Calvinists lack good debating skills.
Calvinist comments to this website are, in general, irrational and disorganised. Very few would be able to present an acceptable debate. They are either incapable of intelligent rational discussion, or pretending to be so.
Good post-writing is like a well-presented debate
You see, I do a lot of research and study before putting any of my documents and posts online. I check reference details, I assess biblical consistency, and I definitely focus on the specific point I am trying to make. All in all, it takes a lot of time and effort to write something properly. Like a good debate, I seek to present my views clearly and accurately.
Calvinists totally lack good debating skills
However, calvinists on the other hand appear to totally lack any idea of good debating skills. They rarely try to refute my views, and often try to change the topic. Their statements lack cohesion, and they rely far too much on merely quoting some alleged “expert” (verbatim) or give unexplained lists of biblical references to check out. They will even quote large amounts of scripture without any explanation, obviously assuming (quite falsely) that the Bible must always be read according to their interpretations alone. In any debate, such behaviour would score very low, if at all.
Calvinist comments disagree with me yet are so vague that defence is impossible
You only have to check the Comments page to discover that calvinists regularly disagree with me, yet never actually clearly specify exactly what it is that I have written that they disagree with. It is impossible to effectively defend against such vague statements, and they know this. In fact, they prefer this.
Calvinists do not like to commit themselves too much for fear they might be refuted
The more specific a statement is, the more easily it can be accepted or refuted. Vague statements merely suggest certain things without presenting a clear topic that can be refuted. Calvinists hide behind such vague statements because they are afraid of being shown up as incorrect. This is a sign that calvinists do not fully trust their own doctrines as being biblical. They are afraid to go out on a limb in defence of their doctrines.
Calvinists attack the person, not the belief
Most calvinist comments are focused upon the person and not the actual belief itself. This is poor debating and not worthy of refuting. It demands that their opponent defend his/her own reputation rather than their beliefs. One only has to read many comments posted on my website to see the truth of this statement.
Comments must be made according to good debating practice
Calvinists do not appear to have much understanding of good debating practice. Keep in mind that it is my website and that the comments must be based on an agreement or disagreement of what I have written. Anything else is an irrelevancy.
I will state some basic rules.
1/. The topic must be clearly understood and reinforced by those who debate.
If calvinists disagree with anything I have written, they must clearly define what I have written that they disagree with. This will usually be a reference to a specific document, even quoting what it is that I have stated that they disagree with. Without the establishment of the topic in this way, there can be no debate.
2/. A good debater must be able to refute his opponent’s claims.
If a calvinist cannot refute anything I have written, then there is no point in presenting any counter claims of his own. If he cannot destroy opposing statements, then he is effectively agreeing with them. Calvinists tend to ignore or make light of opposing claims. They may say that my opposing claims could be right but that their claims also could be right. For example, a recent comment stated “The 1 Pet 1:2 verse could mean God’s foreknowledge of a sinners repentance and faith in Salvation and Jesus as Lord”. Could mean? Could be right? Since when is a debate won on “could mean”? If they are to be right, then they must demonstrate me to be wrong! Otherwise I remain right! Debaters must be definitive, not vague!
3/. A good debater must produce proof statements directly related to the named topic.
Calvinists are far too prone to presenting topics that they feel more comfortable with rather than dealing with what I have actually written. They do tend to avoid trying to directly refute what I have written because that so often takes them out of their comfort zone (something they very much dislike). And, as well as avoiding directly refuting my statements, they attempt to divert attention to topics that keep them in their comfort zone. Therefore, instead of sticking to the named topic, they would rather select one of their “calvinist proof passages” as a substitute topic. And, if they quote a verse normally used to “prove” calvinism, and I counter with a question that undermines them, they will quickly move on to another topic again.
For example, one calvinist stated that John 15:16 demonstrated that God chose us (and not us Him). I then asked if he realised that Judas was one of those chosen here. His next correspondence totally disregarded this issue and went onto another unrelated topic. My query regarding Judas went unanswered!
4/. A good debater must express himself personally.
A good debater will use references judiciously to support his own views of the topic. He may name expert references that support his stated views, but should always concentrate on said references supporting his own views. The quoted references should not be independent views in themselves. The debate is focusing on the skills of the debater, not the skills of his references. His references should always be in support of his own views. The debater should avoid quoting long passages verbatim from some alleged “expert” reference; otherwise it would be that expert reference who is debating, and not the debater himself. Expert references should only be used as support and not as extra debaters on the team.
