Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sorta Back

Well, my break from blogging wasn't as complete (I did read and comment here) or as productive (I'm still struggling to read the pile of books I have) as I had hoped, but I have come across too much material to not post and share. So, I will be posting again, but my posting will be abbreviated to mostly quotes and short thoughts for awhile. Summer is not the time to spend on long blog posts and I have other things to focus on at the moment.

Since posting bare quotes seems to upset some people, let me just say a few words as to why I do it.

I enjoy researching much more than I do writing. I tend to scan through a lot of material following various rabbit trails and could spend hours on Google Books chasing one reference after another. In my pursuits online, I often come across quotes that I find interesting for one reason or another, and I like to share them.

These quotes are not meant to be a detailed thesis on a subject or to represent all viewpoints, nor are they meant to bias anyone by not providing a full context. So if the subject of the quote appeals to you, do some more research.

That said, if I post a quote I will try to give a short explanation as to why I find the quote interesting, if possible. But be warned, if you haven't spend much time interacting in the Catholic apologetic arena, you may not understand my "why".


DH (DumbHusband) said...

Yeah! I'm glad you're back. I like your quotes!

BJ Buracker said...


Thanks for the explanation, and I too am glad you're back. I hope you find that the break was more worthwhile than you think right now.

I know I've complained about the lack of explanation, but that is more because I don't always understand the why. I think even just a highlighted sentence might be helpful to me. Thus, I really appreciate you trying to help us out by giving a brief explanation. Don't strain yourself too much, but I know that I for one would find it worthwhile.

Blessings in Christ,

Stupid Scholar
Daily Bible Reflections

Rhology said...

I like the bare quotes b/c then the lame "that's just your private interp!" waste-of-time objection can't come up.

But I'm glad you're back too. My well of inspiration has been dry of late.

Carrie said...

I love the high caliber of my commenters: "dumbhusband" & "stupid scholar". :)


Could you translate your comment into simple English for us lower hominids?

From what I could follow in your comment and assuming it was addressed to what I do here, there are a few major differences: 1) I am not writing a book, this is just simply a blog, 2) many of my quotes are from online sources from which a context can be mined, 3) my quotes are not meant to stand on their own to support some big argument but are just an "interesting tidbit" and 4)I believe people need to take responsibility for themselves and learn to do a bit of research before forming a solid opinion. For those reasons, I have no qualms with supplying bare quotes.

But your example, Tim, does bring up an important point about dealing with some of the historical facts that we discuss around here, specifically when it comes to the Reformation conflict - with the polemics coming from both sides, it can be difficult to figure out where reality lies. And that is just with the sources we do have access to since accurate history relies on accurate documentation. But that is why I enjoy blogging in general, b/c through discussion, with various people sharing sources, we can at least get a better handle on things.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Carrie said...

My well of inspiration has been dry of late.

I never understood why you don't tackle some of the atheist material over here? You do good work in that area.

I will be posting the "atheists are saved" from CA soon, perhaps that will inspire you.

Anonymous said...

Why has Tim's comment been deleted? For goodness' sakes, people. Debate, don't delete!

James Swan said...

I have very few guidlines for commenting on this blog, and those guidlelines can be found on the side under the title, "Information About Commenting on This Blog."

I interpreted the comment as more of a personal attack against a friend of mine because I don't think anyone except that particular friend could have any idea what what was being said in that comment. It took me about a half hour to actually decode the comment and do the needed research to actually understand what was being said.

Kepha states, "Debate don't delete!" Everyone can debate whether or not Carrie should post quotes without contexts, and further, whether it is possible to quote something accurately without providing a context. I would argue it is possible to quote in such way, as long as when asked for a context, one can be provided.

Tim Enloe said...

Well, James, you're going to have to explain to me the difference between pointing out a serious flaw in citation and how it boomerangs on the individual making the argment and (2) a "personal attack on a friend of yours." I was talking about David's argument, not his person.

It's simply a fact, provable by anyone who reads enough of the proper material that his use of Richard Popkin's material in his book is demonstrably one-sided and distortive of both Popkin's point and the larger epistemological issues at work in Catholic-Protestant debates. It therefore provides a good example of what Carrie was talking about in terms of using quotes without providing context.

dtking said...

Mr. Enloe said: “It's simply a fact, provable by anyone who reads enough of the proper material that his use of Richard Popkin's material in his book is demonstrably one-sided and distortive of both Popkin's point and the larger epistemological issues at work in Catholic-Protestant debates. It therefore provides a good example of what Carrie was talking about in terms of using quotes without providing context.”

1) No Protestant ever used skepticism to substantiate biblical authority. Romanists employed that argument in their attacks on biblical authority.

2) No, it is not a fact provable by anyone who reads enough of Popkin's material. Dr. Woodbridge from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School made the same passing remark that I did as drawn from Popkin. The fact is that Protestants only employed the argument of skepticism (as Popkin pointed out) to demonstrate the fact that if the same argument can be leveled against the one wielding it, it is not a sound argument.

As Popkin noted: “The Protestants, however, saw that the same sceptical approach could be used on its inventor, with the same effective results. The ‘new machine of war’ appeared to have a peculiar recoil mechanism which had the odd effect of engulfing the target and the gunner in a common catastrophe. If the Reformers could not determine infallibly true articles of faith from the text of Scripture by rational means, neither could the Catholics discover any religious truths, since they would be confronted with the same difficulties with regard to ascertaining the meaning and truth of what Popes, Councils, and Church Fathers had said. As far as the Reformers could see, Veron had developed a complete scepticism to defeat them, but was just as defeated as they were by this argument.” See Richard H. Popkin The History of Scepticism From Erasmus to Descartes, revised edition (Assen:Van Corcum & Comp. N.V., 1964), p. 79.

In other words, the Protestants pointed out the double-edged nature of skepticism to demonstrate that the same tactic can be used to undermine Roman claims. This is why I reject Mr. Enloe’s criticism. Mr. Enloe needs to understand that not everyone looks at the facts of the world and/or scholarship according to him.

3) The third point to make is this – whether he is willing to admit it or not, Mr. Enloe does have a personal axe to grind with me stemming from disagreements in the past. His complaint about my book here ***came out of the blue*** precipitated by nothing but the overflow of his own heart, for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. He’s made this point before, and I’ve ignored it because 1) I do not believe it carries any substance, and 2) it was a point I made in passing in my book, which was not my major thesis. It’s just an attempt to poison the well. Now, I am certain that Mr. Enloe thinks he’s found some great critique, because he has a very high view of himself, but I am unimpressed.

Now, Mr. Enloe swore off the web some time back, but this is yet another demonstration that he desires to remain a controversialist. If he’s concerned about conveying the wrong impression, for which he complained about this point in my book, he needs to look no further than to himself and begin his critique there.