"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

My Email to Dr. Norman Geisler and His Facebook Statement in Response

At 8:30 a.m. Central Time this morning, Tuesday, June 29, 2010, I sent to Dr. Norman Geisler the following email:

_____________________________________________


Dear Dr. Geisler,

I appreciate the work you have accomplished on behalf of the Kingdom in areas of philosophy and apologetics. Your textbooks and manuscripts will help numerous generations of evangelicals understand why they should believe what they believe.

I am writing to ask a favor. A few weeks ago you issued a statement regarding Ergun Caner and, according to Peter Lumpkins, you requested the statement be spread “far and wide.” Your statement reads:


To Whom It May Concern:


“I am familiar with the slanderous charges that have been made against Dr. Ergun Caner generated by some Muslim groups and other extremists. I have looked into the matter, talking with Ergun and other principal parties at Liberty, and am convinced that the charges are libelous. I am also convinced that whatever ambiguous or misstatement that may have been made, Dr. Caner has done nothing heretical, immoral, or illegal. I stand with him against these vicious attacks. He has taken a strong stand on important issues that stir up controversy, but to my knowledge has done nothing unorthodox or malicious. I urge all to consider him innocent unless proven guilty. He has welcomed an inquiry from the Liberty authorities. Let’s await their findings. Christians have a bad habit of shooting their wounded. Let’s pray for and encourage our brother.”

Sincerely in Christ,


Dr. Norman L. Geisler

I am pastor of a church in Oklahoma. One of my church members, a truck driver’s wife by the name of Debbie Kaufman. Debbie had become acquainted with a Muslim who was questioning Dr. Caner’s Muslim background. Her goal was to build a friendship with this Muslim man in order to share Christ with him. During the course of her online conversations with this Muslim, Debbie herself began to wonder about Dr. Caner’s Muslim background. She eventually wrote a few posts of her own, questioning Dr. Caner’s testimony and background .... Debbie felt it important that Christians ask some of the same questions the Muslims were asking because she saw validity in what was being said. As you know as an apologist, truth is truth, regardless of who speaks it.

When your statement was issued, some men wrote to Debbie Kaufman and called her many ungodly and ugly names. They believed they had warrant to do so because a respected scholar such as yourself called charges against Dr. Caner “slanderous” and lumped Christians like my church member Debbie into the category of “extremists.”

Now that the Liberty Committee assigned to investigate Dr. Caner has officially concluded that he has given “factual statements that are self-contradictory” and removed him from the Presidency of Liberty, would you be so kind as to issue a second public statement that will exonerate people like Debbie from the label of extremist and slanderer? I think it would be helpful to Debbie and will go a long way toward repairing her reputation as well as her confidence in evangelical leaders such as yourself.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

_______________________________________________________________

At 11:30 AM Central Time, three hours after my sending the above email, the following statement was made by Dr. Geisler on his public Facebook page:
 
"An extensive independent investigation has exonerated Dr. Ergun Caner of all the false charges made against him by extreme Muslims and others and has been retained as a Professor at Liberty University. In spite of a few misstatements (which we all make and he has corrected), nothing has diminished his testimony and orthodoxy as one of the great Christian voices of our time. I totally support him." Norman Geisler
_______________________________________________________________________

(Update and Follow-up)


Since my post today, Dr. Geisler has emailed me personally. He has reiterated his belief that Ergun Caner's "factual statements that are self-contradictory" are simply misstatements. He also said I am misinterpreting Liberty's official statement since Dr. Caner has been exonerated by Liberty.

I sent to Dr. Geisler the following email this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Central Time:
________________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Dr. Geisler.

 I believe you will find there is disagreement over what you call a “few misstatements,” for some believe that those misstatements represent an intentional embellishment of one’s testimony and background for the purpose of self-advancement. In other words, it’s hard to understand how the public and well documented “factual statements that are self-contradictory” are anything but intentional lies to create an aura of personhood and/or personality that has been fabricated and is not real.


In other words, it’s hard for a typical mid-western boy who has lived in Ohio since the age of three, and happened to have a Muslim father who abandoned his Christian wife and family when the boy was young to be deemed as powerful an expert in Islam as a man who was born in Turkey, raised in a terrorist organization to be a jihadist, came to the U.S. as a teenager speaking no English and believing all Americans and Christians were his enemies, living with the intent on destroying America as the 9/11 bombers died trying to destroy America, but came to faith in Christ and had his life powerfully changed by the grace of God. The first testimony doesn’t sound as flashy as the second.


Yet, the “factual statements that are self-contradictory” given by Caner are precisely the statements above. My prayer is that you in your years of wisdom will not allow loyalty, Veritas economics, or even a heart of compassion (which we all feel), to handcuff you from encouraging your friend to come to brokenness and repentance over his embellishments, apologize to those whom he has intentionally deceived, set the record straight, and move forward with the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ. Were this not to take place, I believe you will find the ministries of Ergun Caner to be severely limited in the future.

We may simply wind up agreeing to disagree on this issue, and if so, then we will enjoy fellowship with one another for eternity through the wonderful grace of God which cleanses us all of our sins.


In His Grace,

Wade

118 comments:

Jerry said...

I am quite certain that I cannot properly respond and still maintain my Christian testimony.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

I have come to the sad conclusion that lot of these self-appointed theologians, apologetics professors and gadfly’s need to take remedial courses in Logic 101.

Earth to Norman Geisler and John Ankerberg and Tim Guthrie and Tim Rogers and Peter Lumpkins and Bart Barber and others …

Come down to earth. Restore your sanity. No need to stonewall. Face the facts. And the truth.

Yes the above includes Ergun Caner and Emir Caner.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A connection?

http://veritasseminary.com/edu/pages/faculty--staff.php

and check out who is on the 'visiting staff' roster

Strange that the word chosen for the seminary's name is the Latin word for 'truth'.

shadowspring said...

Well, denial of reality is one response to cognitive dissonance. õ_0

Ultimately the healthier choice though is to bring your beliefs in live with reality.

The reality is that people have observed a pattern of exaggeration and fantastical story-telling in Mr. Caner's publicly made/recorded statements.

Why is that so hard to own up to? For him and/or his supporters?

The response of the many in evangelical leadership is more embarrassing than the tall tales of the one preacher.

After all, he simply got carried away after 9/11 and when it played well, kept up the spiel. It was immature, but he was gaining celebrity for it and it felt so good, no doubt. And brought in the big bucks.

But what is the purpose behind the denial of the evangelical leaders who insist that Caner did nothing wrong? Is it too embarrassing to admit that they encouraged the embellishing and drama themselves?

Why can't they all just come clean? It can't be that hard to admit they were only human, can it?

shadowspring said...

ps If Pastor Burleson was just "in this to get a theological enemy" then coming clean and saying, in teen parlance, "my bad!" would have totally taken the wind out of his sails.

The quickest way to shut up an enemy is to agree with him.=)

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the link pointing out Geisler's President of Veritas and that Ergun Caner is Visiting Staff at Veritas.

When the Christian evangelical world is more concerned with comfort, money and perceptions than truth, integrity and character, the power of our message is lost in a world that looks no different than the Church.

Wade Burleson said...

Shadowspring,

Well stated.

blogitch said...

A definition of postmodernism: A relativistic system of observation and thought that denies absolutes and objectivity.

Douglas Groothius wrote:If power, both individual and political, is not tempered by a conscience capable of contact with and submission to an objective moral law and Law Giver, it becomes its own justification. No amount of postmodernist whimsy, irony, or aestheticism can defuse this peril. As Pascal said, "Might without right is tyrannical."