Too many calvinists think that presenting a list of Bible references and/or long passages quoted verbatim is sufficient in itself to prove their views. Therefore, comments may only use Bible references demonstrated to be directly supporting the debater’s views. Long Bible passages should be avoided; the debate is not a lecture or sermon.
5/. A good debate is concise.
A good debate should be limited in size. Most debating competitions have a time limit on the time each team member may speak. Many debating teams may have perhaps 3 members on each team, with each person limited to 3 or 5 minutes. (Team numbers and time limits may vary.) No-one wants to sit listening to a speaker drone on for ages; such people can quickly lose the attention of their listeners. So keep it short and sweet, and straight to the point – no waffling on.
Unfortunately, calvinists tend to be long-winded and vague; by the time they get to the end, most listeners have forgotten where they started. In particular, calvinists rarely get straight to the point. Being too specific permits opponents to home in on indefensible points, so calvinists tend to be vague on purpose, making it more difficult for others to point out specific errors.
6/. A good debater always focuses on the topic, not the opponent.
A poor debater who has little to offer in support of his topic will be tempted to make personal comments about his opponent. It is a tactic often used by lawyers: that if you are likely to lose the case, throw some dirt and some might stick. Discredit the opposing counsel and/or his witnesses.
Time after time, calvinist comments focus on me as a poor example of a Christian. (Just check the Comments page to see this!) According to them, I am a satanist (actually a good one, too!), I have pride, I am arrogant, I am not humble, I disdain and abuse other Christians, I am clueless, rude, a slanderer, non-elect, etc etc.
(Of course, they provide little to support such claims other than they have been unable to demonstrate me to be wrong doctrinally.)
7/. A good debater avoids deception in his statements.
If a debater thinks he is fighting a losing battle because the topic favours his opponents, then he may hope to get in first by taking the high ground before his opponents get a chance to speak. That is, to take a great weakness and present it as a great strength. This is deception. The idea is to make the first move and hopefully put your opponent on the defensive from the start, making your opponent defend what they should be attacking with. It is effectively using lies to cover up your weaknesses. Deception may win debates but only if the opposition fails to recognise the untruths being told.
Calvinists make use of this tactic so often that it is amazing more have not seen the pattern. For example, they will regularly claim Romans 9 to be a most definitive passage in support of calvinism. And yet, if you look at Romans 9 carefully, it is clear that it opposes calvinism. (Just look at Romans 9:1-3 to see that Paul himself could not have been a calvinist!) Every one of their claims re that chapter is actually a weakness and not a strength at all. Note that this lying tactic is not likely to work with those who have a good knowledge and understanding of the Bible.
8/. A good debater does not use the debate as his soapbox.
A good debater sticks to the selected topic and does not let himself be distracted onto personal views unrelated to the topic.
Calvinists often commence by stating a vague opposition to something I have written, only to then go onto another topic that is probably more to their liking. (That is, probably a topic more easily discussed vaguely than the one I have presented.) I have accused a few of trying to treat my website as their soapbox. If they want a place to air their own personal views, then they should start their own website!
In future all comments will have to adhere to good debating rules.
Future comments will need to be focused on the topic (as defined by one or more of my documents). They will be concise, rational and logical.
If calvinists make vague, unintelligent and irrational discussion, then they will not be published on this website. In fact, this requirement will apply to all comments. If you disagree with any statement I have written, then clearly define that statement and why you are opposed to it. (Or, in fact, why you are in agreement with it.) Do not change the topic. Keep your debate concise.
You may use Bible references where they are integrated into your debate. Please do not quote Scripture verbatim, especially long passages. Keep in mind that any Bible quoted must be public domain. Any literary references must be properly documented.
If I had used these requirements to assess Comments up until now, many who write in disagreement would not have been published.
I will be more lenient with those who agree, of course. This is not unfair; it is, after all, my website (I pay all costs without using advertising). I may choose how I assess any incoming mail. Note that all people tend to accept emails more readily from supportive people, and this is no different to that. To any who disagree with this policy, I would ask how many of you move unwanted emails to the trash or spam folders rather than dealing with them. Naturally you prefer friendly emails; so do I. Therefore, any unacceptable Comments (that do not adhere to the above listed requirements) will be moved to the trash or spam folders. Thank you.
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