Update: Not surprisingly John’s response led to an extended discussion regarding the nature and respective merits of deism/theism and agnosticism between John and a reader (and scholar) named Alan Lenzi. On the substance of the discussion I tend to come down on John’s side (not very surprising), but I appreciated Alan’s point of view and the way that he expressed himself. Very often discussions like this are filled with invective and varying levels of unkindness. John and Alan, however, manage to have a discussion in which they disagree strongly without (to be blunt) behaving like jackasses. This is rare and refreshing. I wonder if the reason for their ability to converse civilly on such an incindiary subject is a product of both intellectual humility and intellectual rigor. I think that it is.
Speaking of blogs I really like, I just read a great comment response over on John Hobbins‘ Ancient Hebrew Poetry. The post itself is, of course, excellent and stimulating as usual, but his extended response to one of his commentators is just brilliant. Reading it was, for me, one of those moments when you find somebody else articulating perfectly thoughts you’ve been mulling over for a while but just couldn’t quite spit out. I have this experience regularly on John’s blog. Though, I should also note, he remains mistaken in his belief that Hebrew has a tense-based verbal system ;).