So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Armchair Theologian II: The Return!

Okay. Okay. I've been a bad boy for quite a while. I've pretty much had my cranium turned off for several months as I've gotten side-swiped by sinful distractions and plain sloth. I haven't had a conversation that pushed me for months. I've not had a theological project for a while and my cranial 'stun' has been evidenced in my blog. So, I've turned my prayers self-word and I sought to regain some mental function and joy. Actually, if I'm being honest with all the 2 people that read this blog, I've found myself having a 'dry spell'...or a "dark night of the soul"...or whatever one would choose to call it. Basically, I've been experiencing Mark 4:19 and I hope I'm coming out of it now. It's interesting what happens when one experiences a 'dry spell' where God seems nonexistent, life seems despairing, the Bible tastes like ash and worship is a lie. So, I'm going to talk to myself a little here in an effort to thrown my insanity down in print.

I've read plenty of 'dry spell' testimonies from many people, and I've seen people go through tons of 'dry times' as well. It often seems that at times where faith is being tested and questioned, people are the most receptive to exploring heresy. I will admit, this was definitely there for me. I won't get into specifics, due to 'time constraints' (HA!), but I will admit that when life gets tough, certain times of charismatic theology and 'deeper/mystical spirituality' seem to offer an siren song. The question always seems to arise: "What if there's something I'm missing?" "What if God is trying to lead me to...?" To make a long story short, the Bible is pretty simple. Sin seperates from God...and that's no mystery to the elect or the gnostics/mystics. Some simply take the truth at face value.

I guess what has produced change is simply God's grace too. One day, you wake up and realize you're a prodigal. God simply 'turns on' your mind to see where you are in relation to him and things must either change or choke. I also found myself looking into a theological problem and, when I started interacting with an argument, I found my consicence riddled with 'unrelated' stuff. I was trying to tackle Brian McClaren's goofy 'postmodern' (I hate that term...) dichotomy of scripture and truth, and I found myself thinking about somethine completely unrelated. (Brian McClaren needs to meet Cornelius Van Til...I'd like to see the emergent church wingnuts deal with some presuppositional epistemology and bibliology...though I know from vast experience that they'd misunderstand it and simply dismiss it...*sob*) Anyway, I've gotta take on something (besides myself), so I'm currently working on finding a theological project...among other things. Any ideas? I need something to work on. anyway, I need bed. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian


Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) True to form, you fail to argue against the ideas of postmodernism/emergent church and instead insult it calling them 'goofy' and unable to comprehend presuppositional theology. I believe this is called the psychological fallacy 'ad hominem'.

2) Presuppositional apologetics suffers from the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. (How do I know the bible is true? Because the bible says it is true) Yes I know that Clark and Van Til dismiss this objection - but only becaue they believe that logic is a presupposition that philosophers are using as their starting point.

Which McLaren books did you read / skim that makes you think that he is weak in intellectual capacity?

4:52 PM

Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Well, I just got home from work and I'm in a really sarcastic mood. Perfect time to respond to a comment on my blog!

Wow. For being SO big, the internet sure is small. If I write something about women, comments come out of the wordwork. If I write something about the emergent church movement, it takes all of a few days for someone to find my blog and try to start another online debate. Why do you even care who I am? Am I supposed to answer to you? Are you the internet police? Please don't report me to Bill Gates and Larry Ellison! I mean...sheesh!

As for your clever banter...uh...I didn't even attempt to give any sort of argument for or against the emergent church movement. I made an unfounded blanket statement about something I don't fully understand, fully displaying my thoughtless ignorance to the world, in the safe environment of my stupid blog that about 5 people read...6 people now. I would never say anything so braindead from a pulpit. Satisfied?

Would not stating, up front, that emergent church theolgoy is 'goofy' be the fallacy of 'creating misgivings' and NOT 'ad hominem'? I didn't atcually attack Brian McLaren...and I NEVER said anything to the effect that he has a diminished intellectual capacity. I made an unfounded charge against the emergent church movement. I believe that's called 'creating misgivings'. I sure love correcting smart alecs.

And as for the whole circular reasoning, I'd have to suggest that you're stating a mistruth. I have never read anything by Bahnsen, Van Til, Frame, or any other presuppositionalist that says "They Bible is true because it says it's true". That's called a 'straw man' fallacy! Hooray! My sarcasm is called a 'misuse of humor'. It's a fallacy too! Hooray for all of us that passed introductory logic! (Or in my case, paid off the professor!) We all have a much bigger vocabulary and some dull rational tools that help us sound more impressive aroud freshmen girls! Bring on the ladies! I cannot spell 'around'!

As you, Mr. Anonymous, can tell, I'm not much for internet debating. Remove the 'eb' and I'm more inclined, though still skeptical. I used to get caught in the traps of rhetorical sophistry with the internet intelligencia, but no longer. If you want to march onto my blog and start debating, I'll simply make fun of you so my room mate can laugh at you. Then I'll forward the link of the post to all my friends, so they can laugh too (possibly with a funny picture of Gary Coleman attached). If you want to actually discuss something, then let's talk about something.

So, I sped through 'A New Kind of Christian' because someone gave it to me and said it would 'change my life'. I didn't much care for it and had some points of disagreement. What book would you recommend me to read? What would best give me a grasp for the emergent church movement?

Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

7:02 PM

Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

Dear The Armchair Theologian,

There is a way of eliminating the debate altogether. We can use the Photon-Tribolt-TypeXII-Destabilizer.


Unfortunately, after some thought I have come up with TWO major problems:

1)We don't have a Photon-Tribolt-TypeXII-Destabilizer.


2)We don't have a Photon-Tribolt-TypeXII-Destabilizer.

I know technically that is only ONE major problem, but I figured it was such an important problem that it had to be mentioned twice.

1:51 AM

Blogger GeneralGameHen said...

Ok in my own thoughts I think we need to have some chocolate cake.

8:07 PM

Anonymous 7he 1n7eRne7 pwlice said...


9:46 AM

Blogger cflat said...

Hey Lyndon, Reader #7 here. I might suggest that you don't read any other McLaren book because I suspect that it will only annoy you even more.

You must realise that McLaren writes to a post modern audience - to those who are disallusioned with conservative, fundamentalist, christianity; to those who seek spirituality, but want nothing to do with the instatutionalised christianity; to those who don't want to abandon God, but are failing to see any other options. If this is not where you are, then I don't suggest you read any more of McLaren's writings.

McLaren doesn't redraw the gospel, but instead reintroduces the gospel with a different set of lenses and shows that left-right polarities need not apply. His goal, and other writers like him, is to create followers of Jesus, who are committed to being part of the kingdom of God.


As for theological projects, might I suggest a project in the theology of hell: Examine the development of the theology of hell within judiasm/ christiantiy as well as within the neighboring religions. There's a lot out there, so it aught to occupy you for a very long time :)

anyway, that's my two cents.


8:13 PM

Anonymous Doug said...

Reading your blog made me smile... "emergent church wingnuts"... beautifully put my friend. Anyone who feels that theology needs to be "reworked" needs to be reworked. We need to get back to traditional theology. Bring on Van Til! I prefer Augustus H. Strong and Bob Seale, but whatever!

1:51 PM

Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Upon going back over my second most successful post, I realized that I had a question for Mr. Anonymous:

You said "Yes I know that Clark and Van Til dismiss this objection - but only becaue they believe that logic is a presupposition that philosophers are using as their starting point."

I'm you think that logic is a valid presupposition for philosophy? If so or if not, why? Just curious. Interested in how one can even suggest to doubt the presuppositional nature of logic,

Cute Little Me

5:58 PM


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