Yesterday on the Envoy forums, Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid posted a link to an old article, “Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths. This article appeared in the July/August 1998 issue of Envoy magazine. The article was a hit piece against Dr. White, and he proved it so here.
I am still registered on the Envoy forums, even though I haven’t made any comments since my discussion with Art Sippo on Luther biographies some months back. In my only brief encounter with Madrid, he was actually respectful to my work on Luther, and even came to my defense against the constant vitriol from Art Sippo. I decided now would be good opportunity to share Dr. White’s article with Madrid.
So I attempted to post Dr. White’s link:
But when the post was added to the Envoy discussion, the link was broken. It posted as:
Can you spot what’s missing? That’s right: aomin.org. It seems Madrid has a link block that stops links to aomin.org. So, I cut and pasted Dr. White’s article to my own blog, and posted the link. When I checked the discussion today, my link had been edited out.
Madrid’s Envoy forums have the banner, “Speak Your Mind.” But it seems they have a problem with certain opinions and information. That is, they fear what they can’t refute.
Update: I now appear to be banned on the Envoy forums.
Quick comment from JRW:
Fascinating! Another incredible commentary on the state of Roman Catholic apologetics! I just went by the Envoy site and verified TQ’s observations. Despite the fact that Barbour’s article is simply false, it is a lie, Madrid not only continues to promote it, but who do we find calling it an “oldie but a goodie” but Phil Porvaznik. Any actual interaction with my rebuttal? No, of course not. Even recognizing the existence of documented rebuttal and refutation would go against the purposes of RC apologetics.
Evidently, the mindset that produced the first article, which refused to name me, refused to give bibliographical information, was filled with sub-standard scholarship, etc., remains alive and well at Envoy. The original hit-piece was embarrassingly bad. The refutation I published in the CRI Journal documented this. So why does Madrid keep promoting the piece? Probably for the same reason he so prominently promotes the only two debates we have done. It is the same reason Porvaznik posts 18 second clips of contextless cross-examination. These “apologists” are seeking merely to maintain faith, not expand it. In other words, they well know that they cannot truly engage the issues at any meaningful level, so, they are content to keep the “home troops happy,” stir them up once in a while with some propaganda about how evil and stupid the enemy is, and move on from there. Another amazing example of how authority systems like Rome’s maintain themselves in a context where their historical foundations have been washed away.
And finally, in response to the update and the banning of James Swan from Envoy’s forums and the removal of his posts: first, obviously, Mr. Madrid can do what he wants with his forums. If he decides to make them “Catholic only,” that’s his business. But the desperate dishonesty shown here is what should make everyone sit up and take notice. The original article was embarrassing. Repeatedly referring folks to a grossly misleading article that has been refuted shows desperation and a great disrespect for the truth. Calling yourself an apologetics forum while filtering URLs that you cannot refute is childish; banning folks for pointing out your hypocrisy once again proves our point. Truly amazing behavior on the part of those in charge of the Envoy forums. I’m sure they will be patting each other on the back and throwing a few insults my direction just to cover their continued retreat. But let’s remember: Catholic Answers (which at the time included Patrick Madrid) was on the attack in the late 1980s, challenging pastors and “anti-Catholics” to debates. Now they are stuck with the meandering prattle of folks like Jonathan Prejean or the tirades of Art Sippo, and some of their “premiere” apologists of a few years ago are now outside the camp (Matatics, Sungenis). As this action by Envoy shows, they are in retreat, and all they can hope to do is keep their supporters happy by keeping them ignorant of the other side and slapping each other on the back in self-congratulatory fashion. You will never find them posting clips of cross-examination, or playing entire presentations on their webcasts and inviting folks to call in. No, “apologetic dialogue” is a monologue in Rome.
Of course, it would be easy for them to disprove my thesis. It’s called debate. We know what happened when I agreed to come to St. Louis to debate Sippo on justification. Maybe Pat Madrid will defend his claims regarding Mary, which he has published, in formal debate? Maybe Papal Infallibility? If I am so “irrelevant” as they like to assure themselves, it would seem mere child’s play to accomplish my defeat in these key areas. And though they often complain that I do not activate the “Internet Ignorance Aggregator” program on my blog (called a comments section), they likewise seem to forget that twice a week they have an hour to call the Dividing Line. The number is still toll free. I’d love to hear some of our Roman Catholic critics at Envoy, or elsewhere (like the CA Forums), call in and defend the Barbour article, or the banning of James Swan from the Envoy forums. The number is 877-753-3341, and the DL airs tomorrow afternoon, 4pm PDT.