Tag Archives: logical fallacies

Divine Intervention and a Lesson in Logic

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A recent conversation with a friend concerning my blog post about anonymously receiving a large bouquet of balloons reminded me of a joke I had once heard from a preacher. The friend asked if I really believed the gift of balloons was the result of divine intervention as I had expressed in the post.

“Yes,” I confidently replied, then told him the joke.

There was a Christian lady who lived next door to an atheist. Whenever the atheist overheard the lady pray, he would mutter to himself that there is no God, and sometimes he would argue with her.

One day she ran out of groceries, and the atheist overheard her praying. “I’ll fix her,” he thought to himself, and he went out and bought bags of groceries, set them on her front porch, rang the doorbell and hid to see what she would do.

When she opened the door and saw the groceries, she shouted, “God did it! God did it! God did it! Thank you, Jesus!”

He jumped out and shouted, “God didn’t do it! I did! I bought those groceries and put them on your porch! See? There is no God!”

The lady started laughing and dancing and praising the Lord.

“Didn’t you hear me?” the atheist asked. “I bought those groceries!”

“I heard you,” she said. “I knew the Lord was gonna provide, but I didn’t know He was gonna make you pay for ‘em!”

Something recently said by a different preacher made me think of another joke. Well, not so much a joke as a cute analogy. The preacher had quoted the first part of James 4:8, which says, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Unfortunately, he made a logical fallacy by stating that the contraposition must then be true— that if we draw away from God, then He will draw away from us.   So here’s the analogy:

A young man asked a girl out on a date. She accepted, and when he picked her up in his pickup truck, she sat as close to him as she could. They eventually got married, and they continued sitting close together. As the years went by, a space developed between them until one day, the wife lamented that they didn’t seem to be as close as they once were. The husband replied, “Well, honey, I ain’t the one who moved.”

The story reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son, who asked for his inheritance ahead of time, moved to the city, squandered it, and sought to return home as a servant and no longer as a son. All the time he was away, the father prayed and waited for his son’s return, and when he finally did, the father threw a huge party.

The father didn’t move.

It also reminds me of Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If God draws away from us when we draw away from Him, He never would have pursued us nor sought to reveal Himself to us so that we could have a relationship with Him. Divine intervention? Yes!!

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Love Sometimes Comes in Waves

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Wisdom Wednesday: What’s a Red Herring?

Photo by: Marcello eM

Photo by: Marcello eM via stock.xchng

Have you ever walked away from an argument wondering, “What just happened?” Have you ever tried to reason with someone and felt like you went around and around in circles? In light of last night’s debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, I can’t help but address this topic. It was filled with logical fallacies. So the purpose of this post is to offer wisdom in recognizing logical fallacies and avoiding bad arguments.

Proverbs 26: 4, 5 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you yourself also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own estimation.”

At first glance, there appears to be a contradiction, but there isn’t. What those two verses are basically saying is not to answer a question or topic from a presupposition or logic that is flawed, and not to ignore the question, but rather to answer it from the valid position, using solid evidence and logic.

So what is a red herring? If you have watched crime shows or old B&W mystery movies, you may have heard the term. A red herring is a technique used by throwing in a subject that is not related to the original. It’s like planting false evidence in an attempt to throw someone off the trail to solving a crime.

“Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.” —Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

One year as part of our homeschooling curriculum, I purchased a book called The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning. My second son loved it! It was as if a light bulb went off in his head, and he was better equipped to perform critical thinking skills and think logically.

Rhetorical Fallacies is an excellent quick, online guide to recognizing logical fallacies.


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