Saturday, May 30, 2020

Double Standards and Intellectual Laziness

Some critics like to throw out arguments and either ignore or discuss (lamely) responses thereto. Note one recent example of one long-standing anti-Mormon on the topic of Moroni’s travels from Mesoamerica to modern-day New York:


He quotes part of what I said on the matter, offers a defense of the plausibility of Moroni’s journey, and lambasts me for failing to interact with Book of Mormon scholar/apologist John L. Sorenson’s defense . . . Sorry to disappoint those who wanted a book of three thousand pages, but I wanted to produce a book people might actually read. (Source)


In an attempt to defend being intellectually deceptive (as I stated, his book is boundary maintenance for ignorant Evangelicals, not informed Latter-day Saints), he tries to excuse himself for not interacting with well-known responses to his comments on the topic. However, when others do this, Bowman calls them out on this. In his review of Rolf Furuli, The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation With a Special Look at the New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Huntington Beach, Calif.: Elihu Books, 1999), he calls out Furuli out for not interacting with one of his books (notwithstanding Furuli’s interacting with his Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John [Baker, 1989]):


Furuli does not interact or even mention my book Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses (hereafter Bowman, Understanding), which deals more comprehensively with many of the issues raised in his book. This is surprising, since I am (after Countess) the second-most cited author in Furuli’s book. (Source)


Perhaps Furuli wanted to write a book that was just over 300 pages people would want to read and not a book with 3,000 pages that no one would ever read ;-)

Imagine if a Latter-day Saint wrote a book critiquing the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura, and went on a brief tangent discussing justification. If they were to bring up James 2 and were to say "Protestants struggle with this chapter as it proves justification is synergistic, good works (empowered by God's grace) results in an increase in justification, that it is not a mere once-for-all external forensic event, etc" it would be deceptive if they did not at least acknowledge Protestant responses thereto (e.g., the [bogus] claim that the "justification" of Abraham and Rahab are not soteriological and instead, James is speaking of the vindication or demonstration, etc) and then responded, "well, I wanted to write a book people would read!" ask yourself (esp. if you are a Protestant) the following: is that a meaningful response or a dodge? (Update: judging from Bowman's "response" to this, Doubling Down on Diversionary Polemics: Robert Boylan’s Response on Moroni’s Move this has proven to be true; it also, as with typical Bowman fashion, a lame attempt to defend his double standards [btw, if/when I get the chance, I might respond in full to him--one can make a blog post about a point someone brings up, etc--he and other bloggers and writers do this too, I mean, take his focusing on the issue of "Temple of Solomon" in the Book of Mormon for instance . . .  - for those wondering, it took goading from a friend to get him to reply to the original blog post, notwithstanding the hack treatment in his book, and I stand by the reason--boundary maintenance. I know he claims that he wants to be taken seriously by more LDS, so hopefully if this is true, even if I believe him not to be a good-faith actor, he will do a better job in the future. As for me, I only interacted with some of the book due to Corona restrictions]).

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