What an amazing sight greeted me this morning as I arrived at my office. Crowds of faithful followers of Rome had gathered in the parking lot in support of the Charitable Dr. Beckwith, calling for my immediate repentance and adoption of charity (i.e., stop pointing out the obvious, stop challenging Rome’s claims, stop focusing upon issues rather than feelings, join hands and stand in awe of all conversion stories and give equal weight and value to all “journeys” even if they involve, in your honest belief and faith, acts of glowing apostasy and involve a denial of the gospel to which you are pledged). I admit their dress is a bit odd for this area, but their fervor could not be denied!
   Yes, I know. How uncharitable of me. Dr. Beckwith can tell an audience he expected Trent to read like a Dan Brown novel (though, of course, he already knew better, having read it before), but if I use humor, it is uncharitable. I’m getting the idea. Charitable = in support of Mother Rome, uncharitable = in support of biblical Christianity and the Reformation.
   Each morning this week has brought fresh reason to sit and shake one’s head. This morning, I was directed to the following accusation, posted, charitably, of course, by Dr. Beckwith even as he claims (repeatedly) to be “done” with the topic. So, as a parting accusation of dishonesty on my part, Dr. Beckwith, charitably, makes the following accusation:

   The point is this: to say that someone “repeatedly denied” something when the second instance, the “repetition,” was a clear non-denial is in fact to bear false witness against one’s neighbor. Of course, Mr. White could deny having known of the Ignatius Press piece. But, as I will show, that can’t really be an option. First, it would mean there would be no “second instance” and thus no “repetition.” It’s difficult to claim that I repeatedly denied something if it’s not even clear I did it once let alone a second time. And second, and this is revealing, we in fact know that Mr. White is aware of my Ignatius interview, for he clips and pastes from a blog post of mine [I have inserted this as a link, and note it so that no further charges of tampering/doctoring will be leveled against me] in which I mention the Ignatius Press interview as well as several others interviews. Here’s White’s post in which he links to my post that mentions the Ignatius Press interview [link inserted].
   In that post, sadly, White took isolated portions of my original post and ran them together as if they had appeared that way in the original. He did not place a “….” to indicate missing text. Thus, he doctored my original in order to make it seem as if my post was all about doing Catholic apologetics, when in fact it was a thank you to those who had written to my wife and me and to whom we had not written back. In that same post, I also link to the works of thoughtful critics of my reversion, including Carl Truemann, Christianity Today’s editorial board, and Timothy George (in First Things). I encourage you to read it for yourself.
   This is why character counts. And this is why Jesus said, “Follow me,” not merely, “Believe me,” though it is with faith the journey starts. This is why grace is supposed to transform us, not merely pardon us, though we indeed were pardoned at the moment we became new creatures at our conversions.
   I’m through sparring on this topic. It is, at the end of the day, a colossal waste of the gifts God gave me. (I think Tim knows that already). Also, I need to prepare for my real job, Professor at Baylor University. The Fall semester begins in two weeks and I am teaching two courses, Logic and Legal Reasoning, and Law, Science and Society. I also need to get ready for the arrival of my parents from Las Vegas. They will be joining us on August 18 for my wife’s confirmation, her full reception into the Catholic Church.

   Now, please note the charitable means by which Beckwith ravages my character, honesty, integrity, etc., all the while very charitably ignoring the mountain of relevant, cogent, meaningful issues I have raised. If I respond to Dr. Beckwith, my response will be uncharitable, by definition, of course. (Is the pattern emerging here with sufficient clarity?)
   I find the accusation of “doctoring,” and Dr. Beckwith’s attempt to read my mind and discern my motives, beyond absurd, and given the man’s obvious intelligence, I can only conclude that he has no means of responding to the refutations I have offered of his claims, the critique of his reasoning, etc. So, like so many others in the Roman communion, it is far easier to attack the man, gain the applause of Rome’s legions of adoring followers, and move on. Nothing new, but, I expected it might at least take a little while for Dr. Beckwith to read through the entire “Roman Catholic Apologetics Manual of Operations.”
   Here, in its entirety, is the huge, massive, long post to which Beckwith refers, and upon which he accuses me of dishonesty and doctoring of the text:

29 July
The “I Came Home to Rome” Tour Begins

The question “will Beckwith’s reversion be used as a Roman Catholic apologetics tool” is being answered.

