If you Want to Bang your Head Against the Wall…

listen to this debate. The whole debate starts out with the post hoc fallacy. Children are leaving the church, and that must be due to age specific ministry. Of course, you might as well say that the sun is rising, and that must be because roosters crow, since they happen at the same time.

Secondly, while there were hints of a challenge to Scott Brown’s hermeneutics, the “patterns and principles” approach Scott Brown takes was never addressed. It is true that the “Biblical pattern” for Baptism is the baptize outside, but that needs to be pressed. You need to come up with many other examples as well to point out the absurdity and arbitrariness of the hermeneutic itself.

Also, I don’t believe that the other two gentlemen provided a counter-hermeneutic to what Scott was proposing. You have to show how you get from the text to the proper application of the text, in a way that makes sense, and in a way that can be used consistently to get from the text to the application. That will provide a counter hermeneutic, and a counter exegesis, and you can keep pointing back to that whenever Scott asks for scripture.

Furthermore, when you consider the notion of pragmatics and speech acts, what the callers were saying makes a lot of sense. Again, the intent of the text is to get the church to teach. Of all the callers who turned out well, there was a clear pattern of youth groups who taught the word of God. The question was posed at the end as to whether you would want to bring an unbeliever into youth ministry, and my answer would be that it depends upon the faithfulness of the minister and the teens involved as to whether or not the are committed to the teaching of scripture.

Finally, I am saddened again that Brown and others in the NCFIC keep perpetuating this myth that age specific ministry only began in the last 150 years. It is a lie, and people like Shawn Mathis have already exposed it as a lie. Not only that, Shawn has pointed out that they have even used flagrant misquotes to argue their position. This needs to stop. We need to be honest with history, and point out that age specific ministry is an ancient practice. That doesn’t make it right, but we need to stop perpetuating this myth that it is a “Darwinian” concept. I can understand how that rhetoric is effective in the homeschooling community, since homeschoolers tend to not like public schools, and hence, trying to attach the public school’s Darwinian ideas with the church will have rhetorical force. However, it is a lie, and an utter and complete falsehood. We need to be concerned with truth, not rhetoric to win people over.


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