Ezekiel 3:7-9, « Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house. …So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me. Then I came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them. »
This is a hard saying! I am not exactly sure how it fits with « let your speech be always with grace » « do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him, » etc. However, I see now that I have at times used emotional sensitivity as an excuse for intellectual laziness.
Today, as I wrestled with Karl Barth, I kept these words in mind. Stubborn, angry resistance is at times necessary in the pursuit of truth.