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2010.06.16

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Phillip

Peter,

You wrote: “Apparently, CT cited the 2008 course to substantiate the assertion that James White ‘teaches on Islam at GGBTS.’”

Why is this “apparent” to you? You seem to continue assuming that “on Islam” should be construed as something like “entire classes on Islam.” Why should anyone agree with your take on this, especially since this issue was dealt with above and you haven’t even offered a legitimate evaluation?

“On another note, while White could touch on Islamic issues in general apologetics, he's hardly qualified to teach Islam. To my knowledge, White has no formal studies in Islam to his credit and in that sense, one wonders why GGBTS contracted him to teach a course specifically on Islam.”

Do you *really* want to go down that road, Peter? Because if you really want to ground someone’s “qualification” to teach others on a subject on whether or not they have “formal study” in that subject, you’ve just rendered Caner and others “unqualified” to do the things that they’ve done in their professional lives. Talk about curing a headache by decapitation!

Really, don’t you think that someone’s actual *output* is what qualifies a person to speak and teach others?

Phillip

peter

Phillip,

A) It’s apparent to me for two reasons: 1) Kennedy’s article specifically focused on White teaching Islamnot apologetics, not philosophy, not cults… but Islam; 2) James White himself suggested Kennedy scanned his site and noted the class on Islam as the basis of his decision to suggest White teaching on Islam at GGBTS (White mistakenly noted the class on Islam in 2009 rather than 2008).  That was enough for me to write, “apparently”.  Does this satisfy your curiosity?

B) Yes, I guess I do assume “Islam” to be an “entire class” Phillip.  Kinda like if someone says “X teaches Physics @ Berkeley” I assume what is meant is he or she teaches an “entire class” on Physics and not Physics as one of many sub-themes in a general introduction to science.

C). “Why should anyone agree with your take on this…” I never indicated they should or shouldn’t.  In fact, Phillip, I’d hardly give two pats on a flea’s behind if others agree with “my take” on this particular point or not. Others perhaps.  But not this one. It’s just not that important to me.    Apparently, it is to you, however (and, no, I will not offer you two reasons why I just used “apparently,” thank you very much ;^)

D) “Really, don’t you think that someone’s actual *output* is what qualifies a person to speak and teach others?”  Oh, yes, indeedy, I do, Phillip. Let’s you and I form a petition and send to ATS, SACS, and other post secondary educational accrediting institutions offering our enlightened opinion.  I think we may just get things hoppin! What a West Georgia peach of a plan, I’d say.  Let’s start with your school.

Now unless you’ve got something more substantial about which to quibble, Phillip, I’d like to move along.

With that, I am…

Peter

Phillip

Peter,

This should be my last response--you wear me out! Is this one of your strategies? :)

“A) It’s apparent to me for two reasons: 1) Kennedy’s article specifically focused on Whiteteaching Islam… not apologetics, not philosophy, not cults… but Islam”

Well, ok, but my question about “apparency” was not questioning the issue of *topic* (we all know Islam was relevant to Kennedy because Ergun is considered an authority on that topic), but the issue of whether one should think it apparent that Kennedy was linking the expression “teaches on Islam” to the one *course called Islam* on White’s bio.

It seems just as *apparent* to me that in looking over White’s bio, Kennedy took note of classes headlined by *both* “Islam” and “Atheism/Islam.” I could easily see how viewing *several* classes that deal with the topic of Islam could have lead Kennedy to write--justifiably--that White teaches classes *on* Islam for GGBTS.

“James White himself suggested Kennedy scanned his site and noted the class on Islam as the basis of his decision....”

Sure, and White admits that he’s just guessing, too, and that about why Kennedy chose to highlight Islam. But yes, my curiosity is satisfied.

“B) Yes, I guess I do assume ‘Islam’ to be an ‘entire class’ Phillip. Kinda like if someone says ‘X teaches Physics @ Berkeley’ I assume what is meant is he or she teaches an ‘entire class’ on Physics and not Physics as one of many sub-themes in a general introduction to science.”

I agree with you that “X teaches Physics” probably means teaches a course called “Physics.” But I notice that in your example you had to modify the language of CT in order to say this. CT didn’t say, “teaches Islam,” but “teaches *on* Islam.” If someone said, “X teaches *on physics* @ Berkeley,” then that would leave the statement ambiguous, namely, X could be teaching *courses* on physics, or X could be teaching on the *topic* of physics, or that X *both* teaches courses on physics and teaches on the topic of physics (in other scenarios). When you capitalize the word “physics” and omit “on” you’ve introduced a parallel that isn’t analogous at all, so it fails.