Anonymous said...

wow

Scott said...

Joe,

Did you ever claim to be a trained terrorist from a pulpit?

He did.

I have the sermon downloaded on my computer. I even found it in the archives of a church which is known to be favorable to him. It's even unaltered with his voice telling his lies.

Pesky little things called facts...

Then again, you have no problem with people lying from the pulpit, just as long as they're conservative.

Conservatism trumps things like integrity, compassion, gentleness...you know...things we call fruit of the Spirit.

Tim said...

a quick check of google news is enlightening:

The word "demote" was used by the following: Christian Post, Associated Press, Chronicle of Higher Ed., Associated Baptist Press, Belief Net (blog)

The word "sacked" or "removed" were used by Belief Net. and Columbus Dispatch

The words "out as Dean" were used by the Lynchburg News"

I couldn't find the word "exonerated" anywhere

Steve said...

The rather amazing response offered in the post reminds me of a superior I had during my career in the schools. This guy saw his role as defending his staff, and I worked hard to never expose him to attacks due to my lack of attention to my tasks.

I remember those days as a protected and safe time, during which I enjoyed great freedom AND a great responsibility. I promised myself I wouldn't expose my superior to any attacks because he had trusted me too blindly.

Perhaps Dr. E.C. will realize the situation he has allowed his defenders to come under, and will not abuse the loyalty they continue to offer him. Dr. Caner needs to come as clean as he ever can with defenders like Dr. Geisler so that they can face the light of revelation and admit having trusted this good man a bit too much.

The "coming clean" process with these defenders will prepare E.C. for the rest of his admission and repentance process in the presence of less charitable persons, until finally he can even publicly defend the Debbie Kaufmans of the world who were the first to stand up for honesty, truth, and accountability.

BibleWheel said...

Joe Blackmon wrote "-neither one of you ever once shared the gospel with MoKahn. Not.Even.Once"

This exemplifies the false Gospel preached by Joe Blackmon. He thinks he has "preached the Gospel" when he totally ignores the HUMAN BEING standing in front of him and spews empty meaningless words like "Jesus loves you!" at him without any attempt to establish any form of meaningful communication with the target of his assault. That is not "preaching the Gospel" - it is MOCKING the Gospel!

Anonymous said...

anytime you get a 'response' as ridiculous as Geisler's, from someone as well-known as Geisler, dig a little bit.

There is ALWAYS a connection.
And most intelligent people don't act dumb unless they have to.

Thy Peace said...

Ben Cole is a prophet.

“My reception into the Catholic Church last Spring was the culmination of years of reflection and the Lord has opened doors for me that would have never been possible if I’d stayed shackled in Southern Baptist hell, fighting foolish battles to accomplish silly victories for the Lilliutians who thrive on such pettiness.”

Tim Marsh said...

I cannot believe it! I don't know Geisler, except that he is a Biblical Manhood and Womanhood proponent and the author of a popular systematic theology, but this is unreal!

I reiterrate what I posted yesterday: The best thing that Caner can do is resign voluntarily, tell the story of how and why he embellished, and if others put him up to the task, then he needs to expose them as well. We need to know what kind of culture promotes others to embellish their stories for the purpose of "soul winning" and celebrity appeal. It needs to be exposed and axed.

And I believe that it is OK to say that the ax is against the roots. Did John the Baptist not say the same thing?

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Douglas H. Everett wrote, “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

The dream is interpreted as "exonerated", the reality is.........

Wade Burleson said...

BibleWheel,

The biggest, most heartfelt "Amen" I've ever delivered to a blog comment in the history of this blog.

Thanks for your comment,

Wade

John said...

Wade,
Question--what's your purpose in posting this? Does it bring glory to God, does it build the Kingdom, or does it make you look good and someone else look bad?
I have no doubt that Caner should be removed, but why take this conversation between you and another brother in Christ public?

Wade Burleson said...

John,

Dr. Geisler's made his response public on Facebook.

It's not private when it is a public statement.

The email sent to me had in the top left hand corner:

(FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION).

Darrell said...

I have just shared with a young man that at this time I could not recommend Liberty as a place to go study God's Word. It is both heartbreaking and gutwrenching but to do otherwise, without showing him what is public record...I could not do.

I cannot imagine, if I was a student and had this knowledge, how I could sit in a theology class or any class (religious) class there until this is settled.

grace
darrell

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that the money tree may begin to dry up on Liberty Mountain.

I disagreed with Jerry Senior on many points, but I do believe that he was a man of integrity, sadly, I can not say the same thing about Junior.

It seems that God is bringing about a renewal of people that are no longer blindly following those who are leaders which is not a bad thing--we arer told to be discrening!

Grace

Bill
Romans 5:1

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Years ago I was asked by a young man.."Do you know why people don't trust baptist preachers?" I answered him that I did not. He responded.."That's why."

I've never been at a loss to know why since. My knowledge of why has been reinforced today.

Richard said...

Geisler can defend lies to make it sound noble. This guy's motive is to sell merchandises (e.g., books, CDs, mugs, T-Shirts, etc). Just watch, Geisler will be teaching at LU very soon as a reward.

This signals the 2nd round of battling this cancer of institutional merchandising of the Gospel, and cultural arrogance of this fundamentalist group.

Richard said...

Wade,

These so called 'experts'--you called wise men; have just succesfully convinced EC that he IS RIGHT all along, and you all are in the WRONG (intentionally and factually).

The one who has been lying for a decade is right (because he has no subjective intention to lie); and this offsets all FACTUAL CONTRADICTIONS. Period!

Libarty Baptist Popes have spoken the final word!

Thousands of people at Liberty, both professors and students have lost their conscience!

This is historic.

In my short life-span I have seen so much evil produced by the so called Christian leaders.

A gread sadness filled my soul today.

Thy Peace said...

A more profound and sad conclusion ...

All the bigwigs in SBC, who say they love Jesus, do not really love Jesus. They only love themselves and their friends and family. Not the truth.

Ex N1hilo said...

Given the LU committee's conclusion that EC made self-contradictory statements, I guess they ought to be counted among those who have libeled and slandered EC.

David said...

Nothing amazes me anymore. I am not sure why the “rush” to keep these fallen ministers that “mis-speak”. All you have to do is look at Johnnie Hunt’s protégé: Steve Flockhart. Johnnie was quick to restore Steve after his “mis-speaks”. And Caner was involved in that mess also.

I love it when we wash a sin, rationalize it and justify a lie then call it “mis-speaks”. These are lies that are told, embolden/enhanced by ministers, not just an ordinary persons. Good grief they should run for Congress. And don’t forget how Steve Gaines kept Paul Williams around after he admitted he was a pedophile. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

You wonder why the world looks at us and shake their heads. Why in the world would you want to be part of that? The Gospel suffers and suffers badly by their weak excuses and lies.

Brother Wade you are in my prayers. I just wished I lived in Oklahoma but then I would have to be a Sooner, not sure I could handle that. Please keep standing for the truth.

David Brown

LivingDust said...

Dear Brother Wade - It has been many, many months since I have posted at Grace and Truth to You, but a lesson taught this most recent Sunday in my Sunday School class applies to this unfortunate situation. Our teacher was discussing "the tongue" in James 3. In short, the lesson was that the tongue (or the words we speak to others) can "direct, destroy and/or delight". The words we speak can direct a situation, a person, a congregation or perhaps a student body. The words we speak can destroy a reputation, the confidence of a person, the unity of a congregation or the reputation of a university. The words we speak can delight a child, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker....even God. We read from Proverbs about the wisdom of using few words and being good listeners. Our teachers advice was this - when speaking ask this question - Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? I believe in the a case of Mr. Caner that his testimony about his early life failed in two cases - Is it true and Is it necessary. I believe that it was not necessary for Mr. Caner to exaggerate, mislead and lie about his early life and his testimony would have been just as effective. I am confident that a man like Mr. Caner who is so knowledgable of the Word of God will know that he must listen too and accept the counsel of brothers in Christ and in sincere contrition offer confession to the Lord, genuinely repent and seek restoration to fellowship. I too have found in my life that my words, not my actions, cause me the most greif. You are spot on when you say that Mr. Caner must apologize to those he has intentionally deceived and set the record straight.

natamllc said...

What a sadness comes over my soul?

The joy we anticipate is so real.

Dr. Caner could end it, this sadness, by coming forth for the sake of the Gospel; and we who have no stellar stones to throw, just an awareness of the joy that comes from repentance and a clean conscience before both God and man would affirm the truth of this joy?

With regard to Dr. Geisler, on the other hand, quite possibly what we now are experiencing because of his statements now, is something close to these verses:

Ecc 4:13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.
Ecc 4:14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor.

Anonymous said...

Richard said: "Geisler will be teaching at LU very soon as a reward."

Well, let's hope and pray that by then the truth will be so real that Caner will at LEAST be busted down to his grader!!

Good grief.

Anonymous said...

I agree with John. What do you hope to get by all this posting about Caner? If you have such an issue with him, why not call and talk to him personally. Please keep in mind that this isn't a Southern Baptist issue in the first place.

Anonymous said...

An egalitarian describing a woman as "the wife of a truck driver" -- seriously??? Maybe the Debster should just refer to herself Mrs (insert trucker's name) Coughman since her Pastor has gone all patriarchy on her.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

You're right. Poor description of Debbie.

How about this, "Debbie, an extraordinarily gifted, sagacious, and articulate leader ...."

:)

Michael said...

I'm glad that Norman Geisler doesn't work within our justice system. If Norman was officer Norman, it would kind of go like this.

Someone brings the accused in for questioning. Norm asks the accused if he did it. The accused says, "Of course not, I'm innocent!" Officer Norman believes him, ignores the evidence, doesn't question any other witnesses and declares the accused innocent.

As an addendum, this scenario plays out hundreds of times when legitimate accusations are made against pastors. The deacons play the officer and ask the pastor's perspective only. What a sharp group of yes men. They won't dare to obtain or give credence to real evidence because to act on it would threaten their own position.

Anonymous said...

"These so called 'experts'--you called wise men; have just succesfully convinced EC that he IS RIGHT all along, and you all are in the WRONG (intentionally and factually). "

This could be much worse than any of us think. What if such men are getting in the way of Holy Spirit working in Caner's life?

Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard for these elites to get it? For 20+ years I've worked with a very diverse group, any and all topics come up for discussion at various times. The one comment that always comes up on the negative side regarding religion is the hypocrisy in the church. There is no reasonable reply when the likes of these continue the whitewashing of Caner's behavior.

Anonymous said...

"What do you hope to get by all this posting about Caner? If you have such an issue with him, why not call and talk to him personally."

Uh...considering the nature of the scandal, is there any reason I should believe what he says if I call him>


" Please keep in mind that this isn't a Southern Baptist issue in the first place."

And that has to do with...what? Do you have any idea how many SBC churches Caner has spoken in over the last 9 years and lied? And how many SBC people are on the Liberty board?

I think you need to go back to the drawing board. You might want to consult with the BI guys for ideas.

Anonymous said...

The one comment that always comes up on the negative side regarding religion is the hypocrisy in the church. There is no reasonable reply when the likes of these continue the whitewashing of Caner's behavior.

Tue Jun 29, 08:24:00 PM 2010

Sure there is. There is the standard: The church if full of imperfect people.

OR,

If you want a perfect church, then don't join it.

OR

The church is a hospital for sinners.

(One wonders if they ever get off the hospital bed and pull the IV's of milk out)

See, this sort of hypocrisy is considered normal in Christian circles now. Sin is considered so normal for Born Again believers, we hate folks who really are holy. We make fun of them. They are losers and of course, are not celebrities. Nobody follows them.

Richard said...

Geisler is a fundamentalist in the tradition of Jerry Falwell Sr., John R. Rice, etc. of the Independent Baptists' culture.

This group is different from SBC culture. They are separatists. They are not accountable to nobody. TRBC & LU are that way.

People from this group attack everybody from Moslems to those who don't separate themselves from Billy Graham, etc. That is why EC's sermons are full of jokes, putdown and hatred toward Calvinists, etc. Geisler is such an apologist.

Geisler was once a prof. at Dallas Seminary but he was kicked out because he is such a polarizing person (attacking everybody from every department, and every field, so I was told).

He was instrumental in the controversy and the removal of Jack Deere, Robin Cover, Walter Bodine, etc. from DTS (according to an insider's information).

I believer he was also kicked out of ETS because of this kind of mental habit.

Geisler's support for Ergun Caner shows similarity of their approach to apologetics.

Anonymous said...

I have appreciated Dr. Geisler's work over the years---I even needed one of his philosophy of religion textbooks to understand the book written by one of my professors while in seminary! But I do not appreciate Dr. Geisler's analysis of these circumstances---and I am even less appreciative of Dr. Caner's letting him stand incorrect on the matter.

Anonymous said...

This facebook statement is an example of the kind of action that reveals a man's true character.

HYPOCRISY is alive and well in the fundamentalist camp, as modeled by one of its chief apologists.

Scott said...

Man, I'm loving the Anonymous comments on here.

Some I want to praise and others are little more than hit and run jobs.

Scott said...

The lesson to learn here folks is that forgiveness does exempt you from consequences...

...but only if you have a Falwell in your corner.

Tom Kelley said...

Anonymous Tue Jun 29, 07:31:00 PM 2010 said...
Please keep in mind that this isn't a Southern Baptist issue in the first place.



Says who, and why? What does it take for something to quality as a "Southern Baptist" issue, and how does this not quality?

And even if it doesn't, why should that matter? Who says that Wade or his readers can't comment on non- "Southern Baptist" issues?

-----
Tom

LivingDust said...

I find it odd that a President of a university, having been removed from office against his will, would be offered a position at the same institution as a Professor. Lets reduce his influence on students from campus-wide to just the few who will be attending his classes. There you go....that sounds like a plan. Regents Meeting adjourned.

Alan Paul said...

Hi Joe, How.do.you.know?

Thy Peace said...

Washington Post > On Faith > Liberty U. removing Ergun Caner as seminary dean over contradictory statements

Richard said...

Those who know James White, please urge him to challenge Geisler to debate Calvinism.

I am no Calvinist myself, but I am sure James White can destroy all of Geisler's arguments against Calvinism.

Geisler can only argue from Thomistic logic, BUT NOT FROM SCRIPTURE.

Thy Peace said...

Rambling Rosemarie > Desperate Choices

Anonymous said...

Geisler won't debate White on the Doctrines of Grace for the same reason Caner won't debate White (even though Caner lied about wanting to debate White since Caner said he "had participated in 100's of debates" - which of course we now know is laughable).

They are both intimidated by White because they know that White has scripture on his side and they can't win.

Quote from a Caner sermon: "God hated Esau because of what Esau DID."

I'm sure he misspoke.

All 3 times.

Shoot, with a setup like that even I would be willing to debate Caner even though he is a "much beloved and genius theologian along with being a world famous debater".

Anonymous said...

I thought what Southern Baptists did and whom they choose to invite is their own business. Aren't we big proponents of the autonomy of the local church?

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I am an atheist, but a tolerant one, one who is aware that 'belief' can inspire men to be their best -- and sadly, as well, often their worst. May i say that your courageous actions in this matter make you one of the former, and one which i will point to in arguing against bigoted anti-Christian statements made by some of my fellows.

And as for "BibleWheel's" statement, it is valuable in many contexts, not just in religious ones.

May I say your church is as lucky to have you as it is unlucky to have frauds like Caner.

Tim Marsh said...

My bad on confusing Norman Geisler with Wayne Grudem.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Ergun Caner and Norm Geisler were slated to speak during Bellevue Baptist's Awesome August. Caner has recently been replaced with Danny Akin. Now in light of Geisler's comments re Caner, I wonder if there will be another change in the schedule?

New BBC Open Forum said...

I noticed this sentence fragment in the article and cringed because, really, what does the fact Debbie Kaufman is "a truck driver's wife" have to do with anything? I don't think anyone would describe Wade as "a nurse's husband."

One of my church members, a truck driver’s wife by the name of Debbie Kaufman.

The following was likely Joe Blackmon in drag, but except for the "egalitarian" slam (which coming from JB it was intended to be), my reaction was similar.

An egalitarian describing a woman as "the wife of a truck driver" -- seriously???

Wade's response:

How about this, "Debbie, an extraordinarily gifted, sagacious, and articulate leader ...."

How about simply, "Debbie Kaufman"?

Wade Burleson said...

I agree.

Debbie Kaufman.

That's all I should have said.

Not to justify my faux paux, but to explain my reasoning, I find it humorous that Tim Rogers, Peter Lumpkins, Tim Guthrie of the BI crew credit Debbie Kaufman with the downfall of Caner, the credit crises in Europe, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy

New BBC Open Forum said...

Oh... then perhaps you should have said, "the terminator, Debbie Kaufman."

:-)

Thy Peace said...

Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog [James White] > Washington Post Article on Caner Scandal

Paula said...

"They are both intimidated by White because they know that White has scripture on his side and they can't win."

I disagree. Strongly. White's debates on Calvinism are lacking, to put it kindly.

debate analysis, part one of 14

Tom Kelley said...

Paula said...
"They are both intimidated by White because they know that White has scripture on his side and they can't win."

I disagree. Strongly. White's debates on Calvinism are lacking, to put it kindly.

debate analysis, part one of 14

Thu Jul 01, 12:26:00 AM 2010


Paula,
Well, of course you disagree. You are of the opinion that "Calvinism as defined by its proponents today is a reprehensible smear against the very nature of God".

I haven't heard or read the Hunt/White debate -- I've never heard or read anything by White, other than some recent snippets from his website related to the Caner situation. I had never even heard of White, and only barely heard of Caner, before word of Caner's "factual statements that are self-contradictory" hit the blogs I read.

So I can't defend White's defense of Calvinism, but I am quite certain that you would find anyone's defense of it lacking. I don't think that's due to a lack of debating skill or logic on anyone else's part, nor a lack of knowledge or intelligence on yours, just some very deep seated presuppositions and biases on your part.

-----
Tom

Anonymous said...

You are right Tom. Clearly, Paula would even find the Apostle Paul's defense of the Doctrines of Grace "lacking".

Paula probably thinks that Caner was right when he said "God hated Esau because of what Esau did."

All 3 times.

Amazing.

Paula said...

" So I can't defend White's defense of Calvinism, but I am quite certain that you would find anyone's defense of it lacking. I don't think that's due to a lack of debating skill or logic on anyone else's part, nor a lack of knowledge or intelligence on yours, just some very deep seated presuppositions and biases on your part.

-----
Tom

Thu Jul 01, 03:03:00 PM 2010
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right Tom. Clearly, Paula would even find the Apostle Paul's defense of the Doctrines of Grace "lacking".

Paula probably thinks that Caner was right when he said "God hated Esau because of what Esau did."

All 3 times.

Amazing."

Wade, are these comments an example of the "grace" you keep talking about? If I had said things like this, would you delete my comments? How can any of you point fingers at others for making up stories when you do it so willingly against others?

Tom and AA, would you make these charges to my face?

Such nice people. Voice an opinion, get flamed by "grace".

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
I can't speak for Anon, but I apologize if my statement lacked grace. I don't see how it did, but I have no desire to offend you.

In my view, we all have presuppositions and biases (some more deep than others) and I don't consider it an insult to point out in you what seems to me an obvious human trait in all.

I have made similar assertions to you in ther past, but having never been in your physical presence, I can't make them "to your face".

It is my opinion that you have no problem making critical inflamatory, accusatory, and offensive statements to others regarding their beliefs and statements, but you cannot tolerate confrontation from others regarding your own statements and beliefs. You try to take some sort of high ground by claiming that you are using logic and debating issues and not personalities, but others perceive your statements differently than you do. I know that I am not the only person who has told you this sort of thing, yet you do no appear to see a need to alter your interactions. That's your right.

Nonetheless, I would rather apologize and be considered in the wrong than to cause offense, so I am sorry for any way that my challenge to your statements may have offended you.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Tom,

I appreciate the effort to explain your intent. But surely when you say "I am quite certain that you would find anyone's defense of it lacking", you are saying something about me in particular, not every person. Yes we all have presuppositions, so why make this statement at all?

My question about what you would say to my face was about principle, not literally. Others here have asked the same question, esp. of Joe, and I didn't see anyone question whether it was literal or not. As for my allegedly inflammatory statements, note that I have issue with an IDEA - Calvinism, not James White. I critiqued his methods and logic in my analysis, which you have not read in its entirety, nor even the original debate. Yet you feel confident that Whie is a good debater.

But again, the question for all in this blog who cry "grace" when I or Joe say something, is this: why is it only "grace" when you say it, but "mean" when I or Joe say it? I see not one bit of difference between his/my comments and many here. Even now you assert that I "take some sort of high ground", but you think that doesn't lack grace? Goodness!

And if you know logic well enough to critique mine, then show me with valid syllogisms exactly where my error lies. And since Wade has deleted many comments esp. lately, it's no wonder you never see how many others defend things I've said.

And for the record: this isn't me being hurt or offended, but asking people here to take a good look in the mirror before you dish out your judgments. I have tried for years to get even one person to SHOW me by explicit example how my words are less "graceful" than that of others, and not one has ever even tried. They just pronounce me guilty as charged. How do you expect me, or Joe, or anyone else to learn what this "grace" means if you can't show me this difference? How can you not see the problem with accusing me of bias that is any worse than yours? I'll never "get it" because not one of you can justify, for example, some of the vile things said by Gene S. in the past while still saying I'm somehow worse. It's the double standard I have a problem with.

In other words, if Caner is to have his feet held to the fire until he stops making things up, then those holding his feet need to demonstrate that they never do what he does.

Paula said...

"Clearly, Paula would even find the Apostle Paul's defense of the Doctrines of Grace "lacking".

Paula probably thinks that Caner was right when he said "God hated Esau because of what Esau did.""

Tom, are these statements "graceful"?

Anonymous said...

Paula - Gracefulness would be nice, but it's not imperative. The bigger question is are those statements truthful?

Paula said...

"Paula - Gracefulness would be nice, but it's not imperative. The bigger question is are those statements truthful?"

If it's not imperative, then Joe and I will be happy to know that we'll never be judged for lacking it anymore. Thanks!

As for the two statements, the real question is whether it's okay to make negative presumptions about people. If so, then again I thank you, because it means nobody will be judged anymore for doing this.

:-)

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
I can appreciate your concerns about words being perceived as "graceless" or "mean" and how people sometimes respond differently depending on the source. I've noticed that you have been the recipient of that accusation when your words were not substantially different than others who received no such rebuke. I think that’s because, at least in part, each person has varying perceptions and, once again, biases.

Again, my point is not to make a personal insult by saying you have presuppositions and biases, as we all have them. My point was to say that yours will inevitably play a part in your perceptions of the strength of any arguments others might make in favor of Calvinism.

Just as you are free to make a value judgment on someone's debates, I am free to make a similar judgment on your perceptions of those debates. You have an opinion on Calvinism and Calvinist debates and whether they are scripturally sound or based on flawed human (the debaters') logic. And I have an opinion about your opinion and whether it is based solely on Scripture or on human presuppositions.

I actually have read your analysis of the debate, some time ago. I think I read it all; if not, I read enough to get what I was looking for. I wanted insight into your perceptions and perspectives. I did not read or listen to the debate itself, because that was not my interest. I never said I was confident White is a good debater. I have no idea. But I am confident that no amount of reason, logic, or debate will persuade you that Calvinism is scriptural. Would you deny that?

I also did not claim that my words were never lacking in grace, not do I think that they need to be in order to point out gracelessness in others words. It is not hypocrisy to note the sins of others that you share; it is only hypocrisy when one denies that they share them. My reason for mentioning your reputation with some for harshness was not to shame you; it was to say that it seems strange to me that you would complain about me doing what you have been accused of yourself, when you did not feel that was what you were doing. It would be gracious of you to assume that others did not intend to be graceless to you, just as you would want them to assume about your words to them.

I don't claim to be the expert in logic that you are. And I never claimed that your logic was flawed. But anyone's logic is only as good as the presuppositions on which it is based, and logic can only take us so far when dealing with spiritual realities and the mind of God.

I'm not surprised that others defend your statements on various matters. I have also defended what you've said on more than one occasion.

Of whether you were hurt or offended isn’t the point -- but if you were, I've offered my apology just the same. If I were hurt or offended by your words to me, I would appreciate that you cared enough about me as a person to respond with gentleness and kindness and a desire to place being in right relationship over being the winner in a conflict. I assume that others would like similar treatment, so I try to do so. I'm sure I fail, and I'm sure I offend without even knowing it, but I do not wish to be hard hearted.

-- continued --

Tom Kelley said...

--- continued --

I considered it likely that you have asked others to provide examples of how your words caused offenses. Perhaps others have tried to do so, and, for whatever reason, their attempts were unsuccessful. It could be that they did not articulate their responses to your inquiries well, Or it could be that you are, like most of us, just not able to see certain personal shortcomings that beset us. Or it could be that no one has ever even made an attempt, but I know you have friends who I would think would at least have tried at some point.

I don't claim that my bias is any worse than yours. But I do start from different presuppositions, and I do claim that our presuppositions are key to our conclusions in this, and any, matter.

Peace.

-----
Tom


P.S. Word verification: inuists. Theological term for those who focus on the indwelling Christ.

Anonymous said...

Tom - You have Paula pegged perfectly.

I am one of the one's that tried to discuss this issue with her with exceeding grace at one time in the past.

I was hit in the face with heavy duty condescension. In the dictionary, this is defined as: "Patronizingly superior behavior or attitude" - and it actually has a picture of her next to it.

This is also why she doesn't receive grace from those who have tried to engage her in in the past. Because they know her and they are already prepared for the condescension they are about to receive.

I recognize her personality type in personal friends. They offend others "gracefully" and then they walk around saying "Gee whiz. Can't I have an opinion on things"? Or, "Wow! I can't believe people don't show me the same grace I show them."

Also, interesting to note that Paula is directing her comment to you but she mentions Joe's name numerous times. On Wade's site! And then tries to tell Wade which comments to delete and which one's to let stand...and why!

This is evidence of the kind of debate one will have with this kind of person.

Having said that, I am still left wondering what Paula thinks the Apostle Paul is lacking in his writings on the matter, because I happen to think the Apostle Paul did a very good job. :)

And almost any child can find the "wrongness" in what Ergun does to the scriptures in Romans 9. It's laughable.

Now, where did I put my condescension helmet and breastplate?

Tom Kelley said...

Paula said...
"Clearly, Paula would even find the Apostle Paul's defense of the Doctrines of Grace "lacking".

Paula probably thinks that Caner was right when he said "God hated Esau because of what Esau did.""

Tom, are these statements "graceful"?

Thu Jul 01, 05:12:00 PM 2010


I can't speak to Anon's intent. If they (like my comments) bothered you enough to point them out to Wade as examples of examples of gracelnessness, flames, and not nice, then perhaps the commenter's opinion could have been stated in a better way.

But if the comments themselves really didn't bother you, only that Wade or others have been critical of your comments and not of others' comments, and if you feel that your own comments in the past, by comparison, should not have been considered problematic, then I would encourage you to speak your mind as you see fit and not be too concerned with any negative responses from others. I never wanted you to stop commenting here before and was sad that you did.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Tom,

All I've ever asked for is a level playing field. And all my original comment was about was to disagree with the claim that James White is some uber debater who alone sticks to scripture. I posted my link so as to not bring the whole Calvinism debate here, but here it is anyway.

"My point was to say that yours will inevitably play a part in your perceptions of the strength of any arguments others might make in favor of Calvinism. "

As will yours. But having an opinion about my opinion is not a counter-argument on Calvinism, but an ad hominem on the one making it. This is standard debate reality, not a personality war. I have failed in trying to convey this. Again. But try as either of us might, neither can escape inserting their presuppositions onto scripture, so I don't know why you keep bringing this up, as if I'm doing something you're not.

"But I am confident that no amount of reason, logic, or debate will persuade you that Calvinism is scriptural. Would you deny that?"

Would you deny that since you admit not knowing a lot about logic, that your claim against me is groundless? Would you admit that no amount of reason, logic, or debate will persuade you that Calvinism is not scriptural? Again I wonder what motivates you to keep making accusations that you too can be charged with.

"It is not hypocrisy to note the sins of others that you share; it is only hypocrisy when one denies that they share them. "

This is what I see happening in this blog with regularity.

"it was to say that it seems strange to me that you would complain about me doing what you have been accused of yourself, when you did not feel that was what you were doing. "

Back atcha, Tom. ;-) And if we're no longer assuming things about each other, then I'm sure nobody will take offense at my posts on Calvinism anymore. Right? Grace all around!

"But anyone's logic is only as good as the presuppositions on which it is based, and logic can only take us so far when dealing with spiritual realities and the mind of God. "

And you think I don't know this? Are you saying I'm ONLY using logic? Can't it be possible that I use it to find out what scripture says?

"I would appreciate that you cared enough about me as a person to respond with gentleness and kindness and a desire to place being in right relationship over being the winner in a conflict."

I do my best. But for many here, that will never be good enough. And debate isn't about winning, but about two antagonists exposing the flaws in each other's arument so the onlookers can choose. But because I have some skill at aruing my case, I am presumed to only care about winning. So are you not concerned with winning when you take me to task on Calvinism? If you do it out of concern for me, then please allow me to have the same presumed motive. Deal?

Paula said...

Anon, you're so sweet and graceful to say "Tom - You have Paula pegged perfectly." I sure would like to be as graceful as you someday. ;-) And I'll treasure this always:

"I was hit in the face with heavy duty condescension. In the dictionary, this is defined as: "Patronizingly superior behavior or attitude" - and it actually has a picture of her next to it. "

You're so very righteous, always the victim. You poor thing.

Paula said...

OH, and thanks for the free psychoanalysis.

"May God judge between us."

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
I hope that you get the level playing field you desire; I have no say over that here. But I have learned (partly from you) that it is up to the blog host to determine what is fair and appropriate commentary, and it is up to the participants to decide if they agree with the host's sense of fairness, then to decide if they want to participate knowing the host's views, or if they want to stay clear because they feel they are going to be treated according to the host's sense of fairness and not their own.

Your original comment was a statement of disagreement with another commenter's view of White's use of Scripture to support his views. My reply was just that it is no surprise you would disagree, since you have a hostile view of Calvinism that results from your own presuppositions and biases. For some reason, you see that as a personal attack. I do not believe it is. Seems we are back to one of our very first conversations. And here, too, my contention applies -- presuppositions influence conclusions. I presuppose that it is not a personal attack to draw certain conclusions about the reasons behind the words and actions of a person, and you presuppose that it is. This goes to fundamental disagreements of category which logic cannot resolve.

I did not attempt to make a counter-argument against your anti-Calvinism arguments. I didn't and don't care to do so in this context. I was expressing an opinion about your opinion. To do so is not necessarily ad hominem, unless all expressions of opinion about opinion are ad hominem. If that were the case, then your opinions about Calvinism are also ad hominem, because Calvinism is merely an opinion about what Scripture teaches. All formulations of doctrine and all teaching about Scripture is an opinion about what Scripture teaches. One may agree with that opinion and believe that it is consistent with the actual words of Scripture or they may not. Furthermore, your opinion that my opinion of your opinion is ad hominem would also be ad hominem, as it is an opinion about my opinion.

But even if I were to grant that my opinion about your opinion is ad hominem. I maintain that there are times when an ad hominem approach serves a valid purpose in ascertaining truth. One might cry "foul" if their only concern is with debating decorum, but if the intent is to get to the truth, then one must go beyond the rules and limitations of formal categorizations of speech, and delve into matters such as epistemology and even psychology. Introspection is essential to understanding external reality, for we must examine whether we have internal motivations that run counter to the pursuit of truth. If one is never to be allowed to call into questions another's internal reasoning processes, which include their personal presuppositions and biases, then one can never get past the external formalities of logic to the truth.

It is not my assertion that I do not bring my own presuppositions to Scripture as much as you or anyone else does. It is my assertion that to characterize views that are held within the pale of Orthodox Christianity in the ways that you characterize Calvinism reveals things about you personally, whether you like it or not and whether you see it or not.

I also did not say that I don't know a lot about logic, I just said that I don't have your knowledge about it. What I do know is that, while it can be a tool in the process of determining truth, it is insufficient to be able to fully apprehend truth.

--- continued ---

Tom Kelley said...

--- continued ---

You say that I make accusations that I could be charged with. I say that I'm merely make statements that could apply equally to us both. You seem to wonder what the point of that is. I am trying to clarify that the point is that I believe it can be valuable for you as you search for truth. Unless you are convinced that you already have obtained all knowledge and understanding of truth, in which case I am certainly wasting both of our time.

I don’t take offense at your posts on Calvinism. Have at it. I don't agree and don't consider myself likely to agree, but, as a Calvinist, I have to accept that in my depraved and sinful state, I could turn out to be wrong about my depraved and sinful state. :)

I do not presume that your motives are bad, other than that they are tainted by inherent sinfulness, as are everyone else's, including mine. And no, I don't wish to debate the concept of original sin -- I affirm it, you deny it. And that too is influenced by our presuppositions and biases.

Be blessed.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

"Unless you are convinced that you already have obtained all knowledge and understanding of truth, in which case I am certainly wasting both of our time."

Why would you even say this? If I had said it to you, I'm sure you would take offense that I thought you could possibly have this attitude.

Ad hominem SIMPLY means that you aim your criticism at the person instead of their argument. That's all.

But I give up. And our sweet Anon can have a big party.

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
Sorry, I thought you'd be able to tell that was such an absurd remark it was not meant seriously. Just pretend there is an emoticon after it. No, I wouldn't have taken offense if I took it the way it was meant. :) <-- genuine emoticon included.

I know what ad hominem means. I just disagree with you about what constitutes it, and about whether it has a valid place in the pursuit of truth.

Party on, Anon.

-----
Tom

Anonymous said...

I'll have a party when Paula stops answering questions (some of them are even yes or no questions) by writing a book - - - and then she still doesn't even answer the question.

What a frustrating debate Paula would be for sure.

Tom - You are falling into her trap of engaging with her in extremely long winded "say nothings". I don't have time for it. I gotta party.

You want my condescension helmet?

Party on Tom!

Anonymous said...

~I don't mean to be offensive at all, but I have seen a pattern. It seems to me that Paula comes here to find reason to be offended. Then she can post on her own blog about the poor way that she has been treated at "that blog". Perhaps Paula is just looking for attention at places that attract much higher hits than her own blog does.

~Gaining attention for oneself is not necessarily bad, but perhaps Paula should just refrain from posting on blogs where she finds herself so easily offended. That way she could also refrain from gossiping on her own blog about the bad treatment she encounters when she comes here.

~Just some free advice from one who has seen quite a few people hurt at the hands of the one who appears to take offense so easily.

Paula said...

Wow, anon... judge and jury, and from behind a mask. How graceful, loving, tolerant, and brave. Wade obviously approves and will probably elevate you to sainthood soon, or at least the Butter Up Hall of Fame he started recently. And he'll delete this comment if he's feeling as insecure as you today.

Christianity? It ain't here. Only petty high school character assassination. Or maybe that's what passes for grace here.

Paula said...

Check here for proof that our sweet Anon does exactly what she just accused me of-- going to another blog to get offended and then posting it here.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. The anon at 2:51 has pegged Paula perfectly as well! Bravo! What a spot on observation.

Maybe if all of us anon's keep it up, we can convince people who don't want to be here, and get angry and offended when they do come here, to stop coming here!

It's so simple.

But no.

Pride is a horrible monster to feed and condescension is right at home with you Paula. You have a bad case of superiority over all you engage, so I don't get why you want to hang out with all us inferiors anyway.

Anonymous said...

And by the way Paula. To set a good example for you, there is no chance of me coming to your blog. And yes, we all know that's why you are here. To get more visitors to your blog.

You see, I get enough of "I'm better than you so I don't even need to listen to you" people just in my everyday life. Why would I intentionally submit myself to more of that?

Please follow my example.

Anonymous said...

Paula is funny. She puts a link to her own blog on here.

Clearly she is trying to draw people to her blog. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. But why would you do it via poor debating skills, condescension, and belittling Wade and the folks who like Wade...ON WADE'S BLOG!?

Weird.

I ain't going over there, that's for sure. I get enough of "talking to a brick wall" with my 2 teenagers. :)

Paula said...

Anon, if I followed your example, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night for all the hypocrisy and hate. But keep up the good work of proving my point over and over and over. From the safety of a mask. Are you afraid I might post a link to a certain document that shows the whole world what you're like when you think no one is looking? And your hatred of me is getting obsessive. I'll pray for you.

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
In an attempt to communicate clearly, here are some syllogisms for you:

(1) Christianity is composed of Christians
(2) Christians are only those who beieve in and follow Christ
(3) Ergo, Christianity is composed of those who believe in and follow Christ

(1) "Christianity? It ain't here."
(2) "Here", in context, refers to this blog's post and comments
(3) Ergo, the author and commentors on this blog are not part of Christianity

(1) Christianity is composed of those who believe in and follow Christ
(2) The author and commentors on this blog are not part of Christianity
(3) Ergo, the author and commentors on this blog do not believe in and follow Christ

(1) The author and commentors on this blog do not believe in and follow Christ
(2) Tom Kelley is a commentor on this blog
(3) Ergo, Tom Kelley does not believe in or follow Christ

The only way you can escape the logic of this conclusion is if you define some of the terms differently than I have. That is, if your pressuppositions are different from mine. In which case, thanks for proving my point.

Or perhaps you concur with the presuppositiona and the conclusions. In that case, I am just pleased to know that my standing with Christ does not rest on your assertions.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Tom, I was joking. Pretend there's a smiley there.

Sound familiar?

And I could pick apart your proudly-proclaimed impenetrable list of syllogisms beginning with the fact that the first one is not even valid on purely logical grounds, but for what purpose? Why is it okay for you to be so arrogant, and why won't anon(s) mock you for it?

My first post in this thread was about James White, not for any reason anon(s) claim. But you and anon(s) have turned it to being about me instead. I then challenged the alleged GRACE being displayed here, and it went downhill from there. If you have the high moral ground, as you seem to display toward others in various threads while accusing me of the same, then why aren't you reprimanding anon(s) for their hatred and mockery? If you're truly interested in grace, let's see you judge on the basis of content, not person.

If Wade lets all this stand unaltered, he shows what kind of grace he believes in. If he doesn't, he shows his practice of rewriting history. The best outcome would be if he'd just be consistent and unbiased, and reprimand ALL mockery and hate regardless of who dishes it out.

And my criticism of Wade is exactly what he's doing with Caner: holding him accountable. The reactions of both will speak volumes.

And anon(s), if you want me to shut up and disappear (a fine example of Christian love of course), then why don't you ask Tom to stop talking to me? Just ignore me and maybe I'll go away.

Paula said...

Oh and one last thing, "anon"... If I'm posting what I do because I want to be popular, I've got beach-front property on the moon to sell you.

It's a joke, Tom. :-D

Anonymous said...

Paula -

1. Your "jokes" are funny.

2. Seriously, they are hilarious.

3. You are here to stir up and drag people to your blog.

4. Yes, you are. If you say you aren't, I am amazingly comfortable calling you a liar.

5. If you posted a link on here "exposing me", the link would point precisely to someone who:

a. despises people like you (arrogant, condescending, small "c" christian)

b. bends-over backwards for the meek, humble, and downhearted

6. You don't even recognize letter b above because you are consumed by letter a.

7. Tom should have been a blog psychiatrist because he is reading you like a book.

8. I would pay money to watch Tom debate you.

9. I sleep like a baby at night because my hypocrisy and hate is reserved for people like you. People who deserve it. Normal people think I'm da' bomb!

10. You are a Pharisee by saying you will pray for me so everyone will see your words, all the while knowing you will not pray for me.

11. No you won't.

12. Instead of praying for me, I would rather you just stop interacting with me.

13. I hate to type and it's more fun watching Tom and the other anon's make you do backflips.

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
Your replies to me have become increasingly caustic, abrasive, accusatory, and judgmental, rather than patient, kind, longsuffering, and gracious. Perhaps you feel the same about mine, but I don't see it. So if it is possible that I am blind to my own failings in this regard, could it the same be true of you? Even if I am wrong in how I am addressing you, does that make it ok for you to be wrong in how you address me?

Do you genuinely not care about treating people with decency and respect, with gentleness and meekness? I certainly do care, and I have offered apology for any offense, and sought to clarify any statements with which you took exception, only to have you find further fault at each turn. It feels to me as though the only thing that would satisfy you is for me to renounce all my statements and declare that you are right and I am wrong.
I feel that I have been far kinder to you than you have been to me. Truth is, I have always liked, admired, and respected you in many things, even though we disagree on some theological topics. And I would rather relate to you as a sister in Christ than an opponent. Call me sentimental or emotional, but your words and accusations are hurtful, and it feels like you care more about having the upper hand in a disagreement than you do about me as a person.

Ok, so I made an absurd statement and then I said I thought it would be obvious it was not to be taken seriously because of its hyperbolic nature. That was an admission of failing to communicate on my part, not a criticism of your ability.

The logic of my syllogisms may be faulty. But, frankly, I do not trust your judgment in that matter. At times I have encountered logic I could not refute and I responded why "why bother?" So, if anyone else reading this who has no cause for bias against either of us, I would welcome such a person's input to show the error of my logic.

I have found that some people who are hyper-critical and hostile to those who express disagreement with them are internally very insecure about their positions. They feel the need to be right all the time. I don't know if that is the case with you, but your actions are consistent with that mindset. If that is something you struggle with, I hope you will find peace. If not, ignore my comments on the matter and rejoice in the peace you already have.

But all this has reminded me of why I chose to disengage with you in the past, although I was saddened to do so because of the things I find in you to admire. And I will do my best to remember so as to avoid any further discussions with you, which just cause me pain.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
One last thing, as I did not respond to a request from you in my last comment. You wanted me to reprimand the Amon(s) for their "hatred and mockery". I tought you were doing a fine job of defending yourself, and preferred to stick with the issues and comments between us. But to honor you request:

Anon(s),
Be kinder to Paula than either she or I have been to each other. I care about her and don't like to see her views mocked any more than I like to see her mock mine. I don't know if you have the "hatred" toward her that she claims you have, but I think it would be best (while I'm standing up here on this high moral ground) if we all showed her unmerited favor.

-----
Tom

Paula said...

Tom,

While I appreciate your latest comment, the one before begs to be challenged, but I'm done trying. I always thought you were a nice person too, but the things you keep charging me with are so outrageous I know it's best we just part ways.

Anon, I already prayed for you before I saw your post.

Anonymous said...

Here is Paula's first comment:

"They are both intimidated by White because they know that White has scripture on his side and they can't win."

Paula:
I disagree. Strongly. White's debates on Calvinism are lacking, to put it kindly.

debate analysis, part one of 14"

I don't get it? Why wasn't Paula just allowed to post her link to her synopsis of the debate without all the focus being turned on her as a person? She disagrees with White. So what? She wrote some posts worthy of iron sharpening iron. Why not either ignore the link or go and interact about the conent of her posts?

Anonymous said...

"9. I sleep like a baby at night because my hypocrisy and hate is reserved for people like you. People who deserve it. Normal people think I'm da' bomb!"

Paula, you can rest your case, now. This says it all.

Thy Peace said...

Christianity Today > Ergun Caner Out as Seminary Dean

Anonymous said...

Man, I forgot the smiley face at the end of number 9 !!!

That would have made it okay, right Paula?

So mad at myself right now.

My bad.

Anonymous said...

The reason, Anon, is because of Paula's historical treatment of others. This may be something that only Tom and I are aware of, but if you interact with her in the least, you will soon feel the condescension.

And if you disagree on something, it only gets worse.

Tom said, "It feels to me as though the only thing that would satisfy you (Paula) is for me to renounce all my statements and declare that you (Paula) are right and I am wrong."

BINGO! Tom's statement here is exactly what Paula does. This is her job. And she is good at it. Very good.

Because of my previous knowledge of how she has treated me and so many others, I was prepared and I chose to mock instead of engage. I tried to engage several times before, but Paula wasn't interested. She isn't good at that.

However, at Tom's request and due to my inability to show grace to one who is condescending (read: superior) to others, I will lay off and enjoy a bowl of ice cream.

Tom - If I fall of the face of the earth, you will know Paula's "prayer" was answered.

