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Slain American loved teaching in Yemen

Postmillennialism —  1 Comment

Joel Shrum had already traveled abroad several times and had a growing interest in helping people in far-flung places, yet his parents were still surprised when he told them he planned to move to Yemen to learn Arabic.

They read about the country, visited him there and became comfortable with it. And although Shrum had become a teacher and grown to love his work and Yemeni friends, they said, he was shot to death by gunmen who may have targeted him as a Christian missionary.

The U.S. State Department is calling the shooting a terrorist act and the parents of the 29-year-old Shrum rejected the idea, circulating in Yemen, that he was there as a Christian missionary.

Jim and Lynda Shrum said their son’s quest to help others out of poverty and build bridges between cultures began about a decade ago when he took a college trip to India to help improve conditions at orphanages.

“He had a knack with people,” Jim Shrum said. “Knocking down barriers, accepting other cultures, taking the good and the bad.”

The Shrums also said they feared for the safety of Joel’s widow, two young sons — ages 4 and 1 — and his Yemeni friends. They said they didn’t want to talk about his widow’s plans out of concerns for her safety.

Shrum was killed Sunday by two gunmen on a motorcycle while driving in the city of Taiz. A text message circulated by mobile phone in Yemen afterward said “holy warriors” had killed “a senior missionary,” but it was impossible to confirm the claim of responsibility.

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One response to Slain American loved teaching in Yemen

  1. Well, there’s certainly vehement argumentation on both sides of this issue, and has been for centuries. Thankfully, both sides have toned it down from the early days when people were getting burned at the stake for dissent such as was entered into in your facebook debate. Since I’ve mostly had good, reasonable and calm discussions with both my Calvinist and my free will friends, I can’t really address whether or not calvinists are predisposed (predestined? *ducks to avoid flying objects*) to be more venhmeet in their argumentation. But I can see why they might be A belief in free will, amongst other things, comes with the presumption that individuals can change, repent, alter their beliefs by acts of will. This makes the prospect of conversion by persuasion’ feasible, and informs much of the apologetics whereby we try to validate logically a case for God’s existence, Jesus’ divinity, the Bible’s accuracy, etc. And any communicator will tell you that if your goal is to win converts to your views, acting self-righteous and condescending isn’t going to do it. So the free will folks probably have a strong incentive to be civil, understanding, and sympathetic to their opponents’ views, in hopes of maintaining a dialogue and hence an opportunity to convert.A Calvinist, on the other hand, is of the view that whether or not you are saved, and probably whether or not you will ever become a Calvinist, is purely a consequence of God’s sovreign will. This removes any sense whereby the Calvinist, by eloquence or logical argumentation, might persuade you to his belief set. Thus, instead of the attempt to reason and persuade, he need only assert his view as divinely revealed truth, which you accept or reject as you will. (Strike that not as YOU will, certainly.) This removes one significant reason to be polite, civil and respectful of other views when presenting Calvinism.Now certainly, the admonitions of Scripture toward loving and gentle behavior apply to and are acknowledged by Calvinist and Armenian alike. But human nature being what it is, especially on an impersonal and emotional-expression-challenged forum like the internet it can take all the motivations amassable to maintain civility. (Final caveat I’ve no idea if the above is REALLY a major factor or not. I present it only as a logical possibility to be considered.)

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