincere interest in understanding, and then listening as long as it takes to understand - asking more questions if necessary. It has worked rather successfully for me - but I'll admit I have been listening to a few for more than a year, aspiring to understand. :)

    Thanks for the interaction and have a good Monday, Kevin.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 1:12 AM  

  • Rose,

    I humbly apologize! I certainly would not dream of entering your house without greeting you; I don't know what possessed me to behave that way at your blog.

    Please accept my apology for the oversight.

    His forever,
    Tim Nichols

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 1/19/2009 1:14 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I don't see this elephant everyone is talking about? Dose it take a spiritual gift or speacial glasses? Is this elephant pink? And if their is now two of them are they together?

    alvin :----)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/19/2009 2:05 AM  

  • Kev,

    Yes, it is possible to ask a yes or no question without being abusive.

    ...but that was not the point I was making. Ever.

    Let me try again.

    Suppose A asks B a yes or no question.

    You seem very invested in repeating that this state of affairs does not constitute abuse in itself. I certainly agree. But let's continue...

    Further suppose that B does not respond with a yes or no answer, despite A's repeated attempts to get one or the other.

    My point has always been that it may very well seem to A that B is just being evasive, and needs to be pinned down. At the same time, it may very well seem to B that there is no possible way he can answer the question honestly with a simple yes or no.

    Thus A may intend no abuse; he's not trying to pull a cheap debate trick. He might well sincerely say, "I'm only insisting on a yes or no answer because I have to pin the guy down. He doesn't seem to want to just admit what he believes." But he may well have misperceived the situation, and in fact the problem is that A is simply unable or unwilling to get his head around the distinction that B is trying to make.

    It's not necessarily about intent -- and good intentions are not sufficient to prevent you from being in A's position. No matter what you intend, you can wind up in that position if you simply fail to apprehend a distinction or definition that is important to your opponent.

    Of course, if you are trying to trap him in a false dilemma, then that's a whole different issue. But my point, again, is that it's not just about the questioner's intentions.

    And -- again, this is my whole point -- when you are in A's position, you are, by definition, unable to tell you're there. From the inside, all you know is that your opponent is insisting on a distinction you can't see. Maybe it's real, and you're clueless; then again, maybe he's a crafty, lying weasel.

    The young, the proud, the impatient, the uncharitable have a strong tendency to assume the latter without considering the other option.

    How to evaluate a situation like this?

    One of the things I look at closely is the character of the person to whom I'm asking the question. Do I know him to be a weasel, or is he an intelligent man of good repute and good conscience, who appears to me to be having an inexplicable brain fart? If the latter, then I think it's only charitable and humble to consider the possibility that the problem is with me.

    Let me give you a real-life example. I heard a speaker once asked point-blank if he believed in inerrancy. He said two things:
    1. If in the course of his study, his scholarly work leads him to the conclusion that the Bible is wrong about something or other, he assumes that he made a mistake somewhere and goes back to the drawing board to find it.
    2. The "in-" words we use to describe the Bible, including "inerrancy," carry a lot of theological and political baggage that he could not in good conscience agree to.

    My initial reaction was, "After saying (1), why not just agree to inerrancy? To my ears, 'if I think the Bible's wrong, I must be wrong' is a pretty good summary of inerrancy."

    But there is a possibility that I'm missing something, so I'm presently engaged in doing some follow-up work to find out what he sees that I don't.

    I've got to tell you, thus far I can't seem to see what his problem is. Based on his published work, I would say that he believes in inerrancy, if he hadn't specifically said he's uncomfortable with that word. But he's an experienced pastor and apologist, a stalwart defender of the faith, and one of the keenest intellects I've had the pleasure to read and hear. I sort of suspect that the problem is with me.

    This doesn't mean he's right. He may be wrong, but he's not stupid, and he's not a weasel; I should be able to see things from his point of view, even if I don't agree with them. In fact, if I'm going to dismiss his point of view, or refute it, I must first of all be able to see it from his point of view. So far, I haven't succeeded, but I'm still trying.

    His forever,
    Tim Nichols

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 1/19/2009 2:25 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    You did it again Tim, you got to greet Rose first and you can't blame it on a brain-fart!


    :----------) alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/19/2009 2:43 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Never mind I guess you only have to greet her once. I'm the one with the habit of doing it every time.
    sorry . . .my brain-fart

    I still don't see any elephants, I think you guys are seeing things!

    alvin :-----------)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/19/2009 2:49 AM  

  • Tim you said Kev,

    Yes, it is possible to ask a yes or no question without being abusive.

