Want To Stick It To JP Holding?

I usually ignore JP Holding and I think others should too, as much as possible. He reminds me of a little boy who throws tantrums because he isn't the center of attention. My review of his book The Impossible Faith is on Amazon. If you read it you'll see that my review has gotten the most positive votes, thanks! This bothers him. Just look through the comments and see what kind of person he really is! If you think it's a good review I would appreciate your positive vote. Then it will be there on the front page of his book forever. ;-)

24 comments:

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

I voted. Thanks for helping to expose such
poor scholarship.

jeremy said...

I am a Christian and I added my vote. This guy is horrid, Mr L. You should see what he said about me in your comments..."BiblioBoy" from Amazon.com. I'm sure we could have a beer and share notes over his delusions of persecution. An embarassment to the rest of us. BTW, I thought you were pretty decent on the Unbelievable broadcast out of the U.K. I was disappointed that they had JP on the show though. The quality of speakers is rather inconsistent. Tim Keller and then JP? What a blunder.

Christian Agnostic said...

I once sent JP Holding an e-mail asking him why he had links to Young Earth sites on his apologetics page, but none to sites of theistic evolutionists. He then sent me an e-mail asking complex but contrived questions about how many specific mutations took place in order to produce horse teeth. I wrote back saying that I was not a biological scientist and neither was he so I saw no point in arguing the detailed science. He wrote back saying I had more faith in Evolution then he had in Jesus (Even though I told him I was a Christian). He then said he would ignore any more e-mails from me and report me for harassment. His tone was supercilious, blustering and downright rude. Ironically, he provoked a further crisis of faith in me because I used to go on his site to see refutations of Jesus Mythers and liberals, and in the way he dealt with me and the question of evolution I realized I could trust nothing that he wrote. His real name used to be Robert Turkel. A most obnoxious individual.

John W. Loftus said...

I want it known by everyone that it was Holding who initially motivated me to debunk Christianity by how he treated me. I decided that I would aim for the jugular vein of a faith that could be used by him to justify his treatment of me. It's to him that I'm indebted to for initially motivating me to do what I'm doing today. I dare say that when we add up his life's apologetical work it will be in the minus column when you factor in how he has inspired me to debunk his faith. Just goes to show you that you never know what can happen if you piss the wrong person off. ;-)

Christian Agnostic said...

John, I find it very interesting that it was Holding who inspired this website. Indeed I would say he has driven me indirectly to a place where my faith is more perilous then before. Not just because of his unpleasantness, but because he is taken so seriously and uncritically by many mainstream Christians.

Greg Boyd who is an evangelical with a brain and a heart, whom I like a lot, nonetheless references tektonics in his book "The Jesus Legend". This now diminishes him slightly in my eyes.

Holding was incredibly dismissive of me. I will forward you the e-mail exchange. It suggests to me that he is not interested in engaging with the arguments, but just singing to the choir, who nonetheless soak it all up.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Well if Robert Turkel JP Holding inspired John then I guess I count myself grateful for him on that count.

Steven Carr said...

'He then sent me an e-mail asking complex but contrived questions about how many specific mutations took place in order to produce horse teeth.'

Gosh, if there is a wall and the next day there is a pile of bricks on the ground, then Holding won't believe in gravity until somebody tells him the exact order that those bricks hit the ground in...

AIGBusted said...

CA,

What I find most ironic is that Turkel has no problem making constant arguments from authority on his site (we should believe in a historical Jesus because most scholars do) which isn't so unreasonable (after all, it does take some arrogance to outright dismiss the majority of scholars who have studied this professionally for decades).

But then he engages in special pleading when it comes to evolution, not accepting it even though Evolution has an extremely strong concensus of Biologists and is much more well founded than a historical Jesus.

By the way, on Turkel's "horse mutation" challenge thing, you should visit my blog and search for "JP Holding: Dumbass for Christ".

Rational Jen said...

I was happy to add my vote, John. Excellent review, btw. You have JP in quite a snit, don't you? Then again, telling JP his shoes are untied would probably provoke a tantrum.

@AIGBusted - I'll have to check out the Dumbass for Christ post. Maybe it'll help me recover the IQ points I lost from reading JP's nonsense. ;)

Rob R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob R said...

Greg Boyd who is an evangelical with a brain and a heart, whom I like a lot, nonetheless references tektonics in his book "The Jesus Legend". This now diminishes him slightly in my eyes.


That's quite a broad brush to paint, to suggest that anyone who finds any merit in Holding's work is somehow lacking. Even John Loftus said that he learned something from Holding's book after all.

I'm not a fan of Holdings tactics, some of his theology and the quality of some of his apologetics. And I had one unfortunate discussion with him long ago (it definitely wasn't awful but it wasn't pleasant either). I noticed that he gave one of N T Wright's books a B! Nevertheless, He does actual research that is useful.

I suspect that his most valuable research is on the copycat theories much if not most if not all is driven by fringe scholarship. In that it is fitting that a layscholar take on other layscholars on several matters that most real scholars won't spill much ink.

But it's not like I read a whole lot of his stuff. All I can say is that sometimes I find it very helpful and insightful, and sometimes I cringe.

J. P. Holding Fan said...

Even though I'm a HUGE J. P. Holding FAN, I gave your review a thumbs up because you gave it a good try!

Andrew said...

This kind of thing goes both way, John.

