philosophical genius = shut up and listen you poo-mouth

The title was only meant to get your attention.

Warning, this is semi-rantical. Here goes. In light of present discussion, several other blogs I’ve ready this morning, and much much much debate about of how/what/why apologetics and philosophy, I’m reminded of my own need to be humbled. For instance, yesterday I was speaking with a mom about how to respond to homosexual friends from a Christian perspective. This has everything to do with the philosophical foundations of morality and the possiblity of revealed truth, moral law, and ethics. However, when speaking with this mom, it proved beneficial for me to shut my little mouth, listen, and let *HER* come to these conclusions through scripture…not 83 syllable words.

My second point here comes from the general blog-o-sphere on apologetics and the ethos behind much of the conversation. Do not mishear me…there is a time to be bold, blunt, and loud. However, these times are very rare and require a huge amount of context for the onlooker. I do want to be challenged in my mind, but in doing so, I pray God would allow me to maintain a posture of humility.

The fact is (yes, brute fact) that while many hyper-orthodox wannabe blogged out Christian ‘philosophers’ want to argue ad nauseum about method, madness, and school…lost people are no where to be found…and even if they were, they don’t speak our philosophical christaineese. There is a place for jargon…no doubt, and I’m a huge fan of big concepts leading to big words, but I’m simultaneously reminded of my need (you’re more sanctified than I) to remember the point behind this squabble…God’s kingdom is for the poor, the broken, yes, even those who haven’t gotten a Ph.D in philosophy. Thoughts? Discussion? Tell me I’m wrong or rebuke me for just being emo?

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10 responses to “philosophical genius = shut up and listen you poo-mouth

  1. Completely agreed, Greg. These are my thoughts. There is a place for jargon and “Christianese,” but we MUST be thoughtful and careful, in speaking to non-Christians, that we are speaking with them in terms, and in ways, that THEY themselves can understand. (This is a matter of loving lost people and of being humble ourselves– as is LISTENING, as you recently pointed out, and thank you!) This “verbal carefulness” doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use words like “sin,” but we have to be careful to make sure that people actually understand what we mean by these words. Don’t compromise Biblical truth, but as much as is possible without falling into sin ourselves, speak the language of the people, wherever that may be– college philosophy departments, South Central L.A., suburbia, East Central in ABQ, etc. Of course, some people will more of a God-gifted ability to speak in certain environments, but we can still all proclaim the same basic Gospel to people everywhere, with thought and care.

  2. Proclaim AND listen, that is (not necessarily in that order!) 🙂

  3. You had some nice nuggets of truth in there, but I have to confess I don’t know what “squabble” you are talking about.

    Is it worth the (emo) energy you’re spending on it?

  4. Good points made, you are speaking to the choir with me on this one…

    The reality is and a good question that needs to be raised is, do we love the lost and broken, are we broken for them??

    I could read a thousand apologetic books about how to approach culture and what arguments are good to use and blah blah blah, but if I have not love, it is nothing…

    Do we pray for broken hearts that bleed and yearn for the lost, do we engage culture and seek the unbeliever because we truly love them?

    Even writing this comment, conviction is falling on me hard!

  5. In response to Tim:

    You’re right brother…posts like these are laden with vanity unless the affect real change in the life of the writer. I guess that’s why it IS worth it to ME. The squabble being referred to is in reference to the circular shouting matches I’m accomstomed to which pit reason 1 vs. reason 2 on the platform of ‘gospel non-essentials.’ This is surely not always the case, but still serves as a scriptural reminder to me that waxing philosophical without the presence of outworking love is nothing more than noise.

    So what is love? Dare I be accused of answering my specific question with sentimental ambiguity. Ha, it wouldn’t be the first time. However, in this scenario, I make mention of love as it relates to the way I use my time…very convicting. My prayer is that we men continue to die on the same hills as our Lord and that we continue to take the beauty, glory and depth of this deep talk to the streets.

    Again, thanks to all the g-units on this blog who respond with both passion and kindness…wise as serpents gentle as doves you are.

  6. I think the ‘gospel non-essentials’ can be divided into two camps: those that are theologically substantive with solid proponents on both sides, and those cases where we may be arguing about favorite tools/methods. You could compare it to two faithful brick layers disputing which kind of trowel is better.

    In both cases we can learn from one another, but I don’t think the latter category warrants emotional drain; take the meat and discard the bones.

    I’ve discovered that reading Greg blog entries is kind of like reading Shakespeare. I only pick up some of the language, but really like what I understand. Don’t stop, for if you did it would “cleft my heart in twain.”

  7. Totally agree tim…thanks for making that distinction. Let us think, discuss, and then get off our bums and hit the streets with all the Lord is teaching us.

  8. hello friends,
    i have been reading this blog for a couple of weeks. I love what taragsdale said about greg’s entries, i totally relate, and greg, you are the bomb for knowing all those big words!
    I am viewing DSC from afar and experiencing it vicariously through some of the members. I must say that it is very interesting to me how the people there are intertwining theology and actually loving the lost. it makes me happy to see that there is discussion on these blogs of how to relate to people that don’t understand the very educated jargon but still communicate the same truths. I applaud the discussion and encourage us all to “get off our bums and hit the streets with all the Lord is teaching us.”

    Cody

  9. … instead of Loving to Speak the Truth, we should speak (or not) the truth in love ….

  10. Cody, I love you bro…missing you and praying for you over there in NA. God bless bro.

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