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Archive for May 19th, 2007

In my previous post about one recent Triablogue’er attack on Orthodoxy, I failed to note the post’s author: Steve. Their site is so visually poor and poorly done, that it’s often laborious to make out who is saying what.

Well, Steve couldn’t resist rising to the challenge of my post and so responded, sort of–actually he practices a bunch of diversion, but more on that anon–in his post: A fallen seraph (get it? nudge nudge!).

First some comments on the Triablogue’ers. They’re a group of Reformed polemicists whose trade in stock is ad hominem, diversion, appeal to authority and question begging. You’ll see some of these tactics as we go through Steve’s reply (after the jump). Oh, and they’re never wrong. They’re always right. If you think they’re wrong, you’re wrong. (And, by the way, the previous comments will be one more example of their use of diversion when they use them to attack my own argument.) Now that’s not to say they can’t make some valid arguments. And it’s not to say they don’t do some good work–particularly in apologetics. But most of what they do is in the arena of religious criticism, and they attack anything that doesn’t conform to their Reformed ideology.

Well, let’s to it, shall we?

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I received in the mail this week, the second volume of the John commentary in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series, published by InterVarsity Press. This now completes the New Testament volumes (my first full set of NT commentaries–as my girls would say: wee haw!), with six more Old Testament volumes, and one volume on the “Apocrypha” to go (according to the publication schedule). I’ve read completely through a good portion of the New Testament volumes (all the Pauline commentaries, and a couple of the Gospels) and have found them interesting and useful. They, of course, have their inadequacies, but I don’t regret the investment.

As I recall, I got the first notice for the first volume (if I remember it was, counterintuitively for Protestants, Mark) –I was on the regular IVP bookclub mailing list–and was immediately attracted to the series. I purchased the first volume in August ’99. They then set up a subscriber service where you could purchase the volumes for what was then 20% off the retail, and the subscriber price would remain fixed until the series was complete. (So as the retail price has climbed, my cost has stayed the same). Add in shipping and the discount is about a wash, though I still save a couple of bucks off the now-retail price. So, after Mark, in the following month, came Romans (what else?), then the Pauline commentaries. Eventually, if I recall correctly, Genesis set off the OT portions.

A caveat: one will not capture the patristic mind on particular doctrines with these commentaries, and if one tries to use them as most Protestants use modern commentaries, one will go far, far wrong.  These are more like sayings of the Fathers on particular verses, not argued expositions on the texts.  In approaching them as proverbial sayings related in some way to the verses with which they’ve been associated, I think one will be able to derive the maximal benefit one can from the series.

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