Saturday, October 29, 2005

Yes, I Can Take a Joke But...

...for the sake of exactness, I feel the need to address the idea floated about (in some of the comments boxes of previous posts to this weblog) that I am somehow incapable of brevity. While it is true that brevity is my writing weakness, it is not as if such things are as rare as hen's teeth. For example, in tracking the post production of my main weblog after three years and two weeks (August 22, 2002-October 1, 2005), I discovered that of the 1700 posts put up over that span, one third of them (544 if memory serves) were in the first six months (including four of the six most voluminous months of posting number-wise) and almost half of them (831 if memory serves) were posted in the first year. And of those postings, probably at least half were three paragraphs or less and many of which were a paragraph or less...sometimes as short as a single sentence.{1}

Now there are some good reasons for that in part. One of the reasons was that I was still recovering my cognitive faculties after a period of serious decline (roughly 6/01-7/02) as a result of a series of family tragedies pushing my ability to cope with stress past the breaking point. Another is that I looked to blogging as an avenue to recultivate these abilities and wanted to work on becoming more economical in my prose. Gradually, things began becoming more complex and that resulted in longer writings but I so very rarely approach the kinds of volume in writing that I used to in essays and message board posts that this should be acknowledged in my view. Is there room for improvement in brevity still??? Sure there is. But compared to the way things used to be, progress has undeniably been made overall.


{1} To demonstrate with a few random samples from the first six months:

Some Thoughts on the Benefits and Dangers of Slogans and Syllabus Style Statements:

"Syllabus" style statements seek (by their very nature) to minimize or scale down wider concepts into more easily comprehendable tidbits. These are a double-edged sword if you will for while (a) those who think with the Church and have the proper dispositions they serve as an aid to learning, at the same time (b) those who do not think with the Church or who do not have the proper dispositions, there is nothing more capable of being misunderstood and thus dangerous and heresy/schism forming than such summation statements.

:: I. Shawn McElhinney 1:55 PM [+] ::

That thread is from September 14, 2002.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002 ::
I would be remiss if I did not before winding down Rerum Novarum for the night note here the labours of my friend John Betts who has been like a watchman sounding the alarm about the sword of semitic degradation coming on the land (cf. Ez. 33:1-20). I raise my glass of kahlua to you brother. Which reminds me...

In light of recent discussions I have had with some friends, I thought it would be prudent to rerun the instructional on spiritual direction before moving onto other subjects. Here is the link of that entry which ran a week ago: Spiritual Instruction

I will start another topic tomorrow at evensong or so if time affords it...

:: I. Shawn McElhinney 10:39 PM [+] ::

Then there is this one from October 21, 2002:

"Operation Dispensationalist Blitzkreig" Dept.

"The Curmudgeon" takes on chapter 1 of David Hunt's screed "A Woman Rides the Beast" and throughly rips it to pieces. Enjoyable reading. I will only add here that the number 666 which is the focus of many Dispensationalists is rendered as 616 in the earliest Latin versions of Revelation. So the Beast who is mentioned by John would have to have their name spell out to 666 in Greek and 616 in Latin. And such a person was the Emperor Nero.

Now full preterists go beyond Historic Catholic Christianity in some areas but one can be a "predominant preterist" and be faithful to Catholic teaching. I link to it here in part because my view of Revelation as to its proper dating is akin to Reformed scholar Kenneth Gentry: I believe it was written shortly before the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. I also agree that apostate Jerusalem was the "harlot" in Revelation for the reasons that The Curmudgeon outlines in his post. (I did not think of the connection of the scarlet colour to "Edom" before: fascinating connection there and congruent with my current eschatological weltsanchauung.)

I do not discuss end times eschatology very often because I try to be a good amateur theologian. (And a good theologian knows to hold back on - or speak cautiously about - areas where he is not as well studied.) I mention it here in brief because it ties into The Curmudgeon's dismantling of Hunt's screed. (And follow-up debunking of an anti-Trinitarian Dispensationalist.) General Patton would be would "The General" (Sun Tzu) :)

:: I. Shawn McElhinney 3:01 PM [+] ::

And while many more could be listed here (I found these in about sixty seconds of perusing the archives) my assertion has been attested to by "two or three witnesses" (cf. Matthew xviii,16; Deut. xix,15) so with that, the prosecution rests.