    ...but that was not the point I was making. Ever.


    It is the point I'm making.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/19/2009 12:16 PM  

  • Tim,
    I hope you know that I was saying all that "tongue-in-cheek" :%)

    But thanks for the nice-ness. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/19/2009 3:01 PM  

  • Alvin,
    You made me laugh today! Thanks!

    Hey, I meant to mention to you the other day that I really appreciated your comment up above about Jesus' heart when he was speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 26. I honestly forget that - that He loved even those He called brood of vipers and blind guides etc...

    I somehow fall into the thinking that these were beyond hope because they were so opposed to Him, but we know that as long as there is breath in the nostrils, they can come to Christ. His heart is for the lost to come.

    Thanks for that thought - I kept thinking about it ever since - while I was driving and sledding and cooking etc...

    You gave me some good food for thought.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/19/2009 3:08 PM  

  • Thanks for popping in, David Wyatt. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/19/2009 3:09 PM  

  • This has been an interesting thread to follow, and I do agree with some points being made by both sides. It sounds like most everyone here agrees that some yes/no questions are fine and some aren't.

    I just wanted to respond to a few comments that have been made in this thread. First, Rose said that she didn't think anyone was trying to hide their beliefs. I disagree. I think that there are many in various debates who are indeed trying to "hide" their beliefs, by slipping them in under the guise of other terms, "answering" questions vaguely and indirectly, redirecting the conversation, etc. It seems that often many people try to make their beliefs sound like those of the person(s) they are talking with. I see this with Calvinists, Arminians, Catholics, Mormons (remember the switch from "Latter-Day Saints" to "Community of Christ"?), etc. And yes, I see it with LS and FG people too. So I do think that at times a yes/no question is appropriate if it seems that someone is trying to hide their beliefs at that particular time... although I have no problem with a qualified yes/no answer, but that doesn't mean yes or no is impossible.

    Missy, you asked Kev,

    "What I have seen, for the most part, is those the GES position have taking those with your position at face value in terms of the sincerity of beliefs and trust you are being forthwith - even though they are in disagreement. While your side has come in with the belief that they are in deliberate deceit and disobedience to scripture rather than misunderstanding the scripture. They have been portrayed as individuals who know that your position is absolutely right, and yet choose to deceive as many as possible. Do you truly believe that?"

    I know you asked that to Kev, but I want to say for the record that I do NOT believe that. While I strongly disagree with GES on certain topics, I do think that they have come to their position sincerely. I do not think that they know we are right but just want to trick everyone.

    Tim,

    You make some good points. What I find frustrating is when I am discussing something with someone, and the other person consistently argues from the position of one side or the other. But when asked to answer yes or no directly, they refuse, and either add more to the conversation (i.e. redirect/obfuscate), or they complain of being taken out of context, etc. This is usually when I find it helpful to insist on yes or no, even if qualified, so that at least it can be clear to all what position the person holds.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/19/2009 4:34 PM  

  • Hi Sis.

    While I appreciate Colin’s opinion regarding our judgment in providing a yes or no answer I would like to ask those who consider this demand (yes or no) warranted to provide a specific example of a question that they believe would dictate an unqualified yes or no answer.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/19/2009 5:24 PM  

  • KC,
    That would be interesting to see someone offer such a question and to see you engage with it or explain why it is difficult.

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/19/2009 5:31 PM  

  • Missy,

    In describing why you tend to side on the gospel position of Kevin, you stated:

    ----------
    I believe Jesus teaches the "end" does not justify the "means" for mere humans.
    ----------

    May I ask what exactly do you mean by that? I can think of only one way to take this, and if I am right about it, I would say that this is a major cut at the position that I espouse. I do have a feeling that I am wrong about what you mean here. And I wish to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    warmly,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 6:31 PM  

  • In Christ it’s Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Yes! Eternal life is “Absolutely Free.”

    Yes! Assurance is part of the offer! She had to know what the gift was to believe Jesus for it!

    Yes! The living water can be taken by anyone freely without any reference to personal sin!

    Why? Because Jesus paid it ALL, and it REALLY is a GIFT FREELY GIVEN!
    But many are to busy looking at the ends and the means to SEE the gift!

    Alvin :) and you don’t even have to be able to see elephants to take the living water freely!

    off to work :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/19/2009 6:34 PM  

  • Rachel, thank you for answering that question. I hope you know I pose it as a perception and not fact. Your answer is comforting.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 6:48 PM  

  • Antonio, if you don't mind, may I send my response via email so as not to detract from the course of this post?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 6:49 PM  

  • To all,

    I very much like what Tim has stated concerning the attitudes of A and B. What he says is absolutely true, and we have to admit that A may think himself fair and operating on solid communication grounds, while B finds the question unanswerable with a simple yes/no.

