Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Third Option for Enloe [Parody]

Tim Enloe has favored we benighted Evangelicals with another one of his ministrations of carefully-thought-out ideas and humble scholarship.

http://www.societaschristiana.com/archives/000492.html

There, he presents two options regarding doctrinal controversies. Option II is presented below:

Option II

1) There is a doctrinal controversy.
2) A bunch of autonomous, unregulatable private exegetes, who all learnt them some Greek and Theo-Logy all by their lonesomes and who think there is no "the Church" except as it is a loose semi-affiliation of Really Regenerate People, all retreat to their private studies and do some scientific work with Greek participles and semantic domains.
3) Being private and autonomous, said exegetes don't have any community checks on their private exegesis, and in fact, when they start comparing notes one exegete's participle parsing has led to an entirely different result than another exegete's. Because each of the said exegetes are by their own personal, autonomous, unregulatable judgment "more consistent" to the Reformers' principles, each of them digs in his heels and refuses to budge for the sake of his brother.
4) No consensus opinion is or even can be reached (not that it would have any force even if it did) because each autonomous, private, unregulatable exegete determines about his fellows that they have allowed their "traditions" to interfere with the "plain" Word of God. Since "unity" consists in intellectual agreement on propositions, and since they don't agree on propositions, each decides he can't have "unity" with his brothers, so each goes off and does his own thing. All of them, of course, continue to claim that their own views are the "plain" meaning of Scripture and that they, and not the other guys, are "more consistent" with the Reformation.
5) Since there is no publicly-binding arbiter for such conflicts, a condition of fissiparation and self-satisfied factionalism prevails in the loose semi-affiliation of Really Regenerate People. This is just how it has to be, for John Locke God Himself says in His own plain Word that no private Berean should ever tolerate any authority outside of himself telling him what is true, much less what to do.


I humbly offer a third option that Enloe seemed to have missed in his most excellent post. Of course, the option is purely hypothetical; I'm not thinking of anybody in particular.

Option III

(1) A doctrinal controversy arises.

(2) A man who believes the latest-thing-he's-read runs off to various message boards and acts as if he's the first young teen on the block to discover just what sex is. Despite not exhibiting any sort of exegetical carefulness nor giving anybody reason to think that he might know of what he speaks on exegetical matters, he instead hectors and prates endlessly, dropping unconnected names and concepts in a display meant to provoke marvelling in the uninitiated and to work out whatever psychological complexes and baggage he has.

(3) Not particularly knowing of what he speaks, he fails to grasp the profound depths of his ignorance on topics and matters of exegesis. When he compares his non-arguments with the arguments of others who may possibly disagree, he proudly declares himself more philosophically informed, proving this by dropping a lot of names and adding the suffix "-ism" to these names while generously scare-quoting and capitalizing words so that we muckety-mucks can know the concepts his mighty Moscovian mind wishes to emphasize.

(4) When a consensus can't be reached, he drops even more names, and, if possible, hectors people even more. He puts down the education of people and uses the term "Bible College" in a negative way, despite not yet having an undergraduate degree and going to a sort-of Bible College himself. He then dismisses scholarly or serious meditations on the original texts and prayerful studies of scripture as autonomous and unregulated experience and hopes that nobody presses him on this sweeping claim. He and others make vague references to "the community" but don't provide actual criteria by which we may judge the community. In the meanwhile, he keeps dropping names and adding "-ism" to whatever words admit the suffix. He is sure to label those who disagree as RADICAL SECTARIAN GNOSTICS, and he uses all-caps to emphasize the point he is attempting to make. When confronted, he does't go into the actual sacred text --- he's too smart for that --- but he retreats into meta-levels of abstraction, meta-meta-levels of abstraction, and so on. When he's confronted on his points, he becomes more abstract and complains that those who address his earlier arguments are merely showing their ignorance of the higher, more abstract plane that he, the undergraduate who knows all, graces with his presence.

(5) But since the man in (2) is too ignorant to know when he doesn't know of what he speaks, he sanctimoniously retreats to his website and spouts off some more. This time he tries to connect even more words with hyphens than he did last time because a single word in the English language is too constrictive relative to the oft-occurring flashes of his innate brilliance that, alas, have yet to be recognized outside of the sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sect of Reformed Catholicism. In addition, he tries to connect Baconism, Hegelian dialecticism, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, "The Enlightenment," the irrationality of the square root of two, the 99-cent Taco Bell Value Menu, and Neo-Cubist architecture to The Latest Thing He Hates About Evangelicals. Upon doing this, he goes back to message boards and slanders people, going back and resuming step (2) mentioned above. And so the seemingly non-finite loop goes.

7 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

Enloe's 'Option II' above might be the first purely Roman Catholic rhetoric he has written thus far. His conversion has begun.

In another part of that post he writes:

Now to answer the objection specifically raised against me, as an advocate of what might be called "reformational conciliarism". I am charged with supposedly thinking that...

You're charged, if anybody's charging you with anything at all, with having possibly attained a level of juvenile intellectual vanity that rivals perhaps only Dave Armstrong himself (the king), and displaying it on an internet blog.

(Notice Enloe's Art Sippo-like name-calling towards Protestants. He's done this before of course, but he's in a new stage of it now. Enloe now is an internet RC apologist. He's begun paddling...)

Can these RC converts maybe start to spare people all the drama, and just...convert? Just announce it one day. Then go to town with your new toy: being an apologist for something that requires no seriousness or consistancy. (And that doesn't even require that regeneration thing that you are now mocking so lustily...)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:24:00 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Where Enloe is concerned, it's hard to draw the line between parody and reality.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 5:33:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Hmmm...three posts in a day. Two on Enloe, one on St Paul. Wow, my priorities are sure lined up. [Insert rolling eyes icon.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 6:47:00 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Steve hit the nail on the head. When the best parodies of someone are his own work, there's very little reason to refute him.

ESPECIALLY when his editorial policy doesn't really provide a basis for interacting with his statements. Why argue with a guy who will not return the favor unless he's 100% in editorial control?

Thursday, September 15, 2005 8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave Armstrong said...

Just a pedantic literary point: residents of Moscow are Muscovites, no?

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

"Moscovian" refers to some time period or epoch in the Paleozoic Era. "Muscovite", methinks, refers to a denizen of Moscow. So, quoting Chesterton, I may have to do what I always do when I make a mistake --- I commit suicide.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

What's that buzzing sound? I thought is was c.t., but it is much more tinny and annoying.

PP: you need to check the screen door. I think there's a hole in it.

Friday, September 16, 2005 7:19:00 AM  

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