Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Word Once Again on Prejean
08/10/2007 - James WhiteI noted that the Crimson Catholic, Jonathan Prejean, has been active, well, everywhere, in the current blogsplosion of "charity" amongst Roman Catholics aimed my direction. One of the common themes is how terrible, horrible James White hung up on saintly Prejean when he called the DL! Further documentation of just how much of a low-life I truly am.
However, those who are not satisfied with just surface level accusations might have reason to think a bit more about this. First, Prejean first called the program in October, 2004. He was on the air for 22 minutes, 51 seconds. Here is the call. Listen for yourself. No hang ups. Nice conversation. Offered to send him free materials.
The second call from 2006 took place after Prejean had, shall we say, a major change of attitude. He had just, in written form, accused me of Nestorianism, snobbery, ignorance, of "crowing" about things, etc. So the call started in a much less friendly way. But, despite that, the call lasted just under fifteen minutes in length. Fifteen minutes. I wonder, if I called Jimmy Akin next time he is on and acted like Prejean did, do you think I'd get...two minutes? Ninety seconds, perhaps? Total time Prejean has gotten on the air is right at 37 minutes. Thirty seven minutes. Hmm, I wonder why some folks try to make it sound like he has not gotten a fair shake? Think they might not want folks calling the DL?
Just a Quick Thought
06/25/2005 - James WhiteI had written about two pages in response to "Crimson Catholic" but decided I just didn't have the time this weekend to continue it. I have to fly up to Mill Valley Sunday afternoon after preaching the morning service at PRBC, tomorrow is my wedding anniversary (talk about a patient woman!), and next week I talk with Bethany House about a really exciting project (tease, tease), so I just don't have the time to pursue the amazing stuff you find being expressed in the context of the Envoy of CA boards for now. Onward and upward as someone is known to say.
I will be doing a series on "Practical Christian Epistemology" over the next number of weeks at PRBC in the Sunday morning and evening services. I don't know that I will use that title, but I will be working through 1 Corinthians 1-2 exegetically. Now, Crimson Catholic may choke when I say this, but the only sound Christian philosophy is that which is grounded in the inspired text. And, though he will utterly blow a circuit here, I believe exegesis is, in fact, the "queen of the theological arts," the most important of the fields of study, and that it is foundational to all else, including systematic theology, Christian philosophy, apologetics and the like. And there are few passages as rich with insight into what it means to think as a Christian than these first sections of Paul's epistle to the Corinthians.
Just two quick notes about the passage (I'm sure there will be more coming): first, note the metaphorical use of kenwqh/| at 1:17, "so that the cross of Christ would not be made empty, void, of no effect." Obviously, the literal meaning cannot fit here, and those of you who have read through my treatment of Phil. 2:5-11 know this is one of the other places where Paul uses keno,w in this sense of "of no effect" (in Phil. 2:7 it is best translated "of no reputation"). And consider what Paul says in light of certain theologies in this passage. Not only is the "preach/baptize" contrast important (how many today have a highly imbalanced view there?), but goodness, how long could we go on reflecting on how preaching the gospel in "cleverness of speech" (sofi,a| lo,gou) could possibly result in making the cross "void"? Talk about a concept with massive ramifications for the church in America today! ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
Jonathan Prejean At It Again
08/21/2006 - James WhiteThe "Crimson Catholic" seems to be jumping from forum to forum hoping to be noticed or at least to be seen as a great defender of the Catholic faith. I noted tonight that he has decided I am a Nestorian now--if you don't bow down before statues or think there is a difference between latria and dulia and hyper-dulia, you evidently "implicitly deny the single personhood of Christ." Yeah, I know, that's absurd on its face, and it is absurd the deeper you dig. But it is the best Prejean has, because he can't engage the text. For all his constant insults and ad-hominem, he, like most of his compatriots, can only argue for a particular interpretation of what one church father said against another. He has trotted out Nicea II, to which I say, "Wonderful---how about dealing with the biblical evidence I have presented?" Don't hold your breath, it won't be happening. That's not Prejean's thing. He's in Art Sippo's camp, and anyone who has experienced the blast-furnace "charity" of Sippo knows what that means.
You see, these folks just do not realize that for all their attacks upon me, my scholarship (not a one of them has even tried to touch my published journal articles, for example---if I'm so dumb, shouldn't it be easy to pick apart, fairly and accurately, what I've published?), my character, and any number of other things, people who are really thinking realize that they have completely ignored the actual substance of my objections posted recently on this blog. And that fact speaks volumes to them. The few who are concerned about this might well take the time to read, or to listen to the debates we have done. And they will find that for all the wild-eyed rhetoric of an Art Sippo or the sophistry of a Crimson Catholic, all of that is a mere distraction from the real issues.
