Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"They just don't get it" or the dynamics of dismissing critics

Ever wondered what to make of the complaints that critics fail to even understand what they are criticizing? Ever been amazed when those critics can be counted in double figures and teach at a pretty high level? Ever thought that there is something quite fishy in the response that says "they just don't get our position"?

It is not a new problem.

Here is John Owen on the undermining of the supernatural work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit by Pelagius and his latter day spiritual offspring:
Pelagius, whose principal artifice, which he used in the introduction of his heresy, was in the clouding of his intentions with general and ambiguous expressions...Hence, for a long time, when he was justly charged with his sacrilegious errors, he made no defence of them, but reviled his adversaries as corrupting his mind, and not understanding his expressions.

And although those who at present amongst us have undertaken the same cause with Pelagius do not equal him either in learning or diligence, or an appearance of piety and devotion, yet do they exactly imitate him in declaring their minds in cloudy, ambiguous expressions, capable of various constructions until they are fully examined, and thereon reproaching (as he did) those that oppose them as not aright representing their sentiments, when they judge it their advantage so to do.
John Owen, The Holy Spirit, p. 212-3

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