Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
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.
Then, amazingly, he has the gall (and it does take gall) to link to this article. This is one of those glowing examples of how low Rome's apologists will stoop to take shots at folks in the most ungentlemanly way while showing deep disrespect for the truth. I just checked CRI's website, and I do not see that they have the response to this I wrote for them. If there is enough interest, I might have to dig it up and post it myself (with CRI's permission of course, which I'm sure would not be an issue). In essence, this hit piece focused upon a footnote and, amazingly, did not even bother to provide a single bibliographical reference to the original published work it was allegedly critiquing! The readers could not even go look to see what I said! At least Prejean linked to the article itself. And the entire cover was nothing but a mocking photograph of allegedly me holding a cardboard cut out of an early church writer in front of my face. And aside from all that, it wasn't overly difficult to refute, either. But then again, Envoy has always gone for the "reassure your main audience first" attack---which again leaves us with little reason to consider their claims.
So, having linked to one embarrassing "response" to me, I was hardly surprised to then find links to Dave "if you dare review my exegesis and prove I have no idea what I'm doing I will say you are mean and never talk to anti-Catholics again!" Armstrong and to Phil Porvaznik, neither of which even begin to address the very issue I raised and which Prejean quotes, that being Augustine's doctrine regarding the physical body of Jesus. It is quite possible Prejean doesn't know what I am referring to here, though I have raised the point in past debates. He then "summarizes" Cyril (he doesn't even bother to give a reference) and again just asks us to believe whatever he has to say without providing the slightest bit of actual interaction. And then he massacres the whole issue of what I said in reference to Madrid's assertion that 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." Where is this defined by the Magisterium? Where is the very essence of satispassio and the volumes of writings of the Roman Catholic faithful over the past 500 years regarding this very concept? My point was obvious: this is a modernized, sanitized version of purgatory and anyone who knows Rome's history and her teachings knows it. Any Italian Catholic who came here years ago knows it, too. But Prejean doesn't care about the context in which I originally wrote. In the safe confines of Envoy, "Prots" don't get to have a context.
Finally, if Jimmy Akin says it, Prejean believes it. He links to all of Akin's articles from back in June as if they somehow are relevant (they are not--they were about Akin's ignorance expressed in his response to someone who wrote to him, a little something Prejean seems to have missed) and his final link was to a little retort Akin wrote since he seems to need the last word on whether the BAM program we did years ago was a debate (it wasn't). When the issue of debating Akin in San Diego came up again, Akin was so very kind as to refer me to his article on his "rules" about debate challenges, which I found ironic given how loosely he uses the term. He then pointed out that he differentiates between formal and non-formal debates, and somehow felt that was proof I didn't read his article. All it was proof of is that we disagree on the proper use of the term "debate" and it still strikes me as odd he would have such rules for "debate challenges" when I guess the rules only apply to some debate challenges. I didn't respond to it because it wasn't worth keeping the back and forth going. Of course, Prejean comments, "Yet to see an apology or retraction from White." See, as long as a defender of Rome says it, it must be right, and I must be wrong.
Prejean's article once again shows the truthfulness of what has been demonstrated repeatedly of late. Rome's leading apologists do not have any reason to interact with in-depth critiques of their positions. It is far better for them to simply assure their audience that all is well ("Don't worry, be Catholic") and assure them that folks like me have been fully refuted elsewhere. Evidently, they don't seem to think anyone will actually check out their sources, let alone weigh the assertions made therein. The real hope is that those same folks will not go out and actually obtain our books and consider them seriously, for despite all of Prejean's bluster, he knows he has not answered our positions to the satisfaction of any meaningful standard of truth. He wouldn't have to behave as he did in this article if it were otherwise.