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2011.03.25

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Dave Armstrong

Here is some of my exchange with Scott on my site. Readers may judge whether Scott "shot them down in flames."

"Not teaching a present course didn't stop 30 adjunct faculty members from being listed, but White is not. That was the whole point of my looking that up. . . . It's also obvious that courses taught 7-14 years ago (literally) are not being taught now."

"Scott, please answer me this, if nothing else. White is not now listed on the adjunct faculty. No one disputes that (not even he himself). You say that is irrelevant to the point at hand.

"Okay fine. Granting that for the sake of argument, let's say that he is not listed five years from now. Would it still sensible to say he is currently GGBTS adjunct staff in 2016, if he hadn't been listed since Dec. 2008 and hadn't taught a course since Jan 2010?

"At what point does non-listing and non-teaching indicate what it seems utterly obvious to me that they indicate: that he is no longer considered to be presently adjunct faculty? When does "unlisted" become "not faculty"? And if it never does, how is this to be explained rationally? If the past is always still the present, then I'm still a Protestant, ain't I? (I became a Catholic in 1990).

"If five years isn't enough, how about ten? So we're now in 2021 and you're still arguing that he is GGBTS adjunct faculty because he taught classes there from 1995-2010? If ten isn't enough, how about 20?

"At what point does "current" end and you recognize that it is a past thing?"

SCOTT: ". . . In your hypothetical, if you came back five years from now and make the claim that he is not adjunct, it would carry a lot more weight than doing so now, . . ."

ME: "Good. So you do say that if this were 2016, it would be a point in time where "current" is no longer in force. Good.

My reply to your comment is not to simply say he hasn't taught for over a year, but to note (as I believe I did in the post above this combox) that there was some reason why he stopped being LISTED as adjunct faculty. This is the consideration that no one on your side is willing to grapple with.

If he stopped being listed in Dec. 2008 (as I have shown), and if 16 other faculty taught classes further back than he did, yet are still listed, then it is quite reasonable to make the conclusion that he is no longer considered faculty, since those folks who taught courses further back in time are still listed, yet he is not. This is the additional argument that the present post added to the discussion."

SCOTT: "If Dr. White had been "cut off" as Peter and you say, don't you think that there would be a public statement of that somewhere?"

ME: "Why would there necessarily have to be? I can relate to these scenarios myself. I'm an author (six "officially" published books). Now, say a publisher has decided it no longer wants to publish my books (which is a contractual scenario just as this situation was). Do they necessarily inform me of that decision? No; sometimes they just stop being interested, but the author is not informed of that.

"People and organizations decided things at times without informing everyone of their decision. They just cease asking a person anymore.

"Now, again, I would say that his not being listed is sending that message to him. His name was on there and now no longer is. Your side has to ask yourself why that is? Why would the name be removed BUT to indicate that he was no longer considered adjunct faculty. Why are 30 others still listed who aren't currently teaching a course?"

SCOTT: "The website may not be updated as we'd all like, and may explain the inconsistencies between the data on the adjuncts that you point out."

ME: "[If this] is your only answer that is any sort of reply to my points, and an exceedingly weak argument it is.

"I will probably write to GGBTS and get to the bottom of this once and for all. If they confirm that he is not now an adjunct and/or will not be anytime, the choice will be yours and White's: to accept reality (if that is the case) and modify claims made, or deny it."

[someone already wrote; saved me the trouble]

The Catholic Voyager

First, I don't know why sometimes I come through as "Sam" and sometimes "The Catholic Voyager" but anyway....

Scott, you said: "I was using sarcasm that the fellow was placing proof on their post that could easily be dismissed." What's easily dismissed about it? I emailed GGBTS. Someone monitoring the email there replied to me from the communications email of the seminary with the quoted statement that James White is not employed there at this time. Yes or no? Do you accept that the email I received is genuine? If no, then there's no need for discussion since it is genuine. And if yes, then we can all join hands and celebrate our getting at the truth.

The Catholic Voyager

Peter, if you or David or someone else investigating want me to forward the GGBTS email to you, let me know. For the record, it's dated 3/29/2011 at 1::59 PM central.

Paul Hoffer, Esq.