I'd love to have Prejean call back into the Dividing Line and prove me wrong that the central semantic core of dulia and latria intersect smack dab in the middle of db;[' so that any person seeking to give pure hd'Ab to God cannot in any way, shape, or form, pretend to be "serving" an image while only "worshipping" God. Possibly he would like to discuss the relationship of the Hebrew concept of worship and service to the commonly used New Testament description of true Christians as dia,konoi / dou/loi? Lord willing and we can get the server operational tomorrow, he'll have his chance. We will see how many of the brave souls who have launched their Katyusha rockets my direction will actually stand forth and be counted when the phone lines are open, or whether they will be counted amongst the Internet Hezbollah who are brave for a moment and then hide amongst the women and children when it matters.
Update: the same Shane I referred to below posted a strong rebuke, alleging that I have somehow "demonized" my opponents here. Once again, something tells me that if the roles were reversed, all of a sudden the blinders would come off and Shane would not be confused. Katyusha rockets are against the rules of war since they cannot be aimed at a particular target. They are meant to do general damage. So too are the inane, empty, vacuous ad-hominems that make up the substance of the Roman Catholic commentary to which I have been replying. They are random attacks that are not aimed at specific targets such as the biblical evidence or reasoning behind denying the propriety of Rome's dogmatic affirmation of prayers to saints, angels, and Mary. Further, those firing them are cowards. They hide amongst civilian populations so that if they are attacked it will always be possible to cry foul. Aside from Shane himself, and Mr. Prejean, both of whom called once, the rest of the rabble-rousing crowd that is so quick with the slander and so slow with the study does the same thing. Need I post examples? It would be quite easy to do so, as Shane well knows. I've watched it over and over again. They will bravely proclaim my error---until I face them directly. And then all of a sudden the bravado is gone, and often times, so are they, scurrying off only to come back again when they feel the "coast is clear." The parallels should be obvious, but again, prejudice blinds the mind to even the obvious.
Crimson Catholic, Calvin, and Real Blasphemy
09/16/2009 - James WhiteTurretinFan, whose RSS feeds seem to be considerably more advanced and useful than mine, noted a comment by Jonathan Prejean ("Crimson Catholic") that contained the following statements:
In my opinion, Calvin's Institutes is the equivalent of spiritual pornography, worse than anything you hear in 99% of Beatles' songs, and most people who read it aren't doing it as an example of Middle French theological literature or as a purely historical document. There's no doubt in my mind that God hates that book in terms of its theological content, because he hates evil, and that book teaches blasphemy and all sorts of other evils.Let's compare some of this "spiritual pornography" from Crimson Catholic's viewpoint, with some of his own religion's statements. The contrast should be telling.
On the other hand, it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he have previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also, He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white. Nay, the bodily sense may furnish a still stronger illustration of the extent to which we are deluded in estimating the powers of the mind. If, at mid-day, we either look down to the ground, or on the surrounding objects which lie open to our view, we think ourselves endued with a very strong and piercing eyesight; but when we look up to the sun, and gaze at it unveiled, the sight which did excellently well for the earth is instantly so dazzled and confounded by the refulgence, as to oblige us to confess that our acuteness in discerning terrestrial objects is mere dimness when applied to the sun. Thus too, it happens in estimating our spiritual qualities. So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity. (I:1.2).
Frighteningly terrible stuff, that. But compare:
When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.Or, how about this one?
Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man, not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest's command.
Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vice-gerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ. (John O'Brien, The Faith of Millions, 255-256)
“On this account it was,” says St. Bernard, “that the Eternal Father, wishing to show all the mercy possible, besides with giving us Jesus Christ, our principal advocate him, was pleased also to give us Mary, as our advocate with Jesus Christ.” “There is no doubt,” the saint adds, “that Jesus Christ is the only mediator of justice between men and God; that, by virtue of his own merits and promises, he will and can obtain us pardon and the divine favors; but because men acknowledge and fear the divine Majesty, which is in him as God, for this reason it was necessary to assign us another advocate, to whom we might have recourse with less fear and more confidence, and this advocate is Mary, than whom we cannot find one more powerful with his divine majesty, or one more merciful towards ourselves.” The saint says, “Christ is a faithful and powerful Mediator between God and men, but in him men fear the majesty of God. A mediator, then, was needed with the mediator himself; nor could a more fitting one be found than Mary.” (Liguori, The Glories of Mary, pp. 195-196)Yes, well, they only made Liguori a Doctor of the Roman Church, right? We could fill an article easily with such quotations, all highly offensive to any biblically-minded person. I think the comparison is highly educational.
