You’ve got to give them credit. They broke new ground, bringing Roman Catholic apologetics (something most Protestants didn’t even think existed!) to the average Roman Catholic in the pew. And they did it, quite often, by focusing upon the tremendous weaknesses of modern Protestant apologetics. It’s not an overly difficult task to point out the gaping holes in the arguments of many opponents of Rome these days. Jack Chick, Tony Alamo, Texe Marrs, Peter Ruckman, and others of their ilk, have made it pretty easy to create long lists of “bad arguments” used by Protestants. And Karl Keating, the President of Catholic Answers, has been busy pounding those errors into the ground for many years now.
At first it was hard to argue with the basic premise: Protestants, Keating argued, use bad arguments, arguments that require the use of a double standard. People like Jack Chick will quote anything as long as it makes Rome look “bad.” It doesn’t matter if there’s another side to the story, it doesn’t matter if someone is being unfair, or even twisting the facts. Many Protestants actually think they are serving God by promoting shallow, or even untrue, arguments against Rome. Keating and his fellows at Catholic Answers have built up quite an organization pointing out the flaws in such thinking and behavior.
Catholic Answers also opened the door to Protestant/Catholic debates. In fact, one of their earlier tracts speaks about challenging “anti-Catholics” to open, public debates. They advertised themselves as being on the “frontlines” of Catholic apologetics, taking on the “anti-Catholics” and showing them up in public forums.
One of the things that has been attractive about Catholic Answers publications has been their use of humor. Of course, as anyone knows, you run risks when you try using “funnies,” and one can argue that even early on Catholic Answers went “beyond the line” at times. But most often the attempts at humor were in good taste.
But times change, and so has Catholic Answers. At first it was the dynamic duo of Karl Keating and Patrick Madrid. I met both in August of 1990 in Long Beach when I first debated Catholic Answers. Soon I got to know Mark Brumley as well. And back then, the “darling” of Catholic Answers was a man who they don’t even mention anymore as having been on their staff: Gerry Matatics. It seems Matatics made the fatal mistake of “going out on his own.” The controversy, and rancor, that exists between Keating and Matatics is beyond the scope of this article, though I think it speaks to the development, even years ago, of an attitude we see rather clearly today.
With the departure of Matatics in January of 1991, Catholic Answers began looking for someone to take his post. James Akin, a recent convert to the Church, was hired. Mark Brumley left the staff, leaving Keating, Madrid, and Akin as the key players for quite some time. Then, in 1995, Patrick Madrid left his long-time position as Vice President of the organization, and moved out on his own, starting Envoy Magazine. Madrid is now advertising his publication (which bears remarkable similarities to This Rock) as the “next generation” in Catholic apologetics. It’s hard not to read such a slogan without asking, “What was the previous generation?” And one can only answer, “Catholic Answers.”
Which brings us up to date. Karl Keating and James Akin are the principal players in Catholic Answers as I write in October of 1996. Certainly they are about the only people we can look to as responsible for what appears in the pages of This Rock magazine. And hence it falls to them to explain the actions and attitudes portrayed in that publication.
Me and This Rock
Over the years I have found my name mentioned in This Rock fairly regularly. Such is hardly surprising, as I have taken a leading role in responding to the claims of Rome and especially those of Catholic Answers. I have had the opportunity of engaging in nineteen public debates against the leading Roman Catholic apologists (not including radio debates), and have had a number of books published on the subject. I would expect that a magazine dedicated to Roman Catholic apologetics would take note of someone who is publishing books that specifically mention Catholic Answers and who is providing a Protestant response to their claims. However, the kinds of responses I’ve received have been most disappointing.
I sent copies of my first books on Roman Catholicism to Catholic Answers as soon as they were published. Hence, Karl Keating and Patrick Madrid have had those books for more than six years now. James Akin has had access to them almost as long. When my newest book on Roman Catholicism came out, The Roman Catholic Controversy, I sent copies to Keating, Akin, and Madrid, free of charge. This work is published by Bethany House Publishers, one of the largest Christian publishing houses in the United States. One would think that This Rock would have a review and response on its front cover in short order.
All of this assumes, of course, that the intention of Catholic Answers is to do what they chide others for not doing: provide a meaningful, scholarly, fair, correct review and response to those arguments presented against their position. That is, anyway, what they say they are about. The problem is, as history shows, they operate upon a glaring double standard at this point. While insisting that Protestants should eschew the unfair and inaccurate representations of Jack Chick or Alberto Rivera or Tony Alamo, they themselves are willing to engage in just as unfair and inaccurate representations of Protestant apologists and positions. I can address this fact directly, for I, more than almost anyone else, have been so misrepresented by Catholic Answers.
The Mirror Image Effect
One of the greatest blessings from the hand of the Lord in my own ministry is that He has pressed me to work in more than one area. I began working with Mormons, and continue in that area to this day. I have led a team of volunteers in witnessing to Mormons at the General Conference of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City consistently for the past twelve and a half years (25 consecutive Conferences). But it was not long before we were responding to the claims of the Watchtower Society as well. And then the opportunities to respond to Rome’s claims began to arise as well. And years later, the entire King James Only issue fell into my lap (I was not looking for such an opportunity, I assure you!). I have had the opportunity of teaching, on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, in Greek, Church History, and Systematic Theology. Each of these challenges has had a very beneficial effect: it has allowed me to avoid the “mirror image” effect.
What is the “mirror image” effect? Quite simply, we tend to become the mirror image of the group or groups we “fight” against. We often sink to their level, and having done it once, it is easier to do it a second time. Eventually, unless the Lord intervenes through the wise counsel of others, we end up using the same tactics, and engaging in the same kind of false argumentation, as those we oppose.
The temptation toward such a stance is great. I have often encountered people, for example, that I knew could not hold me to any particularly high standard of truthfulness regarding the subjects we were discussing. Young LDS people, for example, are “easy pickings” for someone who has studied LDS theology as much as I have. It would be easy to use arguments with them that I would never use with a better-read Mormon person. It would be easy to appeal to emotions, use arguments that engage in sensationalism, and the like, in such situations. And yet I ask God to keep me from doing that. Why? Because I believe that more than anything else, I have to honor God by speaking the truth in love. Anything less is dishonoring to Him, and dishonoring to the ministry to which I have been called.
The fact that the Lord has led me to respond to numerous viewpoints, rather than just one, has been most helpful in resisting the “mirror image” effect. You can’t over-react to one group, without exposing yourself to attack by one of the others with which you work. You must be balanced in all areas, including biblical exegesis, forms of argumentation, etc. While your unwillingness to use “bad” arguments may get you in trouble with some on your side of the fence who do use them, the end result (the glory of God) is well worth it.
Mirror Image and Catholic Answers
A fair analysis of past trends, and recent publications, from Catholic Answers reveals that the mirror image effect is alive and well, and Catholic Answers has succumbed-deeply-to its grasp. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time. But it’s happened, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. It can be seen in many ways. Let’s look at just a few of them.
