Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Let's Check-n-See

Dear Old Dave lists a few PP posts of mine regarding Tim Enloe and Kevin Johnson, among others, under the following heading:

Let's briefly note a few of these "worse than absurd" disagreements between fellow Protestants currently taking place on the Internet (obviously nothing has changed in 488 years: Protestants fought each other then and they continue to do so, and split and form new denominations). The following are not mere examples of gentlemanly disagreement: they are uncivil, acrimonious exchanges characterized by personal remarks at the expense of the other's honesty, sincerity, intelligence, basic knowledge, etc.

The links of mine dealing with Enloe referred to are as follows:

Money Into Mouth

In Case You Missed Last Week's Episode

Tim on Tim

The links of mine cited by Dear Old Dave dealing with Johnson are as follows:

Knowing Christ

Coffee Conversations Kicks the Can [?]

The general charges are that my tone is not one of general disagreement, but are markedly uncivil, acrimonious, and personal, dealing with personal remarks at the expense of Enloe's/Johnson's charity, intellect, sincerity, and the like.

If Dave knew me in person, he could doubtless find many faults of mine, for, I know myself well enough to say that I'm as good of an instantiation of Rom 7:15-25 as any. And it behooves me to check out my tone and conduct from time to time. This held true in my days as an assistant prof at a Roman Catholic university, now as a consulting wannabe, and as a blogger, as I try to run a reasonably civil blog here at PP while having some playful fun and whimsy in the process. And, as this is a semi-pseudonymous affair for employment reasons, I try not to make gratuitously derogatory comments about people while being a semi-anonymous blogger. If I'm critical, I try to provide evidence.

By the way, there's nothing wrong, uncivil, or uncharitable in pointing out and supporting the claim that somebody doesn't know what they're talking about and/or doesn't provide any evidence to their assertions, especially when their assertions are directed at a position of yours. The key in my making this claim is that I provide argumentation for it. And that's all that matters. Unlike Dear Old Dave, you won't find me requiring posters here to stipulate to my state of grace for me to respond to them. My points hold or fail regardless of whether I'm saved or damned. Nor will you find any sort of drama queen narcissism here where my mere outrage at something causes me to hit my anti-anti-catholic panic button, absolving me from dealing with somebody.

But let's take Dave's charge seriously.

Money into Mouth: nothing uncivil here. I've merely pointed out true phenomena and asked for some supporting argumentation. Pretty bland, if you ask me.

In Case You Missed Last Week's Episode: same comments as above. Again, pointing out that somebody has made evidence-free sweeping assertions and such isn't uncivil. Noting Enloe's fixation on Svendsen et al is merely noting a true phenomenon. Again, even though a man is not his own best judge, I haven't gone out of bounds here either.

Tim on Tim: Did Dear Old Dave want to compile an impressively long list, so he just threw whatever into his list? Given that this post is Tim McGrew's response to Tim Enloe's usage of Clapp's work on foundationalism and such, I have to wonder if Dear Old Dave even read the post. Note that McGrew clearly documents some Enloevian whoppers in the post. This isn't any different than when I give a low grade to some grad student's statistics project or exam.

From reading those posts, nothing false has been stated. No gratuitous personal attacks exist, unless pointing out what is obvious and observed is somehow gratuitious. Dear Old Dave wasn't being particularly careful, it seems.

I'll note that I haven't written song lyrics about Enloe nor Johnson either.

So far Dave's gun hasn't been firing any bullets. All that has come out is a little flag that says "BANG!" Either that, or I'm bulletproof thanks to being on a planet that circles a yellow sun!

Dear Old Dave makes the same claim about my dealings with Kevin Johnson. Let's inspect those posts again.

Knowing Christ: Apparently pointing out that KDJ doesn't seem to understand grammatical-historical exegesis runs afoul of Dave's charity detector. It doesn't run afoul of mine. Pointing out that Kevin could be my guru is a serious deduction to his claims of knowing Christ apart from the text. That last paragraph was serious if his claims are true!

