Can human beings know good from bad?

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By Spencer D Gear PhD

Is it possible for human beings to discern good versus evil moral actions? What is the standard by which a person or nation decides if behaviour is pleasing or evil?

The Christian is clear as to what is evil because Scripture declares it:

‘If there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character”’ (I Cor 15:32-33 NLT).

They know the deeper problem: ‘

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds (Jer 17:9-10 NLT).

As for the godless, secularist, I’d like you to meet Allan. This is my online interchange with him. He pursued a few different topics.

Allan: He agreed with Dan: ‘We [human beings] are indeed fallen angels’.[1]

Spencer: Instead of believing Dan, why don’t you obtain your understanding from Scripture? We are human beings, created in the image of God. Adam corrupted that and we would have done the same (Gen 1-3; Rom 5).[2]

See: What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God (imago dei)? [Got Questions Ministries]

Allan: ‘Personally, I believe it [heaven] is some sort of reunification with a larger whole that is one unified field of energy, but still many individual conscious self-aware personalities. Experiencing unbelievable all consuming euphoria and overwhelming pure love’.

Spencer: When you invent ‘I believe’ personally, you are off into presupposition land.

Allan: ‘Heaven, therefore, is probably not a place, but rather a state of being?’

Spencer:

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Even though your statement ends with a question mark, there is no need to hypothesise like this. Jesus was clear: ‘My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?’ (John 14:2 NIV). Heaven is definitely a place, so says the Messiah.

Allan: ‘But instead, quote chapter and verse to justify any position however awful, inherently evil, depraved indefensible or untenable?’

Spencer: I agree Allan that some horrible things have been done with a label of Christianity or Christ. I do not endorse any of these. I’m thinking of the slaughter during the Crusades, and sexual abuse in churches and church institutions.

The apostle Paul could call himself ‘the worst of sinners’. In spite of the sinful actions of many within the church, this I know; ‘”Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I (the apostle Paul) am the worst of them all’ (1 Tim 1:15). I apply Paul’s description to me, the chief of sinners, but God’s grace reaches beyond our sin through repentance, forgiveness and faith.

Allan: ‘Even as Herr Goebbels and co turned up at their church each Sunday morning and sang Christian hymns and recited Christian prayers from a Christian prayer book.
‘Without question, they were hypocrites pure and simple as are those who protect, forgive and succour paedophilia and paedophiles’.
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(photo Joseph Goebbels, Chancellor of Germany, propaganda minister, World War 2, courtesy Wikipedia)

Spencer: We can point fingers at Hitler, Goebbels, church child abuse, etc (and we should), but when God examines me, His conclusion is, ‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve’ (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
We are all not fallen angels but wicked human beings, from the inside out. That’s God’s assessment, not my invention.

Allan: ‘I think we know good from evil if never ever having read a bible or holy scripture’.

Spencer: Without God’s moral absolutes in Scripture (e.g. 10 commandments, the Sermon on the Mount – Matt 5-7), each person does what he/she believes is right. Lenin chose the Gulag, Hitler’s Holocaust wiped out about 6 million Jews – 1 million being children – some men rape women and children, others commit terrorist acts, while some in the banking industry cheat customers.

Allan: ‘Good as we know and understand it has its foundations on love’.

Spencer: Yep, sexual love of children, erotic love of porn and prostitution, promiscuous love of many leading to HIV (AIDS), syphilis, gonorrhoea and other STDs. ‘Love’, however it has been defined, has led to much damage and illness children and adults.

Allan: ‘The Christian Bible and the lessons as espoused by the Rabbi Jesus, was very-very different from the one reinvented, revised and massively edited by the cronies of Constantine … at the first synod, around 350 AD?’

Spencer: Are you an historical theologian and professor of Bibliology (the doctrine of the written Word) who knows the development of the Bible to write that kind of postmodern deconstruction?

Allan: ‘And relied on mainly four, non-eyewitness, plagiarised and systematically embellished gospels, for its Alleged authority?’

Spencer: Are you talking about the 4 Gospels? Luke’s Gospel differs from your deconstruction where he obtained his information from those who handed down eye-witness accounts (Luke 1:1-4).

You don’t like the idea of the sacramental confessional. Neither do I. However, Jesus’ exhorted us to seek Him for forgiveness: ‘Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us’ (Matt 6:11). This is not an appeal to father confessor but to Jesus himself.

Allan: ‘Then do something real inside your political organisations to clean out the evil at its very heart. The time for covering it up/excusing/justifying it? Is well and truly over!’

Spencer: Do you really mean that? It was you who stated: ‘Evil produced at all levels by similar if converse levels of hate?’

What is your cure for getting rid of the evil in the human person, political establishment and terrorists?

Notes

[1] The following quotes by Allan B are from his comments to the article by Peter Sellick, ‘The knowledge of good and evil’, On Line Opinion (online), 13 November 2018. Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 13 November 2018 10:42:41 AM. Available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=20027&page=1 (Accessed 14 November 2018).

[2] The following is from ibid., Posted by OzSpen, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 2:12:51 PM.

 

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Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 14 November 2018.

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Fourteen Holey Bible arguments against Margaret Court

A Note to Dr Robyn J Whitaker

margaret Robyn J Whitaker

Rev. Dr. Margaret Court (photo courtesy| Dr Robyn J Whitaker (photo

Victory Life International, Perth, WA) | courtesy University of Divinity)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

A shorter edition of this article was published in On Line Opinion, 7 November 2018, Holey Bible arguments against Margaret Court

What would cause many in the tennis community, mass media and social media to get up in arms about world champion tennis player, Margaret Court’s, support for heterosexuality. She has boycotted flying with Qantas because it supports homosexual marriage. Some in the Christian community oppose Dr Court’s stand against homosexual marriage.

This is one example of a Christian who took Dr Margaret Court AO MBE to task. It is my response to ‘Note to Margaret Court: the Bible isn’t meant to be read that literally’, by Robyn J Whitaker, Trinity College, 2 June 2017 (ABC News, Brisbane, Qld)

What are the holes in Whitaker’s arguments against Court and Court’s support for heterosexual marriage over Whitaker’s backing of modern Christian families that include gay couples? Here is what I found (In some places, I’ll address Dr Whitaker as ‘you’ and ‘your’).

Image result for clipart single numbers Hole 1: It starts with Whitaker’s title that the Bible is not meant to be understood as literally as Margaret Court reads it.

Then she does exactly what she told Margaret not to do. She literally accept the fact that there are 66 books in the Bible; Abraham fathered children with his concubine as well as his wife.

Her literal interpretation continued: She accepted that David and Solomon had entire palaces full of wives and concubines and that polygamy was common.  Slaves were used for concubines. There was no hint in her article that these were supposed to be interpreted metaphorically or symbolically.

Whitaker made self-defeating statements with her examples. She failed to meet her own standard of the Bible being read too literally. The article cannot live up to the criteria she set in the title.

So her self-refuting statements are of necessity false. She violated the law of non-contradiction. This states that A and non-A cannot be true at the same time and in the same sense. This promoted a contradiction when she accused Margaret Court of reading the Bible “that literally” when she did exactly the same with your reading of the Bible.

Image result for clipart single numbers Hole 2: What is literal interpretation? She assumed we knew. When I was in high school in Qld, I learned that to understand a document literally meant to accept the plain meaning of the text. This includes the use of figures of speech and symbols.

My seminary text for biblical interpretation was Berkeley Mickelsen’s , Interpreting the Bible. He wrote that “literal” means the customarily acknowledged meaning of an expression in its particular context. For example, when Christ declared that he was the door, the metaphorical meaning of “door” would be obvious. Although metaphorical, this evident meaning is included in the literal interpretation.

Therefore, “by literal meaning the writer refers to the usual or customary sense conveyed by words or expressions” (Mickelsen 1963:17). So when I read Whitaker’s article online, I assumed that figures of speech were included in the literal meaning. That’s how I understood her  statement that David’s and Solomon’s wives and concubines “served as symbols of their power and status”.

The Cambridge Dictionary (2018. s.v. literal) states the adjectival meaning of literal is, ‘having exactly the same meaning as the basic or original meaning of a word or expression’. e.g. a literal interpretation of the Australian Constitution.

Iain Provan summarised his view of ‘literal’. It harmonises with The Cambridge Dictionary definition: Literally means that Scripture is read with “its apparent communicative intentions as a collection of texts from the past, whether in respect to smaller or larger sections of text”.

