I had attended a talk by Prof Peter Jones, adjunct professor at Westminster Seminary California and executive director for the ministry TruthXChange, which was organized by STEMI and held recently in Singapore on the 28th March 2009. Here is my personal reflection on this excellent talk:
On the 28th Mar 2009, Dr. Peter Jones, adjunct professor at Westminster Seminary California, gave a talk in Singapore held at True Way Presbyterian Church. The talk was organized by STEMI and occurred from 10a.m. to about 2:30p.m, with the title being The Paganization of the West and the Global Challenge to Christian Truth. The talk was good and informative, and it was interesting hearing such a presentation from a Reformed theologian as opposed to the multitudes of evidential apologists who sometimes sound more alarmist than inspirational, and definitely less biblical.
Prof Jones’ talk was split into two sessions, predictably one before lunch and one after lunch. In the first session, Prof Jones describes the pagan worldview and its challenge in today’s society, while in the second session, he exegetes Rom. 1:18-28 to answer the challenge of paganism.
I think this message is very important for the church especially with the recent outbreak in interest in "Contemplative spirituality". It is hoped that the church will go back to the God of the Scriptures instead of going back to paganism in any form.
P.S.: There is a good sermon Prof Jones gave entitled Neo-Paganism: Stepchild of Secular Humanism, which you can obtain here.
One of your enemies, Mark, wishes to debate with you. Here's the message:
"You know, I am dying to debate that Daniel Chew ... but he conveniently banned me and my friend antithesis, so we can't even comment on his blog!
That's how he "rebut" us. How "smart".
My challenge to Daniel Chew Huicong:
If you dare, we'll have a public debate (start a new blog) concerning how the BIble is replete with contradictions, even logical and doctrinal ones! I dare you, you COWARD."
If you accept the challenge, I will set up a blog and help to moderate. No deleting of comments. Just debate.
Since you claim that your enemies are "cowards", I wonder if you want to give Mark a chance?
I will await your answer.
markbark and AT did not even express any desire previously, and they have violated my blog rules when they still had the freedom to post.
So markbark wants to debate? OK, first of all, I want to know a few answers:
1) What is his REAL name?
2) Is he a Christian? If not, what is his religion? If yes, which church is he attending?
He wants to debate "Bible contradictions". Can he be more specific? How about coming up with a thesis statement, upon which one of us will affirm and the other deny. What kind of format does he want to have? I am not willing to have an indefinite beat-around-the-bush debate.
I suggest to have a debate with a preopr thesis statement, some rules such as maximum number of words and probably two affirmation and denial statements, with a Q&A section whereby one round will be me doing the questioning and he doing the answering and the next round will be the reverse. (And the Q&A must be also limited in word length, both for the questions and the answers), follwed by concluding statements. And all should have a time limit upon which the opposing party must respond. The debate in order to be successful should have an audience, and therefore it will be at least linked to from various sites. Therefore, I will certainly post a link to it, while markbark has to come up with an audience somehow. He can post it wherever it wants as long as there are a substantial number of people reading it (ie >10 people).
I propose an open end debate, no hiding behind ambiguous words like "epistemology" and other nonsense. And there will be a points format as well. Submissions and rebuttals go through me, and I will post them. So no one can delete anyone's messages.
1) What is his REAL name?
2) Is he a Christian? If not, what is his religion? If yes, which church is he attending?
I don't know the answer to the first question, but he has already indicated that he has renounced Christianity, and claims to be well versed in Christian theology.
My blog has an excess of 100 readers a day. I don't mind using it as a platform.
Of course, you can use any other form of media as you so choose. I am open to suggestions.
Well, ask him for his real name and status then; I am not going to debate a phantom. My real name is plain for everyone to see.
And words like epistemology are not ambiguous. According to oe definition at Dictionary.com, epistemology is "The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity." Next time, please check your dictionary.
As for your blog, I guess it will suffice for his side. To prevent fear of censure, the primary location and moderator cannot be you. When markbark responds to this, then we can consider more.
Stick to plain simple English so that everyone understands.