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. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
Crimson Catholic on Soteriological and Trinitarian Issues I of II
07/01/2005 - James WhitePart of the reason I even responded to the assertions of Patty Bonds last evening was because I knew, in light of the current spate of "Hate White" posts following the Great Debate X, one of those, probably on Envoy, who are so highly impressed with themselves, would seek to jump all over it. That would give me the opportunity to 1) at least address a meaningful topic (the gospel, not how "lifeless" and heartless and mean-spirited I am), 2) within a meaningful context (Scripture), and 3) illustrate the massive explosion of pure hypocrisy in the RC apologetics community (at least as it is represented by Envoy and a large portion of posters on the CA forums) that has (whether they know it or not) shocked many who have observed it. I will not even honor those who have provided some of the most glaring examples of "hatred in the service of my own ego" of late--they don't deserve it. But one thing is for sure: there is nothing I can say, no matter how clearly, no matter how obvious the context, that cannot be twisted into an insult in service of Mother Church. And the double-standards embraced by entire communities (Envoy esp.) have simply been beyond belief.
"Crimson Catholic" is Jonathan Prejean, who called the Dividing Line a while back and apologized for his own part in the use of ad hominem argumentation. He has engaged Eric Svendsen in discussions, and is currently going back and forth with Steve Hays as well. Unfortunately, the repentance in reference to me did not last long, as the recent week has demonstrated. In any case, he has commented on my brief response to the assertion that one of the greatest truths of God's self-glorification in salvation, that being the perfection of the work of the Son in the salvation of the elect, is "the single most dangerous teaching being spread in the name of Christianity." Now, in light of all of the heresies that exist today--inclusivism, open theism, the denial of the deity of Christ or the resurrection, etc.,--the statement is highly suspect on its face, of course. But I did not even address that aspect. I wanted to provide a brief comparison, a fair comparison, knowing that folks like Mr. Prejean, if they followed the line of non-reasoning that has swept over the Envoy web forum of late, would leap upon it with glee, and I was not disappointed. Prejean begins: ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
E-Mail Odds and Ends
12/14/2006 - James WhiteSteve Hays forwarded me an argument from an Orthodox apologist charging Thomism (and by extension, all of Romanism) with monothelitism (monenergism). I see it suffers from the same kind of "make a conclusion in this field of theology, transport it over here and use it as a club to beat someone over the head" fallacy as Prejean's does, but it is ironic to see his own falsehoods being turned against his own position. Sophists just never learn. In case you missed it, after I addressed the Envoy Magazine forum issues a few days ago, Prejean posted this long diatribe of next-to-unintelligible drivel that evidently only he could possibly follow or find compelling, but ol' Art Sippo, clearly just as completely lost about what on earth Prejean was pretending to say as anyone else, had to give a cheer for the home team. He opined, "It seems that He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named has deigned to regale us with his ravings from his little Mecca in Phoenix. He barks and toots like the braying of the Little Horn form Revelation. Crimson has skewered his hash nicely and there is no need to go over the same ground twice." Ah, isn't the consistency of the ever insulting Dr. Sippo refreshing? In a world where change is the norm, his constancy is comforting! Ironically, Sippo has started another thread where he is discussing...Van Til, of all things. I read his first installment, and then could not help but find a couple of the comments that followed humorous, especially our old friend Jerry-Jet, who added,
No presuppositions = RETARDEDNESS!Well, that just blessed my socks off.
Hate for presuppositions because man is depraved ends up in fiascos such as Sola Scriptura--in other words since man is so bad he has to be programmed by a sovereign and providential God.
That is why Calvinism is a pure crock!
Man isn't as DEPRAVED as what they say and God can also infuse us with transformative saving grace WITHOUT beating us down with it.
Moving on to other equally---odd things, I was forwarded a lengthy quote from David Cloud today where he is doing the "Attack Calvin by hoping your audience is completely ignorant of history and bigoted enough to believe what you have to say without considering the anachronisms you are introducing to the topic" thing (just like Dave Hunt). Evidently, the belief is that if you can attack Calvin, and someone is dull enough to think that "Calvinism" is more than a historical artifact (as if the discussion began with Calvin) and that Calvin and Calvinism stand or fall together, you can "win" the argument without actually engaging the biblical text at the level of exegesis. When are these folks going to realize that their surface-level argumentation and historical chicanery is hurting, not helping, them? Sure they will keep the one who is not concerned about consistency and is happy with a "what I've got is good enough" attitude from looking any further, but are those the ones who would be looking and considering anyway? The more they demonstrate that they have nothing of substance to say the more they will lose their next generation of leaders. It's truly amazing. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
Will We Hear the Truth on the DL Tomorrow?
07/16/2007 - James WhiteWell, that sorta depends on your view of truth, it seems. The Catholic Answers thread, started by Colliric, containing the accusations of one "Guardian," has been closed down. No interaction with my replies was posted, as far as I could see. Nothing new there, of course. I have invited Guardian to call and substantiate his many accusations. Most in the thread tried to discourage him from actually backing up his accusations, a rather odd thing, when you think about it. It once again illustrates the mentality prevalent in those forums.