    Yet I find that there is a further problem which has yet to be discussed in this thread concerning the issue at hand.

    It is my opinion, based upon the context of the situation,(and I am not omniscient and cannot read Kevin's heart) that Kevin has asked me a yes or no question with wrong intent, even questionable intent.

    Not too long ago, Kevin posed to me a question on Jonathan Perreault's blog which, if answered and then taken in isolation from other statements I have made and the context of my complete position, would have been used by him to paint me in a very extreme way, in order that he might persaude J.P. to cease discussing theology with me on his blog.

    Something indeed may be true about one's position, but often the impact and meaning of that conviction is tempered with many other considerations which that (disputable, or controversial) issue finds context in. When one wishes to divorce a conviction from the context of another's wholistic and consistent all encompassing position for the purpose to use that information to make an unbalanced and unfair appeal and to build an argument against, they play fast and loose with another man's learned and sincere study of the Bible.

    Consequently, they use this information as a red herring by their appeal to emotion (mostly the emotion of fear), whereby they inculcate a prejudice against the position they argue against, so that others might dismiss it based upon this appeal.

    The whole process of the question and its use is nothing but the tool of a fallacious argument in the hands of the one who eploys such.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 7:03 PM  

  • Missy,

    I think it would be beneficial for all to hear your answer here as others, too, may be wondering what you meant by that.

    Be that as it may, if you wish to rather email me, you may do so to agdarosa@cox.net

    thanks, Missy,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 7:06 PM  

  • Rose,

    Of course. But civility greases the gears of human relations; all tongue-in-cheekiness aside, I really should have said hello.

    It's a bit late, but let me say it really is a good post; thank you.

    And how about them Steelers, huh?

    *****

    Kev,

    Excellent. We agree on something. I certainly don't want to take anything from your point.

    Yes/no questions are a valid tool for some jobs, but like all tools it has its limitations. When the questioner doesn't understand the premise of his own question, trying to arrive at clarity by insisting on a yes/no answer is like trying to drive a nail with a brie cheese.

    ****

    Rachel,

    Even insisting on a qualified yes/no can be problematic, though. If you were to ask me if I've stopped beating my wife, I suppose I could just give an unqualified "no" -- which would be true, as far as it goes. I could also qualify it by saying "No, but that's because I've never started" -- also true.

    But in any sort of adversarial situation, I would not give either answer, no matter how true they might be, because I have a valid concern that those statements could be taken out of context and used against me.

    Take my inerrancy example from my last post. You could ask the guy: "Just tell me, do you believe in inerrancy? Yes or no?" Of course, given his position, the technically correct answer would be "no." But what you hear, the category you put him in, when you hear him say that, is not going to be accurate -- and he knows it. That's precisely why he refuses to give a simple yes/no answer.

    I see your frustration, though, and I agree that people do soft-pedal their more vulnerable, or stranger, beliefs. Motives abound -- winning the argument, appearing more acceptable, etc.

    Even here, though, I submit that there's generally a better way to get at what you're after than a yes/no question which may well contain an unexamined premise that you can't see.

    These problems largely evaporate in an environment of mutual love, concern, and honest seeking for understanding. In that kind of environment, people of goodwill are free to let their hair down a bit and just hash things out. They can make statements and then come back and qualify them, without fear that they will be quoted out of context on somebody's blog later. They can make mistakes, be corrected, and move on without fear of those mistakes being used against them. And so on. In short, they're free to act like friends, and that makes everything much easier.

    In an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and attack, on the other hand, every response you get will be weighed, measured, qualified, and so on. The concern will not just be accurate communication. It will also be to deny you any quotes that can later be taken out of context and used against the speaker. If you want a real-life example of this, I have a good one that's only a few months old...

    Plainly, we have the latter atmosphere, and not the loving search for understanding that we ought to have. We need to do some hard soul-searching about why this is, and how we can change it.

    His forever,
    Tim Nichols

    By Anonymous Tim Nichols, at 1/19/2009 7:19 PM  

  • Missy, the perception is very real, as there have been several comments made that tend to give that impression.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 7:22 PM  

  • I'm not sure I understand what you mean, Antonio.

    Which comments?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 7:36 PM  

  • Antonio, that's a really neat post you made there. Thank you for informing people of what they should think, I'm sure it's most helpful to you.. I mean them.. but I have to ask - is this being "reasonable"?

