You’re So Vain; I Bet You Thought That Post Was About You

by Jimmy Akin

in Non-Catholic Apologists

James White has periodically complained about certain Catholic apologists not wanting to interact with him, and this week I was reminded of why.

AS ILLUSTRATED BY THIS POST,

he just can’t resist ad
hominems, insults, and little jabs, and he has a constant assumption that he is of such
unique importance that people in the field must be intimately
familiar with whatever he writes or says or they reveal their own
inadequacy.

This makes it difficult to interact with his arguments because of the obnoxious way he presents them.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

First–in this post–I’m simply going to document how the way that James conducts himself makes it hard for others to interact with him and then–in a second post–I’ll lift the arguments he makes out of the matrix of snottiness in which he embeds them and interact with them directly.

The reason I’m taking this two-post approach is that James’s ungentlemanly style has nothing to do with the merits of the arguments he makes, and I don’t want the two subjects to be entangled.

Since the manner in which White conducts himself toward other apologists is more of a matter between apologists, you may not be as interested in this subject.

Fair enough. If this isn’t your cup of
tea, I totally understand.

So I’ll place it below the fold in this post
so that it doesn’t take up further home page real estate.

First some background.

Recently I received an e-mail from a reader who said:

What is the Korban Rule, and why does James White make such a big deal about it when he speaks of sola scriptura?

That’s all I had to go on, so I didn’t know what material by James White the reader may have had in
mind. He might be thinking of a book or tape that White put out years and
years ago, or he might be thinking of something much more recent. Since I
don’t hang on every word that issues from the mouth of James
White, I don’t read his blog, I don’t listen to his webcast, and so I
don’t know what his most recent arguments regarding korban and sola
scriptura might be.

Now, Momma Akin didn’t raise any children dumb enough to critique a
position based on old memories of what someone said years ago, when
they may have said something different in recent days.

In fact, Momma Akin didn’t raise any children dumb enough to critique
another person’s position without having locked-down, verified,
verbatim quotations of recent origin.

So I didn’t.

Instead, I did what I always do when someone asks about something a person has said and I don’t have the quotation in front of me and
so can’t comment on it: I indicated that I haven’t seen the quotation and then
I talk about the issue in general terms rather than what the person in question may have said about  it.

If you listen to me on the radio, you hear me do that kind of thing all the time.

Thus in MY POST ON THE SUBJECT, I explained "What is the Korban Rule?" and then said:

I haven’t read or heard specifically what James White may have been
doing with this passage,
but it is a staple of Protestant anti-Catholic
apologetics.

The blue part is the only thing
I said about James White in the entire post. I didn’t focus on him as
an individual or what he may have said. I just mentioned him to set him aside and get at the
issue as it is commonly handled in Protestant anti-Catholic apologetics.

White then responded with A POST titled:

Jimmy Akin More than a Decade Behind

Notice
that he’s begun with an ad hominem. My post was titled "Korban &
Sola Scriptura," because I was interested in talking about an issue
rather than an individual, but for White the headline–the first thing he wants his readers to see in introducing the matter–is to say
something nasty about me.

He then writes:

I was informed today that Jimmy
Akin had made some comments regarding sola scriptura, the Corban rule,
and my comments on the subject.

Actually, the
third point was a piece of misinformation: I did not comment on
White’s comments. I deliberately avoided doing so.

White’s characteristic use of ad hominems, insults, and jabs then
begins. These are directed toward me, my readers, and Catholic
apologists in general. Here are some samples:

In
looking at his blog article found here I was just a little surprised to
discover that Mr. Akin, the lead apologist for Catholic Answers, has not done his homework on this particular subject, and in reading the comments left by Roman Catholics on this blog entry, it seems the majority of them are happy to go on second-hand research as well, a sad state of affairs. The
question Akin is responding to is, "What is the Korban Rule, and why
does James White make such a big deal about it when he speaks of sola
scriptura?" Of course, I do not make a "big deal" out of it. I have
addressed the issue in relationship to the failed attempt by Rome’s apologists to get around Jesus’ plain teaching that we are to examine all traditions by the higher standard of God’s Word, even those that claim to be divine in origin.

He
goes on in that vein, and can’t resist throwing in more insults and
jabs whenever he raises the subject of me or my readers (e.g., "I am
truly surprised at the shallow nature of this response by Akin," "How
can Akin be ignorant of this?", "Sadly, in reading the comments left by
Roman Catholics after this very
poor example of Catholic apologetics, no one seemed to notice, and no
one seemed to have actually read any semi-meaningful non-Catholic
critique of Rome’s position") and he closes with one of his patented,
sonorous "Oh, the burden that we, The Chosen, face!" declarations ("The
task for all who believe in the sufficiency of God’s Word remains
ever present in all forms of evangelism, as we have seen over and over
and over again, whether we are seeking to bring the message of life to
Muslims, Mormons, or Roman Catholics").

His remarks are marked by the constant assumption that I am talking about
him (E.g., "You will note that nothing here comes close to actually
responding to what I have said," "he accuses Protestant apologists, and
myself by implication, of the error of ‘hasty generalization’"), to
which one is tempted to reply: "James, please read carefully. Not everything is about you."

White’s basis for the claims that I am "more than a decade behind"
and that I have "not done [my] homework" is apparently found in four
items that he raises in his post:

1) "Here is the basic presentation I made in The Roman Catholic Controversy a decade ago"

2) "Further, in responding to a Catholic Answers article in This Rock Magazine over a decade ago now, I wrote"

3) "I believe this topic has come up in the many debates on sola scriptura that I have done since the first in August of 1990"

4) "I remember pointing this out to Patrick Madrid and Mark Brumley at a seminar they did in Phoenix fifteen years ago" (italics his).

Now,
there are several absurdities connected with the idea that I should be
instantly familiar with what White said or wrote on korban on these occasions.

First, if–as White says–he does not make a big deal out of the korban passage then he hasn’t really made it a signature of his ministry, and presumably it’s a small part of his presentations. He thus would be expecting me to be familiar with a minor aspect of his arguments if, as he says, he doesn’t make a big deal of this.

Second, the second point on the list concerns a response he wrote to an article
by David Palm that involved Moses’ Seat and the Mishnaic tract Aboth.

But if White were familiar with my
writings, he would
know that I don’t make use of these in my apologetics, so I have had
little reason to read his refutation of Palm on these points. (Not like I
have reason to go rushing out to read White’s responses to other
apologists in general.)

Further, what White said in reply to Palm is simply irrelevant to what I wrote.

The fourth point on the list is perhaps the most absurd: I not only wasn’t at Mark and Pat’s seminar in Phoenix fifteen years ago, I wasn’t even Catholic
fifteen years ago. The only way I would have learned what happened
there is if Mark and Pat were so thunderstruck by what White said that
they felt the need to memorize it and repeat it to
me years later. (They weren’t, and they didn’t.)

Underlying all of these items is an assumption on White’s part that he is of such unique importance that I should be familiar with what he said on these occasions.

I’m sorry, James, but you’re just not that big a fish in the overall scheme of things.

I’ve got Dan Browns to fry, and a whole field of world religions to
interact with, not to mention the questions people have about their own
faith.

Ministering to people is a supply-and-demand thing, and there just
ain’t that much demand for answers to your arguments. In order to meet
people’s needs, I need to spend much more time working through moral
theology and canon law and the issues raised by the latest
anti-Christian book/movie/TV show/news story than your stuff. Economics is the study of the application of limited resources that
have alternative uses, and my time is a limited resource with alternative
uses, so I’ve got to use it economically.

The idea that I–or any Catholic apologist–have any kind of an
obligation to become a specialist in the writings of one individual is
simply hubristic. You are not the naked singularity into whose gravity
well everything in apologetic spacetime must be drawn.

My department answers going on 20,000 questions a year, and I did a quick estimate of how many are related to James White’s arguments. My preliminary finding was that about 00.25% of them are. Even if I’m off by a factor of two, we’re only up to one half of one percent, so it would be foolish of me to assign someone in my department (or myself) to become a specialist in James White’s works given the overwhelming pastoral needs elsewhere.

Even aside from the issue of how many requests we get for information on White, the constant assumption by a person working in a field that his writings are of such unique importance that other professionals are delinquent if they haven’t studied them in minute detail is so arrogant and offputting–especially when combined with a seemingly pathological addiction to ad hominems, insults, and jabs–that it makes one simply not want to deal with him.

So James: If you want an explanation for why you’ve had difficulty in getting
certain Catholic apologists to engage you over the years, this is a big part of why.

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!


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{ 216 comments }

Ann Margaret Lewis June 12, 2006 at 4:37 am

That man has the ego the size of Montana. You’re right – who wants to interact with that? Eegads.
–Ann

SDG June 12, 2006 at 4:38 am

How ironic that “Dr.” White sneers at Jimmy’s readers’ comments, when White’s own blog doesn’t even HAVE a reader comment feature.
Perhaps he just doesn’t want the world to know what the average James White reader sounds like.
More likely, he doesn’t like the idea of whatever he feels like saying being regularly subjected to the kind of public questioning, cross-examination, and criticism that Jimmy allows at JO.org.

Anonymous June 12, 2006 at 5:13 am

“How ironic that “Dr.” White sneers at Jimmy’s readers’ comments, when White’s own blog doesn’t even HAVE a reader comment feature.”
How could one argue with someone that has a doctorate from such a fine outstanding university as him? Oh, his doctorate is from a two room schoolhouse.
James has a huge ego.

MaryC June 12, 2006 at 5:34 am

I think Dr White needs to re-aquaint himself with 1 Corinthians 13.

LaSalle June 12, 2006 at 5:40 am

I started a thread in CARM specifically to pray for the anti catholics. I guess JW is probably one of the more prolific of these anti catholics. I’m offering 1 week of suffering for the conversion of such souls.
I know he comes across very ungentlemanly, and in doing so doesn’t realise that he slams Jesus in the process … but I think he honestly believes he is sincere.

Elliot B June 12, 2006 at 5:46 am

“You are not the naked singularity into whose gravity well everything in apologetic spacetime must be drawn.”
Only Jimmy Akin could and would and can and should pen such ripostes!
(Unfortunately, I suspect even this charitable and on-base “fixation” or “attack” on James White the Man, the Apologist, as opposed to on his iron-clad lexico-semantic exegeses, will only enflame the Man, since clearly dont’ch’know all Jimmy can manage at first swing is “ad hominems”. White’s blog, despite his genuniely clever wit and admirable zeal for the Gospel, is like acid to my soul. I must avert my nous; and so, to borrow from Nietzsche: Don’t look into the abyss too long, Jimmy et al., or it will ever peer into you. White can and never will admit his errors, since he is his own magisterium.)
God have mercy on me, a sinner,

Barbara June 12, 2006 at 6:03 am

and in reading the comments left by Roman Catholics on this blog entry
Well at least he not only reads this blog, but our comments as well.

Julie D. June 12, 2006 at 6:07 am

What Mr. White might find even a sadder state of affairs is that quite a few Catholics have never heard of him and would have little interest in his writing if they did encounter it, especially if it is all similar to the example that was linked to in this post. It did seem to be rather “White-centric” and certainly not too conscious of the fact that many Catholics have looked in-depth into the Church’s teachings. The most effective apologetics don’t begin by insulting the very people you hope to enlighten (“the majority of them are happy to go on second-hand research as well”).

Ed Peters June 12, 2006 at 6:34 am

Who’s Jim White? There is (was) a well-known radio broacaster in St. Louis by that name. Great voice.

Ron Rolling June 12, 2006 at 7:08 am

Even Dave Armstrong at Cor Ad Cor Loquitor has stopped “battling” Mr. White exactly because of the reasons you have stated. It’s just not productive. I hope you don’t engage him any further than this.

