Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nibbled by Ducks

I found this terrific comment, which nicely summarizes my feelings on the matter:

Rick Hiebert said, “I’d suggest that if you are not careful about your facts, can we assume that you are not careful about your thesis? Also, the thesis rests on your facts and is based on them.”

Yes, but I think there is a difference between an intentional error made to underpin an important point and an unintentional slip. So far, all the ranting I’ve heard are slips. If she had just left these bits of error out completely, it wouldn’t have diminished her case at all.

Those outrightly opposed to the premise of the book will find any and every error to discredit both it and its author. As metaphorically eluded to by Tim in Matthew chapter 23, they will ignore the weightier matters while garnering attention about incidentals.

I agree facts are paramount. Everything written as non-fiction literature must be evaluated by the basis of evidence to support it. But so far all I’ve heard from yonder “heavy weights” are comments akin to the whining of a two year old. So what I’d like to know is, if these learned and scholarly individuals seem to be so thorough in their dissection of McDonald’s reporting, what, if anything, DO they agree with as true, factual and more importantly, relevant, evidence? They travel land and sea, so to speak, to find one error, but the question is, will they also go the distance to find and admit the greater evidence McDonald gives to support her thesis? We all know there is in fact an ocean of truth to her thesis. But, I won’t hold my breath to hear it from the likes of Stackhouse, Wells or Levant.

Funny how important facts are when it comes to refuting something they don’t like, but when it’s something they do like, facts become irrelevant. Take the bible. A disquisition of the bible, the word of a perfect god (not infallible mankind), reveals a book rife with mistakes, contradictions, errors and inconsistencies. Even so, otherwise intelligent people, Christians, ignore them, do not demerit the book, because somehow they see the greater “truth” of the book outweighing the errors pointed out by critics.

If we are going to play by the “throw the baby out with the bath water” rules, then lets start with your sacred text – the bible.

Hear! Hear!

Like I said earlier, every non-fiction book has some factual errors. For Levant and others to focus on this is childish. While the book is being nibbled by ducks, they overlook the greater substance in McDonald's work, which sounds pretty solid to me.

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