Chris has written back to me. I'll be writing a brief response tonight, but I wanted to post this, in case anyone is following the story.
I've made this a separate post because Chris used some formatting that I couldn't put in a comment, and I didn't want to lose anything in what he wrote.
On Mar 13, 2011, at 12:52, Chris Rosebrough wrote:
I've read and reread your proposal and appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. That being said, despite my willingness to discuss this topic with you, because you've requested that certain topics that I believe are central to issue at hand be considered outside of the scope of our conversation, I cannot agree participate in the discussion. The topics that you've stated should be outside of the scope of our discussion are:
Since I have been clear from the start that it is my firm contention that Ingrid is the one who coined the term Bridger, it would simply be impossible for me to properly discuss this topic without referencing:
- Whether Ingrid (or others) have applied the term to people wrongly
- Whether the term itself is reasonable and worth using
- Any comments on the way you (or others) have criticized the term or those who have used it
Therefore, I will not agree to any discussion on this topic that restricts me from putting forward what I believe the problem is and providing the supporting evidence needed to defend my thesis.
- Ingrid's publicly stated definition(s) and use of the term Bridger
- Who is a Bridger according to Ingrid's definition(s)
- The unbiblical standard of evidence employed by Ingrid in determining who is a Bridger
- Ingrid's use of the informal logical fallacy, Guilt by Association in order to brand Christian leaders as Bridgers
- How Ingrid's failure to provide proper evidence in context and her use of logical fallacies has resulted in a witch hunt mentality that casts suspicion on leaders in the church who actually believe, teach, confess and defend the Biblical gospel.
- Ingrid's publicly stated prescription for protecting the Body of Christ from Bridgers.
I do not believe that a dialogue, no matter how amicably handled, that is limited to some abstract discussion of the concept of Bridger, detached from the context of current events will help the cause of truth or unity.
Update (my response)
I think you may have misunderstood what I was proposing. If that happened because I was unclear, I want to fix that.
- I never planned to keep things at an abstract level. I know that at some point the dialogue I want to have will need to get into the details that you mentioned.
- I deliberately placed any application or criticism of the term "bridger" out of the initial topic's scope because the my first goal is to get agreement between us solely on what the term itself meant. I believe that confusion regarding that definition has driven much of what's happened since.
- I didn't say anything concrete in my proposal about a next step, so I understand why you'd think I didn't want to discuss the things you listed. I had a different reason; I wanted us to remain exclusively focused on the very limited original topic I proposed.
- I was worried that if we planned what topics would follow, it would be too easy to stray into them.
- I thought discussing the first topic would be the best way to uncover what the next step should be, rather than trying to set it ahead of time and needing to change it
- I didn't want be seen as a spokesman for others in any following discussions
Given my clarification, I'm going to restate the topic, scope, and goal of what I've proposed as a starting point for our discussion. My offer remains open.
"Define bridger giving the meaning and scope intended in its original use"
Anything already written or broadcast that's relevant to the topic (original definition). I'm expecting we'd want to stay with primary or secondary sources, but that's up to the one making the argument. This would include but not be limited to:
- Ingrid's publicly stated definition(s)
- Any inferences of a definition based on Ingrid's application of the term in print or interviews (validity in context would need to be defended, of course)
- So, Ingrid calling someone a bridger would not be in scope, but inferring what a "bridger" was based on her stated reasons for using the label in that case could be.
- FYI, I would consider Ingrid's confirmation of the accuracy of my statements as in-scope, even though she did it in a private phone conversation
An answer to the topic that the two of us agree on. Barring that, a clear statement of how and why we disagree.