    I'm only asking. I would not presume to infringe on the rights of Rose's guests.

    Possibly you could link to the three conversation threads that I had to follow you through to get you to even offer any sort of an answer?

    I remember you were too busy to answer if someone could not know, not believe or deny any part of the the Gospel as declared by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15:1-11, but you were able to post many other long posts.

    I"m sure my impression is failed in some significant way. And I'm terribly sorry that you feel you've been victim of some sort of fear mongering. I'm sure you meant to be clear about what you believe but were just too busy to say what that might be.

    Your eventual answer of course didn't actually answer any of the questions I asked. I must have misunderstood that too.

    See, since I find you so very hard to understand sometimes a simple yes or no answer is very helpful. It makes it easy for even simple people like myself to understand all your eloquent words.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/19/2009 7:42 PM  

  • Missy, I was commenting on your response to Rachel:

    Rachel, thank you for answering that question. I hope you know I pose it as a perception and not fact. Your answer is comforting.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 7:43 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 7:50 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 7:55 PM  

  • Antonio, I think I am getting your comments to me tied together and likely they are unrelated! I think you were simply acknowledging the validity of the perception I had described in my question to Kevin that Rachel answered?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/19/2009 7:57 PM  

  • Kevin, by all means, let us link to those discussions and let the readers decide for themselves.

    Comment thread

    Comment thread

    Comment thread

    In one comment thread, Kevin states:
    Antonio preaches another gospel which is no gospel at all. I consider him accursed.

    You accused me of a false gospel, of preaching a message that sends people to hell, and called me an enemy of the cross. I do not think it a wise use of my time to entertain the questions of someone like yourself who has already made up his mind and is out publicly decrying me as a heretic, and whose questions are geared to take my positions out of the context of my full position in order to appeal to emotion, dismiss my position, and turn people away from discussion of these important issues in the spirit of Acts 15:6.

    Furthermore, I did not want to discuss things with you for you were not showing yourself honorable to both me and Jonathan Perrault on his blog.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 8:07 PM  

  • And I must further note that my answer was at the request of Jonathan Perreault, and not at yours, for the above discussed reasons.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/19/2009 8:28 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'm not going to engage with Antonio here. I trust you understand that it is only out of consideration of your friendship with him that I am going to refrain from giving him the answers he deserves.

    If Antonio linked to the actual threads I where I asked him to answer then I think they would make interesting reading for those looking for an example of when a yes and no answer is needed.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/19/2009 8:41 PM  

  • Good morning Rose!

    Kc says: Hi Sis.

    While I appreciate Colin’s opinion regarding our judgment in providing a yes or no answer I would like to ask those who consider this demand (yes or no) warranted to provide a specific example of a question that they believe would dictate an unqualified yes or no answer.


    Kc:- There must be dozens of questions which can command an unqualified "yes or no" answer.

    Was Christ really Virgin Born?
    Is Christ really very God of very God?
    Is Christ very man of very man, sin excepted?
    Is the Bible the sole rule of faith and practice?
    Is justification before God by grace through faith alone?
    Are Christians saved eternally?
    Etc.,

    In my last use of this tactic (Fishing around for a better description) it exposed an inconsistent application. A certain quote (perceived to have been stated by a Calvinist) was declared to be "a most Satanic message". But the actual quote was by a universally respected non-Calvinist and therefore it was most logical for me to ask whether it was still Satanic. My opponent on the night equivocated and (since he is no "wallflower" himself) I pursued him on the matter, fought off the suggestion that it was a trick question, until at last he did the consistent thing and branded the original statement as "a most Satanic message" regardless of who sai it. He was wrong, of course, in his assessment, but at least consistent in his application. Apart from the fact that probably about 90% of conservative Evangelicals were branded s purveyors of "a most Satanic message" - yet it was profitabe to pursue the matter in the way that I did.

    Perhaps the issue here is a matter of style. I am no great admirer of the gunslinger type approach, but it is sometimes needed. There are those who can take it and there are those who can't. I try to differentiate when and if I see the value of it.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/20/2009 2:40 AM  

  • I think this fella, Kev, needs to get some perspective. You are walking on hallow (Apostolic) ground when you say "let him be accursed." I certainly hope you have all your theological ducks in a row, and all your soteriological i's dotted and t's crossed; or your condemnation may just as well apply to yourself.

    There are certain things, probably lots of things, I disagree with Antonio on; but to say, categorically, that he is a heretic (when he affirms Christian orthodoxy, e.g. trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by faith, and all the other fundamentals)takes some real guts (I hope you're right, for your sake).

