Having a thorough sense of humor remains a non-negotiable necessity to survive in today’s blog world. If you take yourself too seriously—or more significantly, the opinions others imagine of you too seriously—you’ll bleed out slowly and painfully I assure>>>
I happen to have been the topic of conversation recently on the Dividing Line Broadcast of Alpha & Omega Ministries, the site of extreme Calvinist,* James White. The inspiration for my honor of being a part of White’s talk-show was a piece I recently posted which drew even Richard Pierce, White’s presidential officer,to the comment thread.
In all honesty, I thought the piece was entirely innocuous so far as my own words were concerned. It’s true the thread got pretty hot—hotter I see now than I normally allow (actually I still have not read most of the comments. Domestic issues have kept me uncommonly occupied presently. Hence, I have very little time to do anything other than deal with the matter at hand). Even so, I used a word picture image which apparently blew James White’s big toe off. Offering my evaluation of one of the cross-examinations he had with biblical skeptic, Bart Erhman, I wrote:
“I know little to nothing about textual criticism. But I do know when someone is bluffing with an answer. James White embarrassed evangelicals with this poor dialog with Ehrman. Ehrman walks away looking like an accomplished scholar. On the other hand, White crawls away like a whipped mongrel” (embolden added)
Sweet Georgia peaches!
One would think I made the lowest, most evil remark imaginable. Making the analogy of a pup defeated in a fight sent Pierce and White through the second ceiling. Why? I’m not sure, exactly. It’s only a word image, an image to be honest that is hardly creative and actually cliché.** Perhaps it’s because White thinks I implied Erhman was a real scholar and he was not (for the record, that was not implied). But since White explicitly said, “I don’t care what Peter Lumpkins thinks” (which you will note in the broadcast), I cannot think that would be a legitimate reason.
Even so, respond Pierce & White did.
Below is the clip from the DL broadcast which focuses on me. Listen to it. It’s only about 11 mins; then scan through a few observations I put together
White begins by asserting he could not recall mentioning me for months. O.K. So? Is it standard protocol to deal with an issue or address an interest if and only if the particular subject matter of interest one possesses has addressed you by name first? I cannot recall reading this protocol anywhere. Nor do I think James White waits until someone mentions him first before he deals with an issue he thinks is significant. If I am mistaken, I’m sure his supporters will correct me. If not, what can one make of such a weird assertion?
What’s more, White claims I’m obsessed with him and his ministry. The reason? Well, apparently I want to do what he’s doing. Really? O.K....
Note also that apparently James White thinks that unless someone is highly trained in the particular field of inquiry about which the debate topic focuses, one has no business making any judgments whatsoever concerning whether a debate was a good one or a poor one, whether a debater did well in cross-examination or whether a debater did poorly. I guess that means that in all future debates James White performs, no one should show up unless he or she is skilled in the discipline White debates. So much for debates being a useful tool for either evangelism (which is often mentioned by White’s supporters) or to sort through some heavy information (without a background knowledge base, the debate would be useless). As I mentioned in the comment thread, we must resist the kind of elitist thinking embedded in White’s presumption.
Other than that, there’s really few surprises in the DL broadcast. According to White, Peter Lumpkins:
- “has no capacity to engage the subject”
- “known as ‘Lumpy” on the chat channel” (ah, and I thought White hadn’t mentioned me in months, and here I have my own nickname in his chat-room. What’s up with that? I also wonder what they say about me. Probably nothing since I don’t matter to them ;^)
- “lacks any and all balance in anything that he says” (anything? anything?? O.K...)
- “has no credibility”
- “behavior is childish” (O.K. I admit this one. My grandbabies love it!)
- “is bigoted”
- “does not do anything [presumably in ministry] comparable to what he does”
- “[embraces] anti-Reformed bigotry”
- “loathes the freedom of God in salvation”
- ‘loathes anyone who preaches it”
- “loathes anyone who promotes it”
- “vile [or “bile”—hard to tell] flows from him out of hatred”
- “[embraces] radical synergistic bigotry”
- “[robbed] of any semblance of rationality”
I think I got most of the niceties in.
Here's what White should realize but apparently doesn't: even if every single barb were true about me personally, what under the blue sky difference does any of it make toward whether or not James White performed well in his debate against Bart Erhman--at least in the cross-examination I referenced? It doesn't. Rather than accept the fact that some do not agree with him that he destroyed Erhman, he simply flames the one who disagrees with him. And, the reason White can get by with responding like this on the internet is there are no rules of exchange to guide him--or perhaps more appropriately, disqualify him as a debater.
Someone said it well to me once,
"James White is a fairly good debater. But when he is not in a formal setting, he spends his time flaming everyone in shouting distance"
Those interested may take a look at this earlier list of niceties about me and compare with the list above. As you can see, James White is only saying about those who disagree with him [in this case, me] what he’s habitually logged before. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t go back and quote-mine the post linked above to make sure he was being consistent with what he formerly wrote. Nothing like consistency, ah James?
You gotta love it or you’d go nuts.
With that, I am…
*some theologians are convinced White embraces what’s known as Hyper-Calvinism
**my title also contained word imagery "honking the nose"; but again this is so uncreatively routine literary imagery depicting the idea that somebody just got the beans beat out of them. How could this be offensive?