Sunday, February 20, 2011

James White Bogus "Doctorate" Issue Redux: Has No One Ever Interacted With His Self-Defense? / White Takes His Lumps from Baptist Peter Lumpkins


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_FOIrYyQawGI/TDTa6u6LDkI/AAAAAAAAC4Q/-wrbdolJWVc/s1600/whiteschool1.jpg
The beautiful campus of James White's alma mater, where he got his "doctorate"

For some reason, Rich Pierce, associate of active Reformed Baptist anti-Catholic apologist James White, recently saw fit to bring up this issue on White's blog. Perhaps it was because of this recent thread on Baptist pastor Peter Lumpkins' blog. "Shamgar" who replied in it is White defender Mark Bainter, below. Lumpkins has been critical of White and his associate writers in a series of articles (one / two / three / four / five / six / seven), and that is a naughty no-no, leading inexorably to the inevitable personal attacks for which White is so notoriously infamous. Therefore, White and his minions of followers are starting to fight back. Bishop White, on his Twitter page, sent Lumpkins a Valentine on 2-14-11:

Just amazed at the vitriolic hatred and irrationality of Lumpkins and company---wonder what prompted this eruption of their anger?

And again on his blog (2-21-11):


The current spate of angry and vile (let alone loony and dishonest) attack being hosted by Peter Lumpkins seems to be related in large part to vengeance over the exposure of Ergun Caner. It is a sad comment on the state of the church that speaking the truth can be so costly!

White always eventually pulls out the paranoid "hatred" and "dishonesty" cards, as I have noted in the past (just do a search of "hate" or "hatred" or "dishonest" on his blog and see the numerous examples that will come up). All who oppose him are obviously the enemies of God, etc., and so they must be motivated by hatred and love of falsehood and the urge to deliberately lie and deceive, rather than love and sincerity and love of truth. That's why he will call his opponents "Alexander the Coppersmith," just as he is currently doing with regard to fellow Baptist Peter Lumpkins.

Here is the brief aomin article in its entirety:

Of Doctorates and Eternity
[2-17-11]

Every now and then I like to remind our critics of how the doctorate issue began. The first post in this series was by Dr. White who was the first to raise the issue, (late 1997). We have never hidden this from anyone but have yet to have a single critic actually interact with Dr. White's reasoning for following the path that he did. Take a look for yourself and get informed.

Pierce's statement: "We . . . have yet to have a single critic actually interact with Dr. White's reasoning for following the path that he did" -- is untrue. I have done so two times at length, myself, and I believe others have, too, though I can't speak for them. I know what I have done. And as usual, my reasoning was ignored by both White and his defender Jamin Hubner.

I guess that's why Pierce can pretend that no one has interacted with White's stated rationale for why he feels he has a legitimate doctorate (because he fled from my critiques, so that they were quickly forgotten in his circles, for that reason). Mr. White no more possesses a doctorate than I do. But I certainly interacted with White's reasoning and defense. I can still remember today what they were and how I responded to them. It's one thing to say that no one has overthrown or refuted a piece of reasoning (which is subjective), but quite another to claim that no one has even attempted to do so (which is an objective claim of fact).

Here are my two papers:

James White's "Doctorate" Degree: Is it Legitimate? (vs. James White and Mark Bainter)


Anti-Catholic Reformed Baptist Apologist James White's Bogus, Non-Accredited "Doctorate" Degree Defended Yet Again (vs. Jamin Hubner)


At least Mark Bainter was willing to do some back-and-forth at the time of my first paper (9-16-04). That's more than we can say for Bishop White.

Related articles:

Alpha and Omega Founder James White Purchases a Bogus doctorate from a Non-Accredited Diploma Mill (Theodore P. Letis, 3-4-02 [PDF])

James White's Public Defamation of Letis and His Refusal to Apologize (20-page PDF)

Theological Degrees: Vision University, Trinity Bible College, Columbia Evan. Seminary (DegreeInfo, 9-17-03)

Why Accreditation is Important (Jimmy Akin, 1-20-05)

A Question About Credentials (Nick Norelli, 11-2-07)

As the World Turns . . . Postscript Mr. James White (A. M. Mallett, 9-13-10)


Dr. Paul Owen, a real scholar, in the thread mentioned near the top, has given a good capsule summary (2-14-11) of White's dishonesty with regard to his credentials, and his overall pretense in how he presents himself:

I would just like to point out a few things relative to this thread.

