One of the curious phenomena of the "blogosphere" -- at least, the theological segment of it -- is that certain subjects seem to draw out the worst: niggling, obscurantistic nitpickers who are determined to muddy things up when most folks would like a little clarity.
There are subjects that especially require great precision -- and the truth is, people who blog for fun, rather than as ones main vocation -- are not usually going to bring all the erudition and precision with them. That should be taken as given: if you want tight, in-depth treatment of weighty theological questions, what in heaven's name are you doing bopping around blogs for?
I think some people like to show off just how much they know. Well, I'm a reasonably smart person, but plenty of smart people don't have to carry all the facts and citations around in their heads--that's what books and such are for. If you ask me to look something up for you, I am pretty sure I could do it; but quote it from memory, in English, Latin or Greek? Nope, sorry. If you can, bully for you.
Now, I'm not faulting people who really can plumb the byzantine depths of particular subjects, only saying that most of the time, casually blogging, I am not equipt for that, so I try to stay out of those--I think I do, anyway. I think there's nothing wrong with attempting more summary discussions of the same subjects; after all, that sort of thing is far more helpful for most folks, anyway.
What irks me when this happens is that the nigglers and flea-combers shut down an otherwise useful discussion. Such happened, recently, in a thread on justification at The Cafeteria is Closed. One poster insisted on worrying a subtle aspect of "merit" the way a dog worries a bone, and I rose to the bait, for awhile.
I'm asking for trouble raising this here--except this is my blog, my rules. If the poster in question tries to pick up as he left off, that will be shut down immediately.
If someone wants to ask a question about justification, merit, grace, and ecumenism, fine; know that I'm going to answer with broad strokes, for no other reason than I can do that briefly; I simply lack the time to juggle the various source materials on my lap to frame extremely subtle answers, and if that's what you want, you came to the wrong place.
And know, "He who spouts the most esoteric rule, wins" ain't one of my blog's rules. I don't accept the premise that someone gets to set the terms of the counterpoint, simply by how one makes the point--i.e., your fancy claim doesn't mean I have to respond in equal, fancy measure. Sometimes, all it takes is to call b---s---.