I remember one time in 2001 my wife and I were driving from Dallas to Colorado Springs for the ETS conference. There was a sign that said “50 Miles to Colorado Springs.” She said that we were almost there. I said, “No, not really. The sign does not refer to the city limits, but to the central office within the city.” She responded with a surprise and smirk on her face, “No it doesn’t.” I don’t know why, it was just one of those days, but we argued for the next hour about this. The argument became so severe that we did not talk to each other for quite some time (seriously!). And you know what? I did not really know if I was right. But her reaction and distrust to my “knowledge” on this issue caused me to defend something that I was not even sure about. Her persistent argumentation gave me resolve to prove my case and somehow turned my uncertainty into absolute certainty. I was now committed to my position. I now had a certain emotionally based belief that I did not have before the argument took place.

Now, as childish and worthless as this argument was, every time we see one of those signs on the road, there is a distinct feeling that resurfaces of an old bitter debate. To this day, I don’t really know who was right or who was wrong. But I could very easily, based upon a commitment of my emotions and time given to this argument that day in 2001, pridefully continue in the same vein without either thinking about the non-importance of the issue or whether I am actually right.

Why do we do this? Because we feel obligated to defend our positions once taken. We don’t like to change. Not only this, but we think that we must always defend our position or we feel that our intelligence been conceded and our belief compromised. It is an issue of pride first, truth second.

Now let’s up the move to something more significant. My wife and I have also had arguments about more serious matters. We have argued about particulars on how to raise the children, finances, and issues with in-laws. We have even had some fairly severe theological disagreements. We could and – I am sad to say – do have ongoing disagreements that have not had a chance to rest, mentally and emotionally, from our pride. When these things surface, it is like an old wound that is opened and the injury that took place so long ago has not healed in the least. If this occurs, we are less prepared to confront the issues because we have not reflected upon it in a self-critical manner. In fact, we usually harden with regards to the issue.

Hardening is something that has serious consequences. This is true whether it be in marriage or theology. By hardening, we force ourselves and the opposing party to defend a position in a way that is imbalanced. Here is the key: The opposition’s view becomes defined by your polemic against them.  They find themselves representing an interpretation of their position that you have provided and into which you have forced them to harden. This is circular.

This is the problem that I have with some apologists (those who defend the faith). Don’t get me wrong, I believe very much in apologetics and also love many apologists. But very rarely do I find a reasonable apologist. Most are very hardened because they are committed first to defending their particular position, not so much to learning.

The problem is that, often, the better the apologist we are – the more we “win” a debate, the more we “fight” for the cause – the more we actually lose because we make the situation worse than before.

Does this mean apologists make things worse in Christianity? No, not necessarily. I am an apologist. This blog post is apologetic. Apologists are greatly needed in the Church. But we need to be wise apologists with great humility, giving time for rest and reflection. Does this mean that given time, rest, and reflection to issues that all issues will all be solved? Of course not, but at least we will have then acted with humility, gained a fresh perspective, have a better understanding about when compromise can occur, and, therefore, begin to only fight the battles that are truly worth fighting. We will be apologists with tact, humility, and wisdom.

What does this mean? It means that our first goal is to be intellectually honest. We have to represent the opposing side well. But this is not enough. We have to look out for them, knowing that argumentation and debate has the tendency to cause the other side to represent themselves in an imbalanced manner.

We also have to be willing to concede. We have to be willing to change our opinion. This is not easy as we may have to disavow a commitment to our previous blogs, papers, books, debates, and thoughts.

We also have to be willing to let the other side change without requiring them to admit their wrong. It means we don’t get to say “I told you so,” but we humbly accept their change without a conceded attitude of personal victory.

My advice to Christian Apologists is this: We need to be careful that we are not actually making the situation worse, hardening the opposition, causing them to define and defend a position that does not really represent who they are.

I learned this in my marriage and have a hard enough time applying it there.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    48 replies to "The Problem I Have with Apologists"

    • Rather insightful post, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:1-3:

      “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him”.

