Archive for the 'Commenting' Category

Source: The Broken Messenger
Comments: Brad gives a thorough assessment of Slice, as a whole – probably the best holistic view to date.
Memorable Quotes:

The more I read Slice of Laodicea, the more I find myself concerned as to how close this blog is treading into the legalistic crass, and the arrogant kind of elitism that has firmly entrenched itself in some Reformist circles. What a few days ago was just a few concerns, is now a host of them as I have become more familiar with the blog. Given Slice’s longevity, I think that its time that those who blog and affirm TULIP, Calvinism and Reformist teaching to take a hard look at one of thier own, and if justified, to stand up against the kind of blogging that resorts to ridicule and false triumphalism that appears to be mainstays in much of its content.

And it’s not as if the comments on Slice are any kinder. In fact, most that seem to appear on Slice (allowed actually) are overwhelmingly those that are like-minded and often even more egregious, outrageous and spiteful than what is said on Slice. Usually, it’s difficult to take issue with a blog’s comments because it is often the case that blogs allow a wide range and lattitude of views and opinions from the content that is posted by the author. But Slice moderates all posts that are shown on its blog, predetermining what they deem worthy for discourse

The ability to spot flawed biblical application and exegesis is also a problem for Slice from time to time. Take for instance Slice’s post on Paul Proctor’s almost “prophetic revelation” that Kyle Lake’s death may very well been an “Ananias and Sapphira” like moment for the Emergent Church. In this article, Paul concludes with the following jaw-dropping analysis as to circumstances surrounding Kyle’s death, saying that it was due to God’s immediate judgment on Kyle, a conclusion that should have raised major red flags with Ingrid:

Although they obviously miss their beloved pastor and his fanciful messages, the real tragedy here would be missing the message that God was sending; but then sometimes the hardest things in life to understand and accept are the obvious.

And while we are talking about being biblical, has anyone considered admonishing Ingrid for treading dangerously close to a place she is not qualified to go?

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. – 1 Timothy 2:11-12

I can imagine that Ingrid feels insulated because of her readership (as boasted of in the comments section here) and on the basis that she is only a blogger and a radio host. But one easily notes the “instruction” that is espoused daily on a narrow section of the church.

But here is my real issue with Slice: Where is the humility? Where is the patience and forbearance with brothers and sisters, who though misguided and in error, are often sincere and seeking Christ? And where on earth is the kindness? If the response is merely that one qualifies in all these things because truth is being “exposed,” well, it doesn’t work. If you’re means nullify the ends, it’s not truth. There is right and wrong way to admonish and teach. Christ set the example and instructed us to judge in righteousness – something you’ll hear frequently from Slice as a defense of their activities. But righteousness includes love in all its qualities, specifically: love is patient, kind, gentle, humble, rejoices with the truth, and keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:1-6).

From what I continually read, Slice of Laodicea frequently does not follow Christ’s standard of admonishment. Instead, it smacks of Ephesus, a church that Christ rebuked with a harshness that nearly equaled that of Laodicea, and did so for its departure from its first love – a love under which we are to love one another as Christ loves us. And its also very important to note that this rebuke from Jesus came even though he acknowledged that the Ephesians had cherished right doctrine and had even endured suffering (see Revelation 2).

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: Scott Ragan, who up until this point had not weighed in all that much on the numerous discussions with Ken Silva, wrote what has become ‘Exhibit A’ in almost any discussion on why Mr. Silva’s work should be thoroughly discredited as the work of a Christian tinfoil-hatter. What makes it the tour-de-force it a combination of two factors: The thoroughness of Scott’s writing, and the comments section in which Ken gives a live demonstration of his lack of reasoning skills and scriptural knowledge and his lack of qualification for the office to which he aspires.
Memorable Quotes:

Your view of Christianity and those involved in the Christian faith is WAY MORE NARROW than I believe the Lord would have ever intended. You spend most of your time measuring orthodoxy, not by the measurements spelled out in scripture, but by using your own opinion and what you “feel” the Spirit is telling you. That is a dangerous path to head down, my friend. I have some friends of mine who are Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and they use that same “sense” of what the Spirit is telling them to justify/verify their beliefs. Look where it gets them!

You talk about John 6 and how the crowds were large for Jesus and how they “thinned out” as things became a little more difficult/complicated in regards to Jesus’ teachings. You imply that Rick Warren and others have stopped at the “big crowd” stage and haven’t moved beyond (because if they had there wouldn’t be any more “big crowds). Yes, people left Jesus because his teachings were hard and challenged them in their view of life and religion and the role that God should play in their lives. And that happens in every church in every denomination. Sometimes people leave when they become uncomfortable with what is being taught or the level of accountability that is required.

You aren’t just TESTING the Emergent Church and the Seeker Sensitive Movement and those who lead those philosophies. Testing is GOOD. Questioning is GOOD. You go beyond testing and questioning. You are attempting to establish yourself as the man in the watchtower, looking down and condemning any that you see that aren’t conforming to what you think and believe. You seem to see yourself as a modern day prophet, as a modern voice “crying in the wilderness” of the concrete jungle. You say as much at least once in nearly every one of the posts that I have read written by you.

