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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Intel and Dialog

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am finishing school. Starting in June, I will be working at Intel in Hillsboro, OR. This is actually old news, that I have never put on the blog.

So I was poking around on Yahoo! finance checking out how their stock was doing. I accidently looked at the message board without a flame retardent suit. You have two groups of people (three if you count the spammers hawking porn and other products.) One group believes that Intel makes horrible products and it will soon crash and burn in the dust of history. The other group believes that AMD (Intel's primary competitor) should just kneel and acknowledge the eternal supremacy of Intel. The "dialog" is about the same as you get from many Christian sites. On a message board discussing the attributes of a particular stock, it can be kind of funny (although the humor wears out quickly.) However as Christians we are called to witness and the best way to witness is through dialog about our faith with those around us. We become so convinced of the truth of our position that we start bashing people around us. And just like that message board, we have not convinced or reached out to anybody.

True dialog and true witnessing cannot occur when we believe we have the absolute truth. But what does it mean to witness? I find it easier to think about these things when taken out of the context of religion, because to often talk about religion is loaded with worries about heaven and hell. If I get it wrong, I will roast in hell. However I have had other experiences that are similar to witnessing. Presenting a paper at a conference, for example, is very similar to witnessing. I have come up with an idea that I am trying to share with others. Some of these people may be opposed to my idea. However, I have found that I learn more by being challenged and listening than if I had just stayed home and thought up even grander ideas. So witnessing is sharing our experiences of God with others and what we learned from it. But it also includes listening and considering other ideas. Not only will we learn something new, but we will have gained a friend.

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