Shortly after he lost his debate to Bart Ehrman, he went to full court defense mode. His photo could be next to "defensive" in the dictionary, because he defines it by what he says and how he says it. He sounds like the kid you grow up with in school that tries to get done with his test first, and when he does, he slaps down his pencil and then looks around and exhales out loud so that everyone will know he's done and so he can see who is looking at him. He got started on this in the debate itself during his closing comments by blaming Ehrman's position on postmodernism. These are not the words of someone who has been able to defeat a man's arguments. It might be true that Ehrman was motivated by postmodernism, but in a debate that is supposed to be about textual evidence, it comes up lame. "He, he, he, he's a, a, a postmodernist. So there!" And then he blames everyone except himself. It's not his fault. It was Ehrman. Little did everyone know, but Ehrman changed the proposition two weeks before the debate. Ehrman didn't understand me. The moon was in my eyes. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Now I see this is what White does. He goes into all out spin as soon as a debate ends, at least one like this that he lost. He declares victory---in the words of McDurmon, "he steamrolled" Ehrman. "And I, ahem, read and listened to everything that Ehrman wrote or uttered since he came from the womb. Just letting you know, not to brag on myself." Then he judges motives. And finally attacks the person. Besides that, he spends an incredible amount of time praising himself, attempting to reconstruct what he said in the debate, to make it sound bigger and better than what it was. And he solicits pity for himself as if he is persecuted---with all the melodramatic sighs and voice inflections. I've heard people call him inimitable. I've seen people similar to him, so I don't think it's the case. He is a caricature of an apologist, so he's only inimitable in that way.
I wrote a review of the debate. I thought it might be nice for my readers. White had enough on his hands just in debating Ehrman. But isn't it nice that he also had time to spend two blogs and one internet webcast (his Dividing Line program) going after me, judging my motives and attacking my character? He called me a "bigot" and a "liar." Not once does he deal with my criticisms of him in the debate. That was the best he could do, go after me. And he actually does understand that this strategy will be good enough with the people who listen to him. It works. What does that say about them? They like that about him, that he goes immediately for motives ("bigot") and character ("liar"). Just the fact that he has so much spin control in play to spend this kind of time on my blog review tells you a little about his state of mind. I do not know what his followers see in him to exhibit so much allegiance.
He comes across like a snake oil salesman, a wandering minstrel. He's got his truck and products, just a little more hi-tech. He possesses the necessary hubris to shamelessly self-promote, it seems, without any compunction. Except he deals with Scripture and against deniers of the faith. It's an activity that we can applaud, but by a person who behaves with a smugness strangely contradictory to the task.
I'm going to do a couple of things with this post. First, I'm going to clear up the "bigot" and "liar" thing. Second, I'm going to list a few James White-isms to show you what I'm talking about above. I don't think I need to illustrate to anyone who has limited abilities of observation, but I'm not going to take it for granted.
The term "bigot" or "bigotry" is a slander as applied to me. Even based on the dictionary definition it doesn't apply, but especially with the modern connotation of "bigotry." Do you think that White went into the Ehrman debate with any prejudice based upon reading his books and listening to his audio? Of course, he did. I might know what White's position is on the text, but I believe I had far less prejudice toward White than I did toward Ehrman. I've read two of Ehrman's books. I've never read White's. I wrote a short tease for my analysis of the debate, that Alan Kurschner went wild over. They would do well to look at the criticism and take it seriously. It's hard to defend against prejudice because it is a judgment of one's motives for giving a negative opinion. I can assure White that if I had any prejudice, it was toward Ehrman and I stated such in my announcement of the debate. Bigotry should not be a word that someone just throws around.
White calls me a liar twice, but he doesn't evidence one lie by me. I'm going to document and enumerate all the lies that Kurschner and White said about me. One, On his Dividing Line program he said that I evidenced my detestation of Calvinism. I wrote: "I think it is White's Calvinism---God wanted errors in the text because of the greater good there would be (something like that)." I said "White's Calvinism." I never said anywhere that I detested Calvinism. So that's a lie. After that, he says that I lied. That is lie number two by him. His example of lying was this paragraph:
As sad as it could get in the debate, White couldn't muster up a defense of the historic position on preservation as seen in the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession. He couldn't explain a scriptural position on preservation, perhaps because he doesn't even know what one is. He hasn't given it enough thought. He has been so busy reading Bart Ehrman and Dan Wallace and Bruce Metzger and Kurt and Barbra Aland that he hasn't sorted through the passages in scripture on preservation and their historical understanding, reading Turretin and Owen and others.What about that quote is a lie? He doesn't say. He just says I lied. I said "perhaps he doesn't know," etc. That isn't a lie. He didn't give any presentation at all on preservation. He doesn't mention it, even though he did bring up theology. Then he says that since he has written a book, the King James Version Controversy, that I should know that, especially since "I had printed lies about it." I've not read White's book. I've read several books on this issue, but not his. I've never printed one thing about his book. So that is lie number three.
I go to his blog on February 4, 2009 for lie number four. He says that KJV only people like me believe this: "We need a variantless text, no matter what the realities of history are." I believe there are variants. I don't believe that preservation means no variants. That also shows his ignorance of the historic position. He manifests it right there. The divines, Turretin and Owen, both believed there were variants as did all the other men who take the same position as I do.