I know what epistemology means. The problem is you use it as a smoke screen, so I need you to stop using it. Use it and points will definitely be deducted. If it is the bible, just say it as it is. I hate your kind of chicanery. Doesn't click with me.
Whether he wants to reveal his identity is not for me to decide.
As for judging, there could be a panel. But I definitely will be in it.
You will debate clearly, unambiguously, no smoke screens. Straight to the point. Failure to do so, you will lose the debate. I guarantee you that personally. Like how you lost to me.
I do not tolerate nonsense from Christians. You know that by now.
I think their names are Mark Hymenaeus and Beast Philetus (2 Tim 2:16-17).
Or is it Mark Jannes and Beast Jambres? (2 Tim 3:1-9).
Either way, my advice is the same as scripture's: AVOID. Or as Solomon put it: Answer not. (Prov 26:4)
Let the coward markbark speak for himself. Any further reposting from you will be deleted; markbark is not going to use you as a proxy to circumvent the ban (unless you want to join the list too).
If markbark is serious about the debate challenge, he will fulfil the conditions. I am not going to waste time in a so-called debate, whereby markbark can attack me without him being held accountable for any of his words.
I have a public email address. Let markbark if he is really serious email me, identify himself, and play by the rules of the game. These are my conditions. Act civilly; any sign that he is not acting in good faith (i.e. cuss words, blatant insults etc) will show him to be not serious about his debate challenge.
>Use it and points will definitely be deducted.
I am not playing for points. This is not a game! The debate will have no proclaimed winners and losers. The idea of the debate will be to show everyone the two positions and the arguments to prove or disprove that position. This will be of help to any readers so that they can make a decision for themselves which side is right.
>I hate your kind of chicanery.
Why don't you just admit you don't understand my arguments. Any philosophy student can understand the point I am making, while you pompously assert your ignorance of the subject as the measure of success?
>As for judging, there could be a panel.
There will be no panel, or jury or judge. I am not interested in winning, only the truth. If this is your type of debate, I am not interested in it.
I agree. If they refuse to be teacheable, then Prov. 26:4 will be applied.
I am here to facilitate a debate. If you want to ban me so be it. I have been banned by so many Christians I am used to it already.
The best part about my blog is that I use intensedebate; banning people is easy cos all it takes is banning one's IP. For your case you have to keep track all the time, so woe to you.
Anyway, I take it that you are not interested. I will relay the message back to Mark.
"I have a public email address. Let markbark if he is really serious email me, identify himself, and play by the rules of the game. These are my conditions. Act civilly; any sign that he is not acting in good faith (i.e. cuss words, blatant insults etc) will show him to be not serious about his debate challenge."
Speak for yourself, Daniel. You haven't been very civil either. Don't ask of others what you cannot do. That makes you a hypocrite.
"Why don't you just admit you don't understand my arguments. Any philosophy student can understand the point I am making, while you pompously assert your ignorance of the subject as the measure of success?"
Your arguments can be summarized in a few sentences:
1. Bible says says homosexuality is wrong.
2. So homosexuality is wrong.
3. Regardless of anything, homosexuality is wrong. If in doubt, refer to point 1.
Any three year old can see through this kind of argument. Using words like "epistemology" doesn't nick it.
The only thing I do not understand is the term "psycho assertism". I have checked the term in dictionaries and online but I can't seem to find the real meaning of this. Care to explain?
>Your arguments can be summarized in a few sentences:
Ha! That is not my main argument. This shows you do not understand the argument I am making, because you are not really reading it.
>The only thing I do not understand is the term "psycho assertism".
I have placed a link to an exchange where the term was established. This shows you did not actually read my argument at all, just read the parts you want to read.
In your rebuttal, this is what YOU WROTE:
"Unlike the ipse dixit argumentation techniques of the liberal leftists in particular and secular humanists in general, Christians have an objective authoritative standard by which he can make a stand — in the Bible."
Isn't that clear enough? Or you are trying to deny your claim? Or you are not reading what you write???
As for that link, its too long. Just give me a short, sharp and concise evaluation of the term "psycho assertion".