As I have traveled over the past three months–speaking at assorted venues around the United States–I have had inquiries from many about the deliberations that went into our decision. As I have said already, I am working on a book that will document my pilgrimage and offer an account of my journey.
Over the next two months I will be interviewed by Greg Koukl (President of Stand to Reason) on his radio program (August 5) as well as on Catholic Answers Live (September 5) and the television program, The Journey Home (September 24). Each of these is a call-in program.

posted at 17:09:12 on 07/29/07 by James R. White – Category: Roman Catholicism – edit

   Now, please note: a full and accurate link to Beckwith’s own blog entry is provided. Anyone who wanted to read the original was given the ability to do so. If I had any interest at all in trying to “doctor” Beckwith’s post, I would not provide a link to the original for anyone to read for themselves.
   Next, my actual contribution to the entry is one full sentence which is nothing more than a reference to Beckwith’s own post. When I commented on Beckwith beginning to give his reasons for conversion on my blog (the fact that I have always pointed out his own assertion that he will be writing a book, and hence, till then, all discussions are preliminary, would be considered by some rather charitable, though, we know, of course, by definition, it can’t be, since I am, by definition, uncharitable), I quoted his statements from the single article I have reviewed fully, which appeared in The National Catholic Register. I had not read, nor did I cite, the Ignatius Press article.
   Next, until this week, I had in fact held out some hope that Beckwith would resist the siren call of RC apologetics and recognize the inherent problems involved in becoming a “star convert” (who is actually just a revert). But I know the RC apologetics world. I’m their favorite target. So when I saw his announcement that he would be on both Catholic Answers Live and The Journey Home, it became obvious to me that, in answer to a single particular question, that being would he be “used” by Roman Catholic apologists, the answer was coming to light, “yes.”
   Now, I quoted two portions of the article to which I had linked first that were relevant. I simply could have posted one sentence, but I chose the two portions of the text that addressed the issue, “Will Beckwith seek to have an apologetic presence in defense of Rome?” Those two sections included his statement that he was writing a book on the topic, and, that he would be on STR, CA Live, and The Journey Home.
   Evidently, Beckwith’s entire basis for now, charitably, of course, accusing me of “isolating” and “doctoring” and, on that basis, of, charitably, insinuating that I lack character and that this is due to a false belief I hold about the gospel, is that between the two portions of text that I cited right after giving the link to his entire blog article I did not put “…” Yes, my character would have been proven sound if, though I had directed folks to his own original words, when I put the relevant material on my blog, instead of this:

As I have traveled over the past three months–speaking at assorted venues around the United States–I have had inquiries from many about the deliberations that went into our decision. As I have said already, I am working on a book that will document my pilgrimage and offer an account of my journey.
Over the next two months I will be interviewed by Greg Koukl (President of Stand to Reason) on his radio program (August 5) as well as on Catholic Answers Live (September 5) and the television program, The Journey Home (September 24). Each of these is a call-in program.

   I had put this:

As I have traveled over the past three months–speaking at assorted venues around the United States–I have had inquiries from many about the deliberations that went into our decision. As I have said already, I am working on a book that will document my pilgrimage and offer an account of my journey.

Over the next two months I will be interviewed by Greg Koukl (President of Stand to Reason) on his radio program (August 5) as well as on Catholic Answers Live (September 5) and the television program, The Journey Home (September 24). Each of these is a call-in program.

   Now, Dr. Beckwith illustrates for us how to charitably read someone’s words in assuming that I was trying to convince folks that his original post, which I had linked to (uncharitably, I’m sure), was all about Catholic apologetics. The reasoning process whereby he comes to this conclusion he does not, charitably, share with us. I know it is uncharitable of me to point this out, but I can’t help myself.
   Now, I have obviously attempted to insert a bit of levity, and a bit of humorous sarcasm here, for the simple reason that I’m to the point where you either have to laugh or cry. I have raised serious, substantive issues in the original posts on the STR web board. I raised serious, substantive issues in my blog articles in response to Beckwith’s The National Catholic Register articles. But only one side wants to address these issues as if they are relevant to eternity. The other side wants to “share journeys in safe places.” I’m sorry, but did I miss something here? Isn’t Beckwith in the camp that agrees that when it comes to life and death issues, such as abortion, you don’t play games with words? Hasn’t he argued forcefully for life? Is the gospel less important, less definable, and less vital? So why all these silly games, all this smoke and all these mirrors? Could it be that Frank Beckwith simply doesn’t have the answers?

—in the defense and confirmation of the gospel

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