St. Augustine on the Combox Troll

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m working on my Masters in Theology and taking classes this semester on St. Augustine and the Old Testament. Reading City of God, right there in the first paragraph of Book XV, Augie peers into the future and describes the average anti-Catholic combox troll:

The time at my disposal does not allow me to linger on all the questions that may be raised by men with time on their hands and with a curiosity for finer points–the kind of people who are more ready to ask questions than capable of understanding the answers.


The Devil Tempts St. Benedict
Taking the Devil Seriously
The Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel
Evangelizing With Medals
About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Eric M.

    St. Augustine is right about people with too much time on their hands being combox trolls. The “curiosity for finer points” part is a bit harder to apply to the modern troll. It seems that understanding certain parts of Augustinian and especially Thomistic theology requires great care from the serious theologian for finer points (the idea of divine providence for example). I’m guessing he means idle questioning from skeptics, like Pontius Pilate, who asked “What is Truth?” and would not stay for an answer.

    On an unrelated note, I also have an ambition (hopefully not too farfetched for an undergrad) to study theology sometime in the future. It’s probably the case that for Catholic philosophers with Thomist-leanings like me, philosophy is only a prologue to the Science of God. I’m also a big fan of PC games, so I enjoyed your Bioshock review when I stumbled onto your site from the Anchoress.

  • Gary Chapin

    Pots and kettles. I’ve rarely seen someone with a better ear for the finer points than you.

  • Jim M

    I was brought here from a link at NCRegister. I have to ask, what is a combox?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    You’re using one right now! It’s this little box to type comments in.

  • David Werling

    Could you please do an analytical breakdown of what this quote means, precisely? Thanks.

  • enness

    I just assumed that was a polite way of putting it. :)

  • Jim M

    Ohh. Thanks!