Kevin’s Conversations: Think About It…

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27 Responses

  1. Disillusioned says:

    Taking the time to thoroughly think through issues is a great failing in our culture today. If there’s one thing I want for my children, it is for them to be thoughtful.
    Only in taking the necessary time to see all sides of an issue can we hope to gain understanding.

  2. Jean says:

    Thanks Kevin. I think there are two issues:

    1) How do we disagree with each other in a non-contentious manner and with an open ear to what the other is saying? Your articles serve as a helpful reminder (at least to me) to be respectful to each other. I invite you to keep on reminding us, as you see fit.

    2) The Church has worked very hard over more than 2 centuries (and many saints were martyred) to preserve the orthodox apostolic Christian faith. However, today, that faith is a definite minority within the wider Christian community. I hope you and others will understand that those here who derive the faith as handed down from the apostles, through the Fathers, Ecumenical Councils, and Reformers (or if you are OE, then skip the Reformers) are not going to compromise our faith just because someone says something is of secondary importance. This isn’t a criticism of you or this article, but just an affirmation that the faith is a treasure from God that many of us hold very dearly.

  3. John 20:29 says:

    one of my consistent criticisms of todays approach to education is that the method seems to be teach what to think, not how to think… if you’re good at memorizing, you’ll make the Dean’s List
    i’m not a mathematician – waaay far from it – however, the best instructor i ever had on the subject taught algebra to her class by putting the problem on the board and letting the class dictate to her, line by line, the solution… and, thus we used our brains, we saw where our thinking would dead end or go off in la la land… and eventually – solve the problem
    i think there is a bit of God seen in mathematics – the logic and the absolute – and as i follow so many threads here on the Phxp, i see the Holy Spirit work through the problem – this is a place where Faith and Truth very often meet, work through the problem, and come to a clear conclusion… still leaving room for our biases, which are not at all mathematical 🙂

  4. Kevin H says:

    “I hope you and others will understand that those here who derive the faith as handed down from the apostles, through the Fathers, Ecumenical Councils, and Reformers (or if you are OE, then skip the Reformers) are not going to compromise our faith just because someone says something is of secondary importance.”

    Most certainly. That’s why I made reference to things that are essential in my article. Now we’re not all going to agree on every exact item of what is essential, but one would be expected to hold more firmly onto those things they hold essential. The challenge is two fold:

    1) Even on those things we hold essential, we can work to be irenic and not have a condescending attitude and show a willingness to try to understand the standpoint of those we disagree with, even when we know we will still disagree with them. (And the hope would be that things we hold essential we have already thought through pretty well before we concluded them to be essential.)

    2) Be pretty careful about the list of things we find essential or that we’re absolutely sure about. With the way some talk or conduct themselves, one would think their list is miles long.

    2)

  5. dusty says:

    John 20:29 said,” and as i follow so many threads here on the Phxp, i see the Holy Spirit work through the problem – this is a place where Faith and Truth very often meet, work through the problem, and come to a clear conclusion… still leaving room for our biases,”

    well said, and amen!

  6. filbertz says:

    regarding the writing process…

    writers write.

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    The more I have learned, the more I know what I don’t know.

    During the late Reformation, the Lutherans came up with a great concept – “adiaphora”, that is, things of indifference or things neither commanded or forbidden, such as certain rites and ceremonies. Of course, being Lutherans, they then fell into extensive arguments about what should be considered adiaphora!

    For me, part of the joy of discussion is simply to see and consider another point of view… I think that’s called “learning”…

  8. dusty says:

    filbertz, still praying for you

  9. Kevin H says:

    fil,

    I’m learning that. I’m still pretty sure writing will never be a life’s work for me, or even a significant hobby. But it does happen a little more freely than before. I had no idea where I was going with this one as I was writing the first couple paragraphs (as may be pretty obvious). But by just continuing to write, it did end up flowing into something that seemed to have at least some worth.

