Author Topic: David Dunn  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline wainscottbl

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David Dunn
« on: December 23, 2014, 05:49:09 PM »
So, David Dunn, PhD/lay theologian/Catholic Orthodox Answers type of species has been coming up lately in certain Orthodox circles. He is rather like Roman Catholic blooger, Mark Shea, except he's Orthodox. Basically he writes stuff like this nonsense

http://www.davidjdunn.com/2012/08/23/ancient-faith-continued-god-and-gender/


Or

Quote
People forget that the fathers and mothers of the church were just men and women. Citing them as authorities, with little regard to real contextual differences between them and us, is not fidelity. It's idolatry!


Though to present it in context, this follows:

Quote
There were some opinions they held that were informed more by their historical context (e.g. slavery) than the gospel. To read the fathers critically, as Fr. Arida says, is to read them with that difference in mind. Just because the fathers say something does not mean that we must say the same things. So when it comes to the questions our culture asks us to consider, we need to be humble enough to remember that, “The wind [i.e. “spirit”] blows where it wills.” Let us be attentive. (Note: in Greek “wind” and “spirit” are the same word.)

Alright, maybe they were wrong on slavery, but was St. Paul when he told slaves to obey their masters? I'm not saying that they should just take a beating and all that--that's a complex matter. On the one hand there is the rule of obeying and carrying ones cross. On the other hand it is rather silly to say a wife should just let her husband beat her because "wives obey your husbands". So I'm not sure. But it is impious to say "People forget that the fathers and mothers of the church were just men and women. Citing them as authorities, with little regard to real contextual differences between them and us, is not fidelity. It's idolatry!". I get what he is trying to say, but it's really offensive how he says it. It's disgustingly arrogant, though maybe a poor choice of words more than malice. And then this typical fallacy:

Quote
Righteous indignation can be a defense mechanism for those who are ashamed of their own desires. Over a decade ago, a friend told me that, in his experience, the more outraged someone got about LGBT issues, the more likely it was that that person was cowering in her or his own closet.

Yeah, alright. So if I am a bit righteously indignant in my views on gay marriage that is a sign I am a closeted gay? Righteous indignation is actually a virtue, in comparison to say, unrighteous indignation, or anger, which is a vice. So a poor choice of words perhaps, but he's pretty much missing the point that indignation can be righteous.

I do like the Taylor Swift thing (my Rachel Weiz), though it's his typical running to the accusation of trolling when he gets serious opposition and criticism. St. Nicholas, pray for us, that this petty Arius may not stir to much wrath in us, for your indignation was righteous, but this man is far too petty for our hands, and yet far too dangerous for us to remain silent.



« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 05:53:06 PM by wainscottbl »
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 05:52:27 PM »
Some of the Church Fathers were strongly opposed to slavery, actually. St. Gregory of Nyssa has been called the first abolitionist.

Whether indignation can be righteous or not is debatable, I think. If you get too emotional about something that upsets you, aren't you giving into your passions?

But maybe you and I are defining indignation differently.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 05:55:01 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 05:56:44 PM »
I've always been kind of bored when I tried to read his blog. He talks a lot about himself. I prefer blogs like Glory to God for All Things. It just seems to have a lot more substance. David Dunn seems to be too much armchair theologian for me to really enjoy. I know he has his PhD (mostly because he tells his readers that frequently), but it mostly seems like "head knowledge" as opposed to "lived knowledge". Kind of like Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, but not near as annoying as him.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 05:57:59 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 06:04:42 PM »
I've always been kind of bored when I tried to read his blog. He talks a lot about himself. I prefer blogs like Glory to God for All Things. It just seems to have a lot more substance. David Dunn seems to be too much armchair theologian for me to really enjoy. I know he has his PhD (mostly because he tells his readers that frequently), but it mostly seems like "head knowledge" as opposed to "lived knowledge". Kind of like Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, but not near as annoying as him.

Never actually heard of David Dunn before (I too like Glory To God For All Things, by the way).

I agree that Orthodoxy of all things is not primarily about "head knowledge". That's something I think is very good.

