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Apologetics And Polemics


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Exactly, which is what raised the question of what or who will fill the oppositional (evil) group position because that attention is happening.

My guess is DCP and others will continue their work elsewhere and provide some oppositional opportunity. Further, accurate or not, FAIR will continue to exist, so will continue to fill the needed role.

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I can personally speak for this. I emailed Gregory Smith on numerous occasions during my faith issues and he was awesome to me. Didn't judge, just gave the information to help me along in my journey. Wonderful volunteers at FAIR, I needed them at that time in my life. And I threw some doozies out there for them. They maintained a Christlike demeanor towards me and didn't balk at some crazy stuff I might have had questions about. Albeit, as much as I love their honesty, it may harm some or has harmed some that are tender in their testimonies, that weren't raised with alot of the early history of the church, like me.

Thank you for sharing this, BTW. :)

Edited by juliann
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That is what I notice with the overused ad hom charge.

What is what that you notice with the overused ad hom charge. (By the way I have said nothing about ad hom charge)

You summarily dismissed my response to your request as an attack without ever once engaging the content.

I did no such thing. In fact I thanked you for your response. That I did not engage the content mean that I dismiss it?? Also, let me repeat, I was not able to view the content of the thread that you linked as I am locked from viewing it. (why the defensiveness??)

You asked for examples and I gave them to you as well as my opinion as to why it matters.

Again, I thanked you for it.

Ironically, it has not ever been termed an attack if the lists are about apologists.

This conjecture, along with the rest of you post is, however, irrelevant to my CFR and subsequent response.

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I did no such thing. In fact I thanked you for your response. That I did not engage the content mean that I dismiss it?? Also, let me repeat, I was not able to view the content of the thread that you linked as I am locked from viewing it. (why the defensiveness??)

Again, I thanked you for it.

This ridiculous "now I said it, now I didn't!" is what makes this place so tiresome. Your first sentence called my response to your CFR an attack ["that is what you just did"], preceded by a condescending "wilth all due respect" and followed by more condescending "I'm just calling it as I see it". Oh, but you thanked me! Well, you are welcome. Glad we got that out of the way.

Yeah, you called it an attack without ever addressing any content at all. Your plain words are there in black and white font. Wiggle, argue and deflect all you want. I don't spend enough time here anymore to be interested in hide and seek or those who think it fools anyone.

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This ridiculous "now I said it, now I didn't!" is what makes this place so tiresome. Your first sentence called my response to your CFR an attack ["that is what you just did"], preceded by a condescending "wilth all due respect" and followed by more condescending "I'm just calling it as I see it". Oh, but you thanked me! Well, you are welcome. Glad we got that out of the way.

Yeah, you called it an attack without ever addressing any content at all. Your plain words are there in black and white font. Wiggle, argue and deflect all you want. I don't spend enough time here anymore to be interested in hide and seek or those who think it fools anyone.

Wow!!

Never mind, Juliann. Never, mind.

To much agression.

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Neither "apologetics" nor "polemics" are, per se, bad things, although both appear to have taken on negative connotations in the minds of a good many people these days.

I agree. I was just thinking how the scriptures seem very polemical in nature to me. (Talk about "war imagery"...) I just googled "scripture polemic" and saw a short blog entry by a theologian (I don't know this person at all) that seems to address some of the issues discussed here:

http://www.inhabitat...c-in-scripture/

I like this paragraph:

"True theologians, it is thought, are those that are careful, meticulous and measured in their speech and writing. And these are certainly virtues, no question about that. However, the kind of reflexive anti-polemicism that we see in a lot of current theological evaluation begs some questions, not least of which is the supremely polemical nature of vast portions of the Scripture, and particularly the New Testament. First John, for example is unquestionable in its theological profundity and affectionate pastoral message, and yet it is hard to find a more sharply polemical work in the New Testament. The prophets of the Old Testament are polemicists from beginning to end. And the first Christian theologians tended to write numerous treatises that always seemed to begin with the world “against.”

For me, I simply see it as a case of "good cop" vs. "bad cop." I think there's actually a need for both types.

For example, I doubt Nephi minced words:

1 Nephi 16: 1-3:

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/16?lang=eng

Edited by Evangeline
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Regarding the need for both "hard-hitting" and softer approaches, all we have to do is look at the differences in personality among the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Packer is obviously not a favourite in some circles, but God has him where he is for a purpose.

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Regarding the need for both "hard-hitting" and softer approaches, all we have to do is look at the differences in personality among the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Packer is obviously not a favourite in some circles, but God has him where he is for a purpose.

Well wasn't it prophesied that the faith and patience of the Saints was to occur in the last days? 8P

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Here's another article I found online on the website "catholicism.org" that I found quite thought-provoking as well:

"The Decline of Controversy" by Bishop Fulton Sheen

http://catholicism.org/sheen-decline-controversy.html

I don't agree with everything in the article, but I think it's worth consideration. Here are a few quotes that stood out to me:

"The hardest thing to find in the world today is an argument. Because so few are thinking, naturally there are found but few to argue. There is prejudice in abundance and sentiment too, for these things are born of enthusiasms without the pain of labor. Thinking, on the contrary, is a difficult task; it is the hardest work a man can do—that is perhaps why so few indulge in it."

"...those periodicals that pride themselves upon their open-mindedness on all questions are far from practicing the lost art of controversy. Their pages contain no controversies, but only presentations of points of view. These never rise to the level of abstract thought in which argument clashes with argument like steel with steel, but rather they content themselves with the personal reflections of one who has lost his faith, writing against the sanctity of marriage, and of another who has kept his faith, writing in favor of it. Both sides are shooting off firecrackers, making all the noise of an intellectual warfare and creating the illusion of conflict, but it is only a sham battle in which there are plenty of explosions but never an exploded argument."

"Modern religion has enunciated one great and fundamental dogma that is at the basis of all the other dogmas: that religion must be freed from dogmas. Creeds and confessions of faith are no longer the fashion; religious leaders have agreed not to disagree and those beliefs for which some of our ancestors would have died they have melted into a spineless humanism. Like other Pilates they have turned their backs on the uniqueness of truth and have opened their arms wide to all the moods and fancies the hour might dictate. The passing of creeds and dogmas means the passing of controversies. Creeds and dogmas are social; prejudices are private. Believers bump into one another at a thousand different angles, but bigots keep out of one another’s way, because prejudice is anti-social. I can imagine an old-fashioned Calvinist who holds that the word “damn” has a tremendous dogmatic significance coming to intellectual blows with an old-fashioned Methodist who holds that it is only a curse word. But I cannot imagine a controversy if both decide to damn damnation, like modernists who no longer believe in hell."

I have had the impression for some time that there have been "plenty of explosions" occurring in various LDS-related "camps" on the internet, but very little in the way of real dialogue between the camps. It appears that some of these camps have actually preferred it that way (for example John Dehlin, considering his attempts at suppressing Greg Smith's article.) However, I think much good has come from this latest "controversy." Much has been revealed and dialogue that has been sorely needed is starting to occur. All it took was some polemics (or rather the anticipation of it). I look forward to the more substantial dialogue that will occur whenever Greg Smith's article is published.

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