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At a memorial service after party Sunday, the host and good friend asked me with a grin on his face, if with my blogs I ever searched the web seeking to start Theology and Philosophy confrontations. I stated that I did not not.
Here are the main reasons for my approach:
Biblically as I have noted many times on my blogs there are commandments in regard to love. Jesus Christ in John 13 and John 15 commanded his followers to love each other. Therefore, I should not as a Reformed Theologian, Philosopher and Blogger in any way be involved in an attack blog against other Christians as followers of Christ.
My level of education with four degrees that were highly academic has placed me in a position to write very academic blogs. The first two Christian degrees somewhat more so academic by my own determination to accomplish more difficult academic work, as opposed to less academic work, the last two degrees more so by their own design being United Kingdom/European theses only degrees. On the one hand, today I still have much to learn in Theology, Philosophy of Religion, Biblical Studies, in Academia and in life in general and therefore being finite and sinful it is in reality quite easy to be humble. On the other hand, having done two United Kingdom/European theses, one of 40, 000 words the other of 150, 000 words on the problem of evil and Theodicy, free will and determinism and related, including embedding my own successful, by reviewers admission, Reformed Theodicy, the level of academic difficulty was academically high enough that I could certainly be a very effective Reformed attack Blogger. But this would simply be immoral, unethical and sinful at many points I am certain.
There is also of course the Biblical mandate as noted many times on my blogs to love one's neighbour, meaning others as much as self, as in Matthew 22, and Mark 12, and reasonably as a theologian and philosopher Biblically I cannot see this being accomplished by attacking persons, Christian or non-Christian via my blogging efforts.
Romans 13: 8 notes that he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.
This same friend basically stated that I am debating theology everyday, which is in a sense true, at least I am debating it in my head everyday by doing the work, and interacting with blog comments daily and certainly interacting with persons weekly. Avoiding an attack blog concept in no way means that I am avoiding the Biblical command to accurately handle the word of God as in 2 Timothy 2:15 and being able to give a defence for the hope that is in us as 1 Peter 3: 15 states. I am open to the concept of within reason debating and more likely discussing issues. Debating is fine and can be very good in its place, but I seek this in a spirit of love and truth not in a spirit of attack that would be sinful or in animosity.
I was called a 'bulldog' by a BA academic review board member at Columbia Bible College for my debating.
My PhD Viva at Wales, Trinity Saint David went very well because of my debating and knowledge, I was informed by the reviewers.
As I was noting to my friend the host and to a another friend at the party that is Eastern Orthodox, although I am definitively Reformed, I could write posts about each definitive Christian group I have learned about with criticisms. The more I learn about Christian Theology and Philosophy of Religion, the more critiques could be written about each group, so there is room for disagreement, definitely, but also humility as in no group in this realm has 'all their ducks in a row'. And yes, non-Christian world-views can be criticized as well. Although I favour Reformed views on most issues, usually falling within the Presbyterian and Baptist camps, I do not see good Biblical, Theological and Philosophical reasons to violently attack other Christian groups that I think are less correct. Attacking non-believers would also be wrong as it would be unloving and a poor Christian witness.
Of course I can certainly theologically and philosophically disagree with non-Christian worldviews, which I do.
There are from my perspective, also personal reasons to not write an attack blog, or to participate on the blogs of others in an attacking manner.
I am looking for employment. Not only in the areas of my degrees but perhaps in other areas of work, and I do not want to portray myself online in an unnecessary negative light.
Building blog readership, followers and links may in some cases be accomplished through greater negativity and publicity, but if that is what it would take, I would not be interested.
I have generally made three steps forward and two steps back with my blogs. A slow progression, 2013 being my best year so far, although Stats Counter is now only counting I estimate 20-40% of my pageviews.
Blogger is tracking them.
To be honest, 'being wrong' online in a debate would not be the largest concern, not because I think I know everything, hardly. But with my level of education, I know where to look to find information that I do not know and have learned how to use books very well. My actual approach in life is to switch to student mode when I know less than someone else on a topic/subject.
I am single, I would like to portray myself, in the truthful way, as a professional Theologian and Philosopher of Religion of the Reformed tradition, as a person that understands the love aspect of the Gospel as well as other theological components such as justice and truth.
James Montgomery Boice states that in I John the Church is commanded to love one another five times. This is also taught in 1 Thessalonians 4: 9. Boice (1986: 645). It is a love of not only profession but also 'deeds and action'. Boice (1986: 645).
BOICE, JAMES, MONTGOMERY (1986) Foundations of the Christian Faith, Downers Grove, IVP Press.