20 August 2006

Once more with feeling

by Phil Johnson

h, why not?

I'm undecided about whether to bring back BlogSpotting as a regular, probably weekly, feature. But I'm thinking about it.

And finally . . .

Here's a post in honor of Dave Armstrong.

Phil's signature


DJP said...

...Dan Phillips brought up in his LONG post this week.....


Hm, let's see; using MS Word's word-count tool...

Dan's The "It's not for me to say" dodge -- 1599 words.

Frank's A word on words -- 1679 words.

Phil's Regarding guilt by association -- 2062 (two thousand and sixty-two!) words.


(The Rodney Dangerfield of Teampyro)

Carla said...

Put me down for the YES vote in re-instating BlogSpotting. I've discovered some pretty incredible writers this way.

Oh I know you aren't taking votes, but if you were, I'm a yes. :o)


Even So... said...

Yeah, I really do like it, I checked the links and Lamey's new site is great...And the more you do it the better chance I have of getting spotted, ummm, maybe...

Phil Johnson said...

I don't want to overload the above post with the following details, but since the iMonk is defending what he said, I want to comment further on iMonk's remarks about Kyle Lake's death and the blogosphere's response to that tragedy.

He makes this preposterous claim: "slanderous parties we all read said that God killed Kyle Lake because he was emerging, and the link was passed around like it was the price of coffee? With no comment?"

It's toally inappropriate, of course, to level a charge like that without being clear about whom you are accusing. But since the accusation came in a context where the iMonk was interacting with something I wrote, there was at least the hint of an accusation that I was somehow complicit in a widespread "slander" about the significance of Kyle Lake's tragic death.

When I pointed out that this was another example of the GBA fallacy, iMonk added this:

"UPDATE: Welcome to the traffic from the BHT stalker blog. If you think I am lying about the Lake/Proctor links, I invite you to google for yourself."

I did Google, and found the notorious post claiming that "God Killed kyle Lake." It was written by Paul Proctor, and although I was traveling at the time, I expressed my revulsion at the ignorance of Proctor's statement within two days after Proctor made the post.

Furthermore, I could find only one significant blog that expressed any hint of agreement with Proctor's post: Slice of Laodicea linked to the post—not "without comment," but with a seemingly affirmative comment.

As for links "with no comment," I could find none. Aside from the remarks at Slice, I found exactly zero blogs linking to Proctor's article "without comment" (or with implied approval) in the sector of the blogosphere where links to PyroManiacs are regularly found. "Emergent No," the best-known "watchblog" devoted to critiquing the Emerging Church Movement, offered gracious condolences to Lake's family two full weeks before the Proctor article was posted.

On the other hand, Michael Spencer's own comment on the Proctor article was an appallingly tasteless slander.

I'm sure there may have been people somewhere who linked to Proctor's article without comment, but blogs in the sector of the blogosphere that the BHT crowd refer to as "TR" were overwhelmingly critical of Proctor's stance. The only exception was Slice.

It's true that Slice also had a comment-thread where a few people added some thoughtless attaboys for Proctor, but as far as I can tell none of them came from prominent bloggers. (Since I was on the road that week, I never saw the Slice comments until now. Had I seen them, I would have voiced my displeasure, as I did with the Proctor article.)

Nevertheless, a handful of comments under Ingrid Schlueter's post hardly amounts to a full-scale movement in the TR blogosphere indiscriminately multiplying non-annotated links to Proctor's article. This is simply another example of the iMonk's own exaggerated style of GBA argumentation

Just like his original response to the Proctor article.

Phil Johnson said...

OK. So now iMonk e-mails me a single link ("without comment") to the Proctor article. It's from Challies' "a la carte" sidebar last November 15, which is specifically designed to be an abbreviated resource of links without expository comments.

And two full weeks prior to that, Challies had already linked to asensitive post reporting the sad news of Lake's death and requesting prayer for the family.

so this is hardly evidence of the widespread TR conspiracy iMonk claimed "we all read."

