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Use of the Dialectic In Debates On Christian Forums: Luke 11: 17-19

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Use of the Dialectic In Debates On Christian Forums: Luke 11: 17-19 Empty Use of the Dialectic In Debates On Christian Forums: Luke 11: 17-19

Post by northwye on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:42 am

Use of the Dialectic In Debates On Christian Forums: Luke 11: 17-19

The dialectic sidesteps the main points made by someone, that is, the thesis. It then tries to compromise the thesis by coming into it from the side, often somewhat misrepresenting the thesis, or badly misrepresenting it.

The dialectic is a way of debating that Satan and the Pharisees tried to use on Christ. But he stuck
to the didactic. "It is written."

The dialectic was brought into Western culture, first in the universities as part of philosophy
and Marxist theory, and later into the broader culture as part of the system which says that since there
is no God, everything is permitted. Under the dialectic system, there are is no absolute truth and no
absolute morality. This system was brought in by Hegel, Marx and in a way also by Freud. The Group
Dynamics Movement in the late forties and fifties made use of the dialectic. After that, in the sixties
and seventies, it became a deceptive attitude change procedure in the encounter group movement, which popularized
it. Carl Rogers, one of my professors at Wisconsin, used the dialectic in doing what can be described as "destroying" a group of nuns in Southern California. Now almost all political, intellectual, religious, and other communication or debate is dialectic in nature.

The absolute truth of the word of God, present as Jesus Christ, who
has the power to cast out demons, and more, is the thesis in this
Scripture. In Luke 11: 4 Jesus "...was casting out a devil, and it
was dumb. And it came to pass, when the
devil was gone out, the dumb spake: and the people wondered."

Then comes the antithesis, the opposition to the thesis that Jesus
Christ present in the form of human flesh, is God with all of God's
power. In Luke 11: 17-19
Jesus knew the thoughts of the Pharisees who accused him of casting
out devils through
the power of Beelzebub. In Matthew 12: 22-24 when Christ had cast
out a devil
that caused the victim to be blind and dumb, the Pharisees said "This
fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the
devils." And in Mark 3: 11-22 when Christ had driven devils out of
people the scribes said in verse 22 "He hath Beelzebub, and by the
prince of the devils casteth he out devils."

Now there is a battle started between the thesis and the antithesis,
Jesus Christ as God having the power to cast out demons and restore
the man's speech, and the claim of the Scribes and Pharisees that
was casting out demons through the power of Satan.

The clash of opposites between the thesis - Jesus Christ
as God having power to cast out demons - creates
pressure to begin a dialogue between the parties
supporting the thesis and the parties supporting the antithesis. The
antithesis, that Jesus Christ is empowered by Satan, is blasphemy of
the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12: 31-32, Mark 3: 29, Luke 12: 10)..
Someone in the group
tries to start the dialogue to reconcile these two opposing positions,
to arrive at a synthesis.

The synthesis comes in Luke 11: 27, when a woman in the group said
"Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast
The Pharisees and the followers of Jesus could have agreed with this
synthesis which diverts attention away from Jesus Christ as God who
is able to
cast out demon spirits, to Mary, the mother of Jesus after the flesh.

This episode illustrates the use of the dialectic, but the woman who introduced
the compromise, who side stepped the main issue - that Christ cast out demons
with the power of Satan - did not necessarily do so in a contentious fashion.
Often on forums, the dialectic is used in an attempt to shoot down the thesis
of an opponent in what is perceived to be a debate. And it is sometimes out of a
contentious attitude.

One dictionary definition of the dialectic is from:

"In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: äéáë.êôéêÞ) is an
exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions
(antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or
at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the

Another definition of the dialectic is from:

"from Greek dialektike, from feminine of dialektikos of conversation,
from dialektos...
discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual

On the other hand, the didactic method of teaching is defined as: :

Didactic: "from Greek didaktikos, skillful in teaching, from
didaktos, taught, from didaskein, didak-, to teach, educate"

The didactic method of teaching is generally a monologue in writing or
in speech presenting
statements as being true. Its the traditional method of
classroom and textbook teaching. In teaching the Bible,
the didactic is a way of presenting "thus saith the Lord,"
which is the word of a sovereign God, as absolute truth in its
entirety. However, a false Christian
teacher will often claim to be teaching the true word of
God when in fact he or she is teaching a false man-made theology. So,
we have to discern the purpose of the
teaching, to know whether its purpose is to present the word
of God or some false theory of men. And the teacher of
false doctrine can himself be deceived and not fully know
he is teaching false doctrine. We have to examine what he is saying in
using the traditional preaching method to see if his presentation is
true to Scripture or not.

First of all, the dialectic is usually found in conversations
between people, as in the conversation between Jesus Christ and the
Pharisees and Jews in Luke 11: 14-27.
We are given something close to a verbatim account of
what was said in that dialogue involving the casting out of
a demon from a man who could not speak. For this reason,
we can use Luke 11: 14-27 as a clear example of the dialectic.