I must agree with John (and others). You exhibit signs of the Pharisee’s legalism. I wouldn’t presume to call you a hypocrite. You are obviously sincere in your beliefs and at least one of your supporters has left comments indicating that you are a man of strong conviction who lives his beliefs and faith. But based on the preponderance of the evidence found in your comments on this blog and in the material that you write for Appraising and Slice, you have a severe case of near-fatal legalism. It isn’t fatal, but it sure will give you some problems if it isn’t treated.

[Chris comments on Ken's first response, wherein Ken tried to play plank-speck with Scott] To follow:

1) Scott writes a 2900-word article, of which 61 words are complimentary of John (roughly 2% of the article) – and are part of his thesis.

2) In his article, Scott notes that “you and Ingrid spend a considerable amount of time congratulating yourselfs (and each other)” [emphasis added]. (Evidence: In your Slicecast interview, greater than 50% is dedicated to “self-congratulatory” content).

3) The other 98% of Scotts article is an incredibly articulate summation of how Slice has jumped the rails.

4) Your first response is to leave a smarmy reply to point out Scott’s 2% “self-congratulatory” content.

5) If I recall, someone FAR wiser than I can ever hope to be once commented “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

[John comments] This discussion is spread over so many comments at this point, it’s getting hard for me to follow it all.

I have genuinely tried to focus on the content in this discussion. Yesterday I wrote this comment in response to Ken’s suggestion that any view of scripture ofther than Verbal Plenary Inspiration is tantamount to heresy. My most recent reply to Ken focused on contrasting his stated views about the spiritual significance of large crowds with direct quotations from the New Testament. I think (I hope) most readers will see these as honest attempts to deal with the substance, not attack the messenger.

I await Ken’s equally substantive response on one or both points.

[Chris L replying to Ken]

Your post above is a perfect example of why the feedback has been given.

1) A significant portion of the post is spent on superlative, emotionally charged words (alleged, false, rebellion, cult) and phrases (”straw man”, “Hollow Men”, “the new cult of liberalism”, “wishful speculations”, “pseudo Christianity”, “corrupt fruit”) that convey no meaning other than derision, and creates an overt tone of unrighteous judgmentalism. It says that you have no desire to convince, only to deride.

2) It is relatively free of new information to lead to a better understanding. In other words, it is only suited for “preaching to the choir”.

3) Your thesis relies an awful lot on “Christianese” – words that are used within church circles, which mean little to the lay person, and which become sloppily applied. I still remember a lesson taught by my youth minister 20 years ago, where he told us that we needed to use plain English rather than opt for the “lazy way out” by using Christian short-hand, especially when dealing with young Christians (example: “true saving faith will automatically result in living as Jesus did as we are conformed to His Image” – while I believe I can deconstruct your meaning from this, the possibility of misunderstanding is much greater – after all, this can be read as being very tart and judgemental if you put the emphasis on the wrong words…)

4) The logic, itself, is difficult to follow (primarily due to #1 and #3). As I read your posts, about the only conclusion I can come to is that a) Rob Bell is evil because he is part of the EC; and b) The EC is bad, because it is comprised of people like Rob Bell.

5) You do an awful lot of speculation as to what is said by figures like Bell and its effect on his listeners. Yesterday, you said:

And Rob as dazzling as it might be to talk about what happens with “Two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional vs. multi-dimensional thought,” one is hard-pressed to see just what this has to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Amazingly enough, sitting in the audience (since you’re quoting my “dimensional thought” observation), I understood exactly where he was going and how it related to the Gospel of Jesus! Better yet, I was able to use this line of discussion with a co-worker the next week who has never been open to discussion of faith, because faith is “anti-science”.

6) Prooftexting. While you didn’t do so in the above post, you tend to pull in a lot of scriptures that are either a) irrelevant; b) relevant, but not in a way that is obvious or explained; or c) irrelevant and out of context. A case in point is your liberal usage of John 7:24 in justifying your (admitted) judgmentalism.

7) This is the big one. All of the above techniques give the reader the impression that you believe you have a God-granted corner on the truth, and that the one-and-only true interpretation of scripture lies with you. It appears that you are assuming a level of authority that nobody has granted you. While I do not know you in RL, nor do I think I’ve ever met you, I do not imagine this is what you are like in real life. The internet makes people seem different than they really are, because it is up to the reader to “read” the tone. Your chosen style and tone (as illustrated above) discredit your message.

[John, responding to Chris P]

Chris P,

Saying the same thing a second time doesn’t make it any more true

[Ken comments, trying again to pull rank] Please stop and think for a moment. I’m a pastor-teacher who passed the test of oridnation with the SBC.

[Chris L commenting on Ken's deflecting] Ken,

Now that you’ve picked apart the minutae of a a single paragraph of a single post, how about actually answering some of the pertinent content?

[...]

As I’ve popped in now and then to read the past couple of days, I have begun to understand what Cable TV hosts must feel like when they have to keep asking a guest the same question over and over and over again because the guest wants to talk about anything but the question at hand.

[...]

Wow, Ken. Few people truly astound me, but you are one of them. I can only derive one of two conclusions from your utterly infantile responses:

1) You are being purposely obtuse because you cannot respond to the questions asked of you without admitting the enormity of your errors.

2) You’re just a functioning idiot-savant, trolling away in the blogosphere.

While I suspect you’ll try to prove me wrong, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and choose number 1.

[John commenting] Ken,

You approve of your reader calling Scott and I “spiritual pirates” who rape and pillage, but you disapprove of Scott making a joke about it.

Fine…whatever.

