Gregg vs. Keller?

Post Problems, Suggestions, or Comments about the New Forum.
marty
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by marty » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:50 pm

Does anyone know when will the Gregg VS. Keller videos be up to view?

User avatar
RICHinCHRIST
Posts: 361
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:27 am
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by RICHinCHRIST » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:18 pm

Did Steve debate Tim Keller lately?

marty
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by marty » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:00 pm

Don't know, but its in the video area and the debate was on the gifts passing away or not.

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3344
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by steve » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:35 pm

The Keller in question was not Tim Keller. I doubt if he and I would have any interest in debating (though we might). The Keller I debated was a local Santa Cruz pastor of a Presbyterian church. We debated way back when I was living in Oregon (maybe 12 years ago?). It was a poor debate. Though I am sure I won, I don't recommend it. He did not present much of a case for his position, and I thought the debate in general (his part and mine also) was pretty boring.

dorianleigh
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by dorianleigh » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:07 pm

I hope someone can help me understand how believers can see "winning" a debate as a productive, Biblical, Spirit led experience. When I looked for the word in the NT, I found one verse, Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

How can "winning" a discussion about the things of the Lord be productive? When we "win", aren't we then making someone a "loser?" Doesn't the Bible tell us to build each other up, walk in humility seeing the other person as better than ourselves and therefore being the "winner" and we are the loser? Phil 1:27 calls us to "be of one mind striving together" and doesn't mention anything about trying to be the winner and make them the loser.

When I looked at another translation of Romans 1:29 the word "debate" was translated to mean "strife" and "competition." Isn't "winning and losing" about competition? It seems that no matter how I research it, I keep seeing that "debating" is not a productive, God ordained practice. Am I missing something? Have we been lulled into believing that this is somehow edifying? What is our motive when we enter into a debate? Is it glorifying the Lord, or ourself? Are we attempting to empower the other person or overpower them? Is our motive to learn from them and value them as better than ourself and therefore having better knowledge than we do? Or is our motive to prove them wrong and make them the loser?

When I looked up the word "debate" you will see below the Synonyms and there is one Antonym:"agreement", which tells me that debate is the opposite of being in agreement. (striving together, rather than against each other)

Main Entry: debate  
Part of Speech: noun

Synonyms: agitation, altercation, argument, argumentation, blah-blah, cogitation, contention, contest, controversy, controverting, deliberation, dialectic, disputation, dispute, forensic, hassle, match, meditation, mooting, polemic, rebutting, reflection, refuting, tiff, words, wrangle
Antonyms: agreement



How can we build each other up when we are trying to prove how wrong they are?

User avatar
TK
Posts: 1475
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by TK » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:40 pm

Dorian-

You sure ask a lot of good questions.

I won't answer for Steve, but I think that debates are a good way to flesh out opposing sides of an issue. I think Steve would say he is not out to "win" so much as to express his point of view in a clear and convincing way.

Let's face it-- there are many things in the faith that are disputed among well-meaning and very nice Christians. Some people dont even realize what they believe may not be correct. A debate is simply one way to hear both sides of the issue.

A debate can get competitive, but that is because each side believes their view is correct. Very often they cant BOTH be correct, although sometimes the truth may lie somewhere in the middle.

So, short of hearing both sides of a disputed issue presented, some people may never understand the other side or that there even IS another side. Sure, they could read about both sides, etc but a good debate is a good way to get a "condensed" version.

TK

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3344
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by steve » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:25 pm

To speak of one side "winning" a debate is not like somebody winning a boxing match or a football game. In the case of sports, nothing is at stake, other than the reputations of the winners. In a debate, what is at stake is the question of truth. While a skilled debater on the wrong side of the issue may win the debate, in the sense of winning a sporting competition, the interests of truth can seldom be served without robust debate against false (and possibly harmful) views.

One of the qualifications of an elder is that "he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). One reason the church today is trinitarian, rather than Arian, is due to the fact that the matters were formally debated in the fourth century.

