Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, May 26, 2006

RAMBO II: Adventures in Amateur Textual Criticism

Self-proclaimed "expert" on NT textual criticism, early Christian history, and amateur Islamic apologist, Rambo, has got himself a blog site and is feverishly attempting to rescue Shabir Ally's woefully inconsistent arguments against James White.

You may recall that during the first week of May, James White debated Shabir Ally at BIOLA over whether or not the NT as it exists in our modern day is truly the inspired Word of God. I posted my review of the debate on the following day.

Immediately, an Islamist who went by the name of "Rambo" began posting his criticisms of my review of a debate he never attended.

Oddly, his primary annoyance with me was my description of the Muslims hassling James during the break as being loud talking finger wagging Arabs. Rambo pretty much gave up posting comments and claimed to be waiting for the debate to be released on MP3 so he could "judge for himself." I later wrote out a separate post interacting with some of Rambo's charges.

Well, Rambo, who supposed real name is Assalam Alaikum, has gotten himself a hold of a blog page he calls, Answering Missionaries. I guess I am suppose to be one of the missionary he is answering.

Anyhow, he has downloaded the debate and has posted a long, tedious review of his own titled, Tackling the Butler and White Team. Now, before I move on, I must say I am amused and honored all at the same time to even be listed as an equal in the same blog title with the likes of James White. I am honored because James is one of my favorite writer-teachers. I am amused, because I have only met James on rare occasion, through Phil Johnson generally, and each time I meet him, I always have to remind him of who I am, usually by dropping Phil's name.

The encounter sort of goes like this:

Me: Hi, James, my name is Fred Butler.

James: ...umm, Hi, nice to meet you.

Me: I am friends with Phil Johnson; I have met you a few times out a Grace to You.

James: Oh yeah. Ok, sure, sure, sure.

I should be categorized as a fanboy, not a team member with James; as if we are some sort of WWF wrestling duo.

At any rate, I have only given Mr. Rambo's article a cursory glance, so I cannot speak to everything he has written. In fact, it is not a high priority of mine to really respond to him, so I may or may not come back to it. I will see. Maybe if there is a slow blog week or something. Steve Hays has saved me a lot of time and has done a much better job of responding to Rambo's general Islamic-anti-NT apologetics by skillfully eviscerating his comments against him.

As to his team Butler-White post, however, I will venture some predictive guesses as to what Rambo did write:

He declares Shabir Ally the hands down winner over James White.

He attempts to defend Bart Ehrman as the worlds greatest NT scholar ever to live on the planet, and his criticisms of the NT should be taken without question as if infallible and coming from God almighty Himself.

He will ball baby and call me mean spirited and hateful because of my "Arab culture" comments.

Someone can leave a comment to tell me if I am vindicated.

Let me hit each one quickly in turn:

1) James clearly demonstrated that Shabir has a surface knowledge of textual criticism, and even that knowledge is inadequate because a) he doesn't know the original languages as James poignantly revealed during cross examination, and b) he is ignorantly dependent upon crank scholars like Ehrman as his go to authority. Ehrman is working from a bias. He is not some neutral critic who had to sadly come to the conclusions he did as Rambo would have us believe. He has theological hang ups with the authority of God's Word upon his life, and I would venture a guess and say there are some personal moral issues at stake, even though I admit speculation on my part. People running from God don't tend to like what God has to say about them running away. In a word, he is more akin to Salmon Ruskie.

2) Please. I am sick of people throwing out the name of Bart Ehrman as if he is the end all of NT textual scholarship. He is not. What exactly makes Ehrman the world's greatest textual scholar in people's minds any ways? Because he went to Princeton? Because he is pandered to by the fawning liberal media who are always on the look out for those "scholars" who will say all the bad things about Jesus they want to hear? Dan Phillips has a fun and truthful rant about the popularity of Mr. Bart, by the way.

For Shabir, or any Islamic apologists, to quote folks like Ehrman with out interacting with the equal, if not greater criticisms of Ehrman's criticism, shows a lack of a consistent argument. It would be like me constantly citing Irshad Manji, the spike haired Muslim lesbian apostate as my source on all things problematic with Islam. If I were always appealing to her as an unquestioned authority, I am sure ole Rambo would have problems. He might even write up a whole separate post.

3) Ball baby as much as he likes, what happened at the break as I reported it, happened. Anyone telling Rambo differently is spinning the truth, or dare I say, lying. I guess I can let it slide if Muslims define in your face loud talking as being respectful. Perhaps they do. If that is the case, then they aren't lying.

I have to run for the weekend. I have in mind a follow up post for next week.



Blogger Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

I'm surprised at you, "Asalaam Alaikum" means peace be upon you. It's not his so called name. Shows what an expert on Islam you are.

12:20 PM, July 23, 2007  

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