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Friday, February 09, 2007

Why do you believe...?

“it just gets old some-times to always have to posit controversial topics in order to have any fruitful discussion”
Bobby Grow
We know it’s true. If you want more interaction or traffic to your site then post on a controversial issue. What’s going on here? Are we just looking for a fight or is there something more that provokes us to enter the fray?

Why do you believe we prefer to discuss controversial issues?

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28 Comments:

Blogger sofyst said...

Its within the very nature of 'discussion', I believe.

Let us say that both Kc and I preferred the color green. What then would our discussion be like?

'I like green', I say.
'Oh, I really do agree greatly, I love green', responds Kc.
'Green is the best color ever!'
'You are quite right again, Adam, quite right'.

(We are speaking with British accents but of course.)

Where is the fun in that conversation?!

However, if I prefer green and Kc another color, then our conversation will be filled with giving of the pros and cons of our different preferred colors.

2/09/2007 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Milly said...

I think that it’s just that we get more fired up and at times we also don’t know when to shut up. When I posted on feminism I was surprised at the amount of positive responses only one tossed in very different views. I do have to admit it made for a better and deeper discussion.

2/09/2007 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

You don't know what you're talking about. We definitely don't prefer controversy. Anyone who thinks that is going to HELL!!!!

; p

2/09/2007 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous rrbj said...

I think that its brings out the true spirit of the inner being of a mans soul? You know his {love for God and his commandments !!!}and the second commandment to love and respect thy neighbor as thy self ? Wishing Ya'll have a nice day ! RON.

2/09/2007 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

I'm going to agree with Adam here - we like controversy because without it dialogue would be pointless and very boring. If we agree on something, then why are we bringing it up? Unless we are specifically trying to reaffirm a particular doctrine as sound or wise.

I guess I wouldn't say we are attracted to controversy, rather controversy is the natural focal point of discussion. We all participate in order to learn something (one can only hope) thus striking one another metaphorically, as "iron sharpens iron", seems perfectly natural and reasonable to me.

2/09/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." I Corinthians 1:10

I often read this thinking I needed to silently work to agree. But how will we know one another's mind and thoughts without openness in discussion?

Discussing controversial issues and getting into more heated discussions with others helps draw out our passions and reveal what we are made of. This only works if the discussion is genuine though. Some debate for fun, but I don't think most people are like that. (I may be naive here and I could be wrong!)

Oh, and I like to talk.

2/09/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

Personally, I never argue. I am always agreeable.

I am a unifier, not a divider. 8-)

2/09/2007 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Just the other day, my 8 year-old, who is proving to be a voracious reader, observed that, in every story she reads, some sort of problem inevitably arises. This teachable moment gave way to a lesson about conflict being the indispensable element of drama.

We seem to be built to fix things, to solve problems, to resolve. And it's the process we crave, not just the resolution. For.where there is no conflict (If blogs are any indicator), we will create some. As any cat with a mouse will tell you, the having isn't nearly as much fun as the getting.

2/09/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

I'll tell you this much though,

I have an FG friend who comes over once in a while adn we love talking about FG theology. We discourse on it for hours.

I think, though, either you have to be very close to someone in theology, or opposites to get the discussions going.

Now, blogging and talking are two different things.

Controversies may bring out the best and worst of us.

But they do get the ball rolling...

Antonio

2/09/2007 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous bobby grow said...

Thanks for quoting me Kc.

Let me provide more context for the quote, and what I meant.

I find it interesting, in a generalized way, that in the blogosphere, if I post on an exegetical topic (i.e. biblical theological topic--other than the soteriological discussion--typically shaped by dogmatic theological categories and reflection) that ensuing comments are less than and less substantive than the kind of comments I receive when I post on Calvinism or Free-Grace theology, for example.

That's all I was referring to when I stated what Kc quoted me on. Controversy indeed is the arena in which Christian thought flourishes, and takes shape--I just wish other motifs (other than Calvinism/Arm. debate) promoted the kind of interaction that the "soteriological" discussion fosters, that's all.

2/09/2007 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

93.736% of the time (by my actual count) people enter into discussions to call attention to themselves and to prove how right they are about the subject at hand.

All of us have opinions we think are correct.

Don't believe it?

Make me a list of the opinions you hold that you believe are wrong, but you believe them anyway.

2/09/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Some people are intentionally controversial because they want to generate traffic on their blog either because they covet the attention their blog gets (and I suspect that they themselves vicariously get), or because they have learned to hate an idea or theology, or any number of ideas or theologies, and the only way they will interact with their pet anathema is by publically abusing it and anyone who believes it.

I suspect that these same wrongly imagine they are doing truth a service - for even if the object of their derision is worthy of the open scorn they pour upon it, yet doing so in a controversial way is nothing more than the sort of bullying antagonism one expects from an immature mind - and as such paints their opinions as poorly thought out, and paints them as foolish on that account.

Yet there are others who are passionate about some heresy or other and having become convinced of their error, they reject correction and in doing so generate a cloud of physicians around the dying body of their theology. From the patient's perspective they are being attacked, but from the physician's perspective they are ministering to a madman. Such discussions have an air of controversy and no doubt generate traffic.

