Several readers objected to my recent post Harkening back to the golden age. As so often happens with Pastor Doug Wilson, the defense is not that what he wrote is correct, but that I’m being uncharitable for not assuming he meant something different than what he wrote. OKRickety wrote in defense of Wilson (emphasis mine):
To be clear, I will say that I am not of fan of Doug Wilson’s writing style. It is not easy to read and excessively lengthy, tending to obfuscate what he wishes to communicate.
I think Wilson’s perspective on the “times” is that today we have so-called “servant leadership”, whereas before (in what he unfortunately calls “normal times”) we only had feminist claims that normal masculine behavior often (always?) led to bluster, bullying, etc.
This is a standard defense of Wilson, and one that were I Wilson I would strongly object to. OKRickety is saying that Wilson, after blogging and writing dozens of books over a period of decades, is quite poor at his craft as a writer. Not only that, he is implying that Wilson’s stylistic claim to fame, of being a “hard hitting” Christian author (his theology bites back!), is untrue. If OKRickety is correct, instead of being a hard hitting author who tells it like it is, Wilson is in fact a producer of muddled bombast. This is a cruel defense, and with friends like these Wilson does not need enemies.
It is possible that OKRickety has the benefit of a close personal relationship with Wilson and knows from experience that Wilson gets it right when say discussing an issue at the local fishing hole, but disaster ensues whenever he puts his fingers to the keyboard. I think it is more likely that OKRickety is merely assuming he knows what Wilson means to write, so that no matter what Wilson writes, it must always mean what OKRickety assumes it means. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be biased.
Either way, as a result of my responding to what Wilson actually writes instead of what OKRickety knows Wilson meant, OKRickety says I’m being unfair, and guilty of poor reading comprehension:
I think the crux of our disagreement is that I think Doug Wilson’s post is indeed quite correct in regard to Christian masculine behavior, but your post makes great effort to throw shade on Wilson. I just don’t understand why you and others are so nitpicky about Wilson’s post, seemingly having a greater desire to find fault than recognizing the ample positive. Sure, I’d like for him to be perfect in his statements. I’d also like it for you and all of the commenters here, but I have not found that to be the case.
On top of that, it is my opinion that many claims of Wilson’s red-pill failure display poor reading comprehension or faulty presumptions about his motives. In other words, the claims are faulty.
In my opinion, Wilson is on the same side as you and most of your readers even if you don’t like his playbook or style of play.
I would suggest that instead of assuming Wilson is muddled in his writing, that OKRickety give Wilson the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is in fact writing what he wants to write. Moreover, if Wilson happens to be writing the opposite of what he intends, pointing out the logical flaws is doing Wilson a great service, as it offers him the opportunity to write a correction.
See OKRickety’s full comment here.