      Indeed our efforts to reach those in error ought to be seasoned with grace. Sometimes we often forget that our hearts are deceitful and that God looks at our motives. Are we trying to win a debate or are we contending for the faith to honor God.

      When our efforts are not Gospel centered they cause us to walk in the flesh and not continuously see things through the lens of Biblical Providence. God is the one that grants repentance unto men as he sees fit.

    • Carl Holmes

      I wonder if this is lessons learned in your posture towards The Emergent Church? Not trying to chase a rabbit, just wondering.

      I always remember 1 Cor 13, or should say that I try to, where Paul gives us all the lists of things he can, and we can and should do. But reminds us if we have not Love it is completely pointless. Apologetics and arguements without the motivation of love are meaningless, and mean and therefore counter productive.

    • ScottL

      It is saddening when we become captive to the insatiable desire to be right. Many times the Spirit prods and speaks, saying, ‘You don’t need to argue that.’ And I go right ahead and argue, causing greater division. The cross says I don’t have to argue with my opponents, whether within or outside the body. No doubt there is a time to stand up for the truth. But, letting our words be gracious and speaking the truth in love is far better than letting our words be arrogant and speaking the truth in division.

      Thanks CMP.

    • Eric H

      Wow! Thank you for the post and the conviction. Perfect example to use marriage, because this is where we practice “taking our stand” (pride).

    • Kara Kittle

      Respectfully as a woman and who has been married for almost 19 years, I can see from your wife’s perspective. She said almost there, in her worldview definition then miles did not matter to her, it was she understood the closeness was there.

      And she will have an emotinal tug with you in discussions. You are married. But I am not married to you and neither are any of us in this blog world. We aren’t calling on that emotional well with you and therefore our responses are natuarlly going to be formulated outside that. I can tell you that I do not go to bed at night wishing I could make people see things differently.

      Your wife Kristie sound like a very lovely person. You must feel blessed to have her as your wife. Perhaps if you didn’t have to debate with her so much you might not be feeling the way you are. After all she is not the debate or word punching bag. I am certain you don’t verbally abuse her, but you have confessed to treating her in ways you regret.

      Now I would never let my husband say things like that. Because I am his wife, not his child. Brother, my advice is this, don’t debate with your wife like Parchment and Pen. At the end of the day she’s cooking your dinner and we are not.

      my advice..love her more than your viewpoint.
      You are married and have to live together by vow…learn to come into agreement of respect and not by winner of debate.

    • C Michael Patton


      This was way back in 2001. Now we don’t debate, we just fight! 🙂

    • Cadis

      I think the 50 miles was to the city limit, because it is. It was 50 miles to the city limit! That city might be 1 mile across or 20 miles across depending on the city. They may have been 50 miles from there destination or possibly 70 miles and to further antagonize I can’t tell from Michael’s posting wich stance he was taking so he could not have been representing his thoughts to well but you know what it doesn’t matter because Kristie was correct!which is the same as being right! whether 50 miles or 70 miles ..they were almost there! He might not respond but I’ll bet he wants to 🙂

      I only argue like that when I’m 100 percent sure of what I’m saying or at least until I’m proven wrong and backed into a corner 🙂

    • The first step to health is admitting that you have a problem.

      This post gives me new hope that you might yet be able to see the Arminian light! 🙂

      To be quite serious though, I do see quite a lot of evidence that you are listening almost as much as you are speaking/writing.

    • Kalyn

      This was way back in 2001. Now we don’t debate, we just fight!

      HAHAHAHAH — thank you for the morning laugh!!! That really was funny!

      On a more serious note, that was a great message.

    • Aaron

      I know this is ridiculously nitpicking and missing the whole point of your post (I really like the analogy, by the way), but here goes. If the “50 Miles” sign means 50 miles to the city center (as you claimed), then the city limits are less than 50 miles away. You’ll reach the limits before you reach the center. So I’d have to say that your interpretation of the sign supports your wife’s claim that you were almost there, unless I’m misunderstanding. Disclaimer: I have no idea what distance the sign is actually measuring; I’m just going off your telling of the story.

