Welcome to this thoroughfare.
Here is the opportunity for researching opinions, presenting views, and finding out just how strong is the Christian faith, in terms of reason. We have found that not only is there no valid argument against it, no one ever securing a victory that we have personally met in many decades, but the possibility is excluded. However, to the event! Others may wish to validate it in their own way, and others again to test this.
How then may you participate? Our desire is to reach your point, cover your concern, assist your flight path to the glory which is found only in God, or confirm your faith in the truth which is in God only, whose it is. How best is this to be done ?
There are a number of procedural rules here.
The first is this: LOGIC is required, like a sun helmet in the tropics.
You do not have to be a professional logician! but you do need to present things reasonably, if you want a "reason for the faith"! Whatever your concern, we are then happy to help, as the Lord enables.
Next, personal flames are such a waste of time in this context something precious and crucial in many ways - that where this is indulged in, the material concerned will simply be disregarded - rather like a 'foul' in sport. It happens, but is not significant for the point in view. Therefore impressions must be buttressed with data and reasoning, or real concern, not mere face-slaps in verbal format. You may do this but here our design is to help. On the other hand, if you are really outraged by something, by all means express it in terms of the issue itself. We are concerned to meet any real need.
If you want to be passionate about a THEORY or IDEA or PRINCIPLE, without sullying the waters by merely personal explosiveness, why not ? Candour can go with vigour. It is not at all this which is excluded, but that (to use the formal logical term) ad hominem, playing the man, in sporting terms, instead of the ball! Clouding the issue, and perhaps the heart, this does not minister to truth, but its avoidance. As truth is sought, this ruse or confusion is excluded in its interests.
Thirdly, there will therefore be enormous scope for vigorous expression. Life involves emotions as well as reason, spirit as well as thought, destiny as well as procedure. This however needs to be directed to the point. Missing the point is one of the normal ways in which discussions on vital topics, being derailed, get nowhere. It is the interests of all except those in thrall to destruction, to avoid idle wastage. There is no point in getting nowhere, but immense gain in getting to the destination available. It is our desire that you should get somewhere worth being, and as soon as may be, in the grace of the Lord!
Fourthly, it is normally advisable to discuss one point at a time; though of course genuine synthesis is always appropriate, even apt, IN ITS PLACE. Its place however is not an escape hatch, but a confirmatory mode. If you want a series of related points to be considered in one approach, for some good reason, naturally we shall try, as we have done in such cases before, to help.
Fifthly, always remember the purpose. If you basically want to chat, fine; to have pleasant interchange in seeking a deeper understanding, why not! "Those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them. So a book of remembrance as written before Him, for thos who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. They shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him" (Malachi 3:16-17). You know John 3:16 ? Well, here is Malachi 3:16.
However if the purpose is challenge of the word of God, or the sharing of challenge in some point that you may feel, then the need is especially strong for care in procedure. It is in some ways like a surgical operation; and when the word of God is the object and objective, then in the presence of the Lord, care is needed. He is very great, like a vast waterfall. It is beautiful but the wonder of it needs to be appreciated!
These things being done, where there is challenge a genuine SWIFT WITNESS becomes a possibility from which much advancement may be obtained. Things best developed, to gain results of value include the fearless and yet disciplined interchange which progresses, the play which reveals, the contest which exhibits the result. If aeroplanes could jib at the prospect of wind tunnels, no doubt not much would be learned. Truth requires discipline. The wind tunnel must be faced, but not effaced. It imposes rigour, but it gets results!
If your purpose is pleasant interchange, then the word of God brings enrichment.
Rest assured your welfare in finding and being at rest in Christ remains basic to our aims, and we shall seek to meet you as we are able, in the love of Christ. It is His own presence which with the word of His lips, in the Bible, is the assurance (Matthew 28:19-20).
HE, the living and changeless Jesus Christ, is the GOOD SHEPHERD! alike in nurturing sheep and in exposing and setting the run on wolves. His is the strength and the grace in word and in deed. For HIM, nothing is too difficult.
Finally, there is much evil in the world, there are many wolves, and not all wolves are free from … an identity crisis. Think of this, that the horrible bogus feeling of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing my be disregarded, the clothes themselves discarded, when it is no longer a wolf which walks beneath the garment. It is the wonder of Christ that He could change a SAUL with his intense persecution of Christians in unfeeling and fanatical folly, into the tender-hearted under-shepherd shown in Philippians 1! The love of God does not falter; it is toward all to seek them (I Timothy 2).