Dr. Doug Geivett Strongly Recommends Against My Book Proposal.

Previously I made a book proposal:
Let's have a four -five -six views book with this as a question: "Why are there so many ways to interpret the Bible?" A proposed title might be this: "Five Views on Why Christians Disagree," or something like that. Then invite me as a contributor. I've written on this issue, calling it The Problem of Divine Miscommunication. See here.
Doug Geivett, a Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology strongly recommends against it. Now isn't that interesting? Why would he do so? He doesn't explain. He refuses to explain. Here's the story:

I messaged him on Facebook with a link to my proposal asking if he or anyone else he knows might be interested in editing such a book. His response:
Hi, John. To be honest, I really would not be interested. And if I were advising Christian publishers of the sort you have in mind, I'd strongly recommend against it. This isn't a personal thing. But I don't think it serves the cause. My recommendation is that you continue to pursue secular avenues. Maybe they would be interested in your proposal.
Feeling a bit slighted and testy I responded:
So, you don't think my arguments can be answered or what? It would be an apologetics work. Someone must answer them. Or, is it your view that it's best to ignore arguments whenever needed? I'm puzzled. I do have a few bites though. One Greek Orthodox scholar can argue it's because of Romanism and sola Scriptura. A liberal wants to argue that there are simply different voices in Scripture. An evangelical wants to argue it's because as human beings we lack understanding. In any case, thanks for the response. I'm certainly happy I'm not an apologist in this day and age, that's for sure.
John, this is just the sort of response that leaves me cold, this tendency to jump to certain conclusions without adequate evidence, and to psychoanalyze those you disagree with. Take your two questions and ask yourself, "What is the most likely thing Geivett believes about these things, given his record?"
Notice the condescending tone?

I don't know your record enough to know what you believe. I do know you're into guessing games. You could have told me why you think it doesn't serve the cause, but you didn't. No, I don't think a deluded person such as yourself thinks he cannot answer my arguments. I was giving you an opportunity to answer them. Now why does this project not serve the cause?
John, I got your message, which is why I replied. Think what you will about "guessing games," but understand that this kind of rhetoric is bound to alienate people you seem to want to talk to.
More condescension. I want to talk to him and so I must be more humble since, after all, I'm talking to the great and mighty Geivett. If you want to get my ire think or say that. Sooo...

Ahhh, you fail to understand me then. I can't convince you that you're wrong. I intend to marginalize you. Play guessing games if you want to. I am dead serious. I think I understand full well what you mean when you say this book project will hurt the cause. You are afraid.

I suppose you think Randal Rauser hurt the cause by co-writing a book with me too, eh? Tell me straight up what you mean, that's all, no more guessing games.
I sent that yesterday morning. His response? Click on the red button in the upper right. ;-)

So I was wondering aloud. Why would he say my book proposal doesn't serve the cause? I'm supposed to figure this out on my own. Any suggestions?


Andrew said...

Pretty clear who the asshole here was. Sure as hell wasn't Geivett.