Here’s some Friday observations for February 28, 2014:
- As a public service, I would like to offer some unsolicited advice to my fellow Christians on the subject of social media debating. Dogma doesn’t win arguments. Dogma doesn’t persuade. A debate tactic that begins and ends with “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” will not convince anyone of anything accept that you are a terrible debater. What does persuade? Intelligence, humor, sound reasoning, soft words, love and gracefulness. I would also throw in an assumption of good faith to the guy or girl on the other side of the issue. However, even when you employ all of these tools, your chances of “winning” a religious debate on Facebook are slim and none. Keep this is mind as you make your case. First, do no harm to the Gospel by tarnishing it with hatefulness. Second, admit it when you just don’t know or when your opponent makes a good point. Finally, remember this about the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, Ted Williams. Williams used to tell young hitters to stop grinding the bat handle into dust. “Instead, hold the bat in your hands as if it were a fragile bird.” In other words…lighten up.
- Speaking of baseball, spring training has begun. The crack of the bats has always been the first sign that February was about to finally be over with. This year, word comes to me through the ingenious power of the internet that the last time that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series; the Ottoman Empire was still intact.
- I was reading through Macbeth last night for the 100th time and ran across a fantastic turn of phrase. When Malcolm is describing the execution of the traitorous Thane of Cawdor, he tells of his confession to treason and his deep repentance, then says this…Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it. Brilliant!
- Jonah Goldberg makes this observation about homosexuality, “In what amounts to a blinking of the eye in the history of Western Civilization, homosexuality has gone from a diagnosed mental disorder to something to be celebrated…or else.” It’s true. In my lifetime there was a time when I could go, oh I don’t know… ten years at a time without ever hearing about homosexuality. Now, it seems I can’t go ten minutes without hearing or reading about gays or lesbians. With all due respect to Oscar Wilde, homosexuality has morphed from “the love that dare not speak it’s name,” into the love that won’t shut up! Not that there’s anything wrong with that…