I won’t ask you to answer the same questions again. It’s pretty clear at this point that you’re avoiding answering them and I think it’s pretty clear why.

[Chris L, nearly 100 posts in and Ken still hasn't responded to the questions asked...] For example, after multiple attempts requesting you to answer the substance of the initial post and the questions further in the comments, your most recent post takes us on a trip back to your credentials. What do you WANT to be called? If we don’t reference your ordination, you complain that we don’t recognize that you’ve got one. If we include the honorific, you complain that you’re being condescended to. You sign some posts Rev. Ken Silva, others Ken Silva and others just Reverend Ken Silva. If you can’t be consistent, how can you expect it from others? And – more importantly – what does your honorific (or lack thereof) have to do with any of the questions that have been asked of you? (I’ll give you a hint – the answer is nothing.)

[Ken claims no responsibility for the poor quality and lack of any real content in his writing, claiming that it's God's fault] As a messenger I am responsible to deliver the message as accurately as I can. This is I have done in over 350 articles this year at Apprising Ministries. The messenger is not responsible to “interpret” the message. I am to deliver it and then leave it between the hearer and my Master. This I have also done.

[In one of many instances, Ken takes on Jesus' authority] And Chris I really believe, and you didn’t address: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

[Chris responds to Ken's use of Matt 22:29]

I purposely chose not to answer your scriptural reference because it was irrelevant to the conversation at hand (much like your frequent misuse of John 7:24. Because it was irrelevant, but to say so was not in line with the tone I was trying to convey, I chose the kinder route of silence. However, so that I am not a hypocrite for not answering a direct question from you while questioning why you would not answer the questions asked of you, I will do so.

Just to be clear, let’s examine the entire passage (Matt 22:23-33)

That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

(Your quote is bolded)

As I read this verse in context, once again your choice of scripture is a rather unorthodox one.

Taking it in context, Jesus is being questioned on Torah (Levirate marriage) as a way of trying to discredit Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection of the body (in agreement with the Pharisees). Jesus, in turn, skewers the Saducees (who only believed that only the Torah, not all of the Tanakh, was inspired) by condemning their narrow view of scripture.

So, if I take the entire context into account, I should actually be quoting this to you to condemn your narrow, limited view of scripture.

However, I am sure that I can correctly assume that this was NOT your intent.

So, if I take ONLY the verse you quoted:

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

If that is the case, then I must assume that you are equating yourself with having the same level of inspired certainty as Jesus, and that you are telling me that you have this divine knowledge that I don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God (based on very little online contact with me and no real life contact with me).

If this is the case, I know some excellent psychiatrists who deal with people who have God complexes. If you let me know where you are in real life, I can probably get you an appointment with a good counselor nearby.

[Chris S. comments]

It seems that Ken wants to say that Jesus intentionally drove away self-centered followers by giving hard teaching, and that Rick Warren and Bill Hybles don’t ever give hard teaching. But he also wants to say that it’s ok for a teacher he agrees with to have a large church (John Macarthur).

As John said above, he really has painted himself into a corner. He can’t say any church with a large crowd is wrong because Johnny Mac has a large church. But he also says that Jesus intentionally drove crowds away, thereby stating that having a large following is wrong.

But Christ taught those large crowds you are so fond of in parables specifically so that they wouldn’t understand and they would fall away.

So what is it Ken? Apparentally Jesus drove everyone away. And yet Jesus also says he’s going to build his church (Matt. 16:18) and in Acts 2 we see three thousand added to the faith. Are all large churches wrong? Or simply the ones you don’t like? And if some large churches are alright with you, how does that jive with Jesus specifically teaching “so that they wouldn’t understand and they would fall away?” Does John Macarthur need to start intentionally driving people away?

[Scott responds to Ken's use of Matthew 22:29 in a response to John] Later on, after John points out that your interpretation of Galatians 1 is in contradiction to what many (or even most) mainline/orthodox scholars would say, you say,

“Again you err because you do not know the Scriptures and the power of God.”

What do you mean that John doesn’t know the Scriptures? Based on the poor showing that you have put on during this whole thread, I would venture to say that John knows the Scriptures as well as, if not better than, you. And he doesn’t know the power of God? What does that mean? If anything, you seem to be the one who doesn’t know/understand the power of God. You seem to think that some guys who do things differently than you want them to have the power to subjigate the Bible and instigate a great falling away within the church. They have this power and God is powerless? Read over my comment where I discuss Hebrews Chapter 4. Men having power like that doesn’t seem to be an option in the Bible, but perhaps you know better.

And THEN you say,

“…first of all, I’m only going to listen to scholars who correctly divide the Word of Truth…”

So the ONLY scholars who “correctly divide the Word of Truth” are the ones who agree with you? Everyone else must be wrong? And there can never be more than one view/interpretation of anything? By extension, that means that all other scholars who disagree with you are wrong and following darkness because, as you’ve made clear, YOU are walking in the Light of God and those who believe differently (like those within the EC/SS camps) are walking in darkness.

Wow, buddy! You have a COSTCO-SIZED pallet of spiritual guts.

[Chris comments] Ken is not the “pastor of the internet”, and so for him to claim that his posits, accusations and condemnations are superior based on a piece of paper he got from the SBC is intellectual laziness, at best, and egotistical heresy, at worst.

