Friday, June 11, 2010

Sam Shamoun Responds Again

Over the last few days, I've had a little back and forth in a website's comments thread with the brilliant Christian apologist Sam Shamoun.

 Sam on ABN

First there was this.  Then this.  Now Sam responds again, and he's not happy:
Traeh, why am I not surprised that you twist and distort the meaning of these passages in order to maintina your belief in the almighty sovereignty of man's free will?

Do you really want me to drop everything and go through your "reply" and refute your gross eisegesis?
I never said I wanted him to drop anything to reply to me.  Here's what I wrote: "I grasp and everyone else should grasp the obvious: that if you don't respond to this it's not that you agree or have nothing to say, but that you are busy with other debates, work, life."  I was trying to make it easy for him to ignore me!  Anyway, here's the rest of Sam's latest response:
I will be more than happy to do that to show you how you are demeaning God and imposing your own spin and interpretation upon these texts in order to promote and affirm the almighty free will of man at the expense of the sovereignty of God.

Better yet, why don't you come on Paltalk since in that way I can demonstrate the error of your eisegesis and record it so that others can listen to what happens when a person imposes his imperfect, fallible spin upon God's word in order to make it fit in with his unblblical philosophical presuppositions and traditions.

Let me know when you sign up on Paltalk so I can invite you in the room and begin refuting your assault against God's glorious sovereignty so as to exalt your creaturely free will.

Your approach is not only insulting to God and to those who love him but is outright dangerous since this is the path of the cults and heretics who manhandle God's Word in order to keep to their traditions and philosophies.
To that from Sam, I responded with the following.
Sam, I'd like to come to your Paltalk group, but not to debate with you.  I'd be more interested in listening.  I learn a lot that way, and having watched you on the Jesus and Muhammad show many times, I know how knowledgeable you are, and I expect I'd learn a great deal from listening to you interact with a group.

I wouldn't want to argue with you any further, because I don't sense friendliness from you, but rather something like hostility, belligerence, pugnacity, impatience, and an insistence that you are being insulted or offended, when all I've done is express my current thoughts on God, freedom, and a few biblical verses.  If you want to be offended, go right ahead, but it has nothing to do with me.  To me it seems like you are offended because I have my own perspective and it doesn't agree with yours. It seems like you want to pepper your statements to me with an incipient ad hominem quality, and in fact I feel insulted by you.  But it doesn't matter; it's just a part of the territory of people arguing their thoughts: in their intolerance and impatience and weakness they sometimes insult each other without really wanting to do so.  That's one reason I love Socrates: the grace and politeness with which he defeated his opponents in argument.  I gather that for other reasons, he has sometimes been called a Christian before the time of Christ.  In any case, Sam, suppose my view of God is wrong; there is nothing insulting about a person having mistaken views, provided that person is willing to listen and learn.
 Update:  Here is Sam's final (non)-response:
@ Apollos and Zang, I think as brothers it is time for us to drop this debate since this is not the purpose of this thread. Unfortunately, this all started because of Traeh's rather insulting and demeaning remarks against God's sovereignty in order to elevate man's creaturely free will. In spite of that I think we need to bring this debate to a close. If you guys are still interested in debating this issue then there are other forums where we can continue this debate.

Lord bless you both.
Sam, in this discussion you've considered it an "offense" and an "insult" against you and against God to think about free will and God, except along lines that you, as God's representative, peremptorily lay down. 

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Second update: A day has gone by without further response from Sam, but another commenter, "getrealman," posting on the same thread, says this.
Unfortunately, Sam seems to have a little bit of an anger problem and tendency to fly off the handle pretty easily. I love Jesus and Sam loves Jesus, so he is my brother, but if he were on the other side I don't think any of us would be quite as tolerant. He is frequently condescending and speaks with quite a bit of belligerence. He is clearly bring knowledgeable and is good at refuting the Islamic opponents. He just likes to call others on the carpet, insist he will destroy their puny arguments, and expose them before everyone for what they really are, which is clearly hypocrites in gross error. Clearly this man "has arrived" and is more than willing to announce his doctrinal certainty. I've only been a Christian a little less than 40 years, which is probably not as long as Sam. Funny though, the older I get the less I know, except for the main things. Someone much wiser said, "the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things". Jesus is Lord. Plain and simple. Salvation only through Christ. Plain and simple. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in my heart God has raised him from the dead by shalt be saved". Plain, and very simple. Other things sometimes are not as easily grasped or differences reconciled. Sometimes better to say, "I hear what you're saying, but I see it a little differently". Sam, a lot of people here feel differently, which does not immediately grant you the position of inerrancy in the matters of which you so clearly speak. Don't be offended when others disagree with you, as as hard as it is to believe, you probably are not "there" either. In transit, definitely! "There", not yet, dear brother.

Needless to say, I have seen the "sovereignty of God" drum being beaten by him quite a bit lately. I don't think anyone has ever said God is not sovereign, at least not in this thread, but I do think there is some pretty difficult to explain passages. Cut and dried, black-and-white, this or that, is rarely where the full truth is found, at least in areas "seen through a glass dimly" of which others of equal devotion disagree.

Starting off each of the shows with public prayer is noble, but it doesn't really accomplish anything that praying quietly before the show will not also accomplish. It's especially not fruitful when you bring out the sharp tongue and continual condescension. Let's see, I will probably be asked to document this and then I will be told I am a liar because I am running it cannot do this. My response to this would be, "get real man". Ask anyone else that sees what is going on and they will most likely suggest you turn down the aggression and subdue the testosterone surges. Ask the monitor of this blog, David, in private, as he is the only person whose opinion really matters regarding the activities that occur here. This is as it should be as he is the one who pays the bills and does the work.

Lest I be misunderstood, Sam really seems to know his stuff, he just needs to repackage his presentation and soften the delivery of his communiqu├ęs. People rarely convert when someone is swinging a sledgehammer at their face. Probably not the best of behavior to engage in whether with brother or nonbeliever.

Just my two cents, which can easily be refuted, I'm sure. "Blessed is the man who sits on the floor as he shall not have far to fall", said Leonard Ravenhill. May we all hit the pavement, put down the stones, come out of our glass houses, and quit telling other people what to do. David owns the site and can do as he wills. Everyone else, not so much.

Chill and get real, man.

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