The Cowboy Who Wasn't There: E-book Companion Site

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

John's Overwhelming Stupidity

John seems to have a hard time deciding whether he wrote his book with the intent to debunk Christianity. Right now it seems he's leaning towards that. But in terms of how, this was a pretty hilarious commentary:

My goal was to overwhelm the believer. I learned this from my mentor James Strauss at Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, IL. He did this to his Seminary students. The syllabi he handed out for each one of his classes were sometimes books in and of themselves. They included extensive bibliographies. Sometimes they were annotated bibliographies. In his classes he was able to remember and refer to these works quite fluently, and he expected us to get many of them for his classes. We were overwhelmed by him and his arguments because of his wide ranging knowledge of the relevant literature.

There's something ironic and pathetic about this expressed methodology by John.

1) It is clear from this that John himself was "overwhelmed" by work at seminary. As we've noted more than once here, John's mental horsepower is mostly aptly described in terms of a hobby horse.

2) It is also clear why John got his backside plastered at places like TWeb, where folks like me and many others do NOT find such work "overwhelming". In fact, this is a lot like Farrell Till used to do when he tried to overload people with rhetoric. John does it a little differently: He tries to overload his opponent with data -- which he hasn't even bothered to sift through or understand himself, which is why he's always lost when you have an elephant to hurl back at him.

In fact, he as much admits he's just parroting things without any real understanding:

Besides, since in order to overwhelm the believer I had to question every key belief of Christianity, my problem was that as a mere mortal I could not have a scholar's grasp on every topic in it. Science is actually my weakest area, especially the creation/evolution debate. So sometimes I merely refer believers to what scholars in their respective fields of research have argued. No one can have a scholars grasp of God and the universe using the disciplines of science, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, the Bible, and apologetics. No one. So I constantly refer my readers to the scholars who argue my case for me.

So in other words, even if John hasn't got the slightest idea what all this vain babble he plasters around means, he'll use it anyway, just to try to "overwhelm" his Christian readers. Now that's honesty in a can for you.

Little wonder he runs like a little girl from TWeb. We've known this about him since the first week he got there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taking the Turkey to Town

John wanted to start off the Thanksgiving month by demanding that his readers start giving him thanks for his "services" by asking for donations to help fund his trip to a convention held by the Society of Biblical Literature (details below):

As previously announced I've been invited to participate as a respondent on a panel for the prestigious Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in New Orleans, which meets November 21-24. As you'd guess I'm very honored. They will show the movie Religulous by Bill Maher Sunday evening and then the panel will discuss it the next day at 1 PM. The participants include professors Hector Avalos, Dennis MacDonald, Carol Exum, Randall Reed and yours truly. I am to respond to the other four papers. Here is the link. While we're there several of us including Hector Avalos, Jim Linville, and Ken Pulliam will be having a meeting to discuss a non-religious group within the Society of Biblical Literature, which should be interesting and exciting.

Most institutions of learning pay for these scholars to attend the SBL by covering their expenses. Since no institution will pay my way I'm conducting a fund drive to help my wife and I travel there so I can participate. I calculate that we'll need $1,000 to cover the costs of gas, food, and six nights stay in hotels (four while there and one both coming and going). It might be more, but $1,000 should be good enough. To answer your question in advance, yes, we will go regardless of whether or not we raise the needed money. But it is needed nonetheless, lest we go deeper in the hole than we already are financially.

More donations, John? There seems to be a donation for everything these days over at Debunking Christianity. There's a 'Donate' button located on the newly designed homepage, and that usually goes towards funding John's housing expenses, because, according to John, he only makes 75 cents for every one of his books sold.

If John is the honorary guest to this banquet I would suspect that those who had sent him the invitation would have been voluntarily payed his way, albeit to exclude his wife's additional expenses. Furthermore, John clearly displays a Rook Hawkins ignorance when he classifies the SBL in his own words as "prestigious." It has been said before (not on this blog) that the SBL is not a high-end membership club. Just about anyone can get in if they're willing to pay or give some contribution back to the organization. Here is the page that SBL uses to outline their membership criteria:

Membership rates are:

Full Membership: $65.00
Student Membership: $25.00
Associate Membership: $45.00

What are the benefits? Vendor and online retailer discounts.

How does one join? By providing their first and last name/e-mail address and creating a password for their SBL account.

Therefore membership with AAA (I do indeed fit into this category) would make one a certified auto mechanic. It's sixty or seventy bucks annually, you know. But you get benefits on basically everything. It's got to be for something merit-based.

OR John thinks that spending a few bucks to join a club is what gives his life meaning. He "belongs" to a community, and he has to, as it would be impossible for him to do otherwise and not get the recognition he believes he so deserves.

Maybe in John's world, money really can buy everything.

Could it be?