Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Ancient Baptists and Other Myths
08/25/2006 - James WhiteA number of years ago Patrick Madrid and the folks at Envoy decided to take a shot at me regarding an article I wrote for the CRI Journal. Here is the original article. You will see it is about the Council of Nicea and is focused upon explaining the issues surrounding the issue of the deity of Christ. But Madrid and Hugh Barbour decided to use an article that was about the deity of Christ as a pretext for attacking me and my scholarship, and that based upon...a footnote. Yes, a footnote. What was worse, the reply itself was quite sub-standard, especially for a self-professed patristic scholar. And though the Envoy article was quite lengthy, I had to be quite brief in my rebuttal in the CRI Journal. Since Madrid has recently been promoting the article again (as has Prejean), and since it is not found on the CRI website, I provide it here. I think the fair-minded person will once again recognize that all is not well in Rome's apologetics realm when they have to stoop to this kind of activity.
The cover of the July/August 1998 issue of Envoy magazine sports a man, dressed to look like a Baptist (replete with a very Baptist looking watch, a gold cross pin on his jacket, and a tie too ugly to ever be worn) holding a mask in front of his face. The mask is the face of an ancient Christian, possibly an early Church father. The title reads, "Who is that Masked Man?" The subtitle continues: "A Baptist tries to hijack the early Church. You know how he'd be punished in Singapore, don't you?" The article itself, by Fr. Hugh Barbour, is titled, "Ancient Baptists and Other Myths." The article pulls no punches. Its opinions are clearly stated: "A Catholic expert on early Christianity debunks the fanciful claims of a Protestant apologist." The article being reviewed is said to be "error-laden," "amateurishly 'researched,'" and "filled with historical and theological fallacies." One subtitle reads, "The Absurd, and the Outrageously Absurd." And Barbour ends with allegations of "cut-and-paste patristic work," "feats of "scholarly" gymnastics," and "grotesque historical contortions."
What horrible, unscholarly article by some backwoods Baptist would attract the attention of Hugh Barbour and Envoy? The article was my own What Really Happened at Nicea? from the July/August 1997 edition of the Christian Research Journal. And while the thrust of that article was providing a response to common and false claims by cultists concerning Nicea and its definition of the deity of Christ, that was never mentioned in the Envoy response. The fact that Fr. Barbour would agree with the vast majority of what I presented also somehow didn't make it into his article. Instead, the discussion I provided concerning the relationship of Nicea to Scriptural authority, and one particular sentence regarding Athanasius' stand for the truth during the resurgence of Arianism after the Council of Nicea, became the target of this lengthy example of how to skewer your opponents without once touching on the issues that really matter.
Hugh Barbour uses some pretty strong language in his review. Of course, there is nothing wrong with such language, if, in fact, it is true. I have used the very same language in describing Gail Riplinger's New Age Bible Versions, and have then gone on to demonstrate the truth of the conclusions I have reached. That is how Christian apologetics is supposed to be done: an honest representation of the position being examined, followed by a fair and full refutation. If my article was, in fact, grossly in error, nothing more than a cut-and-paste mockery of patristic sources, then there is nothing at all wrong in pointing this out. However, a little closer examination reveals some very troubling facts.
The first thing that struck me as I read Hugh Barbour's article was this: not once, in approximately 4700 words of text, does the article name the "Reformed Baptist author of the Christian Research Journal article." You will never find "James White" in the text of this article. All the way through, I am anonymous, a nameless and faceless person. Can you imagine encountering an article in the CRI Journal that would accuse someone of such shoddy scholarship, but would never tell you who did this poor job of research and writing? What kind of tactic is this?
The second thing that struck me was that while the CRI Journal is specifically mentioned, not once was the article's bibliographical information provided. That is, Fr. Barbour would actually quote the article, but never give the date, issue, or page number. If a reader of Envoy wanted to check out the original source, they would not have an author's name, date or issue. Their task would be daunting.
Immediately we should be struck by the contrast in methodology used by Envoy and that of the CRI Journal. There is a fundamental issue of fairness involved in providing at least the most minimal information necessary to allow your readers to check your sources and your conclusions. None of us are above the need to give our references and allow the reader to judge our fairness and accuracy. Surely it is easier to take anonymous shots at those with whom we disagree, but such shows disrespect to our readers. They must simply trust that we are being fair and accurate since we don't provide any means by which they can examine our sources. And when we are making personal comments, impugning a person's scholarship, research, and conclusions, we cannot hide behind the mask of anonymity and not allow "full disclosure" of the facts. One cannot help but wonder how many regular readers of Envoy likewise noted the glaring deficiency of this "scholarly" rebuttal.
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Jonathan Prejean At It Again
08/21/2006 - James WhiteThe "Crimson Catholic" seems to be jumping from forum to forum hoping to be noticed or at least to be seen as a great defender of the Catholic faith. I noted tonight that he has decided I am a Nestorian now--if you don't bow down before statues or think there is a difference between latria and dulia and hyper-dulia, you evidently "implicitly deny the single personhood of Christ." Yeah, I know, that's absurd on its face, and it is absurd the deeper you dig. But it is the best Prejean has, because he can't engage the text. For all his constant insults and ad-hominem, he, like most of his compatriots, can only argue for a particular interpretation of what one church father said against another. He has trotted out Nicea II, to which I say, "Wonderful---how about dealing with the biblical evidence I have presented?" Don't hold your breath, it won't be happening. That's not Prejean's thing. He's in Art Sippo's camp, and anyone who has experienced the blast-furnace "charity" of Sippo knows what that means.
You see, these folks just do not realize that for all their attacks upon me, my scholarship (not a one of them has even tried to touch my published journal articles, for example---if I'm so dumb, shouldn't it be easy to pick apart, fairly and accurately, what I've published?), my character, and any number of other things, people who are really thinking realize that they have completely ignored the actual substance of my objections posted recently on this blog. And that fact speaks volumes to them. The few who are concerned about this might well take the time to read, or to listen to the debates we have done. And they will find that for all the wild-eyed rhetoric of an Art Sippo or the sophistry of a Crimson Catholic, all of that is a mere distraction from the real issues.