What is ironic to me with Ken’s posts was that where he finally became agitated with me and “shunned” me was when I mirrored his own words back at him, like here and here, and Ingrid’s words back at her here. What does that say about the style of invective he uses with people he does not know?

[Scott responding to an exchange between amy and Ken] Did you notice that rather than answering the overall “meat” of your questions, Ken decides that simply quoting the verse from Ephesians 4 should be enough to validate his whole position (as he eloquently says, “Looks pretty clear to me”). He ignores the fact that Ephesians doesn’t even come CLOSE to supporting his obvious opinion that as a “pastor” he has somehow been vested with special/unique/higher authority.

Walter Martin, a great man of God whom Ken enjoys quoting a lot over at his Apprising blog, used to say that if you are asking someone a question about spiritual things but they refuse to give you a straight answer, watch out! Chances are there is a reason why they don’t want to give a straight, plain, direct answer… namely that if they do they will be exposed as spiritually suspect.

It’s your call, but I wouldn’t expect Ken to actually answer ANY of the valid questions you have posed on this thread. I don’t know if it is because you are a woman (which would be a pathetic reason), or if it is because if he did he would be exposed as being someone whose spiritual authority and judgement are suspect.

[John comments] Ken,

“the Word contains more for me to learn.” By the way, people who hold my correct Biblical position aren’t saying the Bible doesn’t.

This is the sort of language that leaves many of us wondering how you view yourself. Referring to your views as “my correct Biblical position” seems to go beyond boldness into arrogance. It also suggests that there is no room for disagreement. After all, if yours is the “correct Biblical postition” who can disagree? Only those without “eyes to see,” exactly as you’ve suggested here before.

Furthermore, your statement about there being more to learn is completely at odds with your statment above that scolarship is man-centered blather. You also went on to say you pity those who (like me) are impressed with such scolarship. Isn’t the Biblical pattern to learn from someone who teaches, i.e. a theologian or Biblical scholar? Isn’t that how you learned (from Walter Martin)? Do you see the disconnect, Ken?

You seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth, saying on the one hand you have never suggested there is not more to learn and on the other criticizing those of us who are trying to do so. Which is it? Is scolarship a good thing or a bad thing? Like your supporter Mike Ratliff, you seem to want to have it both ways.

[Scott commenting on Ken's incredulity at being asked for citations for a Walter Martin quote] Perhaps you didn’t notice but John asked for the CONTEXT of the quote. In other words, he doesn’t want to have to take your word for what the quote is…he wants to see it in its entirety and in context. Considering how often in this thread that you’ve been caught pulling things out of context and twisting things around, I don’t think that is an unreasonable request.

You say that the quote you used from Walter Martin is from “The Annihilation of Hell.” Could you please cite chapter, page, edition, recording, publishing date or something so that if John or I want to, we can go look it up?

At the same time, SO WHAT if John disagrees with Walter Martin about something? YOU disagree with well-respected authors and theologians quite requently. In fact, you spend much of your time rejecting a lot of the “well-respected” Christian leaders because they don’t match up with what YOU expect from them. You reject them and then level serious accusations at them. John simply said that given the little information that you provided about the Walter Martin quote, he thought that Dr. Martin may have taken some liberty with the text.

How do you expect anyone anywhere to take you seriously when you behave this way, Ken?

[Scott commenting on Ken's lack of answers and abundance of pseudopious proclamations] And YET you STILL cannot/will not/do not provide ANY explanation in your comment. You simply make a claim/state an opinion/level a charge…and then run away like a vandal throwing a flaming bag of dog maneur who is afraid to see what happens next.

I am “spiritually blind?” Please be SPECIFIC and tell me and/or show me HOW!!!

Is it because you don’t appreciate how I characterized your use of Dr. Martin’s name and materials? GREAT! Then be specific and say so and then prove me WRONG!

Is it because you disagree with the comment that I made about using 2 Timothy 3 in context as opposed to out of context? GREAT! Then be specific and say so and then prove me WRONG. Correct my interpretation of the passage in term of how it contradicts with how YOU used it.

Is it because I pointed out that the men referred to in the context of 2 Timothy 3 were SPECIFICALLY described as being horrible, degenerate people who masqueraded as something they weren’t so as to be welcomed into people’s homes and to be a part of the church? GREAT! Then show/explain me how that passage, when applied to John and I, DOESN’T paint us in the light of being morally and spiritually degenerate?

And you are WRONG in how you described your role as a “pastor-teacher,” a role that YOU have extrapolated FAR BEYOND anything that the Bible specifies. The role of EVERY believer (not just you) is to faithfully proclaim unashamedly and boldly whatever God gives us to say AS LONG AS IT IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE BIBLE. We have demonstrated repeatedly that much of what you proclaim IS IN CONFLICT WITH THE BIBLE and have VERIFIED this with the use of Scripture (in context), specific references to historically accurate and ORTHODOX Christian teachings and traditions, and well-respected theologians and apologists.

And what is your response? Nothing of substance, just more accusations. In fact, your approach to supporting/justifying/proving your accusations seems to be to make more accusations and claims. Rarely do you get around to actually, SUBSTANTIVELY answering a question.

Instead, what we get is more of your self-important proclamations.

[Chris comments]

With that said, a tangential conversation between Ken & Ingrid on the Slice-cast has been coming back to me all weekend, and after re-listening to it, it really “rings wrongly”.

