Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eccentric Reads Entire Book

The Onion has a good satire on reading in our age of vidiot, ignoramuses.

9 comments:

Tim said...

I love it!!

Jonathan Troust said...

I find this blog interesting. I've never seen such an odd mixture of self-aggrandizement, scorn, and snarky remarks.

I find your comments curious. About whom are you referring? Your students, their spouses, people in your church? Or people with whom you have no real contact?

If it is the former, I don't think they'd appreciate it. If it is the latter, how certain are you of your accusations?

Lastly, what exactly do you count as a book? What exactly are your standards? My suspicion is that you read maybe only 50 intellectual books and a 100 fundamentalist books a year. That's pretty low by my standards.

Doug Groothuis said...

Professor Troust:

Your ID says you area professor, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Reading a few posts doesn't give you the magic key to understanding me or my ideas. To do that, start by reading a few of my ten books or scholarly articles. You can find some of that material at my web page: www.DougGroothuis.com. You see, I am a professor of philosophy and not a fundamentalist. I am an historic Protestant of the theological conservative stripe.

Moreover, how do you know how many books I read of what they are about? Right now I am reading books on abortion, theology, textual criticism, the history of the Bible, Islam, and much more.

I teach classes on philosophy of religion, ethics, the history of philosophy, Pascal, and more.

You may want to give another professor at an accedited graduate school the benefit of the doubt--or perhaps not.

Jonathan Troust said...

Thanks for the banter. Let me first restate my questions and then answer yours.

I find your comments curious. About whom are you referring? Your students, their spouses, people in your church? Or people with whom you have no real contact?

If it is the former, I don't think they'd appreciate it. If it is the latter, how certain are you of your accusations?

I've read one of your books, Truth Decay, a year ago. More as a representation of fundamentalism, though. You claim that you aren't a fundamentalist, but no less than G. Marsden would disagree with you. Although you seem to display some charity towards women, I know that all of my colleagues and my friends in the AAR would dub you an ardent fundamentalist along with some egalitarian Pentacostal groups. Call yourself what you'd like, but know how you'd be labeled by religious scholars and sociologists. But then again, I am influenced by the academy that you seem to eschew.

Regarding your next question, I wrote "My suspicion..." Call it intuition. Based upon your answer and subjects, it sounds like I was on target, though I may need to change the ratio to 85% pastoral books.

I was mistaken. I thought you trained pastors at a seminary. I didn't think your insolence was very becoming in such an environment. If I decide to attend church once again, I sure don't want to look up at an angry, bible-thumping, scornful priest(ess) breathing down from his (or her) rostrum.

Tim said...

Doug,

You obviously don't get it. If you're writing books upholding the antiquated idea that there is such a thing as truth, you're hopelessly behind the times. To get into the graces of the sociologists in the AAR, you need to write something on Aquatic Nature Religion. Try writing a paper entitled "Pinned on Karma Rock: Whitewater Kayaking as Religious Experience," or "New Streams of Religion: Fly Fishing as a Lived, Religion of Nature," or "Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion." That's what serious scholars in the AAR do -- but you're too late, as these are actual titles of papers from JAAR 25, no. 4 (December, 2007).

There's still a chance for you to get in with the in crowd, though. You have to start throwing the word "fundamentalist" around freely and sneering at people who believe in truth and think that it is a bad thing for evangelicals to lose their grip on it. You also need to become an atheist. You also need to be rude to the owners of blogs who hold those old-fashioned sorts of opinions. Talk down to them, even though they have doctorates. Belittle their scholarship, even though you don't know jack about what they read and what they know. Assume your own superiority and never, ever descend to the level of trying to talk through the argument on a substantive issue or even (quelle horreur!) try to follow one of their arguments, which could be dangerous.

So cheer up! If you'll take my advice, there is hope for you yet. You might even find yourself at the AAR, seriously discussing real scholarly topics like "The Interconversion of Intelligibility and Palpability."

Kyl Schalk said...

Tim,

Those words are gold!!

Doug Groothuis said...

Well, well, we have a row going; and it illustrates the extreme limits of blogs. One can be very uncivil and censorious right off the bat and get away with it in ways one could not face to face. A defense is made and it is essentially ridiculed. So, not much good is being done here.

My comment on vidiots was a general one that is born out in two recent studies by the National Endowment for the Arts. Few in our culture read. Thank God, my students read more than most. And they read real philosophy books! They must, in order to survive my clases. There are some who read voraciously and assiduously, no doubt.

I cannot find any information on our irrate professor on the Internet--Nothing. I wanted to know more about him, but can find nothing. This is odd, when universities have info on professors on their web pages. Another loyal curmudgeon reader could find nothing as well. Perhaps we have missed something. Or perhaps he doesn't exist...

I really do not want to put any unncessary barriors up to keep our professor from the Gospel, other than the truth itself. I don't want to trade "who is the real scholar" chops (although these seems to happen much too much here; I'm not sure why it does). Maybe Tim has more thoughts on this.

I conclude by saying that stereotypes and caricatures ares dangerous. There really are thoughtful people, credentialed in their own academic disciplines, who believe in the Trinity, the Gospel, and the Bible, and who do not commit intellectual suicide in so doing. Further, we believe that historic Christian orthdoxy is true, rational and applicable to all of life. If one wants to reject all that with the epithet "fundamentalist," then that is very sad. If I were as good a man as Francis Schaeffer, I would reflect on that "with tears."

Ken Abbott said...

Look at it this way, Dr. G.

If you must be dissed, at least you were dissed by a non-entity.

That can't be very painful.

The Royal Bookworm said...

If that guy was an eccentric, I wonder what they think of me! :P