I mentioned that Keller did not put forward a very good case. I mention this by way of disappointment on my part. If I debate against another view, and I "win" the debate because of the incompetence of the other debater, there is little gained for the cause of truth. The truth comes out most clearly when the very best arguments for each side are presented by skilled proponents.

dorianleigh
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by dorianleigh » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:50 pm

I still don't understand??? Where in Scripture does it speak of "opposing sides of believers?" In fact, I encountered another verse in II Corin. 12:20 which states: 20For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

This verse seems to be in alignment with Romans 1:29. Is there any Scripture which admonishes us to publically debate? Did Jesus or Paul hold public debates? Proverbs 25:9 tells us to debate with our neighbor in private.

I don't think I've ever read anything in Scripture which tells us to be "skilled debaters", but rather verses which tell us, "not by might, nor power but by MY Spirit, and God uses the foolish (unskilled) to confound the wise (skilled). My Bible also tells me that those who try to be first, will be last. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. My interpretation of that is if we want to win, we need to lose.

I'm not sure what the qualifications of an elder have to do with two believers holding a public debate. This verse doesn't even say that an elder should "debate."

In terms of "debating the truth", isn't Jesus the truth? Isn't the Holy Spirit referred to as the spirit of truth? If so, how can two believers "serve the interests of truth, by competing and arguing? Where in Scripture are we told that "debating" is the way to the truth? How did Jesus get to the truth? Didn't he speak the truth in love? Didn't He speak in parables so people could understand? Didn't He also give people the freedom to walk away after sharing the truth with them? (remember the rich young ruler?) Or did He hold a public debate and argue his point in order to prove them wrong? Isn't the truth supposed to set us free, not cause arguments?

With regard to the statement, "the truth can seldom be served without robust debate against false views", where is that in the Bible? If that strong statement were true, wouldn't it be in Scripture, rather than Scripture continually admonishing us not to debate?

In terms of "false views", who are we to decide that another believer has "false views?" Isn't that God's job as He knows the heart and we each have a personal relationship with our savior who speaks to each of us through the Scripture? I've been in a room with 10 other believers, studied one Scripture and had 10 different perspectives of what the Holy Spirit was saying through that Scripture. Does that mean that all 9 of the views different from mine are false? Even in a public classroom, there are many different perspectives when a secular book is read as to what it is saying.

When we add the Holy Spirit speaking to each of us in a personal way, as He knows our relationship history, wounds, and life experiences meets each of us where we are at. So, based upon that, should I decide that anyone who interprets Scripture differently than I do has false views and ask them for a public debate? How is that productive and edifying in any way? We are all wrong in some areas and that can be proven as we have changed in our views as we have grown. Did the power of the Holy Spirit open our spiritual eyes, or did someone pound us over the head with their opinion? Have you ever tried to argue with someone whom God had blinded their spiritual eyes? I have, and the Lord finally told me, " if this person were physically blind would you be arguing with them to get them to see what you see?" Of course I replied, "no" and He said, then why do you think your arguing is going to open their spiritual eyes? Jesus IS the truth and only He has the power and ability to remove blindness.

I would ask those who participate in debates if they ever practice this behavior in order to come around to the other person's perspective and have admitted publically doing so, therefore "losing" in order to win?

I believe that we are called to "fellowship", rather than debate, as we lovingly receive other viewpoints with an open heart to receive the truth as they see it. Then we can take it to the Lord and ask HIM to show us how the truth applies to our lives. In the past when I've had beliefs that I later grew to see were off track, I can see why the Lord allowed me at that time to be deceived. I simply wasn't ready for the truth and being loved in the midst of what I believed rather than someone trying to debate me away from that belief, proved to be hugely productive. We are called to plant seeds and walk away allowing someone else to come alongside and water them.

Jesus and Paul whom we are to imitate, reached the hearts of multitudes by speaking the truth in love and had no problem getting to the truth, without robustly debating with them. When a person is being used by the Lord to speak the truth, hearts are changed without argument, strife or competition. They'll know we are Christians by our love, not our skills in debating. How about leaving that to the politicians??? Jesus doesn't need our skills, we need His truth. We can actually hinder the work of the Holy Spirit when our human effort gets in the way.

