These are some of the devices that I noticed. I can point out where if you ask. Ad homenim. Appeal to ridicule. Circumstantial Ad hominem. Sarcastic questions. Smug dismissal. Argumentum ad populum. False dichotomy.
To start, Tommy Wasserman, who is one of the blog contributors, seems to be a very nice, very fair guy. That doesn't mean we wouldn't disagree on this subject, but he seems like he might be more open-minded. Mike, who commented here on the series, commented over there with a fuller reprentation of himself. Mike Aubrey, full name. The first comment out of the box, was this, from a Dr. Rod Decker (that's how he refers to himself), who teaches at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. He writes:
I assume the link to the Brandenburg post was for entertainment purposes? :) You certainly wouldn't want to offend his fedeism (sic) with evidence.
I would go after it with Rod Decker any day. He is the doctor of the logical fallacy in the comment. He is wanting to equate presuppositional epistemology with fideism.
Then a "Ryan" writes this:
I had trouble getting very far into Brandenburg's writing. I think it's one of the sadder and less helpful features of fundamentalism that holding onto a doctrine in defiance of empirically proof to the contrary is somehow thought to be the more pious or faithful thing to do.
The second sentence takes some deciphering. At the word "empirically" it spun out of control. What I think he is saying though is that he's got empirical proof that I'm defying because I think it is more faithful, but that this defiance is an unhelpful quality to fundamentalism, assuming that I'm a fundamentalist. Moral of the story. It's bad because it is sad and unhelpful. So stop defying empirical evidence! What evidence? Textual criticism, of course.
Several of these comments help make my point for me about evangelical textual criticism as a kind of paradox. He writes:
To my mind they're sacrificing truth on the altar of doctrine.
"They're" (fundamentalists) sacrificing "truth" (conclusions from theories) on the "altar of doctrine" (notice doctrine and truth different to him). He thinks his empirical evidence is superior to the teachings of scripture.
And finally Ryan introduces a quote from Roman Catholicism:
They could learn from Catholicism, which learned from its mistake with Galileo and in Providentissimus Deus.
He's saying that we should learn a lesson from the Catholics, which got it right when they started looking at science and stopped looking at theology. Hmmmmm.
Then Dr. Rod Decker comes back and he comments, not quite in agreement with Ryan about fundamentalism:
Generalizing based on one (or even a few) glaring case(s) of obscurantism commits a fallacy similar to Brandenburg's.
I guess my fallacy is generalization. Ironically, Decker calls me an obscurantist. "Obscurantism" is "the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known." He's a yellow backed dingo, so there! That would have had about the same effect. What's ironic about it is what facts these textual critics prevent from being known in doctrine and even in their "science."
Rod and Ryan go back and forth a little and Dr. Rod adds that I'm (and others like me) "anti-intellectual." Bubbles in the aquarium.
A Darrell comes on and writes to Dr. Rod:
I went to the same school as Brandenburg, but am a avid NT textual criticism fan. Go figure.
I is not a intellectual and is not an fan of textual criticism. Go figure.
A man with the handle, "The White Man," comes on and actually supports what I wrote. No one actually does deal with what he says. That's not something they seem to do at Evangelical Textual Criticism. Mike Aubrey (our Mike) answers him with this jewel:
Not everyone has time to spend hours discussing and arguing about Brandenburg's views just because "someone is wrong on the internet."
He does have a point, that is, if I'm wrong. Not every wrong on the internet must be discussed. Yes Mike!! Good point!!
There were then about four comments that were not derogatory, especially when Paul Ferguson comes in and makes a very well written comment to them. He even spurs Daniel Wallace to comment, and Wallace says:
One reviewer criticized my views as follows: "Wallace looked at evidence and then changed what he believed about Scripture." Actually, I don't take that as a criticism, because the evidence I looked at was what informed how I should understand the text. It was both exegetical and empirical in nature. But one thing I found curious about Brandenburg's four-part treatment of my views is that, in spite of claiming that he had dealt with my views exhaustively, point for point, he only interacted selectively with my article. To see why fundamentalists don't care for my non-doctrine of preservation, it's best to read the original essay for yourself. It's at http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1221.
These kinds of things are humorous and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way to Dr. Wallace. Here's what's funny. First, he's commenting on the wrong series of blogs that I wrote. He thinks we're commenting on the four part series that I did about his article. Ooops. That gave me a chuckle. He's a little behind on that one. Then when he leaves me anonymous by calling me "one reviewer" and then cuts and pastes one sentence I wrote. He couldn't type my name. That's even a laugh-out-loud for me. Daniel Wallace does fit very nicely in the club though. He does nothing to deal with what I wrote....still. He says that I claim to deal with him exhaustively, but I really don't! (mad scientist laugh here). He said I interacted selectively with his article.
Let's review on the four part Wallace series. He sent me to it from his blog when he and I were discussing something there. He said that he dealt with the doctrine of preservation there. I read his whole article and found he only got into scripture in just a few paragraphs. I criticize those and find some amazing blooper-like mistakes there. Everyone should read my review of his article. It's supposed to be his definitive defeating of the doctrine of preservation and what incredible blunders! His first reaction to it was: "You cherry picked!" And now, "He was selective!" You'll find that I wasn't selective at all with the section on preservation. So do go look and read his article and read what I wrote about it. No one has come on to defend him. Someone started to defend him at a forum called CARM, and then stopped abruptly and suddenly once he got to the first argument. Then it was a deafening silence.
Then comes on another big named textual critic, Maurice Robinson. And he really does embarrass himself (of course in my opinion) with what he wrote. He makes a lot of extreme and inaccurate statements that go nowhere. His last sentence does sum it all up very nicely:
Our trust in the accuracy of the biblical text should rest upon a foundation more secure than the highly questionable theological claims of modern KJV/TR-only scholasticism which ultimately demand a response wholly based on blind faith apart from hard evidence.
Again, moral of his story: don't trust theology, but trust hard evidence. Which is what? Textual criticism. Especially his.
The comment section ends with something written by a Brazilian who is trying to say something in English, what seems not to be his native language. It was hard to understand what he wrote.
I'm giving this report, because I would rather deal with their comments here than there. I would love to discuss things with them, but they're not likely to interact, even as seen in what others wrote in their comment section and they ignored. Why do they ignore these almost every time? Robinson says it is because all of our arguments have been answered elsewhere. I've never read where our arguments are answered. Answers may be given, but they are similar to what I read in that comment section. They are so many bubbles rising to the surface. But that's the way it all looks inside the aquarium.