Char said...

I miss blogspotting. Many of the posts riffing off of the ones here are interesting and thoughtful. As for the rest, I am continually facinated by the things that cause hissy fits on the blogosphere.

Speaking of which, as a lurker I have often thought that imonk would probably have a lot of good things to say if he quit whinging on about everyone else in the world for awhile.

But I have to admit I am biased. Where I come from, people go out of their way to oblige the chronically offended. Bad, yes, but we feel it's the least we can do.

Toby Hunter said...

Blogspotting is back! Can it be :) I haven't been this giddy since I met Cher when I was in line at Saks... I almost hyperventilated.

Kim said...

Phil, my Buggy and I have a rather odd sort of "competitive" nature between us. If you start blogspotting, we may get worse than we already are!

By blogspotting him, you've done absolutely nothing for his notorious ego.

BReformed said...

Another vote for blogspotting.

BugBlaster said...

Thanks for the notice Phil, I suppose.

As reciprocity, I will finally send Frank a photo of me wearing the free pyro tshirt that Carla did not win. It's not much, I know...

BugBlaster said...

Oh, and check out this link.

Jeff Downs said...

Regarding the Emergent Church, Listen to the audio from a conference on "Conversations with the Emergent Chuch" with Talbot School of Theology faculity.

Also, the Faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary discuss the Emergent Church Movement. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

centuri0n said...

I can't believe Phil poked at iMonk and DA in the same post.

There will never be peace on Earth with that kind of behavior. If I say anything else, it will be interpreted as rank anti-catholicism, so I'll leave it at that.

mjbeasley said...

Pastor Phil -

Keep up the solid posts over at Pulpit Live and here at Pyromaniacs - many of our brethren are profiting from your work.

Daniel said...

Blogspotting - Yes!

It is the one type of post where one can not only excuse an eclectic meta - but expect one.

donsands said...

Nice photo of Dr. White. I'm not sure what blogspotting is exactly, but I can guess.

Steve said...

Cent said: "I can't believe Phil poked at iMonk and DA in the same post."

Didn't you say last week you were worried about going soft and losing traffic?

Steve said...

Can my vote for blogspotting count as two because I almost always forward the links to outstanding blog articles to one or two other interested readers?

You've consistently pointed to excellent material in the blogosphere that I wouldn've never noticed without the help of your blogspotting. Dare I say your blogspotting efforts carry both ministry AND entertainment value? Not the debasing and irreverent kind that is found in some places, but the good-natured and witty kind we would expect from Spurgeon.

centuri0n said...


DA does not drive traffic. If I say any more, I'll be accused of anti-catholicism.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert said...

Well, I tried to leave a response on fundamentalistno, but it wasn't posted. I guess he wanted me to go away!

Carla said...

Buggy smugly stated:
"As reciprocity, I will finally send Frank a photo of me wearing the free pyro tshirt that Carla did not win. It's not much, I know..."

I am an official, card-carrying, t-shirt-wearing Pyro-ette, and I can prove it. Even if I didn't win that shirt, I did beat you at badminton. Oh yes, I did. Even my Beagle puppy was victorious over you!


Carla said...


re: iMonk's claim...

I read that and had no idea who he was talking about, since I already knew what I had posted on it. I also didn't see the activity he spoke of at the blogs I read, so it didn't make much sense to me.

Maybe there's an alternative "TR" blogosphere universe that no one's told us about?

Maybe someday someone can actually compile a list of the TR watchblogs, since I'm not even sure who's on the list? I see references made to it quite a bit, but never see any links. Sorta like the mystery Elvis sightings.

Anyway - thanks for clearing that up re; the Kyle Lake issue. My sentiments at the time remain the same to this day.


Dave Armstrong said...

It might be good next time you try to use Gerry Matatics as an example of a "Catholic" (to "prove" how much supposed doctrinal disunity we have) to realize that he is not a Catholic since he doesn't even recognize the papacy of Benedict XVI (nor any other pope since 1958).