I'd love to have Prejean call back into the Dividing Line and prove me wrong that the central semantic core of dulia and latria intersect smack dab in the middle of db;[' so that any person seeking to give pure hd'Ab to God cannot in any way, shape, or form, pretend to be "serving" an image while only "worshipping" God. Possibly he would like to discuss the relationship of the Hebrew concept of worship and service to the commonly used New Testament description of true Christians as dia,konoi / dou/loi? Lord willing and we can get the server operational tomorrow, he'll have his chance. We will see how many of the brave souls who have launched their Katyusha rockets my direction will actually stand forth and be counted when the phone lines are open, or whether they will be counted amongst the Internet Hezbollah who are brave for a moment and then hide amongst the women and children when it matters.
Update: the same Shane I referred to below posted a strong rebuke, alleging that I have somehow "demonized" my opponents here. Once again, something tells me that if the roles were reversed, all of a sudden the blinders would come off and Shane would not be confused. Katyusha rockets are against the rules of war since they cannot be aimed at a particular target. They are meant to do general damage. So too are the inane, empty, vacuous ad-hominems that make up the substance of the Roman Catholic commentary to which I have been replying. They are random attacks that are not aimed at specific targets such as the biblical evidence or reasoning behind denying the propriety of Rome's dogmatic affirmation of prayers to saints, angels, and Mary. Further, those firing them are cowards. They hide amongst civilian populations so that if they are attacked it will always be possible to cry foul. Aside from Shane himself, and Mr. Prejean, both of whom called once, the rest of the rabble-rousing crowd that is so quick with the slander and so slow with the study does the same thing. Need I post examples? It would be quite easy to do so, as Shane well knows. I've watched it over and over again. They will bravely proclaim my error---until I face them directly. And then all of a sudden the bravado is gone, and often times, so are they, scurrying off only to come back again when they feel the "coast is clear." The parallels should be obvious, but again, prejudice blinds the mind to even the obvious.
Putting Out the Call to Shane...
08/21/2006 - James WhiteLooking at the comments on the previous mentioned blog article at jimmyakin.org reminded me that Shane, a Roman Catholic who accused me of using cheap debating tricks and the like, and who had (unlike most of his compatriots) the temerity to call the Dividing Line, has never called back to provide the documentation he said he would. A number of folks have asked where Shane went, and I honestly don't know. But, he seems to have time to post on Akin's blog, so, I'm wondering when we will hear from him. His next opportunity to provide that documentation is tomorrow at 11am MST, 877-753-3341.
Oh, by the way, I will be noting a few developments in the "Can Jon Modene say 'the sky is blue' without choking on those words?" saga on the DL tomorrow. He is very proud of the introduction to his newest "sermon" on sermonaudio.com (which, I point out, accepts credit cards), which includes this line, "In it I fully expose the folly of Calvinists, who limit the Atonement, make salvation unobtainable, and then blast God the Father as a mean monster who elects unborn men and women into eternal damnation." What color is the sky in Jon's world?
08/21/2006 - James WhiteMore insight coming from the responses being offered by Roman Catholics to some brief observations posted here regarding problems within Roman Catholic theology and practice. First thing is, the vast majority of folks who are willing to comment about what I say are also unwilling to actually listen to anything I have said in the past. While Reformed apologists review Roman Catholic apologists' talks and articles and books with regularity, the "they aren't there, we don't care" attitude reigns supreme on the far side of the Tiber. No matter how accurately you may represent Rome's teachings, how often you may cite their dogmatic teachings, they simply refuse to reciprocate on the level of accuracy and fairness. This is the reality of the situation.
I noted the absurd identification of a pile of chocolate drippings as an appearance of Mary, and we got a number of replies that were nothing more than pure emotionalism clothed with a thin veneer of "We are the true church, you heretic! We've been around for 2,000 years! You'll roast in hell with all the rest of the Arians!" etc. and etc. Nothing containing the slightest bit of substance or rational refutation---then again, trying to defend chocolate drippings as a divine sign from heaven is something most of Rome's apologists aren't interested in anyway. Here is an example that came into our website as I was writing this blog entry:
Mr. James White, As a proud Roman Catholic and believer in the savior of man our Lord Jesus Christ is saddens me that Protestants have the desire to covert us to the many divsions and false teachings of many Protestant faiths. Let me ask you for those who argue for KJV for biblical study only. Why is it that the King James book is based after the the Latin Vulgate translated by St. Jerome. Why do Protestants use a Catholic book to ridicule the institution that gave you the Bible. King James was a sodomite with no religous authority much like King Henry the VIII false political church. His wife made the right choice she was Catholic.Our regular readers cannot help but chuckle at the irony of such e-mails, especially since my stand on the KJV issue is so well known and would, of course, be easily discovered by anyone with the slightest desire to know. But in any case, these kinds of replies which show not the first bit of familiarity with our own position are standard fare.
The constant phenomena of "Marian sightings" is a relevant issue for Rome's apologists, and that is why we've been trying to get Tim Staples, now of Catholic Answers, to debate the Marian dogmas for a couple of years now. He's cranking out multiple CD sets (like the one pictured here), books and talks and the like, on the topic, but for some reason, when he's been asked, repeatedly, to debate the topic in the Great Debate Series, he's been "unavailable." Of course, if you listen to Catholic Answers Live you'll hear humorous commercials advertising his availability to come speak in your parish, so you do have to wonder just a bit. Anyway, the issue is quite relevant to Rome's refusal to be submitted to biblical authority, and to the fact that her tradition "makes void" the Word of God in vital issues such as the nature of worship and that fact that there is no biblical basis for differentiating between latria and dulia as Rome does. ...
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More Love Letters from Rome
08/19/2006 - James White
Dear Mr. White. Your attacks on the Roman Catholic Church is appalling. You will have to answer to God for your false claims against Jesus' one true Church. You seem to ignorant of the Holy Scriptures and its correct interpretation that has been lived for 2000 years. You are ignorant of the ancient liturgies which celebrate Christ and His family. You are a modern day John Calvin who was undoubtably one the greatest heretics that has ever lived. You do not know nor do you have any business interpreting the Holy Scriptures for yourself, as it is obvious that you just don't get it. Christians have been living the faith for 2000 years and have always interpreted the Scriptures the same and lived them. You have not. You are a Poser Mr. White. There are also many families in the middle east in the Syrian Rite Catholic Church who have not changed their style of worship since the time of Christ. They use almost the same liturgy now as they did then. Guess what Doctor "Poser" White? They honor and praise The Blessed Virgin Mary because she was part of God's, yes God's plan of salvation. Through her womb your are able to recieve Christ. Of course you don't believe that iether as you spit in the face of Christ everytime you mock the "Real Presnce" of Him in Holy Communion. You had better wake up or your gonna find yourself in hell where you and the rest of the heretics can flasely interpret Scripture with Satan and his minions for eternity. God bless you Mr. White.
