Sunday, October 14, 2018


Dale [Tuggy]The tone of contempt in the post is obvious. The subject is a direct insult. The first sentence is a passive-aggressive insult in pseudo-question form, which in effect asserts (again) that Dr. Rauser is dumb. Sadly, this is a habit for Steve Hays. And it's exactly the sort of thing Jesus is commenting on - calling your brother an empty-head or a fool.

1. I'm struck by Tuggy's double standard. Rauser's tweet was contemptuous of young-earth creationism. 

In addition, Tuggy is contemptuous of business majors. When he was still employed by SUNY, he insinuated that business majors are dumb. 

Aside from the fact that there are many supersmart businessmen and women, business majors should be commended for getting a marketable degree rather than a useless degree in womyn's studies or queer studies. But Dale is a snob. 

2. I never said or implied that Rauser is dumb. To the contrary, Rauser is a bright, sophisticated guy. If he was truly dumb, that would be a mitigating factor. But he doesn't have that excuse. 

In Scripture, foolish people can be geniuses. The biblical criterion of folly isn't low IQ but shortsighted behavior and especially a life led in rebellion to God. The biblical paradox is that people of average or below average intelligence can be ultimately wise while brilliant people can be supremely foolish.  

Once again, Rauser isn't a "brother" by NT standards. He'd be disfellowshipped from any 1C church supervised by an apostle due to his low Christology and low view of Scripture. 

3. Tuggy's modus operandi isn't to refute anything I said but to resort to shaming tactics. That's straight out of the playbook of SJWs. 

4. Now let's shift to the substantive issue. Tuggy fails to draw necessary distinctions. 

For instance, Tuggy fails to distinguish between a factual description, a value judgment, and a gratuitous putdown. Let's define an "insult" as a malicious or spiteful putdown. 

5. In addition, there's a distinction between giving offense and taking offense. To some degree, offense is subjective–in the eye of the beholder. 

6. Apropos (5), content may not be a sufficient condition to make a statement insulting. Intent may be a necessary condition. 

7. Apropos (6), a statement can be pejorative or derogatory without being an insult. Pejorative statements may be descriptive or evaluative. Whether a pejorative statement is an insult can depend on intent and/or accuracy. A person can be offended by a statement which the speaker did not mean to function as a putdown. 

8. Let's take some examples:

i) If I say homosexual activity and attraction are sinful, that's derogatory. And some people find that insulting, demeaning, &c. 

But the fact that it's derogatory doesn't ipso facto make it a gratuitous insult. From a Christian standpoint, that's warranted value judgment. 

ii) If I say the homosexual lifestyle is physically and psychologically self-destructive, that's a pejorative characterization. And some people find that insulting, demeaning, &c. 

But from a Christian standpoint, that statement is not intentionally insulting. Rather, it's a factual description. 

iii) If I say Bill and Hillary Clinton are wicked people, that's a pejorative characterization, and from their viewpoint–insulting. 

However, the fact that I'm casting aspirations on their character doesn't make it a gratuitous putdown if, in fact, they really are wicked. 

iv) If I say trangenderism is:

a) a mental illness

b) a social contagion

c) a pose gain sympathy and status

That's a pejorative characterization. But it's not insulting unless that's false or malicious. 

v) If in junior high or high school, one student calls another student "fat", that's usually a putdown. A gratuitous insult.

vi) If, however, an obese student tries out for the soccer or Lacrosse team, it's not necessarily a putdown for the coach to say, no, you can't play because you're out of shape. That just means the student doesn't meet the fitness requirements. 

For that matter, to be underweight can disqualify you from certain sports. If a scrawny kid wants to play football, the coach might say he can't join the team unless and until he bulks up. That's not a putdown. That's for his own safety. It's a contact sport, so he needs to develop greater muscle mass to absorb the impacts. 

vi) To my knowledge, many black Americans have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, and obesity is a trigger. It's not insulting for a physician to warn an obese, prediabetic black teenager that they're at risk of diabetes unless they watch what they eat. 

9. In sum, whether a pejorative characterization is insulting is context-dependent. Derogation, per se, isn't a putdown. As usual, Tuggy has a simplistic grasp of the issues. 


  1. A lot of words here, Steve. You go on the attack, rather than repent. You should rethink that strategy. Anyone who reads your post will see the gratuitous insults therein.

    "I never said or implied that Rauser is dumb."

