Jim Will Be Back!

There’s a big stir about Jim West’s “retirement” from blogging, which he has apparently announced on Facebook. But don’t believe it. Jim will surely be back. He’s done this sort of thing to grab attention many times before. Here’s the history:

1/20/06: Jim deletes his first blog (The “Biblical Theology” Blog).

10/?/06: Jim deletes his second blog (“First Baptist Church of Petros”).

2/20/08: Jim deletes his third blog (The first “Dr. Jim West” blog). This time he claimed it was hacked, which many found hard to believe. I didn’t buy it either.

12/31/09: Jim deletes his fourth blog (The second “Dr. Jim West” blog).

I suspect that the skewering Jim recently received at the hands of Hector Avalos has something to do with his sudden flight. Chris Heard once similarly called Jim’s credentials into question, and Hector is highlighting the same kind of hypocrisy. There is, of course, nothing wrong with lacking credentials in itself, and as we all know, many biblilobloggers (like myself) are independent amateurs. What’s problematic — if utterly hilarious — is to see an individual like Jim (whose credentials are far from mighty) habitually lash out at dilettantes, homeschoolers, and others for (supposedly) not measuring up to credentialed standards.

On Roland’s blog, a commenter named Adam suggests that Jim “suddenly realized that his blog was no good and was embarrassed”, and Stephanie Fisher hopes that if he returns, “he leaves out the cruel humour against suicide victims, homosexuals, atheists and fat people” — which, of course, was a large part of what was “no good” and “embarrassing”. But I tend to think that’s the sort of thing that kept Jim blogging more than anything else.

Well, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Jim will be back, despite his insistence otherwise. Mark my words!

UPDATE: It looks like Jim has a church blog, though it should be noted that this is not the same “Petros Baptist Church” blog that succeeded Jim’s “Biblical Theology Blog”, and which Jim deleted in October 2006 (see above timeline). (Hat-tip: Roland (via Steph).) A church blog won’t be enough for him. Jim craves a more academic spotlight, and as Rick Sumner says in comments, “he won’t be able to help himself”. I repeat: Jim will be back. It may take a week, a month, a few months at most, but he will return.

UPDATE (II): Chris Heard worries that his position may be misunderstood, and since I’m the one responsible for dragging up his three-year old post, I’ll do the courtesy of citing his emphasis: “My comments about Jim’s educational background and teaching practices were not an attack on the quality of the credentials themselves (as I think Hector intends his own comments), but part of a critique of the inconsistency between Jim’s own educational practices and his intense rhetoric against home schooling.” And of course, that was exactly my own point in this post.

UPDATE (III): Mark Goodacre also thinks Jim will be back. And he will!

NEWSFLASH: Jim is back. It took only six days.

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14 thoughts on “Jim Will Be Back!

  1. Of course he'll be back. He can't help himself. He'll be back, and it'll be exactly the same blog it was before, just a new name. I'd venture you're almost spot on with the Hector Avalos thing.

    Though, to be fair, the IIDB actually beat Chris Heard to the punch. I'd have to dig for the thread, and don't have the energy right now, but a couple posters there were a few days ahead of Heard, at any rate.

  2. Thanks for the summary, Loren. A lot of newer people in the blogosphere won't know that this is a fairly regular occurrence. A couple of minor corrections: the first blog was called “Biblical Theology” and the third was called just “Jim West”; the “Dr” was added on the fourth, I think.

  3. Loren,

    You correctly stated the time line. He added the “Dr.” after I had begun my blog. I nettled him to the point that he added it in his next incarnation.

    Kind Regards
    Joe Cathey

  4. That's what I thought, Joe. Mark was probably going by the blog URLs:

    Jim's third blog (created in October 2006) had the URL of http://drjimwest.wordpress.com/.

    Jim's fourth blog (created in February 2008) had the URL of http://jwest.wordpress.com/.

    You're right. He used the title of “Dr.” in the titles of both blogs, in no small part because you, Chris Heard, and some of the folks on Internet Infidels had been forcing the embarrassing issue of Jim's credentials throughout 2006.

  5. I always thought the fuss over credentials was rather pointless and snarky. He has a ThD from a seminary and whether some (americans?) consider it less worthy than one from a known american accredited seminary is irrelevant in light of the contribution he has made to biblical scholarship with his support and publicity of work and more recently his crucial role in helping save Sheffield. My concerns are quite different and have been made clear elsewhere with particular reference to in my opinion a deeply irresponsible post on suicide and I'm grateful to him for his wise choice to end this sort of blogging, for good.

  6. Remember, Steph: the fuss over Jim's credentials came about primarily because of his constant fuss over credentials. That was Chris' point all along. But I agree with you about the cruel humor as well.

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