This means readers “take full account of the nature of the language in which these intentions are embedded and revealed as components of Scripture’s unfolding covenantal Story – doing justice to such realities as literary convention, idiom, metaphor, and typology or figuration”.

To read Scripture (or any literature) literally is to try to understand “what Scripture is saying to us in just the ways in which we seek to understand what other people are saying to us – taking into account … their age, culture, customs, and language, as well as the verbal context within which individuals words and sentences are located. This is what it means to read “literally,” in pursuit of the communicative intent of God – in search of what to believe, how to live, and what to hope for” (Provan 2017:105).

I would be in strife if I didn’t read Whitaker’s “Note to Margaret Court” literally. Or, should I put a postmodern or allegorical spin on it and make it mean whatever I, the reader, determine?

Related image Hole 3: You claim that Margaret Court was wrong in her open letter to Qantas and on Channel Ten’s “The Project” because she stated that the Bible confirms that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.

Which standard did you use to judge that Mrs Court’s analysis was wrong and yours was correct? Your article concluded that the Bible describes family life that is ancient, different, reflecting patriarchal structures or arranged marriages in early Christianity and is not for today.

In addition, you seem to have brought into your new concept of marriage something that you oppose – “culturally bound ideology”. For you, it includes gay couples and “Christian values of love, justice and inclusion found throughout the Bible and is why so many Christians support marriage equality”.

It is you who has promoted that last statement in your politically correct support of homosexual marriage. Again you make a self-defeating statement. You oppose the “culturally bound ideology” of the Bible’s structure of family life, but you promote your own culturally bound contemporary ideology of marriage equality and modern Christian families including gay couples.

If you were to agree with the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, you would have the same opinion as he had regarding marriage: “’A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:5-6).

Jesus was an enthusiastic supporter of heterosexual marriage. He did not state that a man should leave his parents and be joined with his male partner and become one flesh with him.

Margaret Court’s conclusion agrees with that of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t harmonise with your belief that progressives do not offend contemporary political sensibilities, including sexual orientation.

Therefore, your view is contrary to that of Jesus. Margaret Court’s stance on marriage agrees with that of the Saviour and yours is the one at odds with the Bible and the Master.

Related imageHole 4: You have committed an historian’s fallacy in your claims against Margaret Court. This is how you promoted this fallacy:

1. Mrs Court claimed that in the Bible in the past, marriage was a union between a man and a woman.

2. Mrs Court, who makes this claim, did not take into consideration marriage equality that was not taught in biblical times.

3. Therefore, Margaret Court is wrong to claim that the Bible supports heterosexual marriage.

One of the problems with this erroneous reasoning is that it does not deal with the issues at hand, issues such as these:

  • The foundation of the Judeo-Christian worldview is based on Old and New Testament Scriptures.
  • God decided who should be joined together in the beginning of time: ‘A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). Heterosexuality was God’s design.
  • Jesus Christ confirmed this position (Matthew 19:5),
  • As did the apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31).

Your support of marriage equality over heterosexual marriage is a politically correct line of reasoning and is fallacious because it doesn’t deal with a range of issues biblically, including the Scripture’s perspective on homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and the Bible’s support of heterosexual marriage in both Old and New Testaments. It also has been called a political correctness fallacy.

Related image Hole 5: Margaret Court “is even more wrong” to suggest she is being persecuted for her views, you stated. The situation is more serious. She has been bullied. To bully is to “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something” (Oxford Dictionary online 2017. s v bully). Mrs Court has been bullied and intimidated by the threat of tennis players to boycott Margaret Court Arena at the 2018 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament.

Girls Being Mean ClipartShe has been bullied by the threat that the arena named in her honour at Melbourne Park should be changed for the 2018 Australian Open.

(image courtesy clipartxtras)

Then there was the ridicule by tennis super-brat and now commentator, John McEnroe, after Mrs Court’s statement that “tennis is full of lesbians”. McEnroe fired back, “This is true and who gives a f***? This is not true and who should give a f***? This is half true and should we really give a f***?” (AAP 2017)

Open lesbian and tennis great, Martina Navratilova, engaged in emotional abuse of Mrs Court in her “open letter from Martina Navratilova to Margaret Court Arena” when she stated:

“It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe. Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too). She is demonising trans kids and trans adults everywhere.

“And now, linking LGBT to Nazis, communists, the devil? This is not OK. This is in fact sick and it is dangerous. Kids will suffer more because of this continuous bashing and stigmatising of our LGBT community” (Navratilova 2017).

Navratilova supported the change of name of Margaret Court Arena: “I think the Evonne Goolagong Arena has a great ring to it”. Would you endorse this?

Etihad Stadium crop.jpg(photo Etihad Stadium, courtesy Wikipedia)

Does Whitaker consider the former Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, should have had a name change between 2009-2018? It was sponsored by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the Islamic country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is now known as Docklands’ Stadium.

Was she an advocate to change name of Etihad Stadium during its sponsorship of the stadium?

What is the Islamic view on homosexuality? The Muslim commentary on the Quran, Hadith, states in al-Tirmidhi, Sunan 1:152: [Muhammad said] “Whoever is found conducting himself in the manner of the people of Lot, kill the doer and the receiver”. Another statement from the Hadith is: “Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done’ (Sunan Abu Dawud 38:4447).

Thus, Islam requires capital punishment for both the perpetrator and recipient of what the people of Sodom did.

What did the “people of Lot” do? Lot’s (Lut in Arabic) life is explained in Genesis, chapters 11-14, and 19. He lived in Sodom, a city of open homosexuality (see Genesis 19:4-9). What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Greg Koukl examined the options in depth and concluded:

We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:4), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.

Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah—the “grave,” “ungodly,” “lawless,” “sensual conduct of unprincipled men” that tormented Lot as he “saw and heard” it “day after day,” the “corrupt desire” of those that went after “strange flesh.”

Islam’s punishment for homosexuality is an extreme treatment compared with what Margaret Court advocated.

Homosexuality may be punishable by imprisonment or death in the UAE. Why didn’t Dr Whitaker support the cancellation of the sponsorship of Etihad Stadium for the sake of the LGBTIQ+ community when Islam is opposed to homosexuality?

It seems inconsistent to me that she wanted to downgrade Mrs Court’s persecution and abuse for her statements on homosexuality but avoid dealing with a Muslim country’s airline’s sponsorship of Etihad Stadium in Australia.

Margaret Court has put up with persecution, abuse and ridicule from the tennis community, mass media, and now pro-LGBTIQ+ bias from Dr Whitaker, a woman representing the Christian community.

Related image Hole 6: You cherry pick a Bible verse without bringing contextual understanding to try to oppose Mrs Court’s teaching ministry as a woman at Victory Life Centre, Perth.

You claim that if the literalism that Mrs Court applied to Genesis on marriage were applied to 1 Timothy 2:12, she would be in hot water because it forbids women to teach or have authority over men.

The facts are that “I am not permitting a woman to teach” focussed especially on the church where Timothy was located at Ephesus. However, in other churches women could prophesy (1 Corinthians 11:5), give a teaching on occasions (1 Corinthians 14:26). Women were not excluded from teaching in Colossians 3:16, ‘Let the message about Christ live among you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct one another wisely’ (NIRV), and the older women were to be good teachers of the younger women (Titus 2:3-4). One of the spiritual gifts is that of teachers (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28). Nothing in these verses indicates the teaching gift is exclusively for men to minister to a mixed gathering.

As a female teacher of males in a church college and university at which you work, and your affiliation with the Uniting Church, you should know that literal interpretation includes examining the use of plain language, figures of speech, literary context, and the cultural context. It is hypocritical, in my view, for you to challenge Margaret Court’s teaching as a minister while you are involved in a related kind of ministry as a female teacher.

Therefore, Margaret Court is not out of order by being a Christian teacher. Interpreting the Bible literally and in context does not lead to your conclusion of Mrs Court being in “hot water” as a female teacher. Rather, she is in the hot seat of being one of God’s gifts to the church and stating publicly exactly what Jesus taught in support of heterosexual marriage and thus rejecting homosexual relationships.

God’s grace as a result of Jesus’ death and resurrection extends to all sinners as Paul illustrated, “Some of you used to do those things. But your sins were washed away. You were made holy. You were made right with God. All of this was done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was also done by the Spirit of our God’ (1 Corinthians 6:12). What they “used to do” included those who “practised homosexuality” and other sins.

