Friday, January 1, 2010

Bagworms And Blogs

Besides theology, I enjoy a nice relaxing time doing gardening in my yard (see here).  Many articles have been spawned as I take time to meditate & reflect while griming in the soil to plant or when plucking some weeds.
Last night I took some time to carefully remove bagworms from an evergreen/pine tree.  Bagworms attach themselves to the host tree, looking very much like pine cones.  A casual observer may think the bagworms belong to the tree when actually they are parasites that are destroying the tree one branch at a time.  It starts with just one lone bag that eventually breaks open with over 1000 larvae in each bag.  In time, an entire evergreen would be destroyed by what at first seemed innocent enough.
Heresies are like bagworms.  They may look like they are part of the tree.  Casual observers may even get upset to see someone removing bagworms from a tree, as if they suppose a person is pulling pine cones.

Which brings me to what goes on at PretBlog & between the hyperpreterist blogs.  Sometimes, casual observes may think that what PretBlog does in exposing & interacting with hyperpreterists the way we do is a wrong approach.  These people may rather think we should write lots of academic papers (& we have).  But there is also a time to open the bag & show people that there is a bagworm inside.  There is a time to educate people to show them this bagworm ISN’T part of the tree & is actually destructive to the tree.  Doing that sometimes gets messy for people who aren’t prepared.  As a matter of fact, if I cut open a bag of a bagworm, it would probably not only “offend” or turn off some people, but it would gross them out. (see inside a bagworm bag).  In the same way, readers & participants at PretBlog need to know this isn’t a nice, little tidy exercise. (My wife wouldn’t help remove the bagworms even if she wore gloves)  Sometimes, difficult & not so pleasing things will need to be done.  In the past few weeks, as we interacted with a few hyperpreterists we have been able to show how tricky & untrustworthy they are in how they approach things & what processes they use to even conclude the most basic things — such as thinking a reference to a whale must mean we were making fun of their weight — the context had nothing to do with weight.
So, next time you see things get a bit yucky on PretBlog, think of pulling a bagworm from a tree.  It isn’t glamorous work but it must be done to keep the Tree healthy.

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