Steve has replied to my previous post (here; apparently I’m now only “siding with the enemy” instead of “sleeping with the enemy” – phew!), and a number of interesting things come to light, though I’m not sure why Steve doesn’t just state them himself. That is, he doesn’t seem to be saying what he really wants to say: that (1) it was an unwise decision for me to be asked to blog at AOmin.org, and (2) that RealApologetics.org should be shut down until I meet up to Steve’s standards of apologetic ministry. Certainly that is his position – and if not, he is obviously free to publicly deny the above and explain what he really believes is the case. Until then, I think everyone should be wondering, for a well-known blogger who gives advice on how to do apologetics, why didn’t he just say so?
I’m afraid that Jamin suffers from acute Armstrong-syndrome. Patients with this malady place themselves squarely at the center of each and every issue. It’s all about them, all the time.
Jamin evidently needs to have his persecution-complex validated on a regularly basis. He tries to bait critics into feeding his persecution-complex, the better to justify his overwrought feelings of cosmic persecution. Nothing is sadder than a neglected persecution-complex
Enough sowing seeds of doubt against another fellow Christian…
Back to Jamin’s double standard.
...and making assertions with unstated conclusions. Just be honest and say what you believe (and saying my citation of a book “ought to alert one to his presuppositions” is anything but helpful for readers, as it hardly begins to explain why that is the case, or what “presuppositions” they are, or why they are wrong, why any of these things are significant, etc.).
i) I trust that most readers of Triablogue are capable of drawing their own conclusions. I’m sorry that Jamin can’t give his own readers that much credit.
ii) Is it really so hard to follow the trail of breadcrumbs?
If Burge is ordained in the PC-USA, that tells you something about his theological sympathies, or tolerance for liberal theology. If Burge is a regular contributor to Sojourners, that tells you something about his (leftwing) political sympathies. Those are presuppositions that he brings to his analysis of the Arab/Israeli conflict.
Indeed, publicly calling on the people of God to be on the “alert” for the presuppositions of a certain Christian apologist is a serious charge, and whether anyone likes it or not, it cannot just be brushed aside (though I’d sometimes like to!).
What I actually said was:
The fact that Burge is a PC-USA minister, along with the further fact that he’s a contributor to Jim Wallis’s leftwing rag Sojourners, ought to alert one to his presuppositions.
What accounts for the fact that Jamin takes a statement about Burge, and instantly transfers it to himself? Is Jamin a PC-USA minister? Is Jamin a contributor to Sojourners?
Does Jamin have such a man-crush on Burge that he treats any attack on Burge as an attack on Jamin? Is Jamin to Burge what Chris Crocker is to Britney Spears?
In addition to his persecution complex, Jamin apparently suffers from a guilt-complex. If I say something negative about Gary Burge, Jamin takes it personally. What is this? Sympathetic magic? Like stabbing a voodoo doll?
But let’s get into the substantive issues that have at least some bearing on Christian theology, since that’s where I would really want to go (and hopefully Steve is as well…).
If that’s where he really wanted to go all along, why not skip the melodrama cut straight to the substantive issues?
Now I am really confused. Is Steve actually saying that these historical events just didn’t happen?
i) I didn’t take a position on that one way or the other. Rather, as I specified, the question is whether he should be getting his information from a guy like Burge.
What about the allegation?
…Israel is guilty of committing countless war atrocities that qualify and surpass the covenant obligations in Scripture. Mass murder. Torturing men ages 14-60s. Unjust use of water supply and the abusive treatment of aliens and foreigners. The creation of millions of refugees. And so on and so forth.
ii) Jamin is asking me whether I think “and so on and so forth” just didn’t happen. But I’m afraid it’s hard for me to evaluate the historicity of “so on and so forth.” Seems a wee bit vague, if you ask me.
Just for starters, how do I differentiate between “so on” historical events and “so forth” historical events?
iii) “Mass murder”? What does that refer to? You mean, like the fake Jennie massacre?
iv) “Torture?” Of course, that word is bandied about by far left opponents of counterterrorism. For some, playing “I Love You by Barney the Purple Dinosaur” constitutes torture:
I love you, you love me - we're a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won't you say you love me too?
Yep. If that’s not a war crime, I don’t know what is.
v) “Millions” of refugees? Shouldn’t we be suspicious of a rubbery statistic like that? Does that refer to the dislocation triggered by the 1948 war? If so, were there “millions” of “Palestinians” living on the West Bank in 1948?
Isn’t a hyperbolic figure like that clearly anachronistic? Taking current population levels, then backdating that figure to 1948?
Was Yasser Arafat a “refugee”? Wasn’t he born in Egypt?
vii) “Unjust use of water supply”? Isn’t the Jordan River the main source of fresh water in the region? If anyone could manipulate the water supply, wouldn’t that be Arab nations (i.e. Lebanon, Jordan, Syria) upstream from Israel?
viii) Due to international pressure, Israel has to exercise absurd self-restraint in dealing with her enemies. The only thing that keeps Israel from facing economic sanctions is an American veto on the UN Security Council. Even so, Israel still faces the threat of divestment campaigns. Indeed, Burge’s denomination is a case in point.
Ironically, this invites cloak-n-dagger tactics in a way that all-out war would avoid.
I don’t believe any human being (or nation for that matter) should support – either by word or deed – any secular nation regardless of what it has done, is doing, and intends to do.
You’re entitled to your Pollyannaish blather, but the US has a prefect right to support nations that support us in a military alliance against a common enemy. The president of the US has a sworn duty to defend the homeland.
It’s also simplistic to describe Israel as a “secular nation.” Aside from the sizable number of observant Jews in Israel, let’s not demean the leavening presence of Messianic Jews in Israel.
I think it would be a good idea for James White to do another show with Michael Brown, only this time he can ask Dr. Brown to discuss the Arab/Israeli conflict.