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 7:36 am

Rereading this post, I thought to myself: Great post title!
Wonder if James White will get the reference?
Then I wondered: Does James White listen to popular music? Then I began wondering: Does he have ordinary outside interests? What does James White do when he isn’t being “Dr.” James White of Alpha Omega Ministries?
Then it occurred to me that I have absolutely no sense of what James White might be like as a human being. None. Nada.
Of course I’ve hardly made a study of the subject — any more than Jimmy has — but FWIW I have interacted with White a few times and been exposed to him on and off for over a decade. I’ve seen him debate live, traded emails with him a number of years ago.
Now, rereading his post above, it occurs to me that James White has never come across to me as anything other than a lawyer trying to score rhetorical points. Every syllable from him is calculated for effect — everything serves to bolster the James White View of Reality, in which White is Right, with no hint of a human being behind the rhetoric who might have questions, doubts, struggles or even just a life outside of the field.
Now, for all I know that’s just the face he presents to the world, and behind the scenes he’s a great guy, a good neighbor, a culinary enthusiast, whatever whatever.
All I know is, he puts a chilly face on a worldview that just doesn’t make it attractive. Without knowing anything more about him, I wouldn’t want to live next door to James White. Wouldn’t want to go to his church. Wouldn’t want to hang out with the guy. Don’t even want to read his blog (Elliot B’s comments above about “acid to the soul” are right on the money).
Of course, this doesn’t prove anything. There are Catholics in the world who come off just like James White, and for that matter Calvinists who are warm human beings. I’m just saying.

cool guy June 12, 2006 at 8:07 am

I wonder if James White realizes exactly why people cannot stand him. It isn’t because we hate the gospel. Its because he apparently is so socially challenged that he can’t respond to other people without insulting them, subtly or otherwise.

cool guy June 12, 2006 at 8:10 am

“Of course, this doesn’t prove anything. There are Catholics in the world who come off just like James White, and for that matter Calvinists who are warm human beings.”
The Catholics over at Envoy magazine’s forum are particularly nasty (think Art Sippo). If I were to debate Protestants, I would never do it by that venue. It just tends to make people hate each other.

DJ June 12, 2006 at 8:27 am

Jack, I know he rides a bike. :)
I wonder if Jimmy should have put a ’20′ at the end of this post…
Its hard when one is attacked to simply address the attack for what it is without going overboard (the singularity comment aside:) and to continue marching with dignity. I’m fairly bad at it myself, so I’m impressed Jimmy.

Joseph D'Hippolito June 12, 2006 at 8:42 am

Is the Sean Hahn listed on Alpha Omega Ministries’ blog related to Catholic apologist Scott Hahn? Just wondering….

John E June 12, 2006 at 9:51 am

I wonder if I’ll still be alive when Marcus Grodi interviews James White on The Journey Home. It’s worth praying for anyway.

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 10:14 am

“Jack, I know he rides a bike. :)
Well that is good to know.
(Just out of curiosity, how do you know, DJ? And do you know what kind? Does he ride for pleasure? For exercise? For transportation? All three?)
Hey, James, inquiring minds want to know! I’m sure you’re reading this. Why not show a human side and post a reply telling us about your bike? It couldn’t hurt.
I’d post this question over on your blog, but, well, you know. :)

Shane June 12, 2006 at 10:18 am

He mentioned his bike in his Sola Scriptura debate with Mr. Madrid.

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 10:24 am

Ah. Well, I might as well ask, how did it come up? What exactly did he say?

Dan E. June 12, 2006 at 10:48 am

I’ve listened to debates between James White and Robert Sungenis (Sungenis winning every point from Sacred Scripture), and have heard him elsewhere on the radio. He always comes across as arrogant. That said, I won’t jump on him for standing up for his point of view and for believing he is right. We should all be so firm in our beliefs. It would be nice, however, if anti-Catholic apologists like White, Bob George, Ron Rhodes and John MacArthur would emulate Hank Hannegraff and R.C. Sproul in their humility.

Elliot B June 12, 2006 at 10:58 am

JIMMY AKIN’S READERS MORE THAN A DECADE BEHIND
Haha, jk!
White used to do serious road biking. Then, I don’t know, maybe ten years+ ago, he switched to heavy weight lifting. He went from maybe 185 lbs cycling to 225 lbs (?) lifting. I read this on his blog some time ago. He likes to listen to sermons and lectures on his iPod (mutatis mutandis) while lifting. He still does cycling (witness his shots of it a few months back).
Steve Ray met White after the latter’s debate with Gary Michuta and said he liked White personally, as he expected (I even have a dim memory Ray or some other Catholic said he’d enjoy going hunting with him). White has also expressed very candidly he has no animosity against Fr. Pacwa, downright respects and likes.
White can be a real charmer in a debate and certainly in person, I’m sure. I don’t dislike White as a person; I simply non-like spending time on his blog. God bless him, and may He have mercy on me, a sinner.

John E June 12, 2006 at 11:03 am

It was good of you Jimmy to sift out James White’s arguments and address them seperately. Resorting to ad hominems and little jabs and insults only detracts from arguments. To me it is usually a sign of desperation and insecurity with the argument being made — whether the argument is on the right track or not.
And the assertion regarding Jesus’ teaching being “plain” (i.e. obvious) when a reasonable person can *plainly* see that it is not (even though you even took the time to explain why it is not “plain”), only increases my belief that he is insecure with his own arguments. It is an excuse to stop arguing because it has become too difficult, or because he senses a logic trap along his path.
You have pointed out the trap that lays in his path, that he wished was not there, and offered a better path to follow.

Shibboleth June 12, 2006 at 11:50 am

I have to say that it is interesting that in the end of the article he lumps you (Catholics) into the same boat as Muslims and Mormons. I have tried to read some of White’s writings and Jimmy is correct it is very much like a blind person having to read Braille printed on sand paper.
The coarseness of the presentation makes it difficult to take in his message be it correct or incorrect. This is why it is so important that an apologist be a defender of faith and not an attacker of faith.
Certainly his argument that he lays out is oversimplified but the way it stands in the post that Jimmy linked it fails. Why? Because he is ignoring the fact that without at least some sort of tradition we wouldn’t even know what constituted Scripture. If the Word was walking amongst us today he could tell us what tradition was correct and what was not… in his absence (figuratively speaking) he didn’t leave us without a Shepard. He left his Church.
I can imagine that one would say that the Holy Spirit attests to what constitutes Scripture but by that logic so can it attest to what constitutes big “T” tradition. And there is the difference between us and the Jews. The procession of the Holy Spirit through Christ to us…
Funny that his whole argument rests on Jimmy being a decade behind… When one thinks about that statement and the nature traditions a kind of ironic hierocracy has occurred.

Shane June 12, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Ah. Well, I might as well ask, how did [Mr. White's bike riding] come up? What exactly did he say [in the debate with Mr. Madrid]?
He cited 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and said that it said Scripture made a person fully quipped for every good work. He then said gave an analogy, starting by saying he had started bike riding, and he knew a nice little bike shop which had everything he needed, from bikes to helmets to tires to pads and so forth, and so he could say that bike shop made him fully equipped to ride a bike. The analogy was meant to show that Scripture is sufficient.
Mr. Madrid responded by saying that the analogy assumes the person knows how to ride a bike to begin with. The shop doesn’t teach a person how to ride the bike, but that is just as necessary as the equipment. Another problem that Mr. Madrid did not point out (if I recall correctly) is that it could be said that Scripture makes a man complete because it is being given as the second half of Tradition. In other words, if Timothy already had Paul’s apostolic Tradition, then adding Scripture would fully furnish him for every good work. If Timothy had already counted Scripture, Paul could have said that Tradition would make him equipped for every good work in the same way. In other words, it doesn’t say Scripture alone makes a man complete, it says Scripture makes the man of God complete, which presumes that the man already has something else to him to make Him a man of God.
(That’s a very simple way of phrasing that last point, btw. It is enough to make the point, but there is a much more thorough way to go about it, I just didn’t feel like putting it here. I can link you to a better explanation if you like.)

stuart June 12, 2006 at 12:22 pm

well, you gotta love this guy.
that’s what Jesus wants us to do, right?

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 12:25 pm

In other words, the the bike came up as an illustration of White’s thesis. My impression of White, fragmentary as it is, is not assuaged.
As for his interest in weightlifting, hm. It’s nice to know he has a hobby, though… well, rather than make some broad and unfair generalization about weight lifters I have known in connection with the general thesis of this thread, I will quit while I’m ahead.
If James and Fr. Pacwa are on personally friendly terms, I would like to believe that White can be personable and a decent guy. I’ve been wrong before.
The argument, such as it is, is just plain silly, and strikes me as a mark of desperation. White says the bike shop had “everything he needed to make him fully equipped.” He must know — so many Catholic apologists have pointed it out — that what Paul says is that scripture is profitable to be fully equipped; the key words “everything we need” don’t appear in the verse.
A more apt biking parallel to Saint Paul’s comments would be to say that biking is whole-body exercise beneficial for total health, that the biker may be sound of wind and limb, fully healthy in all his parts. That’s not to say exercise is “all you need,” or that good nutrition and hydration, for example, are somehow subordinate to the preeminence of exercise.

joye June 12, 2006 at 12:36 pm

“And they will know we are Christians by our love,” hrm?
Love your blog, Jimmy! Keep writing! :)

Paul L. June 12, 2006 at 2:40 pm

As one who has listened to every Dividing Line program and read James White’s blog regularly for about 4 years I can say two things for sure. 1. He speaks very respectfuly of Jimmy, both regarding his intelligence-(when learning that Jimmy was teaching Aramaic he commented that he was not surprised since Jimmy was an extremely intelligent man. And 2. regarding his civility and how he would like to debate him more often if travel were not so difficult for him. James White also speaks often about how much he loves and respects Fr. Pacwa who has endorsed his book The Forgotten Trinity. Paul.

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 2:56 pm

Just realized that a line in my last post was ambiguous/poorly phrased, and played right into the argument I was trying to rebut. :(
What I MEANT was, “The key words ‘SCRIPTURE CONTAINS everything we need’ don’t appear in the verse.” In other words, Paul doesn’t claim for scripture what James White claims for his bike shop.
Obviously, ultimately, if we are fully equipped, then we will have everything we need. By the same token, going back to the bike/exercise example, if we have total health, why then we are totally healthy.
But the fact that bike exercise is useful/profitable for achieving total health doesn’t mean that it’s all we need for total health, and likewise the fact that scripture is useful/profitable/necessary for achieving total equipping doesn’t mean that it’s all we need.
Really, the exegetical point is as obvious as A B C (even if I mucked up the spelling up above). Only a desperate partisan in need of a proof text could refuse to see it.

Jack Trehawke June 12, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Paul L, thanks for bringing another perspective on who James White is. I’m encouraged by what you say.
Do you have any thoughts on the disconnect between the way that White comes off to you on his radio show (and blog?) and the tone (starting with the subject line) of the recent White post in question?

Paul L. June 12, 2006 at 3:43 pm

Hi Jack,I may be able to give some insight into why my view of James White is different then what has been posted. First of all context. If when I reread Jimmy’s examples of “insults and ad- hominems” which Jimmy has kindly highlighted in Blue. I can see very clearly what White is refering to having read long articles by the people he mentions above including Mark and Pat and David. I also know that James White would welcome a call from anyone who has posted here to discuss this on his show. Others have called in the past and he has been very respectful and fair i.e Johnathon from Texas on 10-05-04.

David B. June 12, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Paul,
So you’re saying the last person he let debate him was on his show on October ten, 2004?
Wow! That’s what I call being open to challengers!

Paul L. June 12, 2006 at 4:28 pm

No David,what I’m saying is that his show is always open to those who disagree with him. This includes Jimmy and Tim Staples and Karl and most important yourself. I have disagreed with the above mentioned apologists and instead of posting on blogs I have actually called in to C.A live. I was always treated with great respect by the staff as I believe you would be on The Dividing Line.

David B. June 12, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Paul,
I know what you meant. it’s a joke. Ha ha
BTW, What’s The Dividing Line’s number?

Paul L. June 12, 2006 at 4:37 pm

David the no. is 877-753-3341.

David B. June 12, 2006 at 4:42 pm

Much obliged, Paul.
Peace out.

Anonymous June 12, 2006 at 5:57 pm

Heh. Dr. White has responded over at his blog… he made *such* a good effort for the first… third to avoid the things mentioned here… but then he failed.