Through Christ’s salvation there is hope for change among those who used to practise homosexuality and other sins.

Please be consistent with your biblical interpretation. You were the one who quoted Galatians 3:28 to affirm that there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female because “all of you are one in Christ Jesus”. That teaching is profoundly troublesome for your statement against Mrs Court as a Christian teacher.

Related image Hole 7: There are holey Bible arguments in what you excluded as much as what you included. Your claim is that polygamy was common in the Old Testament (which is true) and that you don’t hear anyone advocating this as a “biblical view” of marriage.

That is only partially true. A cult group such as the Mormons historically practised polygamy. You fail to mention that this polygamy in the Old Testament was between a man and women and not male to male. It was heterosexual polygamy.

However, are you not aware of a website such as, http://www.christianpolygamy.com/? Polygamy is not only advocated by the Mormons but also, “Idaho evangelical Christian polygamists use the Internet to meet potential spouses”. Christian polygamy also is promoted in: http://www.truthbearer.org/polygamy/.

It is a significant issue in African churches where polygamists are converted to Christ.

Related image Hole 8: What was God’s view of polygamy? His original plan was one man for one woman from the beginning with Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27; 2:21-25).

That changed when sin entered the human race (Genesis 3) and Lamech had wives (Genesis 4:23). The Law of Moses was clear for the Israelites: “He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray” (Deuteronomy 17:17).

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). In that same chapter, there is a warning of the consequences of polygamy:

The Lord had warned Israel about women from other nations. He had said, ‘You must not marry them. If you do, you can be sure they will turn your hearts toward their gods.’ But Solomon continued to love them anyway. He wouldn’t give them up (1 Kings 11:2).

Related image Hole 9: You declare the traditional nuclear family can be found in the Bible if we look for it, but it’s not the dominant model. The information given above makes it clear that the nuclear family (with aberrations such as polygamy) was found in the Bible in both New and Old Testaments.

You stated that the Bible doesn’t condemn “what we understand to be loving, mutual LGBTQI relationships today”. This is an imposition on the biblical text which states,

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, emphasis added).

Another translation of “men who have sex with men” is “male prostitutes, sodomites”.

Those who practise homosexuality are prevented from entering the kingdom of God – along with wrongdoers, deceivers, the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers.

The New Testament does not allow or stress homosexual relationships. Its statement is clear nonetheless: “Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2). It’s a serious violation of Scripture when you want to harmonise a verse like this with ”loving, mutual LGBTQI relationships today”.

clip_image024 Hole 10: You make a case for faith being what makes a person a Christian and not family structures or sexuality. That is not what Jesus taught: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16). By the fruit of homosexual relationships, will you recognize Christians? The biblical evidence says, “No”.

Yes, faith in Christ alone for salvation is the primary requisite. However, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 declares the people with certain kinds of behaviour will not enter God’s kingdom. Homosexuality is one such activity. Faith needs to be demonstrated through God’s kind of works, not works defined by political correctness (see James 2).

clip_image026 Hole 11: You stated that Mrs Court’s “culturally bound ideology” is rejected by “biblical scholars and mainstream Christian churches”. Here you have committed the Appeal to Common Belief fallacy.

When you claim that a particular group of people – biblical scholars and mainstream Christian churches – accept the anti-literal interpretation as true, you have not presented evidence for the claim. It is erroneous reasoning.

This is careless thinking and is a dangerous way to accept information.

This is your faulty reasoning:

  • Many people (scholars and mainstream Church people) believe in a non-literal interpretation of what Margaret Court accepts literally.
  • Therefore, the non-literal interpretation is correct.

clip_image028 Hole 12: Your statement that “in the New Testament, Jesus said nothing about homosexual relationships or marriage, except that people should not divorce” is a diversion.

There was no need for Jesus to affirm same-sex relationships because his definition of marriage excluded them. He was not silent but defined the marriage union as between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:5).

clip_image030 Hole 13: Your assertion that many Christians are not represented by the views of Margaret Court or the “so-called Australian Christian Lobby”. This commits a Hasty Generalisation fallacy, also known as argument from small numbers. Ask  Australian rugby union star, Israel Folau, about that!

You have drawn a conclusion from a small sample size (your estimate of “many Christians”), rather than examining statistics that are in line with the average situation. Your debunking of Mrs Court’s view and that of the Australian Christian Lobby because they do not line up with your “many Christians” of another view is deceptive reasoning.

AustralianChristianLobbyLogo2011a.jpg(image courtesy wikipedia)

A better solution would be to examine the statistics for the mainline churches versus the evangelical churches, including Pentecostal churches.

USA church growth expert, Ed Stetzer, has a particular interest in what is happening in the Australian church. He has analysed the Australian church scene and reported in the Bible Society Live Light, (12 May 2015) that too many churches are stagnant.

His observation of the Western world, including the Australian outlook, is that “mainline Protestantism” in the USA and its counterparts in the rest of the English speaking world are “rapidly declining”. He used the Uniting Church of Australia as a representative example, but this could be applied to other members of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCC). He expects this trend of progressive Protestant decline to continue.

By contrast, evangelicalism (represented by Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby) is growing in Australia. His view is that some of this may be partly related to those moving from NCC churches.

Stetzer said that the majority of Protestant Australians who attend church go to a conservative church. It may not call itself evangelical but is influenced by that movement.

A survey of 1,015 adults at Easter 2015 found that “just over half (52%) of Australian’s believe that God exists as the creator of the universe and Supreme Being. These findings have yielded similar results to the same question asked of the Australian public 6 years ago” (McCrindle Research).

According to the 2016 National Church Life Survey, the Pentecostals have overtaken Anglicans as Australia’s second largest religious group by attendance, behind the Catholic Church (https://wwrn.org/articles/46227/).

This should account for Stetzer’s comment that the large numbers of Protestant Australians attending church are conservative. He considered this represented the majority of Australian Protestants. I consider that a better assessment would be to state that a significant number of Protestant Australians attend conservative churches.

Therefore, Dr Whitaker, to dumb down the views of Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby on homosexuality as “not representative” of “many Christians” is to commit the Appeal to Popularity fallacy. This fallacy invokes the popularity of a proposition to provide evidence of its truthfulness.

Here you have committed this fallacy:

  • Many Christians promote modern Christian families that include gay couples and are not represented by Mrs Court’s or the Australian Christian Lobby’s views.
  • Therefore, the truth is that the modern Christian family includes gay couples.

This is invalid reasoning because it does not engage with a contextual interpretation of the biblical texts and the statistical divide between mainline Protestants and evangelical churches.

clip_image032 Hole 14: It is acceptable to send a player of rugby league, rugby union, ice hockey and basketball to the “sin bin” for certain offences against the rules of the games.

One of the largest holes in your agenda, Dr Whitaker, is your avoidance of the key factor – yes, the key factor – that has screwed up our worldviews. This is the problem of sin that has infiltrated every human being and our culture. “God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).

Image result for christart Sin(image courtesy Clipart Library)

Sin entered the world through Adam (Romans 5:12) but this sin not only screwed up human beings and their relationships, it also contaminated the universe.

God told Adam that because he listened to his wife (not his male partner) and ate from the tree from which God commanded him not to eat, then, “Cursed is the ground because of you” (Genesis 3:17).

However, you have been negligent in eliminating the problem of sin and its influence in Old Testament polygamy and other aberrations of marriage, including homosexual marriage, heterosexual adultery, and promiscuity (sleeping around).

The teaching on sin is central to Christianity. Sin consists of acts of offence against God and breaking his laws. “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-12).

However, the contamination of sin in relationships was missing from your article. There is no point in Jesus’ death and resurrection for redemption if there is no need to be liberated from the guilt of sin. Jesus Christ “gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:14).

There was no need to be freed from the sin of homosexuality or polygamy in your presentation. The sin problem left a big hole in your argument.

Conclusion

There’s a huge gap between Dr Margaret Court’s holy Bible and Dr Robyn Whitaker’s holey Bible on the authority of Scripture that contains teaching on homosexuality, gay couples, marriage equality, polygamy, heterosexuality and sexual purity..

I found 14 holes in Dr Whitaker’s case against Dr Court. There are possibly more. It is a serious situation when Whitaker castigates Court’s views when heterosexual and not homosexual relationships are supported by Jesus Himself.