Mr. Oakland, From reading Dave Armstrong's article and the information here, I would suggest that the burden of persuasion has now shifted over to your side to rebut the quite reasonable inference that can be made from the evidence adduced thus far. Personally, I think you have made a reasoned defense of James White's credentials but no amount of argument is going to change a fact or a proper inference drawn therefrom. Rather than continuing to rely on the same impassioned plea, it would behoove you to now obtain some evidence to support your case.

In regards to your objection to the manner in which GGBTS replied to Sam's email, I would state that such is not unusual these days. Many employers will now use emails to communicate rather than use official letterhead to reply to inquiries. However, to be frank, I was surprised that GGBTS answered the email in the detail they did. When potential employers or lenders make similar inquiries of my clients, I advise them to verify dates of employment and nothing more to avoid any potential claims of defamation or discrimination unless the inquirer provides a release signed by the individual about whom the information is sought. To protect James White's reputation and as a bit of CYA, they probably could not or would not provide more information as to his employment status even if they wanted to do so without receiving a release signed by James White.

Again, that puts things in your court as Mr. White controls whether the information is released or not.

Grace and blessings to you and yours.

The Catholic Voyager

I mean 3/28/2011. :)

Scott Oakland

Paul, Thanks for the comment. As you are an attorney and familiar with legal arguments (as I am also in the field of law), I am sure you know as well as I do where the burden lies. Even with a standard of a preponderance of the evidence, those who are vainly attempting to prove that Dr. White has been "cut off" from GG have failed to make their case. It is not Dr. White's burden, or mine, to prove a negative -i.e. that he HASN'T been cut off. Rather, is the movant's responsibility to do so. To somehow ignore that fact is to tip everything upside down. As I pointed out, the GG website's data can draw any number of inferences. But to conclude that the one inference that everyone on this board seems to be arguing - that is, that Dr. White is no longer teaching nor will he ever teach - is only one of many, many possibilities. A cut-and-paste email in quotes - coming from folks who clearly have a dog in the fight - does not rise to the necessary standard of proof, IMHO. I think any reasonable person would agree.

Scott Oakland

Dave,

I understand that you are taking the data and, using deductive reasoning, coming to a conclusion that he is no longer there. But is that really all the proof you can offer? Keep in mind that his course listing and his name IS listed. Again, it's a HUGE leap from saying that he is not currently active (which by definition adjuncts are anyway - they teach sporadically) and making the statement that he is 1) cut off from GG and 2) never going back. I never made the claim that he was a full-time professor, nor does Dr. White. If he was a FT professor, then the scenario which you outlined may have some plausibility using deductive reasoning. But as he is adjunct anyway, a different method must be used. And....no matter what method you use, given that Dr. White is an adjunct, you cannot definitely prove that he is "history" from GG from the GG website. It simply isn't possible. So I'd suggest you get that letter you were talking about on your blog. Again, I'm still waiting....

Scott

Scott Oakland

Folks, If Peter & Co. are so interested in getting to the truth, why don't you send ANOTHER email to Golden Gate and ask them how often they update their website, and if one could draw the conclusions you do with respect to adjunct professors? I don't think you're going to like their answer, but it will probably be like so many other institutions, companies, and organizations: we do the best we can. That's another big reason why using their website as a sort of "divination rod" is so problematic. I know I sound like a broken record, but we need an actual letter (Dave: maybe that could be your assignment)

Scott

Scott Oakland

Catholic Voyager - I never did answer your question. So the answer is....NO I definitely do not agree that your email is proof, because it simply is NOT. Because, anyone can claim what you claim and do what you just did. You have to be pretty naive to believe that accepting that email, stuck in quotes in a post, is considered proof of anything. I'm sorry to report that but the level of credibility on this blog leaves one with a jaundiced eye when it comes to presented evidence. I would imagine that this issue would not still be talked about all this time - since June 2010 when the "plant" was put on the SBC floor - until now...NINE MONTHS LATER, if an actual LETTER from the institution were available. If not a letter, then some kind of public statement, and one that is independently verifiable. Om, something that consists of more than "divining" GGBTS website. Now, that letter or statement will need to be specific.... 1) That Dr. White is NO LONGER CONSIDERED an adjunct, or be otherwise clear on that point, and 2) HE WILL NOT be in the future. I'm not confident that will be forthcoming, though...because it would have already been produced if it were true. You all have been beating this drum for 9 mos. now, apparently. Also, by way of update, folks....a seminary student has stepped up to the plate and (as if it was necessary to do so, to prove a negative) refutes this notion once and for all. Here's the link:

http://eyeonapologetics.com/blog/2011/03/29/reply-to-peter-lumpkins-james-white-is-an-adjunct-professor-at-ggbts/

