Tecktonics Ministry JP Holding/Robert Turkel
This web site is an examination of "J.P. Holding" and his efforts to promote Christianity.
Because you are here reading this, you may already know who Mr. "Holding" is. If not, the following is a brief introduction: "J.P. Holding" is the Internet pseudonym for a thirty-something former prison librarian named Robert Turkel. Mr. "Holding" now makes his living by trying to promote Christianity. He maintains a Christian apologetics web site from which he solicits donations that are ostensibly used to help him in his apologetic efforts. Turkel's income from donations has grown considerably since 2001.
In his efforts to promote Christianity and to insure a continuing stream of donations, Mr. Turkel engages in behavior that is, well, questionable. Mr. Turkel misrepresents, denigrates and belittles those who disagree with him, he refuses to create Internet links to the responses of those he debates with, he redefines words and apparently lies outright if he feels it is necessary (see here), he continually dodges questions that reveal the absurdity of his positions, he manufactures asinine rationalizations to try to smooth over Bible problems, and-while employing these and other rhetorical strategies-he constantly congratulates himself on his apologetic skills. (For more information, go here)
So why devote a web site to someone such as this? Though Mr. Turkel is regarded as a laughing stock by Bible skeptics who have dealt with him, many Christians seem unable to recognize the phoniness of much of his "argumentation." It is hoped that this site will go some distance in rectifying this unfortunate situation. It is also hoped that an examination of Mr. Turkel and his apologetic efforts will reveal the deleterious effects that fundamentalist religious indoctrination can have on a person's intellect and personality.
The essential problem with Mr. Turkel-and one of the things that make him such an interesting subject of study-is that as a religious fundamentalist he cannot accept that he is wrong about any one his religious beliefs, no matter how indefensible a particular belief may be. Understanding this is the key to understanding Mr. Turkel's behavior. A Bible skeptic who had a discussion with Mr. Turkel recognized his fundamentalist mindset and asked him a question that he knew Turkel would not and could not answer:
What would it take to convince you that you were wrong?
What I mean by this specifically is: Mr. Holding, what would it take for you to admit that the Bible contained errors? What would it have to say to be discrepant? Can you give an example of a contradiction that you would accept as impossible to harmonize, and that you would agree casts doubt on the Bible's overall reliability and trustworthiness? All your erudition appears to have provided you with no end of creative ways to explain contradictions away. Is there any even hypothetical contradiction that could not be resolved by any of these techniques? In my experience, asking this question is the way to tell the difference between an open and a closed mind. Closed-minded theists, such as I believe Mr. Holding is, may present very persuasive-sounding arguments elsewhere, and they may appear compelling and in command of the facts, but present them with a question like this and they will not - cannot - answer it. They will bob and weave, they will evade and segue into irrelevancies, they will give long lists of reasons why the question is unimportant, they will attack the questioner for asking it, but they will not answer it. So far, Mr. Holding's behavior fits this pattern to a T.
The first time I asked him what would convince him he was wrong, he replied only with the non-answer, "More than you've provided." When I pointed this out, he composed an amusing second reply in which he claimed his answer was far more than that - but still refused to say what his answer actually was. Well, such evasive maneuvers will not help him. What's so hard about answering this question, Mr. Holding? What would you accept as a contradiction? We all await your next reply with bated breath.
As can be seen here, in the last paragraph at the bottom of the page, Mr. Turkel's response to this question was a meaningless generality, a non-answer. It would seem that Turkel does not understand the importance of the question and what his inability to answer reveals about his belief system. On the other hand, perhaps Turkel does understand why this question is so important, because in a different discussion, he posed a similar question to a poster:
"Now why don't you explain to us how your thesis is falsifiable and therefore actually worth consideration?"
Robert Turkel/"J.P. Holding" December 7th, 2004
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An examinatio of "J.P. Holding"