Jonathan Prejean June 12, 2006 at 6:12 pm

“Others have called in the past and he has been very respectful and fair i.e Johnathon from Texas on 10-05-04.”
Yes, in that instance, he was. But he is clearly wrong here.

Paul L. June 12, 2006 at 7:28 pm

Hi Jonathan, are you the same Jonathan that called The Dividing Line? If you are I was very impressed with your discourse and the entire tone of the conversation. You demonstrated a very mature example that I have tried to follow when I interact with people I disagree with.

Jonathan Prejean June 12, 2006 at 9:57 pm

Paul:
I am. And unfortunately, I have subsequently decided to forego interactions with White and other like-minded Protestants, because they have consistently been unable to sustain that level of discourse in substantive argumentation. This is only one example of many similar interactions with Catholics. It’s all well and good that we were able to discuss Internet etiquette with civility, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen him manage a response to Catholics that was both civil (in the sense of being free from the irrelevant ad hominem that Jimmy cites) and substantive, He had civil debates with Mitch Pacwa, for example, but when I followed up on his church history sources in one of those debates, I was surprised he could make his claims with a straight face. For another example, see:
http://www.envoymagazine.com/backissues/2.4/coverstory.html

Shane June 12, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Which debate was that?

Paul L. June 13, 2006 at 6:34 am

Jonathan, thank you for the link above. I am familiar with Fr. Barbour’s article from 1998. It is very interesting that he never mentions who the Baptist author is that wrote this shoddy piece of historic mythology or how to locate it. In fact if someone were to post a comment on this blog after reading Fr. Barbours article, would that not be an example of being “happy to go on second-hand research”? Isn’t this the very quote that is highlighted above as an example of Ad-Hominem towards “me, my readers and other Catholic apoligists in general”? I commend Karen on actually reading what Dr. White would not consider second-hand research. Here is a link to the original article that Fr. Barbour critiqued. http://www.equip.org/free/DN206.pdf Now by reading both the primary source and then reading the “second-hand” source and then posting a comment we can demonstrate that what is considered to be Ad-Hominem above really is just that.

Jonathan Prejean June 13, 2006 at 9:50 am

“Now by reading both the primary source and then reading the ‘second-hand’ source and then posting a comment we can demonstrate that what is considered to be Ad-Hominem above really is just that.”
I had read the original before. And incidentally, “ad hominem” doesn’t mean invalid, particularly when dealing with the qualifications that the person has to draw the conclusions he is asserting. White’s misuse of Athanasius and Augustine is both relevant and obvious.
“Which debate was that?”
One on the priesthood being biblical and ancient. He used primarily Schaff and RPC Hanson, both of which were inapposite to the point he was making (unsurprising given that he resorted to his typical caricature of what Trent means by the constant teaching of the Church). Checking his bibliography invariably reveals similar misuses to the ones Fr. Barbour cites above. This is why I suspect he never wants to discuss substance when it regards his qualifications in church history and patristics.

Paul L. June 13, 2006 at 10:14 am

Thanks Jonathan, I was pretty sure you had read the original article by CRI. My point was that if others were to read Fr. Barbour’s second-hand critique of the un-named article and then commented on it. They would be guilty of the very thing that Jimmy has criticized Dr. White for pointing out. Regarding White’s misuse of Augustine and Athanasius. I would like to know more about this. Would you have a log of this discussion from the past or would you be willing to call his program this afternoon to straighten this out? Also the Priesthood debate with White and Pacwa is one of my favorites. I would highly recommend it. In fact I will listen to it again before the Dividing Line airs at 7p.m e.s.t. just in case you call in.

Jonathan Prejean June 13, 2006 at 1:43 pm

“Would you have a log of this discussion from the past or would you be willing to call his program this afternoon to straighten this out?”
Absolutely not, because there is nothing to “straighten out.” The only thing I consider relevant at this point is his set of qualifications on church history and patristic theology (and his use of sources in those areas), since many of his anti-Catholic arguments include assertions in those areas. He made it clear to me that he had no interest in discussing that subject, which strikes me as the only subject he absolutely must discuss to retain any credibility for his opinions on Catholicism. Consequently, I have no reason to discuss the matter with him.
Regarding Schaff and Hanson, one need only read the works in question to see whether White consistently supports their position. One wonders whether his endorsement of Schaff’s position that priesthood is purely Jewish is intended top endorse Schaff’s Hegelian dialectic between Judaism and Hellenism (which would presumably result in the right answer being a synthesis between the two), or whether he would endorse RPC Hanson’s conclusion that the successive apostolic ministry of Anglicanism is a valid historical development of early Christianity. If not, he has no business for citing them as witnesses for his case that priesthood is not ancient.

Chad June 13, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Jimmy just called in on the Dividing Line to let JW know about this post. White said he didn’t get the email from Jimmy about this post and Sage had marked it as read.
We also found out that White considers the London Baptist Confession a sub-scripture, but real authority and that disagreement with said document is grounds for Reformed Baptist excommunication.

Paul L. June 13, 2006 at 5:39 pm

06/06/2006
Response to Dr. Caner on Falwell.com
Well, what a disappointment to discover that the blog article I referred to above is actually written by Ergun Caner, not Jerry Falwell. I saw falwell.com and since my current internet access is expensive and has to come in “bursts,” I assumed if it was on falwell.com…. But I was disabused once I went off line and started to read the entire article. Oh well, still worth responding to. But as I am still working on Pulpit Crimes, I will break this response up a bit.
Hi Jimmy, this is the blog entry that I referred to regarding Dr. White’s availibility. Sorry for any confusion.

dontknowwhereIfit June 13, 2006 at 8:46 pm

This may be a bit off topic Mr Akin but I listened to you and Dr. White’s discussion on “The dividing line”. I dont really understand all that is involved but I get confused about the whole tradition debate. I mean the Bible itself is a type of Tradition if Im not wrong. The Catholic understanding of Tradition is that it is both oral and written, and both are defined / refined by the Magistarium “Church”. That of course is a very simplistic view. Dr. White does not agree with that if I am correct. What I dont understand is why that makes Catholics not “Christians”.
Catholics accept protestants as “Christians” if my reading of the CCC is correct. I may be wrong about what Dr. White believes but it seems he does not see Catholics as Christians. On a different note. One thing I deeply respect about the Catholic faith is that suffering can be redemptive and the Christ will take our suffering and infuse those sufferings with His amazing grace and work it out to Good. He gives us the privilage to join our sufferings with Him. Again that is very simplistic but it does offer a great deal of comfort. I have read your Bio and you have been there.
Take care.

Shane June 13, 2006 at 8:52 pm

Jimmy was on the Dividing Line?

Karen June 13, 2006 at 10:58 pm

Jimmy was on the Dividing Line?
Anyone know where there might be a recording?

Francis DS June 13, 2006 at 11:03 pm

“He speaks very respectfuly of Jimmy, both regarding his intelligence-(when learning that Jimmy was teaching Aramaic he commented that he that he was not surprised since Jimmy was an extremely intelligent man.”
Paul, did you hear this on DL or read it in JW’s blog?
The reason I ask is because it reminded me of a comment JW did upon learning Jimmy was teaching Greek (sic). I thought JW’s comments were sarcastic:
“So I guess if the best Akin can come up with (he claims to be teaching Greek now: I’d be interested in knowing more about that) is that he feels my”
http://www.aomin.org/BlogArchives0704.html

Shane June 13, 2006 at 11:06 pm

IT is free on White’s site, aomin.org

Paul L. June 14, 2006 at 5:52 am

Hi Francis, the comment regarding Greek and the level of Jimmy’s expertise in Greek were a conclusion White based on a review of Jimmy’s book. From this blog entry- http://www.aomin.org/AkinBlog1.html#Update1 it appears that White is angry that Jimmy has jumped on the Art Sippo wagon of attacking his advanced degree from CES. The statement he made regarding Jimmy’s teaching of Aramaic was made on the Dividing Line and I think it was after The Passion was released.

Brian June 14, 2006 at 7:49 am

I’ve seen James White debate Roman Catholic apologists about 10 times over the years. I have never witnessed any behavior which even comes close as to what has been stated on this blog. If someone can point me to a particular video taped debate and reference the point of contention, I would be happy to look at it.
And by the way, I was at the Robert Sungenis debates with James White. In one of the cross examinations, Sungenis couldn’t even answer some of White’s questions about Roman Catholic doctrine and stated a number of times, “if Rome says so, I believe it”. Scary. BTW, Sungenis, in the opinion of many RC apologists, has gone wacky.

Francis DS June 14, 2006 at 9:14 am

BTW, Sungenis, in the opinion of many RC apologists, has gone wacky.
In fairness to Robert, while some of the positions he takes aren’t popular, he does his best to supply his reasons in-depth. That makes him particularly annoying , because now I have to think about whether I disagree with him and why (iow, he confuses me with facts).
I don’t find him personally wacky (and I am not implying that you do).

John Angilletta June 14, 2006 at 9:38 am

All these posts about a man who is insignificant in the apolegetic world???
His book endorsed by Mitch Pacua????
Why then was Jimmy Aiken(aching) to call the Diving line???? just wondering

ShadowFoxWriter June 14, 2006 at 10:32 am
joe June 14, 2006 at 10:34 am

In all fairness, John where did you read: insignificant?
I know of only one place I read something similar but it was said by another person for another reason in a different context.
Please explain and substantiate.
In Christ

john June 14, 2006 at 11:12 am

O.K :You are not the naked singularity into whose gravity well everything in apologetic spacetime must be drawn.
My department answers going on 20,000 questions a year, and I did a quick estimate of how many are related to James White’s arguments. My preliminary finding was that about 00.25% of them are. Even if I’m off by a factor of two, we’re only up to one half of one percent, so it would be foolish of me to assign someone in my department (or myself) to become a specialist in James White’s works given the overwhelming pastoral needs elsewhere.
00.25% sounds insignificant to me.

MaryC June 14, 2006 at 11:21 am

John:
please re-parse what you’ve just written, then you’ll realize that ‘insignificant’ refers to the percentage of questions Jimmy receives pertaining to the writings of James White, not to James White himself.

Shane June 14, 2006 at 11:34 am

In one of the cross examinations, Sungenis couldn’t even answer some of White’s questions about Roman Catholic doctrine and stated a number of times, “if Rome says so, I believe it”.
Mr. Sungenis said that because Mr. White had been asking him a long line of questions of the form, ‘Do you believe what the Council of Trent says when it says such and such?’ Mr. White asked him this sort of question about 3 or 4 times, and then Mr. Sungenis said something similar to ‘if Rome says it, I believe it.’ He wasn’t using it as an arguement, he was saying it so that Mr. White didn’t have to waste time asking him if he believed each and every doctrine the Church taught on the subject of the debate.

john June 14, 2006 at 11:49 am

True,… sort of, but there is this strong sense that the implication here is that the man, or his ministry are not worth the fuss, which sort of confuses me, given the amount of times his name is mentioned on this site(among others) Yet James Aiken took time out of his hectic schedule to call the Dividing line.
BTW, don’t you think that the very title of this blog does the very thing that you say Dr White is doing?(ad-hom)You’re So Vain; I Bet You Thought That Post Was About You
(Jimmy Akin)

Paul L. June 14, 2006 at 11:59 am

Hi Shane, do you know which of the White-Sugenis debates that was? I just purchased the one from Salt Lake City but I havn’t listened to it yet.

Paul L. June 14, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Sorry about misspelling SUNGENIS. Mary may be losing her hearing but I’m losing my eyesight.

Shane June 14, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I think it was one of the Mass debates, so it may be the one you have.
Btw, on their own, either of the Sungenis-White Mass debates are good, but together they make a great package (for a Catholic, anyways). In the 1999 one, Mr. Sungenis delivers a fantastic opening statement, and fairs relatively well, but Mr. White gets some good points in. In the second (the one you have), Mr. Sungenis does do a very good debate in general, but he also uses his pening statement to direct the debate toward addressing points Mr. White had made in 1999.