You have bought into the contemporary, pro-homosexual, politically correct agenda that receives vast mass media coverage. Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby have promoted the biblical mandate of heterosexual marriage, which was supported by Jesus, the apostle Paul and has been the norm since the beginning of time.

I recommend that you make an apology to Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby for promoting your own views over those endorsed by Scripture – all in the name of your being a representative of Christianity.

Works consulted

AAP 2017. John McEnroe makes light of Margaret Court same-sex marriage saga. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 5 June. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/john-mcenroe-makes-light-of-margaret-court-samesex-marriage-saga-20170604-gwjyxa.html (Accessed 25 October 2018).

Mickelsen, A B 1963. Interpreting the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Navratilova, M 2017. An open letter from Martina Navratilova to Margaret Court Arena. The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/an-open-letter-from-martina-navratilova-to-margaret-court-arena-20170601-gwhuyx.html (Accessed 25 October 2018).

Provan, I 2017. The Reformation and the Right Reading of Scripture. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press.

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 12 November 2018.

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About Truth Challenge

It is not uncommon today to hear people say, “I don’t believe there is such a thing as truth.” Or, as a leader once challenged me, “There are no such things as absolutes.” Notice what he did? In attempting to debunk absolutes, he said, “There are no absolutes.” Here he established his own absolute. We must call such people to account for their hypocrisy and self contradiction.

Spencer Gear & Aussie koala

Spencer & JDC in library

Koala courtesy Australian Koala Foundation

I am a retired general and family counsellor and counselling manager after working for 17 years before retirement in full-time counselling, mostly with secular Aussies. I completed my PhD in New Testament (research only) in 2015 at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, on an aspect of the historical Jesus’s resurrection as promoted by John Dominic Crossan.

The PhD dissertation may be found at: Crossan and the resurrection of Jesus : rethinking presuppositions, methods and models.

Human beings are special people (not higher primates) made in the image of God. God’s truth comes with the authority of the Almighty God Himself who designed and made the world and continues to keep it function. This truth also comes with an eternal guarantee, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the eternal and divine Son of God.

Truth is under threat

If truth doesn’t matter, why not inject 2-year-olds with heroin when their behaviour is outrageous or they are an inconvenience to family and society? Surely pedophilia is OK when we make up our own values! Why all the fuss about domestic violence? After all, if you decide your own values and I decide mine, anything goes! Leave me alone! If I want to be a New Age guy devoted to postmodern values, let me enjoy them! But please don’t bother me.

This is what is happening to truth. Especially in a postmodern society, we need to ask and answer the question that that Pilate asked at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. It has big ramifications: What is truth? When truth decays and loses its absolutes, startling things happen in many areas of life. Is that happening in your society.

In these pages, you will be challenged with a Christian world and life view. Check out how God’s truth can be applied to all of life. You’ll find examples in these pages.

Correction of mistakes

I’m a fallible human being who is prone to make mistakes through oversight or lack of knowledge. In my own updates of articles on this site, I have picked up errors of fact, typographical mistakes, and links that no longer function. When you come across these, would you please do me a favour and tell where to find such errors so that I can correct them?

If I have misquoted a source, distorted a point of view or theological position, I will correct them if you can demonstrate it is wrong. This may lead to removing sections of an article or deleting the entire article. Please make it easy for me by stating clearly the nature of the error and the correction recommended. This website is maintained by one person – with some guest articles.

There may be theological issues where we may differ; please let me know your position and why you support it biblically or factually if it is not a biblical issue. For biblical subjects, please show me gently why you think I’m wrong – as demonstrated by what the Bible teaches?

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All articles on my website, “Truth Challenge”, are copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 18 October 2018.

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Circular Reasoning: Mark 16:9-20

(courtesy Exposing PseudoAstronomy -WordPress.com)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

The Textus Receptus, on which the KJV was based, was supported by a few late MSS gathered by Erasmus. See information on Desiderius Erasmus.

These Byzantine manuscripts (MSS) contain this longer ending. The earlier Alexandrian text-type does not contain this longer ending. This is exemplified in the Codex Sinaiticus.

clip_image004

Matthew 6:4-32 (Codex Sinaiticus) (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Most modern translations follow the older Alexandrian text-type and we find some comment like this from the English Standard Version after Mark 16:8, ‘[Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20.]’1

1.  An issue with Mark’s long ending

I was directed to this article ‘to clarify for any who are confused [over the short vs long ending of Mark 16]. Interesting that some “scholars” muddy the waters and some clarify them. As always, careful research is needed’.

The article by James Snapp Jr is: ”Mark 16:9-20 – Sorting Out Some Common Mistakes . When I did some ‘careful research’ on Snapp Jr’s article, I discovered the following:

2.  Reasonable discussion shut down: Circular reasoning

A greater problem for me is the begging the question logical fallacy (or circular reasoning) Snapp committed.

What is a begging the question fallacy?

Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. Many people use the phrase “begging the question” incorrectly when they use it to mean, “prompts one to ask the question”. That is NOT the correct usage. Begging the question is a form of circular reasoning

Logical Form:

Claim X assumes X is true.

Therefore, claim X is true (source: Logically Fallacious)

This is how he committed the begging the question fallacy:

2.1  Beginning of the article

He began the article from this perspective:

They [preachers] approached their trusted commentaries and found . . . a spectacular mess. The amount of misinformation that continues to circulate about these 12 verses is staggering. Here are 12 claims about Mark 16:9-20 that should not be taken at face value.

To support Mk 16:9-20, he spoke of those commentaries that excluded these verses that contained ‘a spectacular mess … of misinformation’. So, he wants us to understand the opponents of the long  ending as supporting this mess of misinformation. 

Therefore, I  can fill in the first part of the …

Logical Form:

Claim X is that the commentators supporting the short ending contain ‘a spectacular mess …  of misinformation’. This assumes that the long ending is true if the objections are a mess of misinformation.

2.2  Ending of the article

How does Snapp’s article end?

If we deduce (in agreement with J. Rendel Harris, T. C. Skeat, and other researchers) that Sinaiticus was made at Caesarea, and if we also notice that when Eusebius of Caesarea commented about the ending of Mark, he displayed no awareness of the Shorter Ending (even when the subject invited and even demanded mention of the Shorter Ending, if it had been known), we may conclude that the alternative text in the minds of the copyists of both.

Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, when they produced the anomalous features at the end of Mark in their manuscripts, was verses 9-20.

Here, Snapp supports the longer ending of Mark 16, as he does in the following paragraph. So the  

Logical Form:

Claim X (part 2) is: Therefore, the long ending of Mark 16 is true. 

The complete Logical Form is:

Claim X is that the commentators supporting the short ending contain ‘a spectacular mess … of misinformation’. This assumes that the long ending is true if the objections are a mess of misinformation.

Therefore, Claim X, the long ending of Mark 16, is true. Snapp began with the presupposition that Mark 16:9-20 is Scripture and represents the correct ending of the book. How did he conclude his article? Mark 16:9-20 is the truth of how Mark 16 ends.

When discussing logical fallacies, we are not dealing with the information or facts relating to the topic. We expose the erroneous reasoning used.

If I begin a message, stating that the Bible is the word of God (claim X, part 1) and conclude that the Bible says it is the word of God (claim X, part 2), I have committed a begging the question (circular reasoning) logical fallacy. I have not provided evidence to support this claim.

Logical fallacies prevent reasonable / rational conversation. Why?

3.  Logical fallacies do not deal with the issues

They divert attention from the topic being debated to some other topic for various reasons.

We see it in this example of circular reasoning. James Snapp Jr started with the presupposition that Mark 16:9-20 was the true ending of that chapter and reached the same conclusion after his research.

Whether or not Mark 16:9-20 ought to be included in Scripture is not determined by a begging the question fallacy. Fallacies sidetrack discussions by spinning the wheels on a topic or distracting to another topic the person is more comfortable in addressing.

Whether Mark 16:9-20 is true or not is determined by research into various areas of transmission of the text, called the bibliographical approach.

There are a number of matters that need investigation on any topic. Using a logical fallacy turns the topic to other content. It prevents reasonable conversation on that topic.

(courtesy Ram Pages)

Notes

1The ESV adds this footnote: ‘Some manuscripts end the book with 16:8; others include verses 9-20 immediately after verse 8. A few manuscripts insert additional material after verse 14; one Latin manuscript adds after verse 8 the following: But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Other manuscripts include this same wording after verse 8, then continue with verses 9-20 ‘.

