Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An apology

One of the unfortunate things about daily blog posts is the slapdash nature of the genre. My post on Eminent Domain from last week is a fine example. In my haste to advocate for private propterty rights (an interest of mine rooted in collegiate studies of Locke's defense of private property and a growing concern about eminent domain cases for about the past 7 years), I wrote with great fervor and passion about the Norwood eminent domain decision. My words intoxicated me -- cleverness dripped from my fingers as I typed with abandon. In my langour, I did a great disservice.

Commentors drew my attention to this disservice: I was grossly unfair to the parties invovled -- particularly to the developers and the Norwood city officials. I wrongly attributed sinister, greedy, and downright nasty motive to their actions. While I disagree with many of their actions, it was wrong and uncharitable for me to portray them as malevolent. Indeed, my characterizations flew in the face of a blog post I had put up the day before that spoke of demonstrating Christian character in blogging. Here is a pertinant quote from that post:

Simply put, our blogging should seek to edify and build up the saints, not engage in a tough-man free for all of words and attack. Sometimes that edification may be in the form of challenging cultural or institutional assumptions -- but it must always be done with the aim of edifying rather than scoring points. The question still remains -- is there a place for prophetic wrath? I welcome your thoughts on that question.

From high ideals, I fell into to verbal fight club. As I wrote the eminent domain post, I felt that I was sharpening my sword for prophetic wrath; as I look back (at the brotherly challenge of a friend) I see that my writing was dulled by hubris. Rhetoric and bombast interfered with clarity and understanding. Simply put, the words I chose got in the way of the message, an excommunicable offense for the writer of prose.

Thus, I publicly apologize to the developers and the Norwood city officials. I also remind my readers that this is not a forurm from which I speak ex cathedra, but rather a conversation -- my thanks to those readers who rose to the task and spoke up. Finally, this is a fine reminder of our fallible nature and our need for the Christian community to hold us accountable (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12:4). Thanks for all of you for sticking with the Eagle and Child!

Soli Deo Gloria