The John W. Loftus Basement of Credentials

 

 

John. W. Loftus is a carpet cleaner and pool player from Angola, Indiana.  He has self-published a book, From Minister to Honest Doubter.  At this location he says, “If you want only one book to hand to your friends that will dismantle traditionally [sic] Christianity, this is it.”  So, who is this fellow who seeks to challenge the Christian faith?  What are his credentials?  Is he as intelligent as he claims?  Was he really a Christian?  How familiar is he with Christian doctrine?  Is he worthy of our trust?

 

Let’s find out.  First, we peruse his “About the Author” claim:

“I graduated from Great Lakes Bible College, Lansing Michigan, in 1977. Afterwards I became the Associate Minister under Eddie Bratton in Kalkaska, Michigan, for two years. Then I attended Lincoln Christian Seminary, Lincoln, IL and graduated in 1982 with M.A. and M.Div degrees, under the mentoring of Dr. James Strauss. After this I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and graduated in 1985 with a Th.M degree, under the mentoring of Dr. William Lane Craig. At Trinity I also studied with Dr. Stuart Hackett, Dr. Kenneth Kantzer and Dr. Paul Feinberg.

“I also took classes at Marquette University in a Ph.D program with a double major in Philosophy and Ethics but did not finish. At Marquette I studied with Dr. Ron Feenstra, Dr. Marc Greisbach and Dr. Daniel MaGuire.

“I have taught extension classes for Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL, for Great Lakes Christian College. Lansing Michigan, for the College of Lake Country, in Grayslake, IL, for Tri-State University, Angola, IN and for Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek, MI, where I still teach as an adjunct facility member. I was in the "Who's Who Among America's Best Teachers in 1996.

“From December of 1987 to December of 1990 I was the Senior Minister of the Angola Christian Church, Angola, IN and for a year was the President of the Steuben Country Ministerial Association. Before that I had several ministries in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. I was in the ministry for about 14 years, or so and wrote many articles for the Christian weekly magazine, The Christian Standard.”

And we read his claim from an online debate forum, Theology Web:

July 9th 2005 , 02:56 AM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1105691&postcount=36

Nominate the most Intellectual Twebbers

At one time, probably ten-twelve years ago, I was up on all of the latest research, and very knowledgeable in apologetics of all kinds of stuff.

 

Further scrutiny reveals the following about Mr. Loftus, in his own words:

From Minister to Honest Doubter, p. 4.

But the deficiency with a cumulative case approach is that I lack the scholarship to deal adequately with all of the issues involved.

 

From Minister to Honest Doubter, p. 5.

One major reason why I have become an honest doubter is because even though I am above average as a thinker I could not answer the questions that I was encountering myself, so I became a doubter precisely because that’s where the unanswerable questions led me.  I couldn’t answer them, and I’m above average, so those who are below average should be warned.

 

From Minister to Honest Doubter, p. 5.

And since I haven’t been reading a lot on these issues in the lasts six years I do not show an awareness of recent research and writing, but I still think what I cumulatively say, is on target.

 

July 15th 2005, 04:29 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1115677&postcount=44

Doubting John’s Argument Against The Resurrection

John Shelby Spong is not a scholar, just like me.

 

May 26th 2005, 08:02 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1044498&postcount=10

Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

In the meantime, you asked whether or not someone is informed, not whether or not their motives are good. So, was I informed? Does three master's degrees and a year and a half in a PH.D. degree mean that I was informed enough? Informed? I think I was, and I am now, although I'm no scholar, and will probably never be one. How does one know whether or not he is informed enough? Do you know things that I don't know? Why of course you do. Do I? Yes. Who is better informed? Is that the issue? Well then, you are better informed than I, I'll even admit so.

 

December 21st 2005, 06:22 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1311362&postcount=59

The Supernatural is inherently irrational

You know, I went to a military school in the 8th grade where I was taught one whole year of symbolic logic under the guise of "the new math." When I reached the public school where we had Algebra in 9th grade I almost flunked out of it because I never had 8th grade math. As a result I never did much more in the area of math than that 9th grade class. But I was way ahead when it came to logic, even though at that time I didn't know what I was taught (I thought it was the new math, like he said).

 

December 24th 2005, 06:24 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1315457&postcount=72

The Supernatural is inherently irrational

I already told you my math background story. I got a D- in Algebra in my 9th grade, and that's the last math class I ever had.

