A while back a fellow showed up in our chat channel using the nick BibleJohn. From the beginning I felt he was a troll, that is, someone “trolling” to create controversy, someone not being honest with us about who he was or what he was up to. It seemed to me that his behavior and language was so caricatured that it was really artificial. No one could possibly be this narrow minded, so incapable of thinking outside his very narrow traditions! And though we tried, for quite some time, to reason with the man, eventually the inevitable happened, and I sent him packing (participation in our chat channel is not a universal human right: it is a privilege, one I can rescind at any point, and quickly, I might add).
What prompted his removal was the fact that he had ordered Norman Geisler’s Chosen But Free, and, though he had not read “the other side,” was singing its praises in channel. It seems a rather artificial way of providing offense, and after wasting a lot of time giving him the benefit of the doubt, I sent him packing. Within about half an hour, as I recall, I was directed to a “review” of The Potter’s Freedom that he posted on Amazon. Now, realize, this is a man who has never read the book. But, he posted the review anyway. Another good reason to ignore Amazon reviews, as any of my books act as magnets to attract every kind of loony “review.” In any case, many people pointed out that the man was just acting childish for having been banned from an IRC chat channel, but with folks like BibleJohn, reason isn’t really high up there on the “things he’s likely to respond to” list.
So today someone posted a link to the newest version of his “here is a review of a book I have never read and will never read because I’m a good IFB!” article, and I ran across this line:
1. If Limited Atonement was taught in the Bible then can you tell me why would Hebrews 2:9 state “that Christ should taste death for everyman?”
Now, the sad irony is that his whole list is answered in the book he refuses to read but pretends to review. But what is more was that days before he was expelled, back when we were trying to get him to kick-start his thinking processes, I directed him to the following video, which just happens to be on…Hebrews 2:9ff! He even claimed to have listened to it (though, I saw no reason to believe him). So even in posting nonsense on Amazon, the man cannot think far enough outside of the small, small box of his fundamentalism to even understand why anyone would read the text differently than he and his IFB heroes do.
I feel badly for BibleJohn. If he is, in fact, what he represented himself to be, then he is the most perfect representation of a mind closed down by legalism and self-righteous adherence to the traditions of men I’ve ever seen in my years of ministry. He responds in a classicaly cultic fashion: if you dare challenge his assumptions, you are filled with “hatred” and “arrogance” against “God’s Word.” Encountering men like BibleJohn reminds me of how very dangerous religion, even religion that is “true” in many ways, can be when it is not balanced and fully biblical.