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 October 2018.


Is it a fake news beat up about Senator Fraser Anning?

Australian politicians & mass media join forces

(an unusual alliance)

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.kap.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/20180145_03_Anning_Fraser.jpg?resize=566%2C378&ssl=1

(Senator Fraser Anning, courtesy Katter’s Australian Party website)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

A shorter edition of this article is published in On Line Opinion, 3 October 2018, as: Fake news! The Senator Fraser Anning saga

The Collins Dictionary’s word of the year in 2017 was ‘fake news’. Its definition was, ‘false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting’ (Collins Dictionary 2018. s.v. fake news).

U S President Donald Trump uses the description, ‘fake news’. One example was:

Trump tweeted about his July 20 [2018] meeting with Sulzberger [New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger], saying, “Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People” (Schwartz 2018).

Egypt has enacted ‘fake news’ legislation, as have France, Belarus, Russia, and Singapore (Schwartz 2018)

See:

darksun6 Egypt: Anti-fake news law kicks in

darksun6 Belarus Passes ‘Fake News’ Legislation

darksun6 French Parliament passes law against ‘fake news’

darksun6 Russian ‘Fake News’ Law Would Punish Social Media Platforms

darksun6 New Malaysian government repeals law banning ‘fake news

darksun6 Singapore set to tackle fake news with new law

1.       Definitions

What is fake news?

I’m using it in this Collins Dictionary sense: ‘false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting’ ‘The BBC defines fake news as false information distributed deliberately, usually for political or commercial purposes….’ (BBC News 2018).

So, fake news is false, sensational reporting of information that is supposed to be news’ journalism. But it is deliberately used for political or commercial purposes.

How could fake news be crafted in Australia or elsewhere? I’ll use an Australian example of how I propose that fake news has been developed.

I stress that I’m not supporting all of the content about which Fraser Anning spoke. This is an article to show how I see ‘fake news’ developing before our very eyes.

2.       Four steps to fabricate fake news

Image result for clipart 4 stepsHow is fake news created? I understand there are 4 simple steps:

Step 1:   Somebody makes a statement about an issue.

Step 2:   Others breed false information about this statement.

Step 3:  This false information is spread through the media as newsworthy journalism. Members of Parliament (MPs) also have spread fake news.

Step 4:     Conclusion: Fake news is created.

Let’s follow these Anning steps.

2.1   Step 1: Senator Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution for immigration’

This article is not about whether I agree or disagree with the content of Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in the Australian Senate on 14 August 2018.

His speech can be read at: Full text: Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech (SBS News 2018).

In my view, some of the news sources below have fallen into this ‘fake news’ trap with making Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech[1] in the Australian Senate on the ‘final solution for immigration’ parallel to Hitler’s ‘final solution’.

What did Senator Anning state in the Senate in regard to immigration?  The Guardian reported:

He “didn’t even think about” the historical connotations.

Anning claimed the speech had been taken “completely out of context” and his remarks had “nothing to do with” the Nazi party’s Final Solution.

“The fact is all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said. “I don’t regret anything … I’m not going to apologise or regret anything I say” (Karp 2018).

2.2       Step 2: The ‘final solution’ beat up

Senator Pauline Hanson (Anning was formerly a senator with Hanson’s One Nation party) admitted on Q&A ‘she didn’t know what the term “final solution”’ meant (McMahon 2018).

Also on the same programme, Bob Katter MP of the Katter Australian Party (KAP) could not have been clearer about his support for Senator Fraser Anning (KAP) and the content of his maiden speech:

Mr Katter claimed his senator had “absolutely no idea” the term was used in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler to describe the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe.

“He didn’t get to a university to know the significance of all these words,” Mr Katter said. “He’s smart, but he hasn’t read all the history books. He doesn’t know what any of this means. And nor will he spend any time finding out.

“I’m sick of you lily pad lefties coming at us on some absolutely ridiculous technicality that has nothing to do with the issues.”

Mr Katter said his party was resolutely pro-Jewish and wanted to protect Jewish people in Australia from “the persecutors” being brought in from the Middle East under Australia’s migration program (McMahon 2018, emphasis added).

In Cairns, Bob Katter said of Anning: ‘His speech was absolutely magnificent. It is everything that this country should be doing’ (Karp 2018).

2.3       Step 3: False information spread

This is only a taste of what the media and MPs have been reported as saying.

2.3.1  Hype by MPs and Senators

Image result for Hitler's Final Solution(Image courtesy Haiku Deck)

Concerning Anning’s ‘final solution’ statement:

 

3d-red-star-small      Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull: ‘We reject, we condemn racism in any form, and the remarks by Senator Anning are justly condemned and rejected by us all’; it was a ‘shocking insult’ to the Jewish people (Karp 2018);

3d-red-star-small      Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition, ‘repugnant and disgraceful’ (Karp 2018).

3d-red-star-small      Senator Pauline Hanson of One Nation said she was ‘appalled’ by Anning’s comments, adding that the speech was ‘straight from Goebbels’ handbook from Nazi Germany’ (Karp 2018a).

3d-red-star-small      The energy and environmental minister, Josh Frydenberg, a Jew, labelled the comments ‘extremely ignorant’ and ‘hurtful, divisive and unacceptable’. He added in an interview with Channel 9:

“Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments, but he should immediately go and visit a Holocaust museum and hear first-hand from survivors, how raw the pain is, and hear about and see the destruction and devastation caused by the Nazi killing machine,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“You see, 10 million people lost their lives to the Nazis. Six million were children.

“It’s totally unacceptable for an Australian member of parliament, let alone any Australian, to utter those words and he should retract them” (Karp 2018).

3d-red-star-small      Former treasurer (now Prime Minister), Scott Morrison MP, said: ‘Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments. “What the terrorists do is they say to young people who live in Sydney, in suburbs and places like Lakemba… ‘come and fight with us, because all those Aussies don’t want you, don’t like you’ (Financial Review 2018).

3d-red-star-small      The leader of the Greens followed the other political rhetoric:

“Referring to immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, with the same language that the Nazi’s used to discuss the extermination of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust is vile, racist, bigoted and has no place in out (sic) society, let alone our parliament,” Senator Di Natale said (Lewis 2018).

Not all parliamentarians were against Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution for immigration’ terminology. ‘The Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm called the response a “ridiculous overreaction” to a phrase that could have “multiple meanings”’ (Karp 2018).

2.3.2   Hype from the mass media

3d-red-star-small  SBS News (2018a) reported: ‘Senator Anning used the Nazi-associated phrase “final solution” and called for a ban on Muslim immigration’.

3d-red-star-small On the Today Show, Anning was asked by host, Georgie Gardner, ‘about using the Nazi term “final solution” in his speech’. He said he ‘didn’t even think’ about whether it would be offensive.

“All I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said. “That has nothing to do with the ‘Final Solution’”, the thought police got onto that….

“Claims that the words meant anything other than the ultimate solution to any political question is always a popular vote are simply ridiculous,” Senator Anning said in a statement.

“Anyone who actually reads them in context will realise this….

“If people want to take it out of context that’s entirely up to them. It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community and it’s (sic) two words and if that offends anyone unfortunately that’s the way it has to be” (Graham & Farr 2018).

3d-red-star-small ABC News began an Opinion piece with:

On the surface, Fraser Anning’s use of the term “final solution” in Parliament can be attributed to two explanations.

The first is that he is ignorant of the historical significance and weight behind the term and its association with the Nazi regime in Europe.

The second is far more sinister — it is dog-whistle politics to the ever present racist undercurrents in Australian society (Masters 2018).

Then Masters proceeded to give us a graphic history lesson on the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. No adjectives are adequate for me to describe the genocide inflicted on 10 million (including 6 million children) by Hitler and the Nazis during World War 2.

In the Killing Centers

Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection. [LCID: 77255]Jewish women and children upon arrival in Auschwitz

Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection. Auschwitz camp, Poland, May 1944.

However, the ‘final solution’ of the Holocaust was not the topic of Fraser Anning’s speech.  However, it sure got the ABC and other media outlets on board with their inflicting another meaning to those two words.

3d-red-star-small The Sydney Morning Herald’s headline on the day after Anning’s speech was: ‘Fraser Anning achieves what he deserves: denunciation from the ages’ (Wright 2018).

3d-red-star-small The New Daily’s article on the Anning speech had the headline, ‘Unapologetic Fraser Anning under fire from all sides after ‘final solution’ Senate speech’ (McCulloch 2018).