Many people are attracted to Calvinism because it offers so much intellectual rigor, "clarity", doctrinal precision and rationalism (and it offers little else besides those things). The problem is that Calvinist converts often end up behaving like know-it-alls, which kind of gets annoying after a while. Christianity should be more about the heart than the head. After all, didn't Jesus say we all needed to become like little children?
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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 06:33:25 PM »
Quote
People forget that the fathers and mothers of the church were just men and women. Citing them as authorities, with little regard to real contextual differences between them and us, is not fidelity. It's idolatry!

I don't really understand how any thinking individual could disagree with this. I suppose you could call it "intellectual cowardice" rather than idolatry, if you wanted to soften it a bit.  8)  I'm not familiar with him in general though. I don't think I've read a blog post (other than that of Fr. Aidan) for years.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 06:36:38 PM by Justin Kissel »
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 06:34:29 PM »
Some of the Church Fathers were strongly opposed to slavery, actually. St. Gregory of Nyssa has been called the first abolitionist.

Whether indignation can be righteous or not is debatable, I think. If you get too emotional about something that upsets you, aren't you giving into your passions?

But maybe you and I are defining indignation differently.

Maybe. Passion blinds reason. So it is good to temper it. I'll try to do so starting now.

I've always been kind of bored when I tried to read his blog. He talks a lot about himself. I prefer blogs like Glory to God for All Things. It just seems to have a lot more substance. David Dunn seems to be too much armchair theologian for me to really enjoy. I know he has his PhD (mostly because he tells his readers that frequently), but it mostly seems like "head knowledge" as opposed to "lived knowledge". Kind of like Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong, but not near as annoying as him.

Yeah, I agree. But I am full of myself, too, so....

My main problem, like with the article quoted, which I forgot to link up (below now), is that he is unclear. And he seems to think it is okay to change the Church's teaching or clarify it in some way similar to communing women in their period. Actually, it's not the same, nor are any of these matters of a similar nature. Women in their menstrual period is not a matter of sin, and the Latin Church, through the mouth of Pope St. Gregory, said it was fine back in the Middle Ages. It's comparing apples to oranges, and rotten oranges at that. Maybe homosexual couples can live chastely if say they have a child from their once unnatural union. The Church allows polygamist converts form paganism to keep all the wives, but only have relations with the first. But there is first the scandal, then the occasion of sin. If I lived with a mistress in co-habitation for years, and then come back to communion, maybe I can live chastely. But it seems very dangerous to live with her, which is why the Church forbids it. But I can regularize the marriage. I suppose pastoral decisions can be made on the matter of homosexual couples with children who leave their sexual relationship. But I lean right. It is not our place to judge the couple, nor should we take concern with the foolishly scandalized. Scripture says the Pharisees were scandalized, but Christ tool no concern, preferring to be the cause of their condemnation, that the just might be saved. Their scandal was of their own malice. But that does not mean there is not a danger of scandal to the good hearted. One problem is that Mr. Dunn never outright says sodomy is a sin, though it is implied. I think he should be clear on the gravity and seriousness of the sin in order to not give the appearance of being soft on the sin, rather than the sinner. In any case the relative article

http://www.davidjdunn.com/2014/11/19/fear-of-gays-and-episcopalians-and-bears-oh-my/

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 08:30:24 PM »
Quote
People forget that the fathers and mothers of the church were just men and women. Citing them as authorities, with little regard to real contextual differences between them and us, is not fidelity. It's idolatry!

I don't really understand how any thinking individual could disagree with this. I suppose you could call it "intellectual cowardice" rather than idolatry, if you wanted to soften it a bit.  8)  I'm not familiar with him in general though. I don't think I've read a blog post (other than that of Fr. Aidan) for years.

Referring to the pious as stupid and cowardly (or emotionally crippled) was being done in 1700, Justin. It was hoary by the time of our great-grandparents (who got hit on the head with it a lot in college, in those modernist days, and found it boring even then). I suppose one could call it Unholy Tradition. Not so much this 8), then, as this :-\.

