A Rejoinder To Timothy Weber’s Reply -- By: David A. Rausch

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 24:1 (Mar 1981)
Article: A Rejoinder To Timothy Weber’s Reply
Author: David A. Rausch


A Rejoinder To Timothy Weber’s Reply

David A. Rausch*

It is a unique situation to write a rejoinder to an author who explains that he applauds the main thrust of your article but feels that you chose to make your point at his expense. According to Timothy Weber, the predominant difference between us is that I chose a quotation from his book and was imprecise in presenting his position. This is ironic, because I actually believe that statements in his book distort an accurate portrayal of the fundamentalist movement and disparage men who are no longer alive to clarify their position as Weber has done.

I must confess that I neither intended to review Weber’s work nor to attack him personally. In fact, I wanted to soften the blow because my main thrust was to alert the scholar to the casual acceptance of the pejorative remark concerning fundamentalists and to encourage a re-evaluation of our respective biases toward the historic fundamentalist. Thus I stated that “Weber’s comments are not extreme,” that “the words are chosen carefully” and that “Dwight Wilson is not as kind as Weber.” Nevertheless it is apparent that Weber chose to take my words as a personal attack and as a review article of his book. Therefore I have no choice but to elaborate a bit more on his book to provide a more detailed explanation for my brief comment.

Weber’s book was brought to my attention by several scholars who wanted to “prove” to me that fundamentalists were anti-Semitic. After reading their selected pages from his book, I read his entire manuscript to gain a bearing on what it was that led these scholars to conclude that he had “documented” fundamentalist anti-Semitism. Weber is upset that I used the word “epitomizes,” but I do feel that his statement that I quoted is a perfect example of the casual acceptance of the pejorative remark (that is what my second paragraph is about) and his weak “qualifiers” in my estimation do not rectify the damage that he has done on page 154 of his book.

I did state that Weber’s “words are chosen carefully,” but only carefully enough to leave him the loophole to claim that he neither overtly attacks fundamentalists or premillennialists for their support of Zionism nor directly accuses them of anti-Semitism. Instead he sets up an ambiguous framework of loaded phrases that naturally leads the reader to that conclusion—that is, that premillennialists “sounded anti-Semitic” and “acted like representatives of American anti-Semitism.” They had an “ironic ambivalence” toward the Jews, and they were programmed to think that the “Jews were under the power of Satan.” Weber states in his reply, “It is not splitting semantic hairs to point out that ‘sounding’ and ‘acting like’...

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