Cruel Logic

While y’all wait for me to complete a new post on evanescent’s carrot & stick article, here’s a link to whet your appetite. (HT: Gene Cook, TNM #864)


8 Responses

  1. “Cornelius Van Til” as the name of a homicide detective: genius!

  2. I don’t like being teased.

  3. Are you the real Cornelius Van Til?

  4. I didn’t really get what the person was trying to say, though I recognize it to be amusing.


  5. Godawa is a bit too chummy with the FV, just so you know….

  6. Wacky,

    What is the difference between being chummy with the FV, being too chummy with the FV, and being a bit too chummy with the FV?

    You see, for me, being chummy at all with the FV constitutes being too chummy with the FV. Therefore, I have no way to comprehend degrees of over-chumminess with the FV. In other words, to be chummy with the FV at all crosses the line into hyper-chumminess, and that is the end of my reckoning.

    Your comments, it seems to me, apparently allow for an acceptable degree of chumminess with the FV.

    However, in the interest of charity, one might say that in making such comments, you were simply qualifying something that ultimately should not be qualified, merely for the sake of sounding moderate, and thus softening the blow. Because I suspect that you don’t really distinguish between being chummy and being hyper-chummy at all.

    Nonetheless, it raises an interesting question. Should we, in our musings, paint ourselves – falsely I suppose – as moderate on a position regarding which we in fact are not moderate at all? Is this a legitimate way of speaking, so as to soften hearts to our position?

    Or should we say, on the opposite extreme, that if you are chummy at all with the FV, you need to repent lest the fires of hell consume you where you stand?

    It seems to me that there’s something to be said for softening the blow by taking a someway moderate approach. Yet it also seems to me that this approach may be less than honest.

    I wonder if there is a better solution. I wonder if an uncompromising position that is spoken rather in humility might not be best.

    So for example, rather than painting myself as a moderate about a position that I am an extremist, I might boldly and unashamedly expound my extreme position, but then go on to say that my qualifications are limited, and should be taken with that in mind.

    I know I sound like this is all tongue in cheek, and some of it is, but I am also actually putting the question in some measure of sincerity. I am actually thinking about these things these days. After all, a pastor has to know how to speak to people so that his message will be understood, not just accepted.

    I mean, if someone came along and said, I think strong moralistic preaching is a good thing, because it shakes people up and out of their comfort zone, and reminds them that while Jesus may have died for us, we have to LIVE for him.

    If someone said that to me, I would be quite torn as to what to do. After all, part of me would want to simply begin beating him, especially if he’s a minister, and kicking him and violently strangling him, because he is robbing people of the gospel, and who could do such a wicked thing? On the other hand, this probably won’t do him much good, and I’m actually doing to him what I say he shouldn’t do to his congregation, namely expecting that clobbering them over the head with the law will move them to action. So there is therefore a part of me that wants to be humble, and that wants to respond in love, so that the message will get through, so that it will cut to his heart.

    I would probably feel like I’d have to question him, and prove to him based on what he already knows that what he said is wrong. Perhaps through a sort of Socratic method. Something that begins with, “So why do you think that’s the best way to produce good works?” Or, “What about the unbeliever who is present? What do you preach with him in mind?”

    It seems to me, incidentally, that it’s hard to convey uncompromising opinions humbly on a blog. Humility is not seen in precisely the words chosen, unless there are many, many words. Perhaps that’s why blogs tend to get so ugly.

    Oh well.

  7. Echo,

    On the one had you’re right. On the other, he has not *explicitly* said he *was* FV. And, given the ambiguity in which FV adherents have promulgated their teachings, and, indeed, given the fluidity regarding formal matters, viz., some FV deny the active obedience, some do not, some deny a CoW, some do not, etc., I have found that to accuse someone of being FV often invites sophistic replies such as “No, I believe in the active obedience,” or some such detail. Thus since Godawa may stumble across this site, accuse me of slander, I figured I’d level the undeniable charge and let the intelligent reader, such as yourself, draw the appropriate conclusiuon. :-)

  8. Echo helps to illuminate the difference between the staid confidences of confessional orthodoxy against errors (read: FV) and much toiling about words. It is easy to mistake the latter for the former. It tangentially reminds me of Carnell’s infamous quote about Fundamentalism being “orthodoxy gone cultic.”

    Perhaps this helps explain why I am so resistant to calling Mormons “cultists,” as the term has taken on a contemporary meaning to be those that hole up in compounds, dabble in incest and castration, drink Kool-Aid and are otherwise fringe members of society. Sorry, Walter Martin, but I think your time has come and gone. I don’t feel the need to affix slurs against non-fringe religionists who are simultaneously quite outside the bounds of orthodoxy simply to make that point; I like my shirt sleeves rolled down and my cigarettes in the drawer.


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