When Postadventist, aka Postmodernist, whimsy kicks in, ironical befuddlement sets …

Comment on Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’ by wesley kime.

When Postadventist, aka Postmodernist, whimsy kicks in, ironical befuddlement sets in worse than at the Tower of Babel, or than with hearing aids when you’re deaf (another fact I can attest to). “Adventist Today is risible”? Oh, you said “Adventist Today is rational.” Now that’s top notch whimsy. Or is it allegory?

But seriously, Erv, nice to see you again, after all these years.

wesley kime Also Commented

Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
@Ken:

“Gratefully under the tent”? No, GRACIOUSLY under the tent, Ken, popcorn and all. Umm—good! May I have some more?

The big tent I’m talking about, of course, is this here roomy tent, this site, under our needfully single-minded but preternaturally tolerant ringmasters.

The SDA tent itself has always been really big, especially our evangelical “Effort” tents, complete with sawdust floors. I remember when I was 10 years old, and a huge tent, a real tent, sawdust and all (maybe popcorn too; I think I remember the smell), biggest one I’d ever seen, came to our town. North Hollywood, of all places. Pitched right across from the Public Library for a whole year, always with a full house eager to hear about Daniel 2, it was that big tent I was baptized in, me and maybe 50 others, further swelling the tent.

That big tent was 70 years ago. But now our tent isn’t big enough. Kleig lights in banks can’t be hung from tent poles. Not enough room for the clowns and the juggling, tumbling, dancing acts, special effects and extreme makeover crews, and Daniel 2 too. Daniel will have to go. Watch out! The seams are splitting – cra-a-a-a-k!


Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
Personally, and for the moment, I like this thread best – heroic crusaders and crusades, awarded and wannabes. So I shall indulge (pending editorial indulgence) an essay.

This thread is not just a thread but a fabric, not always of the most skillfully extruded acrylic, sometimes twisted, but all the more priceless the garment: see-through and teasing like a peignoir, yet heavy, scratchy wool suitable for field uniforms in a civil war (such as we are in – duck! Where’s the closest bomb shelter!), yet satiny and elegant enough for academic robes.

Personally, and to offer my unsought but master-class critique, I think any blog, regardless of it’s domain, whether secular or religious, is successful to the degree that it tolerates jaw-droppingly divergent and even hostile opinions. Thus, this one is a howling success. It must be a texture of styles from heavy-handed to delicate, from in-your-face to nuanced, from charming to grungy edgy; evocative of reasoned unrushed responses and provocative of the blurted usually regretted kind — xo@X!-you-called-me-a-lier-let-me-at-my-keyboard-whack!-let-him-have-it! And of moods, from serious to light, from dread of the cosmic to flipping it off, to shrinking from it; and protocols, from obsession with fact and detail to untethered metaphor and bravura brush strokes; from the deadly prosaic to the dreamily poetic. A tent big enough for all.

But hopefully not over-crowded with allegory. Our church is overdosed on that stuff right now, choking on it. If once we were overdosed on proof texts, now we’re overdosed, almost fatally, on allegory. If my generation was too legalistic, this new one is too liberated.

I further venture – “I submit,” as we say in committee – that the two awarded and archetypal heroes herein, Dr.s Pitman and Taylor, are especially and exceptionally intelligent and educated and well-read; both give a plethora of discursive detail, equally relevant, equally authoritative, equally credible, being mostly from the same sources. I don’t see Irked Erv offering the better. In accordance with his allegorical take on issues, it may be said that Erv’s presentations are not a flood of Noachian proportions flooding the debating floor, but patchy, not global, cloudbursts, heavy to be sure, but survivable. As to style – maybe what fascinates me most, and where I lose credibility – while both are even-toned and certifiably formal, both bang the table, but somehow Evo Erv reminds me of Khrushchev and his shoe. Erv, the old pro at it, seems just slightly more rattled. And I add, as my amen but not as benediction against feedback — rightly so.

Popcorn, anyone? Ken and I will share with you. His is buttered, mine salted.


Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
@ken: @ken: (re. yours to me of Dec 11):

Ken, You’ll rescue us yet, if you’re the Moderator of our latest Big Genesis 1 Debate. So now my own Quixotic-Heroic Crusade is to promote your candidacy. Listen, everybody: Ken’s just the right man for it, the most qualified.

Once the very idea of Adventists debating Adventists over Genesis 1 simply would not have occurred to anybody. Now it’s impossible for even Adventists not to debate Genesis 1, again, (plus why we are even debating it), for as a class our most educated, self-styled “thought leaders” [sic] (as opposed to church leaders, hopefully) doubt Genesis 1. Basically, generically; historically from pre-antiquity on; by etymological, technical, academic, by any definition, to doubt is to agnosticize. If we now have theistic evolutionists, we have theistic agnostics. I’ll call them vegetarian agnostics. So who better to moderate than a professional, full, real, unbiased, not-on-our-payroll agnostic?

But seriously, Ken, I’m taking up your time with whimsy when you could be talking to Inge. What a lovely exchange you’re having, your freest, most useful, serious one yet, I think. I’m following it eagerly, right now to see how you respond to Inge’s referring to you as a postmodernist. But isn’t Postmodernism the best domain name yet, in the whole WWW of agnosticism? Seriously.

Here, my friend, have some popcorn.
W


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