    It seems to me that you and your buddy, Lou, have caricatured a static portrait of Antonio; and have totally disregarded that he is growing --- as we all are --- in his theology. He doesn't believe the Mormon Jesus or the JW Jesus can save, he doesn't hold to a crossless gospel (from what I can see), and to use such rhetoric only reflects an attitude that is disingenuous and rather immature.

    Oh, hi Rose . . .

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/20/2009 2:57 AM  

  • Rose,

    This thread appears to have been hijacked by another topic. I don't suppose it is the proper place to have this conversation.

    Even if it were the proper place, I don't think it's right to have to defend the positioning of my ducks when those who would question their marching orders are doing so based on the imaginative descriptions of a local hero.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/20/2009 5:41 AM  

  • Bobby,
    Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your comments.

    Kev,
    There are no "local heroes" around here. That is a weird thing to say? Also - Bobby would never take any "marching orders" whatever that means.

    You should consider what Bobby says, brother. I feel you, Kevin, with where you are in these controversies, but you need to break out and think. Think about some of the things you have been saying. Think about truth in love and truth and grace. It's a balance.

    May the Lord bless you and keep youa s well.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/20/2009 10:39 AM  

  • Colin,
    I could be wrong, but I think KC was thinking of harder questions.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/20/2009 10:40 AM  

  • Hi Sis. Actually I think those are perfect examples.

    Colin, Kevl, concerning the personal examples you’ve offered I find myself in a unique position. While I find you have both employed this tactic (yes or no) I am sympathetic toward Colin’s situation in that he is obviously not the aggressor however in the example given by Antonio I perceive Kevl to be intent on branding Antonio an heritic. Regardless of my perspective I will not judge your actions nor question your judgment though I would encourage Kevl to consider Bobby’s admonition. I would also ask you both if the structure of your questions allow for any outcome short of having your opponent fall on his own sword, so to speak?

    Colin I’ll have to be brief to prevent this comment from becoming a thesis. ;-)

    Was Christ really Virgin Born?
    Would it be best to simply answer yes or would you consider it much better to qualify my answer with at least some explanation of the Immaculate Conception?

    Is Christ really very God of very God?
    How can this be answered apart from an explanation of Christ’ Incarnation and the Trinity?

    Is Christ very man of very man, sin excepted?
    Again, how can this be answered without some understanding of the Hypostatic Union? And what of the exception? Certainly there should be some qualification in that.

    Is the Bible the sole rule of faith and practice?
    I could only answer, “it should be”. It is all to obvious that many, if not most, consider an agreement in theology to be that rule.

    Is justification before God by grace through faith alone?
    It is ironic that I find this to be the most valid example you’ve offered in light of the great controversy concerning what constitutes “saving” faith.

    Are Christians saved eternally?
    I could only state that believer’s have eternal life. Even then I would need to define “believers”.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/20/2009 12:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Here's why I think that Kevin is okay using a "yes or no" question: it is okay to use it, but you have to work for it, first.

    FIRST- establish and BUILD on trust usually extended to Christians (even strangers). Repeat back to them what you think you heard.

    "So, Mister X, are you saying that you believe ___?"

    Wait for a reply.

    Upon that new detail ask a follow-up: "Mr. Anon, if you believe X, doesn't that mean that you also promote Y?"

    Wait for their reply. Quote it back to them:

    "Mr. Anon, are you saying you really believe that Y is irrelevant to X?"

    That right there may give you your "Yes or No"!

    If it's no, ask them why. If it's yes... you've got their approval to be quoted!!

    Sometimes you might get a lot of "No, I'm sorry but I want to make sure that you understand me correctly. I am not saying this. What I am trying to say, is, ...." This sort of thing could go on for a long time. But don't get frustrated. The longer you prove your interest to faithfully represent their beliefs, the farther away from abusive, your "yes or no" conclusion will be.

    IMHO,
    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 1/20/2009 3:25 PM  

  • Rose,

    I have a couple of other ideas.

    I try and nail down what LDS people officially believe on a given matter. It is very difficult because of their belief in "progressive revelation." If I follow that plan above (in the last comment I made), I hardly EVER have permission in the end to conclude their doctrine (with their sanction) in a "yes or no" manner. You see, they can play any side of the theological fence because they have enough written sources of "God's Words" that they can take any position they choose if they look through their archives hard enough.

    So I understand the "dodge." They don't want to have a final answer for anything.

