Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Propositionalized Proposition-Free Proposition for Proposition-Heads Who Propositionistically Propose Propositions Proper and Improper

I've come to my present way of thinking in a very much ad hoc manner, not at all a systematic manner. Most of the lessons I've learned over the last few years that I would consider to be the most important ones did not come out of the books I've read, but out of being in this community, watching and listening and then imitating (poorly, but still). Wisdom can't be propositionalized. Sometimes it's found just sitting around the dinner table enjoying a Sabbath feast with the brethren while reading Wodehouse and drinking fine wine.

Recently I re-read a passage from Augustine's Confessions which argues that truth is less about mental correctness and more about brotherly love. It's an astounding, illuminating, and from a certain point of view very "irrational" passage. But I think it's true, and therefore truth is not really all that much about correct thinking, after all.


This post is by Tim Enloe, and the link for the thread is here.

(1) "Wisdom can't be propositionalized" says Enloe. Is the statement "Wisdom can't be propositionalized" a proposition concerning wisdom, or is the statement "Wisdom can't be propositionalized" not a proposition concerning wisdom?

If "Wisdom can't be propositionalized" is a proposition concerning wisdom, then does Enloe consider this a statement regarding his latest current wisdom?

If "Wisdom can't be propositionalized" is not a proposition concerning wisdom, then is this a mere collage of random keyboard strikes that concincidentally take the form of a self-stultifying sentence? Did the proverbial monkeys take a break from trying to type out the Shakespearean corpus and post something on Crowhill? Is this a Jackson Pollock keyboard collage that means whatever we'd like it to mean?

This isn't any different than the liberal platitudes I heard and still hear and read in the literature at the campus quadrangle, where a pastor hands you literature containing these sorts of statments and expects you to believe it because she says so, self-stultifying or not.

On the other hand, I say: "Propositional Truth or BUST." Hence the divide between an old fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud like myself and the new exciting world of Enloevian hermenuetics, apparently.

(2) Learning flows [in part] from the community, if I understand Enloe correctly. How does one evaluate whether the community is correct on a given point or not? Wouldn't one need a meta-community to evaluate the community? But then, how does one determine if the meta-community is correct? Does one have a meta-meta-community? And so on.

Just what is "the community" anyway? If I read Cranfield on Romans and he points out the exegeses of Methodius, Ambrose, Thomas, Barth, Luther, Calvin, etc on a difficult passage, am I being a good community guy? Or is there something different?

Is the "community" a group of people with an axe to grind against people at other message boards? Is the "community" the collection of imaginary straw-men and bogeymen that talk to overly confident students every time they sit around the table and play "Tea-time"? Is the "community" the Daveman and I bringing up scripture while we attempt to impersonate weightroom beefcakes?

(3) Learning about Christian truth while reading Wodehouse and drinking fine wine --- how is this accomplished? I may be revealing my well-known predisposition [to others: a grave shortcoming] here, but I've only learned about Christian truth from the understanding of scripture. Perhaps Wodehouse --- somebody I've never read --- clarifies scripture. And while wine is good, I am still reserving opinion on its didactic capabilities, though its capacity for loosening one's inhibitions is well known!

(4) Enloe: "...truth is not really all that much about correct thinking, after all."

If Enloe means that somebody can be right for the wrong reason, this is fine. But, given the context of his post, he seems to be divorcing truth from correct thinking.
At the same time, this is the same Enloe who rails and hectors against we logocentric dead-letter TRVTH-at-all-costs-to-defeat-the-"vile"-Romanists who beam propositions between our RADICAL SECTARIAN GNOSTIC minds because he charges us with not thinking correctly, all with generous helpings of the caps-lock and quote keys. And even if Enloe is correct in that we're seriously wrong, so what? According to his little quote snippet, correct thinking doesn't seem to relate much to truth anyway. So what's the prob?

7 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

I predicted a couple of months ago that Enloe would be a Roman Catholic within one and a half years. This latest is a further step in that direction.

...

On a Wal-Mart salary 'fine wine' is anything in the 6 to 14 dollar range (which does contain some good wine, of course). I suppose what he means by fine wine is anything that doesn't taste like a jug of flat, watered-down, sold-in-the-big-bottles stuff.

Is Yellow Tail 'fine wine'? It seems good enough. They won first prize in a big French contest awhile back... 7 dollars...

Wodehouse... William F. Buckley, Roman Catholic, probably wrote the same sentence at some point of his youth...

Notice he referenced the Confessions passage as something he'd recently 're'-read. He's been stung by the charge of being wildly influenced by the latest thing he's read. Now every book reference will be to having 'reread' such and such. "In my youth, my early, early formative period, my most substantial formative period, when I first read St. Jarvis of Trotsheim's Letters to St. Werther Regarding the St. Clovis Incident and How it Influenced American Congregationalism..."

I wrote, in my prediction, that Enloe is just awaiting the right 'conversion package' (kind of like a designer drug cocktail) to be drawn up for his particular condition and situation; and that also he just has to go, by degree, though the process of conversion in a way where his vanity will stay healthy and intact (i.e. finding a way so that all his anti-Catholic positions and former assocations won't form a gallery of humiliating laughter once he starts paddling across the river), and this recent comment is in line with him finding that. The easy-reading, the pleasure, the fine food and wine, the creature comforts, these are some of the staple imagery of RC conversion self-justification...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Along the same lines...

Dave Armstrong wrote this sentence:

Furthermore, in my previous paper, John Calvin & St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Comparative Eucharistic Theology, I chronicled the opinion of leading Church historians (Philip Schaff, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Jaroslav Pelikan) as to the prevalence and prominence of the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass in the Fathers.

In his previous 'paper'...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Like my daddy taught me: never end your sentences with a proposition.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Let's not make Wal-Mart cracks around here. I bagged groceries for just above minimum wage after graduating from college with a double major...not the happiest days of my life. Graduate with honors, but here I am bagging groceries...how will I ever be an academic? Somehow, it worked out. But this at the same time does not stop him from putting down the education of others.

Either I'm missing something big when trying to read his stuff or it is as bad as it sounds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Papa Turk is correct:

Don't say "the store I'm going to" but rather state "the store to which I'm going."

Unfortunately, in modern English parlance, the latter [but correct option] sounds stuffy and pretentious. But in the end, it is the inclination to which I confess.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

c.t. --- given that you have the true AV 1611 Word of God whereas I'm working with my corrupted Satanic manuscripts, who is the "I" of Rom 7? Opinion?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 7:12:00 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I wasn't putting down any job. If you have God, any job is a good job. If you have a connection with God, and increasing understanding and development as a follower of God, then if you are a street sweeper you have everything.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:07:00 AM  

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