One thing we immediately note is that while Catholic Answers takes as evidence of inability on the part of their opponents the paucity of response to Roman claims, and has often touted the refusals of individuals to debate them as evidence of the rightness of their position (see the June, 1996 This Rock for an article by Robert Sungenis doing this very thing), how good, really, is the Catholic Answers track record? Karl Keating has had a standing challenge from me to debate since August of 1990. He refuses to do so. When I invited Catholic Answers to debate the Papacy during the Papal visit to Denver in 1993, they declined, saying they didn’t think it was a proper time to do debates. However, once they learned that I then arranged debates with Gerry Matatics during the same period, they arranged a debate with Bill Jackson and Ron Nemic on sola scriptura, which took place on the same night as the second half of my debate with Gerry (precluding my attendance). I finally got Patrick Madrid to debate sola scriptura a few months later in San Diego. That lead to even more evidence of the decline of the organization, and I will note this in a moment.
None of the current staff members of Catholic Answers have, in fact, debated me in public. James Akin and I appeared on CRI’s Bible Answer Man Broadcast, but as anyone knows, call-in radio programs are not debates. [Though, I note that did not stop Catholic Answers from sending out a fund-raising letter, in which they identified the program as a “debate” and, of course, declared James Akin the “winner,” calling it a “slam dunk” that you could obtain as a premium for a mere $100 donation, or for $18.00 if you simply ordered the tapes. I note, with some irony, that we make the same radio discussion available for $8.00.] Gerry Matatics is not only no longer with Catholic Answers, but it seems that they wish he never had been on their staff (when Keating wrote an article responding to Gerry’s involvement in traditionalistic movements, he skipped right over the period of time during which Gerry worked for him); Madrid likewise is gone, and is publishing a magazine that, for all intents and purposes, is in direct competition with This Rock. Hence, Catholic Answers cannot claim, as they have so often in the past, “We’ve already debated you,” since none of their current staff, in point of fact, has.
But does Catholic Answers engage in the same kind of behavior they decry in others? The simple fact is, yes, they do. While they’ve managed exactly one meaningful article in response to all the books I have written (James Akin’s early reply, based upon a letter he had written to me, to my very first book, The Fatal Flaw), the rest of their uses of my name have been little more than personal (and often, false) attacks. I should note that they often attempt to provide short replies to my arguments in their “Question from Readers” section, many times simply making up the question as they go along, though they often neglect to mention the source of the “question.” The first example of this is found in Patrick Madrid’s article, written, ostensibly, as a review of our San Diego debate on sola scriptura, titled, not surprisingly, The White Man’s Burden. I will not enter into the many errors and misrepresentations (and snide remarks) found in this article here, for I have done so fully in my rebuttal, which will be found on our web page. For our purposes, we can pass over such lines as “cocky Fundamentalist” and focus upon one particular example of the mirror image effect manifesting itself in the very highest echelons of Catholic Answers.
Shortly after the debate I pointed out to Karl Keating in the Catholic Information Network echoes (prior to the explosion of involvement in the Internet) that Patrick had not only misrepresented the doctrine of sola scriptura (a fact I have documented over and over again), but that he had completely failed to respond to the definition of the doctrine I had presented in the debate. Since I was the Protestant, defending and defining the position, it would be incumbent upon Patrick to respond to my position, or no debate is taking place. It was pointed out to Karl that if someone were to debate him on the Immaculate Conception, common sense and common courtesy would demand that the real doctrine of the Immaculate Conception be debated. The Protestant would have no right to say, “Well, most Roman Catholics don’t know what the real doctrine is, so I’ll respond to what most Roman Catholics think the doctrine is.” Such a person would have no right to redefine the parameters of the debate, or the doctrine. And surely, Karl, or any other Roman apologist, would object strenuously to such a move on the part of their opponent.
Karl Keating’s response was most telling. He indicated that he felt it was a perfectly proper debate tactic to do what Madrid had done. He didn’t feel Patrick was under any obligation at all to respond to what I said at all. Those in the echo were rather amazed at such a response, and pointed out the double-standard, but no apology was forthcoming. I note in passing that this is a common attitude among Roman Catholic apologists in general, as I have experienced their arguments. For example, when I flew to Toledo, Ohio, to debate Dr. Art Sippo on justification, a debate moderated by Patrick Madrid, my opponent felt free to leave the stage while I was presenting my position. He saw no reason to even hear what I had to say, and hence, as a consequence, never responded to my position at all. I guess he figured he knew it better than I did anyway. Mr. Madrid seemingly had no problem as moderator with Dr. Sippo’s behavior (which included going back to “chat” with Madrid, and sitting upon his desk at one point, swinging his legs, and making gestures to the audience). Mr. Madrid had likewise allowed Mr. Matatics to spend 14 of his 20 minute opening statement in our Long Beach debate doing nothing but engaging in character assassination that, to be fair, Matatics apologized for weeks later. In like fashion, when debating Robert Sungenis and Scott Butler at Boston College in 1995, both Roman Catholics got up and left while I and my partner, Rob Zins, were presenting our materials. Later Sungenis claimed he simply needed to go to the bathroom. Why both debaters would have such a sudden attack of “small bladder syndrome” is a bit beyond me. They could have, at the very least, done what Patrick Madrid did in our debate on sola scriptura: he asked for a brief intermission prior to the closing statements. In any case, it is pretty hard to engage in a meaningful debate if you don’t hear what your opponents are saying. If you don’t listen to their position, you are reduced to doing nothing but presenting your own-preaching your views, so to speak, and no real interaction takes place.
The Dragnet Example
I had not been given a greater, more glowing example of the steady decline of Catholic Answers toward the very patterns of behavior they decry in others until the September, 1996 issue of This Rock magazine. It was then that I found that the transformation is complete: Catholic Answers has become, quite literally, the Jack Chick of Catholic apologetics. A little background is necessary.
In the spring of 1995 Bethany House Publishers released my book, The King James Only Controversy. Those familiar with this issue know that many of those who present the KJV Only viewpoint are tremendously volatile in their expressions, and are want to use insults and epithets with great frequency toward those they see as “the enemy.” For example, just this morning I was forwarded a post written by a KJV advocate. As a regular part of this person’s “sig file,” which is normally attached at the bottom of the message, we find the following words:
JAMES WHITE AND GANG AND ALL HERETICKS:
“…the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice…”
(2 Pet. 2:16)
This kind of vitriolic attitude is the norm, mainly because the leaders of this movement, men like Peter Ruckman and Texe Marrs, use such language themselves. Others just follow their example. Ruckman’s writings are filled with insults, right along with the most wild-eyed, conspiracy-driven speculations and craziness you’d ever want to read. In like manner, Austin-based Texe Marrs fills his publications with the latest theory as to how the world is going to be taken over. Both Ruckman and Marrs are true “anti-Catholics,” defining the term for most folks. They aren’t sure who they hate more: the Pope or me. I think I normally win out, however, since I’m a Baptist, and that makes me “closer” than the Pope. A few years back Marrs wrote to me and described me as the devil and a servant of Satan. He’s only gotten warmer with age.
What does any of this have to do with Catholic Answers? Well, both Ruckman and Marrs have appeared in the pages of This Rock many times. Keating even debated Ruckman. Catholic Answers has taken lots of shots at Ruckman. See, for example, the Dragnet of February, 1990, with the lead title, “Saved from Ruckmanism!” And likewise they have often noted the shenanigans of Texe Marrs. The February, 1993 Dragnet starts with the lead title, “A message from Marrs,” and goes on to document some of the wild and silly prognostications found in Marrs’ writings. It is most important to note that at one point we read,
Okay, okay. You’re saying to yourself that Marrs seems to be a fruitcake, and why is This Rock devoting precious column inches to this man? Because the principles he works from infect many people, including some Catholics.
