Friday, August 7, 2009

Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much: Interesting Fallout from the FAIR Conference

This is a big weekend for many people in the church as F.A.I.R. (The Foundation for Apologetics Information and Research) is having their annual conference. I was content to sit back and enjoy the blogging commentary, but a small kerfuffle has erupted over the comments of Robert White. You can trace the contours of the debate here and here.

To briefly summarize, some people did not like the words of Ron White and the role he envisions for FAIR. The intellectuals seem to be hypersensitive about their "standing" in the church. As the words of Chris and Jared seem to indicate, they feel they can stand for the church outside of FAIR in more intellectual realms and they resent the seemingly "in your face tactics" of Ron White.

As an intellectual I understand how they can feel that way. But I also think they need to seriously examine their intolerance towards the FAIR speaker. I would hardy condemn an entire organization or conference because of the seemingly offensive words of one speaker. I thought Ron White's talk was great and not at all what the critics thought it was; but if you didn't perhaps you should look for context, look at all the speakers, or just ignore those few impolite sentences. I also don't disparage other organizations such as Dialogue or Sunstone except when any group decides to be blatantly intolerant towards another group. Plus, its extremely elitist to attack an organization because their speakers may not have the right credentials. We are in a religion that had fisherman and farm boys as our spiritual leader, and its seems antithetical towards your stated goal of helping the members if your language is so obtuse that they cannot understand you.

Furthermore, I fully intend people of all backgrounds and education to enjoy THIS site. That is why I specifically aim to use accessible language and try to avoid jargonism that is so prevalent in many posts. I also accept all comments from the amateur history enthusiast to the PhD holders and seek to keep the comments section free of acrimony.

In conclusion, I feel its rather sad that people can get so up in arms over a conference that is supposed to uplift, edify and instruct. According to some people one person did not excel in that endeavor. And its even more sad that a particular blog reinforces its reputation by over reacting to that speakers apparent insult. I hope that my blog can truly be inclusive to people of all education backgrounds and political leanings. And I also hope that I will be included as a presenter some day.


Michael A. Cleverly said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter... :)

Were you at the FAIR conference? I was (first time attendee)--I would have loved to meet you personally.

I do appreciate how you're able to draw on your specialized knowledge and training on this blog and share your insights in a way that is accessible to the average person who doesn't have a graduate degree in military history.

Keep up the good work.

Morgan Deane said...

I did not attend the FAIR conference. I really wanted to but a cross country trip for a conference is way out of my financial capabilities right now. I also want to present somthing in the future since I feel I can offer something rather unique and exciting.

Thanks for commenting. Be sure to let me know if I am using to too much jargon, or if I should slow down and explain something. I definitely appreciate the "average" (in a good way) person's perspetive.