Let’s give Doug Wilson his due in fostering a return to classical education. But beyond that, he seems to have lost his mind in his recent adolescent rant.
I say adolescent because that’s about the level of argumentation he displays. He presents not a true picture of Orthodoxy, but a caricature. None of his straw men are evidenced by any citations of authoritative Orthodox sources. Nor his is “argumentation” (and I use that term loosely) substantiated by the critique he presents. Any of my freshman logicians could do a better job of representing Orthodoxy, and most could at least adequately analyze the arguments. And if they could not do so, they’d most surely be failed.
Wilson does nothing more than present what he thinks Orthodoxy is, then knocks it down. But he fails to actually engage with the Orthodox belief in a) theosis, and b) the Trinity. He claims the former violates the Creator-creature distinction, but gives us no reason why, nor any evidence that Orthodox do, indeed, so violate such a distinction. He then claims, on the basis of this unproven criticism, that Orthodox somehow violate Trinitarian belief by elevating the Church into something like a divine Quarternity. (And if you can follow his non sequitur leap there, I’d appreciate a hand in seeing how he jumps so far afield.) If you can take it, this all leads to an explanation of why the Orthodox Church continues to exist at all: inertia and authority. (Huh? Where’d that come from?). Can you make the jump: theosis-Trinity-inertia. Whatever.
The funny part (as in funny ironic not funny ha ha) is that Wilson fails to do the very thing he faults Orthodox for failing to do: make distinctions. Theosis, after all, is built on the essence-energies distinction, something Wilson fails to get right (because his “Western argumentative rationalist” mind cannot make such distinctions?). Wilson also fails to articulate (that is to say, fails to make the appropriate distinctions) how it is that Orthodox theosis leads to an imbalance in the Persons of the Trinity, nor how the Church becomes that fourth Person.
Wilson’s “argument” strikes one rather like the worst of a freshman argumentative paper: equivocation, straw man, diversion, and who knows what else. But his post does serve one purpose: it shows most definitively how it is that one should not argue.