2.4       Step 4: Fake news has been created

We’ve moved from,

matte-red-arrow-small  A person making a statement, to

matte-red-arrow-small  Other people placing another spin on the statement.

matte-red-arrow-small  The new spin is spread by mass and social media.

matte-red-arrow-small  So, the fake news has been generated.

In the Aussie example, what was the original statement?

3.       What did Senator Fraser Anning actually say in the Australian Senate?

In his maiden speech in the Australian parliament, Senator Anning stated:

  • ‘My most immediate concern is saving agriculture in this country’.
  • ‘My next biggest concern is rural infrastructure development. First and foremost, my priority is water…. My first solution is to build the Bradfield scheme’.
  • ‘The next critical problem that we need to address is immigration. Australia currently has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world’.
  • ‘Finally, it should go without saying that, as a nation, we are entitled to require that those who come here not only have useful work skills and qualifications but also the commitment to work and pay taxes’.

It was in the paragraph of the ‘finally’ statement that Anning fired up those who took his comments out of context and beat up politicians + mass media fake news hype – in my opinion. 

Part of what he stated in the final point was:

In the days of Menzies, immigrants arriving here were not allowed to apply for welfare and that attracted exactly the right sort of hard-working people this country needed. We should go back to that and ban all immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive. The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here. Whitlam didn’t ask the Australian people whether they wanted wholesale non-European migration when he introduced it and neither has any subsequent government. Who we allow to come here will determine what sort of nation we will have in the future, so therefore this isn’t the right of any one government to decide. It’s too important for that. Instead, we need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims or whether they want to return to the predominantly European immigration policy of the pre-Whitlam consensus. I for one will be very happy to abide by their decision (SBS News 2018, emphasis added).

  (Asylum seekers boat off Christmas Island, courtesy ABC News, Brisbane Qld) Image result for photo deaths boat Christmas Island

In this 35.10 mins speech, Anning acknowledged he was a ‘conservative Christian’. The sentence that got on the goat of politicians and the mass media and has led to fake news being perpetrated by them (in my view) was: ‘The final solution to the immigration problem is a popular vote’ (SBS News 2018).

  Anning did a round of interviews on Wednesday morning [15 August 2018] claiming the use of the term “final solution” – used by the Nazi regime to describe a genocidal policy of exterminating Jewish people – was inadvertent but refused to apologise because he claimed the outrage was solely coming from political opponents (Karp 2018).

4.       The final solution: Queensland Premier reacts

The Queensland Premier used her ‘whip’ to try to punish the Qld division of KAP over something that was said in federal parliament:

Annastacia Palaszczuk has ripped up a deal allowing the Katter’s Australian Party five extra staff, on the back of Senator Fraser Anning’s widely condemned maiden parliamentary speech….

The Labor leader renewed criticism of the KAP’s support for Mr Anning’s inflammatory speech, which praised the former White Australia policy and suggested a plebiscite as the “final solution to the immigration problem”.

Nazis referred to the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe and beyond as “the final solution to the Jewish question” (Crockford 2018).

I refer you to Fraser Anning’s intention in what he said in the Senate (see below).

The ‘thought police’ have been in action; fake news came out of a comment that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Nazi ‘final solution’.

Speaking on the Today Show [Channel 9], Mr Josh Frydenberg said the remarks were “extremely ignorant, hurtful, divisive, unacceptable”.

“Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments, but he should immediately go and visit a Holocaust museum and hear first-hand from survivors, how raw the pain is, and hear about and see the destruction and devastation caused by the Nazi killing machine,” Mr Frydenberg said….

“You see, 10 million people lost their lives to the Nazis. Six million were children.

“It’s totally unacceptable for an Australian member of parliament, let alone any Australian, to utter those words and he should retract them.” (Calcutt 2018).

5.       Fraser Anning’s intent in what he said

Bob Katter responding to the controversial first speech by William Fraser - Anning in the Senate. Frame grab courtesy of ABC News (Bob Katter photo, courtesy The Examiner, ABC News)

Bob Katter MP, leader of the Katter Australian Party (KAP), said he ‘supports his colleague Fraser Anning “one thousand per cent”’ (Jackson 2018).

Anning’s response to the fuss over what he stated about ‘the final solution’ in his maiden speech was:

The comments were “taken out of context” and he hadn’t even thought about their significance.

“The fact is, all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said.

“That has nothing to do with the final solution. The thought police got onto that.

“I’m a strong supporter of the Jewish community, and always have been. For everyone to take it out of context is a joke and an attempt try to shut down debate.

“It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community and it’s two words and if it offends anyone, unfortunately, that’s the way it has to be” (Calcutt 2018).

The context was what to do about immigration policy in Australia’s intake of migrants and he wants the Australian people to decide with a vote. He confirmed that his ‘final solution’ had nothing whatsoever to do with Hitler’s ‘final solution’ in the Holocaust of World War 2.

It sure sounds like the MPs and media have taken Anning’s comments out of context and made them mean what he did not intend. That’s how fake news is developed and promoted (based on the definitions above).

6.       Threats to Katter’s Australian Party

Because of the association of Fraser Anning’s speech with the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ in World War 2, there have been some threats made to the KAP.

6.1       Qld Premier’s threat to cut KAP staff numbers

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP has threatened to refuse funding some current Katter’s Australian Party staff. The Guardian reported:

Palaszczuk told the Labor state conference in Brisbane on Sunday [2 September] she would not (sic) longer fund the extra staff after the KAP failed to denounce the senator for his remarks.

“We have the right to free speech in our parliaments, but that free speech is not free of consequence,” she told party faithful.

“So because his party will not denounce senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party”….

“I am withdrawing the additional staff I granted to Katter’s Australian party because it tolerates the intolerable and it defends the indefensible, and senator Fraser Anning’s statements are indefensible,” she said on Sunday [2 September]….

Robbie Katter said Anning’s words had been twisted and taken out of context (Australian Associated Press 2018).

The North West Star, Mt Isa, reported:

KAP State Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has referred Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission following her decision to strip the KAP of four staff.

“On Tuesday I sent a letter to the CCC asking them to formally investigate the matter,’’ Mr Katter said.

“I’m asking the Premier to step down while the CCC considers our complaint.”

The call comes a day after the Premier made the decision to strip the party of staff over the row about KAP Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in Federal Parliament last month.

Mr Katter said Queenslanders were appalled to see political power wielded as a weapon to shut down opposing views.

The Premier tried to use the threat of withdrawing resources to get us to behave a certain way in Parliament. We wouldn’t, so she removed them,” he said.

“It seems like a pretty clear case of using threats to influence the free will of a Member of Parliament. If she gets away with it the implications are massive for our democracy in Queensland.’’

Mr Katter said LNP members had also been referred as a result of the pressure they placed on the Premier (Barry 2018).

What would a civil libertarian say about what Palaszczuk did to KAP?

Queensland Council of Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman says while Senator Anning’s speech was “appalling”, the government’s action is contrary to one of the pillars of the Fitzgerald report.

He says stripping KAP of their staff allocation is reminiscent of the Bjelke-Petersen government’s stifling of their Labor opposition (AAP 2018).

6.2   Consequences of fake news: Threats to withdraw funding

Troy Gray, the secretary of the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union, which gave KAP $100,000 between 2011 and 2013 said he ‘totally disagrees’ with Anning and Katter’s position on immigration. His view was that he would be ‘staggered if anyone in the union movement would support the party after those comments’ (Karp 2018b).

What about support from the CFMMEU (Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union)?  Bob Katter responded to The Sydney Morning Herald:

Mr Katter, 73, told Fairfax Media he planned to recontest his seat of Kennedy, which he has held for 25 years, but reserved the right to change his mind. He said no one from the CFMMEU had contacted him about Senator Anning’s speech or his subsequent statements.

“I can’t think of any reason why they would,” he said. “We are being undercut by massive migration into Australia [and] the only people fighting against that are ourselves [KAP] and the CFMMEU” (Koziol 2018).

