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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Thursday, August 23, 2007  

The Most Heated Seminary Debate

Yesterday I wrote about the challenge I had picking up all the theological lingo at the beginning of my seminary studies. That reminded me of a funny experience I had that first semester. In between classes, I was walking through the courtyard of the seminary when I heard two students engaged in a heated debate. What, I wondered, could be the subject of this controversy? What theological difficulty could have inspired such passion and fervor? Were they debating Calvinism versus Arminianism? Infant versus Believers' Baptism? Biblical inerrancy? The nature of justification? Curious, I came within earshot and eavesdropped on the conversation.

This is what I heard:

"The Mac is the wave of the future."

"How can you say that?!"

This was my rather humorous introduction to the passion with which Mac and PC users debate the merits of their respective computer platforms. Since I did not yet own a computer at that time, it all struck me as rather strange. But it wasn't long after that I chose a side and began defending that choice with almost as much fervor as I had seen that day.

That was back in 1992, and it's been interesting to see how that debate has raged and changed over the years. In the early years, when I would explain that Accordance was developed only for the Mac, I would get raised eyebrows and curious questions as to why in the world we would want to limit ourselves to such a narrow segment of the market. By 1996 and 1997 the quizzical looks were replaced with open sneers and dire predictions of Apple's imminent demise. Today, Apple's resurgence seems to be in full swing, and our Mac-only status is now perceived as more "cool" than "crazy."

Whether Macs are generally seen as nearing extinction or as the "next big thing," our response to the "why Mac only?" question has always been the same: our goal is not to take over the world, but to develop the best Bible software around. Developing for the Mac enables us to do just that.

Hey David, I think the correct terminology is believer baptism, not believers' baptism. At least that's what John Piper wrote in his book Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. It makes sense, since we don't say infants' baptism. :)

See, told you I needed help with terminology! ;-)


Here's that top ten list that I wrote several years ago, and it's never gone stale:


10. A vocal proponent is called an "evangelist."

9. You can allow that others are entitled to their own opinions, but you feel you should at least tell them what a great thing it is they are missing.

8. People think you are an anti-intellectual nutcase for believing what you do.

7. You feel sorry for others because "they just don't know."

6. You refuse to even date a "non-believer," let alone marry one.

5. You hang on every word of a guy with mysterious ways and powers whose temporary participation in the human race is to this day a subject of vigorous debate.

4. You're convinced that the world would be a utopia of peace and harmony if everyone just believed the way you do.

3. You frequently find your beliefs marginalized by a hostile news media controlled by proponents of "the dark side."

2. You feel personally betrayed when a close friend or relative chooses "the dark side."

1. You require less alcohol and fewer pharmaceuticals to deal with the stresses of a typical day.

Jonathan Fletcher

Perhaps that's because believers have chosen to make baptism as part of their own spiritual experience, whereas infants are initiated into a doctrinal rite. Then the possessive makes sense. But...this is just off the top of my head, and I didn't look up any kind of reference regarding the subject. : o

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