1. Why are White's defenders not pointing out how un-Christlike it is to refer to another Christian as Alexander the Coppersmith? [Owen himself has often been called this by Bishop White] Is that kind of absurd name-calling appropriate? He always pulls this label out of the hat when dealing with people who strike close to the core of his rather thin ego.

2. White has made a habit of debating scholars who work in fields of real expertise, and presuming with a bit of self-study that he is up to the task. Taking on Bart Ehrman on textual criticism is a perfect example of this. Having done my Ph.D. work under Larry Hurtado (one of the top text-critics in the world), I know enough to appreciate what a specialized discipline this is. White does not work in this specialized field, and has published nothing in the scholarly arena (his KJV Only work does not count) relevant to the study of the text of the NT. He does not present his research in scholarly forums and conferences dealing with text-criticism, nor does he work directly with ancient manuscripts (looking at a few artifacts for an hour or so while touring Ireland on a apologetics trip does not count).

3. White's doctorate certainly is an issue. I was one of the first people to confront him about this, back in 1997, when I learned that he was taking this route. Getting a doctorate from a school like Columbia Evangelical Seminary is misleading, because people who don't know better will presume that his work would match up to what is required in genuine, accredited programs. It obviously does not. The Forgotten Trinity would most certainly NOT be accepted by any stretch of the imagination at any accredited doctoral program. It reflects a very unsophisticated approach to the subject, and a complete and utter lack of familiarity with, well, basically all of the primary and secondary texts that are relevant to this area of Christian doctrine. Nowhere will one find Plantinga, Torrance, Barth, Boff, Rahner, Volf, Moltmann, Zizioulas, etc. etc. in White's research. His topic is far too broad to qualify for doctoral work, and is light years away from real credible scholarship. A thesis like that would be laughed out of the room, not only at places like the University of Edinburg where I studied, but any evangelical doctoral program in America. It's time that White and his followers start being honest about his lack of genuine academic credentials, since his doctorate would not be viewed as a legitimate theological credential were he being considered for hiring, rank or tenure at any accredited school in this country.

As to the Mormons, since I work in this area directly, I can definitely attest that White is not taken seriously by them, for many reasons, not least of which being his claim to have a legitimate doctoral degree, which flies in the face of all objective evidence. There are many scholars at BYU who have earned their theological degrees at Harvard, Duke, Brown, UCLA, etc., and they certainly know the difference between a genuine academic credential and a correspondence school diploma.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FOIrYyQawGI/TDTbO1hbdZI/AAAAAAAAC4Y/6uCqk9hkKRo/s1600/whiteschool2.jpg
The entrance to the hallowed (ivy-less) hall[s?] of Columbia Evangelical Seminary

19 comments:

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Dave,

It is sad to see our separated brethren go after each other like sharks after offal. Mr. Fan apparently is a secondary target in all of this as well. Some of Mr. Lumpkins' commentators claim that they have discerned the identity of Turretinfan as well: http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2011/02/does-james-white-and-alpha-omega-ministries-embrace-misogyny-by-peter-lumpkins.html#more

What is sad about all of this is that the vitriol that many of the Reformed apologists spew at Catholics and even other Protestants, with their labels of "Romanist", "papist", "Pope Sunbeam", "Socinan", "Alex the Coppersmith", etc... makes it seem that deep down they really don't have the strength of conviction in the Gospel that they preach. True faith breeds hope, charity, forgiveness and kindness towards one's neighbors and enemies as Our Lord preached. The need to label and deride others comes from fear and its close cousin pride. The need to belittle and attack a person with labels and ad hominem because the other person happen to espouse a sincerely held faith that differs somewhat from one's own demonstrates weakness of faith and fear, not strength or the one would see no need to act so uncharitably towards their neighbors.

I pray that Prof. White, Turretinfan, their allies and their detractors will discover that espousing sola fide does not mean that they have Our Father in Heaven's permission to stop forgiving the trespasses of their neighbors including all of the ones whose views they happen to disagree with. God give all of us the humility and grace to always forgive our neighbors for their trespasses against us! Please pray for me as well as I know that I often fall short in my dealings with others in apologetics discussions and need to be mindful that I do not demonstrate enough charity in such interactions.

