Monday, February 09, 2009

The long awaited reply to Chuck Colson (but not quite)

Okay, okay, okay.

Those of you who have been hanging around for a while will remember that I reviewed a free copy of Chuck Colson's The Faith many months ago; he took a couple of months to reply, and then he wrote three separate but very long posts over the next few weeks.  And you'll also remember that I keep on making half-hearted promises to post a substantial reply to those posts, but I keep on not actually doing it.

Part of the reason has been personal life stuff, and part of it is because there are just so many things to criticize, single sentences that take hours to rebut.

I'm thinking of a new approach to get me moving.  I have a long commute with a carpool and a laptop now, so I'm able to write regularly, but I'm still swamped trying to think of how to organize the mega-response I was writing.  So here's my proposal.  Since I've managed to get fired up writing so much about debate lately, I'm thinking I should make this a weekly installment.  I'll post what I have written already, and then each week maybe identify one particular aspect of Chuck's posts, write something during the week, and post something even if it's short.

The question I have for you readers is: Should I send a message to Chuck's liaison immediately after writing the first post, and keep updating him, thereby inviting more replies before I'm finished?

Or, should I do this for several weeks, and then gather up ALL the posts when I've finished having my say, and send a big list of links?

What do you say?


  1. I would be inclined to do a bunch and then send it in. We all know what will happen if you sent him a reply each week. He will then write a reply to that with so many things wrong, that you will then be torn on whether to reply to those or the original, and either way it probably would not look good.

    I would suggest writing a bunch, then send it and then there will be less need to reply to his reply and tackle the original.

  2. I agree with Gizmo. He is going to reply to what you send in and be inhumanly wrong. This way you can get through the original and then handle the responses.

  3. While I do think it might be interesting to see more of a "back and forth" one-at-a-time thing, I think Gizmo and BeamStalk make good points.

  4. I also agree with the posters above, if you send him bits and pieces, you will not only have what you are currently responding too, but also his responses to your responses. If his responses to your responses turn out to be meaningless chicken scratch, it may dissuade you from finishing your original response.

  5. I add my vote to the those above. But try to keep it manageable and do it quickly. I imagine that each post you mark will support each other, and therefore, if you submit one at a time to him, you may run the risk of him refuting one argument by attacking something you meant to address in a future post. After getting all the posts out, try and create a short summary to how all the points might tie together. I think this might help.

  6. Related to the prior posts you've written about debate, I'm inclined to ask why you feel the need to address everything wrong in that last post.

    I understand this is written, so you can organize thoughts and points more clearly and substantially, but it still seems more prudent to hammer away on a specific point that is clearly wrong.

    Aside from that, all at once. Colson threw everything to see what would stick last time, so no use expecting any sort of concise or coherent response.

  7. Yeah... Wait and load the cannon with all of your responses. When you feel you're done, light the fuse and see what happens. I agree with the posters above.

  8. I a agree with the majority of people who have already responded. Give him everything to respond to all at once, rather than a little bit at a time. In the end it will make the dialogue more productive.


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