I guess we will have to turn more attentinn to YOUR book.

But Holding inspired you to TRY to debunk Christianity?

Odd that you DON'T SAY THAT IN YOUR BOOK! In fact, YOU GIVE OTHER REAONS.

On a related note: YOU HAVE INSPIRED TO EXPOSE ATHEISTS FOR WHAT THEY ARE.

SO, you're right. You never know.

J. P. Holding Fan said...

. . . And by "good try" I don't mean your review necessarily failed -- but that it was thoughtful review!

God Bless! (I bet you hate that eh!)

Christian Agnostic said...

Rob R-

I take your point up to a point...
But Greg Boyd is a Princeton and Yale educated academic theologian. Holding worked in a correctional facility. He does no research, just writes polemics and picks and chooses scholarship that backs up his theses. I'm sure Boyd could have done better then to rely on his website. Turkel is no scholar, and he is no gentleman. Anyway I only said Boyd was diminished slightly in my eyes!

Rob R said...

I take your point up to a point...
But Greg Boyd is a Princeton and Yale educated academic theologian. Holding worked in a correctional facility He does no research, just writes polemics and picks and chooses scholarship that backs up his theses.



I can't say that I know what specifically what we are talking about in terms of what Boyd endorsed. If he gave a blanket endorsement of Holding, then I would share the concern here about what is a mistake as Holding does leave much to be desired in his ministry as a whole on several grounds. I can't think that Boyd would make that kind of mistake, and it would be a mistake since Holding has written some poor criticisms of open theism of which Greg Boyd is a chief proponent.

If it's something specific, then it's not unbelievable that Greg Boyd found what specifically he was referencing to be of sufficient quality to warrant his endorsement. Course Boyd has an ecumenical and pragmatic approach to apologetics and theological issues suggesting that if you have some problem with some aspect of Christianity, well here are the viable options. And he'd do that even if he didn't agree with all the possible answers he'd lay out. At least that's my recollection when I was examining some of his writings.

As for picking and choosing research to back up ones basis, that's nothing special and that doesn't differentiate Holding from typical scholars. It would indicate that he is subjective, but if you think that there is anyone who isn't, there's a world of post-modern out there that has demonstrated otherwise.

Turkel is no scholar, and he is no gentleman.

I readily grant the second claim, and while I have long felt that he is a flawed scholar on the breadth of topics he deals with, some of the things he says are within his expertise. When he notes for example that he can't trace the source of some claims of the copycat theories as indicative of the claims fringe quality, he is speaking within his expertise as one with a masters in library science. Besides that, if he can't rely on the claims of some scholar to make some point, then who can? The world of scholarship is highly dependent upon appeals to authority (not that I would claim that Holding always knows how to balance that authority).

Michael said...

Although I disagree with Holding's abrasiveness, I've found no fault with his scholarship. He seems to stick close to original sources and demand the same from others.

Byroniac said...

John Loftus:

I am a Christian believer, and I find myself both appalled and deeply embarrassed by the words of JP Holding towards you and others on the Amazon book review comments section. I think he needs a good dose of humility, in my personal opinion, and I can say even as a believer, I will not be recommending his materials based on his poor attitude and standard of behavior alone. Attitudes and behaviors such as his perform no service for Christianity (and if they did, I would want no part of it personally). I hope I personally never lose my faith, but I am certain that tirades and ad hominem attacks would steer me away, rather than close to, Christianity, if I was not a believer.

Steven Carr said...

Greg Boyd has recently written an interesting article about how Jesus is the incarnation of the Old Testament God, and how Jesus repudiated the violence of the Old Testament God that he is the incarnation of.

I don't think Boyd's analysis of the story of Abraham and Isaac in his article is as theologically sound as Mitchell and Webb's analysis.

ismellarat said...

I keep thinking about the movie Dragnet, when I think of you two, where the preacher and the pornographer turn out to secretly be friends, each having made the other a success. You should get together and have a few beers. ;-)

To everyone's credit, at least I've seen no one stack the reviews of Holding's book yet, but isn't it silly to give pure insults (which some of the comments are) a thumbs up?

Rob R said...

Thank you mister carr for the link. I am interested in Where Boyd might take his idea but it seems to me that some of his conceptual struggle stems from an absolutism about morality and I think he may be taking a wrong turn if I understand correctly that he is suggesting that Yahweh would give the wrong directives that would keep people from being his children. I think it's more likely that Jesus' statements about violence represent a trajectory of our relationship with God and are founded on a changing situation, not on an absolute. Well, absolutes I'm sure are involved, but not at the surface level of the new forbiddenness against violence.

Then again, perhaps it is the case that those of old covenant Israel were not the children of God as Christ now enables though they were the faithful who anticipated what was not yet available as Described in Hebrews 11.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I am grateful for your site and am glad that I stopped by today - couldn't remember the name of a fascinting man I once listened to and here is his name on this thread - Greg Boyd! Thanks God for these little minion infected men who enable your work to be done here on earth!

Stephan Huller said...

This J P idiot just hit my blog. I wrote a book questioning the story of early Christianity. He ended up posting a 'review' of my book which read more like a grade four book report than an actual review. I have been learning what an idiot this guy is from sites like this. Anyway he gave me something to write about for my latest blog entry

Just stopping by to say hi

Publicus Intoxicus said...

you got my vote plus I ordered one of your books.......

:)