Two Cognitive Dissonances

Some narrative of events, in order that those who would like to may in some way appreciate what it is like.


This is my teacher, by the way. No, she does not like Augustine. No, she is not a historian. She’s nevertheless really good. I admire her. She likes Aquinas, and so do I.

Today she was explaining in her rather thorough, Aristotelian and somewhat manic way, Boethius’s definition of person. It led her to say, because a person is a supposit further distinguished by knowledge and will, that there were three knowledges and wills in God.

Wait, says I, three wills?

She fist-bumped me for catching it, and then sat down calling herself a flaming heretic. She should have said three supposits with knowledge and will in God, I supose.

So I told her about Eternal Functional Subordination. All I told her was the name of it: the eternal functional subordination of the Son, setting it up as a complementarian ruse some evangelicals were adopting. She immediately said, That’s Arianism. That’s flaming heresy. They’re not thinking about what they’re doing.

She’s a theologian, you see.

I know, I replies, AND they’re teaching theology in seminaries.

I thought that would be the cap on the whole exchange, the jaw-dropper, but that’s the funny part. It’s where it fizzled.

Oh, she said, theologians are teaching heresy, or rather heretics are teaching in seminaries all the time.

No big deal. That is the world we live in. You go to seminary, you may or may not get heresy: that’s just how it is.

That gave me some cognitive dissonance, though perhaps it should not have.


There’s a guy in the class who never says anything, never takes notes, sometimes seems to be reading the assigned stuff during the lectures and discussion. Before class, there he was, taking his seat. Meanwhile, I asked the other chaps if they had resolved to skip another class in order to hear Roger Scruton next week.

Roger Scruton! says Mr. Silent. I love Roger Scruton. I’ve read everything he’s written. He’s going to be here?

That gave me some cognitive dissonance too. He doesn’t hide behind a laptop the way some do. He sits there looking at the book or the printout and, as I said, never interacting or taking notes. You should have seen him smiling at the thought of being in the presence of Roger Scruton, though. For me, it doesn’t add up.


5 thoughts on “Two Cognitive Dissonances

  1. Far lesser matters than the Trinity occupy most of my time these days; I am shamefully behind in current reading. It seems to me, however, that to the metaphysical realist eternal generation would be the most real generation of all and eternal sonship the most real sonship. lmb

  2. We are all of us behind on our reading; and I think the point that establishes is that Christian doctrine has advanced over the centuries and as it presently stands has never been more complex that it is today, and we need to be aware of that, and approach it as those who are behind on our reading.

    I do think it does help to be a Platonist.

  3. Elreictcity was not invented, but discovered. Neither Edison nor Tesla discovered it either. They did however greatly contribute to the development of the current electrical grid.

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