I got this e-mail from Dan Kimball? And in it, Pastor Kimball pointed out my statement about "those kinds of questions", and my interpretation of his comment is that my statement comes across as a bit uncharitable toward him.
He's right. I apologize.
Frank,For starters, Catez, it has to do with context. Pastor Kimball and his readers may have an excuse for thinking that I’m just a blogger itchin’ for a fight, but you should know better. In that, when your original reply to me was Do you think so Frank? That he should suddenly engage in public "rounds" with some-one to satisfy your curiosity? Would that be the best reason? I mean, having said what you've said, how could anyone not think an approach to dialogue was just contrived after that?, you should have some small insight into what exactly I’m asking for when Chamblee shows up looking for friends among anyone who will say I’m a bad guy.
Wow - you really managed to mischaracterise me in your comment:
"What strikes me as interesting in the responses from catez (who is a reader of my blogging elsewhere) and Eric is that they don't see blogging as a valid form of dialog. It can only be a fight, or it can only be impersonal, or it can only be not enough. Geez, guys: why blog?"
I don't see what my reading of your blog has to do with this for starters.
I do think that engaging Chamblee would be an excellent place for Dan Kimball to test his “They Like Jesus” methodology out. Does it put Chamblee on the defensive? I’d be a liar if I said, “no,” but seriously: what statement of affirmation about evangelism would not put Chamblee on the defensive?
I wasn't commenting on your blog at all. Neither did I specify what I thought "rounds" meant - so you've read your own definition into that.I like that – “I’ll put ‘rounds’ in quotes to make a point of repeating what seems to be a perspective in Frank’s comment, underscoring my perspective that Frank has some kind of excessive curiosity and is therefore making a spectacle of the event, but when Frank calls me on it, I’ll just say I was too vague for him to comment that way.”
If your point was not that blogging an interaction with a rank unbeliever like Chamblee is profitless and contrived, and should not be done for the sake of a spectacle, please tell me what it was. Tell me how you expressed that point of view in your comment.
My comment was asking - since you missed it - if the best reason for engaging in dialogue with some-one who is not a believer simply the satisfaction of your curiosity? - and given what you had already said wouldn't a sudden dialogue seem contrived? i.e. who is more important in the dialogue - you or the person being dialogued with?It seems that I have not misread you at all, catez: you just don’t like hearing what you are saying come out of someone else’s keyboard.But since you asked, the best reason for engaging Chamblee with the “They Like Jesus” method is that he’s right there, and he’s an unbeliever. That is, we are allegedly talking about effective evangelism strategies, right? And Pastor Kimball is making a video series about how good this works, yes? And Zondervan is banking on this strategy to sell some books, right?
Well, golly: Chamblee says he likes Jesus but he can’t stand the people who worship Him. There ya go: that’s outside the bubble. Let’s get a dialog and an intelligent conversation and a non-polemic interaction which doesn’t just quote Bible verses at somebody going with Chamblee.
Why? Because that’s what Pastor Kimball says we ought to be doing.
I’d love that. I wouldn’t even comment on it – because it is possible that one of my greatest problems is that I am too polemical, and I am too loveless and that I do beat people over the head with the Bible.
Show me the better way. Teach me. Provide an example for me in this fellow who thinks he can garner your partnership against the fundies and Jesus-worshippers because he thinks they have done something wrong by you-all.
That’s all: teach me. What I got you don’t want, but if what you got does what I am actually trying to do, I’ll change. I’ll come across. The Gospel is not about one script for reaching the lost, and I want to win the lost. You know: because you have read my blog and know that’s my #1 concern.
It is a complete lie to say that I don't see blogging as a form of dialogue. Nothing in my comment here or anywhere else indicates that I believe that. I've been blogging for 3 1/2 years and have never said blogging cannot lead to dialogue. I've had many dialogues - some public and some private. I think you owe me an apology actually.An apology for what exactly? I’m pretty ready to apologize to anybody when I shatter glass or even drop the ball. But in this case, between you and this fellow Eric, I’m fairly confident that what has happened is that I have asked some pointed questions to and about someone you value which he is not prepared to answer. In that, I have also responded to what I would call “knee-jerk objections” against fair questions. You and Eric both simply reacted against what you see as hostility toward Pastor Kimball – when in fact, in the thread he opened to field questions, he hasn’t answered one.
It is your view that, having pointed out that Chamblee is an unbeliever with whom this method could be tested out, the dialog would not be useless. Why? Because it is a blog format – one where (as Eric said) there is post/counterpost, or as you said, one which is “contrived”.
I do believe that my conversations and dialogues with those who are not Christians occurs as a set of responses between two people who want to engage in discussion - not as some sort of "proof" of method to some-one else bystanding.Problematically, the video series Dan Kimball is producing with Zondervan says something else by the very nature of its production: that is, we teach this method by example.
In that, think through your complaint here, catez. I think you have over-reacted because I have asked Dan Kimball the same kinds of questions I have asked iMonk, and Steve Camp, and the atheist guys who have passed through, and whoever else we don’t mention out of a loathing to summon them. That is, I have been the same kind of guy to someone who some think is above being subjected to direct questions.
Dude: he opened up the comments and asked for questions. Mine were honest and made with the proper level of respect for a pastor. And Chamblee is still lost. I wonder why only people like me will bother to interact with him?