A Tasty Mary Sighting
08/18/2006 - James WhiteSince starting this blog I've noted a few times (here's an example) the amazing desire on the part of folks to see Mary in...anything at all. I imagine you could gather a weekly example of someone finding Mary in this, that, or the other thing, if you looked diligently enough. Yes, the Lord Jesus gets spotted a good bit as well, and while that is pretty silly (I saw an item on the news last week where the shadow from an otherhead spot going past a fake tree had become a vision of Jesus in a Protestant church), it is at least understandable because, after all, He is confessed to be divine. But Mary---well, let's face it, Mary is divine for many faithful Roman Catholics, too. Put all the fine disctinctions aside, forget about hyperdulia and the like, many worship her. So it is not surprising when they manage to spot her hiding on stucco walls and on freeway underpasses or in the reconstituted water stains made by Palm trees on bank building windows or in yucca branches down on 16th Street.
But someone may be onto something now. Here's an AP story about a new twist: a chocolate Mary! Now, I'm sorry, but that's...chocolate droppings. Nothing more. But hey, have these folks figured out the gold mine they have here? Start cranking those babies out! They'll be rich before they know it. I remember all the creepy stuff they had at that Marian shrine down in Clearwater at the former Ugly Duckling Car building where Mary showed up in the window for a while, so I'm sure there would be a market for a chocolate Mary thing--especially since you don't have to worry about actually making it look like anything in particular. Just get that basic drooping shape thing going and poofo, instant popularity.
I feel badly for simple folks who fall into this idolatry, I really do. But I put the blame where it belongs: Rome. All of Rome's intricate distinctions mean nothing when the simple fact is that she encourages idolatry. And as I have said many times before, I am so thankful that I am completely convinced that the real Mary has no idea whatsoever what is done in her name down here. Her heart would be broken.
Rome's Priests in Africa
08/16/2006 - James WhiteSillyBrit (aka Colin Smith, the same fellow implicated in the Great Mr. X scandal a few years ago--boy was that a story!) pointed me to this article regarding a problem Rome is having with its priests in Africa "moonlight as witch doctors" (to use CNN's language), or, more specifically, engaging in prayers to ancestors and in general developing a syncretism between Roman Catholicism and native tribal and regional religions. While one's first thought was, "Goodness, if a minister in our church were found to be engaging in such idolatry, they would not be 'exhorted' to cease, they would be removed forthwith," another thought followed quickly. Given Rome's violation of biblical teaching regarding prayers to saints and angels, and in particular, given Rome's exaltation of the humble handmaid of the Lord to the Queen of Heaven, isn't this rather understandable? I mean, put yourself in the sandals of the person attending the Roman Church in the bush of Africa somewhere. All you've known has been tribal religion, but you also hear about this religion called Catholicism. And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary (could you differentiate between her and one of your tribal deities? Could you? You really think pleading the meaning of 'hyperdulia' is going to work here?) and to spirits like Michael and they are lighting candles and bowing and praying toward a box with something the priest consecrated and put in their and toward images and statues---just what should we expect folks are going to think? And put yourself in the position of the priest in that rural location. Is he going to really be in a position to attempt to engage in the kind of double-speak Rome's apologists have to use to get around the Bible's prohibition against the very kind of spiritism that is part and parcel of the surrounding culture? Can you imagine Patrick Madrid doing in that context what he did a few years ago on Long Island, where he seriously looked at the audience and explained that what the Bible said about images was just due to those particular people in that particular context having a "problem with idolatry" that doesn't exist today? Sorry, that kind of thing may work in urban New York but it goes over like a lead balloon out there in the real world. And really---it didn't go over in New York, either.
So outside of Rome saying, "Don't use those ancestral idols! Use ours instead!" what grounds does she really have to fight off this kind of syncretism? Look at Mexico. Look at Brazil. Rome's theology has always created this kind of "mixed" religious experience. There is a reason. When you abandon God's standards, something will rush into the vacuum of truth that inevitably results.
An Insight into the Mind of a Roman Catholic Lay Apologist
08/15/2006 - James WhiteWhen in the service of Mother Church, any response, as long as it uses words, is a refutation of those who are not part of Mother Church. This is proven out by the appearance of "Crimson Catholic" (Jonathan Prejean) on the Envoy boards. Those who are familiar with the Catholic Answers forums, and a long, long long interaction between Eric Svendsen and Crimson Catholic, know of whom I speak. It is my understanding this gentleman is a patent attorney, so at the very least he is able to express himself with some level of accuracy; however, he is just as capable of some incredible leaps in logic, as I have documented in the past.
Well, this evening Mr. Prejean decided to fire a blast my direction on the Envoy boards. I would summarize it this way: "Hey, people have argued with White in the past, and, since some replied, he's obviously wrong!" In a post providing a whole slew of URLs to where I've been "refuted," we have some tremendous examples of the "throw enough stuff out there, something will stick" mentality that is so very common. I am not going to invest much time here, as I simply don't have it (despite Charles the Liver Hearted's rantings, I am headed to CA this weekend to speak for Phil Johnson's Grace Life group, and since I'm trying out some new technology and a new presentation, my time is fairly nil this week), but a few items cried out.
Prejean called the DL a while back to apologize for his ad hominems, but evidently that period has passed, as this post is filled with all sorts of insinuations and slights.
Prejean is writing for his own audience, since he does not bother to even attempt to back up his claims. He seems to think that not accepting Rome's apologists' claims regarding formal and material equivalency is the same thing as not understanding them (i.e., if you just understood, you would agree, the unstated argument). He quotes two paragraphs from the end of my discussion, does not interact with them, and simply blusters from there, playing to the crowd, throwing in Bill Webster, David King, and Eric Svendsen for good measure. We all just don't get it, but, of course, Prejean expects us to accept his ipse dixit that this is the case. This kind of apologetics only works for those who are already inclined to believe everything you have to say. It is remarkably ineffective for anyone else. ...