Meanwhile, the same kind of "he's a Protestant, it doesn't matter what you say about him anyway" mentality prevails at DA's website as well. That should hardly surprise anyone, given DA's own behavior of late. But Mr. Hoffer, the attorney, was challenged here on this blog to back up his accusations. He apologized for the statement about the Holy Spirit, but he has insisted he is right concerning the "trick questions" and the other accusations of misbehavior on my part, including rank hypocrisy.
Now, over and over again of late, when I invite folks to back up their personal attacks, slanderous statements, etc., in front of a live audience, the call from a while back from Jonathan Prejean, "Crimson Catholic," is brought up. Here is the actual call. You will see Prejean was on the program for almost fifteen minutes. I wonder, would I get 15 minutes on Catholic Answers Live? If I behaved in the smug, arrogant fashion Prejean did, would I get five minutes on almost any program at all? So putting up with the man for nearly a quarter of the program, together with a history on the DL that goes back into the 1980s of patiently dealing with many callers from many different perspectives, demonstrates the real reason these folks won't call in: they know they are not speaking the truth, and they know facing the person they have been slandering will expose that. It's just that simple.
Now Mr. Hoffer is definitely an attorney. If you read his comments here, you will see that he has managed to avoid backing up his own accusations, ignored the fact that he is the one who has brought public charges of dishonesty against me, and instead recognized that, at least in that forum, he has a friendly audience. So, what do you do in that situation? You turn the tables and accuse the person you have wronged of attacking you. It is a very common tactic. So, he writes,
On a personal level, I find it humorous that apparently Mr. White feels it ok for him to engage in the same form of mischaracterization of my person that he took umbrage with when I said that the Holy Spirit doesn't move him. He doesn't know me from Adam. While Dr. Blosser once chided me for sounding like a Lutheran in a comment I made long ago, it is certainly is a new experience to be compared to a Moslem extremist or have the old Charles Kingsley slur" he cares nothing for the truth" used on me. Well, Nr. White will find that I care far more about "aletheia" than he gives me credit for. I am a firm believer in something a famous ancestor of mine once said, " Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."Now, here is where I addressed Mr. Hoffer's claims. Compare his rendition with the original. You will see that he has made things up out of half truths. I did not compare him to a "Moslem extremist." I made reference to taqiyya, a concept in mainstream Islam that allows the use of falsehoods in the service of the faith. Now, if Mr. Hoffer is, in fact, admitting that he has spoken falsehoods, then the application would be valid to him. But as anyone can see, I was speaking in general terms about the willingness of Roman Catholics in general to throw out these unsubstantiated, undocumented, and simply false accusations, all in the service of Mother Church. Next he says that I have used the "old Charles Kingsley slur" and then, in quotes, "he cares nothing for the truth." Remember, it was Hoffer who wrote, "he is not interested in being factual or accurate; it is all about winning and beating the other guy. He is truly a hypocrite in the original Greek sense of the word...." So where did I say he cares nothing for the truth? Look down the post and you will find that I discussed someone who came into our channel repeating lies about me. I then pointed out that "Yet, folks who do not care about truth will repeat the false rumor over and over again. And it is OK, as long as it promotes their cause." Hoffer actually takes this general statement about a different person in a different context, transports it out of its original context, applies it to himself, and on this basis accuses me of attacking him! What an incredible example of why written debates are only worthwhile if both sides are committed to the ultimate and highest level of clarity and perspecuity. Hoffer has provided a wonderful example of why cross-examination is necessary (and why he won't call, obviously), for if he were to try such an obvious trick live, on the air, or in a debate, he would be challenged, and stopped, right then and there. In a sense, he has provided a better example from his own keyboard than I could have hoped for. Here is a man who has presented falsehoods in a public forum, and, when challenged, has engaged in clear and obvious misrepresentation of the words of his victim, all in glowing text we can each read on our computer screens. Thank you, Mr. Hoffer.
So will we hear from Guardian or Mr. Hoffer tomorrow? I doubt it. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but you know, after multiple decades of dealing with folks like this, you learn the patterns.
