Back in March of 2007 on The Dividing Line (here is the program) I addressed the dialogue that took place between Ergun Caner of Liberty University and the so-called “Rational Response Squad.” I had listened to the encounter while riding, and I wanted to make some comments not so much on Caner’s replies but on some of the claims made by the atheists. That morning I wrote to the Rational Response Squad through their website. Here is what I wrote:
Today on [i]The Dividing Line[/i] I will be reviewing some of the comments made in the interview with Ergun Caner, especially some of the statements made by Rook Hawkins, listed on this website as an “ancient texts expert.”
I would like to ask: was Mr. Hawkins claiming that the Council of Nicea was at all involved in the formation of the NT canon in his comments in this interview? It sounded like he was. In any case, the program is live and call in, today at 4pm PST, so Mr. Hawkins is welcome to listen and call in, if he chooses. You can access it at www.aomin.org.
Now please note: not only was the question quite relevant, but I noted the time of the program and how Rook Hawkins might listen. He was also invited to call in, should he desire to do so.
Very quickly the same morning I received an automated reply:
Thanks for writing the Rational Response Squad. Our email box now receives about 200-300 pieces of mail a day and we’re unable to go through it all, so we’ve created this FAQ of some of the most recent questions. Please understand that if you have written us to debate us or respond to this email with your thoughts on our FAQ WE WILL NOT RESPOND VIA EMAIL. I’m sorry we just don’t have the time to engage everyone who writes us on a one on one basis. However we have a thriving message board with a wide variety of people including many people who agree with what we have to say. Those people are just as much "The Rational Response Squad" as the readers of this email box are. So if you are interested in discussion about religion please post your thoughts in our atheist vs theist forum:
We will handle requests to appear on the show and customer service related questions through this mailbox, all others, please go to our forum.
This was followed by a series of FAQs. So please note, the only response I received from RRS directed me to their forums. So, I did the program, interacted with Rook Hawkins’ assertions, and moved on from there.
Six months later pastor Joe Wyrostek contacted me. He mentioned he had been in contact with the RRS. He asked if I would help him and come on his program to debate Rook Hawkins and a guy named Todangst. There was a discussion concerning the unwillingness of the RRS to respond to presuppositionalists included in the correspondence. I did not hear back on any of this from Pastor Wyrostek.
As far as I can recall, that was the last contact I had with anyone regarding the single program I did exposing some of the less than compelling argumentation offered by the young folks of the RRS. Until just recently when Rook Hawkins posted the following:
“RationalResponders.com: White was supposed to contact me ages ago about a debate and he chickened out.”
I replied to this here on my blog, to which Hawkins replied,
Thank you for posting this. It has shown me once more how completely dishonest theists really are. He was told to contact me personally (not come on this message board, that’s silly). I had given The Dividing Line all of my information and have yet to receive any email from either party (of the Dividing Line or the elusive White). I do find it rather amusing that White would suggest that my grasp of ancient history is slippery, considering White believes in all sorts of fantastical things like resurrecting people who ascend to heaven on clouds, faith-healing, and the historical reliability of the Gospels as a whole. If anything, what this can tell us is just how out of touch Mr. White is with not only ancient history but reality.
As if this little pros here couldn’t bring about more jocularities, White acts as if his theological credentials (in apologetics and fairy tale) mean something when compared to my autodidactism (in real subjects and actual history). If White wants to debate, he has my information and knows where to find me. I do not want to lend credence to his delusions; he is not a serious threat to me or my work in the field of ancient history. I just don’t take him that seriously.
A little later another of the cadre of the RRS, Sapient, added,
If I remember correctly, we didn’t find out about James White talking about Rook until after he had already recorded his show. My recollection is that James White didn’t offer Rook a chance to come on the show that he used to criticize Rook. My memory may be wrong though as I don’t care much about James White, seeing as how he’s a presuppositionalist.
For those that aren’t aware, we refuse to talk with presuppers as they don’t meet the minimum honesty/intelligence requirement.
Now if you can see past the insufferable arrogance of these young folks, you can see that I have now provided clear documentation of not only my truthfulness, but of their lack thereof. To wit:
Hawkins said it was “silly” that I had been referred to his web board. Documentation provided.
Hawkins said he had “given the Dividing Line all of my information.” I have no idea who “the Dividing Line” is. I assume he thinks pastor Wyrostek is associated with my ministry (he is not). Hawkins did not contact A&O. Maybe he has confused us with someone else, I do not know, but his statement is untrue, and basing accusations of someone “chickening out” upon such language is just another example of the New Atheism’s unfamiliarity with serious manners.
Hawkins says I “have his information.” I have quotes from a web board, nothing more. He is again, wrong.
Sapient said I did not offer Hawkins a chance to be on the program. Documentation provided refuting this falsehood as well.
Now, the young folks at the RRS can pretend to be rational while ignoring the role of presuppositions in their worldview. They can pretend mockery is the same as a rational argument. No one can, or should, stop them. But the fact is that such rhetoric may prop up their rebellion against God, but it has little meaningful value in the arena of truth. I demonstrated Hawkins’ errors in his comments to Caner, and those refutations stand. Since I am, by their own assertion, lacking sufficient intelligence to even talk to me, I see no reason to pursue them. But I will gladly point out their errors even if they are too arrogant to interact with those refutations. And I will document it when they decide to try to change history, as I have done above.