Bill O’Reilly Award for Most Outraged at Paul Holloway

Paul Holloway has recently protested against the awarding of an honorary doctorate to evangelical apologist, Bishop N.T. Wright, author of, among other things, Matthew for Everyone, Mark for Everyone, Luke for Everyone, John for Everyone, Acts for Everyone, Romans for Everyone, 1 Corinthians for Everyone, 2 Corinthians for Everyone, Galatians for Everyone, 1&2 Thessalonians for Everyone, Ephesians for Everyone, Colossians and Philemon for Everyone, 1&2 Timothy and Titus for Everyone, Hebrews for Everyone, James for Everyone, Letters of John for Everyone, 1&2 Peter and Judah for Everyone, Revelation for Everyone, New Testament Prayer for Everyone, and The New Testament for Everyone. Holloway’s letter has caused an internet storm and we at The Ratzies decided it was only right to showcase the wisdom of the online community in this ongoing debate about whether fundies are just claiming to be scholars in order to give credibility to ETS and to the money they plow into SBL.

As is well known, blogs and comments contain often missed—thus underappreciated—intellectual nuggets. Unfortunately, such wise online souls, piously outraged, and five-a-day couch masturbators (intellectual and physical) are too often ignored. This is a great shame because comment sections should be the first place to go to become educated in, for instance, gender politics. To further the debate and give these people a voice, The Ratzies have nominated the shiniest of nuggets the internet has offered, from the persecuted through the patronizing and self-important all the way to the evidence-free and homoerotic. And those who unintentionally agree with Holloway that Wright is an apologist.

We have collated our results from here, here, here, here, and here.

Here are the contenders:

Honorary doctorate goes to almost everyone for repeated use of “ad hominem”

Best pompous or patronizing language, including use of ‘bravo’

‘Bravo for saying this BWC’ (Fr Will McQueen)

‘I can only say bravo to the direction Vice-Chancellor McCardell has taken the University as a whole.’ (Jody)

‘Envy wrapped in political correctness and sanctimonious self righteous indignation. Not terribly original.’ (Fr Paul Wintom)

To be honest, Holloway is probably preaching to a choir of supporters in his own circle, but I think it was very embarrassing for the Sewanee faculty that one of its members would reduce themselves to such non-sense that is so easily refuted and so evidently driven by ideology rather than by substance. (Michael Bird)

‘a remarkable display of hubris, intolerance and sheer contemptuousness’ (David W. Virtue, DD)

‘May I suggest a different course next time? One that does not remind me of a young one with fingers in ears, stomping the floor, and shouting LA, LA, LA at top volume.’ (Gary Archibeck)

Best use of SNTS as either self-promotion or benchmark for what a proper New Testament scholar should really be

‘To be honest, as an SNTS member, I was a little embarrassed that one SNTS member (Paul Holloway) would speak that way about another SNTS member (N.T. Wright)’. (Michael Bird)

‘…the prestigious SNTSMS of Cambridge. The SNTSMS is the series of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, the most elite society of New Testament scholars in the world’ (Nijay Gupta)

Most surprising description of SBL

‘I have loved the scholarly world. I’m but a pastor who has learned greatly attending the SBL conferences. There is a nobility and ethos of honor toward one another, an amazing passion for truth and integrity, and members who seem to genuinely care for one another. It is easy in my “wannabe scholar” status to think too highly of these men of books. I have wondered if there was such an example of scholar who seemed to hold an opposite ethos. I have now experienced the opposite ethos, and I find it disturbing and hope that I never have to experience it again. I’m okay though.’ (Gary Archibeck)

Best unsubstantiated but supremely confident opinion, including creative uses of ‘proof’ and ‘shows’

‘Holloway’s juvenile diatribe is likely to be due to both radical liberal ideology and jealousy. Holloway is likely to be jealous of Wright’s influence and popularity’ (Bruce Atkinson)

‘I would say that having served in parish ministry for 11 years now with a broader sense of the thoughts, feelings, and minds of the people of the church, I can see how Mr. Holloway fits the mold of “those who can’t, teach.”’ (Stephen Whaley)

