...someone comes and knee-jerks out a particular kind of, "Yeah, but X."
In this case, "X" represents one of three things (or a combo):
- A re-statement of the very position I'd obliterated in the post, as if I'd never written the post.
- An objection I'd already pre-empted in the post, again as if I'd never written the post.
- A complete irrelevancy, written as if relevant, as if I'd never written the post.
Obviously, the common element is the "as if I'd never written the post." I stare at the comment, my face starting to flush, and sometimes I wonder: "So why do I bother to write?"
It's as if these people glance at the headline and the last paragraph, say to themselves, "Oh, it's about __, and he thinks __; well, what I think is __, so...." And then they write it.
Analogy alert. I'm no John Owen. Even saying that feels arrogant, as if anyone would ever suspect that I imagined that I was. But it's necessary to lay that down that as a preface to this question:
Do you think that Owen, after finishing "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ," probably had someone say, "Yeah, but didn't Christ really die to make salvation available to everyone? You know, 'For God so loved the world'...?"
And do you think John Owen went into his room, slapped his forehead, looked Heavenward, and asked "Why? Why do I bother?"
Probably. (And good heavens, what would the great man think if he read Geisler or Hunt today?)
So I suppose we lesser lights should try not to mind.
But sometimes, it's hard.
So, you try to embrace the eternal perspective, you take some comfort in the many who express understanding and appreciation (whether or not they agree), you remind yourself of the hundreds or thousands who read, derive some profit, and lack the time or opportunity to say so. And you soldier on.
But don't even get me started on the people who repeatedly demand that you demonstrate or prove something that you already set out, insist that you didn't, then throw a gigantic tantrum over your refusal to devote the rest of your life to re-inventing the wheel on demand. (And add to that when some casual spectator glances over part of the argument and supports that demand? And solemnly criticizes you for not mortgaging your life to scratch every idle, pugnacious and irresponsible itch? For free?!)
Ay yi yi, like I said: don't get me started.
Postscript: yes, it's a couple of the comments at my last post at Pyro that re-started this thinking. They weren't all that bad; they just touched that nerve.