Friday, May 11, 2018

another witticism fail for Mere Orthodoxy

Every once in a while I'm reminded of why I wrote a particular haiku in an older post.
 
if brevity is
the soul of wit, then rambling
aborts a satire
 
I provided a counter-example of something I think is more in keeping with attempts at wit and the brevity that wit axiomatically depends upon.
 

O Pulpit & Pen
you're the Dale Gribble of the
Christian blogosphere
 
Over the last six years I have started to find some contributions to Mere Orthodoxy more groanworthy than praiseworthy.  More often than not the posts that seem to strike out are the ones that attempt some kind of Doug Wilson style serrated edge attempt at wit and wisdom and not altogether unlike Doug Wilson it can be a bit tough to conclude that either wit or wisdom ends up getting written, even if the author may clearly be convinced that wit and wisdom have been bountiful.
 
So ... this ode ... to the Pence rule.  

The poem lacks wisdom and wit across the board since anyone with a modicum of knowledge about the plight of slaves anywhere could guess that Joseph probably did not have a choice about how often he interacted with his owner's wife.  The idea that any variation of any contemporary Pence rule could be applicable to a slave seems daft.  That point was, unsurprisingly, raised by Aimee Byrd.
 
 
Whereas Carl Trueman raised another point, about how predictably rote the presumption of heteronormative temptation the Pence rule is in both theory and practice but pastors have to be aware that that's not the only kind of temptation that people can run into.  The Pence rule would seem patently useless for intra-gender temptations to misuse power, authority or social resources.  Ted Haggard, for all we don't know, could have kept the Pence rule meticulously.  Since I can hardly forget that here in Seattle back in 2006 Mark Driscoll used the Haggard scandal as an occasion to soap box I'm not surprised someone like Carl Trueman might remember it and point out that some of the higher profile scandals among pastors weren't men-with-women scandals.
 
 
On the whole Mere Orthodoxy crashes and burns every time they try to run with satire; write something funny; or display any ideas of what they regard as wit.  They're at their best in writing that is plodding, stentorian and earnest.  :)

Even as a moderately conservative Presbyterian sort odes such as the one linked to above have the illusion of wisdom and wit but, even to a conservative, suggest a self-satisfied and self-assured notional form of wisdom of a sort that builds its conclusion into its premise and then produces didactic doggerel that confidently expounds upon axiom and counter-axiom without, perhaps, understanding either of the axioms at hand. 



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