Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Behold Modern Roman Catholic Apologetics
02/26/2008 - James WhiteIf you thought there was a "renaissance" of Roman Catholic apologetics a few decades ago, I believe you can see this entry by Roman Catholic apologist Steve Ray as the tomb stone of any such renaissance. Recall that over the past few weeks a series of videos has appeared on my blog. The videos provide the broad context of Ignatius' letter to the Smyrneans. The audio came from a Dividing Line I did back in 2004 while teaching a class on patristics for Golden Gate. In the videos I went through the context and background of the letter, the theological issues at stake, etc.
I noted recently one blog entry that simply mocked the series but that obviously failed to interact with the arguments at all. It was the literary equivalent of "nuh uh!" And so far, this is all that has been offered by anyone. William Albrecht's videos likewise illustrate the gross anachronism into which Roman apologists are forced by their own dogmatic definitions. In each case the serious thinker is left going, "Hey, why can't anyone actually let Ignatius speak as...Ignatius?"
Given the string of apologetic blunders Steve Ray has committed of late (30,000 denominations, Jerome was alone in his view of the canon, etc.), I figured Ray would just keep busy riding around Israel on a bus and hope his constituency would not notice that once again he had been shown to be less than honest in his comments and publications. But that was way too high a hope: instead, Ray today posted the above linked blog articled titled, "Was the Anti-Catholic Correct on YouTube? Was St. Ignatius a Reformed Baptist?" Now note immediately: Ray has to keep beating the "anti-Catholic" drum, seeking to fire up the emotions of his readers through bigotry; and then he simply lies to his readers. Anyone who watched or listened to my series on Ignatius (found here) knows I specifically and clearly stated Ignatius was NOT a Reformed Baptist. So, either Ray is willing to lie through his teeth publicly, or, more likely, he has not even bothered to watch the videos, and is willing to lie out of his arrogance and ignorance, one of the two. Maybe this is the next step in the obvious attempt on the part of Rome's apologists, beginning with the Envoy hit piece years ago, to spread the lie amongst the faithful that I claim the early church was made up of Reformed Baptists? It is hard to say, but the facts are plain: Steve Ray is about as truth challenged as you can get. While he pretends expertise in the early church, he lacks the training and ability to respond in any coherent or meaningful fashion to the simple contextual reading of Ignatius' words. Instead, he is lining his pockets with the money of gullible people who follow him around Israel, hanging on his every word while letting Gary Michuta try to defend his indefensible Jerome comments, or, amazingly, referring to William Albrecht's videos for his defense in this instance! The noise you hear is Newman spinning in his grave.
But it wasn't enough for Ray: take note of how many gratuitous, unfounded insults and ad-hominems Ray can pack into just a few sentences:
An anti-Catholic recently put up a pathetic YouTube video criticizing my recent radio show where I talked about the Apostolic Fathers and how Catholic they really were. Some of these angry anti-Catholics try to twist the early Christians into pretzels — ridiculously trying recreate them into Reformed Baptists or other such nonsense. I recently wrote a blog quote quoting professor and a self-confessed “proud, dispensational, conservative, born-again fundie” from Moody Bible Institute that wrote a book entitled "Getting to Know the Church Fathers" who said the early Church Fathers "were not Evangelicals."Notice how Ray (like the Envoy hit piece years ago) refuses to use my name, but evidently forgets that the "quote" he provides does. But as a final outrage of dishonesty, Ray has the gall to quote an anonymous "theologian"! Think about it. Why would this "theologian" be anonymous? Why not use his name? The answer is simple: he knows he could never back up his words! If I am so wrong in reading Ignatius, wouldn't this be the greatest chance ever to prove it? So why are all these responses the schoolyard equivalent of "nuh uh"? Because Rome has no answers. I was simply reading the text for what it says. I don't have to twist Ignatius into a Reformed Baptist, but Steve Ray and his ilk line their pockets by turning Ignatius into a Roman Catholic. One side speaks the truth, the other side serves Mother Church with dishonesty and, in this case, simple cowardice.
If you are interested in such debates you will find these two YouTube presentations below very interesting. I consider such anti-Catholic sophists as a huge waste of time, but I appreciate the fine work of William Albrecht as the Catholic Legate. He has actually posted many such YouTube videos that are very worthwhile watching. I will post links to others when I get home and get the time.
The Sophist and St. Ignatius Part I
The Sophist and St. Ignatius Part II
By the way, a VERY reputable theologian wrote to me yesterday saying,
"I just wanted to bring to your attention James White’s analysis of your use of Ignatius of Antioch. White’s analysis may very well be the worst form of sophism I have ever heard. In fact, I began feeling really sorry for him. I was embarrassed for him. "You should be proud of your work and the fact that your strongest critics wind up making your case even better! Keep up the good work!"
To watch another video concerning St. Jerome click here. I've always felt sorry for this man myself and often said that he makes people who get too close feel like they need a shower. More later. I am in Israel now, leaving for Jordan tomorrow. Will follow up on this all more when I get home.
Now, if Ray is right, he would be wise to arrange a debate on this topic, wouldn't he? He could finish me off forever, right? Or maybe this anonymous theologian would like to step up to the plate? Well, don't hold your breath. Instead, one of the most promoted Roman Catholic "apologists" today, a regular guest on Catholic Answers Live, will be allowed to get away with documented, public dishonesty, and, in the place of substantive response, will be allowed to direct folks to the man whose only argument is "Hey, the early church believed everything I believe, and if you say otherwise, you are just wrong!" I am so thankful I do not have to resort to such behavior to defend my faith!