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Shane Coombs' Debate Challenge
08/09/2006 - James WhiteThe response to my simply replying to a Roman Catholic who started out attacking me perosnally, calling me an agent of Satan, etc., over at Envoy, has been, as normal, most sad. Though Jerry-Jet continues to melt down, filling his posts WITH CAPS AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATIOIN POINTS!!!!! and throwing around accusations of "lying" and "serving Satan" and the like, and though I did not respond to him in anything that could be considered a parallel fashion, it matters not. Somehow, I am still the mean one! Shane Coombs wrote:
Perhaps he is an idiot. Perhaps he is a genius. Perhaps he is mean, perhaps not; I do not know. However, regardless of whether he is a mean idiot or not, Mr. White's treatment of him is completely inappropriate. We do not defend our Lord by mocking others, and much less by devoting multiple posts on a blog to do so. The spirit with which Mr. White has posted concerning Jerry is utterly astonishing coming from a Christian, with post after post put up seemingly for the primary purpose of depicting all Catholic forum members as imbeciles at the expense of Jerry.
Let me see if I follow: if I reply to Jerry-Jet's accusations that I am a servant of Satan and, by contrasting reasoning and logic and self-control with his rambling accusatons of being a servant of Satan, demonstrate that his arguments are empty and self-contradictory, I am "mocking" him? Is hoping for his salvation, praying for him to open his eyes and think about something other than his current views, an act of mockery? What kind of standard are these folks using? Does this not demonstrate the kind of standard they are applying when reading their own apologists, and when reading anything opposed to their viewpoint? No wonder they can say with a straight face, "You've been refuted over and over again!" If I read their material with this kind of bias controlling my thinking I would never give them a second thought. Thankfully, I realize you cannot do serious apologetics in that way. ...
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Paul at Envoy Wonders....
08/09/2006 - James WhiteOver the course of the past seventeen years I have engaged the subject of sola scriptura in a tremendously wide variety of venues. My first public debate was with Gerry Matatics on sola scriptura in August, 1990. I had already written a book, Answers to Catholic Claims that interacted with Karl Keating's works and included discussion of Newman's development hypothesis. Since that time I have written hundreds of pages in various venues on this topic, some making up chapters in books with various contributors (such as the Soli Deo Gloria publication, Sola Scriptura wherein I wrote a chapter on the nature of tradition in patristic sources as it relates to a meaningful biblical doctrine of sufficiency) and in my own books, including lengthy discussions in The Roman Catholic Controversy and of course, Scripture Alone. Some of the exchanges I've engaged in have included lengthy discussions of individual patristic writers, sometimes involving extensive examinations of such sources as the Thesaurus Linguae Graece. A quick review of the files listed on our website under Roman Catholicism will yield a number of extensive, documented discussions of the subject demonstrating a knowledge of the full range of objections offered in published Roman Catholic works. Aside from all of this, I have debated this topic nearly half a dozen times against Madrid, Matatics, and Father Mitch Pacwa.
In light of this, I could not help but note the musings of one user on the Envoy message boards by the name of Paul. He noted that I had taken the time to respond to Jerry-Jet (I wrote all three installments at once, but spread them out over a number of days due to the length of the resultant material). He then wondered why I had not interacted with "better" objections to sola scriptura posted by other users. Now, there is no question, Jerry-Jet has completely melted down since I began my response (see the preceding entry), but I chose to respond to his original post because he is, sadly, representative of the kind of "James White is the servant of Satan--but no, I won't listen to a word he has to say and yes, I will just repeat the same ol' same ol' that White has refuted a thousand times before" rhetoric that not only passes for apologetics on Envoy but on numerous websites around the net as well. Now, if I had never addressed Trent or Newman or all the modern writers traveling about speaking in parishes and conferences, and had not engaged leading Roman Catholic apologists, and had standing challenges to others who will not debate the topic, then I could understand Paul's comments. But given the reality of my work in this field, I am truly left wondering how Paul could ask such a question.
Instead, what keeps coming out in my examination of forums like that at Envoy or Catholic Answers is a "mirror image" effect. As I have noted of late, Rome's apologists generally ignore even published refutations of their statements and works. They try to present the idea that "those Protestants are irrelevant, we represent the ancient Church, just listen to us repeat the same ol' same ol' arguments again." Or as I've put it in the past, "Don't worry, be Catholic!" So is it really hard to understand how their audience ends up mirroring those they follow? If those you seek to emulate show little interest in vigorous examination of truth, but instead settle for repetition of the "party line" without interaction with its refutation, should we be surprised at the attitude at Envoy and elsewhere that says, "Hey, we are the ancient church and to be honest, we could care less what anyone else says about it, even when they provide documented responses to what we say." And it is useful to examine this attitude in this context since the readers of this blog are most likely the very ones who would be encountering this kind of "apologetics" in the Internet and in "real life."
08/09/2006 - James WhiteIn case some of my readers were wondering what kind of response my reply to Jerry-Jet received, I must sadly report that the level of response was...not encouraging. Just a few representative samples:
Notice folks--all you have to do is quote from the Bible and Jesus' own words and it strikes Satan so hard that he tries to trot out all the big time LIARS with MORE lies and even tries to dress them up as being THEOLOGIANS or EXEGETES or use big words and say that the plain words of Jesus and the Bible mean things OPPOOSITE of what they say.
Jesus said to EAT his Body and DRINK His Blood or you do not have life in you.
Jesus doesn't LIE.
The people who do not obey his command and CHOOSE to not EAT His Body and DRINK his Bood are the real liars.
I'll tell you this: if you want to eat crackers and drink grape juice with them you can do it in Hell--the Eucharist is never served there!
Tell me Oh protestant agents of Satan--why does your beloved King James Version of the Bible say in 2 john 7 that Jesus IS COME in the flesh and refer to the Eucharist and NOT change the words and LIE by changing the tense to AS COMING in the flesh to refer to Jesus' incarnation?
