Separate apologetics from theology

Discussion in 'Questions & Suggestions for CFnet Staff' started by OzSpen, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    ezrider,

    I did not make any mention of using philosophy. That word appeared nowhere in my OP.

    I don't know where you live. Your profile doesn't identify your location. However, I invite you to come Down Under and begin discussions on biblical topics on one of the commons in the centre of the city or go to any university campus and you'll find that there are many non-believers who are biblically naive and ignorant of the Scriptures, but they have significant antagonism towards religion and especially the Christian faith.
     
  2. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    Most of our posters in the A&T are not non- believers .. and the few edited to add non believers who do post there are not there to learn but to sow discord...
    Non believer, you may not rely on scripture but i do from Genesis to The Revelation of Christ.
    then go on to talk about some of the passages that history apart from scripture shows to be true
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  3. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    I encourage you to back quote so that I know to whom you are replying. Are you replying to my post?

    The issue I'm raising in this thread is the difference between apologetics and theology. They are two separate disciplines. Apologia is Greek for a defence; in this circumstance it is a defence of the Christian faith. However, many people in Australia and other parts of the world are a long way from discussing Scripture and as a proactive apologist in my country, I find I have to start way before citing Scripture - like Paul did on the Areopagus, recorded in Acts 17:22-34 (ESV). But CF in its current format won't allow me to do that because of the requirement to quote Scripture.

    I also have a very high view of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. I'm not debating the authority of Scripture. My discussion surrounds the differences between the ministry of apologetics and the ministry of theological explanation. I'm suggesting that Apologetics becomes a separate directory from Theology and that there not be a requirement placed on those in the Apologetics directory to cite Scripture always.

    How would you answer the question, 'Who made God?', when discussing with a non-Christian who raises this topic.

    Oz
     
  4. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    How many forums do we have here? over 20 how many require scripture?
    You are welcome to post in the Lounge with out scripture require meant
     
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  5. Free

    Free Staff Member Moderator

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    It was I that brought up philosophy and defending traditional marriage is a good example as to why. There are books written on defending traditional marriage that don't use Scripture or don't heavily rely on Scripture. The same goes for abortion. There are a lot of arguments to be made that are based on science and philosophy rather than Scripture. And so it goes for a number of topics. Making good, sound arguments that don't rely on Scripture opens the door for the use of Scripture down the road.
     
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  6. Deborah13

    Deborah13 Member

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    Glad to know what you think of me, Reba.
     
  7. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    Yikes i edited that post... Why is it what is in my head does not reach my fingers...
     
  8. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    That is not addressing the issues I raised at #43.
     
  9. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Free,

    I understand the Lord is affirming this approach with verses such as:
    • Isa 1:18 (ESV): 'Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool'.
    • Eph 4:23 (ESV): 'to be renewed in the spirit of your minds'.
    However, my experience with evangelicals through over 50 years as an evangelical Christian is that reason seems to be forbidden fruit with some evangelicals.

    Oz
     
  10. WIP

    WIP Staff Member Administrator

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    The primary reason for creating the guidelines was to curtail the abusive attitudes that we were struggling to keep under control in the A&T forum. The snide, arrogant, and pointed comments were getting too far out of hand.

    The idea was that by focusing the discussions more on Scripture it would help move away from the personal and lighten things up a bit, not only for our benefit as moderators but even more so for the benefit of those contributing and for the image of CFnet. In my opinion, the guidelines succeeded in working toward that end.

    Unfortunately, I also recognize that our strong enforcement of the guidelines may also have put restrictions on the discussions. Oz is not the only member to have expressed these concerns as there have been others including at least one staff member. For this reason, I would be willing to concede to rather than viewing the guidelines as strict rules, perhaps we can use them more as what their name’s sake implies - “guidelines” to help members understand the direction we would like to see the forum go.

    This thread is a great example of how quickly things can go into the pit when members throw tidbits of accusation and insinuation into their posts. This is exactly what we want to avoid. As Christians we have a responsibility to reflect the attitude of the One who we take our title from, the Christ Jesus.

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
    1 John 4:7-11 NKJV


    Being one of moderators of the A&T forum and one of the co-authors of the guidelines, I have to admit my position is somewhat biased. I am trying my best to keep an open mind. For this reason I would very much welcome, encourage, and appreciate more input to this discussion from other staff.