    • Tim Stewart

      Great points, Michael.

      I can shed light on the posted mileage. The mileage to a city is relative to an arbitrary geographical location selected in the city, usually in the middle of the city. It doesn’t have to be any kind of special address or city property. It’s just a fixed, arbitrary location. You can’t start changing highway signs all over the state because some state office moves to the other side of town!

      For example, the reference point for Denver, Colorado, is the intersection of East Colfax and Broadway (http://bit.ly/UF9Eu).

      The mileage is deliberately not in relation to the city limits because annexation and other local activities regularly modify where the city limits are.

    • EricW

      Per the Iowa Dept. of Transportation (same answer is given for both interstate/freeway highways and non-freeway highways):

      FAQs – Distance Signs on interstate and freeway highways
      How is the mileage measured?

      The mileage shown on distance signs is the distance to a point near the center of the community. A public building such as a post office, city hall or courthouse is used as a point of reference for the center of the community. The mileage is rounded to the nearest mile.

      FAQs – Distance Signs on primary highways other than freeway
      How is the mileage measured?

      The mileage shown on distance signs is the distance to a point near the center of the community. A public building such as a post office, city hall or courthouse is used as a point of reference for the center of the community. The mileage is rounded to the nearest mile.


    • C Michael Patton

      Ha, I was right. Now I am going to go tell Kristie “I told you so!” 😉

    • EricW

      You’re right in Iowa. I don’t know if it’s also true elsewhere or nationwide, but I suspect it is. I.e., I assume The DOT (U.S. Government) mandates how distances on mileage signs are measured for the entire Interstate system, but I couldn’t find the answer to this question on the dot.gov Website, so I Googled a bit and came to the Iowa DOT Website and FAQs.

    • mbaker

      You can both be right, Michael. She in her ‘almost there’ mode, and you in your more precise measurement of ‘almost’.

      Win-win, that way. And that way it does make the point of the post!

    • Kara Kittle

      Since 2001? You have been harboring this since 2001? Let it go brother…just let it go and fly away like little bubbles on a summer day…

      LOL, since 2001…I can’t remember last week what my husband and I fought about. And we probably didn’t but we have been married much longer. Once you make it over 15 years somehow that changes things.

      No wonder you fight. In the big picture…are the fights really based on anything really important? If not, then why fight? Poor Kristie. Poor Michael.

      We are all pulling for you both.

    • C Michael Patton

      No, it was back in 2001. Not that we have been fighting about it since 2001!

      Man, talk about missing the point of the post! 🙂

    • Kara Kittle

      No you have been harboring it since 2001…that was what I meant…LOL

    • Kara Kittle

      It is just natural that your “debates” with Kristie are going to be different than when debating with us.

      I think there needs to be a separate viewpoint of how to debate with loved ones as opposed to strangers. It would be kind of hard to set debates up with her like you do us because we aren’t going to respond to the deep thought you bring to it as Kristie would already be aware of.

      I don’t debate theology with my husband, but I encourage him to learn how to make ideas and I respect his ideas.

      We only know you from blogs, we think we might now what makes you tick, but we only know from what you tell us. And there are parts that you cannot share with us. So we don’t really have insight into your mind. The comparison of Kristie debates and P&P discussions are going to be night and day.

    • C Michael Patton

      Is it just me or is the point of the post both being missed and illustrated right now?

    • Cadis

      No , we get the point. It’s just you said it so well there is not a whole lot to argue over 🙂

      but we’re survivalist we can scavage and live on very little

    • Lisa Robinson

      Michael, I think Scott and Carl got the point.

    • Kara Kittle

      We are probably missing it because even though I read it, I was just struck by the illustration and it seems to go deeper than what you present it as.

      and also

      And then you said you would give her the old “I told you so” about the mileage sign and then only men responded with factual evidence of the issue in question of the discussion.