Jonathan Prejean On Anonymous Hit Pieces
03/28/2007 - James White"Crimson Catholic," Jonathan Prejean, has actually attempted to offer an excuse for Hugh Barbour's refusal in the Envoy article to either name me directly, or even provide meaningful bibliographical references (i.e., so that his readers can do something more than just "trust him" and check things out for themselves). Now, let's remember that Barbour wrote his article in response to a footnote of an article that was on the topic of the Council of Nicea, an article fully referenced to standard works in the field. Barbour did not even touch upon the actual article itself. He created a straw man and beat it senseless without giving his readers any opportunity of checking him out. I have yet to find a single Roman Catholic who has accurately addressed the situation and in a truthful, honest fashion admitted that Barbour's actions were reprehensible, nor have I found one who has taken issue with the substance of the article (they can't, since they would have to reject every major scholarly work on Nicea to do so). And keep in mind as well the fact that in my response, I noted numerous problems with Barbour's own scholarship, including gross misrepresentation of the article he is pretending to review (easy to do when you don't provide any references anyone can follow up on), the presentation of highly questionable theories regarding the role of Sylvester at Nicea, even noting that Barbour used sources that the Westminster Dictionary of Church History describe as "hardly trustworthy." But despite all of this, Prejean writes,
Seems people elsewhere aren't quite getting the point of the article. The whole point was that the author's article was so laughably bad in the first place that it is effectively beneath contempt. It is, to use Wolfgang Pauli's apt phrase, "not even wrong." That's the whole point of not mentioning the author's name in the first place; it is to cast shame on him for having put out such a pathetic effort in the guise of scholarship (akin to the statement "Some have claimed..." without a footnote in a scholarly article, an implicit rebuke of the critic's scholarship). Anybody with access to Google can identify who the target is and locate his "responses" (which are no better), but the purpose of the rebuke is to point out that the quality of the article was so abysmal that the author doesn't even deserve to be mentioned by name. The message sent is one of condemnation for those who can't even rise to the level of reasonable discourse. And it is indeed a perfectly legitimate course of action for the scholar who respects his discipline enough to chastise those who merely pretend to practice it. People with a proper sense of shame and a reasonable estimation of their own competence would ordinarily want to let the issue lie. It is a rare breed indeed who would deliberately keep bringing attention to his having been publicly rebuked for incompetence.
Edit -- By the way, it takes no small degree of nerve for the same author to complain about no one calling in to the Dividing Line after he hung up on me. Evidently, it is a faux pas for anyone to call the author in question out for saying something laughable, as both Fr. Barbour and I did. I suggest that the author actually learn the subject with a sufficient degree of competence not to be considered laughable.
Evidently, for this apologist, it is perfectly alright to avoid providing meaningful bibliographical material as long as you are truly mocking your target in the service of mother Church. So, if your response is completely over the top, filled with invective and straw-men, then it is perfectly acceptable to behave in this manner! Now, if Barbour had actually tried to provide a fair response that was directed to the actual topic of the article, and did not seek to simply mock me, I guess then he would have to have followed standard canons of scholarly exchange and review. But, for those in Rome, as long as you say the article was that bad, then, it was, ipse dixit.
Prejean says my replies "are no better," which means he could easily explain the issues in regards to Sylvester, etc. All of this rhetoric is very hopeful: that is, it is written in the hope that no one will track down the original article and realize just how guilty of gross misrepresentation and a cavalier handling of the truth Hugh Barbour, Patrick Madrid, and the Envoy Magazine staff, really are.
Finally, I did hang up on Prejean. He tries to make this sound nefarious. Only problem is, he was on the air for almost fifteen minutes, and as I noted when he got on the air he had already been far less than charitable to me in his public comments. I wonder if I could get almost fifteen minutes on Catholic Answers Live if I called in? Surely not if I acted the way he did! Here is how I described his call:
First was our sophist, Jonathan Prejean, who actually managed to get me to hang up on him. That's pretty hard to do, but if you want to know how, here's how you do it: when asked simple, basic questions like, "Was the Incarnation a unique event," respond with a lengthy pause, "uuuuhhhh," and then rattle off a non-responsive answer; avoid answering all biblical questions with any biblical material, but always refer to your own (infallible) interpretation of later patristic writings; accuse me of heresy (Nestorianism) simply for not following you down the primrose path of "since the unity of divine and human in Christ does not mean we worship two Christs, but one Christ, that means everything the Bible says about worship can be thrown out, because the created has been joined to the divine," even to the point of claiming that we as the redeemed in some sense "participate" in the hypostatic union; and then, when it is pointed out that you are going backwards (defining the text by your theology rather than your theology by the text), start laughing---that will earn you the instant dialtone every time. A tremendous example of the sophistry of Prejean's form of Romanism.
Now, unlike the folks at Envoy who don't want their readers hearing (or reading) the other side, here's Prejean's call from the DL of 8/22/06.
Quick Rejoinder to Bill Rutland
08/08/2005 - James WhiteBill Rutland has provided a "response" that is again instructive to examine, though briefly, as I have limited time before heading back to Phoenix in a matter of hours.
I would like to address some of James’ comments on my comments. But, before I do, I would like to thank Pat for allowing James to post from this forum so freely. When I was over on Cross Walk, I posted something from their forum on my website and the administrators threatened me with a lawsuit if I did not remove it. Now, to the main reason for this post.
It is sorta hard to avoid the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, behind that is the idea that "Hey, maybe we should have the freedom to say anything we want in this forum and no one should have the right to expose what we say, even when it involves blatant, documentable lies about others, in any other way." Sorta sounds like that is the idea, but let's hope not.
As I stated on this forum Art got his “outrageous falsehoods” from me. I documented my post-debate discussion with James on this forum and I stand by it. If Art said anything that was incorrect it was because I did not express myself accurately, so I wish James would quit pounding Art on this subject.
