Insult Hour with John Owen – Addressing the Flawed Arguments of Your Opponents

Insult hour with John Owen: Have you ever been writing a logical or theological paper and racked your brain for a scathing insult to express your deep displeasure with a opponents argument? I'm sure that we have all encountered this, but no fear, John Owen has got the answer! If you are answering your opponent's badly used proof texts, you say:

“With this observation we let pass the proposition, taking out its meaning as well as the phrase whereby it is expressed will afford it, together with the vain flourish and pompous show of many texts of Scripture brought to confirm it, whereof not one is any thing to the purpose; so that I am persuaded he put down names and figures at a venture, without once consulting the texts, having no small cause to be confident that none would trace him in his flourish, and yet that so eyes might dazzle at his supernumerary quotations…. O let us not be as many, who corrupt the word of God!”

If it is the argumentation of your opponent that is in question, you say;

“To this whole argument, as it lies before us, I have nothing to say but only to entreat [Insert Mr/Ms. lastname], that if the misery of our times should be calling upon him[her] to be writing again, he[she] would cease expressing his mind by syllogisms, and speak in his[her] own manner; which, by its confusion in innumerable tautologies, may a little puzzle his[her] reader. For, truly this kind of arguing here used,–for want of logic, whereby he[she] deceiveth others,–is exceedingly ridiculous; for none can be so blind but that, at first reading of the argument, he will see that he asserts and infers that in the conclusion, strengthening it with a new testimony, which was not once dreamed of in either of the premises…. Were it not a noble design to banish all human learning, and to establish such a way of arguing in the room thereof? “Hoc Ithacus velit et mango mercentur atridae.””

The Latin quote at the end adds an elegant flourish to your devastating barrage

– John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, 259-262


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