Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
James White's Opening Statement: Boston College, 1995, Part II
03/28/2008 - James White
On Protestant (and Catholic) Disunity
03/22/2008 - James SwanFor years, Protestant apologists have been pointing out that disunity among Christians is not the result of sola scriptura. That is, Scripture, being the ultimate authority for the life of the Christian, is not to be blamed for 25,000 denominations (or whatever figure Roman Catholics are currently using). The argument usually framed is that without an infallible Magisterium, Protestants will never have unity. In response, Protestants are quick to point out that those with their feet firmly planted in Rome likewise have a fair amount of disunity. This response though usually falls on deaf ears. Sola Scriptura is still seen as the "blueprint for anarchy," even though logically, the misuse or abuse of an ultimate authority is not grounds for a denial of that ultimate authority.
While reading through the Robert Sungenis edited, Not By Scripture Alone, I came across the following section from Sungenis himself:
Objection #56: "The institution of an infallible pope has not created theological unity in the Roman Church."
Answer: First, Jesus himself, the infallible, incarnate word of God, did not create unanimous theological "unity" among his hearers. In fact, Jesus was disheartened that so many people argued with him and rejected his message of truth. At many points, his message divided more than it unified. Paul encountered the same opposition, among both Jews and gentile converts. Hence, it is very short-sighted to suggest that infallibility is the criterion of unity. Unity, at least demographic unity, occurs when the people obey what they hear. If one voice is teaching them, the possibility for practical unity is much greater than if there are thousands of voices all teaching something different.
Second, the unity that the Catholic Church claims to promote in her charism of infallibility is not that every bishop, every priest, and every lay person will automatically believe what she teaches. She claims that truth resides in the decrees and doctrines the Magisterium promulgates, regardless of how the remaining clerics and laity interpret the Magisterium's teachings. One has no more right to deny the charism of infallibility to the Magisterium because of disagreements among its hearers than to deny it to Jesus or the apostles because if disagreements among their hearers. To make one dependant on the other is not only illogical, it has no Scriptural precedent.
Source: Robert Sungenis (ed.), Not By Scripture Alone [Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing company, 1997] pp. 285-286].
One need not fall into the "blueprint for anarchy" trap. Simply point out that it is inconsistent for Roman Catholics to demand the Bible produce perfect unanimity, while their own apologists make a very similar argument. I would keep this Sungenis quote handy, and keep in mind, the debate is over ultimate authorites: the Bible (sola scriptura) and the Magisterium (sola ecclesia). Disunity is not the issue. Rather, the issue is whether God's Word or an alleged "human" infallible interpreter is the ultimate authority, because Holy Scripture is the only infallible interpreter of Scripture that we have extant today.
James White's Opening Statement on the Papacy: Boston College, 1995 (Part 1)
03/21/2008 - James White
Cross Examination in the Great Debate X
03/14/2008 - James WhiteA while back I started to replace the files that I had posted on GodTube (my account was deleted without notice or explanation). So some of these were posted a while back (a year ago or so).
Steve Ray and Musical Apologetics...and Modalism, Just for the Fun of It!
03/11/2008 - James WhiteSteve Ray blogged today about those nasty, "tedious" anti-Catholics and in doing so directed his readers to a music video "response." Great guitar work, catchy tune, the lyrics work...musically, anyway. Too bad the history, Bible, and Trinitarian theology are all messed up! Thanks again, Steve, for proving that there is no limit to how far you will go to avoid facing up to the truth! Then again, who has the time to back up their wild claims when they are running about Israel on a bus filled with pilgrims! Tough job, but someone has to wear the safari hat!
William Albrecht and Augustine
03/07/2008 - James White
Martin Luther: Ex-Heretic?
03/06/2008 - James WhiteFor just one example of the articles on this particular topic today, see here.
Well Look at That....
03/06/2008 - James WhiteJames Swan has noted a few times the speed with which Dave Armstrong can edit things on his blog when they are shown to be embarrassing. Evidently, Steve Ray is a quick study. When he first posted his blog article dishonestly accusing me of saying Ignatius was a Reformed Baptist (the very thing I had strenuously denied), the title contained the phrase, "Was St. Ignatius a Reformed Baptist?" Well, once I pointed out that one has to be very, very truth challenged to behave like Ray does with regularity, the title changed to "Was St. Ignatius a Protestant?" I suppose "Reformed Baptist" was too obvious in its referent? I mean, Ray tried to even keep my name out of his attack, though, he forgot the "well known theologian" he quoted mentioned it. I reminds folks that I have offered 20 free minutes on the DL for this "theologian" to make his case without interruption as long as he will then engage in 40 minutes of dialogue and cross-examination. So far, our offer has been met with silence, as one would expect. Given Ray's dishonesty, the possibility that he made the entire e-mail up cannot be dismissed. In any case, someone just pointed that out to me, so I thought I would make mention of it.
Just a quick note again for our regular readers, or those new to the blog. I have moved to primarily posting video blogs (vlogs?). People enjoy especially the interaction with the proponents of other views that this allows that a text-oriented blog just can't provide on the same level. If you are like a lot of folks and only have a small amount of time each day for blog reading, then you will want to continue hitting the blog daily, as I am seeking to provide three videos per week (and, since YouTube limits the length to just under 11 minutes, that is about half an hour's worth of apologetic dialogue and discussion per week). As of today, every slot for a full month is already filled, and some series extend into the middle of May already. But for those who want "instant access," and want to see each of the videos as they are posted, you will want to subscribe to my YouTube page here. As of today just over 500 folks are doing that, and the number increases daily. In fact, just today the total video views topped one quarter of a million, and I only began to seriously use and promote the video aspect in mid-January. In fact, more than half the videos I have posted since then have yet to appear on the blog, and once they do, their views increase dramatically. So I am thankful that this venue is open to us, and I pray we will use it properly to God's glory and the honor of the name of Jesus Christ while we still have this freedom.