Yesterday I reviewed some clips from an interview done by Dave Armstrong. I noted some of his amazing statements, and in particular, I found quite humorous his very inflated sense of importance in basically vanquishing the entire Protestant world from the field of battle. No one can respond to Dave Armstrong! Well, I knew Dave would respond, and respond he did. But he did so in typical Armstrongian fashion:
Be sure to catch Bishop James White’s mocking, ridiculous “commentary” on this very interview, on his Dividing Line webcast (2-19-08). It’s quite entertaining. I’ll give White that much. He even features (Rush Limbaugh-like) a portion of a Three Dog Night song. Guess which one?! Oh, and then (filled with ingenious satirical ideas) White plays a Billy Joel song that starts with “h”. Just think of an accusation that anti-Catholics almost always make against Catholics (that I do not reciprocate). Whew . . . The good bishop ended his “rebuttal” with a flourish:
I’m certain that I will see, within the next two days, a long blog article about how terrible and horrible and everything else that I am . . .
Sorry to disappoint you, Your Eminence, and to wreck your prophetic prowess, but I just ain’t interested anymore in dealing with fools and intellectual cowards who consistently refuse to defend their positions when challenged in writing again and again. This is strictly humorous stuff, no more, and so I am glad to post it for my readers to listen to if they’re in the mood for a good laugh. We all need comic diversion now and then
But, as all of us who know Armstrong realize, there is no way he is going to limit himself to such a brief reply. His MO is to tell you on his blog that he going to take the “high road” and ignore such things, but, then, all you have to do is go to the combox, and you will find the real replies. And verily and forsooth, that’s what we have:
My own record with White is abundantly clear. Anyone can examine it for themselves. The man has been running, evading, mocking, and making a fool of himself for over twelve years.
I don’t have time anymore for his nonsense. I’ve done my duty as an apologist by refuting his facile inanities off and on all those years. Many many papers are posted, and he has never once sustained an intelligent discourse with me without fleeing for the hills long before we actually accomplished anything or descending into imbecilic mockery and insult.
Most critiques I make of his arguments are completely ignored. I’ve documented this many times. No need to do it again now.
I suggest that he stick to liberals, KJV-only nuts, Mormons, and Muslims, where he does good and very helpful apologetics, and I link to that work and even recommend it. But Catholicism? Nuh-uh. He has shown himself to be in massive error and unwilling to be corrected on anything, time and again.
I never denied that some Protestants are attempting to respond to Catholics. I made it very clear that I was generalizing and that there are exceptions. One wearies of reiterating the obvious and having to explain what was already made quite clear in the interview itself.
But the overall trend is definitely toward dismissing and mocking rather than engaging Catholic apologetics. I’ve documented this many times, too. I speak from experience, as a veteran of over 400 written debates, and constant apologetic work on the Internet for now 12 years and running (and no end in sight). Many of our Protestant opponents come right out and say this. It’s not even speculation. Look at what they say and what they do.
Dave Armstrong | Homepage | 02.20.08 – 3:36 pm | #
I should add that there is also a distinction between writing something about Catholics as a potshot and being willing to actually interact with them in a back-and-forth fashion (i.e., serious intellectual discussion, where someone is actually challenged and has to defend their POV). I was referring more so (though not totally) to the latter.
It was simply an informal, off the cuff interview. I had no preparation (other than reading the salvation sections of my new book). I didn’t know specifically what I was gonna be asked. This is what White loves to attack, because he knows full well that it isn’t remotely as precise and prepared as any writing that I do. So he can pick at things and take them out of context. He is a master at that, but it is sophistry.
White himself will write plenty about Catholics, assuredly (filled with personal attacks, as with his recent spate of hit pieces against Steve Ray), but as soon as one of these Catholics responds at length, he will ignore it or mock and dismiss.
That is what I mean. Kevin Johnson is another sterling example of that. He writes plenty about Catholics, but if a Catholic dares to try to interact with him and reason with him and show him where he is in error, it is all mockery and ridicule. And of course I was banned from his site two or three years ago. I guess I asked too many difficult questions.
I was banned from White’s chat room after a few appearances recently for no reason other than that I was a wicked Catholic (I was getting along fine with the people who were actually there, except for David T. King: the rudest Christian I have ever met on the Internet).
Because of that I challenged White and his sidekick James Swan to a live chat debate. They both turned me down. I later challenged four other anti-Catholics to the same debate and they all replied similarly (most with insults). I had done the same with another anti-Catholic before that (Matt Slick). That made it seven straight refusals to do a simple chat about the definition of “Christian.” Very basic stuff. But these guys are all petrified of discussing it with me “live”, with everyone watching.
That doesn’t sound like a willingness to interact with Catholics to me: at least not with this Catholic . . . Since the same people, almost to a man, say repeatedly how stupid and dumb and clueless I am, one wonders why they are so reluctant to jump at this golden opportunity to prove that claim to everyone. But I proved that no one was willing to do so. It’s all on the record now. That was the last straw for me. Apart from the Luther quote thing that I got into heavily, because I wanted to defend my friend Steve Ray, I decided at that point that these clowns were not worth any more of my time.
White used to allow Catholics in his chat room, and engage in lengthy exchanges with them (several of which are still posted on his site). But I guess he now thinks it is better to ban them. He used to have Catholics in a discussion list about sola Scriptura, that he actually invited me to, way back in 1996, before I even had a website yet. He doesn’t do stuff like that anymore.
I can also cite many examples of folks who used to vigorously debate actual Catholic human beings and no longer do. Jason Engwer is one. Eric Svendsen is another. He does it occasionally, but nothing like before.
I’ve tried to engage Steve Hays, who is intelligent enough, to a sensible exchange, but it is all mockery and foolishness and hee-hawing among his adoring sycophants. Oh well. I did try.
There was another guy who called himself “the Pedantic Protestant” who is now off the Internet, far as I can tell.
There are a number of other nicer Protestants, who weren’t anti-Catholics, whom I very much enjoyed dialoguing with in the past (I have two in particular, in mind), but who decided to basically cease dialoguing with Catholics on the usual topics that divide us.
There is Josh Strodtbeck: another sharp tack who is constantly running down the Catholic Church and Catholics; but try to have a serious dialogue with him? Impossible. It’s all mockery and ludicrosity. At least with me. And I don’t see him doing so with any other Catholic, either. But he is a master of the quick insult and the propagandistic caricature of what he imagines Catholicism to be.
That provides several concrete examples of what I was referring to.
Dave Armstrong | Homepage | 02.20.08 – 4:20 pm | #
Seems like the grand total there was not overly large, in DA terms: only 1300 words! Excuse me while I “flee” and “run” from DA’s overwhelming argumentation. And in my absence, you might search the blog for the name “Armstrong” and see for yourself that DA lives in a fantasy world all his own.