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8: Discussion Forum

   

"Moving from sinful chaos to godly shalom through Christ"

 

 
 

Introduction

The Kairos Focus Discussion Forum

The Kairos Initiative discussed in this web site seeks to help build a new generation of godly leaders for the Caribbean, able and ready to lead us through the crises ahead to a new era of godly reformation, sound and sustainable development, under the blessing of God.

Dialogue is a vital part of such an ongoing process of reformation.

We therefore invite serious discussion, or questions and comments, through interaction with this site, and the associated web log and the eGroup.

Also, feel free to contact us at kairosfocus@yahoo.co.uk .

Key Points for Dialogue

We particularly invite your inputs on the following vital concerns for the church and wider community in and beyond the Caribbean:

  • Strategic perspectives on the past and present situation in our region, towards sound decisions and directions in the future. Thus, under God, the Caribbean may find a path to truly sustainable, God-blessed development.
  • Renewal of the Caribbean Church’s vision and focus, through the fullness of Christ vision of Ephesians 4:9 – 24. For, Christ came, descending and ascending, in order to fill – thus transform and bless – all things.
  • Support for training and equipping disciples; linked to the onward development of a David Generation of breakthrough leaders, who, under God, will overcome Goliaths and help the people of the region move on beyond tragically failed leadership.
  • Helping the Caribbean church rise to the global missionary challenge of Eph 1:22 – 23, and 2:8 - 10: “the church . . . is [Christ’s] body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way . . . . we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  • Responding to the secularist, neopagan and/or islamist global agendas as they impact the Caribbean and the wider world. (You may wish to first look at the Issues and News and Views pages above, or the Apologetics Primer and Mars Hill Strategy downloads as an aid to addressing this aspect of our concerns.)

A few Rules of the Road

While we are interested in dialogue, it is important for us to set some basic ground-rules to guide the dialogue to a fruitful outcome, in light of the Apostle Paul's remarks in 2 Cor 4:2:

. . . we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

To promote this standard, it is therefore requested that participants abide by the spirit of the following:

  • Mutual respect: freedom of expression is a right; that is, a moral claim we make on others based on our dignity as humans made in God's image. (No other foundation for rights, freedoms and responsibilities is strong enough, as the history of say the French Revolution forever proved.) Accordingly, we first of all must determine to respect the rights and dignity of others in discussion. Hateful ridicule, deliberately abusive remarks, obscenity and other similarly disrespectful language and rhetorical tactics are not welcome.
  • Recognition of diversity in opinions, and the possibility of error: as long as we differ, we will have differences of opinion. Accordingly, we expect that there will be give and take (especially where errors of fact and/or reasoning are discovered), and a recognition that some differences -- especially those rooted in key worldview commitments -- cannot simply be resolved by argument. (In extreme cases, one would be well advised to note Jesus' observation that "this kind goeth not out, except by prayer.")
  • Avoidance of deliberate deception: I believe it was Jefferson who pointed out that debate can be defined as that wicked art which makes the worse appear to be the better case. For, there is a vast difference between persuasion and proof. As Aristotle notes in his The Rhetoric, the essence of popular argument is to persuade, using: (1) the [perceived] character of the speaker, (2) the emotional responses of the hearers, and (3) actual reasoned argument; the last being the least persuasive in popular contexts. Accordingly, if resort is consistently made to emotional manipulation, or to improper use of the appeal to authority, or to false and/or materially misleading fact-claims, or to plain fallacies in reasoning, it will be inferred that the participant is less than sincere in presenting his or her case.
  • Sound Bible Study and Interpretation: Scripture-twisting is an old, and spiritually deadly sport.[cf. 2 Peter 3:15 - 16, James 3:1 ff, 2 Tim. 2:23 - 26 and Luke 17:1 - 4, esp. v. 2.] In an age where there is easy access to training in sound principles of Bible Study and interpretation, there is no excuse for consitently erroneous handling of the biblical text. Participants who insist on manifestly and consistently manipulative abuse of the biblical text will be warned, then requested to correct their error; and if recalcitrant, they will be identified as "twisters." (This is not to be confused with a situation where there may be significant disagreement over interpretation among informed commentators who respect the Scriptures, or where one is being explicitly exploratory or is open to correction of errors.)

Okay, having had a few for the road, welcome to the Kairos Focus Discussion Forum!

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