Coffee Conversations Kicks The Can: Apparently I can't attempt to apply Johnson's standards to Johnson's work. I always thought one could do this. Oh wait a can. Ol' Buddy Dave must have me confused with that other Pedantic Protestant out there who has stolen my identity, hurling invective and not backing up his claims while sullying my good handle!

In summary, I don't know where the Davemeister considers my posts uncharitable. My contention has been nothing other than the fact that Enloe and Johnson are pseudointellectuals who speak authoritatively regarding things that presently for them are not things on which they should speak with their lecturing or hectoring tone.

And, I presently stand by that claim without the slightest abashedness or desire to retract. If that makes me an example-par-excellence of Protestant disunity to both Dave and other internet Romanists who bask in the warm embrace of the great epistemic, practical, and organizational unity provided by the One True Holy Mother Church, so be it. I'm already anathematized by Trent, and, what's more, I publicly reject Rome and her distinctly Roman dogmas, so my purported disunifying bellicosity is really nothing but the tip of the iceberg for my eventual condemnation. Even if the charges were true, it is sort of like, after sentencing a mass murderer to 5000 years in prison for his crimes, adding a 3-day prison sentence for failing to pay a parking ticket.


Blogger Dave Armstrong said...

Greetings from the narcissistic drama queen (which of course is NOT a personal attack!).

I have responded to your critique, and have expanded my initial post (since you neglected to provide a link, I'll be happy to "bless" you further by doing so):

God bless you,

Dave Armstrong

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 6:02:00 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

oh man -- you got Armstrong to comments at your blog.

You must be special. However, be careful that when Dave "expands" his post he doesn;t trap you into responding to a 4-volume set on why the letter "a" proves for unanimous consent of the fathers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Armstrong said...

Since I was persuaded by PP's reasoning and made a retraction of the use of his posts, I thought it only proper to inform him of my revised post. It's called "courtesy" and I apply it even to those people who don't think I am a Christian, because that's what Christians do. :-)

Are you an Indian chief, or is that supposed to be a super-halo around your head?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:52:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Dave --- I believe this is *my* blog, not your blog, and not our blog, which means that I do things *my* way. I don't tell you how to run your blog, so while you are free to point out my perceived neglected duty, I'm not under the slightest obligation to link to you, especially when I represented the intent of your post accurately. That you misworded your post or weren't careful with your words and/or what you wanted to show isn't my problem, to be honest.

And considering the mistake you made in trying to score points using some material of mine [as well as my friend and co-author Dr McGrew] as an example, it is quite presumptious of you to expect me to link to your site. I'm not here to promote Dave Armstrong. If you want to promote yourself, do it on your blog, not mine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Armstrong said...

How gracious and gentlemanly of you, after I made a retraction. Or is that observation interfering with how you run your blog, too? Or is this just how Catholics are treated, no matter how flexible they were in taking into account your critiques. You're apparently determined to have a certain jaded, hostile view of me no matter what I do. That's your problem, not mine. You can be as cutting and sarcastic (in the worst sense) as you like ("drama queen" and so forth), but how dare I use even the slightest bit of humor! It's YOUR blog, after all!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 2:04:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Dave --- if it is humor on your part, then yes my reply above laid it on you pretty thick. I was, for my part, deadly serious.

It didn't look like humor to me, but I'll take your word for it then. Internet communication has its vagaries with understanding if people are being tongue-in-cheek or obnoxious. And, my humor has been taken in the wrong way as well, so I'm sympathetic to your claim, assuming you're telling the truth.

Please don't take this personally Dave, but, while your opinions on other things might possibly be of interest to me, I simply don't care about whether you think I'm nice to your type of Catholic on this blog. This blog is what it is, and I'm pretty tame when it comes to dishin' out the dissin'.