We don’t know Marrs and can’t judge from personal acquaintance his sincerity, but we see no reason to rush to a presumption of good faith. His argument is so outlandish that the more natural, the more reasonable, working hypothesis is that the man is just out for a buck and that he knows where to get it: from people who lust after conspiracy theories – the more arcane or implausible, the better.
This Rock goes on to make an impassioned plea to watch out for such people, and to reject the silly conspiracy theories they promote, noting that even Roman Catholics fall for such things. Why is this important? Because it shows us that as of February, 1993, Catholic Answers well realized that Texe Marrs was not a reliable source of information. In fact, a few months later they took some more shots at him in This Rock (April, 1993, p. 6). They rightly recognized that Marrs is a conspiracy-theory seller, a man who makes his living scaring other people by presenting as facts things that are anything but.
Now, follow the bouncing ball. Earlier this year Texe took another of his shots at me. He wrote an article that appeared in the pages of that wonderfully trustworthy publication, The Bible Believer’s Bulletin, published by none other than Peter Ruckman himself. So that the reader can get the full flavor of this article, we reproduce it here in its fullness, including the introductory shots by Ruckman (or his staff):
James White: Scholar in Residence
By Texe Marrs
Taken from the August 1996 Bible Believers’ Bulletin
[The following is a very interesting and accurate analysis of one of the biggest two-faced, lying fakirs in the Body of Christ: Mr. James White. We recently documented him to have lied seventy nine times in 271 pages of text (The King James Only Controversy), and here we see the facade under which Jimmy operates. This excellent article is by Texe Marrs, who publishes some excellent material on the King James Bible and present world conditions as they head up to an International Police State with global control and Genocide for Christians and Jews. – BBB]
James White, a boastful King James Bible opponent, continues on his baseless crusade to bash King James only believers. It makes for a rather sad spectacle to observe critics of the King James Bible like Mr. White humiliate themselves and show disrespect for servants of God. I am praying he will be given a repentant heart and know the grave damage he is doing to the kingdom of our Saviour.
Before they are sucked into this man’s flawed arguments, Christians should carefully consider the downside of Mr. White’s seamy attacks on the King James Bible. Mr. White calls his organization “Alpha and Omega Ministries.” It must be very embarrassing to White when people ask him about Revelation 1:11. You see, most of the satanic and confused new “Bible” translations Mr. White so avidly supports have butchered Revelation 1:11 and stripped the correct wording as found in the King James Bible. In the King James, we read Jesus Christ’s glorious declaration, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…” But -get this!- the false new versions shamelessly delete the very words “Alpha and Omega.”
Now, since Mr. White’s organization is, strangely enough, named” Alpha and Omega,” you can see what a royal problem that is for him to try to explain away. I’m sure he’ll desperately attempt to claim that the words “Alpha and Omega” are also found elsewhere, in Revelation 22:13. Fine, Mr. White, for now. But what are you going to do when the apostate Bible scholars remove these holy words from that passage as well?
Just give them time, and they will, too. Nothing is sacrosanct with the new translation scholars. If they can so callously omit thousands of other holy and majestic words from the King James Bible, even converting God into “Our Father-Mother,” these wicked scribes might do anything.
I also note that Mr. White has signed correspondence with the pompous and arrogant title, “Scholar in Residence, School of Christian I Studies, Grand Canyon University.” Scholar in Residence? We checked to see . if such an institution as Grand Canyon University, which I’d never heard of before, even exists. It does. But, we discovered that its teeny-tiny and just begun “School of Christian Studies” I has only “2, 3, or 4 instructors on staff.” And Mr. White? Well, yes, the school confided, he is listed as a . “Scholar in Residence.” But the official we talked to couldn’t explain why. The school told us flat out that James White is not “in residence,” has no office on campus, and has never taught a single course there, though he’s expected to do so starting this spring – in an adjunct status. (How curious – to claim to be a lofty “Scholar in Residence” when one is not even in residence!)
Mr. White has written a confusing and sleazy book knocking the King James Bible. It’s no doubt popular with the growing flock of so called “scholars” who promote the satanic, new “Bible” versions; but apparently, White’s book has otherwise met with indifference since its release and has flopped in the Christian marketplace. Notable, the book was published by Bethany House, a press that, until the advent of Mr. White’s “scholarly” tome, had mostly gained a measure of fame for publishing a series of romance-type, feminine, western novelettes.
Mr. White’s book is pitifully flawed. In fact, it is so bad that, in his newsletter, Dr. Peter Ruckman, a well-known proponent of the King James Bible, has actually been encouraging his readers to buy Mr. White’s twisted and distorted book and read it. According to Brother Ruckman, once you’ve read and digested White’s book, you’ll know for sure why the King James is God’s only preserved Bible available today in English. White’s error-filled propaganda book is his own worst enemy.
I believe that if it had not been for Dr. Ruckman supporting the sales of the book in this way, Mr. White’s unscholarly volume would really have been a marketplace bomb.
Interestingly, Mr. White’s book attacking the King James Bible is endorsed by a Mr. Norm Geisler -his name is right on the cover. Now, Geisler also just happens to be a strong promoter of the ungodly Catholics and Evangelicals Together, the unity document put together by Chuck Colson and apostate Catholic priest Richard Neuhaus. That’s the papal approved treatise which warns Protestants not to evangelize Catholics, among other atrocities. It is telling that White uses the pro Catholic, ecumenical Norman Geisler to publicly endorse his book.
Let’s put two and two together. First, we know that the Vatican has for centuries detested and assaulted the King James Bible. Understandably so, for it is the Holy Bible used by dedicated missionaries who over the years have won so many lost Catholics to Christ. We also know that the papacy loves and endorses the new, false “Bible” versions -just like the ones promoted by Mr. White and Mr. Geisler. Anyone see a connection there?
Mr. White, unknown at the time, first gained notoriety when he began to slam Mrs. Gail Riplinger’s bestselling, heavily documented book, New Age Bible Versions. He became a hero of the Bible bashers by authoring a “report” attacking the Riplinger book. However, Mr. White’s report quickly had to be redone because, as it turned out, in the report the brilliant “Scholar in Residence” had repeatedly misspelled Mrs. Riplinger’s first name. He had it as “Gayle,” rather than correctly as “Gail.”
Mr. White reportedly lays claim to being a “Reformed Baptist.” Now, the very liberal Dr. Robert Schuller is a proud member of the “Reformed Church.” l also know I of Reformed ministers who wear fancy robes and who practice Catholic-style sacraments, including infant baptism. Some of the Reformed are into hyper-Calvinistic doctrines and are theocratic. They utterly reject the Bible’s teaching of the rapture of the church and other prophetic teachings. I don’t know if Mr. White is of this theological bent. Who knows his true doctrines other than that he definitely seems to abhor God’s pure Word, the King James Bible?
Recently, Mr. White was invited to debate the King James only issue. Dr. Ruckman, president of Florida’s Pensacola Bible Institute, tendered the invitation after White bragged he wanted to take Ruckman on. But apparently, the brave Mr. White suddenly got cold feet. He declined to go and debate. Doesn’t it seem that a “Scholar in Residence” like Mr. White would jump at the chance to show off all his worldly-gained knowledge? What’s he afraid of? Dr. Ruckman, of course, is one of the planet’s top Bible scholars: A real one. He doesn’t have to cavort around pretending to be a “Scholar in Residence.” Dr. Ruckman, for example, has an earned doctorate, and Mr. White does not. He’s authored countless books defending the King James Bible. Could this be a factor in Mr. White’s embarrassingreluctance to debate?