Paul L. June 14, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Thanks Shane, I noticed that Tim Staples did the same thing in his Infallibility debate. I think Gerry Matitics did this too but this may have been in a double-header so that would make sense.

Shane June 14, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Mr. Staples got killed in his debate with Mr. White, if I recall, due to some less then honest strategies on Mr. White’s part.

John June 14, 2006 at 12:53 pm

what do you mean by less than honest strategies?
Can you give a few examples?

brian June 15, 2006 at 8:08 am

Mr. Sungenis was clueless about certain doctrines and that’s why he answered the way he did. If you go back to the tape, and I’ll admit I haven’t, but this stuck in my mind vividly. Sungenis actually asked White if what he quoted was an official RC doctrine, and when White said yes, then Sungenis responded in the affirmative to it’s content. I thought that was strange, that’s all.
I’m still waiting for someone to direct me to a specific debate tape where Mr. White acted in an unprofessional manner and used ad honinem remarks toward the RC apologist he was debating. Again, I’ve witnessed many of these debates and and haven’t come away thinking Mr. White was anything less than well prepared, articulate, passionate and truthful. Will Mr. White be opening a charm school in the near future, probably not, but I don’t think the apostle Paul opened one either. Stick to the content and exegesis of Scripture, not whether you think someone is the warmest, funniest guy in the room. The things we discuss have eternal ramifications and should be handled seriously. White is a serious guy, but I have seen him laugh once or twice during these debates and it’s usually when his friend Chris Arnzen is introducing him.

Brian Bish June 15, 2006 at 3:23 pm

I saw written
“How ironic that “Dr.” White sneers at Jimmy’s readers’ comments, when White’s own blog doesn’t even HAVE a reader comment feature.
Perhaps he just doesn’t want the world to know what the average James White reader sounds like.”
As an average reader of White’s website, I am saddened to see this sort of completely hollow statement. It was the exact sort of thing the entire post was complaining about seeing in James White.
Romans 2:1
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

Mike June 16, 2006 at 5:11 am

So why not debate James White, Jimmy? Surely your readers would love to see you put this “nasty arrogant anti-Catholic” in his place. Let me guess…You won’t debate him because you claim he’s nasty and arrogant–even though it would be easy for any who wish to see that he has never conducted himself in that manner during a debate. Or perhaps you’ll defer to your calculations, showing that only 00.25% of all the questions you receive are in reference to James, and therefore it’s simply not worth your time to debate him. It probably is best though, for you to piously feign moral superiority and avoid the whole situation. It would be a huge embarrassment to have your arguments taken apart in a public forum. What would yur readers think if such a thing were to happen?

bill912 June 16, 2006 at 5:59 am

Very intellectual post, Mike. Dripping with Christian charity, too.

Mike June 16, 2006 at 8:41 am

I’m picking up your Christian sarcasm too bill912,
It never ceases to amaze me that many who claim to be Christians have so little tolerance for straight talk. I have no ill-feelings toward Jimmy Akin, I just believe that he’s wrong about James White. James has critiqued some of Jimmy’s statements in the past, and he has also challenged Jimmy to a debate on several important topics, but those invitations are declined. Obviously, both men hold vastly different views concerning the faith, but both men are appologists. Should they not defend thier positions? Sure it’s easy to defend one’s position on a blog, where you have your loyal readers who will always give you the benefit of the doubt, and who automatically villianize the opponent. It’s quite another to defend your position in a debate with cross-examination. I think Jimmy will avoid this at all costs. I believe that he would cite all sorts of highly principled reasons for avoiding such an event, knowing full well that he simply isn’t up to the task. For the record, I have yet to see James White engage in ad-hominem. I have not seen him personally attack anyone. However, I have seen him address the weakness of an argument,the falseness of a statement, and the error of ones position. It’s just more of that “straight-talk” that many, such as yourself cannot tolerate. If it’s not spoken in oily and soothing tones, which ends in “maybe we’re both right” it’s construed into being hateful. Label such a person as “mean” or “nasty” or “uncharitable” and dismiss them. That way you can ignore their message.

Tim J. June 16, 2006 at 9:02 am

Mike-
In one way, I would like to see Jimmy debate James White, simply because it would demonstrate beyond doubt Jimmy’s intellect and superiority as a debater, and because it would serve to illustrate the fundamental inadequacy of Protestant thought in whatever area they chose to debate.
However, I can’t imagine it would be fun to watch, or not for long, anyway. Unevenly matched opponents just don’t make for a interesting contest, not in sport and not in debate.
Not to mention that I would be tempted to uncharitable gloating at the result, and that is no reason to wish for such a debate either.

Mike June 16, 2006 at 9:37 am

Tim J.
Although Jimmy may be very intelligent, you should not underestimate James White. He is intelligent as well, and a skilled debator. But a debate should not be a contest of intellect. It should be the forum where both mens’ positions are stated, proven, and cross-examined. The benefit is to us–the viewers. It’s an opportunity to see how well our doctrinal positions and our traditions hold up to scrutiny. As believers, we are to be lovers of the Truth. A debate can be an excellent means to unveil that Truth. I have no doubt that Jimmy Akin is intellectually up to the task. I think he knows his positions are indefensible, and will not hold up well under cross-examination. That would be the only reason a debate between them would be lopsided. Even so, it would be no reason to gloat–just an opportunity to embrace the Truth.

Tim J. June 16, 2006 at 9:59 am

“I think he knows his positions are indefensible, and will not hold up well under cross-examination.”
Oh, that’s funny.
If that is the case, state which of his positions are indefensible, cross examine them in print, and allow this to be seen by all. This also allows your objections to be cross examined, and so on… Jimmy does this ALL THE TIME. I find it far more helpful than what can be accomplished within the limited confines of a debate.
Jimmy’s positions (those of the Catholic Church) are continually cross examined on his blog, in writing, for all to see.
Why does James White not welcome comments on his blog?
It is a far more useful forum, much more easily and widely accessible than a live debate. A live debate is also far more easily entangled with personalities, which serves no purpose and only clouds the issues.
Why, for instance, should we think less of a position if the one who holds it is a timid speaker? And yet, this is the kind of thing that often happens in a debate.
Let the IDEAS speak for themselves, and let them be accessible to everyone at all times, for examination and for reference.
You, and anyone, are free to rebut any of Jimmy’s posts at any time in the combox, feature unfortunately absent from James White’s blog. Is it possible that knows that his positions are indefensible?

bill912 June 16, 2006 at 10:01 am

What I have little tolerance for , Mike, is rudeness.

Tim J. June 16, 2006 at 10:32 am

Wow. Two typos in one paragraph.
I meant to say;
“You, and anyone, are free to rebut any of Jimmy’s posts at any time in the combox, a feature unfortunately absent from James White’s blog. Is it possible that he knows that his positions are indefensible?”

Mike June 16, 2006 at 11:48 am

Tim J.
I am not a scholar. I never claimed that I could personally refute Jimmy Akin. As I understand the debate topics centered between Protestants and Catholics, it comes down to this—Protestants believe that Scripture alone is their authority, and Catholics believe the church to be theirs. When the original languages of the Bible are examined, the Catholic can find no Biblical teaching in support of many of their doctrines. The Marian doctrines, Purgatory, the Pope, to name a few, are teachings found outside of the clear teaching of Scripture. This has been proven over and over again in numerous debates and published works. The Catholic must then find some Biblical reference that grants their extra-Biblical authority. Here again, when closely examined, no such references are made. Jimmy Akin or any other Catholic apologist can assign whatever meaning they want to the Greek or Hebrew texts—claiming Scriptural authority for their positions, and as a laymen, I would be unable to refute any of it. But there are people who do understand the Biblical languages, and they can prove misinterpretations and the misuse of sources, people like James White. As for why his website doen’t allow for comments, you’ll have to ask him about that—you can reach him by email. It seem to me that he answered that question a while ago on his blog, but I don’t remember what he said. It should be in his archives.

Mike June 16, 2006 at 11:59 am

bill912,
Are you suggesting that I’m being rude?

francis 03 June 16, 2006 at 12:08 pm

Mike,
“The Catholic must then find some Biblical reference that grants their extra-Biblical authority.”
Why, if the Church is their authority, would this be necessary? Even Dr. White is only claiming that traditions can’t *contradict* Scripture.

MaryC June 16, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Mike:
if you don’t trust the teaching authority of the Church, how do you know whether or not you have the correct books in your bible?
After all it was the Church which decided the canon of Scripture.

Tim J. June 16, 2006 at 12:52 pm

Mike-
I would simply counter that-
there are people who do understand the Biblical languages, and they can prove misinterpretations and the misuse of sources, people like – JIMMY AKIN.

Inocencio June 16, 2006 at 1:24 pm

Mike,
Protestants believe that Scripture alone is their authority
You understand that before the protestant de-formation no one believed this?
Since the Canon of Scripture was not set for the first 350 years of the Church what authority did Christians accept?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

tim June 16, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Letters at the end of one’s name don’t impress me.
The Truth is the Truth.
God uses whomever he chooses as His instrument.
Moses proclaimed he was not a grand orator. That’s why Aaron accompanied him.
The Scribes and Pharisees claimed to have all the knowledge…until Jesus set them straight. Imagine Jesus claiming authority because of some letters behind his name?
Jesus Christ PH.D, ThD
Ridiculous
Many of the Saints were not highly educated men and women.
Don’t get me wrong, I love and value education. I’m working on a degree myself. One should strive to expand one’s knowledge in all things.
I love the way we all can share our ideas, Catholic & Protestant alike, on blogs such as this one.
I only wish those who claim others are afraid to debate them would open their blogs to everyone (COMMENT Feature), to have that interaction you find here.
I find it ironic that certain individuals have to come to this website to claim that Jimmy is afraid to interact (debate).
Open-up a COMMENT feature Mr. White.
Don’t hide behind that “DIVIDING LINE” where it’s safe.

Chris June 17, 2006 at 6:05 am

I’m a reformed baptist, and thus I am to a certain degree a fan of James White. I do have to say though, that whilst he appears to be a reasonable sort of fellow on the Dividing Line etc, to try and have a sensible interaction with either him or the rest of his cohort, whether the others at aomin, or his group in the Phoenix church, is near impossible. To even raise questions to him/them about other points of view gets a very antagonistic attitude. To try and get even a semi-intelligent response from them on IRC is impossible too. Sorry James, I’m torn. In some ways I like the work you are doing. In other ways I think you’ve become very insular.

brian June 17, 2006 at 8:32 pm

How come no one has sent me the information I requested, regarding which debate James White behaved in an unprofessional manner? Please cite the debate and refer me to the section of the debate where Mr. Nasty gets really hoppin ad hominem.

Adam D June 17, 2006 at 9:03 pm

Brian, has someone here criticised James White’s professionalism in live debate?
I, for one, think he’s a great debater. I think most of us that are familiar with his work, Catholic or Protestant, acknowledge that he’s very skilled at debating. And his live debates are quite professionally done.

Shane June 17, 2006 at 9:11 pm

I think his live debates are done well in a certain sense, but I think he uses very dirty tactics in debate.

Adam D June 17, 2006 at 9:22 pm

Okay, Shane. I guess you’re going to take up Brian’s challenge and provide the example?
Mind you, I’m not a White supporter, but it’s a perfectly valid demand. If you’re gonna sling mud, you gotta be able to back it up, right?

Patch June 17, 2006 at 10:16 pm

I have listened to a few of his debates myself some time ago and as I recall he was usually pretty well-mannered and professional. But what does that prove, that White is a living contradiction and can say whatever nasty things he wants in writing, but act otherwise in moderated debate? My suspicion is that because White actually does the “manly” and “brave” thing by debating, he thinks he has some privelege to say whatever he wants behind the keyboard because he can “back it up”.