      What I took away from the illustration (merely as a woman and a wife) it seemed to me you like to illustrate something about your wife to prove a point here in the blogs. But my response is that even though to you it is merely an illustration, you presented us with an intimate moment with your wife. I felt uncomfortable by it. And that was what I refer to. Should we involve those intimate moments in the arena of public debate forums? I think no. We cannot debate with strangers in the same way we do with family members. Our arguments are designed differently. Many preachers do this.

      That was what I am trying to say about the construction of the debate.

      The illustration as thoughtful as it is, it apparently stuck with you for so long you are inclined to still carry with you how right you were and were vilified by it.

      The debate becomes how to debate. An private discussion with our spouse does not make a good illustration because others are not privy to all the nuances of the conversation. Then you said now you just fight. Hopefully not often. And by doing so you tend to cement our views about you from your blog posts. When I first started reading them, this is the conclusions I have drawn:
      1:You are a manipulator
      2:You are egalitarian
      3:You are married to a princess who throws Cinderella tea parties.
      4:You are committed to theology
      5:You are unsure of your own self in the area of your hometown
      6:You are worried quite a bit
      7:Your family is dysfunctional.

      So all of these things you have told us outrightly. But you have a gently voice when teaching. You care for your wife and children. Those are important things to do. I know you tell us these things to let us know you aren’t Superman, but no one thought that way to begin with.

      You shouldn’t approach marriage as a debate forum such as what we might have in P&P.

      On the other hand,
      1:Do we win debate by “rope a dope”?
      2:Do we win debate by “divide and conquer”?
      3:Do we win debate by “anaconda plan”?

      We must be humble at all times with all people but we should never approach all discussions in life as a debate. We can concede only if we are wrong and it is not worth it to keep debating.

      EricW says marriage was the perfect example and used the link from the Department of Transportation. That is why men and women are different. As a woman, I was a bit embarrassed for Kristie.

    • mbaker

      Ah, Michael, the age old problem of selective hearing, and selective arguing I fear defines us all at times, no matter what profession we are in. My old profession of journalism suffers from exactly the same ills.

      I often wondered something: Who really ‘wins’ an argument? And if indeed that is our aim, then we do need to step back and reflect on why we are so stubbornly clinging to the I’m right , you’re wrong point of view. The idea should be, at least in my mind, to present a truth in a manner which informs all, without abandoning essential truths.

      I find I learn the most from both the original posts and the various counterpoints presented when they are thoughtfully presented in such a way as to educate as well. Sometimes I do change my perspective on a certain thing, when I hear all the details about something I don’t know much about, and sometimes it serves to reinforce my beliefs.

      Either way, I find good, balanced discussions valuable. Thanks for the reminder to be more self-critical when we post.

    • Kara Kittle

      Arguments usually arise from frustration.

    • Kara Kittle

      isn’t there an old saying “choose your battles”? LOL. See, make the perfect choice of words…discussions. That is what is important.

      Come, let’s reason together.
      How can any two walk together except they be in agreement.?

    • Jason C

      The first thing a man needs to learn in marriage is to apologise… especially when he’s right.

    • Cadis

      I have never been a big fan of structured public debates, they are okay, but as you say a lot of times it is the one who can articulate better or well rested or better prepared for that specific debate. That is the one who dominates and not necessarily the truth. What I prefer is to see a couple well informed lay people just in a regular back and forth discussion.
      Personally I struggle with this in several areas . I have about 4 hot button topics that it matters little who I’m in a discussion or how amicable the discussion , If it goes on long enough without agreeing I start to become inflamed. There are typically topics that on the surface do not seem to effect who God is but taken to their logical end (from my perspective) attack God’s or Christ’s character. I feel exactly as if someone were saying something untrue about my husband or a family member. Allot of times with me it is not about winning (rarely can you sway someone) it is about retaliation” here have a little of this ,right back at you” So it can be hard to cool the passions attached to some of these subjects. But if it’s an indicator I’m rarely upset by a non-Christian .

