Contradiction thy Name is Horton Hess and Skaggs

A small point, one I wanted to make the other day but I was out of time and had to run off. The Bobby J Collitch of Knollitch textbooks again. The one called Elements of Literature for Christian Schools, to be specific.

Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel…Throughout her [Emily Dickinson’s] life she viewed salvation as a gamble, not a certainty. Although she did view the Bible as a source of poetic inspiration, she never accepted it as an inerrant guide to life.

Okay – so what do these bozos – Ronald Horton, Donalynn Hess and Steven Skeggs – mean by ‘the honest questioning of a seeker of truth’ then? Is ‘honest questioning’ the kind of questioning that knows ahead of time what the right answer is and honestly diverts itself with whatever intermediate activity it takes to get there? Is ‘honest questioning’ the kind that knows with cast-iron certainty what the answer to any given ‘question’ is and will accept no other no matter what the evidence or logic or sumptuous bribe? Is it honest and legitimate to use the honorific ‘honest questioning’ about a questioning that is required to find a particular answer no matter what? No, my brethren, I would say that it is not. I would say that it is ludicrous and self-flattering and a gross example of having it both ways to label ‘honest questioning’ the kind of pseudo-questioning (if indeed any) these buffoons – Horton, Hess and Skeggs – have in mind.

Or to put the matter more bluntly – what do they mean by it? What do they mean by upbraiding Dickinson for viewing ‘salvation’ as not a certainty and at the same time curling their Christian lip at Mark Twain’s skepticism for not being honest questioning? Eh? What do they mean by ever using the phrase ‘honest questioning’ at all in the same book in which they rebuke Dickinson for not ‘accepting’ the Bible as an ‘inerrant’ (!!) guide to life? For that matter what do they mean by writing a book at all, when their thinking is so flabby and fatuous and absurd? They shouldn’t be writing so much as a schedule of their favourite tv shows for the next week, let alone a book for tragically deprived high school students to read.

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