Grantley McDonald - the heavenly witnesses on trial! - (threat to sue)

Steven Avery

Grantley McDonald - the heavenly witnesses on trial! - (threat to sue)

Facebook - June 8, 2020

Grantley McDonald is the author of Raising the Ghost of Arius (a dissertation, followed by a book and some Journal articles.)

In various places I have praised and criticized elements of the book, on Facebook, forums, and my research pages - Pure Bible Forum:

Pure Bible Forum
Raising the Ghost of Arius - Grantley McDonald

Grantley is upset because I point out various errors, even blunders, on what is supposed to be an elite dissertation.

Here is his little note today!


The Heavenly Witnesses on Trial?

Dear Mr Spencer,
(SA note: I am Steven Avery Spencer)

I hereby request that you remove any and all comment on my work and person from your blogs, social media and all other channels, by 16 June 2020, since I regard many of your comments not as reasonable or constructive academic debate, but as mistaken, libelous, and liable to cause reputational harm.

Failure to accede to this request will result in the initiation of legal proceedings against you. In such a case I shall seek to recover from you all legal expenses incurred.

Yours sincerely,

Grantley McDonald


"mistaken, libelous, and liable to cause reputational harm."

If you point out various errors in what is considered an elite thesis and book, yes I think it could possibly cause "reputational harm". However, this type of give and take is common. Look at the Stanley Porter reviews of the way that Daniel Wallace proposes his version of the Granville Sharp rule as an example. Similarly, there are reviews that tear the publications of Philip Wesley Comfort to shreds.

The based way to handle the exposure of error is discussion, and an errata page, especially when the errata are simply factual stuff. It is more difficult when the problem is logical errors, circular reasoning, and invalid arguments (e.g. Frederick Nolan and "spiritus".) Grantley surely does not want to see those errors exposed. Some, like "spiritus", even reflect on the whole dissertation review process ... how could learned gentleman miss such errors?

That harm would be multiplied multi-fold by a censorship attempt based on a frivolous lawsuit --- and that will simply encourage more exposure of errors. If anything, the lawsuit attempt is likely to greatly increase "reputational harm".

And if Grantley thought there were "mistakes" in what I have posted, he could either share them with me, or put up a blog post. This is the Internet scholarship method. Not censorship attempts.


Ironically, the majority of errors that I found in Grantley's paper I simply passed to him privately. Since we were on helpful speaking terms, I felt that many could just be given him for a future edition with corrections, or at least an errata sheet. Often Grantley thanked me for finding those corrections.

However, before God I can not shrink back from speaking truthfully about both the pluses and minuses of his work. :)

Keep in mind though that it is very difficult to argue against the authenticity of the heavenly witnesses, so all of Grantley's spin and circularity and selection bias is almost a necessary type of argumentation.

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