February 2005

screwballs of the month



The screwballs came out of the woodwork this month, and they came from all directions. If this keeps up we may need to make this a weekly feature!



from the mailbag


Let’s start with a couple of the more amusing comments I got by mail this past month. Here’s one kindly soul trying to convince me that I should listen to anyone, even my plumber, when it comes to Bible critiques:


If inerrancy is not assumed, then errancy is a possibility, and therefore _objectively_ one should examine new arguments on their own merits even though the arguer may not be a scholar: and this is what I hope to have you agree with me on.


Wow, talk about connecting the dots with a sledgehammer. On the kinder side, here was a well-seasoned letter I also got (slightly edited for the Family Channel):


F**king retards.


Believe donkeys can talk.


F**king retard.


Dan Barker ripped your retard apart.


F**king apolgist retards.


Your email reply will be banned from my ISP


F**king child abusers.



Hmm, not bad for Haiku, eh?



golden duh award winners




Atheists believe, too!


From TheologyWeb, the screwiest statement this past month was made by Jim Eisele, an atheist of the Farrell Till Sycophantry Society, who made this comment:


I think that you want to go to heaven when you die. Well, so does an atheist. Who’s to say that an atheism god doesn’t exist?


Hmm, Maybe Eisele needs to get with another fellow from TWeb, styled “Magdalenbrother,” who said:


God and man are inseparable. God's name is the Father. Have you seen a father without a son? But many Christians continue to hold the belief that God could not have created the universe. It was a whim, they say. A whim of his goodness that will end in eternal torment for most human creatures.


I guess Jim’s atheists and Maggie’s Christians go to the same church. Might be Unitarian Universalist or something.


Finally for this round of Golden Duhs, we have this question posted by “Minnesota”, who is usually good for at least one trollish round a day on TWeb:


Regina Flangie desperately wants to convert to Christianity; however, she needs X amount of money to do so--don't ask why, it's irrelevant.

How much money (either a dollar amount or a percentage of your yearly income) would you be willing to give to insure she could convert?


Hmm, someone has too much Jim Bakker on the brain.




Silver duh award winners



No, you put the HORSE first!



We award two this time in the Silver category, both by Christians, and both emerging from my recent debate (if you can call what my opponents have done so far “debate”) with James White on Calvinism. It seems that many defenders of Calvinism end up resorting to the neo-fundy school of Biblical interpretation. One classic example was one styled “ChristianTrader” on TWeb, who released this screwball statement:


Again as I said earlier, learn all that you can. But at the end of the day, you must translate what the text says and then go home. If you have a conflict between exegesis and cultural analysis, the cultural analysis needs more work.


And finally, our other opponent, Steve Hays, producer of a pompous and seldom-read blog, could win a legion of Duh Awards on his own for his performance this past month; but we want to award a special Misuse of Google Prize to “johnMark”, one of White’s Calvinist hangers-on, who on TWeb pomped out with these comments:


Do you all here think that Steve Hays is not qualified to engage the situation the way he did? Do any of you know who Steve Hays is?


I made comments about Dr. Hays to show that he is qualified to engage this situation and he's not just an epologist like many are. Having a "Dr" infront of one's name doesn't make one's position right or wrong. Not to mention is was "your side" who brought up anything about a potential "bogus" doctorate [sic] as if that discredited an arguement.[sic]


jM had, you see, come under the impression that Hays was this fellow:




a very qualified personage. But some things seemed out of whack with that ID, so I did some checking and – well, here’s what I wrote:


I also have a question. Is there something on the blog that connects to the man at Ohio U., or vice versa? If not, why not?

Why is it that the webmaster says of Hays,

"Steve is one of the most talented Christian writers I know, with an intellect so sharp you could eat your steak with it. I hope this index will make it even easier to access his insightful and illuminating contributions on a wide range of topics.

New: Steve wrote a novel some years ago, entitled Musica Mundana, which is now available as a free eBook (in Adobe Acrobat format)."

What? No, "He is a professor of X and Y at Ohio U."? Why not? And no link to his book on the Ohio U. site?

Hays has also written for a site called thirdmill.org.


Nothing is said about him being a scholar of credit. Why not?


The fellow at Ohio U. is really named Robert Stephen Hays, and goes by Steve for short.

And there's a good reason why behind all of this folks!


I just got off the phone with Hays at Ohio U. Get this:

1) He knows about the other Hays. It's not him, but he looked at his stuff (not to me specifically, but generally) and called it (I have permission to quote him) "CRAP"!

2) He agrees with me that it is ridiculous to read Calvinism into texts like Romans 9.

Oh man, this is so funny I almost fell out of my chair!!!


I’d sue jM for my injuries, but it’s contentment enough that he put his foot in his mouth like this. As an aside, jM will share this award with an atheist on TWeb who chimed in with agreement, “FormerFundy” (aka Gargamel). A couple of other people made the same mistake, but they apologized for it. To date, neither johnMark nor Gargamel have done so. Update: Just in time to make the grade, jM did apologize on 3/1. So we give the award only to Gargamel.


That’s all for this month. See you next time with the March Screwball Set.