‘Isn’t this [St Andrew’s, Scotland—ed.] the same previous administration that hired you, Dr. H [former senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow, also in Scotland—ed.]? Biting the hand that feeds you?’ (timtrue)

‘But fifty year’s from now students will still be examining Wright’s writings for their doctoral theses and Holloway’s works – like most NT scholars that ever lived – will be in a dusty corner of the library.’ (Peter Carrell)

‘he’s too concerned with puffing himself, and his perceived guild, up’ (Jody)

‘What burns Holloway is that Wright refuses to capitulate to TEC social policing and thus is guilty of thoughtcrime’ (wyclif on Twitter)

‘Friends who shared that post enthusiastic are basically progressives who don’t like dissent’ (Derek Rishmawy on Twitter)

‘If Dr Holloway feels slighted or jealous of Dr Wrights popularity, and that is certainly how it reads to someone outside the Sewanee circle…’ (danvbennett)

‘The fact that he actually stoops to insult not just Wright but a colleague that is more highly thought of in religious studies than any that has been his employer shows that he is motivated less by scholarship than ideology.’ (labarum)

‘It is also fortunate that every time he spews his ignorance (which seems to be happening on a more frequent basis), this professor become less and less legitimate, proving he can no longer be taken seriously in any academic, theological, or scholarly way.’ (BWC)

Best snobbery, including the use of ‘monogram’

‘Holloway’s institution would be lucky if it was half as successful as St. Mary’s college at St. Andrews’ (Michael Bird)

‘What is intriguing and/or amusing, is one professional NT scholar-whom-I-have-never-heard-of’s assessment of N.T.Wright, a giant of 20th century and early 21st century NT scholarship.’ (Peter Carrell)

It doesn’t sound like a playground fight to me—it sounds like somebody who ought to know better completely blowing his credibility. Or maybe the better analogy is a child poking a grizzly bear with a stick. (wyclif)

‘In the meantime, I expect the Sewanee authorities are rather pleased with this letter as it demonstrates a number of reasons why budding NT scholars will want to choose Sewanee over faux underfunded universities such as St Andrew’s.’ (Peter Carrell)

‘And St Andrews attracting American men does have a rather august history: Benjamin Franklin for one; also Andrew Carnegie and James Wilson (first judge on USSC)! St Andrews is apparently the third oldest university in the English-speaking world (1410) after Oxford and Cambridge. It does attract a lot of Americans (not just evangelicals and not just men, despite Dr Holloway’s swipe). Meeting the heir to the British throne there however is probably a one-off!’ (MichaelA)

‘St. Andrews is obviously no Sewanee. Lolz.’ (David Berge)

‘He recently gave a lecture to Anglicans in Charleston SC at a Mere Anglican Conference which this writer attended. Wright got a standing ovation from the nearly 1,000 present. Holloway would not even qualify for an invitation.’ (David W. Virtue, DD)

‘He is nonetheless recognized as a real scholar and has had invitations to Rome to meet the Pope and his entourage of papal theologians. He is no lightweight, which is more than can be said for Holloway.’ (David W. Virtue, DD)

‘When I searched Amazon for Holloway’s writings, I found one single monogram on the Consolation of Philippians, and this man has the nerve to criticize the prolific N.T. Wright!’ (David W. Virtue, DD)

‘This really is a case of the fellow deep on the bench imagining he could top the other team’s star player. Perhaps he is a bit miffed that Wright has not only served at institutions (Oxford and St Mary’s) that are superior in terms of NT scholarship than any that has employed him but now his current employer is bestowing honors upon him. The fact that he is picturing that employer (Sewanee) as being superior for budding NT scholars St Mary’s borders on delusion – perhaps delusions of grandeur.’ (labarum)

‘It is hard to know how to respond to the delusional thinking of this otherwise never heard of Holloway fellow that he ought even to be in an article alongside the name of NT Wright’ (Ralph)

Most righteous outrage

‘It is disturbing that the only formal New Testament teaching at the School of Theology comes from this man.’ (BWC)