(begin at timestamp 11:41 of ‘Rob Bell:Emergent Elvis’.

Ken: There were times I’m writing these articles and I literally turned to the Lord, as if He was standing there, and I said ‘Lord, I didn’t know that. I could not have written that sentence.’ I say that time and time again. I take no credit for this. I’m one of the few who’ll tell you that.

Ken: This is – I told one guy I was dealing with. I said ‘this isn’t a game for me – this is my life’. I have lost much support financially since I started this, particularly Rob Bell. My readership has gone up, praise God for that – we’re getting all kinds of folks reading it – but I’ve had a number of people back off because of it. I don’t care. I’m a walking dead guy – If the Lord doesn’t want this ministry any more, He can have it.

OK – based on this, we have Ken somehow receiving knowledge outside of himself – implying that he is giving us an inspired message from God. What if the message was not from God? I am reminded of the ’80’s song ‘Guilty by Association’ by Steve Taylor:


So you say it’s ‘of the devil’ and we’ve got no choice
‘Cause you heard a revelation from a ’still small voice’
Psst! – Hey, you!
If the Bible doesn’t back it, then it seems quite clear
Perhaps it was the devil who whispered in your ear

Satan’s greatest triumphs against the church have always come from within – the desire to do good combined with an innate belief in infalibility, leading to tyranny and strife within the body – the exact type of thing so often coming from Ken and Slice. Don’t get me wrong, Slice often posts things of value (like exposing Burke’s “opt-out” universalist bent), but spends much of its energy ripping the body of Christ apart, like a cancer.

As many of you should have noted, I have continued to ask Ken (with no answers) if he could find someone to whom he holds some level of accountability and have then analyze his writings – I have prayed for this for weeks. What I didn’t realize was that they had already done so, and that Ken knew it:

I have lost much support financially since I started this, particularly Rob Bell. […] I’ve had a number of people back off because of it. I don’t care.

Unfortunately, I’ve also heard my answer of what his response would be if they attempted to hold him accountable: “I don’t care”.

[Chris commenting on Slice's call for Rick Warren personal stories] So, if Rick warren floats, he’s a witch, but if he drowns, he wasn’t one – right?

[Scott, teaching Ken the definitions of some logic terms he doesn't seem to understand]

Ken,

You seem to take objection to Chris L.’s comment:

When I saw your name on a post, I actually thought you’d taken a break from your snipes and content-free, arrogant swill, but I guess I was wrong.

Your response to Chris L. was:

When I continue to read your ad hominems regarding my labor for Christ and “your snipes and content-free, arrogant swill” throughout your laborious posts concerning your guesses as to how the LORD God Himself taught when He stood upon His planet…

Let’s take a step back for a moment, Ken, and look at the big picture. You throw around “ad hominem” and “straw man” terminology a lot. In fact, you illustrate a point that my old philosophy professor used to make in class from time to time, namely that a little knowledge about logic and philosophy is a dangerous thing in the hands of one who isn’t able to understand its use or apply it correctly.

I could probably go back and count at least 100 times between this site and Slice and Apprising where you claim someone is making an ad hominem argument against you. In fact, I would argue that this is your first reaction to any criticism…it’s ad hominem and so you don’t need to pay attention to it. Do you actually understand what “ad hominem” means, Ken?

I’m sure that you can’t believe that I would have the temerity to suggest that you aren’t familiar with the basics of logic, but as Walter Martin used to say, in order to have a discussion it is important to make sure that everyone is using the same terminology and definitions. Just to be clear, let’s use this basic definition from Wikipedia:

An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone’s argument is wrong and/or this person is wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by him rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself.

Chris’ comment wasn’t an ad hominem attack at all. He didn’t say, “Ken, you suck as a person and so your arguments must be invalid.” He was stating an opinion about the quality of your logic and reasoning skills. He was saying that the arguments themselves that you try to spread and support are free of content and filled with arrogance. I could be wrong, but from everything I have read I don’t believe that Chris has ever tried to make an argument to discredit you as a person. He has criticized: your reasoning and logic; your regular use of proof-texting to ignore context and to make points using quotes and Biblical texts differently than how they were intended; your attacks against anyone who disagrees with you; and your habit of implicitly and explicitly indicating that anyone who disagrees with you is walking in darkness, a tool of the devil, a spiritual pedophile and moral relativist, etc, etc, etc. But there was not now nor do I believe there ever has been an attack on you personally.

It appears as though you have a persecution complex combined with a MASSIVE ego. That is obvious because in the end, you can always bring an argument back to your belief that it is all about you. If someone disagrees with your argument, you somehow convince yourself that it is a personal attack against you and that you are being persecuted in God’s name for your stand against the ungodly. You can’t separate yourself from your arguments. You think that if people say that your arguments are weak, unsupported, illogical, unorthodox, incoherent, proof-texted, ill conceived, poorly reasoned, etc,…that this means that people are attacking you. On the contrary, Ken. At this site we have been careful to always acknowledge that you are obviously devout and sincere in your love for the Lord and in your desire to be of service to the Kingdom. Chris L. and others here at VS just happen to believe that you are doing more of a disservice to the Kingdom.

While we are at it, let’s look at your frequent claim of “straw man” tactics against you. Again, Wikipedia will explain to you that:

A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” or “set up a straw-man argument” is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument is in fact misleading, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted. A straw man “argument” is a bogus, distorted or deliberately flawed interpretation of an otherwise valid position that has been altered so it can be more easily attacked, delegitimized and disassembled (hence the straw man metaphor) before the eyes and ears of an otherwise impartial audience unfamiliar with the facts and history of an issue or case.