Notwithstanding, there is a time and place for all things under heaven - even controversy.

Doing "all things well" becomes tiring only when we try to do so in our own strength - and doing well includes laying out clear posits beforehand in order to circumnavigate controversy.

Personally, when I find myself annoyed with someone's opinion and encumbered beneath the weight of the enormous effort that would be required to correct them of their error - it reveals to me that I am no longer worshipping God in what I am doing anymore, now I am just trying to shout my own opinion out above the din.

That is, when I see that I am no longer working a good work for our Lord, but working to draw attention to myself by way of my opinion - then I know I have transgressed and in sincerity, I do my utmost to correct that.

I think if there were more spirit filled believers, there would be less name calling, baiting, and teasing - but I don't think there would be any lack of controversy, ;-)

2/10/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I think there is always a motive behind each persons engagement in controversial topics.

The most controversial person in the history of this world is our Lord Jesus. He still is. Go figure, His motives are the purest love there is.

Hopefully those us who discuss controversial issues will end up within these discussions with motives guided by His Spirit.

But Mr. Marshall.......he is just plain onery. :)

2/10/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Hey, gimme a break. It's not easy starting your own religion.

2/10/2007 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger jel said...

just wanted to ask the new Grandpaw, how his was doing?

2/10/2007 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brethren all, thanks for the thoughtful responses. I would have joined sooner but (thanks Janice he’s great and so thankful!) I’ve been busy in my new role as “Opa” (Dutch for Grandpaw)! ;-)

Adam, that’s hilarious but point taken. ;-)

Milly, welcome! I tend to agree that with subjects that we’re passionate about we feel the need to either support or defend our concerns. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll look up that post on Feminism right now! ;-)

Dorsey, the absence of any coherent thought on this blog is not representative of the policies of this blog or the opinion of its administrators. :-P

You’ve hit on something in your last comment that I see somehow blending with Ron and Missy’s thoughts on character. It’s true that there are those we can always look to for our “daily fix” of controversial subject matter.

As the founder of Dorseism you should not expect any latitude at all, that is unless one of the points of Dorseism calls for it of course. ;-)

Ron, great points! I pray all is well with you and yours and I hope your weekend is great too! ;-)

Brandon, don’t be away so long! I worry whenever you’re not around. :-(
I think our desire to converse on a subject varies with our opinion of the person or persons spouting the “heresy” in question and our opinion of ourselves. It seems we must think both they and us equal to the task with righteousness in our favor. I think the desire for iron sharpening is a reflection of your character (and a good one at that). ;-)

Gordon, I’ve been meaning to address that issue with you! You say you discuss theology but where’s the gore? Where’s the name-calling and the blood-letting? How can you claim that those civil discourses are discussions on theology????!!! ;-)

Missy, I do know SOME people who find debate amusing and though I won’t mention any names I will tell you the initials, Nathaniel Adam King! (hehe)

I agree with you in attitude and spirit and I look for agreement as well still there’s something that seems to draw us into discussion over these things and I’m thinking that if you and Ron are right, as I suspect you are, concerning how our character is revealed in them then that something will likely vary between persons of varying character. BTW, I like for you to talk. ;-)

Antonio, this interaction with your friend points out yet another aspect of this topic. Here again it seems we crave the controversial subject but rather than being confrontational in our discourse we’re more open to suggestion and tend to assume a much more supportive role. At first blush I would say that the “best and the worst” is another reflection of our character but upon reflection (grin) I think this is also a refection of the value we place on the subject matter. If we believe the ideology being espoused is threatening or critical we may feel the need to voice our concern in the worst way and often do. ;-)

Bobby, thanks for being so quotable. ;-)

I apologize for the lack of context but I had intended the article you wrote to provide the context however my link style collided with my quote style in such a way that the link to the article went unnoticed. I have corrected that.

I honestly think that soteriology is the point where the two philosophies that frame the Arminian and Calvinist belief systems collide and that the controversy is over philosophy and not soteriology. This means we’re not simply arguing a point of theology but whole philosophies. I also think the proximity that Antonio mentioned plays a key role in keeping that debate going strong.

It may be we could approach other topics by way of their direct implication on the life of a believer and foster more discussion and consideration from that.

Joe, I know what you say is right. I know all you say is right. I know that because you said so! ;-) It’s always a blessing to read your thoughts whether here or at any place.

I do think being right or doing right is at the heart of our motivation but I think our attitude toward righteousness determines our approach. If we seek righteousness we tend to be humble but if we are righteous, well…

Daniel, it’s an honor to have your wisdom on this. It seems you’ve pretty much nailed the attitude and approach that most people have toward conflict. I think it might be wise to remain aware of signs of fatigue, frustration or despair and use them as a signal to ourselves that perhaps we’ve stepped out of line in our zeal.