God bless!

Blogguy said...

I have looked over the discussion of White's debate with the muslim guy.
True scholarship demands truth but James White's knowledge is limited by the fact that White's anything-but-Catholic theology excludes the best way to value the textual history of the church's (and judaism's) liturgy, life, and teaching.
He's got two choices now: to Pope or mullah.
Is he gonna choose Truth -a living relationship with Jesus Christ -The Church or turn away to embrace the way of death- 'islamic predestination' (without 'in Christ in love')-- and thus the lie of islam.
Pray he chooses love and Truth.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Shame that your recent post has you asking for financial assistance. May God make it easy on you and your family.

Charlatans get put up on pedestals while people who put their heart and soul into disseminating the truth are left with table scraps...

I have found this entry to be very eye opening!

As far as what Blogguy said the truth is many in White's circle do not realize how close White is to embracing Islam. Not only that but what people do not realize is the massive amount of funding that White will immediately receive upon doing so.

I am a Muslim and I speak the truth about matters even if my side is not always in the right...

Laugh now...White a Muslim....
you will see..

Dave Armstrong said...

That's about as likely as Obama joining the tea party. :-)

scotju said...

I have it on good authority that James White 'studies' something for about six months and he then considers himself an 'expert' on the subject. Based on what I have seen in his videos and some oof his articles, I think this is a fair asessment.

Yahya Snow said...

Hello,

You know all this stuff about his doctorate, I'm pretty sure James White has responded to the issue of accreditation. In addition, I don't think James would claim himself to be on par with any authorities in the field of Biblical studies.

You can poke fun at the man's "university" but thought needs to be given to his response. Have you looked into his response?

The James White section:

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/James%20White

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Snow, no doubt that the adherents of Islam would take issue with Prof. White's presentation in relation to the truth claims of that faith tradition. However, I think that the underlying issues of Dave's post is how some Protestant apologists attempt to use educational credentials, real or not, to give their presentations a faux gravitas to give weight to their contentions. Since such folks deny the value of the corroboration given by a Magisterial authority, the substitution of a degree or title to give themselves an aura of personal authority is similarly flawed. If one rejects the validity of a magisterial authority (which I don't by the way) then holding oneself out as a personal magisterium is equally invalid. Then, one's arguments should rest on their ability to persuade, not on whether they have "Dr." on front of their name regardless of what school awarded it.

However, if one is going to insist on being called a "dr.", then it is fair to call into question his credentials just as he and his minions call into question the credentials of others.

Thus, in this respect, a review of his credentials as well as his actual argumentation is important because he uses those credentials to provide some sort of corroboration for his argumentation that may or may not be warranted.

In making this distinction it is important that one does not attack the personal integrity and honesty of James White the person (or anyone for that matter), only James White the magisterium of one. In reading your link, the poster seems to confuse the two at times which detracts from their message as well.

God bless!

Yahya Snow said...

Mr Hoffer,

I understand the right to look into issues but th problem here is that of folk going away with absurdly incorrect conclusions such as White having a "fake" or "forged" degree.

When you start showing pictures of this institute - it is going too far in your investigation - imo.

From what I understand, it is simply an issue of accrediation. The way the building looks is irrelevant, expecially if White studied via correspondence!

Like I say, my main gripe is that of folk going away with misunderstandings and propagating such elsewhere - this is the way misconceptions arise.

I do believe White has stood up to this scrutiny more than adequately - how about Christians give it a rest over the "doctorate" issue and start focussing on more pressing matters...

I will leave you with my (a Muslim's) rebuke of Christians who are misleading people abpout White's doctorate - he DOES have a doctorate!

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2011/02/muslim-tells-truth-james-whites.html

I thank the host and yourself for the exchange.

Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another - Propverbs

Peace

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Yahya,

As I noted in the article, I have interacted with two people who defend the doctorate, and with White's own reasoning.

I have no problem with his studying the Trinity and writing a book about it. I have done that myself. I have a problem with his thinking that this is a legitimate doctoral dissertation. It's an insult to all those who have actually done the tremendous work involved in that accomplishment.