Now let's go to Alan Kurschner's blog, titled "Kent Brandenburg's Myopic King James Onlyism," February 3, 2009. Before I get into his lies, I have a question? Why write a blog about me? How does that fit into this whole issue with Ehrman? No one really knows what my presuppositions are based upon his statement that I'm a "King James Version Only advocate." My presuppositions are what scripture teaches about its own preservation. I believe we have always had all of God's Words. Of course, these guys use the KJVO label as a pejorative---they know it as should everyone else. And then you know that based upon everything else he writes, so this false presupposition is lie number five.
He quotes me as saying "the skeptic [Ehrman]," then keeps talking as if I was talking about the debate. I wasn't referring to Ehrman or the debate there or I would have used a pronoun, not the generic singular noun. That is lie number six. When I write that "White reads Metzger to get his position," I am speaking of his presuppositions. They come from textual criticism, from evidentiary apologetics, not from scripture. Kurschner misses that. The reason I didn't cite any examples of White's scriptural presuppositions (which is what presuppositionalism is all about) was because I haven't heard any from him. I'd be glad to hear that he writes a presentation of the Bible teaching on preservation in his book. Does he? If he does, then it will be a first, because I've never read one by a critical text advocate.
Kurschner says that I believe in preservation in a "1611 Anglican translation." That is lie number seven. I believe it is in the Hebrew and Greek text. As a side note, many Puritans worked on the KJV as well. This is lie number eight: "what is ironic is that Kent Brandenburg would agree wholeheartedly with the agnostic, skeptic Bart Ehrman who both agree together that there cannot be any inspired, preserved text if there exists variants in a text." Lie number nine was his labeling me a fundamentalist. If he got out more, he would know that I'm not. He said several other nasty things, but they were all conclusions from these lies. The tenth lie is that I'm a bigot.
Those are the at least ten lies told about me by James White and AOM. I will be awaiting the repentance and retraction from White and Kurschner.
In his latest video on his blog for February 5, 2009, he films himself explaining something about his debate with Ehrman (on conjectural emendations). So I'm not even cherry-picking. I'm looking at his last video. Let me break it down for you, so you have examples of White-isms. First, at about :24 he complains. That's the first thing he does in the video. "I had hoped for a more focused topic." Second, then sighs (at about :32), "Which is fine; it turned out very well." If it's fine, then why complain? Of course it wasn't fine to him. He has complained and whined about it, including in his monologue to McDurmon (it wasn't much of an interview). And it definitely didn't turn out very well. Third, at :42 he says, "One of the questions that I asked in cross-examination, that hasn't gotten any attention yet." Attention? White thinks he won that point, so he wants it to get attention, or at least he's sending out a notice to his followers that this is a point that they should be giving more attention. He's begging for kudos, White sycophants; give them to him. Now! Fourth, notice around :50 the tone in his voice when he talks about Ehrman not providing any contradictory argumentation to this point he made. This is classic White. Fifth, at about 1:00, consider the look, that dismissive glance that he makes, eyes pointing upward, in response to his own comment about something that Ehrman had said in the debate. He does this all the time. Then sixth, watch his expression of incredulity at 1:40 and, seventh, his mocking impersonation at 1:52. He does these seven things in a matter of less than two minutes.
Listen to the start of his Dividing Line where he calls me a liar and bigot---the tongue snapping, the long sighing, the condescension, the ridicule, mocking tones, the throat-clearing, and the laughter. "You've got to be kidding me," "like," "uhhhh, yes," "give me a break," "pleeaaase," and "I'm sorry, but...." He goes after Ehrman's marketing of his latest book, but what about the kind of schlock that White starts his own program with? He sighs and complains about all the money it cost to have Ehrman come over to debate him. Do people really enjoy this?
With a sinister voice, he says, "Alan Kurschner mentioned this Kent Brandenburg fellow." He laughs ridiculing. He says that the writing is rarely overly coherent (?), a "wild-eyed way of speaking" (??). I say it again, I would debate James White any time I'm free to do so on this topic.
Read this line that he ends his blog on 2/4/09 with: "one can only imagine what an encounter between one of these folks and Ehrman would look like, but that's another issue." How egotistical? He thinks so highly of himself. You could buy him for what he's worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth, and you'd be a billionaire.
What topped this off was his conversation with Robert on Dividing Line. I don't know Robert. Robert phoned in. His credentials: he wrote a comment on the puritanboard forum. That is the perfect KJVO person for James White to talk with. Then when Robert proceeded to flub up in his defense, should anyone wonder? I have to remember this strategy if I ever do my own webcast. Hand-pick your opponents and then say that they represent the typical advocates for a position. There are plenty of others on the puritanboard that would be able to do a great job against White, like Jerusalem Blade or Thomas Weddle (Thomas2007) or Matthew Winzer (armourbearer). Ooooh, feel that disdain for Calvinism pouring out? I'd like to hear you talk to one of these guys on Dividing Line, James White, and you probably won't even have to pay for a speaking fee.
I don't mind debating White. However, why would anyone want to? As soon as the debate is over, he puts all his combined resources to creating a story of the debate to affect the perceptions of readers of what really happened. You would just have to learn to put up with it. I guess this is the "gentleness" of James White coming out that is part of the introduction to his Dividing Line program. After he laughs and hisses and feigns incredulity, then he poses as a victim. This is the exact kind of thing that Bart Ehrman rolled his eyes at during the debate, not expecting to encounter these kinds of melodramatics. What I would rather hear about my criticism of the debate is real analysis of the criticism. That would come across as credible.