Utopian Dreams

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Name(required) Email(required) Website Message Submit Name(required) Email(required) Website Message Submit One must remember when in dialogue with unbelievers that a utopian longing may be present.  Christians believe the kingdom of God will become fully realized in the future. It is by God’s power, not by human strength, that all things promised come to fulfillment.…
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Humor in Dialogue

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Humor is appropriate in apologetic dialogue and witness, but there are boundaries to it.  I suggest these guidelines: No humor is acceptable that is at the personal expense of the other individual or individuals or is meant to discredit them.  It is the world view that needs to be discredited and revised through…
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Of Self-control

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Self-control, or temperance, is one of the four cardinal virtues along with courage, prudence and justice that come to us from pagan philosophy.  It is found in the list of fruits of the Spirit in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (5: 23).  It is a virtue that pertains to keeping the…
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Examples of Uncivil and Civil Speech

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Uncivil Speech Name-calling  (pinhead, jerk, bozo, idiot, moron, stupid, etc.) Attacks on character. Intentional distortion of opponent’s/opponents’ views and argument. Humor directed at the person of the opponent so as to cause shame or embarrassment. Monopolizing the discussion. Sloppy argumentation; attempts at obfuscation in order to win the argument. Return abuse…
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Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean

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Title of this article is found in the prologue to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  Two young people who love one another are caught up in the strife between their families, the Capulets and Montagues.  These families represent the high level of civil conflict in the city of Verona.  We can…
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A Fire, a World of Unrighteousness

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In his epistle, James warns his readers that not many of them should become teachers, because God judges teachers with greater strictness.  He goes on to say that one who does not stumble with his tongue is perfect, for ability to control the tongue means one is able to control his…
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The Apostle on Mars Hill (Areopagus)

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During his first missionary journey the Apostle Paul spent some time in Athens.  While there, he noticed with great dismay that “the city was full of idols.”  He had a dialogue with Jews in the synagogue and with people he met in the marketplace (agora in Greek).  In addition, he had a…
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Waning Faith and Yearning Heart

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The waning of Christian faith among the people, especially the intelligentsia did not happen over night.  In the middle of the nineteenth century Matthew Arnold wrote poems concerning this development.  His well-known “Dover Beach” and “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse” are prime examples of his own yearning in the midst of…
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Deep Conviction and Commitment

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A fundamental factor in the interface of those with very differing views about the nature of the world and our place in it, especially the believer with the atheist, is the deep conviction and commitment that the parties bring to the table.  The stakes are high in any conversation whether formal or informal.  We put before…
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