And, no, the Fathers were not like the man on the street but were filled with the Holy Spirit (whose intellect, pardon me for interjecting, is infinite), chosen by God.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 08:35:35 PM »
... My main problem, like with the article quoted, which I forgot to link up (below now), is that he is unclear. And he seems to think it is okay to change the Church's teaching or clarify it in some way similar to communing women in their period. Actually, it's not the same, nor are any of these matters of a similar nature. Women in their menstrual period is not a matter of sin, and the Latin Church, through the mouth of Pope St. Gregory, said it was fine back in the Middle Ages. It's comparing apples to oranges, and rotten oranges at that. Maybe homosexual couples can live chastely if say they have a child from their once unnatural union. The Church allows polygamist converts form paganism to keep all the wives, but only have relations with the first. But there is first the scandal, then the occasion of sin. If I lived with a mistress in co-habitation for years, and then come back to communion, maybe I can live chastely. But it seems very dangerous to live with her, which is why the Church forbids it. But I can regularize the marriage. I suppose pastoral decisions can be made on the matter of homosexual couples with children who leave their sexual relationship. But I lean right. It is not our place to judge the couple, nor should we take concern with the foolishly scandalized. Scripture says the Pharisees were scandalized, but Christ tool no concern, preferring to be the cause of their condemnation, that the just might be saved. Their scandal was of their own malice. But that does not mean there is not a danger of scandal to the good hearted. One problem is that Mr. Dunn never outright says sodomy is a sin, though it is implied. I think he should be clear on the gravity and seriousness of the sin in order to not give the appearance of being soft on the sin, rather than the sinner. In any case the relative article

http://www.davidjdunn.com/2014/11/19/fear-of-gays-and-episcopalians-and-bears-oh-my/

The arena for our minds (and the rest of us, really) is so constricted in modernity that we are used to thinking a problem can be cut to size with a few familiar strokes. Mr. Dunn, tackling the giants the ancients were capable of, manages mostly to make a display of this atrophy.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 08:44:57 PM »
And, no, the Fathers were not like the man on the street but were filled with the Holy Spirit (whose intellect, pardon me for interjecting, is infinite), chosen by God.

I would recommend reading the Fathers more (though of course thwt could be said to everyone).
"when Mme. Vauquer lay down to rest on the day of M. Goriot's installation, her heart, like a larded partridge, sweltered before the fire of a burning desire to shake off the shroud of Vauquer and rise again as Goriot." - Balzac

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 08:56:42 PM »
And, no, the Fathers were not like the man on the street but were filled with the Holy Spirit (whose intellect, pardon me for interjecting, is infinite), chosen by God.

I would recommend reading the Fathers more (though of course thwt could be said to everyone).

You're assuming I'm a thinking person and no intellectual coward and that, reading enough of the Fathers, I'd come properly to contemn them.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2014, 10:39:14 PM »
And, no, the Fathers were not like the man on the street but were filled with the Holy Spirit (whose intellect, pardon me for interjecting, is infinite), chosen by God.

I would recommend reading the Fathers more (though of course thwt could be said to everyone).

You're assuming I'm a thinking person and no intellectual coward and that, reading enough of the Fathers, I'd come properly to contemn them.

Not condemn them, of course, but there were times when they didn't like each other (Cyril of Alexandria vs. John Chrysostom comes to mind), or had unresolved disagreements with each other. Only one of them could have been right. None of us on this board is in a position to condemn any of them, of course, but the fact remains that they can't all have been right all the time.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2014, 10:39:29 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 01:32:40 AM »
Does anyone know what his Ph.D. is in?  I know he got it from Vanderbilt, but if it is in underwater basket weaving or something comparable, then it is irrelevant to the fact that the man is a kidding himself if he thinks of himself as a theolgian in the Orthodox tradition.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 03:43:37 AM »

 they can't all have been right all the time.