    • Ben

      Great post. It is very difficult sometimes to recognize one’s own subjective impact on a conversation. It is also surprisingly difficult to take a step back and force yourself to ask a question to learn something new even if it doesn’t necessarily contribute to winning an argument.

      It’s nice to see people on all sides of the fence struggling to be better participants in apologetic debates. Keep it up.


    • C Michael Patton

      Kara, one thing you have to recognize that as a teacher, I am much more inclined to reflect on personal matters as possibile illustrations. Therefore, I would not assume too much emtional baggage about what I said here. All it is was an illustration showing how little things can become big things so quickly.

      Obviously, having reflected as I did about this, I realize the childish nature of the argument. That is why I used it.

      But, please understand, I don’t want this in any way to turn into an evaluation of Kristie and I’s relationship. Certianly there is a time for this, but not here.

      Hope you understand where I am coming from.

    • Humanitas remedium

      Thank you for this post. I will take it to the Lord. Really convited.

    • Vance

      Michael, this fits right in line with my approach, as you know. I think that MOST areas of theological debate are areas that should be held with a light conviction and without an emotional investment. Outside of the basic essentials (and for me these are few), the areas of debate don’t meet a basic equation for emotion:

      You must factor the likelihood you are correct and the importance of the issue to determine whether this is a battle worth fighting or, if it is fought, the dogmatism with which you hold your position.

      I find that almost all areas outside the essentials are simply too uncertain AND too unimportant to make it worth strong insistence.

      Some areas that ARE important, such as the fate of those who never hear the Gospel, we can not be sufficiently certain about to take a firm stand.

      Other areas I am extremely certain about, such as God using evolution as part of His creative process, but know that this issue is simply unimportant to Christian belief.

      So, all such areas, including Calvinism/Arminianism, Preterism, End Times, dispensationalism, the degree of factual errancy of Scripture, etc, just don’t meet my equation for emotional investment or dogmatic insistence.

    • Kara Kittle

      I do understand. I hope you understand it makes me uncomfortable when preachers or teachers do that.

    • Kalyn

      WOW. I guess, based on all these comments, I may have misunderstood. Personally, I did not take the blog entry the way other’s have and so I offer my apologies for my earlier comment. I took it as a light hearted joke and as for the blog entry, I did not zone in on the use of a personal experience but zoned in on the message of being right at all costs. That’s something that I’ve had to work on and really liked the message.

      I know on my own blog, I use personal experiences to make a point so I did not zone in on the personal experience but the message as a whole.

      If my earlier comment was inappropriate, I am sorry but I must have misunderstood. Sorry!

    • […] apologetics need an apology? C. Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen had a good blog post yesterday about apologetics. Actually, it was more about apologists for Christianity, rather than […]

    • C Michael Patton


      You did get it right! My illustration was only that, to illustrate something else!

    • Frank Turk

      Michael —

      Interesting post. I disagree, but I don’t wanna fight about it.

    • Susan

      “We have to represent the opposing side well. But this is not enough. We have to look out for them, knowing that argumentation and debate has the tendency to cause the other side to represent themselves in an imbalanced manner.”


      Kara, I must admit that as I read this post I thought of you immediately (before I read the comments). You tend to be guilty of grossly misrepresenting “Calvinists”, to the extent that myself and others are burdened with the necessity of correcting your harsh, uncharitable misrepresentations in a way which produces the very imbalanced discussions of which Michael has written. You have done a good job of illustrating this here as well. If you wish to chastise Michael, could you not do so privately…. via his posted email address?….. instead of openly (before all who are learning from him), in such a way as to obscure the entire point of this post?

      Frankly, I think that it is the rare Christian leader who is so willing to “tell” on himself. It demonstrates humility. After all, we are instructed by God to confess our sins to one another. We can learn from the confessions of others.

      For what it’s worth, this reminded me of a similar stupid travel-argument I once had with my husband while descending from the mountains. It was a clear day, and I commented that you could even see the ocean in the distance. My husband was sure that that was impossible. I reasoned that you can see the mountains from the ocean… so why not the reverse? It turned into a heated argument (about 2001). I think that Michael’s illustration is one which MOST of us can relate too. Feel free to add this confession of mine to your list of what kind of person I am!