Typically you claim “straw man” anytime someone tries to summarize a point that you have been making in a series of comments, or in a post, or both. However, the problem is that typically what you are claiming as a “straw man” is usually a summary of a point made by you and/or a direct quote from you to support the summary. Or, as has happened on this blog frequently, you fail to substantiate ANY claims that you have made or ANY argument that you have presented, AND you refuse to acknowledge legitimate questions or respond to legitimate points of contention, which has left people to do their own research and find their own information since you have refused to engage on the topics that you have initiated.

As has been said to you before, Ken. The easiest way to eliminate the possibility of people misquoting you or misrepresenting you and your arguments is for YOU to actually step forward and present the arguments in their entirety including support, verification, and proof. You are in a constant lather about being misrepresented and misquoted and misunderstood, but rather than try and solve the problem you have typically chosen to dodge the opportunity to engage and instead offer snide, smarmy pot shots.

As a last point, to Chris L. you discussed his:

…laborious posts concerning your guesses as to how the LORD God Himself taught when He stood upon His planet…

Ken, do you read the same Bible that Chris and I read? How have Chris or I or John or Amy or any number of commenters GUESSED about how the Lord taught when He stood upon His planet. We don’t have to guess. The Bible tells us very clearly and provides examples of the Lord and the disciples and how they taught. God has also been gracious in allowing us to have the knowledge and insight into the way of life that was lived in the 1st century so that we can understand the immediate context of his teaching.

How is that guessing?

(There’s lots more, but you’ll need some time to read it all!)

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie finds herself accused of malfeasance by ex-Slice-writer Jim Bublitz, who responds to her with a message (a la Ken) ending with a smiley face.  Julie responds sans the smiling face, so as not to be hypocritical.
Memorable Quotes:

Did you know I have been running a nefarious campaign against a blog I’m no longer allowed to comment on? Did you know that? Did you know I’ve been spending much time finding other sites that are slamming this blog so that I might chime in? That I have nothing better to do in my busy real-life days than huddle over the computer and spread the infectious disease of malcontent?

Why do people sign off with a smiley face or a “God Bless You” when they are thinking anything but God’s blessing upon you or their words communicate anything but kindness and smiles? That’s lying. It is.

I don’t know which spiritual gift it is that Bublitz has. Which of the spiritual gifts requires arguing people into the ground on a regular basis, or requires the collection of debating ammunition by spending time scouring the web for seeming inconsistencies with which to blast them with and sign off with a smiley face? We needn’t be weak and spineless, but there ought to be control and thought on who and what we lash out against. Knowledge and discernment are one thing, but mixing that with pride and self-assuredness of being “right” creates what I like to call a pompous ass.

Yes, I used a naughty word. This will be taken as a sure sign that I am fallen, vile and vulgar, another symptom of the ills of the modern church that doesn’t think; a person who settles for crass pragmatism, who only uses The Message for serious discussion; a person of no serious literate level with little knowledge, a classic example of why women should just shut up and wear a bonnet. Anyone who knows me, either through my own church or just via blogging or through the Nicaragua stuff or work or my own parents KNOWS – I am sure of this – that I am not such a person. And if they do not know this? Then I have surely failed and Bublitz, who knows me only via bits and bytes on a few blogs was able to, in all his “godly” knowledge and discernment, read me right. I don’t think that’s the case.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John becomes acquainted with the beginnings of Slice’s selective commenting policy, and its effect of creating a self-validating echo chamber.
Memorable Quotes:

When the 2nd and 3rd comments never appeared on the site, it seemed clear to me that the issue wasn’t technical but one of content. Because I had disagreed with various Slice authors, my comments didn’t see the light of day. (Note: One of my comments was allowed several hours after Jim and I started having our discussion about comment practices at Slice. Jim later claimed that it had been there all along. It hadn’t.)

This next line almost made me laugh:

There were commenters on Slice who seemed to make a ‘ministry’ out of shooting everything down.

If there is a more perfect summary of what Slice itself acutally does, I haven’t seen it. Ingrid and Jim have made it their ministry to shoot down every believer they disagree with. Often they do this in the most heavy-handed way, and yet they don’t like the same treatment. Maybe this should tell them something about their approach [It won’t].

A little later on we get to the section titled Friendly but Over-the-Top Commenters. Here is where my own part of the story comes up:

There were many good commenters who had better things to say than the Slice authors sometimes, but then a few bad apples would simply go over the top. For example, a while ago a pastor posted a comment that compared Rick Warren to a child molester; he meant it as a hypothetical non-direct comparison, but it caused Slice’s critics to go wild. Their blogs lit up with postings on how “Slice people” compare Rick Warren to child molesters, etc.

Yes, I am proud to say that I did go wild over that absurd comment. The same thread contained another comment comparing Warren to a hit-and-run driver. In fact, my comment in response — stating that this particular individual had gone over the line — was one that Jim says didn’t get posted because out of line. Got that? I went over-the-line by saying this sort of thing was, well, over-the-line. The “child molester” comment however was approved and presumably not-over-the-line by Slice standards.