Of course. One or the other was right. But it's one thing to say that. I just have problems with what Dunn said. But it's bigger than that. It's his whole method and style.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2014, 09:32:08 AM »
Does anyone know what his Ph.D. is in?  I know he got it from Vanderbilt, but if it is in underwater basket weaving or something comparable, then it is irrelevant to the fact that the man is a kidding himself if he thinks of himself as a theolgian in the Orthodox tradition.
He has graciously posted his Curriculum Vitae on his website.  He has a PhD in Theological Studies. His dissertation was Symphonia in the Secular: An Ecclesiology for the Narthex.  I don't really know what that means.
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2014, 11:02:27 AM »
Isn't the Narthex where those outside the faithful may stand? And unrepentant sinners, and those faithful that will not do pennance, as well as demoniacs? He sounds like all of them and I wish to thank you for saving my time and energy in not reading his blog. I will check out the other one though as soon as I can copy 'n paste.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 11:04:53 AM »
Isn't the Narthex where those outside the faithful may stand? And unrepentant sinners, and those faithful that will not do pennance, as well as demoniacs? He sounds like all of them and I wish to thank you for saving my time and energy in not reading his blog. I will check out the other one though as soon as I can copy 'n paste.
Merry Christmas
Well, I don't know if I would go so far as to call him an unrepentant sinner or a demoniac. I'm just personally not a fan of his blog, that is all.  :)
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2014, 11:19:52 AM »
Some of the Church Fathers were strongly opposed to slavery, actually. St. Gregory of Nyssa has been called the first abolitionist.

Whether indignation can be righteous or not is debatable, I think. If you get too emotional about something that upsets you, aren't you giving into your passions?

But maybe you and I are defining indignation differently.

One can doubt if indignation can be "righteous" but anger certainly can be. He did not give into His Passions with the money changers in His Temple. Nor is it giving into while others corrupt all, especially the youth, with an agenda the world is supporting while he is using the guise of Orthodoxy to do the same. Those of us who've been around more than a few decades and have read a little know the snake when seen no matter how erudite, pretty and sincere the approach.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 11:20:57 AM by LenInSebastopol »
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2014, 11:23:29 AM »
Isn't the Narthex where those outside the faithful may stand? And unrepentant sinners, and those faithful that will not do pennance, as well as demoniacs? He sounds like all of them and I wish to thank you for saving my time and energy in not reading his blog. I will check out the other one though as soon as I can copy 'n paste.
Merry Christmas
Well, I don't know if I would go so far as to call him an unrepentant sinner or a demoniac. I'm just personally not a fan of his blog, that is all.  :)

Good point, but if he blogging as was given in this thread, and is at the PhD level, then there is good chance that something stinks like hell.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2014, 04:54:47 PM »
Orthodoxy has taught me not to be such a judgmental jerk. Lord have mercy upon ME a sinner. Still, I cannot stand his type. It's not that I am any better than them. It's more the slimy and unmanly way in which they go about their work. You can't quite attack them. It is like in the old days, when battles were fought with certain rules of honour. You try to stay in formation, and fight like an honourable soldier. But Dunn and his type use gorilla warfare, and so you have to fight like a barbarian. And it is hard to attack a gorilla soldier properly if you are used to the rules of battle where you use formation. For even then the ambush had a certain code of honour. The ambush is polemics in this case. The formal battle is rational, dispassionate argument. With Dunn & Co. you have to do away with all the traditional rules of battle.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2014, 04:56:28 PM »
Isn't the Narthex where those outside the faithful may stand? And unrepentant sinners, and those faithful that will not do pennance, as well as demoniacs? He sounds like all of them and I wish to thank you for saving my time and energy in not reading his blog. I will check out the other one though as soon as I can copy 'n paste.
Merry Christmas
Well, I don't know if I would go so far as to call him an unrepentant sinner or a demoniac. I'm just personally not a fan of his blog, that is all.  :)

Good point, but if he blogging as was given in this thread, and is at the PhD level, then there is good chance that something stinks like hell.

Nowadays in most disciplines a PhD is mostly about dogged patience.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: David Dunn
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2014, 11:29:56 AM »
Does anyone know what his Ph.D. is in?  I know he got it from Vanderbilt, but if it is in underwater basket weaving or something comparable, then it is irrelevant to the fact that the man is a kidding himself if he thinks of himself as a theolgian in the Orthodox tradition.
He has graciously posted his Curriculum Vitae on his website.  He has a PhD in Theological Studies. His dissertation was Symphonia in the Secular: An Ecclesiology for the Narthex.  I don't really know what that means.

Like most dissertations, mine included, it means nothing and the contents mean even less.
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