Shane June 17, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Since you asked, I will provide a few answers. I’m not saying this to judge the man; I could be wrong about his motivations. That being said, I he unquestionably does these things, even if the motivations are not as I present here. Some of his less than honest debate tactics are:
1. Mention the anathema. He does this all the time. Occasionally, he will say that he mentions it because he wants to point out that a doctrine that deserves an anathema should really be very explicit and clear, and if it is hard to see in Scripture it is not right of the Church to use an anathema on it. That I think could be a legitimate arguement, although I think the assumptions he has behind it are flawed. However, it is also a rather dishonest debate technique and is ad hominem. The reason is that in the debates, Mr. White is not debating whether Rome ought to have an anathema on something. He is debating whether something is true. Regardless of whether Rome ought to put an anathema on a doctrine, it may be true or untrue. His job in a debate is to use evidence to show that something is either true or false. In using this arguement, all he is doing is attacking the Church and saying the Church is too strong in it’s teaching of a doctrine; that has nothing to do with whether it is true ot not, which is what he is supposed to be debating.
Other times, I think this arguement is clearly dishonest. The reason is that most of the time he simply asserts that there is an anathema on a doctrine and then moves on. The tone of voice he uses and the way he phrases things makes it evident that he only wants to point out to Protestants that the Church considers them anathema. He wants to make the Protestants in the crowd feel insulted or offended, which is why he very often begins debates with this tactic. It has nothing to do with the facts of the issue, but is only an appeal to the emotions of those on his side. It also shows that he is primarily concerned with winning, not truth, because the anathema will not have any impact on Catholics in the audience. Again I admit I may be mistaken on his motivation here, but if I am then I am not sure why he always cites the anathema.
2. Mention Satispassio. Very similar to the above point. What’s worse about this tactic is that Satispassio refers to the suffering of Purgatory and applies only to Purgatory. It does not apply to other doctrines. However, Mr. White has used this term in every single debate with a Catholic I have ever heard, and I have heard 19 of them. It is an issue that has nothing to do with the topics on hand, even though he does find some way to connect it on occasion. It is another thing he does for the sole purpose of making an ad hominem attack on the Catholic Church and his opponent, in essence reminding the crowd that they both teach Satispassio, which to his theology is a terrible thing. I understand that from his theological standpoint, Satispassio could be very offensive, but that is irrelevant. It is a tactic which is unconcerned with the arguements the opponenet is making and is concerned only with turning the audience against the opponent and the Church he represents. The frequency with which he uses this word in his debates is absolutely astonishing.
3. When the opponent has said a word in a different language, annunciate it loudly with a different pronunciation. I will absolutely admit and voluntarily put forth that his opponents do this too on occasion. It is possible that the two individuals may simply have a different way of pronouncing the word, but the way it is done and the tone indicates that the message the audience is supposed to get is that the opponent does not know Greek as well as I.
4. Throw out a long list of Catholic doctrines that sound bad. This is the same as point 2, except that he is not as consistent with it.
5. Say he only has a very short time left when he just started speaking. The point of this is to tell the audience that he can’t get his entire point in the time alloted so that they will think it is actually a better, more thorough point than it is. If someone simply says there is much they would like to say that they don’t have time for, that is legitimate. Mr. White does this sometimes, and his opponents do too. There is nothing wrong with this. However, saying that one has a limited amount of time when there are 27 minutes left on the clock for an opening statement that he has had months to prepare for is a subtle and ingenuous trick.
6. Misrepresent Catholic doctrine, even when he has been corrected. As I have pointed out on another thread, he once said in debate that the Catholic teaching is that the souls in Purgatory make atonement for their sins. This is simply false. This is not the Catholic teaching, and if he is to accuse Jimmy of being 10 years behind on one aplogist’s arguements, it is utter hypocrisy for him to be 1000 years behind on an official teaching of the Church. If I recall correctly, hat makes it worse is that his opponent corrected him on the point after this statement, but Mr. White repeated it in his next chance to speak as though his opponent had said nothing. This is not a matter of him saying that the Catholic system is inconsistent and that the teaching amounts to atonement in Purgatory, this is a matter of him saying that the actual teaching is atonement, which is simply untrue.
I would also point you to the article Mr. Akin posted about debate tactics. Mr. White has engaged in all or most of those as well.

John June 18, 2006 at 2:24 pm

The above post is mind boggling to say the least. I have the DVD of the White-Stravinskus debate on purgatory. Isaw none of the”tactics”mentioned above,but what I did see was Stravinskus accuse White of playing games when he could not respond in a meaningful way to him. Has anyone here seen that debate?

John June 18, 2006 at 2:32 pm

Peter Stravinskus had ample opportunity to correct White on his alleged mis-use of the term Satispassio during the purgatory debate,but I cannot recall him doing so. I have the DVD.

MaryC June 18, 2006 at 3:00 pm

“I think [Jimmy] knows his positions are indefensible, and will not hold up well under cross-examination”.
Mike, if you’re still around:
I know I’m a little late picking up on this point; but whatever the reasons are why Jimmy won’t debate James White, the above reason is not one of them.
Jimmy was himself a Calvinist, but after studying Church history, patristics and Catholic doctrine in the light of Scripture, came to believe that the Catholic Church held the fullness of Truth and therefore, in conscience, had to become Catholic.
If he believed that the Protestant faith was the truth, there is no way he could have become Catholic.
If he believed that Protestantism was the Tru

MaryC June 18, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Dang! Ignore that last half-paragraph.

Shane June 18, 2006 at 5:54 pm

John, Fr. Stravniskus did a terrible job in that debate. I haven’t seen or heard it myself, but I have heard 19 other ones. The only one I can recall hearing where Mr. White did not do those things was his tag-team debate with Robert Zins against Scott Butler and Bob Sungenis.

John June 19, 2006 at 6:39 am

Mary you have not seen or heard that debate yourself, but you know Stravinskus was terrible?
Are you relying on second hand information??????????
Just asking……

MaryC June 19, 2006 at 6:57 am

John:
Please look again, I haven’t mentioned any debate between White and Fr. Stravinskus!!

