Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
As If Made to Order as an Illustration
02/18/2010 - James WhiteThis morning I saw that James Swan had blogged a portion of a Karl Keating e-mail. It caught my attention, partly because I think someone removed me from the CA fund-raising e-mail list (I can't say I'm upset about that), and partly because it contrasted so strongly with the attempted presentations of Rome's beliefs common in ecumenical and apologetic websites. Here is the portion James posted:
Here's a recent letter from Karl Keating:
Where the Virgin Mary's house stopped for a rest
Angelic house movers sometimes need a rest too
You probably have heard of the Holy House of Loreto. It’s said to be the house in Nazareth where the Virgin Mary grew up and where the Annunciation occurred. The story is that, to protect it from invading Turks, angels lifted the house in 1291 and flew it toward Italy.
You may know that part. What you probably don’t know is that the angels tired on the way. (Houses are heavy, after all!) They rested—for three years—on a hilltop in Croatia, before carrying the house the rest of the way to Loreto.
Where they rested you now will find the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat. It’s just one of three key pilgrimage sites we’ll visit on this autumn’s “Catholic Croatia” tour.
Since I’m partly of Croatian extraction, on my mother’s side, I’m looking forward to visiting Trsat and the two other pilgrimage sites: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows at Marija Bistrica (Croatia’s top Marian shrine) and the Sanctuary of the Trinity in Ludbreg, where a Eucharistic miracle occurred in 1414, with the wine turning into visible blood.
Personally, I find the legend of the House of Loreto a wonderful example of the medieval mysticism and gullibility that gave rise to the entire relics trade and to the materialistic, sensationalistic stories associated with the newly minted term "transubstantiation." That the leading Roman Catholic apologetics organization in the United States would even visit such a site on a "pilgrimage," let alone give credence to the concept ("where a Eucharistic miracle occurred in 1414") is telling. Of course, when I think of 1414, I think of the Council of Constance, which healed the Papal Schism, and burned Jan Hus the next year for preaching the gospel of salvation, but that's just me.
Catholic Apologist Dr. Art Sippo Says: Calvinists Are Psychotics
02/07/2010 - James SwanWhen it comes to Martin Luther, there are a number of Roman Catholic apologists that become expert pop-psychologists. I don't recall Dr. Sippo being either a psychologist or a psychiatrist, yet he recently was able to make a clinical evaluation on a man who died hundreds of years ago, living in a different culture and country:
My charge that Luther was flagrantly psychotic when he wrote [The Bondage of the Will] is a clinical one. Luther makes a number of seriosuly[sic] disturbed remarks in this book. Among them, he actually says that the human mind is like a horse with an empty saddle and that either God or the Devil rides in it. This is clearly not the perception of a normal human mind. When I studied psychiatry in med school the professor told us "There are only 2 kinds of people who deny free will: psychotics and Calvinists." In my experience, there is only ONE kind of person. [source]
The tactic here employed is called psychohistory. This pseudo-science holds history can be understood by applying psychoanalysis to a historical figure. Those who have attempted to evaluate Luther via this method have come to a wide range of differing conclusions. For instance, Heinrich Denifle's approach was the "the pansexual interpretation of the Reformation." According to Denifle, Luther's psychosis was inherent lust, secret vices, an overpowering sex drive, and an opposition to celibacy. Immediately following Denifle were the works of Hartmann Grisar. Where Denifle wants you to despise Luther as a depraved sex maniac, Grisar wants you to pity him for being a psychopath.
Protestant historian Preserved Smith used Freudian analysis and theory, particularly the role of sex in personal development. For Smith, Luther was a product of an alcoholic parent, a sufferer of the Oedipus complex, an abused child, struggled with depression, had an infatuation with demonism, and had sexual repression. Smith then interprets these factors as the causes of some of Luther's central doctrines. The most famous of all the psychohistorians writing on Luther is Erik Erikson's book, Young Man Luther (1958). Erikson used a modified Freudian approach. He approached religious phenomena with prejudice: Freud argued that religious phenomena are to be understood on the model of the neurotic symptoms of the individual: hence, a materialistic outlook on religion. Freud saw religious concerns within an individual as reflecting something "wrong" in a human. Erickson does the same with his treatment of Luther. ...
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Rome's Arguments, Rome's Blasphemy
02/03/2010 - James White