That sentence was part of an entire context. Why don't you read the entire context instead of isolating sentences to critique? I do not deny that my epistemology is Scripture, but that was not the main point of my rebuttal, a fact which you have consistently failed to recognize.
>As for that link, its too long. Just give me a short, sharp and concise evaluation of the term "psycho assertion".
Quie being lazy. I spend a lot of time and effort reading and understanding my source materials, and if you want to be taken seriously, you should treat this whole thing seriously too. As it is, I have other stuff to attend to than playing games with you here.
Yes, yes, Daniel. You are very busy annoying people, I know that.
So, your epistemology is the bible. I was right after all.
The whole point of your rebuttal has already been rebutted by me. So there is no point in reiterating it. And besides, you admitted to your epistemology, and I also refuted your epistemology in that if we follow the bible we'd have to start killing every individual off the face of the earth.
Since you do not wish to explain "psycho assertion" to me, that's fine. I don't think there's such a word anyway, been looking up and down and really can't find it. I suppose christians coined it.
>Anyway, I take it that you are not interested.
Correction: Here are my conditions for the debate. Since markbark evidently does not want to fulfil them, he shows himself to be not interested.
>So, your epistemology is the bible. I was right after all.
And your epistemology is yourself. So what? I rather follow the Bible than follow you, thank you.
OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE NOT READING MY REBUTTAL.
My epistemology is human empathy, which all of us possess, religion or no.
obviously you are not reading my rebuttal either. I DENY the universality of "human empathy", religion or no!
That's your problem. Not Mine.
oh a debate sounds interesting
i am not sure if this is a good or bad idea, i dont know.. but it does sound fun
but if there is a debate, there are some things i would like to see:
1) definitions section, sorry daniel but sometimes i tend to get a bit lost in the cheem terms u use
2) no points, no judging panel, no winner. winning is not the point of this debate, a reasonable discussion with integrity is the point of it - also one thing i cant stand on the internet is pple insisting that they've won, it makes no sense, other pple can see for themselves who makes sense, besides most of the pple who insist that they've won are actually not arguing properly and have in essence lost the argument
3) yes i agree, a maximum word limit on all posts and arguments, this would encourage both parties to think and write to better present their points
you arrived late. =) The debate ain't happening because what they want is a monologue, not a dialogue governed by rules.
Anyway, with regards to the issue of words, can you give me some examples? I really have no idea what level of vocab people are at.
are a few terms you used in the recent post. Regular readers would be familiar with them, and so will those learned in philosophy and argumentation. But for the rest, they are not often used in daily vocab, incl. myself, and my english is already not too shabby so even worse for others. Anyway pple will either:
1) do a search, which can be a bit disruptive for them
2) gloss over such terms ignoring them, which does not help your case as they might lose track of your argument
oh, I see...
Psycho-assertionism: There is a link to the usage of that term, but anyway, here is a brief working definition -- The belief that a proposition is true because I assert it is true, and that those who question my assertion are in error because what is said is true.
Epistemology: The system of philosophy that answers the question of how we know what we know.
ad-hominem: Latin for "against the man", this technique attacks the person making the argument instead of the argument itself. Such an attack need not amount to character assassination (which is a form of ad-hominem argumentation), but any dismassal of an argument based upon the person(s) arguing for it. (I.e. You are a conservative/liberal, therefore what you are saying is nonsense)
petitio principii: Latin for "begging the question", this technique assumes the truth of what it seeks to prove. It can be in overt or subtle forms. For example: "The sky is blue because everyone sees the sky is blue" (Overt), or "Secular humanism is right because humanism seeks the welfare of humanity" (Subtle)
metaethics: The sub-category of philosophy that deals with the reason for morality and moral judgments. Why does morality exists? How can one make moral judgments? Are moral judgments expressing one's opinion (expressivism) or an objective standard (Objectivism)?
ipse dixit: Another Latin term which is similar to the principle of petitio principii, ipse dixit literally means "him/her/it-self assert" or "I assert". The difference is that petitio principii is a technique while ipse dixit functions more like a description of a phrase/sentence.
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