Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
More Monday Odds and Ends
12/04/2006 - James WhiteBefore heading back into the cold of St. Charles I looked back at the archives from last year, and had to chuckle to note that I had written an article while waiting for the return flight and had noted that they needed new carpet at gate A-16. Well, this time out, we sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes waiting to get into gate A-16, and then, once we got there, another 25 waiting for a gate agent to swing the jetway out to us! And no, the carpet is worse now than it was last year.
Sure was nice and cold back there! Snow all over, ice...I guess we Arizonans just aren't big on walking on ice, because it seemed everyone else could do it far better than I could. Of course, I probably walk in sand better than they do.
Once again had a great time with Van Lees and the folks at Covenant of Grace Church in St. Charles. Met lots of new folks too, and spoke on sola scriptura. It isn't official yet, but we have talked a bit about doing an Islam conference there next year. We'll let you know!
Continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by Muslims around the world. Note this article for an example.
I never got any time at all over the weekend to address the claims of "Tiber Jumper" regarding sola scriptura, the Qur'an, etc., posted on his blog. So I passed by there quickly this morning and ran into this article. And he did not even thank me for the massive spike in his traffic! What a shame! But let's note a few items in response to Mr. Tiber Jumper (shall I refer to him as Tiber? Or go with the last name of Jumper?)
First, Mr. Jumper needs to explain his prejudicial and bigoted use of the term "anti-Catholic." As often as this obvious ploy is used by Rome's apologists it still remains a glowing testimony to their willingness to use emotionally-laden terms to try to make up for the lack of substance in argumentation. Why am I an anti-Catholic but he is not an anti-Protestant? Given my work over the past few decades relating to Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, etc., does that make me an anti-Catholic/Mormon/Witness/Muslim/Secular atheist? Or am I simply a Reformed Baptist apologist who consistently gives responses to the challenges presented by a wide range of contradictory religious beliefs? I would ask Tiber Jumper and his compatriots to stop using the term "anti-Catholic" for anyone but those who define themselves in that fashion: that is, if you encounter someone who does nothing else in their life but oppose the Roman Catholic Church, then fine, identify them by that moniker. But applying it to someone such as myself, who not only opposes a wide variety of falsehoods, but on the other hand has produced positive defenses of my faith, am regularly involved in teaching ministry in the local church, etc., is so obviously a lame attempt to fog the issues with emotions that it is rather self-defeating, isn't it?
Next, Mr. Jumper needs to go a little deeper both in his knowledge of the Qur'an and Islamic concepts of inspiration and then he needs to join that clearer understanding with a less biased view of sola scriptura and the comments that I made therein. Scanning over his "conversion testimony" I see that he took the Bob Sungenis route: a wide variety of off-the-wall non-Catholic experiences, including word-faith stuff and some Harold Camping (or so it sounded), followed by a leap into the United Methodist Church before heading back across the Tiber (the real question is, did he ever cross the Tiber in the first place? I mean, if he had no knowledge of Rome's teachings the first time across, was he ever on either side of the river in any meaningful sense?). What is on his spiritual resume there does not lead one to expect an overly in-depth understanding of the position he now critiques. This could lead to the mis-cue in attempting to transfer a single portion of a discussion of the Bible's inherent authority due to its nature as qeo,pneustoj revelation to the Qur'an as if this provided a valid argument against sola scriptura as a doctrine. Mr. Jumper also needs to realize that the paragraph he quoted from me was not even a definition to begin with---to treat it as if it were offered as a definition is to ignore its original context and usage.
Next, Tiber Jumper noted he was identified as an apostate by yours truly, and that is quite true. Is there something about this that is in error? His entire name, Tiber Jumper, seems to proclaim something about his rejection of his former beliefs, yes? And what term do you use of someone who proclaims they professed faith A, and then denies faith A? An apostate from faith A, yes? So it seems. But given that Mr. Jumper then seems to seek to garner some element of sympathy from his audience, I have to wonder just what he meant by noting the term and putting it in bold face?
Now, we are then told that all sorts of mean, nasty anti-Catholics visited his blog and sent him nasty e-mails or, possibly, left nasty comments. Now, I looked at the comments section, and found nothing nasty. I found one Roman Catholic doing an impersonation of Karl Keating (i.e., "How do you know Matthew wrote Matthew?" which always make me chuckle, since 1) the authorship of Matthew is not definitional of the Christian faith, and 2) Rome's own Pontifical Biblical Institute has made it known that they don't know who wrote Matthew either, and it is common in Roman Catholic scholarship to deny Matthean authorship of the canonical gospel, so the entire question is rather irrelevant) but other than that, I saw nothing at all. So, were these nasty comments that were deleted, perhaps? Personally sent in e-mail? We are not told. Instead, these uncited, un-described nastigrams are made the substance of his response and are, in fact, used as an apologetic argument that "my" side is "unloving." All of this only tells me that Mr. Jumper has a post-modern streak in him a mile wide, as least when it comes to being "religiously correct," as our day and age would put it. If someone says "you are ignorant of the system you now deny" that is probably interpreted as being mean-spirited and nasty---even if it happens to be true.
In any case, let's hope Mr. Jumper will drop the "professional anti-Catholic" silliness. His arguments would be much more compelling if they were not clothed in such emotionalism and sophistry.