I have overloaded myself with blog and internet discussions and must back off a bit in order to re-organize both priorities regarding which discussions to continue as well as how much personal time I spend doing so. Two in particular require the study of articles and opinions in order to properly familiarize myself with the details. Then, I can plan how best to re-engage so as to stay on track in dealing with the most important points related to them. Sounds like work. But then, I did publicly commit and it would be bad form to bail out now.
Yet, I still try to keep up with the newer discussions, and a quick comment here and there is no different than any quick face-to-face chit-chat in which one might engage in the course of one's busy day. This here post is being composed while enjoying a late breakfast before chores. I often sit before the computer while eating, as dinner is the only meal the family regularly shares together.
Anyway, I've been keeping an eye on the new discussion at Dan's blog, between he had Bubba. It began elsewhere and as it was off topic there, Dan invited Bubba to carry on with him there. It is reserved for just the two of them as they both expressed the desire that it remain so.
There is still, for me, some level of interest and entertainment in witnessing the discussion. I should have started a pool, or established some over/under wager on the amount of time before Dan two-stepped away from answering a simple and direct question. It came in the very first response to Bubba's initial comment. Getting direct answers to simple and direct questions has always been the challenge for people dealing with Dan. Ambiguity is essential to his belief system. The more ambiguity, the easier it is to believe as one finds personally favorable.
Conversely, few of Dan's questions are direct and simple. They often are leading questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no lest a wrong understanding results, which is pretty much guaranteed. When I've been faced with such questions by him, I've always endeavored to answer directly and then immediately supply the details with the qualifications that must be presented in order to prevent misunderstanding, but too often (if not always) only the initial "yes" or "no" from me is heard or recorded to then be used against me.
This is what Bubba will have to deal with throughout the exercise for as long as it might last, which is always uncertain.
As to the two-stepping, there are a few initial questions Bubba poses. He allows Dan to pick one to answer if that is preferable to Dan. Here are some of them:
--Do you believe in orthodoxy and heresy as real categories and not just traditional understandings?
--Do you really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?
These two are really just set-ups for the even more direct questions that follow, but they are quite direct in themselves insofar as one person is directing the questions specifically to one specific person alone in order to draw out that specific person's own personal opinion. Get that? It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because I'm asking YOU!
Next comes the two requests, with clarifying explanations afterwards that don't seem to sink in. Again, they are quite direct and really require nothing more than a direct answer:
-- NAME ONE ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.
-- NAME ONE CLEAR TEACHING OF THE BIBLE.
Bubba then offers two that Dan can use as answers of his own: The existence of God, and, the historicity of Jesus.
Dan's subsequent responses do little to clarify his position mostly due to the fact that he insists upon consideration for the positions of others. All of that is irrelevant. In other words, who cares? It is DAN'S own position/opinion that is sought, so none of that superfluous crap has any value.
I have to admit that I need to review the response a few times. Because Dan is so evasive (under the pretense of seeking clarification), I don't want to misconstrue his positions. What's more, the conversation is ongoing and I also don't want to misconstrue Bubba's intentions in asking the questions he's asking. We'll have to wade through the voluminous non-answers Dan will supply to see if a legitimate answer is put forth. It would help if he'd just answer the question. But I believe he does as he does because just answering the questions put forth to him would provoke admission that his positions are untenable. The end of his back and forth with Bubba will demonstrate just how honestly he seeks the truth.