    A textbook case of self-deception. A psychologist would have a lot to say about this flailing attempt at self-defense. Me, I've just pointed out the flagrant disobedience. It's your responsibility to submit to Jesus. You say you're his servant; then he will either deal with you or disown you. (Luke 6:46) Will pray for the first.

    1. Dale, you're a bully. Instead of engaging the argument, you assume what you need to prove, make question-begging assertions, and demand that I repent. Attempting to shame me into submission to your demands. An unwitting testimony to your egotism.

      Sorry to puncture your balloon, but I'm not hostage to your approval or disapproval. Your disapproving opinion is not my standard of comparison. Try using reason–if you can.

    2. Unsurprisingly, you exhibit the mentality of a cult-leader, demanding that people bow down to your judgments–or else.

    3. Dale

      1. If Steve calling Rauser a "fool" is enough to condemn him according to Mt 5:22 (which is the verse you cited), then Jesus calling people "fools" should be enough to condemn Jesus! For example, you need look no further than the book of Matthew:

      "And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand." (Mt 7:26)

      "You blind fools!" (Mt 23:17)

      "Five of them were foolish..." (Mt 25:2)

      2. Witness Dale's holier than thou behavior when he says things like "Will pray for the first". Smug sanctimoniousness. As if Dale is morally superior to Steve. That's the exact kind of attitude that is condemned by the Bible.

    4. So, you can't be smart and a fool at the same time?

  2. 1. Note Tuggy continues to demand that Hays 'repent' while simultaneously refusing to engage the arguments, and thus continues to beg the question in breathtaking fashion. Hays has produced the exegesis in a previous post, and a more thorough response here, yet Tuggy's whining is stuck on auto-pilot, and the hissy fit continues. The question-begging/demanding Hays repent continues in a stunning demonstration of swivel-eyed adolescent-like stupidity. It's absolutely pathetic.

    2. It seems clear to me that Tuggy is still reeling from his meltdown over a review by Hays earlier this year when his academic snootiness and bullying tactics backfired spectacularly as Hays took him back to school.

    Hays has truly got under The Whining Apostate's skin.

  3. Maybe the apostles James, Peter, and Paul need to repent too.

    Do you want to be shown, YOU FOOLISH person, that faith apart from works is useless?- James 2:20

    For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of FOOLISH PEOPLE.-1 Peter 2:15

    O FOOLISH GALATIANS! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.- Gal. 3:1

    YOU FOOLISH PERSON! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.- 1 Cor. 15:36

  4. I have to say that if mere contempt for someone else, or even for a Christian or "Christian" in a broad sense, is enough for that person to need to repent, then Rauser definitely shd. repent for the *evident* contempt of his original tweet, toward creationists. Are we really going to be so rigid in our notion of biblical principles that someone who uses the English word "fool" has to repent but someone who sneers so loudly at a whole class of fellow Christians that you can see it a mile away doesn't? That seems like an evident double standard. I would say arguably that Steve's judgement that Rauser is a fool for his comment about naming the animals is more calm and considered than Rauser's silly sneer in his original tweet, and that that is relevant to the application of the verse, if any application needs to be made at all. I would also say that endlessly following people around and telling them to "repent" for calling someone a fool for sneering at creationists ought to be considered a waste of any reasonable man's time. Good grief.

    1. Indeed.

      'I would also say that endlessly following people around and telling them to "repent" for calling someone a fool for sneering at creationists ought to be considered a waste of any reasonable man's time...'

      It is pseudo outrage. A sham. Tuggy is more like a woman scorned than a concerned 'Christian.'

    2. I have to "amen" Lydia's comments. Besides, Rauser's silly fundamentalist (in the modern sense of the term) wooden literalism is foolish. Hard to take a guy who says things like this too seriously. He reminds me of Roger Olsen

  5. Lydia, let us not characterize Rauser's tweet as a contemptuous sneer. To talk of "fun facts" is at most a cheeky way of putting out there what he thinks is a difficulty for young earth creationists. No foul there. It was fair of Steve to bat the ball back into Rauser's court by offering a reply. But he also let fly with an insult, in contradiction to Jesus's plain teaching.

    I am not jumping at the word "fool," but rather pointing out Steve's habitual and shameful disobedience on this score. Perhaps you're not used to being publicly called stupid - and I hope this does not happen to you. But let's not let our dislike of someone's theology or political positions cause us to approve of treating them roughly.