robert June 19, 2006 at 7:02 am

Here is something of interest on Straninskus:
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Spending at parish soars with new priest
WORLD-HERALD ^ | April 16, 2005 | CHRISTOPHER BURBACH
Posted on 04/16/2005 11:24:59 PM PDT by CatherineSiena
Spending at parish soars with new priest
A noted Catholic thinker who was brought in to run St. Anthony Catholic Church in south Omaha allegedly spent more than $400,000 in 1 and 1/2 years – at a small parish that normally spent about $50,000 a year.
Police are investigating the Rev. Peter Stravinskas’ handling of St. Anthony’s parish funds after parishioners filed a report of a possible embezzlement. Detectives have told a judge it appears parish money was spent on Stravinskas’ personal expenses, including travel, mortgage payments and credit cards.
In a court filing last month, Omaha police said two parish funds – one worth $82,000 and the other worth $71,000 – were nearly wiped out. Only $4,200 remained from the $153,000 total, detectives told a judge.
But The World-Herald learned this week that those funds represented only part of St. Anthony’s savings.
And people knowledgeable about the situation said the money taken from those accounts was only part of a larger amount spent from August 2002, when Stravinskas arrived, until March 2004, when the Archdiocese of Omaha froze parish funds.
Stravinskas has not been charged with a crime and remains St. Anthony’s temporary administrator. He has declined to comment. He was scheduled to return Friday night from a trip to Rome, said the Rev. Nicholas Gregoris, who answered the door at the rectory Friday.
The Rev. Gregory Baxter, chancellor of the archdiocese, declined to comment, citing the police investigation.
Police have declined to comment on the extent of Stravinskas’ alleged misspending.
Church financial records published in parish documents indicate, however, that St. Anthony had $313,000 in savings in January 2002. It is unclear what that total was when Stravinskas arrived that summer, but parishioners said St. Anthony had no extraordinary expenses before Stravinskas came.
The parish typically brought in about $50,000 a year and spent that much, said Albinas Reskevicius, a parish trustee for nearly 40 years until early 2003. He said he had no knowledge of parish spending since that time.
Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss brought Stravinskas, 54, to Omaha from Mount Pocono, Pa. A clerical group Stravinskas had founded there, the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, had been disbanded.
Stravinskas has written numerous books and founded magazines, the Catholic Answer and the Catholic Response, defending traditional Roman Catholic teachings.
Stravinskas, a native of New Jersey, is a priest of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, but hasn’t worked there in 25 years.
Stravinskas shares Lithuanian ancestry with many of the St. Anthony parishioners, but there has been no more explanation of why such a noted priest landed in a shrinking neighborhood parish.
Curtiss declined to be interviewed Friday about the parish’s finances or about how he knows Stravinskas or why he brought him to Omaha.
In a May 2002 sermon, the archbishop praised Stravinskas as “a first-rate scholar with a rich academic background,” and “a herald of truth in the church.”
Curtiss delivered the sermon in New York City to mark the 25th anniversary of Stravinskas’ ordination.
“Now that I am 70, I will be fortunate to be associated with you and your ministry for another decade,” Curtiss said. “You are a special priest and a special friend to me and many people who really know you. I consider you a gift in my ministry and in my life.”
In Omaha, Stravinskas registered the Priestly Society of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman as a Nebraska nonprofit, based at the St. Anthony rectory.
Stravinskas also hired a contractor to renovate parish buildings. Contractor Mark Warsocki said the priest paid him and others to do $126,000 in work.
In the church, Warsocki said, he installed a marble floor in the sanctuary, painted the ceiling and repaired the tabernacle area.
Stravinskas wanted to convert the rectory, a former convent, into a more comfortable residence for himself, Gregoris and a seminarian, Warsocki said. They felt cramped in 9-by-13-foot rooms where nuns once lived, the contractor said.
He built a three-room suite for Stravinskas, plus a library, in the rectory’s unfinished basement.
Warsocki installed new flooring, a patio door, windows, a wine rack and a deck on the rectory’s main floor, he said, and converted four second-floor sleeping rooms into two living suites with individual bathrooms.
Warsocki said Stravinskas also had hired him to create two more living suites. But Warsocki said Stravinskas stopped the work on Good Friday 2004, after the archdiocese audit. The contractor said he had $16,000 worth of labor left to do.
Warsocki described the work as needed and not lavish. He said Stravinskas had him buy materials from home improvement stores with the priest’s personal credit card.
Warsocki said he undercharged because of inexperience and a desire to improve a parish where his grandfather and father had belonged.
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TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: OMAHA
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1 posted on 04/16/2005 11:24:59 PM PDT by CatherineSiena
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To: Coleus; NYer; sinkspur; Salvation
Ping!
2 posted on 04/16/2005 11:25:42 PM PDT by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: CatherineSiena
Stravinskas wanted to convert the rectory, a former convent, into a more comfortable residence for himself, Gregoris and a seminarian, Warsocki said. They felt cramped in 9-by-13-foot rooms where nuns once lived, the contractor said.
Well, he hadn’t taken a vow of poverty, but that doesn’t sound like a wise move to make without proper funding.
In the church, Warsocki said, he installed a marble floor in the sanctuary, painted the ceiling and repaired the tabernacle area.
That sounds more like a capital investment than anything.
3 posted on 04/17/2005 12:50:48 AM PDT by seamole (Non occides.)
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To: MarineMomJ; Viva Christo Rey; thor76; te lucis; sempertrad
Ping
4 posted on 04/17/2005 1:11:23 AM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: CatherineSiena
Cases like these show the need for parish financial councils, as mandated by Canon Law (537). Looks like Stravinskas may be able to explain what happened to the funds, but it’s not a good thing at all to have to investigate, or to break the trust between a pastor and his congregation, even if there was no fraud…
5 posted on 04/17/2005 5:58:04 AM PDT by gbcdoj (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~ John 1:5)
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To: gbcdoj
Cases like these show the need for parish financial councils, as mandated by Canon Law (537).
Finance councils are a waste of time unless the Canon is updated to require two signatures on every check above a certain amount (say $10,000), and one of those signatures have to be from a lay member of the council.
This priest has virtually drained the coffers of a parish for his own benefit (a wine rack?). These “floaters” (guys ordained for one diocese but who move around from place to place) should raise red flags with bishops, but, for some reason, they don’t.
6 posted on 04/17/2005 6:20:19 AM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Hmmm, this reminds me of a similar story…..oh, nevermind.
7 posted on 04/17/2005 6:53:44 AM PDT by MarineMomJ (Terri Schindler: Victim of judicial homicide. May she rest in peace.)
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To: sinkspur
That might be a good idea too.
There is absolutely no need to have any of these financial scandals; proper procedures could prevent almost all of them.
8 posted on 04/17/2005 10:24:46 AM PDT by gbcdoj (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~ John 1:5)
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To: CatherineSiena
Obviously, an investigation should be done, but it sounds like he did some renovations that perhaps were needed for some time.
We just built a new church and rectory to the tune of 1.4 million. It’s not hard to spend alot of money when doing capital improvements.
The title makes this sound like the guy embezzled, but the article signals otherwise.
Who knows??
9 posted on 04/17/2005 10:32:11 AM PDT by GatorGirl (Holy Spirit, help our Cardinals elect a good and holy Pope.)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; MarineMomJ; thor76
Sounds eerily familiar, if you know what I mean.
10 posted on 04/17/2005 5:23:45 PM PDT by te lucis (+Marcel Lefebvre! Santo! Santo! Santo!)
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To: GatorGirl
The facts:
There is a group of people at St Anthony’s parish that has been trying to get rid of Fr. Stravinskas from day 1.
The parish books have been audited by an independent accounting firm hired by the archdiocese. They found no evidence of criminal activity. The archbishop has confirmed this personally to parishoners.
The world herald knows this but is extremely anti-catholic and jumps on any chance to attack Catholic priests.
There are several priests in the archdiocese office that want Fr Stravinskas to leave and they have been pressuring the Archbishop to do so.
The parish was dying and resembled an Eastern Bloc work camp before Father Stravinskas arrived. There was no permanent pastor and the parishoners were functioning as little more than a social club.
Don’t rely on the media outlets in Omaha Nebraska to give you real story.
The ultimate blame lies with the archbishop for allowing this situation to fester to its current state.
11 posted on 04/17/2005 5:32:32 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: ancilla
Thanks for the facts. It sounded that way to me, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
12 posted on 04/17/2005 5:34:33 PM PDT by GatorGirl (Holy Spirit, help our Cardinals elect a good and holy Pope.)
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To: te lucis
Yup, I think we’re on the same page.
13 posted on 04/17/2005 5:46:09 PM PDT by MarineMomJ (Terri Schindler: Victim of judicial homicide. May she rest in peace.)
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To: te lucis; MarineMomJ
Dr. Jeffrey Bond traces him back to Scranton, PA where several other scandals began and spread outward (NJ).
Nice tagline.
14 posted on 04/17/2005 5:51:07 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Clemenza
Happens all the time, local parishes need to be audited annually like any other non-profit organization.
15 posted on 04/17/2005 6:22:35 PM PDT by Coleus (God Bless our beloved Pope John Paul II, Rest in Peace)
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To: ancilla
The Archdiocese own audit done March 2004 found many irregularities. The independent auditor refused to write an exoneration letter. The money was spent before these new parishioners arrived. We did have priests assigned, Father Sanderson was the last one before Stravinskas arrived.Anyone who disagreed with Stravinskas was threatened with a libel lawsuit. During today’s homily he called the concerned parishioners evil lunatics! My, how Christian! This administrator does not even abide by Archdiocese rules so why wouldn’t priests at the chancellery have concerns?
16 posted on 04/17/2005 6:29:03 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
What was the scandal in New Jersey?
17 posted on 04/17/2005 6:33:32 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: te lucis
I don’t which tag line I like better, this one or your previous one!
18 posted on 04/17/2005 6:38:32 PM PDT by murphE (Never miss an opportunity to kiss the hand of a holy priest.)
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To: Concerned Catholic
A LONG story which resulted in three threads getting pulled on this site.
19 posted on 04/17/2005 6:39:31 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: murphE; te lucis
I don’t know which tag line that is…sorry multi tasking
20 posted on 04/17/2005 6:41:52 PM PDT by murphE (Never miss an opportunity to kiss the hand of a holy priest.)
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To: Concerned Catholic
I see you’ve surfaced again as “concerned catholic”. I guess that is better than “anonymous”.
I arrived at the parish as a new parishoner the same year that Father arrived.
No money was spent refurbishing that dump until after I arrived.
You did not have any permanent in residence priests assigned to the parish . They were assigned permanently at other parishes and just came to celebrate mass. No one with authority was running the parish. Just the lay people.
The audit found no evidence of criminal activities. Many people have irregularities in their accounting, it doesn’t mean there is criminal activity.
I don’t think anyone would confuse disagreements with the outright attacks that the “lynch mob” was subjecting father Stravinskas to.
A little clarity here. Father referred to the goings on of the past three weeks as lunacy. He referred to the actions perpetrated by people who wish to see an innocent priest pilloried, as evil.
The priests at the chancery don’t have concerns, they have vendettas. One in particular wants him out and is using the lynch mob as a means to that end.
You folks have been working on ousting Father from the minute he arrived and informed you that he was in charge.
Ever since then, we’ve had to endure this huge Romper room spectacle of grown adults crying foul whenever the priest wants to make a decision.
This is absolutely bizarre!
21 posted on 04/17/2005 7:13:30 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: ancilla
ancilla,
Thanks for posting.
22 posted on 04/17/2005 7:42:35 PM PDT by gbcdoj (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~ John 1:5)
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To: ancilla
How dare you call the church my parents worked so hard to build as a dump. You are as unchristian as Stravinskas!
23 posted on 04/17/2005 8:04:19 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: gbcdoj
**Cases like these show the need for parish financial councils, as mandated by Canon Law (537).**
Amen! Our Admin Council has to approve anything over 1,000 dollars. They know what is happening in the parish!
24 posted on 04/17/2005 8:08:33 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Concerned Catholic
I’m sure it was lovely when it was built. I have seen the pictures. I would think if you cared that much about it, the school wouldn’t have had to close for lack of students.
The nuns wouldn’t have been sent away.
The fence wouldn’t have been put up.
The priests wouldn’t have refused to be permanently assigned there. (yes, we know all about that too.)
The parish wouldn’t have fallen into disrepair.
My grandparents were immigrants too and also built a church, Immaculate Conception.
You’ll note that ICC is still open and thriving. With hispanic americans of course, because that is how the urban shift works. In any case, there was never an attempt to keep anyone out and certainly no one ever tried to railroad a priest there.
And frankly, St ANthony’s still needs a lot of work. So does the school, or haven’t you noticed the leaky roof in the classrooms?
Of course Father can’t start any of those repairs at the moment. He might actually have to spend parish money to do that.
And, true to form, the lynch mob refuses to support any parish fundraising activities sponsored by the “Americans”.
Unchristian? I’m a sinner, that is for sure. But one thing I haven’t done is scandalize a parish, nor have I calumnized a priest. I won’t have to answer to God for those sins.
25 posted on 04/17/2005 8:25:00 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: ancilla
I’ve known Fr Peter Stravinskas a LONG LONG time . . . rest assured, they have tangled with the WRONG priest THIS time! :-)
I’m not sure who I would rather NOT be when Father Stravinskas gets finished bringing this episode to a conclusion – the disgruntled parishioners or the Chancery priests involved in the smear campaign (because EVERY cleric who reads the story says immediately: ‘inside job’).
This much I would wager my own bank accounts on: by the time Father Stravinskas is through with them, both groups will wish to God they were Jehovahs’ Witnesses!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
26 posted on 04/17/2005 10:28:49 PM PDT by TaxachusettsMan
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
“A LONG story which resulted in three threads getting pulled on this site.”
Privately? I’d be interested…
27 posted on 04/18/2005 8:16:02 AM PDT by Mershon
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To: Mershon
Privately? I’d be interested…
Me too.
28 posted on 04/18/2005 2:14:14 PM PDT by MSSC6644
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To: TaxachusettsMan
We just may join the Jehovah’s Witnesses if he gets away with this…..
29 posted on 04/18/2005 3:41:44 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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http://cuibono.typepad.com/cui_bono/
33 posted on 04/21/2005 7:13:59 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: ancilla
All sins are an offense to God. There is no such thing as a big lie or a small lie. There is no such thing as a small theft or a big theft, it is theft. But the thing that hurts Jesus most is arrogance.
34 posted on 04/29/2005 2:47:11 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: Concerned Catholic
As do lies. Lies are lies, and telling lies to damage the innocent is also a sin.
As is the arrogance that spurs those who are lying to also commit calumny and slander by taking their accusations public.
Especially when they have been told that there is no criminal activity.
Why is a priest arrogant when he runs his parish as he is allowed by the rules of the archdiocese?
Why is a priest arrogant when he makes decisions that some do not agree with?
Where is the obedience on the part of the laity who have been told by their Bishop that there is nothing criminal going on?
Where is the arrogance in publishing the truth and defending an innocent priest?
You are pointing the finger in the wrong direction.
35 posted on 05/08/2005 5:26:36 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: ancilla
I’m absolutely dumb-founded by people who call themselves Christians but who go out of their way to be spiteful and mean-spirited.
36 posted on 05/09/2005 5:42:23 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: ancilla
Where will your pastor be heading to in August?
37 posted on 05/10/2005 6:11:20 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: Concerned Catholic
You would be well served to get better and more current information, you are obviously out of the loop. But you’ll have to do your own research on this one sweetie.
You’ve shown your stripes again I see. “Your Pastor”?
He’s your pastor too if you are a member of the Parish, regardless of your insolence and disobedience to the church.
38 posted on 05/11/2005 5:43:23 AM PDT by ancilla
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To: TaxachusettsMan
If you are really this Pro- Peter Stravinskas, you must be one of the people he lives with or is trying to recruit for his Association. It appears that Peter Stravinskas is intent on being someone’s boss, because he doesn’t take orders very well. His Oratory attempt in Mount Pocono failed because he did not have the backing of the Church! He seems to speak the truth, but in reality he is only attempting to create a cult of Catholics according to the teaching of Peter Stravinskas. The whole idea of him spending all the money from the Parish is no surprise to me! From first hand experience, I can attest to his lavish life-style. While in a local eatery, Father would be table-hopping and trying to get people to buy drinks and pay the tab for him. Can you imagine when I got the bill after offering to buy them a bottle of wine,his choice was the most expensive in the establishment! Without exaggeration or lying, his bill to me was over $300!! Can you believe a priest doing that? I can because it happened to me! Peter Stravinskas does not know what the Lord Jesus meant when he said: “If you want to be my followers, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me”! There is absolutely NO self-denial in this man’s life!
39 posted on 05/11/2005 6:57:04 AM PDT by JohnnieAngel
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To: ancilla
The “AD EXPERIMENTUM” is up in August. Bye, bye!
40 posted on 05/11/2005 3:21:58 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: JohnnieAngel
So now Father is on public trial for a lavish lifestyle. Very interesting. Is that illegal?
And you must have a crystal ball to be able to divine that someone who likes fine wine is also a thief! Imagine, if the police would have just contacted you, they could have saved themselves all this time and trouble.
You offered to buy a bottle of wine….maybe YOU should have told the waiter what your price limit was. And I assume you were also eating in that restaurant, not just hanging around taking notes on Father Stravinskas.
Or were you practicing self-denial and fasting on that occasion? You seem to be the expert on it.
Maybe Father was table hopping because he is an outgoing person with many friends and acquaintances. Having been to dinner functions where Father was present, I can attest to the fact that Father rarely has to buy a meal because people fall all over themselves offering to pay his bill!
But I’m sure they are all “cult Catholics” who have been hypnotized into serving Father’s every request.
Next time you’re in Omaha, why don’t you come hang out at the Parish for awhile and personally observe the lavish lifestyle. I’m sure the neighborhood drug dealers would enjoy some fresh faces. In fact, the rectory is so lavish it doesn’t have any air conditioning to battle Omaha summers. Maybe you could replace the broken rectory window too, and the water damaged floor in the kitchen.
Don’t mind the gunshots and graffiti either. It is all part of the ambiance that is South Omaha.
Too bad we all can’t share in that lavishness.
41 posted on 05/11/2005 6:55:19 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: Concerned Catholic
As I said earlier, don’t be so sure you know the whole story…………
42 posted on 05/11/2005 6:58:15 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: JohnnieAngel
I’ve had dinner with Father Stravinskas many times and never had this experience. In fact, there have been times when he picked up the tab! But I can say this: this arrogant, condescending, power hungry mongrel works 7 days a week. He is available virtually anytime for confessions or to care for pastoral needs. He teaches two classes per week at the parish, and celebrates mass and vespers daily.
He does not complain about living in a ‘hood that is crime ridden and drug saturated, but has earned the respect of the locals by opening a food pantry that caters to the locals, none of which are parishioners.
He is not perfect, but he is what a priest should be.
43 posted on 05/12/2005 4:00:55 PM PDT by omahacatholic
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To: omahacatholic
Sure he picked up the tab…with the parish money!
44 posted on 05/12/2005 4:15:05 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
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To: Concerned Catholic
Now, now. You know perfectly well that Father spent no parish money on personal expenses. No matter what you claim. The accountants have verified that.
Surely you know that Father has other sources of personal income from his publications and speaking engagements. He doesn’t need to raid anyone’s coffers to pay for his meals.
And you also know, since you were at THE meeting, that the money was used on remodeling, repairs and renovations of the parish grounds.
You also know that a parishoner was paid $27,000 for his part in the renovations and then lied about it on TV. “Ve don’t know vere de money went.” Really, I have a copy of the invoice right in front of me.
But that’s not what this is about is it? You want him out, period. And at any cost.
Why don’t you start answering some of the questions I have asked before regarding this situation. To date, you have not answered one of them.
How willing would YOU be to undergo an investigation of your involvement with the parish finances before Father’s arrival?
Where are the records? Why where there no audits done? Why was a trust fund converted to a mutual fund and why are there no records of ANY of the financials available at the rectory? What were you people doing there? Who was running the parish? It certainly wasn’t any of the “part-time” priests.
What if the World Herald reporter showed up on your doorstep and asked you the same questions?
You think that everything you have done is hidden, and everyone you have talked to is keeping your secrets?
Do you really think that your trusted confidants within the archdiocese are trustworthy?
Do you think that everyone you have made snide remarks to about Father to has forgotten that? Do you think that no one has kept count of all of the other incidents where you and your mob have tried to “get” Father?
Good grief, get a clue. Everyone at the parish knows who you are, what you are doing and why.
Your goofy little posts and quips just reinforce that fact.
45 posted on 05/12/2005 5:00:02 PM PDT by ancilla
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To: Concerned Catholic
Dear Concerned Catholic,
Do you have any evidence that Father paid for my dinner with parish money, or is this just another false accusation that you grabbed out of the dung pile. Can you support this accusation or is this just another example of the libel and slander that we have become so used to?
Up till now, I thought that perhaps you were just misinformed, but you have now made your true motives known.
46 posted on 05/12/2005 5:22:30 PM PDT by omahacatholic
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To: ancilla
You call Gods Holy Church a dump?The only reason you go to St. Anthony’s is you are a star follower.(but even stars loose their shine. F. Peter lost the respect of the original congregation because of his attitude.And his childish behavior.
47 posted on 05/13/2005 11:06:09 AM PDT by South O proud
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To: South O proud
I’m impressed! God gave you the charism to determine other people’s motives! Why don’t you simply ask Ancilla why St. Anthonys was their parish of choice, perhaps Ancilla chose to go to St. Anthony’s to get away from liturgical abuse.
And if you saw St. Anthony’s before Father fixed it up, the only way to describe it was a dump. Let’s face it, Jesus was living in a dump. Father thought that our Lord deserved something better than that, don’t you?
As far as losing the respect of the congregation, St. Anthony’s was one of the fastest growing parishes in the diocese in 2004, and will be in 2005, if Father decides to continue to put up with this bull. And also, It was the fourth ranking parish in the diocese in responding to the Bishop’s “Feed My Sheep” campaign, which is directly attributed to the congregation responding to Father’s appeal.
48 posted on 05/13/2005 1:25:44 PM PDT by omahacatholic
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To: South O proud
You are absolutely on target here South O. I followed Father Peter’s bright and shining light of gospel truth and liturgical integrity right in to St Anthony’s parish. His beacon of faithfullness to the magisterium, his love of our blessed mother and his total unwavering dedication to Christ has completely won me over.
I even had the nerve to drag my family along. They are also following his star.
A portion of the original congragation never HAD any respect for Father. The lynch mob tried to block his arrival when they found out he was coming. You know that. It’s funny that I have to keep reminding you of the truth here.
And keep in mind that not ALL the Lithuanians hate Father. Just you and your mob.
One more reminder. It was a dump. It was a dump encircled with a fence and closed off to the poor and immigrant Catholics that surrounded it. You were keeping Jesus from his people. And now you are trying to crucify Jesus again by scandalizing one of his faithful priests.
Why don’t you post to my blog site so I can see who you are?
Still hiding in the shadows aren’t you. Maybe you’re afraid someone will break out your car window?
49 posted on 05/13/2005 2:23:50 PM PDT by ancilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies ]
——————————————————————————–
To: ancilla
“How willing would YOU be to undergo an investigation of your involvement with the parish finances before Father’s arrival?”
I have nothing to hide.
“What if the World Herald reporter showed up on your doorstep and asked you the same questions?”
I would love it…send them over!
50 posted on 05/13/2005 4:09:45 PM PDT by Concerned Catholic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies ]
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MaryC June 19, 2006 at 7:29 am