King James agreed with the Douay Rheims--what's the matter--is King James not a BIG enough liar for today's Protestant? I guess not--the NIV crowd changes TRADITION in the Bible where it is referred to as something we should hold fast to to TEACHING. Tradition is only used in that version of Protestant LIES in conjunction to the traditions of the pharisees where it is used in a negative light.
The Greek word for both is the same--but what do the Protestant LIARS care? They're bound and deternmined to LIE even more than King James.
They LIE about Mary--she isn't highly favored she is even more than FULL of grace--it's just that that's about as close as you can get to the Greek in English.
The Protestants who do not know these things are indeed our separated brothers--the people who do know better are agents of Satan and are no better than all the heretics for the last 2,000 years that just fail to OBEY the authority of God!
Message to all the Protestant LIARS forums out there: be prepared to deal with the Fullness of Truth that resides in the Catholic Church! Many of your Protestant posters will ask you questions in angst once they hear the truth--LIE all you want to--the REAL Bible doesn't LIE but the people who CLAIM to believe in Sola Scriptura are selectivists, rewriters of the bible and most definitely LIARS!
Jesus never debated the Devil--why should Art debate White?
There is no debate with liars. White will not listen to the Church--why would he listen to anybody else? He should be treated as a publican and a sinner!
Ironically, I do not see anyone, even Roman Catholics, replying to Jerry-Jet, and surely no one scolding him for his behavior. Maybe he's a "known entity" there? Maybe they just sort of ignore him? Hard to say. But in any case, that's about as deep as the response got. I guess we should not be overly surprised. As others in that thread have noted, while they are sure I am wrong, and probably a mean, nasty fellow--neither have they taken the time to actually read any of my works completely, or listen to the debates we have done with leading Roman Catholic representatives. The bias would be embarrassing in any other context, but given the closed nature of the system, the folks there just don't seem to see it.
By the way, in reference to Sippo's melt-down last year, here is the documentation. And for those who only read the blog but who haven't sort of dug into what else we have on the website, you might find this listing useful if you are looking into Roman Catholicism. I looked over my report on my debate with Tim Staples in 2000 on Papal Infallibility and actually enjoyed remembering various of the details. Lots of stuff like that is available for your enjoyment and edification.
Even before posting this, Jerry-Jet has provided more "response." Just a sampling:
All Sola Scriptura is is LIES on to of LIES!Yes, well, doesn't look like Jerry-Jet is quite yet to the point of being able to consider other viewpoints fairly. Well, we hope and pray!
I haven't yet gone into an ENCYCLOPEDIC discussion LINE by LINE and WORD by Word about how such people are liars and how the truth is not in them!
I will say this: I find it curious that someone like myself is assuredly isn't a great theologian can just speak a few words about the FULLNESS of Catholic truth and receive the response that has been received here.
Since I've been here we've had the BIGAMIST Lutherans who believe in NAZI biographers--we've had GEOCENTRISTS who deny the whole world's common sense--we've had the Creationists clothed as Catholics when they're REALLY Protestants--and now we get part of James White's cadre of Satanists.
Roman Catholic Apologetics: Street Level (#3)
08/08/2006 - James WhiteI continue with my response to "Jerry-Jet" on the Envoy Magazine web boards and his comments regarding me.
The TRUTH is that Mr. White is leading people to Hell and people SHOULD be told that if they follow HIS interpretation of the Bible and not the Catholic Church who Jesus gave that authority to and if done with full knowledge and choice then HELL will be the result!As I noted earlier, we might have a budding Feeneyite here, it is hard to say. But the contrast between a reasoned, contextual look at John 6, and this kind of rhetoric, should be obvious to all. But just for the fun of it:
In other words, in respect of His divine presence in the flesh it was rightly said to the disciples, 'Me you will not have always.' In this respect the Church enjoyed His presence only for a few days: now it possesses Him by faith, without seeing Him with the eyes....He left the world by a bodily withdrawal, He proceeded to the Father by His ascension man, but He forsook not the world in the ruling activity of His presence.I realize many Roman Catholics get very upset when we Protestants quote from patristic sources, but that's OK. Augustine's doctrine of the physical body of Christ post-resurrection is deeply problematic for fire-brand type Roman Catholics like Jerry-Jet. But there is a very large probability no one has ever mentioned the reality of Augustine's views to him to begin with. Let's hope someday he will take the time to look into such things.
The Lord Jesus, in the discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the supper, when Himself in immediate proximity to His passion, and, as it were, on the even of depriving them of His bodily presence while continuing His spiritual presence to all His disciples till the very end of the world...." (Augustine, John: Tractates 50, 92, 102, and 118).
Who is the bread of of the Kingdom of God, but He who says, "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven?" Do not get your mouth ready, but your heart. On this occasion it was that the parable of this supper was set forth. Lo, we believe in Christ, we receive Him with faith. In receiving Him we know what to think of. We receive but little, and are nourished in the heart. It is not then what is seen, but what is believed, that feeds us. Therefore we too have not sought for that outward sense.
This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose do you make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and you have eaten already. (Augustine John: Tractate 25:12).
In other words, in respect of His divine presence we always have Christ; in respect of His presence in the flesh it was rightly said to the disciples, 'Me ye will not have always.' In this respect the Church enjoyed His presence only for a few days: now it possesses Him by faith, without seeing Him with the eyes." (Lectures on the Gospel of John, 50:13)
That's the truth! It isn't pretty--it isn't nice--there's not a NICE way to say it--but it's Jesus' words and they are true!I will gladly let the reader decide who has accurately handled Jesus' words.
ANYONE who is lurking consider those things and ask yourself if you'd rather bet your soul on 2,000 years of Jesus' Catholic Church which still stands today or whether you'd rather bet it on Mr. White whose very bitterness and lack of charity should convince you if nothing else does that he is of Satan!Sort of hard to determine just who is lacking in "charity" by Jerry-Jet's language, but then again, these are the Envoy boards, and the tone is set there by Art Sippo, so we shouldn't be overly surprised at this kind of rhetoric. We all heard the "2,000 years of Jesus' Catholic Church" mantra last year when John Paul II died, and it was almost never challenged. I would ask our writer to name, please, a single bishop at the Council of Nicea who believed as he believes on each of these topics: Marian dogmas (Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, Bodily Assumption), Papal Authority (infallibility), Purgatory, transubstantiation. Any semi-serious reader of history knows he would not be able to find such a person, so the claim of "2,000 years" may sound impressive, but it has the truth value any advertising slogan carries: none. It may sound great to those ignorant of history, and to those who wear the glasses Rome provides that filters out all the extraneous problems and issues, but for anyone with an even semi-decent grasp of the past, it is a hollow, shallow claim.
