Haven’t posted much this month because I am reading longer works and I am just plain sick. I recently found my long-lost copy of Don Quixote and realized just how glorious it is. Yes, he is poking fun at chivalry, but at the same time he paints such glorious pictures that our hearts nearly break. The very names alone a a feast: Roland, Amadis of Gaul, etc.
Some CREC guys made fun of me because I was pro-Serb back in 2008, simply because I thought that making Kosovo a Muslim mafia/heroin state was a bad idea in the heart of Europe.
- 1. All of Martin Heidegger’s corpus in English. I’ve read Sein und Zeit and most of his essays.
- 2. Most of Edmund Husserl’s stuff, or at least make a dent in the Logical Investigations.
- 3. To finish reading Dugin’s works in English. That would be his book on Putin and his book on Heidegger (one of them, anyway).
- 4. Cyril O’Regan’s Heterodox Hegel. That’s been on my list for some years now.
Seven years ago I left the Reformed social networks (if never officially leaving the Reformed world). I kind of got back into some of these networks four years ago (if only to see what was going on). When I left the only things people were talking about were Federal Vision, New Perspective, and whether theonomy is guilty by association.
When I came back I was confronted with new acronymns: T4G, Gospel Coalition, whatever Mahaney’s people were called, Driscoll, etc. And then there were all the Reformed Presbyterians who secretly wanted to be John Piper.
I didn’t know what to make of any of this. No doubt some did good but it was hard for me–and it’s worse now–to get excited about the next new conference headed by the top guy at Wheaton or Covenant or WTS. Especially if they are young. Especially if their disciples are young. And still in grad school.
I would be lying to you if I said I completely avoided all movements and ideologies. I suppose that is impossible. But I come very close. In other words, I rally to guys who have battle-scars: men who have been fired from jobs, universities. These guys have stood in the trenches while the pretty boys put on the conferences. Usually they will be well over 40 and not have outside financial backing.
The psalmist asks God not to let himself be lifted up with matters far above him.
This is the problem of the amateur dilettante, of whom I was chief among sinners. When I dallied forth into studying Orthodoxy almost a decade ago, I learned a few catchy phrases that I would throw at my Truly Reformed Opponents. Don’t get me wrong. We should certainly pin TRs to the wall, but I did so in a sinful manner. And with folks who really weren’t TRs.
Truth is, I didn’t know what I was talking about. I used words like “person/nature” or “simplicity” and tried to prove that x position is genealogically false.
I’ve since asked God for forgiveness. But I also realized that there are areas where even if I am not an expert, I am familiar with the literature and currents of thought. In these areas I can actually help people:
- Renaissance Occultic Magic and its current rebirth in the D.C./London/Vatican nexus.
- Russian history and geopolitics.
- Church Fathers (to an extent)
- Continental philosophy (Hegel, some Marx)
- Karl Barth
- Philosophical ethics
And contrary to the shrill inanity of Puritanboard, studying this stuff (especially 1-2, 4) is useful. For me, anyway, since I’ve been able to use it in evangelism. By the grace of God I’ve warned a number of people from dabbling in darkness and even rescued a few.
Taken down some years ago but some soul put it back up. I’ve learned more philosophy from Matthew Raphael Johnson than anyone else.
I’ve mentioned before that analytic theologians are usually on safer grounds confessionally than continental theologians. Not that the former is superior in and of itself. Just that these guys don’t as easily embrace the culture of the world.
But there is a drawback. Excluding Plantinga and the like, few of these guys are able to have a conversation. Here is how it goes:
Me: Question 1
Me: Question 2
And honorable mention: