Thursday, February 12, 2004
The list will likely be improved as a result of the events of the last few weeks if the list rules are fairly administered. Rob has promised only to place someone on moderation for violating the list rules ... what a novel concept!
I would like to state that I always tried to abide by the rules, the rule, which limits the posting to 10 per day, as well as the rules, which dictate courteous behavior between list members. I am not aware of any post where I have violated either the previous list rules or even the current more stringent list rules.
I am confidant that the cumulative record of my posting on this list since 2002, if examined, can stand up to scrutiny every bit as well as any current member including the moderators of this list.
One of Rob's complaints is that he does not want anyone to pressure or continually remind list members that they have not responded to a post. Rob and I started a discussion back in 2002, which he has never finished, on the subject of Hellfire and Eternal Punishment. I very patiently waited for responses to many of my questions which have not been forthcoming but have never become insistent or nagged Rob to complete the discussions even though his last postings on the subject indicated that he would continue as he had time. I will likely blog these discussions in the near future.
How did it come to this?
When Rob requested that I respond to a "riddle" that originated in a post between himself and Dave I was reluctant at first to interfere in an ongoing discussion. But Rob was insistent and because of my respect for him as moderator I complied.
I responded to his "riddle" which was based on Galatians 1:1 and a particular view that Dave had floated in the group. Dave pointed out that the literal interpretation of Galatians 1:1 where Paul says that he was an apostle not by men or a man but by Jesus and God would indicate that Jesus is no longer a man. This is such a straightforward reading that it caused quite a stir amongst evangelicals in the group.
Rob's "riddle" with respect to the literal reading of Galatians 1:1 was essentially how could someone like Peter who was appointed to the office of apostle be a true apostle because according to our view one cannot be an apostle if they are appointed by a man. I answered by saying that the "riddle" was not sound because it commits the Negative Inference Fallacy. Rob had taken Paul's statement and inverted the logic from "not from men or a man" to "a man."
Rob abandoned his "riddle" and attempted to reformulate his argument. However even in later postings he committed the fallacy on yet another part of Paul's statement. This time he claims that Paul said he would not be an apostle if he was appointed by a man. Thus he inverts Paul's statement one more time, but this time with regards to "apostle" and not "man." Rob even preceded this new formulation with the statement that I had yet to refute it! However being on moderation when I did refute it, he did not post it, continuing to characterize my response as related to his original "riddle." The record is intact in the blog for any to verify this if they wish.
Rob then insisted that I exegeticaly prove the view that Jesus is no longer a man from Galatians 1:1. I respectfully pointed out that my only interest in the discussion was to refute his "riddle", which I had done. Rob evidently interpreted this as an act of defiance on my part and continued up until when he removed me from the list to attempt to force me to post on a subject which I did not initiate. In effect he has done to me what he does not want done to him. In fact to do so violates his new list rules!
I will not be bullied in this fashion.
A more reasonable approach would be to allow both of us to select a subject for the other to defend and not to declare by fiat that a particular person must defend a particular position on a particular subject. For example, there are evangelical doctrines that are considered essential doctrines, which are documented on official evangelical sites. Any evangelical should be willing to defend any of these doctrines. (1Peter 3:15)
Likewise there are teachings which are documented in the literature of Jehovah's Witnesses which can be found on http://www.watchtower.org and in our literature. A good source of essential doctrines would be What Do They Believe? - Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site. The advantage for both sides would be that one would not be asked to defend an inaccurate or biased paraphrase of the other's beliefs.
I am confidant that the published theology of Jehovah's Witnesses would be easier to defend that the published theology of Trinitarian evangelicals. I have personally compared the teachings of both sides to the teachings of the inspired bible writers. Trinitarian evangelical doctrines are exposed by such a comparison.
In keeping with the theme of this blog and for as long as the project interests me, I may just monitor evangelical postings on evangelical_and_jws from time to time and comment on their fallacious hermeneutics -;)