The choice is yours--come on home to the Catholic Church!Why do I think of a used car salesman when I hear this kind of rhetoric? "Ah, you don't need to look under the hood, just trust us!"
P.S. For all of you Catholics out there who TREMBLE at the thought of "Debating" one of Satan's agents like Mr. White why not just try using Jesus' words about the Eucharist? i'd tell him these very words to his face in front of the whole world and would have no problem using the words of Our Lord! Isn't that the BEST way to deal wth an agent of Satan intent on leading people to Hell?Of course, Jerry-Jet hasn't bothered to listen to the debates I have already done on the Mass (vs. Matatics, Sungenis, and Father Mitch Pawa), or, if he has, he somehow missed the biblical and logical responses to his misreading of the sacred text. But in either case, you get a feeling for the kind of rhetoric that is often found on these web boards. Oddly, when I invite folks like Jerry-Jet to call the Dividing Line to discuss their less-than-kind personal attacks, well, as we've seen, rare is the person willing to do so. Remember the young fellow a few weeks ago who promised to call back with examples of my cheap debating tricks? Yeah, it's been pretty quiet. And Mr. Atwood just last week? Isn't it odd how I make myself available at a toll free number twice a week, and folks like Jerry-Jet won't call? Yes, I think it says something, too.
P.P.S. for Protestants who didn't KNOW any better and were ignorant I wouldn't use this approach but for all those people who would chime in and say that such words against Mr. White would not convert any Protestants at all I'll say is this: Jesus taught words in John chapter 6 that at the time didn't win him many followers either but later on millions came to know Jesus and the Catholic Church!The irony is that these would be disciples who stopped following Jesus (Jesus identified them as unbelievers, remember?), did so because he said something that the vast majority of Roman Catholics simply refuse to believe: "And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father" (John 6:65). The sovereignty of God in salvation, man's utter dependence upon Him and His grace, is what finally drove these men away, not some "eucharistic doctrine" developed way down the road somewhere.
Is it wrong to use the very words of Jesus against the agents of Satan? Have faith! Many may hate you for using such words but the words of Jesus will always bear fruit!Of course, it is my hope and desire that the words of Jesus will in fact bear fruit in Jerry-Jet's life by breaking through the wall of tradition and false teaching and showing him the true way of grace and the perfection of the work of Christ on Calvary. He may call me an "agent of Satan" all he wants. I know his hatred is directed toward the truth I speak, not me personally. It's obvious he does not know me, or almost anything about me. All he knows is I stand opposed to the religious system in which he has placed his trust and faith. I do hope someone will have the opportunity of ministering life to Him through the Word through the mercy of God.
Roman Catholic Apologetics: Street Level (#2)
08/06/2006 - James White
Read john chapter 6 if you are Protestant and then TRY to tell anyone that you don't believe the words of Jesus! Tell me that Protestants aren't like all those disciples of Jesus that fell away from him because He has given them "a hard teaching". Will you also go away to grape juice and crackers like they did in John 6:66 and reject the very FLESH and BLOOD that Jesus redeemed you with and also COMMANDED you to Eat?
Nearly every Roman apologist bases his defense of the concept of transubstantiation and the Eucharist upon Jesus’ words in John chapter 6, specifically verses 53 through 57. Indeed, it is commonly said that here the Roman Catholic Church “takes the Bible for what it says” while Protestants are somehow seeking to avoid the “clear” teaching of the Lord Jesus. Is this so?
The specific utterance of the Lord Jesus under discussion is to be found in John 6:53-57:
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.  “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.The Roman Catholic Church claims that any understanding that does not take these words literally (which would mean that this could only refer to the Eucharist as taught by Roman Catholicism), is engaging in “spiritualizing the text” so as to avoid an unwanted conclusion. Is the literal meaning of the text supportive of Roman Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist? Does a person literally have to eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood to have life in himself?
First, we must point out that the literal meaning of the text is obviously not always the clear meaning. The term “literal” is capable of quite a range of definition. If it is pushed to mean absurd literalism, and we are forced to use this understanding of the text, then obviously the whole Bible is full of complete nonsense. Jesus claimed to be the door of the sheep in John 10; literally this means Jesus is a door, replete with hinges, knob, and maybe even a lock! And, of course, this would also have to mean that only sheep will be saved, not human beings, for He is the door of the sheep. No one misunderstands the most basic elements of language so completely as this. Everyone understands that Jesus is speaking figuratively, and in fact the obvious and hence the literal meaning of the passage is the one which recognizes the symbolism of the language used. Hence, if the passage itself shows us that the terms used by the speaker are meant to be taken in a figurative or symbolic way, the truly literal interpretation will take this into consideration.
John loved to pick up on the different ways the Lord Jesus used to communicate a point. He differs in this from the other gospel writers, for in John the same teaching will be presented in numerous different ways. Jesus is “the light of the world,” (8:12), the “good Shepherd” (10:11), and the “true vine” (15:1). Jesus is not literally the sun in the sky, a shepherd of sheep, or a living vine. Yet, each of these descriptions tell us something about Jesus, when they are taken according to the plain intention of the text: as symbols. So, too, John likes to use different phrases to say the same thing. One which is important in John 6 is his use of the phrases “have eternal life” and “shall be raised up on the last day.” It would be an obvious mistake to differentiate between these two phrases. They mean the same thing, and are used in parallel to one another.
With these things in mind, we come to the longest chapter in the Gospel of John, chapter 6. John begins by narrating the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 with the five barley loaves and two fishes. The people respond to this by saying, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (6:14). Jesus perceives that they are about to attempt to make Him king by force, so He goes away into the mountain by Himself. This is followed by the miracle of Christ’s walking upon the water and calming the storm, which brings Him and His disciples to shore near Capernaum. The crowd, which has stayed the night near the place of their miraculous feeding, comes to Capernaum also, seeking Jesus. When they find Him, they ask Him how He got there, but the Lord brushes their question aside and gets to the heart of the matter. Jesus goes directly to their motivation for seeking Him. Remember that the night before they were going to make Him king by force. They are obviously mistaken about who Jesus is. The dialogue that follows will center on the person of Christ and His role in salvation. He turns their thoughts away from a secular kingdom onto His person, and the importance of their relationship to Him. Pressing the claims of Christ will result in many turning away from Him, but this is necessary to dispel false followers who are seeking nothing but their own benefit.