This, then, has been a brief look at Bible critic, Mr. James White, who rejects the Truth but prides himself on being a “Scholar in Residence.” How pitiful and tragic is the man who trusts in worldly scholarliness, who deceitfully hides behind a vain title. How blessed, in contrast, is that man whose identity comes not from college degrees or earthly distinctions but from Jesus Christ our Lord. In Him we are all equals. The blood of Jesus alone is our banner of strength and wisdom.
When I received a copy of this article (forwarded to me electronically), I wrote a brief response and posted it on our web page. Anyone interested may obtain it there. Suffice it to say that Mr. Marrs’ position did not fare the examination well, as one can imagine. I thought little more of it, since, quite honestly, I don’t put much stock in anything Texe Marrs has to say. He’s been shown to be untruthful so often that eventually you just ignore him.
But someone else didn’t ignore him. Imagine my surprise when a friend contacted me electronically and quoted from an article in This Rock magazine quoting the above article by Texe Marrs as if it were a factual piece! At first I thought he was kidding me, since I could not possibly imagine the level of hypocrisy it would require for Catholic Answers to quote Texe Marrs as a reliable source of information! But he confirmed the article and provided me with the text. Here’s what we find in the September, 1996 issue of This Rock:
Texe Marrs and James White are individuals known to long-time readers of This Rock. They are anti-Catholic writers who have found mention in these pages before. Lately, though, they’ve been having a tussle between themselves.
Texe Marrs is a “King James Onlyite” (a person who believes that only the King James Version of the Bible should be used), and James White recently published a book attacking this view.
To give Marrs credit where credit is due, he unearthed an interesting piece of information about White. White had been signing his e-mail (including e-mail to Catholic Answers staffers) with tag lines like: “James White, B.A., M.A.; Scholar in Residence, College of Christian Studies, Grand Canyon University; Director, Alpha and Omega Ministries; Faraston Theological Seminary.” Around the office we’ve wondered about the propriety of piling up such titles after one’s name (besides, who bothers using the initials “B.A.” to credit himself with having a bachelor of arts degree?). We’ve wondered about Grand Canyon University (“the school where you ride the burro down to class”), but Texe Marrs actually bothered to look up the place!
In the August 1996 Bible Believers’ Bulletin, Marrs wrote a piece called “JAMES WHITE: SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE” and stated, “I also note that Mr. White has signed correspondence with the pompous and arrogant title, ‘Scholar in Residence, School of Christian Studies, Grand Canyon University.’ Scholar in Residence? “We checked to see if such an institution as Grand Canyon University, which I’d never heard of before, even exists. It does. But, we discovered that its teeny-tiny and just begun ‘School of Christian Studies’ I has only ‘2, 3, or 4 instructors on staff.’
“And Mr. White? Well, yes, the school confided, he is listed as a ‘Scholar in Residence.’ But the official we talked to couldn’t explain why. The school told us flat out that James White is not ‘in residence,’ has no office on campus, and has never taught a single course there, though he’s expected to do so starting this spring in an adjunct status. (How curious to claim to be a lofty ‘Scholar in Residence’ when one is not even in residence!)” Now we just need to find Faraston Theological Seminary.
One will note immediately that Catholic Answers makes no mention of verifying Marrs’ facts, nor of the source of the article (Ruckman’s name is never mentioned). Instead, Marrs’ statements are presented as an “interesting piece of information,” and their factuality is assumed.
Utterly amazed that Catholic Answers would stoop to such vilification of an opponent by pure ad-hominem argumentation, I wrote a post to James Akin and Karl Keating. Since Akin later claimed that the post contained bits of “juicy libel,” I posted it openly to the sola-l mailing list, allowing the readers of that list to see if, in fact, there was anything even remotely “libelous” about what I had written. What ensued in this list is most interesting, and informative. Since these posts were sent to a public list, I simply provide them below, for they speak, quite honestly, volumes:
Mr. Akin and Mr. Keating:
Upon returning from teaching my Church History class this afternoon (12:40 to 1:30PM MWF in Fleming Classroom Building, 103, if you’d like to drop by the GCU campus sometime this semester, 3300 W. Camelback Road in Phoenix), I received a note from a friend of mine who is lucky enough to get This Rock. At first I thought he was pulling my leg, combining elements of a recent Texe Marrs article that appeared in Peter Ruckman’s “Bible Believer’s Bulletin” and something about Catholic Answers. But upon calling him, I discovered that he wasn’t kidding at all.
One of the great dangers in apologetics work is that we often become the mirror image of the very groups we are fighting. I’ve seen this happen to many people. One of the reasons the Tanners, for example, stand out so strongly in the field of apologetics work amongst Mormons is that they have successfully resisted, for a long period of time, the temptation to use the same kinds of tactics as the Mormons themselves. They remain consistent, and hold to high standards of research and behavior. Because of this, they are often the objects of attack by *Christian* ministries who, unlike them, use less honorable standards of research and writing.
In _Catholicism and Fundamentalism_, Karl Keating took shots at people like Jimmy Swaggart and Tony Alamo, and for obvious reasons: they deserve such shots. Mr. Keating was quite right to point out the use of double-standards and poor research in the writings that are often presented to Roman Catholics. These people don’t check their citations, their sources, or anything else. “As long as it reflects badly on Rome, we’ll use it” seems to be their motto. It doesn’t seem to bother them that what they are doing is unfair and unkind. It doesn’t matter that the resultant arguments are a mish-mash of disjointed “facts” that evaporate upon close examination, and only confirm some in their choice for Rome. As long as it works for *some,* all is well. And, of course, it doesn’t seem to matter to them that someone could, if they were so inclined, use the same tactics on *them* that they use on *others.*
What an amazing thing it is, then, to find Catholic Answers acting like the very people they decry in their own publications! I refer, of course, to the use of an article out of Peter Ruckman’s BBB, written by Texe Marrs, that purports to “expose” me (This Rock, September, 1996, pp. 6-7)! It is amazing for so many reasons that it’s hard to know where to begin.1) The article in This Rock makes no attempt to differentiate (as past articles have done) between what is said by someone such as myself and someone such as Texe Marrs. If someone treated Mr. Keating the same way by connecting him with Vin Lewis or some other such wacky Roman Catholic, the resultant (rightfully) indignant response would be many, many pages in length.2) There is no mention of the actual source of this information: Peter Ruckman. Surely there are many in the audience of This Rock who would realize how unreliable a source of information Ruckman’s publications are, and how he himself is as wide-eyed a fanatic as exists on the planet.3) There is no evidence that anyone at Catholic Answers bothered to check Marrs’ facts. This is the most amazing part. Here we have Catholic Answers accepting as factual, *and presenting as factual,* the words of Texe Marrs, without so much as a single e-mail or phone call to me, or to Grand Canyon, to check on things. If someone treated Mr. Akin or Mr. Keating like this, they would be understandably indignant. But, we see here how the “mirror” phenomena has taken place: just as Marrs could care less about whether his “facts” are true or not, neither does Mr. Akin. The issue is accomplishing the goal, which for both Marrs and Akin are the same: personal attack upon the reputation of James White. Mr. Marrs cannot deal with what is contained in _The King James Only Controversy_. And, seemingly, Mr. Akin can’t deal with the follow-up book, either. Hence, both use the same lies to accomplish the same goal. Rather than dealing with the issues, both attack the man, hoping to keep their respective (and vastly different) audiences from ever considering the words or writings of White that they might encounter.