Forms of the dialectic have been used for decades to bring
about attitude and belief change in groups within the larger
society. The dialectic has been developed by social psychologists,
educators and others into an effective method of change. But we do
not often have verbatim
accounts of what actually goes on in these small face to face groups
controlled by what is called a "facilitator." If we make assumptions
about what is said in the dialectic process in groups without having
a verbatim record, or a summary of such a record, we may create
misunderstandings of what the method of the dialectic is. For
group leaders may use different forms of the dialectic.

In the exposure of the dialectic by Dean Gotcher, he
focuses upon change agents in society whose purpose
has been to replace belief in absolute truths and in
following absolute morals with group conformity, group
consensus, opinions, feelings and relationships.

Here is what Gotcher says on: Dean Gotcher paper.htm

"It depends on an attitude of compromise
by all participants on a general social issue producing tolerance
toward ambiguity. It seeks a collaborative effort in overcoming
differences in an effort to find agreement on personal-social
relationship needs (group consensus). It regards the resolution of
personal-social relationship needs through the use of human-reasoning
skills, or HOTS, as most important. It helps in determining what is
the "best" or "most rational" solution to personal-social relationship
needs. This does not mean that the solution agreed upon should be
"fact" or "truth" (absolute), only that it is acceptable to all as a
possible solution that could or should be tried relative feelings
toward ambiguous facts."

The use of the dialectic by change agents whose purpose
is to overthrow absolute truth and absolute morality is a deceptive
method. Gotcher says "Diaprax survives today because of its ability
to stay hidden behind the activities of the moment. The facilitator
controls the agenda"environment"and thereby controls the direction all
questions will be taking. The facilitator's ability to control group
feelings gives him the ability to shape the definition each person in
the group gives for his or her position. What is lost in the whole
scheme of things is that someone is always influencing the definitions
we give for our position and that apart from God and His Word, all
positions are subject to change. There is only a skewing of positions,
shaped by our desire to gain or retain relationship with others."

Relationship is very important in the use of the dialectic. When
we have a relationship with the members of a group, then we are often
willing to compromise our attitudes, beliefs and behavior for the sake of the
relationship. We can also have a relationship with media figures and others
we know only from their books, TV appearances or their presence on the Internet.

When we are developing a relationship with a man made theology, then a facilitator can more
effectively use the dialectic on us to get us to compromise and move closer to that
false theology. When a facilitator tries to move a person toward a false theology when that
person knows the theology is false and has a love for the truth of scripture (II Thessalonians 2:
10-11), the dialectic is much harder to use effectively - unless that person who
has some love of the truth can be induced to develop a relationship with the group, the
facilitator or some other entity. The dragon is the master facilitator.

The big problem with the dialectic as used in Christian discussions, debates
and teaching is that our relationships can be used by a facilitator to move us
out of the truth of Jesus Christ. Christ is the truth not just one who
brings the truth. To stay in he truth we must have such a love for it
(II Thessalonians 2: 10-11) that we are willing to stay in the truth if
that means giving up a relationship. The "church" after the falling away of
II Thessalonians 2 3 may offer fellowship which is relationship in place
of the truth. And this is the broad way of Matthew 7: 13-14, which leads to
destruction. To follow the narrow way is to put the truth above relationships, when
faced with dialectic types of social communication by "facilitators."

Gotcher uses the term "diaprax" to describe the dialectic

He goes on to say that "Consensus: means with sensation, with
feelings, as in "we all feel good about the decision." Group feeling
(mankind, human experience) now decides what is right and what is
wrong. Consensus is the unanimous approval of man, the unanimous
rejection of God and His Law, i.e. God's Law is rejected as the
standard for personal and social behavior."

Gotcher has equated the carnal mind with
the dopamine reward system in the human midbrain. See: The Cognitive, Affective, and Psycho-motor domains and the dialectical process.htm

Here Gotcher says that "Concupiscence means intense or hot carnal
desire. Man is, is by his nature, driven by the things of the world
which stimulate dopamine emancipation, resulting in the "wanting of
the gratifying objects of the world." Rather than being lead by God's
Holy Spirit, desiring the things which are from above, man, lead by
his fleshy nature, is by nature, a lover of pleasure rather than a
lover of God)."

In this article Dean Gotcher goes on to say "Before the individual
(the student) can participate in Diaprax, the proper situation or
"healthy" condition which stimulates the "sensuous need," i.e. the
pleasure, the "self-actualized" fruition of the "want of a gratifying
object in nature"..."

We feel a high, almost like one induced by cocaine and heroin, from
some relationships, as when we are accepted by a group. When that group
acceptance activates the dopamine reward system in the midbrain, we fell
a pleasure we do not want to lose. In this situation, the facilitator can more
easily work the dialectic and change our attitudes toward whatever position the
facilitator wants as the goal.