Unfortunately what Jim fails to see is that the problems at Slice go far beyond the comments. Over-the-top is a perfect description of so much of their output. For instance, Ingrid’s comparison of Purpose Driven Ministry to the Soviet Gulag (which I called “flaky”, much to Jim’s consternation) was and is an absurd, over-the-top statement. The comparison of the Catholic church to the “the beast” of revelation just a few days earlier was over-the-top too. If the over-the-top comments deserve to go, so do the over-the-top posts by Jim and Ingrid.

Shutting down the comments won’t begin to address the real problems at Slice. In fact, I’m quite sure it will only make things worse. With the closing off of the site from any and all disagreement, it will become nothing but an echo-chamber for its own brand of Christian-bashing vitriol. This is one Christian blog that I’m happy to slice off my regular reading schedule.

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Source: Verum Serum

Comments: John disagrees with Slice’s feeding frenzy on Rick Warren, only to find himself victim to their commenting policy.
Memorable Quotes:

Since Slice of Laodicea is apparently only approving comments that praise them in glowing terms, and since the site refuses to engage in polite dialogue with anyone who disagrees, I am posting my comments on my own site:

I haven’t read the book that is cited by the author to back this up (footnote 27), but it seems that a simple word search reveals Jesus referring to “heaven” far more than to “hell.” Nearly all his references to hell come from the sermon on the mount (Of course the same references are duplicated in different Gospel accounts). But using Matthew as an example, Jesus refers to hell three times and refers once to fire. By contrast, he refers to heaven (usually as the “kingdom of heaven”) in these same verses 15 times (Matt 5:1-7:29).

Just as important for this discussion is the fact that the most important sermon in history contains the word “you” or “your” 159 times in just 111 verses. By contrast Jesus only refers to God directly 5 times. So this idea that Jesus preaching was somehow not focused on man doesn’t stand up to a little Bible study. The sermon on the mount is very much about what the kingdom of heaven would mean to “you.” In other words, it was relevant.

Any guesses as to why this wasn’t approved? Anyone from Slice of Laodicea want to set me straight on the facts? I think it’s pretty apparent at this point that Slice’s actual comment policy is as follows:

If you disagree with Slice, don’t bother. As far as we’re concerned, you don’t exist.

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Source: You Can Know God
Comments: Michael Lukaszuski, senior pastor of the Oak Leaf Church writes a brief note about watchbloggers.  The sharks come in for a Slice of the kill in the comments section of the article.
Memorable Quotes:

We have AIDS, poverty, the lost person probably living next door, homelessness, terrorism, unborn babies and a slew of things that could demand our attention.  80% of this “Christian” country does not go to church, and “exposing” Rick Warren is the best thing that we can do!  I have never met Rick Warren.  I am sure there are things that he says and does that I would not agree with.  Then again, I have never met a person that I WOULD totally agree with.  I am not a disciple of Rick Warren, nor a disciple of any seeker-sensitive church, traditional church,or any man, woman or Bible study method.  I’m a follower of Jesus.

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Someone on Slice quotes Augustine.  A Slice commenter says you shouldn’t quote him because he’s catholic.  Jim Bublitz (an ex-Slice writer, who was still writing for Ingrid at the time) says its OK, trying to have it both ways (I can quote someone from the Apostate Church of Rome and it’s OK.  Don’t you do the same with other writers, though.  These are not the ‘driods you’re looking for. Move along now…)  Julie takes issue with this and Slice’s “odd” method of accepting/rejecting comments.
Memorable Quotes:

I have no problem with the idea of finding bits of truth in the midst of errant views because I believe all truth is God’s truth whether the person who wrote or thought it wants to admit or realizes it or not. Nor did I even choke on the rather postmodern ‘in one sense it’s true and in another it’s false.’ But the author who wrote it – one of the bloggers on that site – makes it ironic. If there was ever a site where babies are regularly thrown out with the bathwater, it’s on Slice, by the people who leave comments and by Bublitz and Ken Silva*. As I wrote about earlier, many times teachers and authors I have found tremendous insight from, despite other errant views, are shredded as examples of for-sure apostasy with nothing of value to offer any real or serious Christian. In the end the only people we are supposed to be able to really read and trust are John MacArthur, John Piper**, and Charles Spurgeon – that’s my understanding after months of reading such sources.

I have attempted to leave comments on Slice many times. I’m wondering if anyone else has the poor comment publishing record that I have there. I will assume some were Firefox glitches – not uncommon – because I can’t see how the comments were argumentative or too long. My comments use correct grammar and punctuation (which is more than I can say for some). I don’t cop out and pretend to play nice, go for the jugular, then sign off with an overly-sanctified signature line. I sometimes don’t agree. Sometimes I’ve attempted to link to a preacher or teacher I know isn’t well-liked on the blog but has made a statement that is relevant and good; comments not published. And in a fit of frustration at wanting to join the conversation but not getting to, I simply left a comment that said something to the liking of “I’d leave a comment but my comments don’t get published.”

That one, they published.

So not only do my comments not get published when I can’t see why they wouldn’t be, making me think I must be on the fast track to hell and I’ve been blacklisted, but now one of the bloggers on the site says it’s OK to quote someone who had a few errant beliefs and that there can be true and false in the same thought.

As far as I’m concerned, all credibility I had in whatever Slice is, is gone and a lot of its message along with it. It’s gone, because you can’t have it both ways.