Who knows what the Holy Spirit could have done for the church in the fourth century, if "formal debaters" would have stepped aside and let the Spirit of God move. "Not by might (skills), nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord."

User avatar
Michelle
Posts: 845
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by Michelle » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:28 pm

dorianleigh wrote:I still don't understand??? Where in Scripture does it speak of "opposing sides of believers?" In fact, I encountered another verse in II Corin. 12:20 which states: 20For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

This verse seems to be in alignment with Romans 1:29. Is there any Scripture which admonishes us to publically debate? Did Jesus or Paul hold public debates? Proverbs 25:9 tells us to debate with our neighbor in private.

I don't think I've ever read anything in Scripture which tells us to be "skilled debaters", but rather verses which tell us, "not by might, nor power but by MY Spirit, and God uses the foolish (unskilled) to confound the wise (skilled). My Bible also tells me that those who try to be first, will be last. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. My interpretation of that is if we want to win, we need to lose.

I'm not sure what the qualifications of an elder have to do with two believers holding a public debate. This verse doesn't even say that an elder should "debate."

In terms of "debating the truth", isn't Jesus the truth? Isn't the Holy Spirit referred to as the spirit of truth? If so, how can two believers "serve the interests of truth, by competing and arguing? Where in Scripture are we told that "debating" is the way to the truth? How did Jesus get to the truth? Didn't he speak the truth in love? Didn't He speak in parables so people could understand? Didn't He also give people the freedom to walk away after sharing the truth with them? (remember the rich young ruler?) Or did He hold a public debate and argue his point in order to prove them wrong? Isn't the truth supposed to set us free, not cause arguments?

With regard to the statement, "the truth can seldom be served without robust debate against false views", where is that in the Bible? If that strong statement were true, wouldn't it be in Scripture, rather than Scripture continually admonishing us not to debate?

In terms of "false views", who are we to decide that another believer has "false views?" Isn't that God's job as He knows the heart and we each have a personal relationship with our savior who speaks to each of us through the Scripture? I've been in a room with 10 other believers, studied one Scripture and had 10 different perspectives of what the Holy Spirit was saying through that Scripture. Does that mean that all 9 of the views different from mine are false? Even in a public classroom, there are many different perspectives when a secular book is read as to what it is saying.

When we add the Holy Spirit speaking to each of us in a personal way, as He knows our relationship history, wounds, and life experiences meets each of us where we are at. So, based upon that, should I decide that anyone who interprets Scripture differently than I do has false views and ask them for a public debate? How is that productive and edifying in any way? We are all wrong in some areas and that can be proven as we have changed in our views as we have grown. Did the power of the Holy Spirit open our spiritual eyes, or did someone pound us over the head with their opinion? Have you ever tried to argue with someone whom God had blinded their spiritual eyes? I have, and the Lord finally told me, " if this person were physically blind would you be arguing with them to get them to see what you see?" Of course I replied, "no" and He said, then why do you think your arguing is going to open their spiritual eyes? Jesus IS the truth and only He has the power and ability to remove blindness.

I would ask those who participate in debates if they ever practice this behavior in order to come around to the other person's perspective and have admitted publically doing so, therefore "losing" in order to win?

I believe that we are called to "fellowship", rather than debate, as we lovingly receive other viewpoints with an open heart to receive the truth as they see it. Then we can take it to the Lord and ask HIM to show us how the truth applies to our lives. In the past when I've had beliefs that I later grew to see were off track, I can see why the Lord allowed me at that time to be deceived. I simply wasn't ready for the truth and being loved in the midst of what I believed rather than someone trying to debate me away from that belief, proved to be hugely productive. We are called to plant seeds and walk away allowing someone else to come alongside and water them.

