Art Sippo, a medical doctor with pretensions to theological expertise, well-known for his embarrassingly bombastic tone, has made an accusation that illustrates once again the tendency of Roman Catholic apologists to play with history. Sippo, who as recently as 2005 declined, after years of boasting, to debate me in his own hometown on the only topic he said he would debate, made the following comments on the Envoy forums:
For example, the sad and confused Mr. White claimed in the 1980s and early 1990s that the aorist verb form in Greek referred to a past completed action that could not be repeated. He wrote it in his silly little diatribes and said it openly during debates.
Indeed the aorist MAY have such force in some ATTIC Greek. But if you pick up and good textbook of Koine Greek, you will earn that the aorist in KOINE is used for “the simple past tense.” In fact, Moses Da Silva in his short primer of Greek for pastors makes the point that the use of the aorist has “no sermonic importance.” Yet Mr. White made a big point of (mis)using the aorist in his apologetics.
i confronted him about this three years ago and now James denies that he EVER made such claims for the aorist. Shades of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from 1984. “We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.”
This is why I have no respect for such people. I have been around too long and seen them disgrace themselves too many time to take their alleged Christian profession seriously. These people preach that men are totally depraved and then strive to go out and act abominably as if to prove it. They act in a manner that is beneath that of a cultured atheist.
And it is because I do not pretend that they are anything but liars, hypocrites, and poltroons that they vilify me.
Notice the claim to have “confronted” me three years ago, the same time frame when Sippo, having claimed I would never debate him on that topic, quietly declined to do so in his own back yard. Notice as well that he claims I did this in debate and in writing, hence, documenting it should be very easy for him.
Also, it is not Moses Da Silva. It is Moises Silva, whose works I have used in my own studies for decades.
So I have a challenge for Art Sippo and those who follow his particularly virulent brand of Roman Catholic apologetics: prove it, Dr. Sippo. Document it. Give your sources, or admit you have none. You will note Sippo doesn’t give a context, a verse, anything that would give his assertions meaning. The only relevant context I can recall for an aorist tense regarding Roman Catholicism is in reference to Romans 5:1, where I have not only pointed out Robert Sungenis’ error in identifying an aorist participle as a perfect tense verb (Not By Faith Alone, p. 259), but I have repeatedly emphasized that the aorist passive participle dikaiothentes (Δικαιωθέντες) refers to an action that precedes the action of the main verb, echomen (ἔχομεν), i.e., we have peace with God because we have, as a past action, been justified. It is quite possible that Sippo, who has never taught Greek and to my knowledge cannot translate it, is confusing this syntactical observation with others, such as the use of the perfect passive in a periphrastic construction in Ephesians 2:8. In any case, I hereby publicly challenge Sippo to document his defamatory comments, or withdraw them.