 

December 20th 2005, 09:02 AM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1308950&postcount=49

The Supernatural is inherently irrational

ONCE AGAIN. I AM NOT CERTAIN ABOUT MUCH OF ANYTHING.

 

 

 

An example of Loftus’ intellectual prowess can be found here:

 

From Minister to Honest Doubter, The Historical Evidence for Christianity—Is It Enough?
posted Monday, May 23, 2005

It’s just false to say that history provides justification for viewing history. Islam, another historical religion, has a longer history to it than Christianity.

 

Peter, 05.23.2005, 9:51pm link

A slight innacuracy [sic] with the article though - Islam is not older than Christianity. Islam was founded in 622 a.d.

 

John W. Loftus[@], 05.27.2005, 4:33pm link

Sorry about the mistake on Islam, I just didn't look it up 'cause I thought I remembered.....

 

 

Now, what happens when someone critiques Loftus’ work, at his invitation?

 

From Minister to Honest Doubter, p. 4.

So I know these scholars could piecemeal my argument apart one piece at a time.  Well, if that’s the case, then let them.

 

June 1st 2005, 06:59 PM http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1051768&postcount=24

Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

So, tell me in general terms what you think of my book. We can talk about specifics as you feel you may want to.


June 2nd 2005, 09:34 PM http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1053644&postcount=29

Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

The way you are going through my book is page by page, and you can do that.

 

But my doubt is so deep today that if you want me to rehash all of the minutia you find in my book, then quite plainly, I never asked for that.

 

June 3rd 2005, 06:51 PM http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1055417&postcount=31

Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

If you want to continue making points on the minutia, go ahead. Maybe you can enlighten me on such things, if you wish. But don't expect a debate from me on the minutia.

 

June 13th 2005, 11:07 PM http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1069896&postcount=81

In one sense, JP is to be laughed at by how he exegetes my book--it's just like how Matthew treated the O.T.

 

And is Loftus as honest as he claims to be?  Can we trust him if he isn’t?

 

June 13th 2005, 06:51 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1069868&postcount=80

Is there such a thing as an honest doubter?

I, however, and [sic] an honest man, and an honest doubter.

 

July 2nd 2005, 10:43 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1097162&postcount=1

Does God Answer Prayer?

I noticed in the "Chaplain's Office" people are praying for my wife who has been diagnosed with cancer. Thank you very much for your concern, and I sure would like to think it can help, but I really don't think so.

My contention here that the promise of answered prayer “dies the death of a thousand qualifications,” so to speak. There is no reason to think that God, if he exists, will answer our requests.

 

August 8th 2005, 06:31 PM

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=1143861&postcount=22

Doubting John's wife

Praise God.
I never said I don't believe in prayer. I pray with hope and that's all. My hopes seem to have been borne out and I do not discount the prayers of the people here on TWEB.

 

 

*  *  *

 

Loftus claims to have left the Christian faith, but was he ever a Christian if he admits:

 

From Minister to Honest Doubter. “What if I’m Wrong?” pp. 171-173.

Am I to be blamed because I couldn’t understand traditional Christianity? I tried with everything in me. I even spent several years earning three master’s degrees and studies in a Ph.D. program to figure my faith out.

 

Because I’m pretty sure most all of us are wrong about some crucial religious issues. I’m probably wrong too.

 

If I am wrong about anything I have written in this book, then I am wrong. And I probably am wrong about some things, and maybe about many things. I know this.

 

*  *  *

 

Loftus’ ignorance about Christianity is documented at the following webpages:  The John W. Loftus Loft of Ignorance, A Biblical response to “What If I’m Wrong?”, A Biblical Response to “Why Did Jesus Suffer?”, The John W. Loftus Closet of Logical Fallacies, The John W. Loftus Hall of Moral-Free Mentality, John W. Loftus Vs Christianity, The John W. Loftus House of Waffles, and The John W. Loftus Whining Room, which lists Scriptures that support the defense of the Christian faith.  Loftus reveals more about himself at John W. Loftus: "This is Who I Am", John W. Loftus: Trapped in TheologyWeb!, The John W. Loftus Hall of Huh? and The John W. Loftus Hall of High Level Discussion.

 

2 Timothy 3

 

2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

    6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.