The dialectic is used in Christian seminaries and in some
churches. For example, on

Under the Purpose-Driven Process Rick Warren says ""The importance of
helping members develop friendships within your church cannot be
overemphasized. Relationships are the glue that holds a church

".... I'm confident the purpose-driven process can work in other
churches where the pace of growth is more reasonable....Saddleback...
grew large by using the purpose-driven process.... Healthy churches
are built on a process, not on personalities." Rick Warren

"Today's facilitated small groups or teams are not like the old Bible
studies many of us attended years ago. Back then, we discussed the
Bible and its wonderful truths; now people dialogue until they reach
an emotional form of unity based on "empathy" for diverse views and
values. Dr. Robert Klench gave an excellent description of this
process in his article, "What's Wrong with the 21st Century Church?"

The author of this web site says "Briefly, the Hegelian dialectic
process works like this: a diverse group of people (in the church,
this is a mixture of believers (thesis) and unbelievers (antithesis),
gather in a facilitated meeting (with a trained
facilitator/teacher/group leader/change agent), using group dynamics
(peer pressure), to discuss a social issue (or dialogue the Word of
God), and reach a pre-determined outcome (consensus, compromise, or

"When the Word of God is dialogued (as opposed to being taught
didactically) between believers and unbelievers... and consensus is
reached " agreement that all are comfortable with " then the message
of God's Word has been watered down ever so slightly, and the
participants have been conditioned to accept (and even celebrate)
their compromise (synthesis). The new synthesis becomes the starting
point (thesis) for the next meeting, and the process of continual
change (innovation) continues."

But - the dialectic can also be used in virtual groups, that is, on Internet
forums, as well as in face to face small groups.

Dean Gotcher has regular Internet broadcasts on:

Gotcher is on three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 to 10:30 AM
Pacific Time. He is an interesting combination of a sort of academic, intellectual and Remnant evangelist.

Last edited by northwye on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:49 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typo)


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Post by Consumed on Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:44 am

Good post. I am one of the ones that tend to encourage peace first, it's never in what anyone has to say but in the manner that one delivers it. This gets mistrued as being I'm not true to Christ. Matt 5 on the sermon on the mount speaks volumes of how it blesses God, forget that it says the one who is gets blessed, it is ultimately what pleases Him.

I know Jesus didnt come to bring peace but war, speak truth and as you know it starts a war. Jesus, what I see and have learnt, is the best example of keeping calm under duress. In any debate, the message will always get lost if personal attacks are made. The debate changes to being on the offensive, defending what one is saying by demeaning the other. This annoys me, especially between Christ minded people. Shocked

I'm not a theologan or scholar, just a donkey(check my avatar lol) saying the same thing over, bible is about the love of God for us and we as His children, to love one another. Sure there will be differences of opinions on scriptures and false teachings, however if peace, respect and honor is shown thru it the both sides don't walk away thinking just on the negative and insulting manner but at least feeling they have been heard, that's the validation people seek, then they can contemplate the others view impartially, then strongholds are broken, questions are asked and they seek further on the matter.

I'm big on abc Christianity being

a/ God sent His Son for a wretch like me

b/ Died for my sins paid in full the penalty

c/ obey His commandments - to love

Any church denomination we can find fault, heck we can find fault in anything and anyone, even ourselves. My aim is never to stifle debate by seeking unity, it's so the debate would bare fruit that I do.

Ok I'll go hide now.

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Post by Strangelove on Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:26 am

Good post might find this thread interesting:
Church Transformation, Purpose / Mission Driven Church

"Gentlemen you cant fight in here, this is the War Room!"


Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

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Post by Consumed on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:30 am

Great link doc. Here's the thing, if one is seeking to compromise then by all means they are not being true to Christ and are there for acceptance first by man.
Where I was coming from is the manner in which correction is made, spirit or flesh, we can't compromise. Man if I wrote have the things I wanted to before I read it back and check if I'm doing it in love then I would be even worse than my old self.
Hard call, how to communicate yet not lose them to building up the barriers to shut out what's said.

I look forward to being challenged here for my benefit to grow in Christ, because at least here, I hope, the honesty shared I can learn from. Quickest way to shut my heart is insult it, but I'm happy to take the stripes from the Lord with a open heart so really, I do hope to grow here.

Ps. Great threads on here strangelove, to what I knew and to what's been added is great.

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Post by northwye on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:01 pm

I found the first link to Dean Gotcher was broken, and also the
one to his ideas on
how the dopamine reward system in the human midbrain helps make the
dialectic work.

Here are some links, including the last one which is to Gotcher's
ideas on dopamine, a neurotransmitter.

authorityresearch - CachedSimilar
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
The Institution for Authority Research. DIAPRAX EXPOSED. This website
is not for those who are content in the way things are, it is for
those who have ...


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