I simply refer the reader to the unanswered documentation of the lies posted by Sippo (he has never retracted them) and the sad collusion of Rutland with his personal attacks here. I had written:
It would be nice if Mr. Rutland would provide at least a single citation to substantiate his claim that I do not "explore what Catholic(s) mean by the title." How is including chapters reviewing John Paul II's teaching on the subject, Vatican II's teaching on the subject, and Mark Miravalle's teaching on the subject, not doing that very thing?
Why is Mary called Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix? James attempts to tell us but is [sic] approach is somewhat like the three blind men, one who touched an elephants tail, the other its foot and the last its trunk and then described that elephant as a rope, a tree and a serpent. But "dars a whole lotta effelent bitwixted dem three points sir." Now maybe I was a bit too harsh on James, because there is no way, for example, to speak of Mary’s suffering from the Protestant theology of suffering which in the end amounts to “stuff happens.”
Once again--how is this a response? I cite Vatican II; I cite John Paul II; I cite previous papal encyclicals; I cite Miravalle. Where did I misrepresent them? Where did I misunderstand them? When I criticize the work of others, I attempt to show them sufficient respect to at least provide documentation before providing conclusions. Rutland does not seem up to the task. If this is the level of interaction he is putting into his book, well, that does not bode well at all. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
Crimson Catholic on Soteriological and Trinitarian Issues II of II
07/03/2005 - James WhiteI had written:
And I cannot help but contrast such a statement with Jesus' own words, which again so strongly illustrate the contrast between the anthropocentric mind-set of Roman Catholicism (God wants to save, tries to save, but fails to save so often because He is dependent upon the cooperation of man's will--and yes, I know, that's Arminianism as well) and the theocentric mindset of inspired Scripture taken as a whole.Prejean replies:
I can't believe that you haven't managed to grasp the distinction between Arminians and Catholics in fifteen years of debating.And I can't believe someone can think that the identification of a parallel regarding the views of Arminians and Roman Catholics on the nature of grace and the will of man means I conflate the two views or do not recognize their differences. This kind of rhetoric works great on the Envoy boards where no meaningful interaction can ever take place, but in a debate, that kind of statement would collapse in the blink of an eye. No one who seriously reads my works on either subject would ever, ever even suggest that I say the two are identical or that I do not recognize the differences between them. But at the same time, on the key issues of the grace of God and the will of man, Rome and modern Arminians do, in fact, share wide swaths of agreement in direct and shared opposition to Reformed theology. This is not even a debatable proposition, which is why Prejean has to create a straw man before knocking it down, another tactic designed only to impress the home court audience, but one that would evaporate in real debate.
God is not dependent on the cooperation of man's will in Catholic soteriology; we believe in election and predestination, unlike Arminians, who believe that God responds to foreseen actions. The entire discrepancy between Calvinists and Catholics is over the philosophical problem of how to reconcile God's providence with free will, and Calvinism is simply a singularly poor attempt to do so based on a fatalistic Greek notion of cause and effect that isn't even logically necessary. You're the one saying that God is so feeble that he can't ordain the outcome of systems with voluntary causes, not us....
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
The rC Campaign Presses Downward
04/19/2007 - James WhiteEver intent upon demonstrating that the "r" part of "rC" is a meaningless addition, the boys of the oxymoronic blog have provided some hum-dingers of late. Both Kevin Johnson and Tim Enloe have used the "post something that is ultra nasty and names names and demonstrates we are as sectarian as they come and detest conservative Calvinists with a passion but then pull it so you have some kind of deniability but make sure it is up long enough to get noticed anyway" ploy of late to go after yours truly and others of my "ilk." Enloe continues to seethe in his detestation of his former allies and friends, a sad state of affairs that many of us had hoped time, marriage, and family, would at least minimize if not alleviate. We were wrong. Just a few days ago Enloe posted a long diatribe that included these paragraphs (which I had in the logs of our chat channel: the post disappeared later in the day):
Note: I know we’re all trying to let this sort of stuff go, but it seems best to put it up here, where I know it will be seen. Comments on this post will remain closed, because there’s no sense in inviting another spontaneously-degenerating non-discussion with White’s followersWow, can you feel the love? The "catholic spirit"? I sure can. The rest of the post was just as bad. That warm, "catholic" spirit was exemplified just a few weeks ago by Kevin Johnson, the coffee maker who has spent his recent years dogging Douglas Wilson, and now John MacArthur and Phil Johnson, when he posted this winner:
In the name of accountability for myself, I want to modify one thing I recently said about White in a comment thread on Crimson Catholic’s blog. I said that White seems unacquainted with intellectual alternatives and gives very simplistic presentations that lead his puppy-dog like Internet followers astray. I even went so far as to say that in many ways White and his like-minded followers “are, as a general rule, a blot on the serious discipline of Christian theology and apologetics.”