Since I wrote _The King James Only Controversy_, I’ve received many messages from KJV Only advocates who accept, without question, anything that is said by people like Pete Ruckman, Gail Riplinger, or Texe Marrs. They not only believe me to be a secret Vatican plant, but they likewise believe every single conspiracy theory ever propounded by these folks, including every single one that implicates Rome in every evil deed accomplished on earth in the past thousand years or more. Their implicit trust is invincible: no amount of factual argument can change their thinking. Catholic Answers would, of course, ridicule the foolish theories and claims put forward by these people against Roman Catholicism. Catholic Answers would, of course, exhort people to check out the facts presented by Ruckman or Marrs and see for themselves how unreliable they are. Catholic Answers would encourage people to dismiss these men as raving nuts on the basis of their own words and the errors they promulgate. But, there’s one case where Catholic Answers won’t say any of those things: and that’s when it serves the purposes of Catholic Answers. Sure Marrs is unreliable in almost everything he says about Rome. But, since he hates James White—-well, you know the old saying, “The friend of my enemy.”
The funny thing is, I sat at a table with James Akin, the *obvious* author of the Dragnet article, and listened as he decried the very behavior that consistently comes out of Catholic Answers these days. I was hardly the only one amazed at the boisterous, arrogant attitude of the fund raising letter sent out shortly after our Bible Answer Man Show appearance, using such language as “slam dunk” while asking for financial support. The sheer hypocrisy of this Dragnet article is almost beyond belief. Mr. Akin well knows why Marrs has written his article. Mr. Akin, if he were forced to do so, would have to confess that the book that prompted Marrs’ attack has gained the respect of not only Protestant scholars but Roman Catholic ones as well. And he knows that my most recent book on Roman Catholicism is so far removed from anything that Marrs would, or could, ever write as to be funny. But none of these things matter. Fairness is not the issue. Ad hominem attack upon a person’s reputation is all that matters here. Consistency be hanged. We have a job to do! Just as This Rock showed Hank Hanegraaff on its cover with a demon behind him, so the folks at Catholic Answers wish to demonize their opposition. But, again, isn’t that what Texe Marrs has to do? Yes, it is.
God knows, and James Akin knows, that my writings do not contain any kind of material like that produced regularly by Catholic Answers. Every mention of Karl Keating, James Akin, Patrick Madrid, or other Roman Catholic apologists, in my newest book, is based upon *issues,* not personalities. Oh, it would be easy to get into *that* game. But I continue to strive for a higher standard. I don’t want to become like my opposition, whether they be hatefilled Fundamentalist KJV Only advocates, or hatefilled Roman Catholic apologists. In either case, I pray God will allow me to not become like them.
There is a full response to Texe Marrs on our web page (aomin.org). It includes rebuttal of lies that you printed in your magazine. Should you ever visit Phoenix, you might be a little embarrassed to drop by the campus of GCU, especially in light of the article you have now published. You see, Mr. Marrs doens’t know much about higher education. He didn’t understand why the College of Christian Studies is “new.” It’s “new” because it only recently became its own college. GCU became a university about six years ago or so, and as anyone knows, each department in the old College needs to become organized to become its own College under the University system. Grand Canyon has been in existence since the 1940s, is nationally recognized for its graduates in nursing, education, and business. Enrollment is a little under 2000 at the moment. I believe tuition is sitting at $268/credit hour at the moment—about average for a private liberal arts college in the US today.
And, if you have the integrity to do so, you might discover that the person with whom Marrs spoke—a secretary—had only worked there for a short time prior to his call. She was not aware that I had taught at Grand Canyon in 1990 and 1991, teaching Church History. And of course, Marrs didn’t bother to inquire and get his facts straight, so he simply repeated her error. And, of course, Catholic Answers seemingly functions on the same basis as does Texe Marrs. Just as many people run around repeating lies about Rome and Roman history, so it seems Catholic Answers has fallen into the same pit. It’s a vicious circle.
I am proud of the opportunity that has been given me to teach at Grand Canyon. I am pleased to have been named Scholar in Residence for the 1995-1996, and 1996-1997 school years. I love to teach, and my students enjoy the courses. If you had bothered to care, I could have put you in touch with students who are active in the Internet.
While you are visiting the campus, you might wish to stop in and chat with the folks who run the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s AZ Campus, located at GCU. Golden Gate’s main campus is in San Francisco. GGBTS is one of the Southern Baptist Seminaries. I am currently teaching their Systematic Theology core classes. We are working on the nature of God, if you’d like to stop in Thursday evenings from 6 to 9PM this Fall, Fleming 106 is the room number. Last year I taught their beginning Greek course as well.
Now as to Columbia Evangelical Seminary: Columbia is a new seminary utilizing the mentoring system, based in Longview, Washington. It is an answer to prayer for many people, as it allows them to study theology and related subjects without having to quit their jobs and move somewhere else. As a new seminary, it is not yet governmentally accredited (unlike both GCU and GGBTS). I have students in Arizona, California, and Illinois, with whom I am working on various classes and projects. I have found the experience most rewarding. If you would like to contact Columbia, you can do so by e-mail: email@example.com.
Two last items. Mr. Akin has taken umbrage to some of the sig files—files I have developed for use in writing back to electronic correspondents. Of course, Mr. Akin has taken umbrage to just about everything about me, including the fact that I refer to him as a “Roman Catholic” (insisting that even this term is unkind—I should simply call him a Catholic). Mr. Akin likewise calls me an “anti-Catholic” despite the fact that I, in referring to him, call him a Roman Catholic apologist. It is hardly surprising, then, that he would dislike some of my sig files. The fact that I often *need* to identify myself, my positions, *and* my educational background, to certain correspondents, is obviously missed in Mr. Akin’s rush to find something “bad” about me. Back when Gerry Matatics was involved with Catholic Answers, every debate began with a recitation of Mr. Matatics’ degrees, background in Protestantism, etc. The double standard is striking.
In conclusion, I note that this letter will be made available to any person who inquires concerning this matter. It will also be posted on our web page. People need to know about the behavior of Catholic Answers and its representatives. One thing is painfully clear to anyone who thinks fairly and clearly: Catholic Answers fears what we are doing at Alpha and Omega Ministries. As much as Catholic Answers has tried to marginalize us (and, I note, even Roman Catholics who go out on their own having once been a part of CA), reminding readers that we are a “small” group, and as much as CA has revelled in engaging in constant ad-hominem attacks upon me as a person (as in Patrick Madrid’s “The White Man’s Burden”), one rather obvious fact remains: CA has provided exactly ONE meaningful article, a number of years ago now, in response to what we have written. One article, period. Meanwhile, I continue, by God’s grace, to write, lecture, and debate. I don’t have to play the game Catholic Answers is now playing. I don’t have to waste my time trying to make Karl Keating or James Akin look “bad” or “mean” or anything else. You see, the people I am trying to reach, those who are seriously interested in the FACTS of the issues between Rome and the Bible, are not impressed by such behavior. They can see through mud-slinging. They want the truth, and every moment wasted in attacking *people* is a moment you haven’t spent satisfying *their* needs. And that is why Catholic Answers fears Alpha and Omega Ministries and must engage in this kind of behavior: when we respond to claims made by Catholic Answers, we respond with TRUTH, whether through biblical exegesis or historical refutation. I will gladly allow the honest hearted to decide why Catholic Answers can’t, or won’t, do that in return.