‘I only hope Dr. Holloway is experiencing some kind of “writer’s remorse” right now and will retract his letter. Something tells me that that’s wishful thinking, though.’ (Kevin Conway)

‘What a terrible example Professor Holloway has set for the students of the University of the South…He seems to take the position that all people in his field of study should agree with him or they are not worthy of note and that is a very narrow-minded attitude. Shameful!’ (Bettie)

‘This rant is the intellectual equivalent of a very small man buying a very large 4×4 pickup. Classy’ (Able)

‘Good grief, whatever happened to collegiality!’ (Michael Bird)

‘I will let you read the letter yourself for the main objection he has to Wright’s award (hint: it’s socio-political-cultural).’ (Peter Carrell)

Best use of the argument that those who claim to be tolerant are intolerant for not showing tolerance of intolerance

‘I would challenge Professor Holloway to be more tolerant of views different from his own.’ (Bettie)

‘It boggles my mind how folks like this who supposedly champion the values of diversity and tolerance can utter such ad hominem drivel.’ (Michael Bird)

‘So… Wright was scholarly and Metaxas was tolerant, and neither were mean-spirited. And Holloway’s letter… well… in the immortal words of Cmdr. Buck Murdock, “I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.”’ (S. Maxwell)

‘Sewanee long ago fell off the orthodox map in matters of faith and morals, but alumni have consistently turned a blind eye to what has been going on fund raising aggressively to keep the liberal progressive agenda alive at the university.’ (David W. Virtue, DD)

Most godly and/or brown-nosing

‘N T Wright is a living saint. His YouTube videos alone have carried the Gospel as forcefully, with as much true Christian love as any Evangelist in Christs’ service today.’ (danvbennett)

‘perhaps a little modesty and prayer is called for. He [Holloway] does, after all, represent Christ.’ (danvbennett)

‘Like Holloway, your comments reveal you to be a radical liberal PC worshiping heretic’ (Bruce Atkinson)

‘Being despised by the despicable is as good as being admired by the admirable…Bishop Wright is a wonderful man and a great teacher. I’m sure he prays for your repentance. I’m glad God is merciful instead of just.’ (Dan Frian)

‘Fortunately, there are enough priests and lay people in the church still preaching truth, correcting his theological hate.’ (BWC)

‘his 4 vol. Christian Origins series is not mere apologetics, but quite meaty NT scholarship, and faithful scholarship at that’ (Fr Will McQueen)

‘Just so we don’t miss it, let me repeat: N T Wright is a living saint. He is a soul-saving Christian brother who radiates the Truth of the Gospel with love, modesty and humor to the world at large. As we used to say in Brooklyn, Dr Holloway, eh, not so much.’ (danvbennett)

Most tender memory

‘I well remember the summer in the late 1990s when I read both ‘The New Testament and the People of God’ and ‘Jesus and the Victory of God’. I felt like I was being ushered into a whole new world of understanding of the times in which the NT was written, and first century Judaisms, and the faith/works controversy, and many other subjects.’ (Tim Chesterton)

Best numerical estimate

‘A lesson about the internet, Dr. Holloway. Although you intended your diatribe with a very small audience in mind–Academic Theologians–you reached everyone doing a google search for N T Wright…Next time, Dr Holloway, I suggest you limit your rants an in-house email. Using N T Wright as a keyword will only bring his thousands–millions?–of supporters to his defense.’ (danvbennett)

‘A book a year apologist? The number of published books divided by years working would suggest an average closer to three. Not to mention endless lectures, debates and sermons delivered in a schedule that would exhaust men a third his age.’ (danvbennett)

Most suspicious uses of ‘to be honest’

‘To be honest…to be honest…’ (Michael Bird)


7 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly Award for Most Outraged at Paul Holloway

  1. I only mentioned SNTS because Holloway is himself a member of SNTS (so this would serve hopefully as a “legitimate” marker of scholarly achievement in his eyes); I was aiming for an emic approach. Not sure why you are against that. By the way, I am not a member of SNTS, but I respect it for its international nature.

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