Drawing from the miracle performed the day before, Jesus in verse 27 says, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” The crowd was looking for a meal, but Jesus was directing them to Himself, the bread “which endures to eternal life.” The crowd does not fully follow His meaning, and asks what they should do to “work the works of God.” Jesus’ reply is that the work of God is to believe in the One whom God has sent, namely, Himself. This is quite a claim, of course, and the crowd demands a sign as evidence of His authority. They, too, grasp the aforementioned miracle, and assert that Moses had given them bread from heaven to eat. Can Jesus do the same? Moses had managed it for a long period of time, while Jesus did so only once. Can He do it again? ...
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Roman Catholic Apologetics: Street Level (#1)
08/05/2006 - James WhiteThe following post appears in the Envoy Magazine forums, posted by a veteran of those forums, Jerry-Jet, who has posted over 1,000 times there. Since his words represent the kind of argument you will get from the Catholic Answers/Envoy style Catholic apologetics realm, I felt it would be useful to respond to it here.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 is the LAMEST overused text that proves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about sola scriptura.It would be useful to know if this person has read, say, Warfield on the text? Turretin? Whitaker? Any modern writers, even leaving my own comments aside? I have been shocked over the years to see how often those who dismiss this text and what we say about it, when pressed, have nothing to offer in response to it that is at all meaningful. Since "Roman Catholic apologist X says you are wrong, you must be!" Could Protestants fall into the same trap of intellectual laziness? Of course. But do we encourage that? Surely not. But given that so few of Rome's most popular apologists actually take the time to step up to the plate and go to the "next level" in replying to the refutations of their own statements, it is easy to see why their followers are willing to accept a less than strident pursuit of the highest level of dialogue and debate.
What happened until all the scriptures were written--was there NO authority? What kind of sense does that make? At EXACTLY what point did God say to the world--this right here is the exact scripture and it is all you need--have a nice day?!It is hard to see how this is a response. It surely demonstrates the writer has not read outside his own narrow spectrum of belief, that is for certain. Roman Catholics and Protestants agree that we do not live in the time period he describes. Roman Catholics and Protestants agree that the Pope in Rome was not the authority during those time periods, either. So while it is interesting to discuss enscripturation, the relationship between already given Scripture and continuing revelation, etc., the fact is that both sides agree that we no longer live in that context. Both sides agree that the canon is closed, and there is precious little in the deuterocanonicals that is even slightly relevant to the issues that separate us. The question we face today is, "What is the ultimate authority for Christ's Church today?" Is there a single, infallible rule of faith that does not change, that is God-breathed, or do we have a multi-faceted source of authority? How do we know what is qeo,pneustoj (theopneustos, "God-breathed") today? These are the issues we must face, and all the arguments about a time period we do not live in are little more than red herrings until the current questions are answered. The fact is that Rome's claims need to be subjected to the very same standard used in reviewing my claims, and rarely to Roman Catholics follow through on this level of consistency. Instead, they are content to repeat this kind of objection, not realizing that their own ultimate form of authority was just as absent at that time period by their own standards! Does this not refute the argument? It should, if consistency were the highest goal of these would-be apologists.
I don't think that Protestants who have been confronted with the issue and thought about it really believe it either. Ignorance is an excuse--once you're not ignorant Protestantism is a CHOICE against God!The irony is that while we regularly cite from Roman Catholic sources, I truly, truly wonder what Jerry-Jet's reading list looks like. Immediately prior to his post another Roman Catholic, donnatoo, had indicated that at least she (I assume the person is female, I could be in error) has no reason to consider what Protestants have to say, and that she had read only the first five chapters of my book, Scripture Alone, before putting it down for good. I guess five chapters is better than nothing, but in any case, I find it ironic that this kind of accusation can be made, when it is so obviously self-refuting and untrue.
2 John 1:7 'For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.'Yes, this refers to the docetists, a gnostic sect that denied the coming of Christ in the flesh.
Mr. White and all the other Protestants in the world who reject that Jesus IS come in the FLESH in the Eucharist are simply ANTICHRIST--not because I say so but because God's INERRANT word says so!...
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A Few More Thoughts on Madrid's Off-Hand Comments
08/04/2006 - James WhiteI was talking with David King in our channel and we were both expressing our amazement at the simple hubris of many who quite literally prey upon their audience while pawning off tired, oft-refuted, shallow arguments while ignoring the refutation of their errors, even when those refutations have appeared in print. I was considering the time and money invested by Pastor King in doing his research for his part in the three-volume work he wrote with Bill Webster (#1327 found here), and how often he would post items in channel that he was transcribing from Roman Catholic theologians like Yves Congar, for example. And though my attention, and my study, has been directed in a very different direction of late, I still attempt to stay current, and only recently obtained Peter Lampe's fairly new work, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (Fortress Press, 2003). Evidently, the effort taken by Reformed apologists in particular finds little or no counter-part in the popular Roman Catholic speakers. Evidently, we just aren't important enough to be concerned about. Or, it is a lot easier to refute Jack Chick. Take your pick. In either case, I personally believe there is much to be learned from the vast difference in approach to be observed in this matter.
A few days ago I was looking at Madrid's site and stumbled upon an evidently somewhat old article on purgatory. At least it appeared old, since most of the graphics on it did not even load. In any case, it looked like it was from 2004 or so. As I scanned through it I ran across this paragraph:
Second, purgatory is not a place where the soul works or earns or in any way does something to cleanse himself — all purification that takes place in purgatory is done by God to the soul. Or, to put it a different way, in purgatory, the soul remains passive as the saving blood of Jesus Christ washes away the impurities and temporal effects due to sin from the soul. This is because those who go to purgatory are assured of their salvation; there is nothing for them to do – Christ does it all in his merciful act of preparing his beloved to enter into the wedding feast.