+——-<<<<< NA27@aol.com >>>>>——-+
+ James White +
+ College of Christian Studies, GCU +
+ Director, Alpha and Omega Ministries +
+——-<<<<<<< Sola Scriptura! >>>>>>——-+
“Never lose heart in the power of the gospel. Do not believe that there exists any man, much less any race of men, for whom the gospel is not fitted.” —C.H. Spurgeon
[To James on 09-25-96]
To this date (10-1-96), I have received no reply to this post, outside of Akin’s public assertions that it contained “libelous” accusations.
The next day I wrote another post about the situation, and posted it to sola-l. Here’s what I wrote:
Just a quick note, realizing that many on this list would find this interesting—and, I hope for most, rather sad. Catholic Answers, the largest Roman Catholic apologetics organization in the US, has made a living (and a good one) off of the apologetics field. Karl Keating, the president of CA, wrote a book that has found quite an audience: _Catholicism and Fundamentalism_ Keating took on people like Jimmy Swaggart and Tony Alamo in his book, pointing out, rightly, of course, that such folks are unfair, they use lousy information, and they are generally untrustworthy. Over the years they have likewise pointed out how others fit into those categories, including people like Peter Ruckman and Texe Marrs, two folks who are not only rabidly “anti-Catholic” in the true sense of that phrase, but who are likewise KJV Only advocates.
Since my book, _The King James Only Controversy_, was published, I have received a tremendous amount of “heat” from the likes of Ruckman and Marrs. You need only drop by our web page to see a few of my responses. Ruckman and Marrs use the same kind of irrational argumentation against me that they use against Roman Catholicism (these types of guys wouldn’t know a decent Protestant argument if it walked up and introduced itself). They are equal-opportunity insulters.
So what happens when Catholic Answers encounters KJV Only attacks upon me? Well, if they were consistent, they’d follow their own advice. They know Ruckman and Marrs are not reliable sources of information, they’ve said so a million times themselves. They know both men will “edit” the facts to fit their conclusions, and hence it would seem, if there is an ounce of integrity in the organization, that they would not sully their reputation and engage in rank hypocrisy by repeating the sleeze of Ruckman and Marrs. Well, that’s what you’d *think.*
The reality, however, is found in the September, 1996 issue of This Rock magazine. In a small article written, I have little reason to doubt, by James Akin, we find the quotation—with approval—of an article by none other than Texe Marrs, found in no other publication than Peter Ruckman’s “Bible Believer’s Bulletin,” in which Marrs attacks my position as Scholar in Residence at Grand Canyon University. In an amazing display of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend, even if I tell everyone else he’s a nutcase,” Catholic Answers presents as *fact* the lies and ramblings of Marrs concerning GCU. Of course, they didn’t bother to mention the notice from Ruckman that preceded the article. It read:
[The following is a very interesting and accurate analysis of one of the biggest two-faced, lying fakirs in the Body of Christ: Mr. James White. We recently documented him to have lied seventy nine times in 271 pages of text (The King James Only Controversy), and here we see the facade under which Jimmy operates. This excellent article is by Texe Marrs, who publishes some excellent material on the King James Bible and present world conditions as they head up to an International Police State with global control and Genocide for Christians and Jews. – BBB]
Of course, CA didn’t bother to mention Ruckman’s role at all—how could they? They’ve debated Ruckman, have castigated him a million times, and they’d also have to admit that on every single issue upon which Ruckman attacks me, they would have to agree with *me*! That wouldn’t work, so they conveniently ignore the issue.
Seemingly blowing a mental gasket, the folks at CA seem to forget that Marrs knows little, if anything at all, about higher education, and hence blunders into error after error in his article. Yet, CA, seemingly also unaware of such issues, and unconcerned about honesty or integrity, repeats Marrs’ words as *facts*, without once checking with anyone who could correct their error. Specifically, they repeat solely the recollection of Marrs’ about his conversation with a young *secretary* at the College of Christian Studies. Ignorant of the backgrounds, they repeat Marrs’ error in making GCU a new, small school (it’s been around since the 1940s, and has nearly 2000 students)—Marrs doesn’t understand how a “college” can be “new” within a university setting. They also repeat Marrs’ error in saying I had never taught at the school—-the secretary was new, and wasn’t aware of my past teaching at the school as early as 1990.
The only reason why Catholic Answers has done this is obvious: pure, unadulterated ad-hominem attack upon the character of an individual. And most rational folks know why people use such types of arguments: they can’t deal with the actual teachings/research/publications of a person, so, they resort to personal attacks. I am constantly reminded that Catholic Answers has had in their possession books I have written as early as 1990—books on justification, salvation, the Reformed position, Mormonism, and of course Roman Catholicism. They also have enough debate tapes against their own representatives, and many others, to keep one busy for quite some time. And yet in six years they’ve produced a grand total of ONE meaningful article in response—ONE, a brief response to my *first* book, _The Fatal Flaw_. Since that time they’ve resorted to the low road with consistency—taking potshots in alleged “questions from readers,” publishing Madrid’s hit-piece that was filled with errors and lies, and little paragraph-long insults (such as the recent article by Bob Sungenis). Nothing more. So it actually makes *sense* that they would start quoting, with approval, people like Texe Marrs. They don’t have anything more meaningful to say in response to me than Texe Marrs does. And that should bother *anyone* who is interested in truthfulness in the area of apologetics.
Others on the list began to pick up on the issue, and before long, James Akin attempted a defense of the blurb:
>I trust this note will find its way to Catholic Answers.
Yes, I got not only this note via sola-l, but the previous evening I got one *twice* as long directly from him. The one he posted here is an abridged version of one he emailed to me and Karl the previous evening, from which he edited out some of the more hysterical claims (like the part about how we at Catholic Answers are afraid of him).
The longer, unexpurgated version of the letter contains a number of very juicy libelous remarks, though the one he posted to sola-l contains a good number of libelous remarks itself, and he has now posted these remarks to a public forum.
Further, Mr. White is simply in error. His whole tirade is based upon the premise that we did not attempt to check out Texe Marrs’s statements. That is false. Even though we were under a deadline, we attempted to verify them both by trying to reach Grand Canyon University and by calling Mr. White’s secret home number that he doesn’t let anybody have.
The only thing that was inaccurate was Marrs’s statement that he had not taught in the College of Christian Studies, which we quoted without realizing it was inaccurate. (Had we reached James at his secret home number or found the piece on his web page, we wouldn’t have quoted Marrs’s comment. In fact, we wouldn’t have run the piece at all.)
White was apparently in too much a fit of pique to read what we printed carefully (either that or he is using misdirection in an attempt to make his case appear stronger), as he states that we quoted Marrs as saying that GCU was a new, small school. We did nothing of the kind. We quoted Marrs as saying that the College of Christian Studies *within* GCU is new and small, which it is.