    • Kara Kittle

      It’s not worth it.

    • Susan

      Kara, I find it interesting that you post this brief comment as if you don’t find my comments to you worth addressing, and yet somehow you have managed to send a more lengthy response which appears in my email inbox, but doesn’t post here. I’m not sure how you pulled that off….but I will respond to what I personally received from you:

      * I am not angry with you.
      * I am not bothered by Arminians
      * I feel no need to convert Arminians to a Calvinist position (quite frankly, I don’t care)
      * It doesn’t bother me when others state their disagreement with Calvinist positions.
      * I have never said anything negative about Arminians. Not about their beliefs. Not about their behavior. Not about their treatment of others.
      * You, on the other hand, have said quite a lot of negative and even mean, and untrue things about those who hold to a Calvinistic perspective. It is as if you have a huge chip on your shoulder toward those who are Calvinistic in their beliefs. It’s clearly a prejudice you have.
      * I’ve been a participant at this blog site for a year and a half, and you are the only person who has ever made such strongly negative, and sweeping comments about Calvinists (brothers and sisters in Christ)….on a previous thread.
      * You have a tendency to consistently misrepresent me, and others, with your comments. In other words, you paint me to be someone I am not, and I’ve noticed that you sometimes do this with others as well.
      * This puts me and others in the position of having to correct your misrepresentations of us…. as Michael has had to do somewhat on this thread.
      * You accuse some of “false niceness”. That strikes me as judgmental.

      I think that it is a good idea to “give people the benefit of the doubt”, as my pastor has said. You often do the opposite, thus putting people in the position of defending themselves to your mischaracterizations.

    • Kara Kittle

      I did not send it to your email inbox, I don’t how that happened. I don’t have anyone’s email address.

      Yes, you did start it in the first set of posts when I first identified myself as Pentecostal. I will say that happened in the very first blog I was on. You and some others here do not like to be contradicted in any way. When I hear things like “When I was a Pentecostal” Or “The Pentecostal church I was in” or “Pentecostals are all…”, do you see that by agreeing with them and making comments like that you have indeed done that. Please don’t pretend you haven’t. And when I say “No, we are not all like that” why could you not for once just say anything positive? You never did.

      So when I defended my position I was coined a hateful liar. I stated very clearly that some people who ascribe to certain doctrines treat other people that way. And instead of saying it is possible you took it personal, so that means either you are like that or you are ok with people doing it…except Pentecostals doing it.

      Did I mischaracterize you personally? I don’t think so. But I disagree with your doctrine and you will have to get used to it. There are many more like me who are tired of church bashing.

      It probably went into your email because you clicked the tick of notify me of follow up comments. I thought about how I wanted to respond and I did. But being over the 3000 word limit it disappeared. And yes, there is false niceness on these blog posts and there is bigotry in certain churches.

    • Kara Kittle

      And for your return response my email was given before and I will give it again

      [email protected]

    • Susan

      Kara, You have said:

      “Yes, you did start it in the first set of posts when I first identified myself as Pentecostal. I will say that happened in the very first blog I was on. You and some others here do not like to be contradicted in any way. When I hear things like “When I was a Pentecostal” Or “The Pentecostal church I was in” or “Pentecostals are all…”, do you see that by agreeing with them and making comments like that you have indeed done that. Please don’t pretend you haven’t. And when I say “No, we are not all like that” why could you not for once just say anything positive? You never did.

      So when I defended my position I was coined a hateful liar.”

      I think that you are confusing me with someone else. I have never been a Pentecostal, so I wouldn’t make such statements. As far as I know, I haven’t ever known a Pentecostal, nor have I had ANY negative thoughts about Pentecostals. In fact, my pastor said recently that the great movement of the Gospel in some parts of Africa currently, is through the Pentecostal church, which is something I consider very positive.

