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June 5, 2011 / joelmalm

Arguing with a Platypus

I was recently sucked into a conversation that went something like this (names and titles have been changed to protect the innocent):

Person: I am a platypus.
Joel:  No you aren’t, you are a human being.
Person: Who are you to tell me what I am – I am a platypus!.

It went back and forth like this for about 30 minutes.  He never capitulated, but I am certain that man is not a platypus.  Here’s why: I know what a platypus looks like and that man doesn’t fit the description of a platypus.  Regardless of what he thinks a platypus is – A is not B.

When discussing philosophy with someone rule number one is always to define your terms.  You have to figure out what you are in agreement about and make sure when you use a word both sides agree on what it means.

Christians believe the Bible is God’s word.  Non-Christians don’t.  You can’t argue with someone who is not a Christian using the Bible as ultimate truth.  It won’t work.  You aren’t on the same common ground.

You have to start further back.  You have to define whether or not the person you are conversing with even believes there is an ultimate truth.  If you can get them to concede to that you have gotten somewhere in today’s world.  If not, it’s not worth the argument. (Most people believe there is an ultimate truth, even if they don’t admit it.  Slap them once and ask if what you did was wrong, they’ll have an opinion on truth then. J)

Your persuasive logic and smooth banter will never convince anyone the Bible is truth or that Jesus was the Son of God.  When Simon Peter declared to Jesus, “You are the Son of the living God,” Jesus immediately acknowledged that this revelation was divine: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matt 16:16-18)

The Holy Spirit is the one with the power to open blind eyes.  Defend your faith with as much knowledge as you can acquire, God will use that skill, but conversion only comes through a divine grace that originates with God himself.  Prayer is the answer.  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44)


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