Friday, November 30, 2007

The Myth of the Harshness of Right Wing Tone or Hypocrisy from the Left on Tone or Attitude

I warn you that my tone might be sharp in this blog. Some also call it "interesting writing." However, I want to put a disclaimer on my own blog by saying that the tone that you hear here (luv those homonyms) will be sharper (not as in sharper iron) for effect.

Recently, the boys (and girls) at SharperIron (what I sometimes affectionately call "SharperSpatula") marked me for a difference than most of them on tone. Dave Barnhart, one of the SI moderators (who I think is also Anvil), wrote:

Well, for example, we would have a pretty good about their attitudes on separation, even if not on the specifics of what was separated from. And, as Joel said, the scale speaks more to "mood" than to certain exact positions. However, I'm sure you can always find specific cases for which the scale doesn't work very well. That still doesn't change its general usefulness. Further, it would be more interesting to me when those two meet how they would classify themselves. Personally, from what I know of both those men (and that is admittedly not as much as I probably should), I would classify Schapp as an A+ or A++ anyway. Interestingly, back when he was here, that was Kent Brandenburg's disagreement with the scale as well -- that he would be lumped in with the Hylesites when he was nothing like that. Although the positions (and probably methods) differ greatly, I think the "mood" would be pretty similar.
No one disagreed with him (not that anyone would defend me at SI) about my tone. Only because of my "tone," I'm categorized with Jack Schapp. How 'bout those apricots? Where can I get my official tone judge certificate? On a historical note, I was given a "guest" pass (no posting privileges) on SI by King Tone for identifying poor tone in one of their articles written by the mellowmeister himself, Douglas Kutilek. That's why Dave wrote, "back when he was here" in his comment, because I is not visibly there any more. Among other of his customary and egregious tone violations, Mr. Kutilek essentially called all King James Version supporters "lemmings." In a private note, the Tone CEO at SI said that he agreed with Doug's particular tone in his essay. They privately like harsh tone. Very fun when it agrees with them.

First, regarding the quote, I'm far different doctrinally than Schapp, further from them than SI. I would rate Joe Roof (one of the male moderators) a bedfellow doctrinally with the Hyles group compared to me based on most of what he says (for which he gets a free pass over there, incidentally [see political correctness {1}]). Regarding methods differences, Dave says "probably methods." Probably? "Probably" quite understates the western hemisphere, the solar system, that separates the Schapp and Brandenburg methodology. By the way, I don't put Jason Janz and Red Rocks as that far away from Schapp/Hyles in methods. I especially don't see very much at all different in methodology between Hyles and SI's beloved Dan Burrell. So, we get to tone, becoming the chief categorical factor (I think to myself, "are you kidding me?"). We pass doctrine and methods, don't even collect our 200 dollars, and go directly to tone.

Well, here's the difference between Schaap and me in tone. I give evidence. I open my Bible. I say it directly, but use the Bible, exegesis, that kind of thing. Schaap spews out propaganda, psychological warfare. Our sameness might be that we are both direct. In other words, we might say it right to the person (and I say "might" only because he "might not" go direct). Our sameness is that very likely he thinks he's right. I think I'm right. The left of us would say that they are nuanced. That they have a sophistication about them. They give latitude. They are accepting.

Well, I don't have the time right now, but I'm going to provide examples how that this "tone" thing is, well, garbage. It isn't even true. Both sides think they're right. It's just idealogical differences, really a worldview. Culture is more at the root of it. It's part of the culture war. Tone sounds better. But it isn't tone.

{1} Wikipedia says: "The term "political correctness" is derived from Marxist-Leninist vocabulary, and was used to describe the appropriate "party line", commonly referred to as the "correct line." Those people who opposed (or were seen as opposing) the "correct line" were often punished. A similar term has been used in communist countries, such as China."


Unknown said...

I must be tone deaf. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

What a terrible tone-
For which you should a-tone-
By singing an apology
In lovely bari-tone.

Jerry Bouey said...

I think you need to tone it down... ;)

Anonymous said...

Pastor Brandenburg,

I'm only now responding as I hadn't seen this until just two days ago. The only reason I used the word "probably" is because of honesty, something we do value over at SI, and which I figure you would also value, as it is a scriptural virtue. Although I have heard you preach, it was years ago, and not at your church. Since I have no idea what your methods are, I had to qualify my statement. I did give you the benefit of the doubt by saying they were probably greatly different. My speculation was based on things I have read from you, both on this blog, Jackhammr, and SI. Still, I could not draw a conclusion that they absolutely were greatly different without knowing more than I did.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Dave! (aka Anvil?)

I wasn't really offended---it gave me something interesting to write about. I already am failing SI in the worst way by being KJVO, which is worse to them than Hyles methodology. You do understand now though that "probably" makes it seem like it might be close. If you do actually read Jackhammer, did you read any of the articles during Hyles month?

