Candidly, I'm not writing this because I think it can possibly be of any great interest to anyone. It's more of a bookmark, for my own future use and reference — as in "See my explanation here." I may even give it one star myself. (On re-read, I may give it 2 or 3 for the neologisms alone.)
However Phil or Frank saw or sees their role (respectively), I have always viewed my role here as semi-pastoral, in this sense:
- I have some Biblical essentials to communicate which I think are vitally important.
- Many of these essentials are communicated too seldom, too unclearly, too timidly, too ineffectively, too zombily, and/or too vaguely.
- I mean to communicate them as directly, clearly, forcefully, effectively, memorably, mark-leavingly and fruitfully as I can.
Which I just won't.
My aim has never been to host an open-ended PoMo discussion group, with sofas and tie-dye T's and foo-foo drinks. I view this as more akin to a Bible study, where I am responsible for leading the discussion in a specific direction — and making sure it gets there and stays there. Participation is welcomed, appreciated, and encouraged; but it is also moderated and directed. This isn't a democracy.
Would be-derailers and snipers tend to find that out quickly. Guys who sit at the back of the classroom and make sniggering, snide little derailing snipes for their own smug amusement, not only refusing to learn but doing their best to prevent others from learning, encounter reality in due time.
Of course, there are exceptions, such as all the brain trust posts, which are of a totally different nature. But seriously, think about it: I've been at this in earnest for well over thirty-nine years. That's longer than many of you have even been alive, let alone saved. Does it mean I'm right? Mercy, don't I wish! But, friend, in earnest: if I haven't come up with something to say with conviction and force in that time... I've been doing it really, really wrong.
So it's with that conviction that I write. And for most of you, that's actually why you come here. If you had wanted to see timid, dainty, precious, raised-pinkie reeds shaken by the wind, there were lots of high-traffic sites you could go to. This is not that.
(If any of this surprises anyone, donde esta frijole? — which is Spanish for "Where you been?")
Pyromaniacs (to my mind) never has been and never will be simply a clearing-house for that great howling wasteland of insanity that gibbers and prances under the loose canopy of "evangelicalism." Pyromaniac wasn't, and Pyromaniacs isn't. I see Pyromaniacs at its best as a beacon and a lighthouse, a haven and a place of instruction and direction. Not a bloggy Bedlam.
All this has its parallel in the thought of Titus 3:8-11. As he has done many times in the epistle, Paul urges Titus to insist that sound faith must issue in God-honoring actions (v. 8). Those opposed to sound faith will want to come in with endless arguments and debates, hoping to start a discussion that will whirl about in repetitious circles for their own amusement and aggrandizement — but the net outcome of all such exercises is both unprofitable and foolish (v. 9). Therefore, Titus is to take decisive action: confront the divisive ones decisively, and then show them the door, leaving them to the miseries they've chosen for themselves (vv. 10-11).
I feel a responsibility like that for what I'm doing here, for the reasons detailed above. Of course, many who've been shown the door would argue that their perspective was vital and wonderful and needed and all. To that, my politest and (I think) inarguable response would be, "Then that's what your blog is for."
- Stop blogging. (Won't.)
- Close comments altogether. (Would rather not.)
- Moderate comments and just don't allow the more de-raily, reading-comp challenged, wheel-reinventing endless-do-loop ones. (Do.)
- Do my best to allow comments and participate, but close the meta if I am unable to meet what I believe is my responsibility as "discussion-leader," given the accountability I feel for my readers. (Also do.)