This is is part of what White is referring to when he speaks of Marrs not knowing about higher education. At Catholic Answers we do know something about higher education and never assumed, as Mr. White appears to suggest, that the CCS was created *ex nihilo* within GCU. I know I, for one, *assumed* it was a college which had spun off from being a department at another college within the university.
The CCS is, by any standards, new and small, as it was started in 1995 and has only 5 faculty members. The fact that GCU may date from 1948 and has 2,000 students (which is tiny by university standards, anyway) is irrelevant to the question of how new and small a college within that university is. White is beating a straw man of his own creation concerning the size and age of GCU. Neither we nor Marrs made such a statement about GCU.
White did not teach in the College of Christian Studies until the 1995-96 term; he couldn’t have, we now know, because it wasn’t started until then. In his rebuttal to Marrs, which I have now read, White (misdirectingly) states that he taught Church History at GCU in 1990-91, five years before the College of Christian Studies *existed,* and that he did some substitute teaching in their Greek classes.
(For that matter, I did some guest lecturing in the Greek class at the University of Arkansas, but I wouldn’t put it on my resume as proof that I had “taught a course at the U of A.” I especially wouldn’t cite substitute teaching as evidence that I had taught a course in the U of A College of Arts and Sciences, if that college didn’t even exist yet, as Mr. White does with the CCS. Who’s slanting the facts to support his conclusions there?)
Even without the single inaccurate statement, the item would have been an interesting bit: a “scholar in residence” who is not in residence (because it’s true that James White has no office on campus).
And it would still have its hook–the fact a tussle going on between two anti-Catholics readers of This Rock would have known–White and Marrs. (In fact, that is the setup for the piece: “Texe Marrs and James White are individuals known to long-time readers of This Rock. They are anti-Catholic writers who have found mention in these pages before. Lately, though, they’ve been having a tussle between themselves….”)
All we would have had to change in the piece was for the back half of one sentence to go away: “…and has never taught a single course there, though he’s expected to do so starting this spring in an adjunct status.” That was the only place in the piece where that is mentioned.
Hope that clarifies matters.
Sincerely in Christ,
With apologies to the list as a whole, I would like to take the time to expose the attitudes and double standards of the organization called Catholic Answers. It’s been a long time coming.
But first, Mr. Akin makes it sound as if my e-mail to he and Karl Keating is some kind of wild-eyed tirade, and that it’s “libelous.” In contrast to the regular offerings found in This Rock, my response was milk toast. The veiled threat of “libel” I find ludicrous. And to demonstrate that, I provide here the text, in full, of what I sent to Mr. Akin and Mr. Keating (btw, what I posted here was a completely different post, written the next day, not an “expurgated” version of the following):
[ As this text has already been provided, it is deleted here ]
> The longer, unexpurgated version of the letter contains a number of very
> juicy libelous remarks, though the one he posted to sola-l contains a good
> number of libelous remarks itself, and he has now posted these remarks to a
> public forum.
I will allow the participants in this forum to judge for themselves: read my post from yesterday, read the message I sent Mr. Keating and Mr. Akin, and then ask yourself, “Why is James Akin talking about libel?” I only point out that this also follows the pattern of behavior that I have emphasized: Gail Riplinger threatened to sue Bethany House Publishers three times before they published my work exposing her and the rest of the KJV Only movement. *I* certainly have never attempted to censor what Catholic Answers says by even veiled threat of legal action, even when they continue to print personal attacks upon me with regularity. So why does Mr. Akin make up this ridiculous allegation? I will allow the reader to decide.
> Further, Mr. White is simply in error. His whole tirade is based upon the
> premise that we did not attempt to check out Texe Marrs’s statements. That
> is false. Even though we were under a deadline, we attempted to verify them
> both by trying to reach Grand Canyon University and by calling Mr. White’s
> secret home number that he doesn’t let anybody have.
My secret home number? To what does this refer, Mr. Akin? My home number is not listed—why should it be? Do you think I should advertise it so that people like the KJV Only advocate I made mention of this morning can call me up at 3AM to tell me I’m going to hell? Such is silly.
> The only thing that was inaccurate was Marrs’s statement that he had not
> taught in the College of Christian Studies, which we quoted without
> realizing it was inaccurate. (Had we reached James at his secret home number
> or found the piece on his web page, we wouldn’t have quoted Marrs’s comment.
> In fact, we wouldn’t have run the piece at all.)
Most interesting! I didn’t mention it (because I wanted to see if you’d admit to it first), but a while back the same secretary who talked to Marrs last year informed me that she had gotten a “strange” phone call. A man had called and asked about me. Knowing, now, what had happened the last time, she was very careful to answer each question clearly. She also attempted to get a name, or in some way find out who was calling. She offered to send literature about the University, a catalog, whatever, but the person refused to be pinned down, and eventually ended the conversation without providing any means of contacting him. Now, please tell us, James: was that you? Are you folks at Catholic Answers now spending your time making long distance phone calls to the places of people’s employment to ask questions without being up-front about who you are and what you are after? Are you folks not doing EXACTLY what Texe Marrs did, and for the SAME reasons? If not, please explain the difference between Marrs’ call, and your own. I’d like to see what the difference is.
> White was apparently in too much a fit of pique to read what we printed
> carefully (either that or he is using misdirection in an attempt to make his
> case appear stronger), as he states that we quoted Marrs as saying that GCU
> was a new, small school. We did nothing of the kind. We quoted Marrs as
> saying that the College of Christian Studies *within* GCU is new and small,
> which it is.
< chuckle > Nice try, James, but you aren’t going to escape that easily. Here’s the article as it appears in This Rock:
[ Again, as this text appears above, it is deleted here ]
Now, James, it seems you’d like to give Mr. Marrs a great deal of credit—far more, it seems, than you’ve ever been willing to give him before, that’s for sure! It’s painfully obvious that *if* you were reviewing something Marrs said about Roman Catholicism, you would make the same point that I did. The idea that Marrs is aware of the university setting, the existence of colleges within a university, and the like, is stretching things a good bit. And, of course, it’s utterly irrelevant as well: how long the individual *college* has existed means nothing. The department from which it developed has existed since 1948, to be exact. The only thing that changed in 1995 was the *name.* I taught for the same department, with pretty much the same staff people, in 90-91 as I did in 95 or now. It is pure sophistry to attempt to get around your joint error with Marrs by blowing smoke across the obvious reason you wrote, and published, the piece, which was, as I said, a glowing example of pure ad-hominem attack upon a person’s integrity.
> This is is part of what White is referring to when he speaks of Marrs not
> knowing about higher education. At Catholic Answers we do know something
> about higher education and never assumed, as Mr. White appears to suggest,
> that the CCS was created *ex nihilo* within GCU. I know I, for one,
> *assumed* it was a college which had spun off from being a department at
> another college within the university.
Assume what you wish, James: you published *Marrs’ article,* or, I should say, a *part* of it. In fact, I must remember to post *all* of Marrs’ article here. I think the readers would like to see what the entire article is really like. You excised the only section you *could* use—the rest is so silly even *you folks* wouldn’t get any mileage out of it. And what’s more, when the entire article is seen, those who think logically and rationally will realize that your attempt to paint myself and Marrs with the same brush (as you do at the beginning of your piece) is simply ridiculous and without merit. It’s another example of Catholic Answers becoming a mirror image of the ultra-fundamentalist, Jack Chickian-type groups that you battle so often.