    In some ways, we need to be like this. It needs to be okay for some people to persist in clarifying what they specifically do and do not believe. Right now we have the Grace Family Journal publishing exegesis, Wilkin publishing exegesis, Hixson, Schleissman, da Rosa, etc. still producing replies to the latest publications. Even Radmacher appears to have enough humility before the Word to recognize that since his publication on the gospel in his book "Salvation" there has been more work done to investigate it. He is okay with bearing through not knowing how to nail down things, right now.

    What's the rush?

    The only reason I have observed of a reason to "rush" through to the answer while everyone still is thinking about it, is because of a greater interest in being an alarmist to heresy. But this alarmism robs exegesis, robs dialogue, even robs Christian liberty in the case with this ongoing practice of utilizing the finality of a "yes or no" answer, and all its persecuting privileges.

    Thanks,
    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 1/20/2009 3:44 PM  

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    By Blogger Sanctification, at 1/20/2009 4:03 PM  

  • Kev,

    all I am talking about is labeling someone a "heretic," as many know here, Antonio and I have disagreed quite deeply, over things, in the past. This is not a game, or a light thing, to label someone a heretic as a result of blog interaction is very brave. To backbite and cause dissension amongst brothers/sisters in Christ is serious (Prov 6; Gal 5) business.

    I've read both you and Lou, and I just get the impression that you guys think this is some sort of game and a drama where you guys want to be center-stage. Everybody knows what you all think about Antonio, you've made your point, why don't you all move on to something more "positive" relative to what you believe; and allow that to be your "argument" against Antonio's position.

    So in theme with this thread, let me just give a resounding "NO!" to Kev's and Lou's approach to Antonio, and others they disagree with.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/20/2009 4:30 PM  

  • I began typing a comment for this thread, but decided to make it a blog post. Here is the link to my comment. Please come and discuss it if you wish:

    Looking back and looking forward

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/20/2009 8:49 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/20/2009 8:49 PM  

  • Antonio-

    I deleted my comment above when I realized I had used the wrong pronoun! Let me try it again.

    You discussed a "further problem" with the yes or no answer.

    You said:
    ...if answered and then taken in isolation from other statements I have made and the context of my complete position, would have been used by him to paint me in a very extreme way, in order that he might persaude J.P. to cease discussing theology with me on his blog.

    After all that positive discussion, the questioner can walk away, go back to his "home group" (doctrinally speaking), and while making his report on his findings, he may dehumanize, belittle, or simply share his grief with others.

    If "Mr. Anon" overhears, he may very well be ruined. That's why love and grace are always so important to be ever-cultivated. I think it's fair to speak of your own grief over another's error. I don't think it provides any excuse to begin that process of dehumanizing through reasoning that "bad theology makes for bad behavior."

    If I were in say Kev's shoes as he is coming here or in Antonio's shoes as he goes there I would go right back and apologize for the way I have potentially devalued them as they have perceived it. I would establish a clear demonstration of the love Christ for people whom I desire to accept my theology.

    That way I might continue to use that "yes or no" summation, after all that work, and still keep an open door to convert.

    This is the evangelical problem. We're big fakers. We want to take notes of others' theology not to honestly understand and help it, but so that we might self-medicate ourselves into feeling righteous.

    Is this reasonable?
    Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 1/20/2009 8:53 PM  

  • Oh, man! I missed it.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/21/2009 8:18 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kc:

    KC: Perhaps the only time to use the "yes or no" tactic is when you are confident that basic questions do not need to be answred. IOW: If we are among Evangelcial people, we shouldn't need to define (say) justification as we all know that it means "accounted righteous" as opposed to imparted righteous.I wouldn't assume that (say) a RC understood that - esp. seeing his church doesn't believe it.

    Good point, though, on the matter of the Bible being the sole rule of faith and practice. However, we should take note of what we profess to believe (sola scriptura) even if we fall short in practical things. This is a far cry, though, from someone starting out to deny "Sola Scriptura" from the start - again, our RC friends are guilty here.

    On another thought (blogging in general) I think we need to see what kind of blog we are commenting on. I usually go on the defensive here on this blog and UoG blog, as opposed to attacking...altthough some of my defending tackles don't take too many prisoners. (But they are defensive) The UoG blog, in particular, has its aim and purpose boldly proclaimed at the top. It's not for me to come on and attack. I have my own blog if I feel that I should do such a thing.

    Just a few thoughts from a library computer 230 miles from home.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/21/2009 10:38 AM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Colin thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I agree with your observations. I think the specific terms and even the tone we take must be determined within the context of the relationship in which we’re debating/discussing.