Now, I had never heard a Roman Catholic describe purgatory as a passive reception of the "saving blood of Jesus" which is said to wash away "the impurities and temporal effects due to sin from the soul." I would dearly like to see a magisterial statement in support of this statement. Where has the concept of punishment gone? Suffering? Where has Rome officially taught that the purgation of the soul is passive, involving the application of the merits of Christ? Ludwig Ott, a far more recognized scholar and expert on Roman Catholic theology, defines purgatory thusly:
The souls of the just which, in the moment of death, are burdened with venial sins are temporal punishment due to sins, enter Purgatory....Therefore, an intermediate sate is to be assumed, whose purpose is final purification and which for this reason is of limited duration....The remission of the venial sins which are not yet remitted, occurs, according to the teaching of St. Thomas (De male, 7, 11), as it does on this life, by an act of contrition deriving from charity and performed with the help of grace. This act of contrition, which is presumably awakened immediately after entry into the purifying fire, does not, however, effect the abrogation or the diminution of the punishment for sins, since in the other world there is no longer any possibility of merit.
The temporal punishments for sins are atoned for in the purifying fire by the so-called suffering of atonement (satispassio), that is, by the willing bearing of the expiatory punishments imposed by God....For the individual souls the purifying fire endures until they are free from all guilt and punishment. Immediately on the conclusion of the purification they will be assumed into the bliss of Heaven. (pp. 482, 484-485).
Likewise, Broderick's The Catholic Encyclopedia (OSV), p. 502, says,
The purpose of purgatory is to cleanse one of imperfections, venial sins, and faults, and to remit or do away with the temporal punishment due to mortal sins that have been forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance. It is an intermediate state in which the departed souls can atone for unforgiven sins before receiving their final reward.The same article refers the reader to Denzinger 464, from the Council of Lyons II. A quick reading of the relevant text supports Ott, not Madrid. Likewise, though the CCC is not as clear as previous dogmatic statements, there is nothing in reading sections 1030-1032, and 1472, that presents a passive, non-penal, non-punishing, non-suffering application of the blood of Christ as the cleansing mechanism of purgatory. In fact, in light of all the CCC says about indulgences, there would be no correlation to such a viewpoint of after-death purgation as presented by Madrid.
Is it possible we see here the same kind of "Westernization" of an offensive religious concept that we see in other religions? The Westernized version of reincarnation, for example, that leads silly women to claim they were once queens of some far-away ancient dynasty, is quite different than the more authentic form which may well have you coming back as a slug or a dog. And evidently, there is more than just a little bit of embarrassment in the Roman Catholic community about the doctrine of purgatory, especially when you take the time to read how that topic was addressed and handled by pious Roman Catholic writers up through the 19th century. The number of visions of those in purgatory is legion (lots of Popes seemed to be there---though, evidently, some did not even make it there!).
We have addressed the subject of purgatory in numerous venues. My debate with Peter Stravinskas on the subject is extremely useful. Also see this article on the misuse of 1 Corinthians 3 by Rome's apologists.
Rome's Apologists At It Again
08/04/2006 - James WhiteYou may recall back in June a series of blog articles that dealt with the fact that Rome's apologists really don't seem to spend much time reading "the other side," and how, when caught being way, way behind on things, they use that as an opportunity to simply "diss" myself or anyone else who would point out their less than stellar research by saying, "Well, you don't matter anyway."
Today I was directed to the following post in a thread at Envoy Magazine's website written by Patrick Madrid:
Exactly right, Art. And several Protestant apologists I've debated on the issue of sola scriptura, such as James White and Rowland Ward, seemed to be caught completely unaware by the formal/material distinction and had no meaningful response to it. In fact, only recently have Protestants begun to attempt an interaction with this issue. Eric Svendsen gives a superficial nod to the subject in his book "Evangelical Answers" (page 75-76). But even that brief mention shows that he doesn't seem to understand the devastatingly negative implications of the Protestant claims for the formal sufficiency or Sacred Scripture(relative to perspicuity, etc.). He certainly did not even attempt any kind of serious discussion of the problem. Based on their writings and debate attempts on sola scriptura, I'm not convinced that he and his Protestant apologist cohorts even fully understand the dilemma, much less know how to resolve it.
In my forthcoming book on sola scriptura for Servant Books, due out in spring of 2007, I expand on this issue in my refutations of White, Svendsen, Mathison, etc.
First, I find it odd that Madrid would be refuting me if, in fact, Akin was right that I'm pretty irrelevant anyway. But that issue aside, as I read this I could not help but shake my head in utter amazement. I think we are over halfway through 2006, yes? Madrid actually tells his constituency that "only recently" Protestants "have begun" interacting with Rome's material/formal statements? Just recently? Evidently, Madrid has not read the three-volume set by Webster and King (came out in 2001). There is a tremendous amount of discussion of the issue therein. Evidently he did not read my article in Soli Deo Gloria's Sola Scriptura! (1995) that likewise makes reference to Strimple's article in the Westminster Theological Journal (Fall, 1977, 40:22-38) that addresses this very issue? But most amazingly, evidently he has skipped reading The Roman Catholic Controversy (Bethany House, 1996---a mere decade ago), wherein I included an entire chapter on the views (plural) of tradition and sufficiency in Roman Catholic theologians and apologists. Let's see how "ignorant" of this position I have been documented to be for the past decade. The following is taken from my electronic files of The Roman Catholic Controversy (and hence this material differs in some wording from the edited and published version):
Despite the fact that the preceding citations seem rather clear, as with any written communication, there are differences of understanding expressed within the broad spectrum that is Roman Catholicism. In fact, the two primary positions taken with reference to the nature, extent, and authority of tradition are, logically speaking, mutually exclusive, yet they exist side-by-side in Roman Catholic theology. It is one of the great ironies of this entire conflict that while Rome claims ultimate authority in teaching and interpretation of divine truths, and while her defenders are constantly pointing to the doctrinal chaos that exists in denominations that hold to sola scriptura, she allows her followers to hold to perspectives with reference to something as basic as the extent and authority of tradition itself that are completely at odds with one another. Not only do Roman Catholic theologians take differing views, but the defenders of Rome on an apologetic level, too, take different views, sometimes at the same time! ...
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