Very interesting Robert, though I’m not quite sure what your point is, or how your post is relevant to the debate in hand.

robert June 19, 2006 at 8:45 am

No point other than that while searching the web,
I found this article, which I found interesting,and because Stravinskus’ name came up I figured I would C+P it here

Inocencio June 19, 2006 at 9:10 am

robert,
Pleasa read DA RULZ
3. Also because of the format restrictions, everyone must be concise. Don’t go on at length about things. Pasting large amounts of text into the combox also counts as going on at length. Going on at length constitutes rudeness.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

brian June 19, 2006 at 11:52 am

OK, so no specific examples of James White behaving badly during debates. How about sending me something White wrote, which meets the definition of an ad hominem attack against Akin.
Also, I was at the Stravinskas vs White debate on Purgatory. The debate was a total disaster for Stravinskas and more importantly, the teaching of Purgatory was refuted by the clear proclamation of God’s Word by Mr. White. Stravinskas actually answered a question from the floor, regarding purchasing one’s self out of Purgatory, with, “you can pay me now, or you can pay me later”. All payments are made out payable to the Roman Catholic Church of course. If you think I’m being bias, watch the video for yourself. The Catholics in attendance were embarrassed. I find it odd that my Catholic friends are always either embarrassed, or making excuses after these debates, year in and year out.

MaryC June 19, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Brian:
if you care to look above, you’ll see that Shane has given you a pretty extensive reply regarding White’s underhand debating tactics.

Shane June 19, 2006 at 12:20 pm

Brian, if you scroll up I did indeed point out several examples of Mr. White’s debate tactics.
As far as Fr. Stravinskus’ statement ‘pay me now or pay me later,’ it was a stupid attempt to say something true that ended up misrepresenting the idea he was trying to get across.
Whether you agree with it or not, the Church teaches that every sin has eternal consequences, that is the seperation from God forever, and also temporal consequences. For instance, King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, God forgave him, but He said that David still would suffer some temporal punishment. That’s not supposed to be a proof for Purgatory, it’s just an example. Now the teaching is that if we don’t suffer these punishments now on earth, we’ll suffer them later. One way to suffer punishment is to make a sacrifice of money in giving alms. That’s what Fr. Stravinskus was talking about. What he said is true, but there’s no question he said it in an irresponsible way. Nevertheless, he took his terminology from Jesus, who compared Purgatory to paying the last penny.
John, every Catholic (that I know of, and certainly here) admits that Fr. Stravinskus did a terrible job in that debate. He was, by all accounts, not even prepared. If you want to say that the doctrine has been refuted by making reference to any debate at all, where there is a very limited number of facts that can be addressed and where style and technique count more than facts, especially a particular debate where the Catholic representative was simply unprepared,then I think you’re being quite intellectually dishonest. What’s more, I think you’re afraid of what might you might find if you approached the issue in a fairer manner. If you must go to a debate sabout this issue, get Bob Sungenis’ debate with Mr. White on the issue, but I’d really encourage you to deal with the issue in a more open manner.
Goto forums.catholic.com and discuss it there. There’s plenty of Protestants there, and the conversation is typically extremely fair and respectful.

Kevin June 19, 2006 at 1:33 pm

Jimmy,
Why don’t you agree to debate James White at a neutral location with a neutral moderator? Wouldn’t this expose the truth and the error in a clear way — instead of all this blog squabbling? Face to face cross examination on the relevant issues that divide Catholics and Protestants would be very profitable — wouldn’t it? It appears that James White is more than willing? Are you? Thank you for considering my question.
Kevin

Shane June 19, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Debates are not the best things if one is concerned with truth. Debates are more about style and technique than they are about facts and truth. It’s possible, depending on the parties involved, to get something close to an idea of truth from a debate, but even then the format doesn’t allow nearly enough time to address all the relevant issues. Also, Mr. White is known for debate techniques that distract the audience from matters of truth and turn them to other things. It is one reason why few people wish to debate Mr. White anymore.
Besides this, Mr. White himself made the decision last year to focus on non-Catholic debates for a while.
I would recommend to you the following two articles that pertain in one way or another to this issue:
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0207fea2.asp
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9606fea2.asp

John June 19, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Mr. White is known for debate techniques that distract the audience from matters of truth and turn them to other things. It is one reason why few people wish to debate Mr. White anymore.
Or is it because he exposes the utter futility of Rome’s circular arguements and provides a well rounded response in return??

David B. June 19, 2006 at 3:53 pm

John,
What was that Gollum/Smeagol thing you just did?
If it was supposed to be funny, it wasn’t.
When making an argument, don’t contradict yourself. You’ll sound dumb, and people won’t understand which side of the debate you’re on.

Shane June 19, 2006 at 3:57 pm

John, have you looked at my posts? Have you listened to any of the debates in which Mr. White’s arguements were ripped apart?

Shane June 19, 2006 at 4:07 pm

2004 against Gary Michuta on the Old Testaent Canon – Mr. White barely addresses any of Mr. Michuta’s 25 minute opening statement
2000 against Robert Sungenis on the papacy – Mr. Sungenis responds to each of Mr. White’s arguements and Mr. White essentially restates them without addressing Mr. Sungenis’ points
1993 against Patrick Madrid, 1996 against Tim Staples, 1997 against Gerry Matatics all on Sola Scriptura and 1992 against Gerry Matatics on the Old Testament canon – Given 5 years, Mr. White is still unable to answer the challenge given him in 1992 to say how he knows which books go in the Bible without going to a source outside of the Bible and/or relying on the authority of the Catholic Church.

