Tag Archives: Debate

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (NIV)

It occurs to me that the "narrow path" may be envisioned as not only a road with forks and corners (as many of us envision the "straight and narrow") -  but also as a sort of "foot path" - a straight and narrow foot path, making its way surely and carefully along the ridge of a mountain.

In the Badlands, and similar places, on one side of a path you will find a flat place - filled with cacti, sharp growing things, and maybe a few snakes and creepy crawly things.  On the other side is a steep and slippery slope.  If you step off the edge, you do not know how far you will slide.

In Michigan, on a Lake Superior cliff, I found a path.  On one side was a deep and dark woods, complete with poison ivy - a lot of it. On the other side, a steep slide into the pounding waves.

The path is there for a reason.  Somebody wise knew it was safe there.  The One who created the path gave us the Way.  Those who have gone before traveled the path safely.

On the path is safety.  Off the path is danger - and a slippery slope.

In a debate, "slippery slope" can be a logical fallacy (see here for "In Defense of the Slippery Slope")

It may also be a pattern.

The thing is...life is not a debate and there are slippery slopes that are real.  And have real dangers.

For example...any guess where the likes of Todd Bentley might end up?

Tim Challies is reviewing "The Radical Reformission". I really liked the book and Mark Driscoll has a lot of good things to say. One of my biggest problems (there are two) is his use of denigrating language toward groups of people. Not theology - people.

In the book (copyright 2004) Driscoll gives his list of people that "I used to not like". In that list, he admits that he was prejudiced against (among others) most of the deep south and that he has had to repent of sinful attitudes against these groups of people.

Since that time, I've listened to a lot of Driscoll's sermons (available on line). They are good sermons, yet (for me at least) they were lowered a notch by the use of certain terms that refer to a general group of people in a negative way.

My flesh says that it's fun to make fun of people - God says not.

The bottom line is - it's easy to get sucked into things that make us look good at the expense of others. If I wouldn't want my kids to use (insert term here) in a negative way, I shouldn't use it - and if I shouldn't use it - well, I want to be able to point to this man as a good example - even as a good example of how to respect other groups of people.

Words mean things... the words you use and how you use them...


A couple of posts ago I made a statement about a "senseless and meaningless debate". Yes - those words mean something and I meant them then and I mean them now. Take the situation - two women who are convinced that their position is correct - and one has stated so publically; for the record, I believe that my many hours, weeks, month and even years of study of this issue have led me to a "verdict" that no person will sway me from. God - yes. He's done it before and I'm sure that on other issues, He'll do it again.

Back to my "senseless and meaningless debate" (or we could call them "strife and disputes") statement.

Two people convinced that they are right, going over the same material for a third time, without much real hope of either side changing their mind. If this is not a fine example of "senseless", I could find a better one, but...(Remember the "definition" of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)

I stand by that statement - the debate is (for these two people, at this time) senseless. Are either of the debaters senseless? I never said that. Was it implied? I didn't mean that - I am weary of this debate. Did I name the person that wished for me to address the points? Absolutely!

But - words do mean things - what I did say (although my intent was to express my weariness at covering the same ground again) is that Elena has no desire to listen, only to argue. Elena is convinced in her own mind that she is right. So am I. I might as well be cutting and pasting the same thing over and over - as might she. If Elena made that statement about me on her blog, it would be a true statement. That is what makes the debate senseless.

What this does mean is that I should be more careful of how my words are used. Even though I stand convinced that my words were true - my wording left an impression of disrespect. For that I am sorry.