  10. Michael says:

    If there is a singular issue that disturbs me beyond others today, it is that everyone wants to speak, but few want to listen.

    Perhaps to be more specific, people want to speak with authority without doing the work to be viewed as such.

    I will posit that this is directly tied to our lack of literacy…our disregard for reading to deepen and broaden our perspectives.

  11. Michael says:

    Kevin has the writers gift…which is to put words to what others are thinking.
    It’s also a curse,but don’t tell him that… 🙂

  12. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    Don’t worry, we’ll keep it secret from him. 😉

  13. em ... again says:

    “If there is a singular issue that disturbs me beyond others today, it is that everyone wants to speak, but few want to listen.”
    i suspect that that has always been the case – dunno, tho

    most of our speech comes from our hearts/emotions (said speech is both personality and experience driven, is it not?)… so very little of what we say is the result of analytical thinking… which thinking calls for some detachment and, as Dr. Duane observed @#7, can be very unnerving – brain work for most of us/me is hard work 🙂

  14. filbertz says:

    Michael, you are correct in your observation @10. Shortcuts abound for speaking. There are few or none for writing, reading, and thinking. Since ‘being heard’ is so in demand, the more substantive disciplines have taken a back seat, including the fine skill of listening.

    But the best things come from the back seat…

  15. Jean says:

    Listening is indeed a fine skill. Another indispensable skill is discerning which voices to listen to. There are a lot of voices to choose from.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael is noticing the problem associated with social media. Every person has to be heard about every single issue ever. It’s silly, really.

  17. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It has pretty much run me off of Facebook.
    I keep wanting to ask people what books they’ve read on the subject they are pontificating about, but I already know the answer …

  18. Michael says:

    fil,

    Well said…but I think it’s a terminal disease at this juncture.

  19. Steve says:

    Listening and discerning are extremely important. So is asking questions. You can not learn without asking questions. Learning about a subject is one thing but learning about a person is another. We should be students of each other. If this were to happen the problem that Josh mentioned about people needing to be heard may go away. With this in mind, It would behoove one to go to a church where the pastor at a minimum knows your name and everyone else’s name in the congregation.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s not going away. It will escalate. Everyone has a voice, and everyone thinks he /she deserves an audience. As thoughtful people retreat from the the online cacophony, the usual suspects will just ramp up the rhetoric.

  21. Steve says:

    Josh, you are probably right its not going to go away in any systemic way. However, what I am talking about may be the prescription on an individual basis. I can’t really worry about society as a whole. Its way too complicated for me to understand. We are told to love our neighbor. It gets too confusing when we try to equate our neighbor with society as a whole.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    In so much of life today, people are looking for (or believe they have found) the “one answer”. Now, don’t beat me up… I’m not talking about salvation. I’m talking about the way we look at a text in Scripture, the way we understand an event in history, how we view church life or polity. I think we have lost the art of nuance… the idea that there may be several equally valid approaches. Something in some people insists on “you must see it this way and only this way”. I don’t know about others, but I find that I constantly have to re-examine my own prejudices and presuppositions. It’s the only way I can really listen to others and treat what they are saying with value.

  23. Michael says:

    “I think we have lost the art of nuance… the idea that there may be several equally valid approaches.”

    Nailed it…

  24. Disillusioned says:

    Alternative viewpoints were not tolerated at the CC we attended. There was no discussion.
    At one point I was reprimanded for asking too many questions.

  25. dusty says:

    .Disillusioned, I’m not surprised by that, but sorry it happened to you

  26. Steve says:

    I hear your pain Disillusioned. CC will reprimand someone for asking too many questions but they probably never even ask you one question to learn about you. Its a one way relationship or at least a one way flow of information dictated and controlled by the guy in charge.

  27. dusty says:

    Steve said,’Listening and discerning are extremely important. So is asking questions. You can not learn without asking questions.’

    yep

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