7.  Conclusion

It seems to me that the ‘fake news’ definition from the Collins Dictionary has been played out before my eyes in Australia in August 2018:

  • A newly elected, Senator Fraser Anning, made a maiden speech in the Australian Senate and spoke of the ‘The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy’.
  • MPs, Senators and mass media picked up two words, ‘final solution’, took them right out of context and applied them to the Nazi ‘final solution’ to exterminate 10 million Jews in the Holocaust of World War 2. They bred and fed false and sensational information about a simple statement about immigration. One doesn’t have to agree with Anning’s content, but what the MPs and Senators made of those two words was fake news, in my view.
  • These falsely generated particulars were spread through the mass and social media.
  • So, fake news about immigration in a Senator’s maiden speech was developed into ‘real’ news about Fraser Anning promoting a ‘final solution’ to the immigration problem that was parallel to Nazi’s ‘final solution’.

Image result for fake news photo public domain

(courtesy Dreamtime.com)

8.  Works consulted

AAP 2018. KAP considers going to CCC after staff cut. 5AU (online), 3 September. Available at: https://www.5au.com.au/sharenews/173590-kap-considers-going-to-ccc-after-staff-cut (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Australian Associated Press 2018. Palaszczuk cuts Katter party staff over Fraser Anning speech. The Guardian (online), 2 September. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/02/palaszczuk-cuts-katter-party-staff-over-fraser-anning-speech (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Barry, D 2018. Robbie Katter refers Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to CCC. The North West Star (online), 5 September. Available at: https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/5627256/robbie-katter-refers-premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-to-ccc/ (Accessed 15 September 2018).

BBC News 2018. Spotting ‘fake news’ among the real stories (online), 14 March. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/education-43404254/spotting-fake-news-among-the-real-stories (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Calcutt, L 2018. Fraser Anning speech: Senator says final solution comments ‘taken out of context’. 9News (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.9news.com.au/2018/08/15/08/21/fraser-anning-speech-muslim-migration-final-solution-politican-reactions (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Crockford, T 2018. Premier rips up Katter deal after Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. Brisbane Times (online), 2 September. Available at: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/premier-rips-up-katter-deal-after-anning-s-final-solution-speech-20180902-p5019b.html (Accessed 7 September 2018).

Financial Review 2018. Queensland senator Fraser Anning refuses to apologise for ‘final solution’ speech (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.afr.com/news/queensland-senator-fraser-anning-refuses-to-apologise-for-racist-final-solution-speech-20180814-h13zby (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Graham, B & Farr, M 2018. ‘While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims,’ Senator Anning said. news.com.au (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/while-all-muslims-are-not-terrorists-certainly-all-terrorists-these-days-are-muslims-senator-anning-said/news-story/c0753644cfccdda0394619e6f9dc01b5 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Jackson, E 2018. Katter supports Anning after Senate speech. The Examiner (Cairns), 15 August. Available at: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5587566/katter-supports-anning-after-senate-speech/?cs=9397 (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018. MPs widely condemn Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. The Guardian (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/15/mps-widely-condemn-fraser-annings-final-solution-speech (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018a. Fraser Anning speech ‘straight from Goebbels’ handbook’, says Pauline Hanson. The Guardian (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/15/fraser-anning-speech-straight-from-goebbels-handbook-says-pauline-hanson (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018b. Union drops Katter support as recording claims Fraser Anning aimed to ‘hit nerve’. The Guardian (online), 16 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/16/union-drops-katter-australian-party-support-leaked-recording-claims-fraser-anning-aimed-to-hit-nerve (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Koziol, M 2018. ‘Almost certifiable’: Bob Katter pays political price for backing Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 16 August. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/almost-certifiable-bob-katter-pays-political-price-for-backing-fraser-anning-s-final-solution-speech-20180816-p4zxun.html (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Lewis, R 2018. Shades of Pauline Hanson in Fraser Anning’s first speech. The Australian (online), 14 August. Available at: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/shades-of-pauline-hanson-in-fraser-annings-first-speech/news-story/abdd9495e797a1153076403f6ff736f9 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Masters, A 2018. Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech points to a more dangerous threat to Australia (Opinion). ABC News, Brisbane Qld (online), 16 August. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-15/fraser-anning-final-solution-more-dangerous-threat/10123350 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

McCulloch, D 2018. Unapologetic Fraser Anning under fire from all sides after ‘final solution’ Senate speech. The New Daily (online), 15 August. Available at: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/08/15/fraser-anning-final-solution-unapologetic/ (Accessed 17 September 2018).

McMahon, N 2018. Q&A recap: Pauline Hanson says she had no idea what ‘final solution’ meant. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 28 August. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fraser-anning-s-final-solution-speech-absolutely-magnificent-says-bob-katter-20180815-p4zxme.html (Accessed 4 September 2018).

SBS Mews 2018. Full text: Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/full-text-senator-fraser-anning-s-maiden-speech (Accessed 4 September 2018).

SBS News 2018a. KAP refers Qld premier, LNP leader to CCC (online), 4 September. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/kap-refers-qld-premier-lnp-leader-to-ccc (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Schwartz, J 2018. Trump’s ‘fake news’ rhetoric crops up around the globe. Politico[3] On Media (online), 31 July. Available at: https://www.politico.eu/blogs/on-media/2018/07/donald-trump-fake-news-rhetoric-crops-up-around-the-globe-media-social-media-foreign-affairs/ (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Swan, J 2013. Jewish MP to put religion before politics. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 30 January. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/jewish-mp-to-put-religion-before-politics-20130130-2dkmr.html (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Wright, T 2018. Fraser Anning achieves what he deserves: denunciation from the ages. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 15 August. Available at:  https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fraser-anning-achieves-what-he-deserves-denunciation-from-the-ages-20180815-p4zxm3.html (Accessed 17 September 2018).

9.  Notes

[1] Fraser Anning is now a senator for Katter’s Australian Party (SBS News 2018).

[2] The Romani, Romany or Roma are gypsies in Europe, the sub-continent and the Americas.

[3] This website deals with ‘politics, power and media in Europe’ (Schwartz 2018).

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 September 2018.

 

Image result for free clipart linesImage result for free clipart lines

 

 

Reader-response methods: How meaning can be stripped from biblical texts

 

Child And Book

(courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

In searching the Internet for more information on reader-response ways to deconstruct any text, I was attracted to Dr Jeremy Koay’s1 brief article, ‘What is reader-response theory?‘ (2017) This is an exceptional overview of a method that is overwhelming the reading of documents of any kind, whether narrative, poetry or interpretation of art.

Even though the article was published in December 2017, no comments had been made to it, so I forwarded my response.

1. Problems with reader-response: From the article

I find that a major problem with read-response theory is that it cannot consistently interpret literature. You stated, ‘The idea of pure literal meaning is contestable because our culture, experiences and worldview shape our understanding of words’. Is that how you want me to read your article? Or do you want a literal reading (which includes figures of speech)? Can I engage in postmodern, deconstruction, reader-response techniques with your article to make it mean what I decide it means?

Could you imagine the recorded history of Emperor Nero, George Washington, Hitler and the Nazi concentration camps, Captain James Cook circumnavigating NZ and sailing up the east coast of Australia being interpreted by reader-responses?

Did Emperor Nero, George Washington, Hitler and James Cook say and do what is recorded in their journals and history about them or is that open to the readers’ interactive deconstruction with our reader-responses from our century and cultures?

That’s what we are dealing with in examining any writing from the past or present. I wouldn’t interpret the articles in the Brisbane Times (BT) that way.

Imagine my reading your writings with that view? Surely you want me to read this article so that I understand the content of what you mean, within the bounds of English grammar and syntax, rather than imposing 21st century Brisbane environment and my reader-response on your text.

If I read the BT like that and passed on my postmodern, reader-response, interactive, contemporary interpretation of today’s BT stories to the people in my community, they would think I was going over the edge mentally.

EduMaxi chose not to publish my reply, so I sent this inquiry: ‘I submitted a comment on 28 August 2018. It has not been published. Are there reasons  for this delay or non-acceptance of the comment?’

2. Email rather than online reply

Dr Koay chose to reply by email rather than publishing my letter on the EduMaxi website’s target readers are primarily language teachers (not philosophers)’. So he considered my reply was philosophical.

I won’t publish his email because he has not given me permission to do that. However, you’ll pick up some of his content in my response, sent by email on 13 September 2018. I use ‘you’ and ‘your’ in referring to Dr Koay.

From your content, I raise five concerns:

2.1 ‘Pure literal meaning is contestable’

You say that this is because culture, experiences and worldview shape our understand of words. I don’t disagree with that perspective. However, I contend that my current worldview cannot be used to deconstruct the meaning of, say, John Milton’s Paradise Lost (Stanley E. Fish tried to do it in Surprised by Sin and came to an understanding that, I think, would cause John Milton to turn over in his grave).

OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast

Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,

Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,…. (Paradise Lost, Bk 1)

I consider that I would be cheating Milton to use my culture, experience and worldview to place my meaning on Milton’s poetry written in the seventeenth century. I need to understand the language and concepts he used and the biblical worldview to which he referred. Uncovering the intent of the author is my primary task as an interpreter of any document from your article, to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, or to the Bible. This is done by listening to the ‘plain meaning’ of a text.

I don’t use the language of ‘pure literal meaning’, so I don’t know how that differs from taking a text – narrative or poetry – at face value. I obtain the meaning from the text and not from my creative invention (reader-response, pesher method, allegorisation) of the text.

I have great difficulty in refusing ‘pure literal meaning’ when I investigate Captain James Cook’s circumnavigation of NZ and sailing up the east coast of Australia in HMS Endeavour in 1770:

A three-masted wooden ship cresting an ocean swell beneath a cloudy sky. Two small boats tow the ship forward.

HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c. 1794

How is it possible to use a reader-response interpretation dealing with the Endeavour when Captain James Cook’s name is associated with an ocean-going ship, The Endeavour? Pure literal meaning applies as much to Jacinda Ardern’s being Prime Minister of NZ and Scott Morrison’s recent ascension to the PM of Australia. Is plain reading of a text the same as ‘pure literal meaning’ to you?

You stated ‘ This theory rejects the structuralist view that meaning resides solely in the text’. Do you consider that structuralism (meaning because of the language system) has been superseded by postmodern reader-response methodology?

I can’t walk into a local fish and chips shop and give a reader-response interpretation to the menu and expect to get what I ordered. I had to ask for clarification when some friends and I had lunch at a local tavern. My friend ordered whiting for the fish dish. He discovered his fish was NZ whiting and not Australian whiting. Questions for clarification are not equivalent to reader-response hermeneutics whether in the supermarket, at Centrelink (social security), reading The Sydney Morning Herald or the Bible.

I endorse the perspective that readers engage with a text to question concepts raised, discover etymology of words, cultural divergence from contemporary culture, etc. However, that is not the position you advocate as a theory: ‘Readers, as much as the text, play an active role in a reading experience (Rosenblatt, 1994)’.

It is my understanding that readers do not create content of a writing; authors do that. Readers may disagree with the content and provide reasons for such, but creating meaning is not their roles. Readers may develop personal or group applications from the text, but this is not part of the author’s intended meaning.

2.2 ‘I regard the theory as a theory – nothing more and nothing less’

I commend you for treating this reader-response literary device as ‘a theory’, which means it has yet to be proven.

However, that is not the view of many promoters of the reader-response approach. They use it as a method of hermeneutics. Take these eminent promoters of reader-response views:

According to Wolfgang Iser, ‘the meaning of a text … is not inherent in it but must be produced or actualized by the reader’ (Iser in Culpepper 1983:40, 209).

Iser explained the supposed ‘vacant pages’ and ‘gaps’ in a text that a reader uses in active and creative ways. His perspective was that ‘the gaps, indeed, are those very points where the reader can enter into the text, forming his own connections and conceptions and so creating the configurative meaning of what he is reading…. From the given material [the reader] must construct his own conception of the reality and hence the meaning of the text (Iser 1972:40, 276, emphasis added).

‘While the meaning of the literary work remains related to what the printed text says,… it requires the creative imagination of the reader to put it all together’ (Iser 1980:142).

‘More recent research (Eco 1985 and 1994; Iser 1980; Ricoeur 1992) has accentuated the creative role of the reader in interaction with the text. Intertextuality is a component of this dialectical process’ (Zumstein 2008:135 n. 17).

John Dominic Crossan: ‘‘This, then, is my working definition of history: History is the past reconstructed interactively by the present through argued evidence in public discourse’ (Crossan 1998:20; 1999:3 emphasis in original).

That aborts my research as an historian and historical Jesus’ scholar. It would cause my examination of the historical HMS Endeavour, Captain James Cook, and the historical Jesus, to be a contemporary mish-mash of historical evidence and personal, contemporary, public deconstruction. Historians should hang up their historical credentials and become innovative writers of historical fiction if they pursue reader-response methodology.

While you state reader-response is a theory for you, it is not so for many other postmodern writers.

2.3 ‘My father drove me to school’

In using this example, I consider you have confused the ‘gaps’ in reader-response theory with committing An Argument from Silence logical fallacy.

The logical form to your argument is:

Person 1: The boy claims his father drove him to school (a truthful statement) and then remains silent;

Person 2: Then, it is true his father drove him to school (but the boy leaves out a lot of evidence that Person 2 creates about the vehicle).

You state that you ‘do not equate this to a “pure literal meaning”’. Is ‘my father drove me to school’ literally true? If so, then it conforms to a ‘pure literal meaning’.

However, what you have called an example of reader-response theory in action is really fallacious reasoning:

The reason this technique works so well, is because imagined reasons are often more persuasive than real reasons.  If someone wants to be convinced, this technique works like a charm. However, to the critical thinker, this will not fly.  Silence is not a valid substitute for reason or evidence (Bennett 2018).

You also use an Argument from Silence fallacy in your statement: ‘For me, the fact that you (not other readers) commented on my blog suggests that you and other readers may have ‘read’ it differently’. Do you have evidence to prove this statement?

2.4 ‘… I do not and cannot expect that to happen’

 

Image result for clipart literal meaning(courtesy ClipartXtras)

You don’t expect readers to understand the intended content of what you wrote because of their different worldviews?

I find this to be ambiguous. Because I may have a different worldview to yours, that does not mean I cannot objectively (but imperfectly) examine the words, grammar, syntax and content you wrote so that I could respond online to your article. That is what I did originally and is what I’m doing now to your email reply.

I observe that you were able to deal with the content of what I wrote – without any difficulty – so you could email me your response. I did not observe any creative, reader-response of filling in the ‘gaps’ in your reply. You did clarify what you wrote in response to my ‘comment’ to your article.

2.5 Ultimate truth

You gave statements about those who do and do not agree with ultimate truth because of their differing worldviews. One was: ‘ Others believe that since we can’t objectively assess an ultimate truth, they subscribe to the idea of versions of realities’.

Because you dealt with the generic ‘some’ and ‘others’, it makes it difficult to respond when there is a lack of specifics. However, in my research (480pp dissertation in New Testament, University of Pretoria, South Africa) I noted that some deconstructionist, reader-response promoters reject any examples of absolute truth (e.g. Iser, Crossan, Derrida, etc.).

Your statements included those who believed, ‘Since we can’t objectively assess an ultimate truth, they subscribe to the idea of versions of realities’. Are they absolutely sure of this belief?

That should be shattered on the absolute truth that driving rules in New Zealand and Australia require that we drive vehicles on the left-hand side of the road. Any other side is an aberration by those breaking the law or for legitimate reasons (e.g. road works). With this denial of absolute truth in Aust and NZ, does it include a denial of the moral view that it is wrong to murder and steal?

3. Works consulted

Bennett, B 2018. Logically fallacious (online). Available at: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies (Accessed 13 September 2018).

Crossan, J D 1998. The birth of Christianity: Discovering what happened in the years immediately after the execution of Jesus. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco.

Crossan, J D 1999. Historical Jesus as risen Lord, in Crossan, J D, Johnson, L T & Kelber, W H, The Jesus controversy : Perspectives in conflict, 1-47. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International.

Culpepper, R A 1983. Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel. Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press.

Fish, S E 1980. Is there a text in this class? London and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Fish, S 1987. Surprised by sin: The reader in Paradise Lost. New York: Macmillan.

Iser, W 1980. The act of reading: A theory of aesthetic response. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Koay, J 2017. What is reader-response theory? EduMaxi, 5 December. Available at: http://www.edumaxi.com/what-is-reader-response-theory/ (Accessed 13 September 2018).

Zumstein, J 2008. Intratextuality and intertextuality in the Gospel of John. In T Thatcher & S D Moore (eds), Anatomies of narrative criticism, 121-136. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

4. Endnotes

  1. 1Dr Jeremy Koay is a New Zealand-based Independent Researcher and a Research & Development Consultant at EduMaxi. He obtained his PhD in Applied Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington in 2015. His research interests include Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis and TESOL (Koay 2017).

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 13 September 2018.