“C). ‘Why should anyone agree with your take on this…’ I never indicated they should or shouldn’t.”

Peter, I’m very sorry. Yes, I am guilty of making the baseless assumption that you actually intend your blog to be like many other blogs out there where people post their thoughts on issues because they want to provide informative and compelling commentary so as to move minds toward their viewpoint. I admit I was careless, but I now have the hermeneutical key to reading your posts: unless you explicitly say someone *should* believe your take on something specific, one should understand the purpose of your commentary to be merely a delightful revealing of your own mind. ;) I won’t make that mistake again.

“D) ‘Really, don’t you think that someone’s actual *output* is what qualifies a person to speak and teach others?’ Oh, yes, indeedy, I do, Phillip.”

I’m sorry, I have no idea what your answer means, and it probably is my fault. My problem was I asked you a yes/no question using a negative, and that often means that unless the respondent goes out of his way to make it clear how he’s answering, a “yes” can be interpreted in opposite ways. For ex., if I ask, “You don’t want to go to Cracker Barrel?” And you respond, “Yes.” That could mean, “Yes, I don’t want to go” or “Yes, I really do want to go.”

Consequently, I’m not sure whether “yes, indeedy, I do” means “Yes, I do think *output* qualifies a person to teach” or “Yes, I do not think *output* qualifies a person to teach.”

If you mean: “Yes, I do think *output* qualifies a person to teach,” then your initial criticism of White fails, since the only thing to which you tied his qualification to teach Islam was to *formal study* (which I assume you mean “graduate study”). Again, in your words, you said that “he's hardly qualified to teach Islam. To my knowledge, White has no formal studies in Islam to his credit.” One could easily point to White’s output as a *debater* of Muslims (from high to low) as evidence of qualification to teach Islam.

If you mean: “Yes, I do not think *output* qualifies a person to teach” and you tie qualification only to formal graduate study (as your comment above does), then you’ve just disqualified Dr. Caner from being able to teach some of the courses he teaches at Liberty. Where has he done *formal* grad coursework on Western and New Religions (Summer 2010) or Near Eastern Religions (Fall 2010), or on Islam, his specialty? SEBTS doesn’t offer courses specifically on these; UNISA doesn’t offer courses/seminars at all. Mind you, *I’m* not saying that Caner is unqualified to teach these--he might be. What I’m saying is that if what you say about White is true--that formal study is what qualifies someone to teach--then that logically leads *you* to the disastrous consequence of undermining Caner’s qualifications to teach, something that I don’t think you’d want to do. [This is a classic reductio ad absurdum argument.]

You say, “Let’s you and I form a petition. . . .”

Can I just register how condescending this sounds? Rather than dealing with my argument, you insert empty suggestions that change the subject to something utterly silly. As a matter of fact, do you even realize how often you give condescending unsolicited suggestions? Let me remind you:

--Hence, if you think they're so significant, start your own blog with the many fallacies of Peter Lumpkins. Know you have my express permission to do so. (6-10, 4:40pm)

--Cute. Give them a call and perhaps they’ll extend you a contract to “fix” their discrepancy. (6-17, 8:56am)

--for the record, you really need to get hold of James White and give him all your linguistic illustrations to use when his words gets him in a mess. Some of them are pretty cool! (6-17, 8:56am)

--Perhaps you and Phillip can start a Linguists Anonymous chapter online. I think you'/d get lots of customers. (6-17, 10:09am, to JmattC)

--I suggest you assemble all your linguistic "proofs" and forward them to James White, showing him how he is mistaken about the "CT mistake" like I allegedly am. (6-21, 5:57pm)

--Perhaps you guys could schedule a "formal" debate about the matter ;^) (6-21, 5:57pm)

--Perhaps you'll get to take James White to task for his "mistaken" interpretation of the CT article. (6-22, 9:29pm)

-- Let’s you and I form a petition and send to ATS, SACS, and other post secondary educational accrediting institutions offering our enlightened opinion.

Finally, “Now unless you’ve got something more substantial about which to quibble, Phillip, I’d like to move along.”

Well, I’m not the one who brought up out of the blue whether or not White was “qualified” to teach a course on Islam. I’m just noting another example of faulty reasoning. But--I guess it’s ok for you to be illogical as long as you don’t intend anyone to agree with you about it. :)

Cheers,
Phillip

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