Dave, have you noticed the overall poor quality of the conversation at the English text debate? There's no one left over there that can even really argue a KJVO position. It seems to unfairly represent the whole issue, leaving individuals who take an English preservationist view. I find it interesting that you have at least one Ruckmanite left over there and he doesn't get banned.

Here's a thought: Is obvious and radical inconsistency on tone a kind of dishonesty? I'm truly interested.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor Brandenburg,

First, on the inconsistency that you seem to notice in moderation on SI, I can only say that we attempt to do the best we can. In contrast to this blog, the moderation staff is not one person, but consists of a group of people, most of whom do not know each other personally, all of whom are volunteering their time to SI, and who often have differing ideas on what constitutes posts that are over the line. We certainly can and do make mistakes, though I would disagree that that in itself constitutes dishonesty.

Yes, I have noticed that there are not many who defend the KJVO viewpoint on SI, though there are a number (and I am among them) who would be considered "traditional text preferred" in their position. As far as banning goes, you can read for yourself the doctrinal position of SI, and as long as posters subscribe to that statement and are gracious in their remarks, they will not be banned. Since SI is a blog and forum, but not a church, the kind of bombast that is sometimes considered appropriate from the pulpit is not appropriate on SI. Those listening to what is written are not children needing a lecture. We have our own pastors to fulfill that function. Things can be presented strongly if they are backed up by facts, and without a lot of emotional overtones (like sarcasm) and name-calling. Those things do happen occasionally, of course, but we try to handle those as they occur. Will we occasionally blow it, or miss some? You bet -- we certainly don't claim to be free from human failings. In any case, I would guess that not many defend the KJVO viewpoint on SI, because it is well-known that KJVO-ism is not widely held by the posters there, and once those who do hold that viewpoint see that we are not cowed or easily swayed by the bluster that is all too common among those who take that view, and that we will definitely point out and take issue with any weakness we see in the arguments, most KJVO proponents decide that SI is not a venue in which their time is well-spent.

Yes, I have read the Hyles articles on Jackhammr, though they were less interesting to me simply because I don't hold to no-repentance salvation either, and I think it's fairly obvious to any Christians who read with a little discernment what the errors of that branch of fundamentalism are. It was certainly interesting reading the comments of those who came out of the woodwork to comment on that series.

I do understand why you could take issue with my use of "probably," and I only wanted to make sure you also understood why I used it.

P.S. Whoever this Anvil is, he obviously has his reasons for posting under a pseudonym, and as long as he doesn't use it to hide while taking cheap shots at others, I can respect that. As far as I can tell, he hasn't posted anything I would have been ashamed to have said, so if you want to think he's me, go ahead and knock yourself out!

Kent Brandenburg said...

When I get on and read at SI, I see many, many who are equal to worse to those who have been banned. I wasn't banned; only relegated to "guest" mode because I was told that I was within their "tone" standard, but took positions that were not correct. Doesn't that sound like a group that can't handle a challenge? Does to me. I was promised by SI that I could write an article to answer the things said (some slanderous about me) about TSKT on the front page of the blog. They rescinded that because I complained about the "lemming" comment by Kutilek.

It's fine with me, but I'll keep saying it because it is true. Just as an example, look at what the people say about Mike Harding on the forum in the Mars Hill thread. On the other hand, the kind of things Mike Harding says, which I like, are how I would talk on there. They wouldn't dare drop him for obvious reasons. Don Johnson was a guy they would drop. He didn't do anything different.

Anonymous said...

I understand where you see inconsistency, but I'll make just one more comment on this. I was not a moderator on SI when either you, Bobby, or Don were banned (or prevented from posting, whatever). Personally, I thought those decisions were hasty, but finally, they were up to those in charge, including especially Jason, who as the owner of the blog, can ban people just for wearing green on Saturday, or whatever reason. In any case, I was not privy to the discussions at those times, and as result, I cannot comment on them.

Now that I am one of the moderators, I do make my opinion known when we discuss behavior of posters, just as the others do, but one of the administrators will eventually have to make a decision with which some of us will disagree. I still believe that isn't done dishonestly, even if not with perfect consistency. SI is far from perfect, but I still see it as having great value, and as long as I see it that way (or as long as they continue to have me), I will continue to participate.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Phil Johnson in his famous "Dead Right" article said that a major flaw of fundamentalism is that it doesn't give due process. I see the young fundies as being no different on this front. It's still political maneuvering. I might argue hard and use some sarcasm, but I see that all over SI on the other side and I haven't complained about it when it comes my direction. I do understand banning some people for extreme situations. Personally, I found mockery coming from the other side when I was on there. They will not mock the left, but they mock the right. Not saying it is right, but if someone mocks back, the administration then steps in and blows the whistle---mocking can go only one way. You'll have to judge as to whether that is dishonest.