Friday, July 13, 2007

Conversation on Theology, Science, History and Other Stuff

Back in my younger days I was a member of Utica Presbytery. There was a colleague of mine named John Shuck. I've always liked John. But John and I come from different theological perspectives.

Here is a picture of John.

Last year John started a blog. It has, I think I can say, caused some controversy and some people have said all kinds of nasty things about John. Recently we started a dialogue on a variety of issues. I've been long-winded, which will not surprise any of you who know me, particularly congregational members.

Anyway, to read the dialogue go to John's blog called "Shuck and Jive." You can go there by clicking on John's picture or below:

Shuck and Jive


Chris said...

People have said some nice things about him and he's said some nasty things about other people.

Anyway, please know that you aren't the first person to try the gentle approach. If you have nothing better to do, you can trace the charitableness that was extended to him by orthodox officers of the PCUSA after he'd trumpeted his repudiation of basic Christianity.

For example, I spent a number of posts gently teasing out his commitments to Westar.

Pastor Bob said...


John and I have been friends for more than 10 years. It is perfectly possible to be friends and have significant disagreements.

Furthermore, all humans deserve respect. God created humans in the image of God. The image of God must be treated with love and respect. While John is a friend of mine I believe in treating everyone with love and respect.

Finally, hey, an evangelical Christian's viewpoint is on John's blog every day. This is a bad thing?

Chris said...

Thanks for the reply.

I've always hoped that most of my posts, when they aren't helpful, come off as the sort of "punch in the arm" playground behavior of 4th graders. When I first found that I was going to disagree with him seriously, I made it a point to go and spend an hour chatting with him. When I'm back in the presbytery this fall, I'll make it a point to chat with him again. I like the guy as a guy: we have tons in common and share a skewed sense of humor. Nevertheless, I believe his false teaching makes him a blemish to our koinon ministry.

As for respect, I think it would be fair to say that I've treated him with as much respect as he's treated those with whom he disagrees. And I do appreciate the tone you take with him. Who can say if it were not just for "such a time as this" that you were raised up to the challenge.

John Shuck said...

Interesting that Chris uses the image of a fourth grade punch in the arm. Having engaged in a few school yard scuffles myself, I recall an honor code. It goes something like this:

If you decide to engage in a playground scrap, when you get your nose bloodied you don't tattle to the principal.

robert austell said...

Bob (and John),

I found your online discussion through Presbyweb and very much appreciate the candor with which you both have shared. Hearing you both speak so clearly about your positions helps me realize how often we speak past one another and miss the opportunity to understand. If I'm going to disagree with someone, at least I should disagree accurately!

In Christ,

Robert Austell
Charlotte, NC