So it's not anything White has studied that I object to: only the false label he attaches to it. By his criteria I should call myself "Doctor" too, since I have studied theology for over thirty years, and in considerable depth.

But I don't refuse to call White all of his self-proclaimed titles. He also calls himself a bishop, and I have been happy to call him that for ten years now.

Dave Armstrong said...

When you start showing pictures of this institute - it is going too far in your investigation - imo.

Of course that is humor. It is the place, so it's literally true. This was originally photographed by a Mormon.

Certainly you are aware of the visual caricatures that White's commissioned artist friend does of people. He's done two of me. One portrayed Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid being stoned, etc.

My humor is very mild compared to his. I simply showed the building and room of the place where White obtained his "doctorate." I don't have to lie about him in order to use some humor. The truth is funny enough.

Paul Hoffer said...

Dear Mr. Snow: I do not doubt that Prof. White has a doctorate. I do too btw (a J.D.). The difference is that I had to obtain my juris doctorate degree from an accredited law school and pass a bar exam in order to hold myself out as an attorney.

Even then, I do not claim some special insight to the law because I can go around and call myself a "doctor" which btw, I never have. Whatever gifts, talents or insights to the law that I have are first due to gifts Our God has chosen to grace me with and second to the training and experiences I have had in applying the law in legal settings and not to any abbreviations I can string before or after my name.

Then again, unlike you on your blog, I don't recall ever suggesting that James White engages in dishonesty even though he has accused me of such by claiming that I practice a Catholic version of taqiyya. I could be wrong because I have commented in a lot places over 14 years, but the harshest thing I believe I have ever said about the man is that he uses cross examination in the same manner that an unscrupulous attorney would which I perplexed me considering how much love and devotion he shows Our Lord in his ministry.

Rather than a rebuke, kind sir, I will leave you with a prayer:

"May no one be less good for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble for having been a fellow traveler in our journey toward eternal life."

May God the Father lead you to all truth if it is His Will.

Grace and peace to you as well!

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Btw I find it funny that White actually takes the time to troll google (an inane activity if you ask me) to try and fish out anything that is being said about him or his 'ministry' if you want to call it that.

However, let me get to the point of my comment especially the part where I said,

"Not only that but what people do not realize is the massive amount of funding that White will immediately receive upon doing so."

I'm saying think about this. If White is the egotistical self absorbed person we all know him to be what if one day he does decide to 'cash in' so to speak.

I am simply trying to preempt White on this issue. People do desperate things in desperate times.

White is a desperate man with very little time. When a person's entire livelihood is dependent on their ministry what else would they do if they suddently stopped believing what they have been espousing for years...

food for thought...

For a person who has absolutely no accreditation he sure did spend an a good chunk of time on me.

I'm sure White is very transparent about where funds to his ministry come from....very..

Dave Armstrong said...

The whole thing is patently ridiculous and ludicrous. I don't think White lives for money. I don't see any indication of that. He's sincerely motivated by what he thinks is truth, just as I am in my own ministry. I've always said that. The man has many manifest faults, but insincerity and greed for money are not among them, as far as I can tell.

And truth to him ain't Islam (or Mormonism, etc.).

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Verbalizer:

I echo Dave's statement. Further, I would add:

Whatever differences I may have with Prof. White, I do not appreciate your intimation/libel that he and the corporation that he works for and out of which he conducts his ministry would engage in tax fraud. Are you not aware of the reporting requirements a federally exempt not-for-profit organization must adhere to? Peruse an IRS Form 990 and then you will see how disingenuous your statement is.

Moreover your statement, sir, is offensive at best, and malicious at worst if you think that Christian apologists, including Catholic apologists, are in their ministries for the sake of money. Love of God and the truth and one's neighbors is why we are apologists for the Christian faith (the fullness of which may be found in the Catholic Church). Of course, full time apologists and ministers of the Church are entitled to their wage for preaching the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:14), but love of money is not a primary motivation to do so. It is insulting of you to imply otherwise.

May God the Father lead you to all truth if it is His Will.

Grace and peace to you!

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah,

Dave well I appreciate you vouching for his character in that respect.

I think it speaks to your own fairness in dealing with him.

