Archive for June, 2006


Ever slammed the door in a salesman’s face?

June 16, 2006

Let's suppose for a moment that a vacuum cleaner salesman showed up at your front door, introduced himself, then said,"so what kind of vacuum cleaner do you have?"  Upon answering his question, he says, "What? Are you an idiot?  That brand sucks! (pun intended)  You've got a worthless piece of junk.  I can't believe you were stupid enough to buy that brand to begin with.  Look, you might as well take a straw and suck up the dust particles then spit them in the garbage than use that clunker." 

Your response would probably be to slam the door in his face without further comment unless you had a wittier response than what I could come  up with.  You probably wouldn't even consider letting him in your house let alone buy one of his vacuum cleaners.  You might write off that brand for all time, swearing to never deal with any of their salesmen again.  You would probably tell your friends about the incident and warn them to not deal with that brand again and worst of all, you would probably question your own vacuum cleaner's ability to perform.  Maybe what he said was true.  How could you know?

Now, let's suppose instead of that salesman, a different salesman showed up at your door and also asked what kind of vacuum cleaner you had.  His response, however, is, "yes, I'm familiar with that brand.  They are definitely easy to use and have a good reputation, but would you mind if I came in and showed you how my product has improved upon the things your vacuum cleaner does well, and does things your vacuum was never meant to do?"  Your response, may be the same as with the first salesman anyway, but you would probably be much more inclined to listen to what this salesman had to say and may even refer your friends to him if what he said was true. 

This is the difference I found between Wilson  and Sproul.    While Wilson gave me a good look at his nostrils from my penitent position, Sproul looked me straight in the eye.  Maybe a little cross-eyed, but in the eye none the less.  Sproul approached the subject with humility and a genuine desire to teach what he feels is the truth.  He was able to identify with people of different views and did a much better job of representing their view.  I say better, but not perfectly.  Obviously, one can't try to cover each and every variation of a belief in a book meant for other reasons.  It would be like trying to get a scoop of all 51 flavors of ice-cream on one waffle cone.  Sproul earned my respect.  As a result, I am almost sorry to say that I am still not convinced.  There are some fatal flaws in some of the things he tries to reason out and he reasons out things that should just be read and understood as they were written.  I don't intend this to be a book report on his book, but since most of the things I know about Calvanism come from his book, I will reference it to kick start my topics.

Anyone want to buy a bridge?