What Not to Do in a Debate

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Siberian, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Siberian

    Siberian
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    I just ran across this "what-not-to-do-in-a-debate list" in an old (2002) journal article by Dr. Richard Mayhue. The specific context is eschatological debates (hence item 2) but I thought the list is generally helpful. I see far too many good and healthy debates turn into useless bantering because the debating parties delved into one or more of the following behaviors:

    1. Putting non-biblical, historical documents on an equal par with Scripture to gain a greater sense of authority for one’s conclusion or even to refute a biblical presentation.
    2. Reading current events into the Scripture to prove one’s point.
    3. Inserting one’s predetermined position, without first proving it, into a Scripture passage to gain apparent biblical support.
    4. Attacking the character of one who holds a particular view in order to discredit the view.
    5. Accusing an advocate of an opposing view of holding certain unacceptable interpretations or beliefs, when in fact he does not, in order to demonstrate falsely his apparent poor scholarship.
    6. Employing selective data to make one’s point, when full disclosure would have actually weakened the conclusion.
    7. Drawing unwarranted and erroneous implications from the Greek NT text that are used to override the more obvious and determinative conclusions derived from the passage’s context.​
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Or follow Luther's advice: "Stand up....speak up....and shut up..."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. jaigner

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    Most of these are good points.

    The wording of this one, to me, is a bit problematic.

    Of course "putting non-biblical, historical documents on an equal par with Scripture" is not proper.

    But ANE cultural study, non-canonical letters, textual and grammatical issues are all helpful in interpreting scripture and deciphering exactly what it says to us today. Sola Scriptura does not mean ignoring everything except the Bible, rather that the Bible is the final authority. Other sources can be very helpful in faithful biblical interpretation.

    Blessings.
     
  4. SolaSaint

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    We must be prepared to defend the gospel, but I will agree that the debate format isn't to be entered into lightly. I don't debate for I don't feel I can do it well and it must be done well or forfiet. Now I agree with your points except I feel #7 is a little poorly stated.

    "7. Drawing unwarranted and erroneous implications from the Greek NT text that are used to override the more obvious and determinative conclusions derived from the passage’s context."

    I feel we do conclude a more determinative conclusion by using the original languages. We need to try and get a close to the autograph as possible. Now using unwarranted and erroneous implications is wrong wether one is using any format that doesn't clearly give us the context intendeted by the writer of the specific passage.
     
    #4 SolaSaint, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2010

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