Jesus and Paul whom we are to imitate, reached the hearts of multitudes by speaking the truth in love and had no problem getting to the truth, without robustly debating with them. When a person is being used by the Lord to speak the truth, hearts are changed without argument, strife or competition. They'll know we are Christians by our love, not our skills in debating. How about leaving that to the politicians??? Jesus doesn't need our skills, we need His truth. We can actually hinder the work of the Holy Spirit when our human effort gets in the way.

Who knows what the Holy Spirit could have done for the church in the fourth century, if "formal debaters" would have stepped aside and let the Spirit of God move. "Not by might (skills), nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord."
Wow, so many words! Were you, I don't know...trying to convince us?

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3344
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: Gregg vs. Keller?

Post by steve » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:35 pm

Hi Dorian,

It seems you have a bit of a penchant for debate yourself. ;-)

It is not helpful to look up the word "debates'" in the KJV in order to find out anything about modern, formal debates. The Greek word (which the KJV translates as "debates") actually means "strife," "quarreling," or "contentions." This actually has nothing to do with what is called "a debate" today, where the whole event is comprised of timed presentations addressed to an audience, rather than directed toward the man on the other side of the question.

What is called a "debate" today is more like a cross-examination and discussion of opposing viewpoints. This has nothing to do with what Paul is calling "debates."

I suspect that you have never attended a Christian debate. If you had, you would know that it is little else than two Bible teachers teaching an audience what each of them believes the scriptures say and mean.

II Corin. 12:20 — "...lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults..."

The "debates" of which Paul speaks are clearly those that are of the same spirit as the other things in the list: "envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults." Obviously, anything that is an expression of such a nasty spirit as these things must be earthly, sensual and devilish (James 3:14-15).

I am surprised, that you are not aware of the scriptures that speak of the need to correct other believers, who promote misrepresentations of the truth. Such verses are numerous, and such behavior is modeled by Jesus and the apostles.

Almost every conversation between Jesus and "the Jews" in the Gospel of John is essentially a debate between them. Likewise, Stephen and Paul engaged in "disputes" with unbelievers (Acts 6:9-10 / 9:29). The New King James says that Paul repeatedly "reasoned" with unbelievers (e.g., Acts 17:2, 17; 18:4, 19; 24:25).

When it came to correcting wrong views or wrong behavior among professing Christians, Paul was a bit more severe. When Peter was "not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel," Paul "withstood him to his face" (Gal.2:14, 11). There were certain false teachers whom Paul "delivered to Satan that they might learn not to blaspheme" (1 Tim.1:20). Jesus, of course, did the same thing with the religious leaders in His own day (Matthew 23).

A Christian debate is actually a lot more cordial than what Jesus and Paul did. It is merely reasoning together from scripture, in order to clarify what the Bible does and what it does not teach. This happens informally on my radio program almost every day.

The existence of divers opinions among Christians is a consequence of allowing Christians to think for themselves about scripture, rather than requiring them to walk lock-step in agreement with some systemic religious authority. People reach differing conclusions (tentatively) which need to be compared and contrasted with the conclusions reached by others.

It is all well and good to talk about just letting the Spirit lead each person and never to bring correction, but the fact is that many people—possibly because they are not following the Spirit's leading—do disseminate harmful teachings and confuse the church. Bringing correction is an act of Christian love and service to the person who is in error.

And how do we know who is in error? Perhaps ours are the views that are wrong, and not the other man's. This is what the debate is there to sort out. At the beginning of a debate, neither side is declared to be true or false, but the debate takes place in order to distinguish which is true and which is false.

We can just have patience with everyone, and wait for each person to do the research and study everything out on their own, without giving them any assistance, but this is not allowing any function for the gift of teaching. Believe it or not, some people actually believe that they derive benefit from hearing the alternatives and being permitted to weigh the arguments in favor of the respective positions.

Whenever you teach someone something new, the new truth replaces an older idea which was not true. You are, therefore, confronting error every time you exhort, teach, instruct or rebuke.

This is not contrary to the unity of the body of Christ. It is the faithful carrying out of the mandate to equip the saints "for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ" (Eph.4:11-12).

"As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

(Proverbs 27:17)

Post Reply

Return to “New Forum”