Idiot Loser Crap Apologist takes on John Beversluis

I notice that some of the exchanges on Secular Outpost have gotten a bit heated lately. Hey, you guys don’t know nasty. We atheists are pikers when it comes to nasty. To see it in its paradigmatic form, you need to look at some of the more far-out fundagelicals. Check this out:;=131
This is a character called J.P. Holding, who also sometimes goes by the name “Turkel,” taking on John Beversluis’s treatment of the C.S. Lewis “lord, lunatic, or liar” trilemma. This guy had a hissy fit over my essay in The Empty Tomb and posted some moronic criticisms. John should be proud. If you elicit foaming rants from Holding and his ilk, you must be doing your job.

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  • bpabbott

    That you even mentioned this idiot’s post gives him more credibility that he deserves :-(

  • John W. Loftus

    Having dealt with Holding extensively on TWEB I understand his mode of operation. You can see his justification for belittling his detractors here. My response can be found here.

    And I can tell you that he has gotten some notoriety by these offensive tactics among his followers. He berates and demeans us so that we turn our guns on him. The bigger the gun the better. That’s his goal. Not long ago Holding did a hatchet review of Hector Avalos’s book, The End of Biblical Studies and called him “Dr. Stupid.” Because of this Avalos gave him a sound trashing. Holding subsequently threw up enough smoke that his followers thought he had said something important, and Holding claimed the victory. His followers think that if these big guns take aim at him then he must be doing something right! So every time he taunts one of us to take him on his status goes up among his ignorant followers. I see you’ve been the recipient of these tactics. So have I.

  • Keith Parsons

    Holding has a following?? Now that’s scary! Ted Drange and I both replied to criticisms by Holding. These are in the “answers to critics” section of the site Jeff Lowder set up for The Empty Tomb:

    Holding is like the big, fat cockroach that scuttles across your kitchen floor. You just can’t resist the temptation to stomp on him. The problem with individuals like Holding is that they have WAY too much time on their hands. The rest of us have real jobs with real responsibilities and cannot spend all day blogging. I don’t have any idea how Holding makes a living, but he apparently has unlimited time to churn out invective. This means that Holding and his ilk can always resort to the unbeatable rhetorical ploy of argumentum ad exhaustum. Whenever you respond to them they make an extensive reply, which requires another response, which gets another long reply…and so on. You may win every battle, but he will win the war simply because he is still talking when you have to break off and go do some real work. Lesson learned. From now on I’ll resist the temptation to stomp on the bug.

  • debater

    Everyone — I just looked at the post by Holding concerning Beversluis and the trilemma argument. I haven’t read the latest version of Beversluis’s book, but I did want to make everyone aware of a hard-hitting critique of the Trilemma argument by Daniel Howard-Snyder, a Christian philosopher of religion. The essay was originally published in Faith and Philosophy, but is also avilable (in PDF format) on his website at

  • John W. Loftus

    For easy access to Beversluis’s whole chapter on this issue, it can be found here.

    Yes, unfortunately, Holding has many followers. I personally think we skeptics should ignore him for the most part. His arguments are all to be found among other more qualified Christian apologists anyway, so when we deal with their arguments we’re also dealing with his for the most part. That’s what I’ve concluded anyway.

  • Badger3k

    I am not sure that driving Holding into a frothing fit is a big deal. He seems to have such seizures at the drop of the hat. That is not meant to say that Beversluis’ arguments aren’t good (nor anyone else’s – I haven’t read them yet), just a comment on Holding’s level of emotional maturity.

  • John W. Loftus

    Holding does seem to have gained a following though and he’s kind of hard to ignore. Lee Strobel likes what he does.

  • Keith Parsons

    Steve Hays is another would-be apologist with a big mouth and little brain. He posted a lengthy diatribe against The Empty Tomb. His section on my essay charged “Parsons is a total ignoramus,” which I found immensely amusing. Of course, I have my own opinions about who is and who is not an ignoramus. I see from John’s comment that Holding has now edited a book. Maybe he and Hays and like individuals should pool their “talents” and do a book with the title “Assholes for Jesus.”

  • exapologist

    Poor little guys, frantically typing out their reams of gibberish. Adding rolling smiley faces to every sentence (refutation by rolling smiley face?). Sad.

  • Suggie

    Why is with the Furry art on that guys site?

  • klas_klazon

    “Adding rolling smiley faces to every sentence”

    The thing is, I don’t think they’re enjoying themselves half as much as the smilies indicates. I think they’re mostly pretty angry with the fact that some people don’t agree with them.

  • BK

    I personally find it funny that the people criticizing Holding for some of the derisive language he uses call him a host of names — idiot, ignorant, a “big, fat cockroach that scuttles across your kitchen floor”. Even the title of the post calls him an “idiot loser crap apologist.” Good grief. And you guys actually expect us to take your claims that you are somehow better than Christians seriously?

    The Trilemma does assume that Jesus actually said the things reported of him. I have read all of “The Empty Tomb” and I while it occasionally scores a point here and there, it hardly comes close to establishing that Jesus didn’t say what the Gospels report Him to have said. Looking beyond the hyperbole, which I agree Holding often overuses, he does make good points in the link published.

  • Keith Parsons

    Sauce for the gander, BK. Here is how it goes: the atheist writes a scholarly article, like those in The Empty Tomb. The reply of Holding/Hays and their ilk is puerile, asinine abuse. The critic then writes a reasoned reply (as I did), hoping to elevate the level of discussion. Response of the Holding/Hays crowd: more puerile asinie abuse. After a round or two of this, the critic concludes that all that crowd has to offer is puerile, asinine abuse. Take the case of John Beversluis. Nobody could have written a fairer, more balanced, scholarly, or objective critique than John did in C.S. Lewis and the Seach for Rational Religion. The response of Holding/Turkel: puerile, asinine abuse. In this case “Idiot Loser Crap Apologist” is really too kind a characterization. Are we atheists better than Christians? I don’t know. The point is that they claim to be a lot better than us, and the Holding/Hays crowd of “apologists” does its best to disprove that claim.

  • BK

    Nice try, Keith. The usual fare is that the Christian writes something and the atheists gang-tackle them with abuse. Don’t believe it? Go to Yahoo! Messenger or some other webgroup and pretend for a few minutes to be a Christian. Morevoer, it is certainly the case in my experience that atheists do regularly claim to be better than Christians. Of course, Christians claim the same and often (very often, actually) fall short of that peak.

    As far as Beversluis wrote in his article: I admit to not having read it. But if that is the same article that Holding is refuting in the link, then I think that your characterization leaves much to be desired.