Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Quick Note From the LA Area
10/29/2005 - James WhiteGreetings from Ontario, California. I will be speaking here tomorrow and then getting back to Phoenix Monday and staying there for all of November, DV. Doesn't mean I'll ever catch up, but a month away from airports will be a true blessing.
I do not regularly look at Robert Sungenis' website, but I saw a reference to it in Karl Keating's e-letter, and just found this article posted there. If the cited e-mail is authentic (it surely looks like it is), Matatics has taken the logic of Rome's position to its ultimate conclusion: and in so doing, proved that his conversion was an error. If following Rome's claims to their logical conclusion results in your rejection of the current Roman Church, then the arguments Gerry used for years to substantiate his conversion are proven wrong, are they not? It would surely seem so. In any case, there would be much benefit in pointing out the inherent self-contradiction in the response offered as well, given the odd positions Sungenis espouses, but time does not allow for such luxuries while traveling. It will be interesting to read Matatics' "manifesto" if he ever gets around to posting it. But do not hold your breath! Gerry claimed his book for Tan Book Publishers was coming out in the early 1990s, and it is still nowhere to be seen.
Back to the Da Vinci Code on Monday, Lord willing...and finishing up the Shabir Ally debate on Tuesday on the DL. Oh, and btw...one other note. To the followers of Nadir Ahmed who are sending inane e-mails about how I am "afraid" of Nadir
Ahmed---please, stop wasting your time. Internet bullies bore me. When you come up with something meaningful to say, let me know. Start by explaining the error I pointed out in his comments in his debate with Sam Shamoun. Start with something other than acting like playground thugs. You really shame your cause with such behavior.
An Addition to Eric Svendsen's Refutation of Dr. Owen
10/18/2005 - James WhiteWhile I was away in Omaha I noted that Paul Owen had posted what honestly sounds to me like a slightly modified transcription of a Gerry Matatics lecture on the Immaculate Conception. Eventually one begins to get used to Owen's promotion of any kind of false teaching in the name of scholarship, but when you have refuted these arguments over and over again it is still frustrating to see them repeated.
There is no reason to repeat what Dr. Svendsen has said, for he has truly refuted Owen at each and every point, fully, and in a compelling fashion. Instead, since that duty has been dispatched with alacrity and skill, I would like to illustrate once again the eisegetical nature of Owen's claims. That is, Owen has repeatedly demonstrated that he is not, in fact, an exegete: he is a (very poor) theologian who forces, often in a very awkward fashion, his theological system into the text of Scripture. He has given us an excellent example of this in his current attempt to promote Roman Catholicism.
Luke 1:38 reads, "And Mary said, 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord (h` dou,lh kuri,ou); may it be done to me (Latin: fiat mihi) according to your word.' And the angel departed from her." Outside of the huge edifice of theology built upon the fiat mihi phrase in this text by Roman theologians, Owen uses this text to substantiate his Roman reading of Mary's words to the angel, allegedly indicating a vow of celibacy. Dr. Svendsen has refuted his arguments at this point, but my desire is to point out the sources and methods Owen uses and how they differ from sound exegetical practice. This would help to explain his wildly inconsistent and incoherent theology.
Does the use of h` dou,lh kuri,ou at 1:38 indicate Mary had made some kind of vow of perpetual virginity, to be a "Temple Servant"? Owen musters a truly rag-tag group of arguments, but he doesn't even attempt to begin where sound exegesis begins: by looking at the lexical meaning of the term, and, especially, given the context, its Old Testament usage. The use of the phrase "servant of..." with a reference to deity, or, in direct address, "your servant," in both masculine and feminine forms, is exceptionally common in the LXX (for example, 1 Samuel 1:11 for the feminine form, Joshua 24:39 for the masculine singular, Deu. 32:36 for the plural). What is not found in the LXX, nor in the New Testament usage, for that matter, is the idea of the term meaning a dedicated temple servant who has made a vow of poverty. Now, Owen did say, in response to Svendsen, that the term is "ambiguous on its own." Actually, it is anything but ambiguous, and given the rich and full Old Testament context in which it can be placed, there is not the first reason, outside of those odd motivations that keep heretics busy looking for ways to draw disciples aside and ravage the flock, to look for any other meaning to the phrase. Mary places herself firmly in the tradition of the godly women of Israel, Yahweh's servants, in accepting His will for her life, despite the challenges she now knew would come with that act of faith. There is simply no reason in the context or the language to read anything else into the text and hence to obscure its true meaning. Despite the maddening insistence of many post-moderns, the text is not a pliable substance that allows for all sorts of contradictory meanings---Luke communicated in such a fashion as to make his meaning known. ...
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As I Predicted...
10/16/2005 - James WhiteEric Svendsen has begun the process of demonstrating Owen's errors here and here.