Instead, you will find 8 in 10 who appear to suck up every simplistic thing White says as if it’s gospel-truth itself–and then rush vigorously to his defense on message boards all over the Internet anytime anyone says something against him. Of course, it is the responsibility of these lemming-like people to do some serious work for themselves, but it’s exactly the point that they don’t do any serious work for themselves.
I listened in horror today to James White and Rich Pierce of Alpha and Omega "Ministries" cackling over an errant suicidal man who called their ministry offices ( you can listen here, the comments were made somewhere after 47min). I don't normally listen to this broadcast anymore but I caught someone linking to it in agreement about something else. After listening to the mocking tone and carelessness with which these guys talked about this suicidal institutionalized man that dared to try to reach out to these so-called apologists, I just sat dumbstruck wondering whether it would be better to describe these guys as the Beavis and Buttheads of the apologetic world or the sort of cackling witches mentioned in Macbeth I've mentioned elsewhere in noting what I considered to be ministerial abuse. The care of errant souls outside the purview of proper apologetic concerns. Hmmm.
Again, isn't it wonderful to experience such an open hearted ecumenism? Johnson pulled the paragraph a few hours later, just like Enloe. I guess for the rC's, it is their loving, open-hearted form of unity, or none at all.
Meanwhile Paul Owen has been demonstrating how far off the radar screen from where he once claimed to be he currently is. Nothing new there. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
Bill Rutland on "Misrepresentations"
08/06/2005 - James WhiteYesterday we noted further examples of the means by which Roman Catholic apologists in the tradition of Art Sippo engage in simply dishonest and inaccurate argumentation so as to maintain their audiences. Unlike those folks, we documented our assertions fully. Today I move on to Bill Rutland's comments in the same thread. Mr. Rutland was my opponent only a few months ago on Long Island in the Great Debate X. On a personal level, Mr. Rutland is just a nice fellow. He's your standard "Southern gentleman" you might say. I surely bear him no personal animosity, and though I was very disappointed in his behavior after the debate in reference to not correcting Sippo's outrageous falsehoods regarding pre-debate discussions with Mr. Rutland, he is still considerably more "restrained" than the likes of Sippo.
He responded to Robert's post as follows:
I have read both of the books by James White that you cited. Mary - Another redeemer? In all honesty is not one of James’ better attempts. As you know the book is focused on the movement to make “Co-redemptrix” an official title for Our Lady. While James admits that Catholics insist that they do not worship Mary, he then goes on to maintain that in practice we really do. I think the greatest shortcoming of the book is that he perpetuates all of the old Protestant stereotypes without even exploring what Catholic [sic] mean by the title. Others have covered the meaning of Co-redemptrix on this thread so I will defer to them.
Once again, a few citations, a few examples, would be very nice. It seems that for the Roman Catholics at Envoy, if you disagree with Rome's conclusions, then you just must not "understand." It would be nice if Mr. Rutland would provide at least a single citation to substantiate his claim that I do not "explore what Catholic(s) mean by the title." How is including chapters reviewing John Paul II's teaching on the subject, Vatican II's teaching on the subject, and Mark Miravalle's teaching on the subject, not doing that very thing?
As for The Roman Catholic Controversy, it is a much better book. Although it purports to give an honest evaluation of the Catholic faith, in the end it falls short. Art writes that White's books are, “deceptive and misleading,” an oppinion [sic] which I would tend to agree. James’ books are deceptive because of his use of selective information. As with Mary - Another redeemer?, Controversy does not explain how Catholics view their own doctrines and then give an honest evaluation. James knows Catholicism better than most Catholics do, so when he writes something that is misleading, one has to wonder if it is done on purpose.
One again looks around for examples...and finds Rutland offering one (which is most enlightening: see below). The book has been out nearly a decade, and all that has appeared in print has been a few articles in This Rock magazine (responded to on our website, of course) that addressed possibly a grand total of two pages of the book. That's it. If the book is filled with deception and misrepresentation, why not document it? Easy: what these men really are saying is "He disagrees with us, therefore, he must be deceptive." Now, of course, that is circular argumentation and irrational, but it is the heart of their apologetic. So, it is much more effective in the long run to simply repeat the assertion that the books are "bad" and "deceptive" knowing that your audience is considerably more impacted by repetitive claims based upon inherent authority than they are logical argumentation and documentation. And so it goes. Now, as if to fulfill the "we identify all disagreements as inherently dishonest and deceptive" concept, we look at the example he offers: ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
A Quick Trip Down Apostasy Lane
12/09/2006 - James WhiteRight before I left for St. Charles a friend of mine sent me a URL to the Envoy Magazine web-board where medical doctor Art Sippo, one of the more famous folks on this blog (do a search if you really must), had begun a series on Calvinism. Now, remember, Art Sippo is the same non-exegete about whom I wrote in a multi-part series (starting here), documenting his many errors on the subject of Romans 9. His response? He's above even looking at the documentation, of course. So when I saw a thread beginning with Sippo setting his over-the-top, "ad-hominem is my middle name" style of rhetorical apologetics on Calvinism, I knew the result would be...typical Sippoism. But what made the thread more interesting was the soon arrival of one TGE, Timothy Enloe. Now, on September 18th of 2006 I had a brief "private message" conversation with Mr. Enloe in IRC. I challenged him to join me in not mentioning the other in public writings and conversations for an entire year. He agreed. That lasted less than three months, as I pretty much expected it would. The conversation very quickly deteriorated from any semi-serious criticism of Calvinism to a back and forth between Sippo and TGE, with Sippo doing his normal abrasive, in-your-face style of posting while, of course, complaining that everyone else is mean and nasty. Along the way our ol' friend Jerry-Jet would throw in a few bombs which most everyone else just sort of ignores (I include a few below just to add color to the citations).
