Things To Reconsider

July 26th, 2007

C Michael Patton has an interesting post at his blog: Things I used to believe, but now I am not so sure

It’s a list of things he’s reconsidered over his life as a Christian, such as “All sins are equal in God’s site [sic],” and “The unbeliever’s skepticism is always unfounded.”  Some of them I recognize from my own past, others were never part of the way I viewed things.  The comments accompanying them are thought-provoking, regardless.

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5 Responses to “Things To Reconsider”

  1. karen says:

    Patton’s observations were interesting- though definitely limited. Some of the issues he brought up actually entail bigger “heart” issues. For example: Not whether one person is “better” or “worse” at evangelism, but rather is their confidence in the full and awesome power of God- to use him or her in all circumstances to any kind of person, through the Holy Spirit and they are not basing their confidence in themselves. I think to ask the question of “better” or “worse” evangelism really has a lot to do with personal identity and willingness to witness (or willingness to get out of talking to people about Jesus.)

    And yes, Mr. Patton, I think if anyone has an addiction to coffee or anything else she/he should break that and strive to not have anything that they are “under the influence of.” I think he has a great observation though, that we try to pick and choose “vices” out of a list rather than addressing the issue- like not living a lifestyle of fasting (would break your coffee addiction fairly quickly) and addictions in general (I think gambling is often overlooked.)

    Anyways, some of what he said seems beneficial to approach, other issues seem more theoretical.

  2. Tim says:

    Yeah, the observations were limited. More like proverbs than epistles. Little nuggets of food for thought, rather than in-depth reflections.

    On evangelism: Hmm…Interesting. You’re referring to “Converts make the best apologists.” I agree with you about the heart issue of placing our confidence in the power of God, not in our own skills. But…My first thought is to say that he was talking about apologists, not evangelists. But then how are they different? An evangelist is anyone speaking the gospel (the evangel), while an apologist is someone providing a defense (apologia) of Christianity. There’s overlap, but in one sense you can be one without being the other. I think what he had in mind for a “good” apologist was making an effective argument. He was responding to the conventional wisdom that a convert from a religion can argue most effectively against that religion in favor of Christianity–he suggests that converts tend to have too much trouble being objective. At that level, it isn’t so much a heart issue. But…What’s the point of apologetics divorced from evangelism? Well, apologetics can be edifying for believers, too, but aside from that, apologetics is either going to be just arguing for argument’s sake–which isn’t good–or it will be a form of evangelism. If you are seeking to glorify God in your apologetic, then you have to place your confidence in God’s power. You have to rely on the Holy Spirit to work through you to affect people’s minds and hearts. And as you say…If you’re willing to step out, then God will use you. (But, what did you mean by “personal identity”?)

    On addiction: Yeah, it’s interesting that he almost seemed to be making an allowance for addictions. I’m not sure he intended to, though–his main point was that it’s inconsistent for people to object to smoking on the grounds that it’s addictive while simultaneously nurturing their own “benign” addictions. But he could have made a stronger point by addressing the issue of breaking the hold of anything we’re “under the influence of”.

    “Lifestyle of fasting”… That reminds me of a post a couple months ago called Southern Baptists and the Weight of Gluttony. I think I’ll post a new entry about it here.

    P.S. Thanks for commenting!

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