I invite Dr Maurice Casey to an online discussion or debate — an open exchange between himself and me in any blog or wiki or “live” public internet forum — about anything I have said in relation to his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth.
This all began when I had been wondering what happened to Mike Kok whose review of chapter 3 of Maurice Casey’s book I reviewed. The last time he visited this blog he dropped off a comment but failed to respond to my reply. I understand he has also failed to respond to others like this.) So in an idle moment I went looking and . . . .
I have just learned from a comment by Steph on the Sheffield blog that Dr Maurice Casey is to include in his forthcoming book responses to “the blogger Godfrey’s main arguments and ‘review’ there.” “There” is presumably this Vridar blog. (Ah yes, as Steph so often used to say, she cannot answer my arguments in a blog because it was “only a blog” and it would take a whole book to explain what is wrong with my arguments. So it looks like Casey, her mentor, is to produce the book she has been alluding to.)
I had no idea Maurice Casey or any professor of theology or biblical studies would bother to read a blog by a lay amateur that is intended to express his own personal thoughts and share what he reads on the internet. (Within the last twelve months only two such doctors have visited this blog with public comments as far as I am aware, and in both cases they showed themselves to be neither gentlemen nor scholarly.)
But continuing to read Steph’s comment on the Sheffield blog I learn that Dr Casey apparently does not have to read my blog to respond to my arguments. He can rely entirely on Steph’s own selections of posts. She continues: “and I have been gathering relevant posts for many months now.”
I used to wonder why Steph suddenly stopped commenting on this blog while still maintaining a subscription to my blog posts ever since March this year. So it appears that the subscription was maintained to garner fodder for Dr Casey’s book??? (I wonder if Steph showed Dr Casey very much of the correspondence that passed between herself and others on this blog. Now it would be most interesting to read Dr Casey’s reaction to much of that!)
So why does a Professor, a Doctor of …? (I do not know — I have not been able to learn this from simple internet searches), — according to a student he has publicly praised extremely highly, bother to take time to publish in a book responses to my own iddy biddy blog posts?
Dr Casey has never approached me or attempted to demonstrate publicly where my arguments are fallacious. It appears, according to Steph, that he is saving this up for inclusion in a book.
I invite Dr Maurice Casey to test publicly (on this blog or another of his choosing) any of his arguments and rebuttals against anything I have posted here (as filtered by Steph or read directly by himself). I also invite Dr Maurice Casey to inform us all of the exact nature of his Doctorate — what was the topic and field of study, and what is his educational background.
Mine is no secret. I am a layman, a librarian, specializing in digital resources and semantic web information systems, a metadata specialist, and my interest in biblical studies is entirely a nonprofessional personal interest. History, let’s say, is my educational background and ongoing interest. I ask because I was misled for a year or more by Dr James McGrath who has presented himself in a self-published tract for believers as “a historian”. I had taken that at face-value and was mystified repeatedly by his responses to my points about historical method until I finally learned that he has no secular history training at all and was, at least up till the time of our exchanges, ignorant of the most basic issues discussed in (nonbiblical) historiography and the philosophy (or nature) of history. Only then did the penny drop as to why he made such simplistic comparisons of history with courtroom and detective scenes, and insisting on clear separations of literary analysis from historical inquiry. McGrath has never, as far as I am aware, retracted his claim to be a historian, or qualified it in any way.
I had wanted to go easy on Dr Maurice Casey and limit my responses to only those inconsistencies or fallacies that impacted on more general internet discussion-topics of interest.
If what Steph says on the blog is true, then I find it curious that a very learned professor would bother to even respond to my posts. Or if he would respond to my posts, I find it very curious that he would at no time bother to approach me or leave a comment to point out errors in anything here. Is there any comment he (or Steph) can point to where they were met with a rude or abusive reply in response to their scholarly decorum?
Given the hostility Casey demonstrates against atheists in his book, I can imagine the nonsense he might also level against anything Steph selects to shows him on my blog.
But given Steph’s and Dr James Crossley’s rudeness and blatant trolling on this blog, and given that these two individuals are singled out as especial friends of Dr Casey and wonderfully “independent” intellects by Casey himself in his most recent book, I guess I can expect nothing but more of the same boorish and abusive rejoinders from Casey himself.
But, as Steph so often liked to remind us here, biblical scholars are such wonderfully decent and polite fellows when meeting each other at conferences. It’s only us damned sceptics (ouch, bad word in the halls of biblical studies!) who are deserving of contempt, apparently.
So back to my search for Mike Kok’s arguments. He is happy to drop off a comment, but will not reply to a response. Is he afraid he might find his comment is shown to contain fallacies? (When he first visited this blog it was to announce that he feared he would be hounded out by bad behaviour here, but when that never happened he continued to imply that bad behaviour was nonetheless imminent, until he finally gave up for a while. Coming into someone’s space and accusing them of being likely to behave badly is not exactly gentlemanly behaviour.)
I can assure Dr Casey that if he does have the decency to respond here to any of my arguments, and correct me if I am wrong — Steph no doubt could show him instances where I have admitted to correction and retracted errors — he will be treated with courtesy and respect as I have treated all who have behaved themselves likewise.
P.S. Oh yes, why do pingbacks to positive comments show up on the Sheffield Biblical Studies Blog, but no pingbacks appear there to any of my blog posts discussing their publications? 😉
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