Tim Rigsby was a late-comer to the “slavery conference” controversy here in Moscow, but has tried to do some tub-thumping to help generate opposition to our next history conference (which is not on slavery, just like the last one was not on slavery). Our next history conference is part of the upcoming Trinity Fest in August here in Moscow. None of the folks that are coming intend to pass any laws, Mosaic or otherwise. The plan is to listen to talks on the American War for Independence, attend cultural events such as concerts, film showings, etc, and spend lunch money at Arby’s. All we want to do is have a good time, and enjoy a little Trinitarian feasting in the evening. (What is it about feasting that irritates people? Especially Sabbath feasting. Some local Christians critical of our exuberance in this have starting calling feasting the “f-word.”) Anyhow, this kind of happiness is obviously intolerable, our town being an intolerance-free zone and all. You know how diversity becomes impossible when people keep disagreeing? Don’t you hate that? I believe that Tim might be a physical education major, with a minor in kickball. I haven’t confirmed this last point, of course, but it is at least possible.
Several years ago, when the Auburn Avenue Hubbub (AAH) broke out, Cal Beisner helped perform the valuable function of bringing a number of the parties on all sides together, and chaired a series of meetings between us. The result of that meeting (for at least a brief time) was better understanding between the parties. But despite Cal’s personal graciousness, he is a rationalist. And one of the besetting sins of rationalists, in my view, is that they don’t understand arguments as they come embodied in the real world. However adept they may be with marker pen syllogisms in a classroom, when it comes to what I call “street fighting logic,” they have no sense of proportion at all. And thus it was that when the fracas broke out over at World’s blog, Cal joined up with overt enemies of Christ and His gospel, trying to make the same point they were making, with no apparent sense of who his friends and enemies actually were. Call it an unfortunate incident of friendly fire — which, despite the initial consternation it caused, still missed. That is because the point he was making was just flat wrong. Cal edited the book that came out of the Knox Seminary colloquium, a book that I contributed to. Now suppose that I plagiarized something in my submitted article (N.B. Warning to all logicians! This is what is called an illustration. I didn’t plagiarize anything, anywhere, anytime.). Now suppose further that Cal missed it, me being so darn sneaky and nefarious and all, and the book went to press. Does anyone seriously think that there would currently be a firestorm directed at Cal, demanding that he personally acknowledge that he personally was a plagiarist? And does anybody seriously think that if that kind of firestorm erupted with Cal at the center of it, and he was being pelted by radical lefts, feminists, Intoleristas, et al, that I would take that opportunity to pile on also — on the basis of our disagreements over Auburn Avenue theology? No, actually, I wouldn’t dream of it — unless my dream was a nightmare. And even then I think I would confess the sin when I woke up.