Posted by Keith E. Buhler


  1. I can only suppose you are trying to make a statement without having to make one.

    Some of us our more desirous of being students than teachers, whch allows us to sometimes ask critical questions of teachers or challenge their assumptions with different viewpoints. (Spare me the “always learning, but never able to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth,” if you don’t mind.)

    Shouldn’t a teacher be able to answer those questions, and support the validity of their assumptions?

    Take the doctrine of the Trinity, which most Christians either hold or oppose with great certainty of opinion, just as they do many other things, such as the sky is blue.

    We could discuss the sky until we were blue in the face without it changing the color of the sky or one another’s opinion of each other even if we were to correctly conclude that the sky only appears to be blue due to light refraction and moisture in the air, and half a million other physical variablles such as angle of interactions between light and moisture.

    We could in fact do this very thing with hundreds of other subjects, including philosophical concepts. In short the logos of pagan philosophy can be disputed provided one does not discuss its’ religious denotation and connotation in regard to the Logos of orthodox Christianity. That has been decided by the ancients who did not understand why the sky appeared to be blue, yet had somehow learned to discern the things of Heaven and modern man should not question them in this regard. Modern teachers therefore do not have to think about it and respond to questions about it from believers or non beievers alike, when shunning and condemning are much easier and natural to the heart of mankind, Christian or not.

    I don’t really know if that is what you are trying to say with your post, but that is the impression one gets from orthodox Christians when the subjects comes up. Perhaps you can enlighten me then, if you are in fact a teacher of Israel, on these things.


  2. EZSmirkzz,

    Thanks for your reply. I am afraid I must ask you to reiterate your question. I would not not want to launch out on a post that does not at all address your concern!

    Would you like me to provide the premises of which the aphorism is a conclusion?

    Would you like me to comment on how teachers should respond to questions asked regarding their assumptions and viewpoints?


  3. Hello Keith,

    Yeah, I would like to see the whole proposition expanded, and perhaps stated in layman’s terms so that all of us can get a handle on it. I don’t mind reading Plato, (well, yeah I do,) but I would rather not have to do it to understand a blog posting’s assertions.

    To be honest I find most of the stuff here at Mere-O both interesting and challenging which is fine with me, but time is finite as well. I don’t mind doing some homework, nor am I unaware that I may not be the targetted audience that you are trying to reach here, but unfortunately I have found you and I am really trying to understand where you guys are going with it, and just what it is you are trying to say. Obviously I have the same problem in communicating with you too, which might be a starting point. Anyway Darmok and Jalard at Tanagra, when the walls fell.


  4. I think Keith was saying that it is impossible to begin an inquiry into some issue (the color of the sky, the number of divine persons, etc.) without having some presuppositions about the way things are or could be.

    Rather than posturing as an all knowing teacher, I took Keith as recognizing the boundaries in which education can happen. Specifically, I took Keith to be recognizing a place for authority in one’s intellectual quests. St. Augustine Academy’s mission statement, from which Keith excerpted the aphorism, recognizes the authority of the Bible. The centrality of scripture in formulating our beliefs is something we can all agree on.


  5. Hello Peregrin,

    I really hope that I didn’t leave that impression although I think it has a fifty fifty chance of being taken that way, if the latest studies are accurate. I’ll try and find the link to it at any rate. Apparently we all tend to believe that half of all negative responses to ideas is intended personally, or is taken personally, even when the responder takes pains not to leave that impression, hence the flame wars on the net which do not occur in other forms of communications.

    I agree with you completely about the Scriptural basis for our beliefs, and one of my main ones is; Mar 9:40 For who is not against us is for us. Luk 9:50 And Jesus said to them, Do not forbid, for whoever is not against us is for us. Hence I am pretty open minded about doctrines, dogmas and creeds, so far as they are not held above Scripture and do not lead to divisions within the Body of Christ. I would prefer that all Christianity be reconciled with each other and each be allowed to hold those things dear as they see fit, but would gladly throw them all in the trash if that were the only way to achieve the reconciliation.

    I also worry that some critisism is leveled at the Scripture due to the meaning of some passages being obtained through Greek philosophical concepts and arguments, which constructs I have found to be unnecessary in my own efforts to understand the Scripture, and so find myself on occasion defending my faith against arguments against it, which are based on concepts and philosopical constructs that I either do not understand, or do not hold to fit the Scriptural passages being critisized. Since it is unbecoming of us to make a non believer look like a fool by stating I don’t believe that, here’s what it says…, one is left making ones brothers and sisters out to be the fools which is not what I wish to do either. So I must then say I have no defense of that and look like the fool myself.

    So I tend to demand a little more clarity from those who teach, because if they cannot state things clearly to me, who believes, then how much more obscure must it seem to those who do not. But I really have nothing but high regard for the people and efforts being made at Mere-O.


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