via QualiaSoup, one of my favorite YouTubers
Here's another quote I saw recently over at the Apologetics 315 blog:
An argument in apologetics, when actually used in dialogue, is an extension of the arguer. The arguer's tone, sincerity, care, concern, listening, and respect matter as much as his or her logic - probably more. The world was won for Christ not by arguments but by sanctity: 'What you are speaks so loud, I can hardly hear what you say.'
- Peter Kreeft
Did you catch the point of this quote? Kreeft is stating what I've heard Christian apologists say over and over: the arguments aren't enough. For Kreeft (and most other apologists I've heard), rhetoric is as important as reason - or, as Peter Kreeft himself admits, "probably more."
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Clayton, who is (as regular readers of this blog might know) a Christian minister and one of my best friends. While I am not to blame for his conversion to Christianity (he did that about a year before I met him), I was instrumental in his early development as a thinker. We met in 2001 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. I was a minister at the time, finishing my studies at Lincoln Christian College and doing my internship with a campus ministry who worked with students at UIS and Lincoln Land Community College, which is right next to UIS.
This entry serves as my response to "bp," a Christian who has started following my blog. This is the continuation of our discussion which began here: Threats of Hell are Fun. I write with the hope that it will lead to respectful, thoughtful conversation:
I was sitting at the computer writing when my email notified me that I received a comment on one of my blog entries. Someone who goes by the name "bp" wrote this comment in response to my entry, If Christianity is True, Why Do We Need Apologetics?:
Chuck Norris was my hero. Chuck Norris is the reason I grew a beard. His accomplishments as a martial artist - as well as his kick-ass movies in the 70s and 80s - inspired me to study the martial arts myself. It was my childhood dream to star in an action movie with him - I envisioned a story in which both father and son were martial artists who found themselves in a bad situation, and the only way to survive was to use all their fighting skill to overcome impossible odds.
It's no secret that I am a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson. I've spent many hours watching videos of him on YouTube and reading his articles. And now, again, I've been spending more time enjoying his insight. Here are some quotes by Neil. I hope you enjoy his insight as well:
... was three days ago. I know I'm late, but I was busy watching awesome videos on YouTube and arguing that atheism isn't true. Nevertheless, November 9 is Carl Sagan Day, which is the anniversary of the birth of a man who was one of the most influential advocates for science throughout the world, whose work is honored still today.
I've been blogging for over a year now, and those of you who have been following along with me know how I've been coming to terms with my own de-conversion from Christian faith, as well as my eventual acceptance of the label "atheist," so this may come as a surprise to you. Shocking though it may be, I have to admit: atheism isn't true.
There are so many reasons why I hate this quote by Richard Dawkins. Actually, there may not be that many reasons, but the reasons I have evoke such strong negative feelings that I feel the hyperbole employed in the first sentence is entirely justified. Here's the quote:
Evangelizing with, well, pretty much anything has become quite the fad in Christian culture. They use bracelets, T-shirts, hats, necklaces, shoelaces, buttons, posters, music, movies, bumper stickers, and whatever else upon which one can slap a nifty slogan. it's all Jesus Junk, of course, but still it makes for good business. I can't help but notice bumper stickers, and decided to come up with my list of the best worst Christian bumper stickers. These are in no particular order...
Christopher Hitchens (atheist) and his brother, Peter Hitchens (Christian) debate religion and morality. Peter makes an interesting comment near the end of this clip. He is asked, "Do you need religion to be moral?" Peter answers, "Yeah, absolutely... Morality is what you do when you think nobody is looking." But then he says, "There's a lot of things I would do if I didn't believe in god."