I won’t say I’m against name-calling. I just wish we could use names like brother, sister, dear friend and beloved instead of heretic, fool, lunatic and idiot. ;-)

Kris, your hope is often reflected in your gentle loving approach. ;-)

Janice, we’re doing great and thanks so much for all your prayers and kindness. ;-)



To all,

Could it be that our desire to interact over controversy is spawned by a challenge to our value and beliefs concerning our relationship to God and others and that our approach is consequential to the same?

For example, if I am persuaded that I must earn God’s approval through righteous living or clear understanding and am confronted with the understanding that God considers my righteousness as filth and my understanding as foolishness then I can be considered neither a Christian nor a brother by virtue of my righteous living or certain knowledge. If in my heart I believe I am both, then the dissenter can only be a heretic and must be rebuked!

If on the other hand I believe I am counted righteous only in Christ, and that by virtue of my faith His person, then I can accept the dissenter as an erring brother whom I must love most of all men and respond accordingly.

2/11/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger rindy said...

I think some use controversial statements to draw attention but I hope that is not the thoughts of most. I don't like controversy, however, if someone evokes a passionate counter-response, then it becomes a controversy. I like to be challenged to grow..stagnation does not help us to move forward. great post!

2/12/2007 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Would you rather discuss whether or not to remove shoes at the door?

2/13/2007 12:59:00 AM  
Anonymous sofyst said...

Kc said:

Missy, I do know SOME people who find debate amusing and though I won’t mention any names I will tell you the initials, Nathaniel Adam King! (hehe)

Not just amusing, but enthralling, exhilerating, enticing, breath-taking and exciting. It is my life-blood. It is what drives me. True peace and friendship can only be had when conflict is present. Why on earth would anyone read a story or watch a movie wherein no conflict is present? Even within small children's movies and television shows, some element of conflict is there. Even if the conflict is as mundane as not being able to find a lost shoe.

I think we could point back to the story written by God, the greatest story of all time.

If one was of the opinion, the correct opinion, as I am, that God wrote the story in its entirety, and was not planning on having some other story transpire and whose plan was dreadfully foiled by a lesser, more unworthy story taking place, one would see that God wrote the best story ever whose very central theme is the greatest conflict of all time - that being separation from God.

If one is of the incorrect opinion however that God wanted a story without any conflict whatsoever, and whose great plan was disappointed by finite and puny humans, one could steal divine from this truth that conflict did arise and therefore conflict is central to the very character of human beings.

2/13/2007 02:43:00 AM  
Anonymous rrbj said...

I think we should get things straight on who has the purtiest GRAND CHILDREN ? KC I will agree that is a precious little bundle of joy but my grandkids is purtier? I viewed the pictures over on Oma's post ? { Corry's site } I am just sad cause we don't live close enough for me to help the proud grandparents spoil Him ? Blessings . Ron.

2/13/2007 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Rindy, welcome! I will admit that I sometimes highlight a controversy simply to draw attention to a specific point but I’ve never felt condemned in doing so. I do think some tend to use it to draw attention to them selves and I pray I could avoid that temptation. I like your thoughts on stagnation and I think we must guard against becoming dogmatic or that is exactly what will occur regardless of the level of conflict.

Matthew, I’ve witnessed the great and terrible division wrought in debate over that great controversy. I have even added discussion on that topic to the great list of taboos, along with s_x (family blog you know), politics and religion! ;-)

Adam, it seems you would agree that controversy is relational and, though this might shock you, we agree that it is within God’s will. I only find His will permissive and not determinate. I find we are called to peace though I do intend to continue to enthrall, exhilerate, entice, and otherwise take your breath! ;-)

Ron, thanks so much for the kind words brother and I would never try to force you to see things any differently. Brother I do wish we could holler at each other right out the back door and you’d be just like you are now, always welcome around here! ;-)

2/13/2007 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

I don't believe we prefer to discuss controversial issues, we prefer to have agreement and encouarge one another don't we?

2/13/2007 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger audrey` said...

Hi Opa KC =)

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

2/14/2007 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Why do you believe we prefer to discuss controversial issues?

Well, because it keeps discussion going, I guess. Just as Sofyst says. Especially in this venue.

2/14/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cinder said...

Hmmm...good question. For me, it's simply a matter of me wanting to continue grow, hear and drink in views which are different than my own. I don't necessarily intend to come out fighting, but sometimes that's how things play out.

There are those times when I'm questioning things as I continue to grow. I just don't want to be complacent and accepting of all things, without seeing and taking in all the possible facts and avenues.

2/14/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kitty, I honestly think we want both and that both are necessary for a healthy relationship. Want to fight about it? (hehe)
;-)

Hallo Audrey, mijn lieve Zus! Heel hartelijk bedankt!

Rose, would you consider this a controversial topic? (You knew I’d ask, right?) ;-)

Hey Cinder! True enough, sometimes it just turns out fighting and, to be honest, I don’t mind fighting for those I love. ;-) To be even more honest I don’t mind those I love fighting for me either! (hehe) May God bless you Sis!

2/14/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous sofyst said...

I'm hungry.

2/16/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I know a man who can do miracles with a few loaves of bread and some fishes. ;-)

Sorry for my absence folks but my ISP just decided to let me back online.

2/16/2007 05:53:00 PM  

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