Dr. Art Sippo continues his harangues on Patrick Madrid’s forums from Envoy Magazine. He writes, “Guys, I have first hand knowledge of James White, his tactics, his family and the way he acts. He is not a serious scholar. He is a bigot. He was raised that way by his father and mother who are vicious anti-Catholics.” This is the kind of “scholarship” looked up to by many on Catholic web-boards. It has never crossed my mind to attack Art Sippo’s parents. I have never thought of looking into the family histories of any of my opponents. Why would anyone who has the slightest concern for truth, let alone any knowledge thereof, do so? And yet this is the sum and substance of 98% of everything you will find said repeatedly, endlessly, by the folks who frequent the Roman Catholic apologetics forums. Where are the moderators? Evidently Madrid has no problem hosting this kind of blatant ad-hominem as long as it is written by the likes of Art Sippo, who is surely one of the worst examples one can find of an alleged Roman Catholic “apologist.”
Another incredible example of the kind of Roman Catholic apologetics that exists is found in this tiny video clip from Apolonio Latar. A fifteen second clip, removed from all context, is supposed to be the “truth” about sola scriptura. That I have explained the relationship of sola scriptura to the issue of the inspiration of Scripture, and its normative function only after the canon is completed, is not noted by Mr. Latar’s little snippet, and yet for the average participant in the RC apologetics forums, that’s hardly relevant.
Of course, I have to remind myself, regularly, that these people are outside my audience anyway. I do not debate for the Art Sippos or Apolonio Latars or Xaviers or CatholicDudes of the internet. My audience is, in fact, very small, and unless God sees fit to bring a wave of repentance across Western culture, it may well get a lot smaller in the not too distant future. Those who are serious about issues of truth are few and far between these days. I am more convinced than ever that such a disposition requires the work of the Spirit in the heart, and therefore I should not be surprised when unregenerate men act like…unregenerate men. Unregenerate religious men will act in a way that shames and dishonors the truth. Unless the Spirit opens the eyes, my words can only bring about the same kind of outrageous behavior as that seen in the response of the false disciples of John 8:30-34. Indeed, if I dare try to placate such men, I will have to betray the gospel. And that I plead God will keep me from doing.
I have quoted it in the past, but I will do so again. Beza was right on when he said, “For piety has no enemies more inveterate than those who have sincerely embraced a false religion, thinking it true.”