The problem that I have honestly with him or even people like yourself is that I have often wondered what you folks would do as an alternative if the lights were to go out for your respective ministries, blogs etc?

When you look at Dan Barker (Christian turned Atheist) he admitted to staying a pastor even long after he lost conviction. Some people chided him for that but they did not see the human aspect of a person who had to make the ends meet.

I find it interesting of all things I have ever had to say this is the one thing on this particular blog that White ever commented on (by using my I.D on his basement radio pod cast).

He is unable and unwilling to engage on a host of issues.

Btw I chanced upon some interaction you had once with a Muslim I believe some time back. If I could have a link to that so that I could get a chance to read up on in it in the future I would appreciate it.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

"Moreover your statement, sir, is offensive at best, and malicious at worst if you think that Christian apologists, including Catholic apologists, are in their ministries for the sake of money.... It is insulting of you to imply otherwise."

I do not think that the balk of Christian ministries are in it for the money, or become Priest to have access to children.
I think that to deny the obvious that there are Christians (or at least those who profess to be Christians) who would use ministries for monetary aid, or to have access to children is simply to live in Candy Land.

There are a great many Christians whom I admire and respect. Without doubt they give their lives and all that they have for the faith tradition they love. This goes without saying.

As with Dave you have a higher opinion of White than I do. I respect that, and if only he could see that his opponents have more respect for him than he does of them what an eye opener it would be for him.

So it was not my intention to insult anyone here or Christians in general; but to simply give an opinion concerning White and what he is or is not capable of doing.

It is all that it is: an opinion or speculation about the direction White could go given my rather low assessment of his character.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

btw Paul I have no idea how you came up with the following,

"Whatever differences I may have with Prof. White, I do not appreciate your intimation/libel that he and the corporation that he works for and out of which he conducts his ministry would engage in tax fraud."

I did not say that. However, as you mentioned let us pray that indeed they are very careful in their filing of IRS forms shall we ;)

Dave Armstrong said...

The problem that I have honestly with him or even people like yourself is that I have often wondered what you folks would do as an alternative if the lights were to go out for your respective ministries, blogs etc?

I've done lots of things, job wise in my life. For the first four years I had a website, I was doing delivery work, as I did all through the 90s. I wrote my first book during that time. That is a skill I've developed in addition to the writing and apologetics that has been my career and occupation for the last nine years full-time.

I've also painted, worked in a bookstore, sold my own used books, worked in a medical library, and delivered newspapers in a large urban route, among other things. All work is honorable. St. Paul made tents in order to support himself.

When you look at Dan Barker (Christian turned Atheist) he admitted to staying a pastor even long after he lost conviction.

I haven't lost the slightest conviction, and God continues to provide my family of six's needs, just as He promised in the Bible. Therefore, it isn't an issue. If it does become one at some point, then I'll go out and do whatever work is necessary in order to get by, just like anyone else.

He is unable and unwilling to engage on a host of issues.

That sounds quite familiar! He has been running from any extended, substantive discussion with me for over 15 years now.

Btw I chanced upon some interaction you had once with a Muslim I believe some time back. If I could have a link to that so that I could get a chance to read up on in it in the future I would appreciate it.

Sure. Here it is:

Reply to a Muslim Apologist Concerning the Two Natures of Christ and Trinitarianism (vs. Shabir Ally)

God bless you.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Dave I want to say that if I in any way offended you or the people who frequent your site my sincere apologies. I see you as a stand up man. I also think your very humble.

Not many people would put up the list of jobs that they have done as you did. Your absolutely right all work is honorable. My grandmother used to say that if your hands were not dirty you didn't eat dinner.

Of course not with dirty hands, but the point being was that work shows you have earned your place at the dinner table.

I think if you could get some people to donate to your site you could use it to get a VADO (camera-video phone) and post videos on you tube. You could do allot of interactive things this way. Twitter, and Face book are other networking possibilities.

I believe that God will provide and I also believe God is allot bigger than what our theologies and speculations make God out to be.

In Islam every action is judged by intention. Allah says that there is nothing that will avail a human being on the day of rising except a sound heart.

Jesus said, 'forgive them for they do not know what they do'.

There is a distinction between ignorance and arrogance.

I believe God's wrath is upon the arrogant and his mercy covers the ignorant.

God bless you and your family of six David.