Instead of you having to plow through the six current pages of posts, I did that work for you. Here are some of the real gems---mainly those with reference to the thought process of a formerly conservative apologist who has charted his own course...right over a theological cliff, and who cannot even engage in dialogue with someone as nasty as Art Sippo without lobbing grenades at Reformed folks who actually engage in biblical exegesis (gasp!).
For clarity's sake for others reading this thread, let me say that I don't really give two figs for defending Calvinism, and haven't for over 3 years now. I am a "de facto" Calvinist because my whole life situation right now is wrapped up in Calvinist circles. But, not only is the Calvinism in which I'm wrapped up nothing like the Calvinism you Catholics encounter all over the Internet (particularly in the apologetics "ministries"), but it's also not something I sit around obsessing over. I couldn't care less about the mechanics of predestination; I affirm it because Scripture talks about it, but how it works is of exactly zero interest to me. Ditto for fighting Arminians and using "the doctrines of grace" to separate myself from all who think differently about grace.
Why believe in Calvin when you can believe in Jesus?
All Calvinism is REALLY is just a worship of self. People who believe it are really just patting themselves on the back and are saying "I AM the predestined elect". why? Because they judge such to be true! why can they judge it? Because they said so!
Art Sippo 11/25:
Any one who denies the Mass is a sacrifice and sets himself up as more Catholic as the Doctors, Church Fathers, and the Popes has nothing to say to me that is worth hearing. As a Catholic I find nothing good in the "magisterial reformation."
Jerry Jet 11/26:
Mere talk about the truth is CHEAP! Jesus said "I came not to bring peace but a sword". The sword of truth necessitates a fight.
Mere talk is disingenuous. Satan only talked to Eve--Eve didn't fight!
When someone disagrees with the Catholic Church either they are liars or the Catholic Church are liars
There is no CARICATURE in that!
For the record, I am the sort of Protestant who believes that Protestantism can't survive without significantly reshaping its view of and relations with Catholicism. We need Catholicism, because in many ways we've lost our way. I am likewise the kind of Calvinist who, if I ever come to believe that Prejean is right that Calvinism is a kind of Monothelitism, I will chuck Calvinism so fast it will make everyone's heads spin. I am the kind of Reformed person who doesn't think there's much virtue in imagining that there is a stark dividing line in Church history called "pre-Reformation" and "Reformation" times. I think it's deeply spiritually unhealthy to live always looking back at some mythically perfect time of "purity" and trying to recapitulate it world without end. It's wrong to take one's whole approach to the Christian life from what once was not but has now become a pretty much entirely negative stance towards others, with the corresponding absurd assumption that we ourselves are so right and good that we don't need anyone else and are, as it were, God's Appointed Messengers to call everyone else to repentance....
Further for the record, I don't subscribe to the "Faith by scholarship" view that you impute to me. No doubt I don't have to lecture a Catholic in the fact that the best of the Christian tradition from earliest times has sought to harmonize Faith and Reason, not set them in opposition to each other. Just because much of Protestantism has surrendered to Enlightenment standards of rationality and vainly imagines such absurdities as that learning to parse all your Greek participles correctly leads to a Platonic Paradise of "pure biblical truth," and tries to collapse faith into "evidence" doesn't mean Protestants without exception are and must be this way.
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
An uber-brief response to the Crimson Catholic
01/10/2005 - James WhiteJonathan Prejean has offered some comments on the first sections of my interaction with Dave Armstrong. Since they are brief, I will be brief in response. As he quotes me extensively, I will put my original words in blue, his replies in red, my replies are in purple.
Now, of course, DA will respond with text files (liberally salted with URL's) that will average 10x the word count of anything I have to say. That's OK. I shall win the award for brevity and concise expression, and let him take home the bragging rights to verbosity and bandwidth usage.
[False and unwarranted.]
Anyone at all familiar with Dave Armstrong over the years knows better. Just look at his website. I began experiencing this with the very first letter Armstrong sent me in the mail. This one isn't even arguable. :-) ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]