All About Me

Dear iMonk:

You recently posted this at BHT:
A spokesperson for the truly humble and non-judgmental in the blogosphere wrote this about me yesterday.
    Some people substitute nit-picking for insight and perceptiveness. The blogosphere would be a lot less contentious if people were less willing to show us how smart they are and more willing to build upon another’s foundation, so to speak.
How much irony can one universe take?

[I’ve written some really good stuff to go in this space, but I just can’t bring myself to say it. But it’s a phrase my dad used when he was through with someone. It’s good one.] I will say this: Finished.
I appreciate that you recognize the extent of my personal humility and open-handedness, but let's think about something here -- the actual exchange which took place where I said what you cited.

It looked like this:
Go for it Frank! Glad I am not the only one who liked this video!
Adrian | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 3:57 pm | #

Adrian --

I think there's plenty to like about that video, and some parts to think, "eh -- that's off color." But the question is whether we can talk honestly and frankly about sin and not turn out like a Catholic priest talking about marriage.
centuri0n | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 4:00 pm | #

iMonk has said that if it's "hyperbole" in "married" and "sex" statements, then why isn't it "hyperbole" in the rest?

Michael --

[1] Stop waving your classroom around as if it makes you an authority. That works for Juniors, but not Seniors, and certainly not for those who have been to something other than High School -- even if it was trade school.

[2] Who said it was "hyperbole"? Aaron? Then Aaron was wrong -- because it's not "hyperbole": it's the actual questions they have, ranging from the most extreme to the least, leading with the most shocking.
centuri0n | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 5:00 pm | #

It is almost as if iMonk ignored that part about church planters having a different skill set. Kinda like, "here is how I would have done that differently." Of course you would have done it differently... You are currently a pastor.

One other thing I have noticed lately... When someone writes, speaks, preaches, video messages or whatever, focusing in on a particular area of ministry or theology, there is always someone there to point out how they left something out or did not develop what is clearly the message of Scripture! I am seeing that with the whole FV thing (not mentioning the Pope enough) and here (what about the women and there are other problems besides sex).

Just 'cause I don't mention the Holy Spirit in a sermon does not make me a Oneness Pentecostal.

al sends
Al | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 5:44 pm | #

oh, and welcome back frank... missed ya!

al sends
Al | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 5:45 pm | #

Thanks Al.

Some people substitute nit-picking for insight and perceptiveness. The blogosphere would be a lot less contentious if people were less willing to show us how smart they are and more willing to build upon another's foundation, so to speak.
centuri0n | Homepage | 05.01.07 - 8:44 pm | #
Let's set the record as straight as possible here: do I think you're guilty of this? Why yes: I think that's probably the biggest reason your blog falls apart most of the time -- you get married to something insignificant and then defend it as if your whole sanctification depends on it. For example, the idea that Ed Stetzer's pdf on Baptist identity is only a hit piece against stoggy SBC conservatives. Dr. Stezter's piece was not only double-edged, but it cut deeply both ways and dismantled the idea that "missional" means "rethinking all the boundaries". However, the idea that Dr. Stetzer's paper is about maintaining orthodoxy and implementing new strategies which do not jeopardize orthodoxy was an insult to you -- to the place where you couldn't even offer a 5th question.

Tell me -- is that an example of trying to show how smart you are, or is that an example of being less contentious?

But in that, let's make something clear: I said "some people", not "iMonk first and foremost". And the irony is that if anyone else had said this, you would have given it a hearty "AMEN". By a long shot, the biggest fault of the blogosphere is that it's hard to sift out the trash from the treasures -- and that a lot of people would like to be insightful, but instead they wind up being petty.

And when we start thinking who we might put on that list, it's not just obscure kids who just read "Sinners in the hand of an Angry God" for the first time. Plenty of "famous" bloggers fall into this bucket frequently, and they take shots at people who are frankly out of their intellectual league.

If you'd like to denounce that idea, please do it so I can hold it against you at a later time. If not, endorse it so I can hold it against you now. Either way, you have set the terms of engagement by trying to take this affirmation personally -- which is, itself, and example of the rule.

Lastly, the part that was actually meant to be directed at you -- the part about you really milking the fact that you teach High School English -- should have gotten more bang for its buck. That's one of your standard riffs, and if you can't see that that was intended toward you and for you, and it doesn't phase you, you shouldn't take offense to something aimed more broadly. It seems sort of, well, petty to get geeked up about the statement made about a lot of people but to ignore or otherwise dismiss the statement made about you.

Nice to see you reading something worth the time. Thanks for stopping by. As usual, I'll send the bill to your secretary.

Ad vitam paramus,


UPDATED: Ah. "mental case". You see? I defy you to find that phrase or one which means it in any exchange I have had with you, public or private. It's impossible to criticize you, Michael, because no criticism can be received as reasonable -- only as hatred or insult.

And Kent: I'm sure that's how it's supposed to be. The questions which would be relevant are --
[a] is that true in general?
[b] is that true in iMonk's case?
[c] does that apply to the opinion he's promugating?

Even if, without any contention, I stipulate [a] and [b], [c] seems a little more slippery -- because iMonk only rolls out this factoid when he wants people to read him as something other than a randy blogger, and he doesn't want to answer any questions. The "because I'm an English teacher" tag ought to come out where an English teacher could clear up some point of fact -- but in this case, given that iMonk has demonstrated his own AWANA method for reading blog posts, I'd be a little embarassed to admit I'm doing something professionally when my hobby version looks rather home-job.