      I have NEVER made a single negative statement about Pentecostals. So, when you put the above statements in quotes, suggesting that I said something like that, you are indeed mischaracterizing me!

      So, for you to then add, “Please don’t pretend you haven’t” made such statements……doesn’t make your accusations toward me any more true. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and read former threads and try to find any instance where I ever made such a statement. I never did!

      I said plenty of positive things. I don’t view Arminians as lesser servants of God’s kingdom. I view them as equals.

      I NEVER called you or anyone else here “a hateful liar”….. I have never suggested anything even remotely close to that about you.

      Again, you put me in the position of having to correct all sorts of false statements you have just made about what I have said!

    • Kara Kittle

      If I have confused you for someone else I do apologize for that. I went back to the thread where we were first introduced

      All Mormons, Arminians and Roman Catholics are liars.

      We never resolved the issue from that. But it seems to me you can’t let anything go. The first post you responded toward me was Steve Martin’s post…do I need to show the post because it is in the archives.

      You kept saying and wanting me to affirm that widespread bigotry does not occur in the Calvinist churches to which I said it happens in all churches and you seemed upset that I would even hint that it does. It does. You seemed insistent on saying you love Arminians and Pentecostals to which I will respond…apparently if you love us you would be quicker to defend us on a blog post calling us liars. But you didn’t. Instead you kept prodding me and calling me a sinner by saying we all are. You are disgruntled on the fact I disagree. This is a throwback to that post thread.

      Now we have a choice, either quit responding to each other and ignore the other or I don’t have to come back here. You don’t defend Christianity, you defend Calvinism. So adieu, we don’t have to fight any more.

    • Susan

      Kara, it is not my intention to defend Cavinism. I had merely responded to very negative generalizations you had made about all Calvinists. You made statements to the effect that Calvinists think that only Calvinists are going to heaven and everyone else is going to Hell. That’s just plain wrong. When you make inflamitory statements like that you are misrepresenting the “opposing view”, and you are doing exactly what Michael warns about in THIS post. I would never have defended the Calvinist position if you had not made such venomous statements (and there were more). This again is exactly why a discussion can become grossly imbalanced, as Michael has stated. I don’t have any interest in trying to sway Arminianists, but if someone makes such careless and provoking statements I might wish to correct them.

      I don’t consider this a fight Kara, but sometimes it is necessary to correct when an attack is made. I appreciate that you read through the former thread and appologized for mixing me up with another commentor. Thank-you. As far as “widespread bigotry in Calvinist churches” goes, all I can say is that I have not been exposed to this, but I’m sure bigotry exists on both sides of the fence. Some people get wrapped around the axil about almost anything.

      I never said I love Arminians and Pentecostals. I said that I don’t know any Pentecostals, but I’m sure I know some Arminians (probably some at my church), and I don’t think of them any differently than anyone else. We don’t discuss these differences at our church.

      Furthermore…..and this is important!: Michael was not calling Arminians liars! He used that provoking title to grab attention, as he often does with his titles, but his point was that we should not call people liars because they don’t agree with our position. I happen to know that Michael has good friends…..very respected friends, who are Arminian. He would never call them liars!

      Hopefully, Kara, this will serve to clarify some misunderstandings you have with me. I REALLY DON’T have anything against Arminians, so don’t lump me with others you have run across who do.
      Have a good day!

    • mbaker

      Really good article in the same vein as CMP’s post here:


    • Oun

      As to the first part,

      (your) wife is always right – the Bible says so ;-<
      My wife is always right, not because she is right, but because I am always on her left. (BTW, From which side was a rib taken from Adam?)

      As for the fact of mile-post, the reading is from the milestone to the milestone. That 50 miles is the distance to the the milestone. Where it should be the milestone reading 0? Theoretically it is where it should be – somewhere in the center of a place. It’s where historically 'that' milestone is placed and it becomes a place of cartographic reference.

    • […] recently stumbled upon a great post by Michael Patton that just about perfectly expresses how I’ve felt about Christian […]

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