There has been plenty of discussion in my blog’s combox over the past few days concerning Matthew 27:52-53. Fr. Robert, whom I assume most of my readers are familiar with, has taken a certain position on the interpretation of this passage (i.e., he believes it to be apocalyptic and non-historical), but when challenged he has failed to provide arguments for his position or to address the arguments against it. He has appealed to R. T. France’s NICNT commentary without telling us how France supports his position or why we should find France compelling. He has repeated himself ad nauseam and rambled on and on about things that are irrelevant to the discussion. Don’t take my word for it, please, wade through the comments and see for yourself.
So after his most recent round of comments he stated (for the second time in as many days) that a blog is not the place to have fruitful discussions of this sort. Here are his two comments to this effect:
Kyle: First, on an open blog it is very hard to engage all of the so-called arguments and issues. I confess that my blogs have been general, and somewhat overarching here. (September 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm)
This is a blog, if we were face to face it might be somewhat different? But as I have said before, the blog is always a poor commutator! Anyway that’s how “I” feel! :) (September 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm)
So I said in response:
Also, you’ve now said twice that you can’t communicate properly on blogs, or something of the sort. I’m going to have to agree. I haven’t been able to understand you. So I’m going to ask that you stop commenting until you are able to express yourself clearly. And you might have noticed that I’ve deleted some of your comments. I will continue to delete all irrelevant comments and I’m going to start deleting all repetitive comments as well. I’ve been as patient as I can be. (September 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm)
I’ll just remind everybody that “as the author/administrator of this blog I am sovereign over the comments. I have the right to allow people to break the rules or to demand that they strictly adhere to them. I have the power to approve, delete, or edit comments at my discretion. I also have the right and power to ban commentators at will.” (Comment Policy) I didn’t owe Fr. Robert a warning but I gave him one anyway. He took it personally and then responded very childishly (see the top three of his deleted comments here to see what I’m talking about – the others were simply irrelevant to anything).
But I just saw that Fr. Robert ran over to Marc Cortez’s blog and said the following:
Just a note, but I was asked by Nick to leave his blog over this subject (which I have done), I suggested maybe your thoughts and arbitration? He was silent. Anyway, this issue and subject got nasty, I simply kept reiterating the “apocalyptic” position itself! I did not want to play their game, I mean how many ways does one need to say this theological point? I simply became the fall guy for the position, it seems? And btw, I have written Locona personally. (September 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm)
Now let’s be clear. I did not ask Fr. Robert to “leave [my] blog over this subject.” I asked him to “stop commenting until [he is] able to express [him]self clearly.” He can continue to comment on the subject so long as he actually says something of substance.
And suggesting Marc’s arbitration was silly. This is my blog. I arbitrate. I like and respect Marc a lot, but he has no authority to arbitrate anything ’round these parts. I don’t go to his blog to settle disputes so why would Fr. Robert expect him to come to mine and do it?
I will also point out that things only got nasty when Fr. Robert made them nasty. He started hurling accusations at Steve Hays about what Steve was implying in a post that I linked to.
Fr. Robert certainly kept “reiterating the ‘apocalyptic’ position itself,” but he did so without any actual arguments! That was the issue in the first place! The constant repetition with nothing of substance to back it annoyed me to the point where I couldn’t take it any more! And he obviously didn’t want to play our “game” since we (by that I have in mind myself and Kyle Essary for the most part, but also Steve Hays to a lesser degree) asked him to explain himself and argue his case.
So to Fr. Robert I say: Get a grip, stop playing the victim, and try to be a bit more honest. Your recounting of the events leaves much to be desired. You’re welcome to comment over here whenever you want to as long as you contribute to the discussion rather than stifle it. You’ve admitted to making very general comments on the issue as well as making the same point so I’ll remind you of two other points in my comment policy:
Do Be specific. If you have a point to make then make it. Don’t be unnecessarily vague and speak in generalities. I want to know what you have to say but I don’t want to have to work to get you to say it.
Don’t Repeat yourself. They say that repetition is the mother of skill; well I don’t care. If I (or someone else) disagrees with you then don’t keep repeating yourself in hopes that I (or they) will eventually agree with you. It’s probably not going to happen. If you think that people disagree with you because they just don’t understand you then think again; I’ve found that many disagreements are the result of understanding precisely what someone is saying. And don’t ask a question expecting a certain answer and then continue to ask it once you’ve been answered with something unexpected. Again, repeating yourself is not likely to make anyone change their mind.
You’ve made me work much too hard to get you to defend your position and you’ve repeated non-arguments more times than anyone else would ever get to on this blog. I’ve extended that courtesy because I like you, but I can only stand so much. So if and when you’re ready to “play my game” then come on back.