Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fierce Polemic

One of the most entertaining parts of reading church history is reading the ways in which people rip one another in argument (the early heresiologists are particularly fun). Came across these words from John Wesley about Leibniz:

So poor a writer have I seldom read, either as to sentiment or temper. In sentiment he is a thorough fatalist... And his temper is just suitable to his sentiments. He is haughty, self-conceited, sour, impatient of contradiction, and holds his opponent in utter contempt (Frederick Dreyer, The Genesis of Methodism, 80).

At some point, I've got to find a way to work that into a polemical piece. Just need some willing adversaries.

I'm currently reading for Global Evangelical Movement, attempting a rewrite of a paper on the break between Wesley and the Moravians over quietism; as i see it, Wesley split from the Moravians because he believed that their doctrines led to inactivity, rather than a working out of their faith in action. The first paper came back a B, and i can see why: it wasn't very focused, and i jumped a bit too quickly to the present, conjecturing and offering suggestions without analyzing any of the primary source material. I've done a bit more of that this week, and it's been beneficial; even if i don't submit a rewrite, i'm aware of how to up my game when doing historical study, both in this class and in the future.

The class has been great, if frustrating, and our professor's philosophy of education, 'with much knowledge comes much sorrow,' is being borne out. This weekend's reading and reflection dealt with the modernist/fundamentalist controversy, and the tendencies towards infighting and division within the church just piss me off. In fact, i'm getting a bit steamed thinking about this, an indicator that i should probably turn back to the Wesley rewrite...may blog more later.


Post a Comment

<< Home