Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Read Anyone Else's Blog

(except mine of course)

If you were expecting a defense of the title of this post (or the sub-title above), you are in for a let-down. It's not serious. It's a tongue-in-cheek facetious remark aimed at scolding Mr. Nick Norelli who (in this recent post) just doesn't get it.

Mr. Norelli makes the claim that "But apparently unless one has read White’s books, listened to his debates, or researched his teaching and/or ministry over the last 20 years then they can’t truly understand the context in which he says anything." This is just silly. Mr. Norelli goes on to quote the following paragraph from Dr. White:
2) Do not expect the Golden Rule to be applied to you if you are an evangelical. If you are going to address someone like Ehrman, you better do your homework. Read his works, listen to his lectures, study his articles. If you do not, you have nothing to say. However, anyone can comment on what you say as an evangelical without worrying about anything you have ever written or taught over twenty or more years. Just remember, the context of the evangelical is irrelevant; the context of the star-level scholar is all important. Also, it is fair to assume the evangelical believer is ignorant of anything you wish to attribute to them, even if you have no idea whether they are in fact ignorant of those subjects or not.
(emphasis provided by Mr. Norelli)
For some reason, perhaps known only to God, Mr. Norelli has apparently mentally converted "not anything" into "not everything" and/or generalized his comment about people judging his scholarship into a comment about people understanding anything at all that he writes. This too is silly.

I'll put it in simple terms: "Don't say Dr. White doesn't know what he's talking about if you haven't done your homework on his background. And if you are going to say that Dr. White doesn't know what he's talking about, be prepared to back that up, because he'll call you on it."

More specifically, Dr. White has read most of what Ehrman has written, and his opinions of Ehrman's scholarship are consequently informed, even if one disagrees with them. In contrast, folks who bloviate based on a sentence or fragment thereof, taken in isolation, have an opinion that is uninformed.

-TurretinFan

9 comments:

natamllc said...

Not being very informed or well read of either, Ehrman or White, some more of White than Ehrman, I would make this observation about each as I made some time back about Calvin with regard my observation of Dr. White, who, at the time I made a comment about John Calvin, I was less informed and unread than I am making these comments today.

A straight line, however long or short, when placed on a standard of measure always is a straight line no matter in what direction it flows on the compass.

With regard Dr. White, one need not read or hear much more of him than one has too to realize the straightness of the line that he is guided by.

A straight line and the Holy Ghost along with Our Heavenly Father and Christ our Federal Head, for all Eternity, all, are straight lines and Dr. White conforms well to Them!

Now you can put your imagination to work to conclude what I might have said of Mr. Ehrman?

Nick Norelli said...

Again, it's not as if this is a one time only complaint that White makes. He's always carrying on about how so and so hasn't read him on such and such a topic or how such and such needs to read his books to understand the context in which he says something on his blog posts, or debates, or webcast, etc. I provided three examples in my post (one dates back over a decade!) and many, many more can be easily cited. My point is simply this: if all this background reading is necessary to understand what White is saying in any given blog post, then what does he blog for? Why should anyone be bothered to read it outside of those who have devoted their entire reading careers to reading White's books (which btw don't offer anything original to any topic he writes on).

Kelly said...

Or mine, I should add, because I mention you there from time to time (including today)... :)

Anyways did I hear somewhere that Ehram has actually debated White? I find that hard to believe, but would be interested in hearing it if it did occur.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Norelli,

I'm guessing its not that you cannot see the point of what Dr. White said (even after I pointed it out), but that you have your own point.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Kelly - yes - I noticed your post (not a lot of meat on it ... but I guess you felt you said your piece earlier).

Ehrman and White debated on January 21, 2009. MP3 is available here (link).

-TurretinFan

Kelly said...

Thank you.
No I agree there is no meat on it.
Simply a reminder that what had meat on it was my rebuttal to your response to my post which was a response to someone else...
I better quit now. Last sentence a little comples.

mike said...

This is really, really stupid.

Don't people have better things to do?

Turretinfan said...

Mike: lol ... a little self-awareness, dude.

natamllc said...

Nick,

I do not know of what bent you are but by the tone of your remarks I can imagine that there is something else offensive to you about Dr. White and his bald head or the delivery of his mannerisms or or or, that bothers you?

Isn't it fair to allow the Word of God to settle all disputes?

Such as, we look not at the outer clay pot, but the inner man of the heart?

I listened to the mentioned debate between Dr. White and Mr. Ehrman and for me, my interests were drawn to Dr. White's "spirit".

We are to "know no man after the flesh". Would it be a fair reproof to you that maybe you have dropped the ball on this one, that admonition of Scripture from the Apostle Paul, to whom we all look to for assistance in judging all men as the Holy Ghost instructs us?

Would you agree with the Apostle Paul when he writes this about Dr. White?

2Co 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.
2Co 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2Co 2:16 To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Can you come out and admit that about him hereon?

When reading your comments above, I am reminded of an embarassing moment I had with my peer, now "Pastor" as our Spiritual mentor appointed him the next in line for the Pastorate of our Work before his passing to the everlasting Arms of Jesus. But nevertheless, I was rightfully humiliated by my Pastor one day when I had finally "had enough" and decided to deal with a matter that had lingered long enough on my soul. I went to him and said "thus and so" fully expecting him to bow to my "righteous" complaint of an offense taken by me of something he decided many years ago. To my surprise, after laughing a bit, he rebuked me for not bringing that to his attention "then" and then reproved me for carry the offense so long!

Don't your comments above betray you in a similar light?

Why is it that when we are attracted to one and not another, we have to make it offensive of the one instead of rejoice in the diversity of God's creatures, some we like and some we do not like?

At the end of the day, God will judge both likes and dislikes?

Would you agree that Dr. White is a "spiritual" man?

Accepting that you do, then why doesn't the shoe fit?, i.e.:

1Co 2:11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
1Co 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
1Co 2:16 "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

And by the way, I don't have a difficult time understanding Dr. White. I have not read much of him. I don't believe I have one book he has written. I have read some articles, to be sure. I have watched a number of videos of debates and topical discussions he has produced at his ministry or that were recorded when he gave a lecture or preached at a pulpit. So, for me, your issue doesn't ring the bell, hmmmmm?

And equally, I believe you gave Dr. White a great compliment when you wrote this: "....to reading White's books (which btw don't offer anything original to any topic he writes on)."

Ecc 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

On the contrary, one should be a bit skeptical of new things under the sun, don't you think? Or are as those on Mars Hill?

Act 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Anyway, since I could and I should, I have and here it is Nick. Care to make any revised remarks?