    It's bizarre that Steve et. al. think that some big exegetical debate needs to occur about the passage in question, and his hopping up and down to deny that he actually insulted is... well, telling.

    The tribalism here is disturbing. Basic decency and, more shocking to me, basic Christian teaching go out the window, because Rauser is perceived as being too... liberal? It's absurd. He's a faithful, lifelong evangelical Christian, a professor of theology and frankly a *much* better apologist than Steve Hays. Are his views akin to those of an American Democrat on some issues? Yes - but so what?

    1. Please. Rauser's tweet was extremely contemptuous mockery. If you can't see that, I don't know what to say except that your bias is showing big-time. YECs (which I'm not, btw) are fair game.

      I shd. think Randal Rauser would be capable of doing his own tone policing anyway if desired. He probably does sometimes. Surely you have better things to do with your time.

  6. Since everyone so enjoys my exegesis around here, here is a great passage which is very instructive regarding this incident: James 3.

    "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. ...the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

    Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace."

    This blog is a venue for (among other things) Christian apologetics. I think it is clear which kind of "wisdom" it should feature.

    It shouldn't be me pointing out Hays's sins on this score; it should be his local church and his fellow bloggers here, who I have noticed do *not* habitually insult people they disagree with. But they've been ignoring this behavior for some time, unfortunately.

    Do think think I'm a sanctimonious putz speaking up? That's fine. But the standards of those of Jesus and James, not mine.

    1. A significant problem with you bringing up this passage from James 3:1-12 (as was the problem with you bringing up Mt 5:22 earlier) is that you don't show how it's applicable in Steve's case. You can't simply state it's "clear" or "obvious", for it's not clear or obvious to many people including (I would think) most commenters here. It's the very point of dispute whether or not James 3:1-12 and Mt 5:22 are applicable in Steve's case.

      Instead, when you cite verses like Mt 5:22 and James 3:1-12, it just sounds like you're prooftexting rather than seriously attempting to argue why Steve's behavior contradicts these biblical verses and passages. Sure, you believe they apply, and you think it's "clear" and "obvious", hence show us! Make the case. Argue for your position. It should be easy enough for you to do if it's true the biblical case against Steve is so "clear" and "obvious".

    2. For example, James can't mean that it's always wrong or unethical to use derogatory language aimed at someone else. That's because James himself does so!

      See James 2:20 for starters: "Do you want to be shown, you foolish person...".

      Likewise, James 5:1-6 lambasts the rich in fairly harsh language: "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you."

    3. In addition, NT scholar Douglas Moo says the following in his commentary on James:

      "The opposing nature of 'blessing' and 'cursing' is rooted in God's own speech. In the most famous most biblical example of such speech, God repeatedly sets before Israel these two alternatives as the result of its reaction to his law (see, e.g., Deut. 30:19). Partly as a result of these warnings and partly as the result of a general understanding of the nature of speech, people in the ancient world attributed great power to the curse. The ancient curse was far more than abusive language; it called on God, in effect, to cut a person off from any possible blessing and to consign that person to Hell."

      As such, what James has in view may not be derogatory language in general, but something more specific, i.e., the ancient curse.

      If so, then how is the ancient curse relevant to what Steve has said to you? For one thing, I didn't notice Steve putting a curse on you or casting a hex against you! ;)

  7. 1. Did someone say exegesis? Once again the inept Tuggy just drops a text and trots away with no sense of compulsion to actually exegete the text.

    2. Tuggy *continues* to scream 'Insult!' underneath the very post where Hays gives a detailed argument on the '[distinction] between a factual description, a value judgment, and a gratuitous putdown...', refusing to engage the argument in front of him and thus begging the very question at hand. It is utterly pathetic.

    3. Tuggy's pretentious 'concern' about 'disobedience' is fooling no one here.

    4. Tuggy whines about 'tribalism' here then goes on a gushing defence of Rauser, and like a knight in shining armour suggests people are picking on poor Rauser because he is 'too liberal,' and insists that Rauser is a '*much* better' apologist than Hays. So there! How touching. And utterly cringeworthy.

    But leaving aside the straw man, cringe factor and utter hypocrisy, the inept Tuggy begs the question *again* by assuming without argument that 'Basic decency' and 'basic Christian teaching' have been violated... underneath the relevant post that he continuously refuses to engage.

    I'm embarrassed for Tuggy at this point.

    5. Did you hear the one about the Arminian and the Unitarian apostate?

    Oh, you've heard it? :)