I suggest going to the person's current website ruminations, rather than relying on an eleven-year-old article from the Internet Archive.

The "argument" you tried to make was nonexistent and a non-starter in the first place. You didn't need embarrassing whoppers like the statements about Matatics to make it worse.

But we enjoy the humorous value, so it had that redeeming quality at least . . .

Your brother in Christ,

Dave Armstrong

P.S. Btw, SSPX is not in communion with the Church, either.

DJP said...

The Bagdhad Bob of Rome:

"There is no division here!"


Phil Johnson said...

Dave "Personal Apologetic Consultant" Armstrong: "The "argument" you tried to make was nonexistent and a non-starter in the first place. You didn't need embarrassing whoppers like the statements about Matatics to make it worse."

Hey, Dave! Welcome to our blog. We don't get many Roman Catholic apologists here. (Two words: Frank Turk.) I'm sorry I missed your comment above. I would have responded right away, but I didn't realize you had commented here until I had already replied to the post you made about me at your blog. Since that reply is germane to your comment here, I'll repost my comment:

Dave: "Gerry Matatics' schism was a rare case, and neither Catholic Answers nor the Church can be blamed for that."

I rather suspect that Gerry's case is not as rare as you wish. I also think you missed my actual point, which is not about who's to blame, but merely that the visible, behold-how-they-love-one-another kind of unity Christ prayed for in John 17 is really no more evident in the Roman Catholic system than it is in the typical Protestant denomination. And (despite your brave efforts to make it seem otherwise) Rome is proof that such unity cannot be effectively imposed by an earthly hierarchy of bishops.

I would further say that it seems to me that your view requires you to pare down your notion of essential Christianity almost to the doctrine of Papal authority alone. (That's hyperbole, perhaps, but you get my drift.) Your reply reveals that anyone who remains "subject" to the pope (by profession, at least) has achieved the only kind of "unity" you celebrate. As I said, Mother Angelica and Fr. Greeley seem to have almost nothing in common besides the name "Roman Catholic" and their formal compliance with the papacy.

Dave: "Phillip Johnson makes his "argument" even more ridiculous by stating: "Matatics insists he remains loyal to the Catholic Church. And, in fact, not only has he remained in communion with Rome, but he has also enlisted several other influential Catholic leaders who have come to his defense against Keating's charges." Now, this article is dated 20 August 2006 (that's two days ago as of this writing), and was posted on a related blog at the same time, far as I can see."

Well, it wasn't so "ridiculous" when I actually wrote it, and I herewith offer my apologies for not making the original source and date of my blogpost clear: That article was actually written in 1999 and originally published in Onward, Christian Soldiers: Protestants Affirm the Church. What I said about Matatics was true at the time and for several years afterward. Assuming I can take what you say at face value, Matatics's relationship with the church only changed "early last year." So even after I revise my article (which I will do as promised as soon as time permits), there's a point to what I was saying that is hardly nullified just because 6 years later Matatics excommunicated himself.

I think you've given your best shot at a response to my actual point when you wrote that you think any distinction "between 'spiritual' vs. 'organizational' unity" is "a false dichotomy."

That's the real problem with your position, in my assessment: You have confused what is heavenly and spiritual with what is merely earthly, carnal, and temporal. Moreover, the failure to recognize such necessary distinctions has always been a large part of the problem, and something that tends to the corruption of the Roman Catholic system.

When a rank liberal priest who is a complete relativist in matters of truth can (because he has no conscience) stay in communion with Rome simply by kissing the Pope's ring; yet conservatives (because they are more conscientious and honest) are regarded as automatically excommunicating themselves when they suggest that some of the Vatican II innovations seem rather clearly in conflict with ideas earlier popes have taught with a certainty of conviction usually reserved for infallible dogma—then it doesn't take a quantum physicist to calculate the drift.