I once was told that I needed to take a class in logic because I was unable to sufficiently satisfy a proposition with my answer. In the eyes and mind of the proposer, my words failed to disprove their conclusion because I chose to look at the final step while ignoring the steps that led to the conclusion and was essentially accused of filibustering the syllabus.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed, sharpest knife in the drawer or the first to know about the latest discovery. I don’t even right or perfectly spell in the language that I have practically used my entire life. I’m mature enough to admit that. But (you knew there was a but coming) regardless of my self-confessed flaws, I like to think of myself as being an honest examiner and one capable of seeing a truth that is based upon sound logic. And I even have a logical reason for believing such. I do not believe the same way today that I did fifteen-years-ago about matters of religion. Not only do I not believe the same way, I preach what I once did not believe! I was not raised in the church of Christ. My preaching isn’t based upon some diploma that I have received from a university or a school of preaching. My preaching is based practically upon the same thing that led to my conversion – studying the Bible in such a way that is logical when a foundational principal or principle is kept in mind. Thus, I believe myself to be capable of being open-minded as well as being capable of admitting my error and learning what was once unknown to my mind when logic is presented.
Now that we’re back on the logic bus, I was thinking the other day, of the logical sorts, when a funny thought came to mind that I just had to write down to make sure that I could see what I was thinking. I have heard the following formula used in debates:
if A > B and B > C then A > C
That formula sounds perfectly logical doesn’t it? And that’s because it is! Who in their right-mind would disagree? But (and you knew there was a but coming again, didn’t you?) what if the topic isn’t a matter of mathematics? What if the topic doesn’t allow for a formula that says if A > B and B > C then A > C? Would the topic be illogical? Perhaps in the eyes of some it would be. But mark it down – there will be times in life when logic isn’t going to be relegated to formulas, such as the one given above, no matter how logical it might sound to the ears of some. Things don’t always have to be settled with complicated formulas. A thousand words don’t have to be used to prove a sentence wrong. Further still, there will be times when the above formula could lead a person to the wrong logical conclusion – yes sir, it could actually become the flaw in sound logic or the sound of flawed logic…whichever you prefer. And how’s that? Check out my formula below and you’ll get your answer. By the way, as a side note, my formula was worked out on top of my to-go-box with a not-so-magic-marker. To those of you who have been there before with a thought in your head, I’m sure it’s a completely logical place to put a note.
A popular topic to debate, or at least it once was, is what a sinner must do to be saved.
The answers to the proposition vary across the board: do nothing, do more good than bad, simply believe that Jesus rose from the dead, say a prayer, get baptized, etc.
Some of the answers are given to stand alone, while some answers include a mixture of do this but not that.
But common sense says all the options can’t be true no matter how skillfully the debaters present their case. So what’s a person to do? Well let me give the answer to settle all the questions:
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Hebrews 5:8-9)
So you want to debate who’s going to Heaven? Don’t take it up with me – take it up with the words of Jesus (John 12:48).
Whether a person accepts the answer or not, Hebrews 5:8-9 says the debate has been settled for a very long time now.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the Butt/Ehrman debate (The Pain and Suffering in the World Indicate that the Christian God does Not Exist) live you can visit the Apologetics Press website to view it in their archives. It will be worth your time. Kyle did an excellent job presenting and defending his side of the debate topic, but don’t take my word for it – watch it for your self.
I’ve prayed for the efforts that will be made and I’m excited to watch the debate take place tonight between brother Kyle Butt and Mr. Bart Ehrman. If you would like to watch over the web you can view it at the AP’s website. The debate will begin at 6:00pm (Central Standard time I believe).
Here’s a link to a PDF flyer (seen below) that can be printed off for the April 4th debate between Kyle Butt and Bart Ehrman.
Please keep this upcoming event in your prayers:
|Tickets Available for Kyle Butt/Bart Erhman Debate
The Christian Student Center of the University of North Alabama will be hosting a debate between Apologetics Press author Kyle Butt and University of North Carolina professor Bart Ehrman. Professor Bart Ehrman has written more than 20 books, including the New York Times bestsellers Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, and God’s Problem. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a self-avowed agnostic who claims that the pain and suffering he sees in the world make it impossible for him to believe that the Christian God exists. Thus, the debate will be on the subject of suffering and the existence of God. Ehrman will be affirming: “The pain and suffering in the world indicate that the Christian God does not exist.” Kyle will be denying that proposition.
Before the terrible tornadoes (of this year) took place in Oklahoma I received a news letter from Apologetics Press that announced plans for a future debate between brother Kyle Butt of Apologetics Press and Professor Bart Ehrman who is an author and a self-proclaimed “agnostic” when it comes to the belief of the Christian God. Accordingly, the topic will revolve around the existence of pain and suffering and the existence of God and the compatibility or incompatibility of the two. Please keep brother Kyle and the efforts of Apologetics Press in your prayers.
Also, as I have said in the past, I would encourage those who have a desire to help with the relief effort in Oklahoma but no good means of doing so to keep The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief in mind. We support this effort at Keltonburg and I know that an untold number of lives have been physically and emotionally affected for the better as well as spiritually due to the many souls brought to Jesus through the help of this program and its efforts.
Here is a brief review of the Deaver-Vick Debate I attended in Indianapolis last night. I posted this on FB.
The debate was well-attended, I thought. It was mentioned that over 500 were viewing it streaming. As to how one might have thought the debate went depends on which side of the issue one is, as is evidence by some of the comments I saw. I thought Ben presented well, but Mac was clearly able to counter effectively. The men conducted themselves very well. One brother thought Mac clearly had the upper hand, another was rather disappointed in both, and a third thought Mac scored a one point victory (if you will). the debate was recorded; perhaps it will be printed (I am suspect of this, however). If so, I will most definitely purchase the book, and I have on order the DVD’s.
In the realm of manuscript studies there is some dispute with regard to manuscript reliability. A debate on this recently occurred (www.friendsofcsntm.com/smudebate). I am interested in discussions/debates on this topic. I have educated myself on this topic – I just reached first grade! I certainly encourage all preachers to do the same.
In any event, I emailed Dan Wallace about whether or not this was similar to his previous discussion with B. Erhman (a book I have that was published just this year); he replied that was a bit different and that a DVD will be available later this month. I plan on purchasing it. He did not know when it might be available, but he told me to check back often to this website.
I always regret a fight that started with anger, whether on my part or in my reaction. Some folks can’t seem to make it through life without some kind of fuss going on. I don’t need fusses. They don’t help. I keep reminding myself of 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and my need to be gentle and reasonable.
In some of my online debates in the 1990s, I learned that if I ever get ugly or angry, I always lose. Even if I am right, I am wrong for the attitude and lose the respect of the lurkers. I vowed to let my opponents say anything ugly they wanted; I wasn’t going to act that way. I was going to be nice and respectful. I could win respect, even when I could not convince others of the truth, by my attitude. My deepest regret was when I fell to treating my opponents the way they often treated me.