    I have considered that I might be prone to use the “yes or no” tactic while “sharpening iron” with a brother or sister who knew my heart in order to make my point more quickly. I still think I would likely allow them to forego the answer. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/21/2009 6:42 PM  

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    By Blogger Kc, at 1/21/2009 6:42 PM  

  • Using Yes and No served as the methodological apparatus for Christian Humanists; contra the dialectic of Christian Scholasticism (i.e. from whence Calvinism and Arminianism comes from) which worked this way: thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis, which became the new thesis (and the process went on in this cycle)---this is where the commentary tradition comes from . . . and the general consequence is to move everybody away from the primary sources (scripture and patristic teaching on scripture). The Christian Humanist represented those who wanted to get back to the sources (i.e. Erasmus, Valla, and even the Reformers, Luther, Calvin et al). The method of Yes and No assumed (oversimplified) that one could go to the text of scripture, do linguistic/philogical/grammatical/lexical work . . . discern a conclusion which produces either the response of Yes or No (you can see this method used by Calvin or even Karl Barth to a degree).

    I like the Yes/No approach, and think FG, in general, probably does too ;-).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/22/2009 6:16 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt 7:15).
    From this it should be transparent that false prophets do not give themselves away by their external behavior. In fact, they “dress” like sheep! That is, viewed from the outside they seem like Christians. They do not behave like the wolves they inwardly are.
    But there is one key to their detection: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16). This famous verse has been woefully misread. As the previous verse should have warned us, it has nothing to do with the “life-style” of the false prophet. On the contrary, it has to do with their words!
    A false prophet must be tested by his message. If he is inwardly corrupt and ravenous this will stand revealed by the character and quality of his communications. Men ought not to be deceived by his gentility, urbanity, or sophistication. They must reject such sheep’s clothing when the spoken words expose the growl of a wolf! (Zane Hodges “Grace In Eclipse” page 21)

    The Christian Humanist represented those who wanted to get back to the sources (i.e. Erasmus, Valla, and even the Reformers, Luther, Calvin et al). The method of Yes and No assumed (oversimplified) that one could go to the text of scripture, do linguistic/philogical/grammatical/lexical work . . . discern a conclusion which produces either the response of Yes or No (you can see this method used by Calvin or even Karl Barth to a degree).

    Remember the conclusion Augustine came up with “The Horrible Decree of God.”
    As Calvin declared “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should, because he saw that His own glory would thereby be displayed. I will not hesitate, therefore, simply to confess with Augustine that the destruction consequent upon predestination is also most just.” (Calvin, op cit., III;xxiii,8.)
    Luther, like many of the Reformers, held to the double predestination of the elect and reprobate.(George. P. 77; Schaff, History, vol. 8, p. 547.) But as Cunningham comments on Luther’s Calvinistic doctrines, he “was never led to explain and apply, to illustrate and defend some of them, so fully as Calvin did. (Cunningham, Reformers, p. 109) The Other Side Of Calvinism by Laurence M. Vance

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/22/2009 7:29 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    My point is these men with all their do linguistic/philogical/grammatical/lexical work missed completely the HEART of God!
    They did not believe a child like verse:

    For God so LOVED the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 empahsis mine

    alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/22/2009 7:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose/KC:

    If some one is either not ready yet for an "Yes or No" type question - is it then ever acceptable (obviously not with a new Christian etc.,) to say "Even So and So couldn't bring him/herself to categorically affirm/deny such and such." I must admit that I would have my doubts even about that one. Unless they had already nailed their colours to the mast in times past and where now (obviously) having second thoughts.

    Back home again.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/22/2009 11:20 AM  

  • Well, you missed MY POINT, Alvin! My point was to point to a methodology, one that FG is akin to; and I would think would encourage you all. My point was whether or not Luther, Calvin, Augustine (original sin, which I'm sure you follow) got it right; instead was only to highlight the methodology (a la Valla, et al) that created a culture that finally climaxed and emerged as the Protestant Reformation. Whether or not you agree with the theology of Luther or Calvin, is moot and beside the point. The point is, this methodology of YES and NO, was one of the primary attitudinal factors that prompted the Protestant (Reformed) tradition---of which FG theology is DIRECTLY associated (you're a Protestant like it or not). Without Luther, this blog does not exist (in its current form), and you would not be able to speak about (against or for) characters like Calvin or Luther---that's the point, Alvin! I would be careful with "biting the hand that has fed you," you can certainly disagree with whose hand it is; but not in any genuine way, with the fact that indeed you have been fed!

