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Pastore Throws Another Wild Pitch, but Brett Kunkle Hits It Out of the Park


Frank-Pastore2.jpgTalk-show host Frank Pastore has done it again. (Read about the first wild pitch here). In his most recent Townhall.com column, Pastore offers a fallacy-riddled and uncharitable assessment of J. P. Moreland's recent ETS paper, which I wrote about on this blog last month.

In a tightly-argued reply to Pastore's wild pitch, Brett Kunkle of Stand To Reason hits it out of the park against the ex-major leaguer. Here are some snippets from Kunkle's reply:

Pastore begins his assault on Moreland this way: “His [Moreland’s] main point is rather non-controversial: The Bible is not the sole source but the ultimate source of knowledge, meaning that there are realms of knowledge outside the Bible. No one denies this.” Hmm. According to Pastore, he’s got no problem with Moreland’s main argument. So then, what is Pastore’s problem? Well, he seems to be upset by Moreland’s charge that Evangelicals are over-committed to the Bible when he says, “How can one be ‘over-committed’ to the Word of God?”

Now pause for a moment. In the very next sentence, Pastore reminds us that Moreland is “a wordsmith who crafts language carefully.” Very true. As a philosopher, Moreland is careful to be precise and in his paper he defines over-commitment to the Bible this way: “The sense I have in mind is the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to the be the sole source of authority for faith and practice."

Sound familiar? The sense in which Moreland is using over-commitment is exactly what Pastore said was “non-controversial.” Indeed, it’s so uncontroversial “no one denies this.” Yet, a few paragraphs later he indicates that’s the very thing he’s upset at Moreland for. So Frank, which is it? Such equivocation is almost inconceivable from someone with Pastore’s training in philosophy. Furthermore, Moreland clarifies over-commitment by stating that “one could never be too committed to loving, obeying and promoting Holy Scripture.” Pastore rightly points out Moreland’s precision with language and he would do well to follow Moreland’s lead.

Comments (3)

Kunkle quotes the paper out of context in order to make it seem that it is saying what it is not. It is precisely because Moreland's own paper continues to say something quite different that Pastore is unhappy with it.

In any case, it isn't right for you to attack Pastore personally simply because you disagree with him. You're not throwing wild pitches, you're throwing beanballs, and that is not acceptable in any league.

What _does_ Moreland go on to say that is objectionable? In any event, I've read the Pastore column, and it seems to me that it's up to him to say what, specifically, he thinks Moreland is up to that is inappropriate. Is it Moreland's interest in prophecy and words of wisdom? But that doesn't seem to bother him too much. Is it natural law? But Pastore sounds like he has no problem with that, either. He implies that Moreland has a hidden agenda that is worse than Moreland admits, but he doesn't say what that agenda is. If he thinks he's in league with some bunch of bad guys to undermine Biola's commitment to Scripture, he ought at least to tell us who they are. My own advice to Pastore would be...pitch the ball!

Trish:

I agree with Lydia's reply. So, could you tell us specifically where Kunkle takes Moreland out of context? Remember that Kunkle has not only read the paper, but was present when Moreland delivered it and responded on the spot to audience queries. That's not to say that Brett cannot be wrong on his take of Moreland' paper. Rather, it means that a response reply to Kunkle's comments requires specific citations of error.

I must say that I do not think you are right about my dispute with Pastore. My grievance is not on an issue over which we disagree; rather, it is over the quality and manner of Pastore's public judgment of his former mentor at Biola. There is something dishonorable about such attacks, IMHO.

I have not attacked Pastore personally, if you are referring to my use of baseball metaphors. Given his former profession, I thought it clever and funny to employ it.

So, Trish, you're the next batter up..... :-)

Frank

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