Tag Archives: arguing

Ego at the Foot of the Mountain

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves… And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” Matthew 17:1, 14-16

ego, blooming at the foot of the mountain

Life at the Foot of the Mountain

Have you ever wondered what it was like back down the mountain with all the other disciples who did NOT get to make the trip up to the transfiguration?  I have:

So what do you guys think this is all about?  I mean, surely I’m not the only one of us whose ego is bruised by this.  Why would the Master choose those three over any of us?  Maybe James and John, sure, but Peter?  Really?  Over any of us?  He sticks his foot in his mouth every time he opens it…so very impulsive and childish…remember just last week how Jesus rebuked him?  So, why Peter?  Why on earth would Jesus pick him?  Are any of you worried about what this means about our place in the new order of things?  Jesus keeps talking about the kingdom of God being at hand and how everything is about to change.  Do we even know what that means?  What do you think our roles will be in his new kingdom?  Do we really have to put up with Peter outranking us?  I just don’t know if I can live with that.

And now, as if God is just trying to show us what huge LOSERS we are, we try to

Evangelism is Not So Much an Intellectual Process

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

I can’t honestly say that I love arguing, but I am fairly good at arguing (being a lawyer suits me in that regard).  Actually, it’s ugliness in arguing that I don’t like.  I do love an open and honest exchange of differing viewpoints. I think that’s what I like about the blogosphere.  It is a “pure” form of discussion, without any of the biases or prejudices that come with too much knowledge about a person’s background.  We don’t draw quite as many premature conclusions about each other in this “blogging” realm.  So, arguing (nicely) works pretty well here.

But I have come to believe something about the intellectual process and arguing as it applies to evangelism: it doesn’t work.  In my 40+ years as a follower of Christ, I have yet to see a single person listen to a compelling “argument” about why it is right to be a follower of Christ and suddenly succumb to the logic and fall on their knees in prayer.  I just don’t see apologetics as the key to evangelism.  I honestly do not believe the “lost” world is looking for persuasive reasoning, and I definitely don’t believe young “post-modern” thinkers are looking to engage in an intellectual discussion about faith.  I think the paradigm of a one-on-one intellectual exchange about God and faith is the wrong paradigm for evangelism in our culture.  I think it is a mistaken notion that if we just learn to say it smartly enough or persuasively enough (or loud enough) we will win and people will have no choice but to agree with us and come around to our way of thinking.  I think people today (maybe always?) are looking …