Monday, October 18, 2010

On Apologetics: Straw man affect

A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

It is very easy, for me, with my pride and ego, to pose a superior view in defending the faith by setting a straw man argument to prove my points.

Not only in apologetics, even in daily discussion, fellowship and decision making.  I must not set up straw man argument to proof my point.  It is cheap tactics.

Note:  Why is there a need for straw man arguments? If we take a closer look, it is always point to either pride or insecurity. Pride in a need to proof my point is correct. Insecurity in that I might be wrong and lose face.

I must be careful that when presenting the case for Christ, when discussing crucial topics relate to faith (is God real?  Why should we believe in Jesus?  What's sin?)  that these discussions are not merely to arm myself with the right answer and plow the other party to death.  Or disgrace the other side and put me in a spotlight of victorious.

Rather it is a discussion through the Holy Spirit, may the other party be illuminate to see the presence of the divine being.  After all, to know God, or to be known by God is not done merely by man's words or actions.  No one can come to Christ and admits He is the Messiah other than the work of God (Matthew 16:16-17, Ephesians 2:8-10).  Therefore, it must be the Holy Spirit which we rely on.

If we can rely on the Holy Spirit, is there a need to pull tricks to entice and convince someone to faith?  Surely, such act is fruitless if the Holy Spirit is not presence.  Wen Paul shared the gospel to the Corinthian, he emphasized on using simple words and the power of the Holy Spirit.  Not elegant words or wise teachings.

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

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