In exchange for the psychic trauma my stern reply inflicted, you can choose a PP Coffee Mug or a PP stein. The use of either container says to friends and family that you're one pedantic dude.

[I deleted this post above and corrected some bad spelling errors.]

Thursday, August 11, 2005 2:37:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 3:09:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

BTW Dave --- you're correct that I mistakenly mixed up "The Catholic Catechism" of Hardon with "the CCC" while typing. Hardly a fatal mistake, since I was merely pointing out that, yes, I do read primary source material, but, as you say, it is a mistake nonetheless, even though it affects absolutely no argument. I forget the title of my own book at times, for what it is worth.

I should also mention that, in retrospect, referring to you as Dear Old Dave and the Davemeister was overly familiar considering I don't know you and have no intentions of interacting with you on any basis. So, I should've canned the schtick there.

As for my supposed fear of links and such, my only objection was that my material was put under the rubric you intended. Linking to it in the abstract isn't a problem, but linking to it in the sense of my material fulfilling your paradigm is, since it doesn't. I'd like to think that's a clear enough distinction.

You're correct when you say that I won't be heading up your fan club anytime soon. If I deal with Catholicism, I deal with the business end of Roman Catholicism, such as Rahner, Fitzmeyer, JPII, Ratzinger, Brown, etc. Lay apologists defending an authority-driven institution cause the cognitive dissonance alarm in my head to go off.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 3:10:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Oh, I also deleted the last paragraph of the thread since I realize now that you were trying to interpret Calvin's statement as far as giving your own gloss on Calvin regarding absurd arguments.
Here, I simply misunderstood you and thought you were, after posting papers of your own on these issues, criticizing me for arguing over them myself.

Finally, Dave, those things emanating from Frank's head I thought were rays of power, but, I was informed that it was part of Frank's aura of holiness. In fact, I'm hoping merely to touch the hem of his garment, and perhaps some of this premature grey will go away.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 3:17:00 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...


Welcome to the sordid world of Armstrong. He insults; you take offense; he claims "joke", but takes offense; you either continue to press the point or succumb to his demands for an apology or whatever; no apology except "St. Dave Armstrong: ore pro nobis" will suffice.

Find something better to do with your blog and your time. If you start trying to dismantle this A-bomb, you will ultimately get listed in his hall of shame and he will "refuse to deal with you".

You know all this. You've seen him do it to NTRMin, and jason, and Dr. White, and ... oh man, it's a long list. Unless you're just dying to be in his hall of shame, ignore him.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Oh yeah -- only refer to him as "Mr. Armstrong" or "Armstrong". Everything else is way too chummy for the kind of exchange that bound to occur.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Actually, the CenturiOn's halo is a subtle iconographic allusion to his scriptural tag-line: his ministers a flame of fire.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...


I actually have this think about Silver Age comics. If it's iconographically relevent.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Perhaps we've been wrong about this. Perhaps we should cut dear old Dave a little slack. After all, it's a high and lonely calling to be Dave Armstrong. Yes, the importance of being Dave. Imagine the sheer weight of responsibility--of living up to such exalted expectations. This is not a job everyone can do. Not just any Joe Six Pack can be Dave Armstrong. The job qualifications are just too daunting. So, by process of elimination, there is only one individual with the unique combination of unique abilities to aspire to the awesome and lonesome vocation of Davedom.

But remember, as he once explained to me on my own blog, that he's doing it for us, you know--for all the little people who would be like lost and straying sheep without the guidance of this sage and selfless shepherd. St. Dave, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death!

Friday, August 12, 2005 6:04:00 AM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Steve --

I was crying by the time I got to "he's doing it for us, you know--for all the little people who would be like lost and straying sheep without the guidance of this sage and selfless shepherd." You're an artist.

Mostly I'm scandalized that Armstrong's image has not strated appearing in fried eggs, giant bank windows, and on underpass walls.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 9:32:00 PM  

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