Being a seminary student, and an apologetics major, he would be the first to know if Dr. White was "cut off" like Peter & Co. insists.....Now where is Dave with that letter, again??

Scott Oakland

Dave, You're inverting things again. Read: I don't need to PROVE that you are being unreasonable. YOU or SOMEONE here needs to prove that Dr White is "cut off" from GG. You're changing the fundamental question here and trying to change the subject. Attempting to place the burden on Dr. White or me is not going to help you. You, Peter & Co. have made assertions - therefore, it is you, Peter & Co.'s responsibility to prove the case. I have remained consistent and stayed on topic. Like Peter said, and which I admit, I am like a broken record. I keep repeating myself because no one wants to think that they might be drawing false conclusions from the available data, for which there can be numerous possibilities. I'm glad our nuclear scientists don't approach experiments using this methodology. We'd all be toast. I am glad, by the way, that we can remain civil but pointed. Again, Dave, the letter....please.

Paul Hoffer, Esq.

Hi Mr. Oakland, I was not referring to a quantum of proof, rather to the burden of persuasion. Some of the folks here have offered evidence from which one can infer that James White is no longer an adjunct faculty member at GGBTS. I grant you that each piece of information alone might be weak, but the evidence considered together maybe something different as any reasonable person would agree. Something other than rhetoric should be offered to counter the evidence. Since you are in the legal field, you are then familiar with the maxim "Contra factum non valet argumentum".

Moreover, the sort of argument you are making is similar to the argument that some make against the folks who have asked to see President Obama's birth certificate and such an argument here only fuels the same sort of skepticism.

Personally, I hope James White chooses to put the matter to rest by offering a definitive answer that only he is able to give. While I disagree with many things he says about Catholics, he is considered by many to be a powerful witness for our shared Christian faith. And as a witness for the Christian faith, I would just as soon not see him to be an impeached witness.

God bless!

Scott Oakland

Hi Paul - Thanks for the reply. Actually your use of the Obama illustration is actually true of the party asserting the theory. If anyone is a "birther" here, it is Peter & Co. They are screaming for Dr White to cough up evidence - evidence that needs to be presented by themselves. And, like Pres Obama, and for the same reason, he doesn't need to respond. You're right about one thing. In reality, neither myself OR Peter & Co. can put this to rest. It must be done by GG or Dr White, and Dr White doesn't need to, as I have outlined. Dr. White HAS INVITED Peter on his program to discuss this, as have I have invited him on my podcast, but Peter has refused. Don't you think that if someone is going to accuse someone with the reputation of Dr White of a nefarious scheme, they had better provide the evidence? Just as the "birthers" need to. I would propose that it is not Dr White's responsibility to do anything, just as it is not Obama's to cough up a "long form".

Paul Hoffer, Esq.

Mr. Oakland, If James White had not taken the step of ridiculing Rev. Lumpkins over on his blog, I would have agreed with your statement that he would not have any responsibility to do anything. However, he has not rested on his rights. James White has used this as an occasion to ridicule others rather than respond charitably. He made it a matter of reputation over principle. Since he taken the step to do poke fun at Rev. Lumpkins (Lumpy to use JW's terms) and others who question his credentials, I believe that he has an obligation as a Christian to assist in the disclosure of the information; otherwise, he would be acting dishonestly if he had knowledge of the truth of the statement and withheld it, or had knowledge of its falsity and not disclosing it so that Rev. Lumpkins and others could make things right and ask for forgiveness from him. Of course, what do I know? Since I am Catholic and not a Reformed Baptist, I am stupid enough to believe that Jesus actually wanted us to live the Sermon on the Mount rather than it just being something to preach about on Sundays.

God bless!

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