Thank you sir for the gentle rebuke. You are right, and I'm sorry I became tangled in that web again.

Sincere thanks.

Word verification: bluebell

Just kidding!

Anonymous said...

"The reason, Anon, is because of Paula's historical treatment of others. This may be something that only Tom and I are aware of, but if you interact with her in the least, you will soon feel the condescension."

You are pretty good at it yourself.

Thy Peace said...

Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog [James White] > The Caner Scandal Becomes the Evangelical Cover-Up

I well know that the cost is escalating here, but again, I have no choice. Yes, the world is watching, and I hope they see that some evangelicals are still willing to pay a price for truth and consistency without retreating into pious platitudes. Yes, the Muslim apologetic community is watching, and at least some well know the truth of this situation. And ironically, may I point out that heaven itself is watching, and it is in that Court of Final Arbitration that I place my final appeal and trust. What will history say about all of this? I don't know, but I cannot stand before any audience and proclaim myself a follower of truth if I can so easily sell my commitment to it for the price of popularity and political ease. May the Lord of truth, the King of righteousness, send forth His Spirit to convict of sin, to bring true confession, and to bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ.

Bennett Willis said...

At the start of this discussion, I think that few of EC's "accusers" had any personal feelings about him. I know that I did not. He was simply a fellow (in a position of high status and trust) who had obviously distorted his life history. I regarded this situation as inappropriate and occasionally pointed out some issue or other. As time has passed and the extent of the distortion has become more apparent, my feelings toward EC have become better defined--and much more negative.

His "defenders" are significantly responsible for this. EC's "defenders" (almost) uniformly have attacked the messenger. They have done this with some of the most vicious words I have seen used on the Internet. I cannot recall anyone who defended EC doing so based on the information that is available. Some have pleaded for “innocent until proven guilty—and then disappeared now that the guilty verdict has come back. Some have said that we should wait for the LU report—and claimed that it “exonerated” EC. Some have "hypothesized" excuses for some of the statements—and have failed to produce documentation for their hypotheses. But the largest group by far has simply attacked the people who feel that EC needs to do something because much of his telling of his life story appears to be a fable.

The obvious conclusion is that EC made up things that improved his street credibility regarding Islam--this is his "Baptist street” credibility. LU decided that these lies mattered--but not so much. Norman Geisler decided that it did not matter at all--and had not even occurred. John Ankerberg saw and heard no evil—in fact he saw and heard nothing on this subject. We now have “too much information” about all of these.

The only thing that I personally have gained from all this is a lot of knowledge about both people in general and also about specific individuals. I’m ready to move on—and will do so as soon as the “defenders” stop trying to defend the indefensible. It may be a while.

This comment has been left on several threads.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dr. Norman Geisler has responded with a list of defenses for Ergun Caner here

Cheryl Schatz said...

Turretinfan is planning a series of articles going through Dr. Geisler's defense of Ergun Caner here

Bennett Willis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog [James White] > Of Joseph Smith and Ergun Caner (Part 1)

Thoughts of Francis Turretin > Geisler Digs Yet Deeper!

Thoughts of Francis Turretin > Responding to Norman Geisler's Defense of Ergun Caner - Part 1

Bennett Willis said...

I have read Dr. Geisler's defense of EC--and cringed. He even did a copy/paste of one item two times. This is the same old non-supported statements that we have been treated with from EC's defenders--on those rare occasions when they bothered to actually defend him at all. He has provided no new sources and not bothered to cite the old ones.

This statement is typical of the “proof” he offers: “Ergun said they moved to America in 1969 and in another place he said it was 1978. More precisely, he got his citizenship in 1978.”

http://truelife.org/home/professors?id=11 is a link to a biography that says he got his citizenship in 1984. TrueLife is not (of course) a primary source.

Bennett Willis said...

Here are three dates for EC's citizenship.

The first two dates are comments/links from TF’s Part 1 commentary on NG’s defense of EC. https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=21597890&postID=2359994259233330331

"I am a Persian Turkish immigrant raised as a Sunni Muslim, and in the interest of full disclosure, I must state that I left Islam in 1982, the same year I became an American citizen."
http://www.crosswalk.com/1274146/

Since this is a direct quote from EC, it should qualify as a primary source.

http://truelife.org/home/professors?id=11 states that Ergun gained citizenship in 1984.

TrueLife would be a secondary source but you know that they try hard to put up the information they are given.

This is the quote from NG’s defense. "3) Ergun said they moved to America in 1969 and in another place he said it was 1978. More precisely, he got his citizenship in 1978."

Paula said...

All right, Wade, here we are. Yet you have approved of off-topic comments in the past and even supported them once, as I recall.

Now please tell me why you said nothing in rebuke to "anon" for her open statement of hatred for me. As someone else pointed out, my original comment did not deserve the lynching I received, yet you let it go on and on without rebuke for THEM being off-topic, let alone "anon's" wicked tongue.

And I'd just like to know: had you deleted all my comments for being off-topic, would you have done the same for others? And would "anon's" diatribe have remained unchallenged?

Tom Kelley said...

Paula,
After some reflection, I think I shouldn't have made my original comment about your comment and link regarding White's debates. Since I know nothing of White's debating skills first hand, it is not reasonable for me to assume that your analysis of his debate with Hunt would be less than dispassionate. I did so based on negative exchanges we've had in the past and my feelings of being mistreated, but it's not fair of me to be critical of you then cry foul when your replies indicate your level of displeasure at my criticism.

So, once again, I apologize, and ask your forgiveness. I should have been more respectful of you, and not responded based on my own lingering hurt feelings.

And, for the record, I disagree with Anon's assessment that you are despised or hated. At least you are not by me, nor should you be by any brother or sister in Christ. (If you are hated by someone who isn't, that puts you in the good company of Jesus and his disciples.)

-----
Tom

Wade Burleson said...

Paula,

I try to treat everyone the same.

All comments on posts over five days old are moderated. Your comments will not appear immediately. Sometimes it takes me hours to check to see if their are comments that need "approved." I pay little attention to comments on posts that are over five days old.

Frankly, I barely read "anonymous" comments. I don't make it a practice of deleted many comments. Takes too much time.

Paula, if an anonymous person says he/she "hates" you, my advice is to ignore it.

I do agree that the person needs a "rebuke," and will issue one here, but the fact is, I don't have a lot of time in my day, and I don't want to waste it on anonymous comments or commentators.

Ignore them.

Paula said...

You read enough comments to delete some that have been nowhere near as bad, and some have disappeared within minutes. And this particular individual kept at it for quite a while; this was not one or two isolated jabs. Pretty hard to miss. And I've mentioned before about how some of your supporters can routinely say nasty things while others get your attention for far less. It's an ongoing problem that really needs your attention.

So, you're okay with not deleting my comments even if I were to tell you or one of your supporters that I despise them, as "anon" did to me? So far I've gotten the ax for far less. I'm just trying to figure out your rules. Watching what you do and when hasn't made any sense.

Paula said...

PS: Can you explain why my comments were deemed off-topic, but other off-topic comments were okay? Help me figure this out.

Wade Burleson said...

Paula,

I will be unable to explain sufficiently my rationale in a manner that will satisfy you.

Just know I pay little attention to anonymous comments, and trust Tom's apology above represents a Christian spirit that I desire in all commentators.

Blessings,

Wade

Paula said...

"I will be unable to explain sufficiently my rationale in a manner that will satisfy you."

That says it all, Wade. At least now there is no doubt.

Paula said...

Tom,

Apology accepted of course. :-) I don't know how or when I hurt or mistreated you, but if you can point them out in my blog we can talk about it.