Sheelah, I’ve signed up to receive notices each time someone posts on these Discussion Forums. You posted yesterday, I read it in my email, but now I don’t actually see it on the JFV website itself. Perhaps there is some technical problem with the Module 1.4 Forum? I wonder this because I see that for some reason one of your responses to Rich from back in 2015 has inserted itself among the 2018 posts. Perhaps, then, your post addressed to me yesterday is nestled away in some other place; I looked, but I couldn’t find it. Whatever the case may be, I am a little distraught over what seems to be a frightful miscommunication.

Many apologies for my lack of clarity in my earlier post!! I would never want in any way, shape, or form to compare James’ faults to those faults characteristic of a communist dictator. First, I should say that I don’t know him well enough to know any of his faults whatsoever; second, even though I (regrettably) don’t know him personally, I can (in some small respect) concur with your commendation of him by saying that he indeed possesses one of the least dictatorial demeanors of any lecturer I’ve encountered.

When I spoke of James’ “communist dictatorship example” on April 21, I was NOT saying that James is himself an example of dictatorial behavior!! I meant only to reference the example he used to introduce us to the term ‘revisionist history’ in Module 1.3 minute 4:15 to 6:40. He discusses specious communist historians and concludes: “We can always tell that most revisionist accounts of history are bad accounts of history, but on the other hand there aren’t any good accounts of history that are not revisionist accounts of history.”

I meant to give James the benefit of the doubt when I said, “I suspect that Alison will talk about an appropriate revisionist reading of scripture;” and I was trying to introduce a pit fall I myself have fallen into when I’m in a teaching role when I said, “I’d like to make a brief comment on an inappropriate revisionist reading of scripture” [italics added here to emphasize what I utterly failed to make clear in the original post].

Again, I did not want to say that James had done something inappropriate, nor did I want to say that I could foresee that he was about to do something questionable; just the opposite—I wanted to say that (given what I knew of him up to that point) I could anticipate that he would NOT entertain any inappropriate revisions. The only inappropriate revisionist reading of scripture I was addressing was one that I suspect I myself have done on more than one unfortunate occasion during a Sunday school class. Please, therefore, read the critical remarks I then make of a teacher who appropriates the Word of God (rather than read it/listen to it) as a non-specific indictment of some very specific mistakes I myself have made–probably more times than I realize! [E.g., in my March 17 comment on the Module 1.3 Discussion Forum, I relay the tale of a woefully dictatorial stance I took while reading scripture with others.]

I’m truly mortified to learn that vague language and a terse exposition of my ideas allowed for my comment to be interpreted as a swipe at James’ character. I couldn’t write this clarification quick enough, once I saw what happened.