    Have we been overly zealous in our attempt to enforce the A&T forum guidelines and would it be appropriate for us to back off and rather than issue official warnings, maybe post references to the guidelines when things begin to get out of hand to serve as a reminder?
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Member

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    My experience so far has been that too many times when general notices have been placed to follow the guidelines, they are simply ignored by too many members. And I've seen that more times than not the nastiest and most un-christian like responses I've received in SACs has been from those who I have gone easy on and given breaks to. The latest incidents of this have not been exceptions. Of course, not everyone is like this, and I appreciate those who aren't. But the level of hatred from people who claim the name of Christ toward any expectation of following rules is truly shocking.

    A while back I backed off on issuing warnings for violations and in a short time certain members had gone back to the same old pattern of insulting and fighting with each other, completely ignoring the guidelines and many of the ToS sections. To me, at least, it was a real disappointment.

    But some have suggested that we should have a place where members can do this kind of thing. I don't know... Is A&T perhaps that place?
     
  12. WIP

    WIP Staff Member Administrator

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    One thought that came to my mind regarding Oz's opening post is that there are very few non-Christian posters in the A&T forum. I suspect part of the reason for this comes back to ToS 2.1 (2.1: This is a Christian site, therefore, any attempt to put down Christianity (or declare that it is false) and the basic tenets of our Faith will be considered a hostile act. Please read: Statement of Faith)

    There is a forum specifically set up for non-Christians to come and ask questions about our faith. The "Questions for Christians" forum does not allow for debating our beliefs but it does allow for question-answer interaction. As long as the poster is respectful of our beliefs and refrains from debating the basics, he/she is more than welcome to post. Would this forum not be suitable to your needs, OzSpen?
     
  13. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    I am reminded of living in a very small town. (pop about 50 plus the ranchers) A new couple moves in ... O how they love the country.. the peace .. the view... the openness ... they build and block the neighbours view ... complain to the rancher about the noise the irrigation makes... let their dog chase the cattle ... No real respect for the way of life they claimed to love ...
     
  14. Eugene

    Eugene Staff Member Moderator

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    I figure I should post the following thoughts as to support Free in his thoughts for change.

    I would like to see theology as a separate forum with less restrictive rules so as to invite many without the knowledge and tools to find scripture, and to discuss the theology they want to learn of.

    In a Theology Forum, and the Author of the Thread not opposing, or actually participating we could allow far more leeway in posting as a place for thought to expand.
     
  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    I expect that apologetic questions should go in an Apologetics forum and not 'Questions for Christians'. The issue could be easily addressed with a separate Apologetics forum, but with strict requirements for posting (flaming/goading is prohibited), but there is no requirement to quote Scripture. If I were to interact in an Apologetics forum, I would eventually get to Scripture because I'm convinced that the Christian world and life view fits like a hand in glove with reality.

    Therefore, I'm suggesting establishing:
    1. A separate Apologetics forum;
    2. That deals only with apologetics topics and not inclusive of theological topics;
    3. A separate Theology forum;
    4. Maintain strict requirements for manners and etiquette in how people interact. I would not use the word 'guidelines' but would make them 'requirements'.
    I would expect that 'Questions for Christians' could include some apologetic type questions, but its breadth of questions would be much wider than apologetics.

    Oz
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Obadiah,

    I expect it would be very disappointing to give someone a break and not warn or exclude them and then they go back to the same behaviour. I urge you to maintain strict requirements in posts with no place for flaming, etc. That's why I suggest that the rules be 'requirements' and not 'suggestions'. This could happen with a separate forum for Apologetics and another for Theology.
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Eugene,

    I agree with less restrictive rules and not a compulsion to quote Scripture.

    However, I don't understand your thinking that 'the Author of the Thread' - the OP - would not be 'actually participating'. In my view, that would prevent my beginning a thread if there was not opportunity for me to continue with engagement with those who respond to my OP. Is that what you had in mind?
     
  18. Eugene

    Eugene Staff Member Moderator

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    What I'm referring is the possibility of the OP enlarging as different points are brought forth as long as the author is engaged in it. I've seen many threads grow after the main OP is satisfied, a great many enter into discussion of various offshoots of the original subjects with the Author participating also only to be shut down.
    E.g., the OP is that the Bride makes herself ready by works of righteousness in Rev 19:7-8, and that leads to how that is not speaking of being saved by works, and then wanders to OSAS versus someone losing their salvation. The author is always available to bring it back to the OP.
    I'd just like to see somewhere to really debate without being moved to another forum, or edited so much a thread dies just when a lot of members get active in it.
    My thoughts.
     
  19. Allen Wynne

    Allen Wynne Member

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    More rules, more legalism, less Christianity.
    Doesn't sound like a Christian forum to me.
     
  20. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    sounds great but the reality is A tells B you're not saved if you believe THAT then the reports starts .. And B says to C about A she is not one of us... they are a cult... the ping pong game starts...
    View attachment 7043
     

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