Over at the Beggars All blog, I have been attempting to respond to certain allegations that have been directed towards me by John Bugay, Tim Enloe, and others in THIS THREAD. Unfortunately, some my responses have been getting caught in Google's infamous 'spam filter', and it seems that only James Swan (who is not participating in thread) has the ability to restore those posts that have been deleted, making it quite difficult to carry on a cohesive discussion. I am currently working on a thread that will attempt address a number of the recent issues that have been raised by John Bugay, but for now, would like repost one of my deleted responses. Yesterday, in response to a post by Tim Enloe (LINK) I penned the following:
Thanks for responding; you wrote:
>>I don't reject the entire body of a man's work because of his "presuppositions" - another scare word, by the way, that frequently is used by many people as a substitute for real, reflective thought.>>
Me: Nor do I, but presuppositions become extremely important when the evidence being weighed can legitimately be interpreted (without violence) more than one way. For instance, I mentioned the Pastoral Epistles, because the authorship (and related dating) of these epistles are extremely important in determining just what type of ministry (or lack thereof) the apostles meant to leave behind. Early missteps and judgments will severely hinder later assessments.
>>One has to weigh scholarly arguments, not merely count them or demonstrate proficiency in typing by reproducing them because they happen to jive with one's own preexisting views (one's "presuppositions," if you will).>>
>>It's not proper to reject the whole of a book because a "Liberal" wrote it, or to accept the whole of a book because a "Conservative" wrote it. These are relative terms. WHAT is the "conservative" conserving? WHAT is the "liberal" liberating?>>
>>There is enormous sloppiness in online apologetics discussions caused by simplistic, moralizing, approaches to scholarly works. I've noticed this for years: there is this love/hate relationship amongst amateur apologists regarding scholarly works. If the works support the "conservative" views, they are lauded to the skies. If the works injure the "conservative" views, they are condemned, and anyone who uses them in any fashion is swept up in a big net of condemnation.>>
Me: Once again, I agree.
>>You're not as bad as some folks in this respect, but frankly, you are bad enough. Just the mere fact that you ask me whether I agree with Lampe's conclusions about the pastorals just because I (may) think he's right about some other areas of history…>>
Me: Once again I brought up the Pastorals because one’s conclusions about these epistles (and others) directly determines the type of trajectory one will proceed along concerning the type of ministry instituted by the Apostles. I found a good deal of Lampe’s research to be interesting and informative, but remain convinced that the bulk of his work does not directly address the foundational issues at stake.
>>… begs for me to ask you: Do you exercise discernment when you read scholarly works? Do you weigh scholarly arguments, or just count and reproduce them? Weighing arguments is not easy, nor is it an exact science. It takes patience and discernment to wade through a body of scholarship, and alas, online apologetics warriors have little of either.>>
Me: I believe that I sincerely try to do so Tim. You mentioned Frank (kepha) earlier, have you so soon forgotten the ‘heat’ I received from his pen during our discussions on subordinationism and development concerning my willingness to challenge the ‘conservative’ take on the pre-Nicenes? (And it was not just Frank, but a number of posters here at BA have taken me to task because I do weigh scholarly arguments.)
Grace and peace,