First impression: absolutely nothing new here, nothing beyond what KJV Onlyism has been offering for forty years. Not a smidgeon of meaningful interaction with my own work. Same ol’ same ol’.
But, there are a few almost humorous things, and some completely absurd things. You will find this book filled with standard KJV Only “loaded language” throughout. In the index under my name, we read some really fascinating stuff. For example:
admits modern versions use of different manuscript
admits that Mormon’s [sic] challenged his faith
OK, gotta look that one up. I did? Hmm. Could Dr. Stauffer actually misread me that badly? Answer? Well, if you listened to the DL, you know the answer. Of course he could.
In my book I had narrated my first encounter, at age 19, with LDS missionaries Reed and Reese (a story I’ve told often). Here’s what I wrote, in context:
In Other Words . . .
Most people who are not committed to the KJV Only position will admit that the AV needs some level of revision. No matter how strongly AV Only believers assert the alleged simplicity and clarity of the KJV, the fact remains that there are many passages that are anything but clear and understandable in this venerable old translation. And, at times, those ambiguities get in the way, and even give ammunition to those who would attack the Bible.
The first alleged “contradiction” that was ever shown to me was based upon the KJV translation. Two young LDS missionaries, Elders Reed and Reese, were sitting in my sister-in-law’s home, explaining to me that I could not really trust the Bible because it had been “translated so many times.” I was a young person at the time (I was the same age as the missionaries), and had not encountered too many real strong challenges to my faith, so I asked them for examples of the “errors” they were talking about. They took me to the KJV at Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9. (228-229)
After this I went through the alleged contradiction, much as I did in Letters to a Mormon Elder as well. This is part of the chapter documenting problems in the text of the KJV itself.
Now, for all regular folks, the reason I mentioned elders Reed and Reese and the context of my first encounter with the alleged contradiction is clear. But, what does a commitment to KJV Onlyism do to your ability to read fairly? Let’s find out. After quoting the immediately preceding paragraph cited above, Stauffer writes,
Take note that Mr. White admits that someone attacking the King James Bible was a challenge to his faith! However, he concludes his comment concerning these passages with this statement: “Such ambiguity is, unfortunately, a common problem in the KJV.” As we have seen, this perceived problem completely evaporates with a little Bible study. Instead of growing up in the Lord, Mr. White allowed these two cultists to shake his faith and take him captive (II Timothy 2:26). He has devoted much of his energies to accomplishing the same goal these Mormon missionaries had…destroying individuals’ faith in God’s supernatural promise of preservation. (p. 266).
Now, one is once again simply left without words to describe this kind of rhetoric. Not only is the obvious meaning of my own words ignored, but the conclusions he derives, and the attack he launches, can only honestly be described as “absurd in the extreme.” He provides no rebuttal of my material on the alleged contradiction. He has no basis whatsoever to think that speaking of the challenge offered by Mormonism means those elders in our two meetings when I was 19 years of age shook my faith. They didn’t. I did begin studying Mormonism and my own faith to a far greater depth as a result of those encounters, and began teaching a class at my church on the topic. But to leap from that to the absurd conclusion that they shook my faith is ridiculous to an extreme degree. Anyone who could make such a statement clearly lacks integrity on a very fundamental level. Further, it is simply dishonest (dare I say it is simply a lie?) to say my goal is at all similar to those LDS missionaries. Any Mormon with whom I have debated in Salt Lake City (something tells me Dr. Stauffer has never debated a Mormon scholar in Salt Lake City, never defended the inerrancy of the Bible against two LDS scholars on KTKK radio in Salt Lake, etc.) would find Stauffer’s statements truly laughable. Anyone who has read Letters to a Mormon Elder or Scripture Alone can likewise only shake their head in disbelief at such absurdity. And finally, please note the mind-set of this man: to disagree with KJV Onlyism is to seek to destroy “individuals’ faith in God’s supernatural promise of preservation.” Of course, the fact that my book debunks and refutes this lie is ignored. The fact that I specifically even cited this very allegation is ignored.
It is sad to see someone like Dr. Stauffer engaging in this kind of behavior in print. Of course, I call upon him to stand behind his statements and defend them on The Dividing Line and in moderated, public debate as well. We will see if he will join a long line of men who have chosen to attack me personally rather than deal with the substance of my work.