    And if you are going to make such audacious statements about Luther, Calvin, et al (and this is off-point from my comment, but I'm indulging you now) then you better be sure you're being fair, careful, and accurate . . . because if you're not, the same thing I was getting at with Kev, would apply to you. And, btw, you are not engaging careful historical theological work in re. to Luther or Calvin (you've engaged the reductionistic fallacy by way of a sweeping generalization---you're letting your disagreement with their view on election get in the way of anything positive these men may have said---I disagree with their view of election, I think Scottish Theology is much better here).

    Peace.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/22/2009 4:19 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    I believe anyone here that has “ears to hear” got my point loud and clear!
    I wont get into the ana-baptist who rejected infant baptism who needed to stay clear of the Catholics or Calvins city of God or face death! The mentality that makes you a Calvinist or an Arninian or a Catholic or a Protestant is the same mentality that misses the heart of God.

    my picture says it all, on the door is John 3:16 and how you must come like a little child!

    alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/22/2009 7:34 PM  

  • Hi Rose (I guess you're the mediator) ;-),

    I'll let what I said, stand . . . I just don't think Alvin likes me for some reason --- oh well :-( .

    Talk later, Rose.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/23/2009 5:12 AM  

  • Hi Bobby

    You have a short memory! You used such words as fallacious-ignorant-naïve-un-teachable-bull-dog-attitude-despicable, concerning me. Hey but even with all that I don’t take it personal, and apologize if I came across that way. And it’s true that it’s amazing that I even made it through high school. But what I believe I believe strongly, and if it doesn’t work for a child then mans intellect is involved. Which I believe I have clearly proved. That for all this systematic thinking these men possessed they did not believe a simple verse like John 3:16 but had to change the words to fit their theology. I remember Bob Wilkins who had something like seven years of Greek say, learning all that Greek to find out that believe in Greek means to believe….Ha!Ha!
    All the study in the world isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t first believe the child like verses without trying to change them so a child could never understand them.

    I’m finished here, the ones that have believed the child like verses know what I’m talking about.

    Alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/23/2009 6:44 AM  

  • Alvin,
    There is always the possibility that they did not miss the child-like aspect of the verses that you are thinking on, but that after getting the childlike aspect they went on to study theology and went in different directions than you or I appreciate.

    I agree with Bobby that you shouldn't make such sweeping generalizations.

    I don't remember Bobby saying those things to you, but if you remember it, then he must have. I don't appreciate Bobby having said that. But he isn't saying it right here so I can hardly rebuke him for it or slap his hand. I can, however comment on the perception I have of your combative attitude in these comments. What's up with that? Why not try to say the same things you're saying without being offensive? You just sound kind of pugnacious. I think you are a nice guy and I really like you, but you are getting a little rough around the edges in your conversation. Show Sheila the comemnts you are making here, and also those over on Antonio's blog, and see if she doesn't slap you upside the head. ;~)

    I do love you, Alvin. Take a deep breath.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 8:54 AM  

  • You made Bobby think you don't like him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 8:55 AM  

  • I like you, Bobby. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 8:56 AM  

  • Wow!

    Serious. Amusing. Sensible. Motherly Loving.

    And even theraputic: Take a deep breath

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/23/2009 9:34 AM  

  • Oops...

    There should be a full stop ("period" to the Yanks) in between "Motherly" and "Loving."

    Shouldn't there?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/23/2009 9:36 AM  

  • Probably, unless you have one adjective descibing another...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 9:45 AM  

  • describing

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 9:45 AM  

  • Rose,

    I did say those things, but not necessarily about, Alvin, but about his framing of the realities of historical theology (he was bad-mouthing things, and saying things, that just weren't totally true---caricature [which is a formal fallacy or fallacious]; and so either this is disingenuous or naive. I said that his "approach" is despicable, because it misrepresents the history of interpretation (it is not careful), and engages in "special pleading" (which again is a formal fallacy or fallacious). What's the difference between saying bull-dog-attitude and pugnacious ;-) (he came off strong @ me from the get go over on that other thread at UoG, so eventually I came back strong [yet I think still restrained--relatively speaking]).

    Alvin,

    I apologize as well, but I also want to let you know, that if you're going to make assertions then you need to be ready to defend those, beyond "assertion." And that's all I was challenging you to do, both here, and in that other thread.

    I really don't think interacting with you, Alvin, will be the best thing (so in the future I may make a comment, you may try to marginalize what I say, and I'll just go ahead and ignore it--that will probably be the most fruitful way forward for both of us).

    peace.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 1/23/2009 4:14 PM  

  • Thanks for the motherly advice Rose, I never had one so I probably needed it

    By Blogger alvin, at 1/23/2009 4:57 PM  

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