It started to slide right about the time Silva revealed on Slice that he believed God called him to the ministry he has, a statement I don’t have a problem with if it didn’t come Silva who has a unique take on what God does and doesn’t do anymore (trying to find the link to that post…). It started to slide then, and has now hit bottom. Frankly, though I’m sure she wouldn’t say much positive about me, I wish the “owner” of the blog, Ingrid, would write more***.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a problem. I’ve read Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Lewis – all writers with an asterisk after their names to this crowd. I love reading a Christian book where the author constantly refers back to the Bible and also uses quotes from not only Christian teachers but all sorts of sources.

*I do not dislike Bublitz nor do I dislike Silva (who doesn’t allow trackbacks or comments on his own blog making conversation and discussion impossible there). I frequently read what they write and mull it over often. They, like me, are not perfect.

**Piper rocked the boat by inviting some cussing pastor to speak at one of his conferences. Oops. Watch the comments of “Alas, Piper has fallen!” and “Perhaps we were wrong about the cussing pastor” fill the blogosphere for people who have raised Piper a bit too high.

***Why? Read the 5th comment here. You can read the post about women pastors, too, but I just skimmed it in order to avoid the skirts vs. pants battle with some of the same people. And why did I just skim that “controversial” post? The genius reasoning going on there, of course. The usual listing of all the female preachers and teachers who had a wayward message are listed, by men, without the obvious realization that there are more examples of screwball male preachers because of sheer historic numbers, which would then prove the opposite point, a point for the opposing argument. I’m not commenting on my thoughts on the actual matter, but merely pointing out how stupid little proof it takes to satisfy and convince some people that women are evil when they get in power because they can come up with examples of bad women! If that’s the best you have for such an argument, just shut up. You aren’t doing your side any favors.

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Source: Lone Prairie Art Works

Comments: Julie is a bit put off by an article on Slice (which refers to the CCM girl-group ZoeGirl as “Hussies on Parade”).  One of the commenters goes on to explain that women, if they listen to the Holy Spirit, will know that they should wear skirts and not pants.  Julie disagrees with the poster (and Ingrid), and retroactively has her posts removed.
Memorable Quotes:

Check out this post, written by one of the bloggers on that site whose perspective I consistently enjoy and appreciate if not always agree with. Then check out the comments section where the real fun begins. My first comment was published, though I don’t know if my second one will be. However, I’ve preserved it for this blog. Here’s the running debate I’m having with Christine Narloch, who seems like a lovely woman. I’m not going to go into super deep and serious discussion because, like I said, I’m working on another blog post for the future that will cover my thoughts on this and more, anyway.

Did Jesus die on the cross so I could feel guilt about not wearing a skirt? It’s bad enough trying to find decent, modest clothing the past few years with the fashions that are in, but now I get reprimanded for having a preference for bifurcated clothing. Frankly, I find pants more modest than a skirt. There’s no worry about light showing through, mirrors on some pervert’s shoe, or a Marilyn Monroe breeze coming along and making me have a red-faced day. Pants stay put, cover everything, and don’t have to be tight. Functional, and less tripping. How is it that I, who am often disgusted by the clothes girls wear now and have often commented on the lack of modesty, am now on the wrong end of the stick for wearing pants?

I just find it interesting that I even have to have this discussion. Skirts vs. pants. Despite Christine being sure that I am ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit because she experienced it, I assure her and you I AM NOT. It’s a far leap to assume that since I haven’t had the same conviction as Christine that I am prone to picking and choosing what to believe. God points out different things in each life that He wants us to deal with.

Tomorrow is church. I will wear jeans. They will be clean and neat and not tight. I will wear a nice sweater and other layers and some women’s shoes and will be up front, playing the piano, as always. I hope God takes notice of my fashion sense? No, I hope He takes notice of my heart and intent, and whether I’ve been faithful in word and deed and in Bible study. I didn’t know there was a dress code to get into heaven. Craziness is right. It’s the angels on the head of the pin all over again.

I will never be able to jump through all the hoops that man puts in front of me in order to be proper; luckily, that isn’t my goal. Skirts don’t make me holy. They’re merely missing a seam.

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Source: Bob Blog

Comments: Bob documents an early example of Slice removing comments/commenters if they make more sense than the Slice point of view.  After all, at Slice, it’s not about truth.  Or, as Jack Nicholson says, “You can’t handle the truth…”
Memorable Quotes:

I told you a few posts back about the stellar job Ross was doing discussing Scripture and our limitations when we come to it over at Slice.

A few hours after posting my lauds, the comments slice was gone. Poof!

In a sadly immature fit of spite, they actually erased what was becoming a great conversation, I suspect because Ross was very much coming off as the most reasonable voice there and it was clear that not only was he making the most sense, but people were starting to listen…

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Source: Bob Blog

Comments: Bob congratulates Ross Daws (of Less Travelled) for a well-thought exchange at Slice, but in doing so, sends the Slice censors into overdrive.  After all, you can’t run a heretic-hunter site if the ‘heretics’ actually make sense.
Memorable Quotes:

speaking of critics… Has anyone noticed the absolutely stellar job Ross Daws is doing over at Slice of Laodicea?
… amazing, yoeman’s work. He is being compassionately engaging, not being drawn in by the ridiculous ad hominems (my downfall… I can’t resist responding), and is teaching… one can actually see some light bulbs come on as you read through the thread. It’s brilliant.

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