Saturday, February 09, 2013

The fallacy of C F W Walther and his disciple Jack "The Strawman" Kilcrease

Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) started with a fallacy and so it still produces more fallacies even today. JBFA people discussing UOJ errors with a UOJ adherent need to first step back and give the UOJ adherent a course on Critical Thinking 101. When you point to a UOJ a fallacy, the UOJer treats it like water off a duck's back, it just does not hit them like normal people would.

In fact if you examine the posts and comments here and you look at how a UOJers interact with us, you will soon discover UOJers do not have a capacity to evaluate a fallacy.

For a clue on logical fallacies you can find a good read here.

A few days ago, I responded to a post by found at Intrepid Lutherans found here.

There I was responding to a comment that the BoC Writers may have fallen into error in their own writings. In the election controversy ignited by C. F. W. Walther and based on his on account, his opponents were quoting to him the understanding of the BoC Lutheran “Fathers”. Here is what he said…

The principal means by which our opponents endeavor to support their doctrine, consists in continually quoting passages from the private writings of the fathers of our Church, published subsequent to the _Formula of Concord_. But whenever a controversy arises concerning the question, whether a doctrine is Lutheran, we must not ask: "What does this or that 'father' of the Lutheran Church teach in his private writings?" for he also may have fallen into error;

Indeed they may have, but the issue is not to state what in general is possible, but to demonstrate clearly in actuality where they erred against Scripture on a particular subject. The fallacy of Walther above is what can be called “If you do not believe me you are a heretic” fallacy. This is another force of argumentum ad baculum. This is a form of bullying, psychological bullying.

What else was Walther saying – if the Fathers disagreed with me, it is they that is in error not me. The test is not to put the Fathers first on the stand, rather the test is first put Walther on the stand.

Walther was an arrogant churchman, and so is his modern fan – Dr. Jack “Fallacious” Kilcrease, to which I now turn.

In his post found here, he titled it To Reject Objective Justification is to Reject Election.

As usual, Jack’s post is overflowing with fallacy, it is a lot of fun dissecting it and using it when I give a course in Critical Thinking. He provides me plenty of material for a seminar I would like to give and I would entitle as – How to argue like a bad Theologian.  I do not have time that is why this took a few days to write but I will give you a few samples. These few examples are warning enough for you not to be misled by false reasonings:
1.     The first fallacy is found by observing the title of the post. Remember I just spoke about argumentum ad baculum? The title sets the reader up to swallow a fallacy called argumentum ad consequentiam, the negative form.
2.     The false testimony “He [me, LPC] does not believe in it [election]” is so pregnant with fallacy, in fact a very abysmal attempt to put me – an anti-UOJer in a bad light.  He was able to conclude this because of the quote I just made?  This is the usual tertium non datur fallacy, the denial of a 3rd possibility fallacy. Jack “The Strawman” Kilcrease wants you to believe there is a false dilemma.  It is just like saying  - if you do not believe in the Democratic Party’s policies, then you must be a Republican. Huh? Are there not independents in USA? That is the form of reasoning Dr. Strawman wants you to follow.
3.     He then says Believers are only bound to writings that serve as a public confessions of faith and not necessarily to the private writings of a particular theologian”. This is the non sequitur fallacy. I do not subscribe to the private writings of particular theologians as if they were a confession also.  This is jumping the shark fallacy.  Jack is the one who misunderstands when one uses the quotation of the Fathers and so Walther misunderstood too in quickly dismissing them. Rather the writings were being used to support an argument, it is not because the opponents of Walther subscribe to them as a confession. This is Jack’s favorite fallacy – The Strawman fallacy. He makes arguments on my behalf or asserts them as if I was doing them and then tares them down. Voila!  The point is disposed (so he thinks).
4.     He then says, “In other words, if in response to Christ's death God does not speak forth a universal word of reconciliation, but simply pronounces reconciliation on those who believe, we are left with two options”, he is again setting up the believer to accept false dichotomy. Let me illustrate, they say if you reject OJ you must believe in Limited Atonement. Do Brett Meyer, Dr. Jackson and Pr. Rydecki and Pr. Bickel believe in Limited Atonement(LA)? I was a Calvinist! I know what Limited Atonement is when I see one. Jack has no clue as to the Scriptural arguments being used by Calvinists to support LA.
5.     Lastly Jack shows his own self-negation of his title post which is a thesis he believes in. He says, “In a word: rejection of OJ also compromises the Lutheran doctrine of election (something I do not think Paul Rydecki appreciates, since he still claims to believe in election!)”. Dear folks, here he provides a counter-example to his own thesis, by his admission! We know Rev. Rydecki rejects OJ yet by Jack’s very own admission, he states Pr. Paul still believes in election. A fish is caught in the mouth. Jack negated the thesis title of his post. So Jack illustrates how fallacious he himself is.

I see he has lots of registered followers. I pity those folk who admire him.They do not know they are following a "blind man".


Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel said...

Dr. Cruz -

Would that the universal objective justification enthusiasts (especially Kilcrease), take a basic course in logic! He, like others, continue to utilize the fallacious "either / or" line of [false] argumentation.

Nice commentary. After reading it, I almost started feeling embarrassed for all those UOJers for their poor thinking capabilities. I almost began to ask myself if some of them got hooked up with some unsavory lobotomy surgeons.

Nathan M. Bickel

LPC said...

Pr. Nathan,

I cleaned up my hurried sentences and updated the post, including you in the list who are anti-UOJ and yet do not accept LA.

Ever since Jack wrote against Rydecki, I wanted to pointed out the super abundance of his critique. My job gets in the way of joyful blogging.