> The CCS is, by any standards, new and small, as it was started in 1995 and
> has only 5 faculty members. The fact that GCU may date from 1948 and has
> 2,000 students (which is tiny by university standards, anyway) is irrelevant
> to the question of how new and small a college within that university is.
> White is beating a straw man of his own creation concerning the size and age
> of GCU. Neither we nor Marrs made such a statement about GCU.
< chuckle > I will gladly allow the readers to judge why the statements were made by Marrs (especially in the context he made them), and what motivated Catholic Answers to stoop to reproducing them as a “fact” in This Rock.
> White did not teach in the College of Christian Studies until the 1995-96
> term; he couldn’t have, we now know, because it wasn’t started until then.
> In his rebuttal to Marrs, which I have now read, White (misdirectingly)
> states that he taught Church History at GCU in 1990-91, five years before
> the College of Christian Studies *existed,* and that he did some substitute
> teaching in their Greek classes.
This only gets richer the harder you struggle to extricate yourself from an obvious faux pas. Given your thinking now, *no one,* including Dr. Mike Baird or Dr. Clark Youngblood (who were teaching there when *I* was a student at Grand Canyon) has taught in the College of Christian Studies—even though they have taught the *same* classes since the early 1980s. Just because the department became a college means, of course, nothing. I taught Christian History beginning in the Fall of 1990—I am teaching the same class at this very time. Marrs’ reason for making the (false) statement he makes is plain: he’s trying to attack my credibility. YOUR reason for repeating his error is just as plain, James. Trying to blow smoke across the clear exposure of your *motivations* will accomplish nothing.
> Even without the single inaccurate statement, the item would have been an
> interesting bit: a “scholar in residence” who is not in residence (because
> it’s true that James White has no office on campus).
Yes, it’s true! My my, I don’t have an office! What a shame! Of course, my office is within 10 minutes of the campus, so I haven’t even *requested* one, but so what! I guess Mr. Akin is not familiar with the phrase “Scholar in Residence.” It was suggested so as to provide me with a means of teaching *while at the same time* writing and researching. It was specifically designed for someone who would *not* be on campus all the time, but who could provide his expertise in particular areas while maintaining his writing and publishing work. That writing and publishing work, then, would also reflect well upon the University. Now, I happen to be doing *exactly* that. In fact, I have sent copies of my most recent book, _The Roman Catholic Controversy_, to yourself and Karl Keating, have I not? I would *think* that your time would be better spent providing a meaningful, issues-oriented response to a nationally published work that *specifically* criticizes the conclusions and teachings of Catholic Answers (and many others) than it would be to be promoting the silly personal attacks of a KJV Only advocate like Texe Marrs.
> And it would still have its hook–the fact a tussle going on between two
> anti-Catholics readers of This Rock would have known–White and Marrs. (In
> fact, that is the setup for the piece: “Texe Marrs and James White are
> individuals known to long-time readers of This Rock. They are anti-Catholic
> writers who have found mention in these pages before. Lately, though,
> they’ve been having a tussle between themselves….”)
And I point out again the dishonesty of even this: how can anyone take you seriously, James, when you don’t even make the necessary attempt to differentiate (as CA *used* to do!) between the positions I take and those taken by Marrs? Such shallow, knee-jerk reactions, replete with emotionally-laden terms like “anti-Catholic,” are marked by their *absence* from my published comments about Catholic Answers, and speak only to the truth of what I’ve said: you are becoming just like the groups you decry. Quite simply, James, it seems, in light of recent articles (like Sungenis’ blatant and personal attacks upon R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur, as well as this current blurb), that Catholic Answers is becoming the Jack Chick of Roman Catholic apologetics.
> Hope that clarifies matters.
Oh yes, it clarifies matters a great deal. It makes it very plain WHY Catholic Answers does what it does. Do you have so little of substance to put in This Rock that you have to waste your time in making personal attacks upon your opponents, James? If I filled publications with innuendo and ad-hominem about yourself or Karl, I’d expect you to stoop so low. But I DARE you to take my most recent book and find *anything* even *remotely* like what you have done in this article. You can’t, and you know it. So tell us, James—is this the type of “apologetics” we can expect to continue coming out of Catholic Answers?
Others on the list began calling for an apology from Catholic Answers. Participants began pointing out the obvious holes in the attempted defense of the article. One rightly pointed out how Akin was attempting to make me the offender by bringing up the issue of the unlisted number, as if that somehow excused their error! When Akin was pressed on the issue of the apology, he provided the following post. My response will comprise the conclusion of our examination, for what more can be said in documenting the fall of Catholic Answers into the very same kind of activities as those they decry? Let the reader decide:
>I didn’t mention it (because I wanted to see if you’d
>admit to it first), but a while back the same secretary who talked to Marrs
>last year informed me that she had gotten a “strange” phone call. A man had
>called and asked about me. Knowing, now, what had happened the last time,
>she was very careful to answer each question clearly. She also attempted to
>get a name, or in some way find out who was calling. She offered to send
>literature about the University, a catalog, whatever, but the person refused
>to be pinned down, and eventually ended the conversation without providing
>any means of contacting him. Now, please tell us, James: was that you?
No. It was not me, nor any person from Catholic Answers, nor do I have any idea who that might have been. He certainly had nothing to do with the piece that appeared in This Rock.
Let me state things plainly: At no time have I or Catholic Answers knowingly told any falsehood concerning you. I attempted to contact both you and GCU but was unable to do so due to a deadline, and so the piece went into This Rock’s miscellaneous odds and ends column.
You accuse Catholic Answers of using the piece exclusively to make you look bad; may I suggest that this is the only reason you posted your accusations here, on a list which is *supposed* to be about the subject of sola scriptura. Instead, you have turned sola-l into a forum for attempting to settle your personal grievances.
In posting your charges here in an attempt to make Catholic Answers look bad, you have done *exactly* what you accuse us of. As your original letter to me says:
>One of the great dangers in apologetics work is that we often become the
>mirror image of the very groups we are fighting.
May I suggest you look in the mirror, James?
This incident is one example in a series which has led the Catholics and Orthodox from the list with whom I have talked to conclude that the list is being managed in a self-serving and one-sided manner, in which you feel free to introduce whatever suits you, whether it is on the subject of sola scriptura or not, and to introduce discussion topics in a manner which almost always attempts to put the non-sola scriptura position on trial without subjecting the sola scriptura position to the same scrutiny. Thus it has earned the monicker “The Tradition-Bashing List.”
> You accuse Catholic Answers of using the piece exclusively to make you look
> bad; may I suggest that this is the only reason you posted your accusations
> here, on a list which is *supposed* to be about the subject of sola
> scriptura. Instead, you have turned sola-l into a forum for attempting to
> settle your personal grievances.
And so on and so forth. James, I understand why you must ignore all the posts that have appeared in this forum. There is no defense for the action you took, no defense for the attitude it displays. The facts are plain, the results just as clear. No amount of trying to bully me, or accuse me of misdeeds, will cloak the simple fact that you won’t admit the error, won’t admit the problem, and seemingly won’t apologize for it, either. This speaks volumes, but it does so without my helping it along. In fact, anything more I’d have to say would only detract from the volume your own words produce. Hence, I have the luxury of sitting back and allowing the facts to speak for themselves, and they are doing a truly eloquent job.