Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
On How Time Heals All Wounds
03/23/2007 - James WhiteAs most of you know, I have recently gained the knowledge and ability to capture and post video. With very few exceptions, folks have really enjoyed the clips. They do take a while to record, upload, etc., but they seem to be worth the effort.
As a result, I have been seeing some debates on tape or DVD for the first time. I do not sit around reviewing old debates. I suppose I probably should review a debate as soon as the video is available, but I have never gotten into that habit. I figure the debate should stand on its own, and unless there is some very compelling reason to go back and comment on one, I figure those who listen to them, and view them, get to make the final decisions. I don't need to try to prejudice the audience.
Of course, I have my critics who are always spinning things about the debates. One young guy set up a camera in his bedroom recently to record replies to the Sungenis/Mass debate clips I played. Patrick Madrid continues to spin an almost fourteen year old debate on sola scriptura on his website. I saw a comment from someone who had listened to the debate, read Madrid's horrific post-debate article, "The White Man's Burden," and then frankly admitted he could not bring himself to read my reply.
A few days ago TQuid directed me to a comment by Gary Michuta posted on the Catholic Answers Forums. I debated Mr. Michuta on the subject of the Apocrypha back in 2004. To be honest, I have not thought much about that debate since then. I have written next to nothing about it here on the blog. We made the DVD's available, the mp3's, etc., and I have been more than content to just let the debate speak for itself. I do recall Michuta writing something fairly shortly after the debate, but I have no recollection of even responding to it.
In any case, Michuta was commenting on an issue that came up in cross-examination. I had forgotten that Michuta had raised the novel idea that there really is no contradiction between the canon lists promoted by Augustine at Hippo and Carthage and that of Trent. Yes, they differ, but you see, that was because Trent was just being "silent" about the differences. I found no merit in that argument when he presented it, and have no reason to change my conclusion today, either. The idea that Trent was just passing the differences over in silence assumes they even knew the differences in the first place. But the idea that Trent was acting in some restrained manner while not even addressing the topic would require a massive leap of faith that only a...Roman Catholic apologist could make. I would like to see the discussions at Trent over this topic. I would need to see the council members discussing the difference, specifically referring to the differences between the LXX and the Vulgate text, and saying, "We will leave this matter undecided." I am more than open to seeing that documentation, if he would like to provide it. Of course, all that would prove is that Rome has a long history of claiming infallibility without knowing what to do with it, but that's another issue. First things first.
Now, while it is interesting, and useful, to note these things, I found the accompanying commentary by Michuta most interesting. In the clip I am posting below, three issues were addressed. One, the Trent/Hippo topic, next, Leo X's approval of the Complutensian Polyglot (with its comments rejecting the Apocryphal books), and then the issue of the glaring historical errors in Judith. I believe that the majority of folks would find Michuta's replies on all three issues significantly less than compelling. In fact, I can detect laughter at one point. I mean, saying you will not respond to my question in the fashion he did does not comprise a weighty form of argumentation. The facts are the facts, Nebuchadnezzar did not reign in Ninevah, and it is hardly worthwhile to appeal to some kind of presuppositional argument about the inspired nature of a book when you are debating whether the book is inspired or not, and, a good deal of evidence was on the table opposing its inspiration, including the testimony of men from the earliest days of Christian history to the time of the Reformation. Now, I do not need to opine that I was "embarrassed" for Mr. Michuta at this point. That kind of rhetoric I find useless, and besides, it distracts from the real issues. But Michuta has now stated, "I was a little embarassed (sic) for James because it appeared that he didn't really look into the question very closely." Thankfully, there were video cameras and audio recording equipment present at the time. How useful they are in helping us deal with how time warps our memories! I don't know about you, but Gary doesn't look like he's feeling overly embarrassed for me during this exchange. Let the viewer decide:
This DVD available here (#516)