John June 20, 2006 at 6:58 am

David,I may dumb, but I am smart enough to know what an ad hominem is and refering to me as dumb surely is. How much more personal can one get?
Are you not guilty of the same thing you say White does. Where is the moderator?(RULE#1)

John June 20, 2006 at 7:29 am

Seems to me God’s people had a good Idea what scripture was Long before there was a Catholic Magesterium. How did they know?
Here are some examples:
Daniel 10:21
But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Daniel 10:20-22 (in Context) Daniel 10 (Whole Chapter)
Matthew 21:42
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Matthew 21:41-43 (in Context) Matthew 21 (Whole Chapter)
Matthew 22:29
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:28-30 (in Context) Matthew 22 (Whole Chapter)
Matthew 26:54
But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Matthew 26:53-55 (in Context) Matthew 26 (Whole Chapter)
Matthew 26:56
But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Matthew 26:55-57 (in Context) Matthew 26 (Whole Chapter)
Mark 12:10
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
Mark 12:9-11 (in Context) Mark 12 (Whole Chapter)
Mark 12:24
And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
Mark 12:23-25 (in Context) Mark 12 (Whole Chapter)
Mark 14:49
I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
Mark 14:48-50 (in Context) Mark 14 (Whole Chapter)
Mark 15:28
And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
Mark 15:27-29 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
Luke 4:21
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 4:20-22 (in Context) Luke 4 (Whole Chapter)

John June 20, 2006 at 7:41 am

Here are more Pre Catholic Magesterium references to scripture:
Acts 1:16
Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Acts 1:15-17 (in Context) Acts 1 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 8:32
The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Acts 8:31-33 (in Context) Acts 8 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 8:35
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Acts 8:34-36 (in Context) Acts 8 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 17:2
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts 17:1-3 (in Context) Acts 17 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 17:10-12 (in Context) Acts 17 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 18:24
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Acts 18:23-25 (in Context) Acts 18 (Whole Chapter)
Acts 18:28
For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
Acts 18:27-29 (in Context) Acts 18 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 1:2
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Romans 1:1-3 (in Context) Romans 1 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 4:3
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Romans 4:2-4 (in Context) Romans 4 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 9:17
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Romans 9:16-18 (in Context) Romans 9 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 10:11
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 10:10-12 (in Context) Romans 10 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 11:2
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
Romans 11:1-3 (in Context) Romans 11 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:3-5 (in Context) Romans 15 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 16:26
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Romans 16:25-27 (in Context) Romans 16 (Whole Chapter)
1 Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1 Corinthians 15:2-4 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 15 (Whole Chapter)
1 Corinthians 15:4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 15 (Whole Chapter)
Galatians 3:8
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Galatians 3:7-9 (in Context) Galatians 3 (Whole Chapter)
Galatians 3:22
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Galatians 3:21-23 (in Context) Galatians 3 (Whole Chapter)
Galatians 4:30
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Galatians 4:29-31 (in Context) Galatians 4 (Whole Chapter)
1 Timothy 5:18
For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
1 Timothy 5:17-19 (in Context) 1 Timothy 5 (Whole Chapter)
2 Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:14-16 (in Context) 2 Timothy 3 (Whole Chapter)
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:15-17 (in Context) 2 Timothy 3 (Whole Chapter)
James 2:8
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
James 2:7-9 (in Context) James 2 (Whole Chapter)
James 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
James 2:22-24 (in Context) James 2 (Whole Chapter)
James 4:5
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
James 4:4-6 (in Context) James 4 (Whole Chapter)

John June 20, 2006 at 7:48 am

Sorry for the long posts(If you let the “dumb remark slide, I hope you extend the same grace to my lenghty proof texting just this once)
And finally:
1 Peter 2:6
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1 Peter 2:5-7 (in Context) 1 Peter 2 (Whole Chapter)
2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2 Peter 1:19-21 (in Context) 2 Peter 1 (Whole Chapter)
2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2 Peter 3:15-17 (in Context) 2 Peter 3 (Whole Chapter)

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 8:06 am

Chris said:
“I do have to say though, that whilst he appears to be a reasonable sort of fellow on the Dividing Line etc, to try and have a sensible interaction with either him or the rest of his cohort, whether the others at aomin, or his group in the Phoenix church, is near impossible.”
So have you actually met the others in AOMIN, the regulars in his chat channel, or the members of his church? Have you even met the James White in person? I have… and I see a Christian who cares deeply for truth and for other people. I also found PRBC to be a great congregation. Very gracious folks. Maybe you went to the wrong church? The building is small and a bit easy to miss…

MaryC June 20, 2006 at 8:28 am

Marie, James White may be all you say, but he also denies that Catholic are Christians. In that he is both flat wrong and uncharitable.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 9:09 am

MaryC said:
“Marie, James White may be all you say, but he also denies that Catholic are Christians. In that he is both flat wrong and uncharitable.”
You said that the claim that Catholics are not Christians is both wrong and uncharitable. Let me answer both charges.
1. From the Protestant standpoint, it would be consistent to say that Catholics are not Christians. If one holds to Rome’s official doctrine, then that person holds to a belief system that is opposed to the Protestant belief in salvation by grace through faith alone.
You have a belief system that says “Man’s works have a part in justification. One can be forgiven of all past sins in the cross and yet still commit a mortal sin and go to hell.”
Then you have the Protestant (and I believe Biblical) view that says “The sacrifice of Christ was enough to justify sinners; it was a once-for-all-time sacrifice. Justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. Works are but a fruit of one who has been regenerated, justified, adopted. We cannot add nor subtract to the perfect obedience and satisfaction of Christ.”
So, from Dr. White’s position, he is being consistent in saying that Rome’s gospel cannot save.
2. As for being uncharitable, this is not so. Is it uncharitable to tell others that they are trusting in a false gospel? That the tradition they hold to only leads to death? On the contrary! Being “charitable” does not mean sitting back and saying “Let’s all just get along,. It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere. God grades on a curve after all, right?”
1 Cor. 13 was mentioned earlier, and I would like to remind all that verse 6 of that chapter says “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.”

Inocencio June 20, 2006 at 9:21 am

John,
You do realize that you are quoting from the Canon of Sacred Scripture that the Church determined?
There were many “gospels” and “epistles” that the Church clearly rejected as not Sacred Scripture. None of your quotes list a table of contents for the Holy Bible and no where in Sacred Scripture will you find one.
Our Blessed Lord established His Church with His authority to proclaim and defend the truth.
You and I have the benefit purchasing a Holy Bible that contains the Canon of Sacred Scripture which the Church set by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

John June 20, 2006 at 9:44 am

Inocencio, you do not see my point,which was that Jesus held the religious leaders of his day acountable for being ignorant of the scriptures which they obviously knew of,other wise how could Jesus hold them responsible for what they knew nothing of. What had been divinely revealed up to that point was already established as scripture
long before a Roman Catholic Magesterium was established.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 10:00 am

Marie P, why does the Bible condemn the doctrine of Justification By Faith Alone(James 2:24)?

John June 20, 2006 at 10:08 am

Regarding White being charitable for believing that Roman Catholics are not Christians,
Lets not forget that up until Vatican II,all non Catholics?(heretics,schismatics,Jews,Muslims)all were going to hell if they were not in the Catholic fold. The Church that never changes declared at the council of Florence:It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

David B. June 20, 2006 at 10:09 am

John,
Before you rain fire and brimstone on me you may want to read my comments more carefully. I said that by contradicting yourself you SOUNDED dumb, NOT you ARE dumb.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 10:17 am

John, the Catholic Church has never taught that one must formally be a member of the Catholic Church in order to be saved. That has been condemned as a heresy. The Church teaches that salvation comes through the Church, and that one who *knows* that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded and still refuses to join cannot be saved. The Church teaches that those who are not formally members of the Church due to Invicible Ignorance(i.e., they honestly don’t know the truth about the Church), may still be saved, but their salvation will come to them through the Church that Jesus founded.

Anonymous June 20, 2006 at 10:27 am

bill912 said:
“Marie P, why does the Bible condemn the doctrine of Justification By Faith Alone(James 2:24)?”
It doesn’t. The verse needs to be taken in context. If this verse condemned justification by faith alone, first off, it would be a direct contradiction of Romand 3-4 and Galatians 2-3.
Obviously the chapters need to be taken as a whole (as should James 2 as well), but here are some key verses:
Rom 3:28- “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
Rom 4:4-5- “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness”
Gal 2:16- “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Gal 3:11- “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ‘THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’”
Gal 3:24- “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”
The verses I cited are in the context of being justified in the sight of God. But James is talking about proof that one’s faith is true.
He is saying, as verse 2:14 says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”
And in verse 18, “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’”
And in verse 20, “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?”
And, in verse 26, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
James is talking about true versus false faith. Paul is talking about how we are declared righteous before God. Two different contexts.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 10:31 am

That last comment was mine….forgot to sign it.
bill912 also said:
“The Church teaches that those who are not formally members of the Church due to Invicible Ignorance(i.e., they honestly don’t know the truth about the Church), may still be saved, but their salvation will come to them through the Church that Jesus founded.”
That is awfully close to the Pelagianism that Catholics supposedly condemned as heresy.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 10:34 am

“A man is not justified by faith alone”. James 2:24, the only time in the entire Bible that the words “faith alone” occur.
Perhaps our still-anonymous poster will cite us an authority for his interpretations of scripture.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 10:37 am

MarieP, Pelagianism is the heresy that says that man can save himself apart from God. The Church teaches that we are saved by Grace, that that Grace comes from God through the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

MaryC June 20, 2006 at 10:38 am

Marie:
The only place in Scripture where Faith Alone is mentioned is in James, as Bill has quoted above, and there it is to refute it.
On the other hand there are plenty of passages which indicate that we can forfeit our salvation by our own actions:
“Beloved, you have always shown yourselves obedient; and now that I am at a distance, not less but much more than when I am present, you must work to earn your salvation, in anxious fear” (Phil 2:12)
“All of us have a scrutiny to undergo before Christ’s judgement-seat, for each to reap what his mortal life has earned, good or ill, according to his deeds” (2 Cor 5:10)
“[God] will award to every man what his acts have deserved” (Rom 2:6)
To show that the ‘born-again’ experience is not enough:
“there is graciousness, then, in God, and there is also severity. His severity is for those who have fallen away, his graciousness is for thee, only so long as thou dost continue in his grace; if not, thou too shalt be pruned away” (Rom 11:22)
And read what Paul says of himself:
“I buffet my own body, and make it my slave; or I,who have preached to others, may myself be rejected as worthless” (1 Cor 9:27)

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 10:42 am

bill912 said:
“Perhaps our still-anonymous poster will cite us an authority for his interpretations of scripture.”
As I said, that was my post. So was the other anonymous post on sola scriptura/tradition. Sorry, it was not intentional.
Your question is just trying to trap. That is why I didn’t answer you the first time.
Are you saying that we must have an infallible understanding of Scripture to understand it? Mere logic can tell us that if James says we are not justified before God by faith alone, that it would be a contradiction of Paul in Romans and Galatians.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 10:45 am

bill 912 said:
“MarieP, Pelagianism is the heresy that says that man can save himself apart from God. The Church teaches that we are saved by Grace, that that Grace comes from God through the Church, which is the Body of Christ.”
Isn’t the one who is invincibly ignorant still under the just condemnation of God?

David B. June 20, 2006 at 10:47 am

MarieP,
Where in the Bible does it say that each person must trust hi own logic to understand the Scriptures? Who is right if two people disagree about the meaning of a passage? Who is the final authority?

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 10:57 am

“Mere logic can tell us that if James says we are not justified before God by faith alone, that it would be a contradiction of Paul in Romans and Galatians.”.
But that is exactly what James DID say.
Yet, there is no contradiction with Paul, because Paul never taught that we are saved by faith EXCLUSIVELY (alone).

francis 03 June 20, 2006 at 11:01 am

Marie, why do we assume that only James is subject to interpretation? If James contradicts Romans and Galatians, shouldn’t we also take a harder look at Paul’s words to determine what they mean? To use the phrasing of your post above: “Mere logic can tell us that if Romans and Galatians say we are saved by faith alone, it would be a contradiction of James in his epistle.”
John– it’s my understanding that some of the New-Testament references to “scripture” are actually quoting non-canonical works. Perhaps someone more resourceful and knowledgeable than me could provide some documentation for this?

John June 20, 2006 at 11:07 am

I see now David! I only “SOUND DUMB”.
Thanks I feel better now!!!!!!!!!!!
Sounding dumb is a compliment, I guess?

brian June 20, 2006 at 11:08 am

So let me get this straight, if a person knows that Christ established the Roman Church, but refuses to join the Roman Church, he’s not saved, but, if he doesn’t know it, he can be saved, because I guess it doesn’t matter if he rejects the claims of the Roman Church, as long as he doesn’t believe the Roman Church, he can still be saved, because if he doesn’t believe the Roman Church, he still wouldn’t really know that Jesus actually founded the Roman Church, and then what’s the difference if he come’s to a saving faith in Jesus Christ or not, as long as he doesn’t really know that Jesus Christ is Lord, he can still be saved by whatever faith in whatever god he thinks he does know. Where can I find that teaching in Scripture?

David B. June 20, 2006 at 11:09 am

It was just a bit of friendly advice to not contradict yourself the next time you debate people.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 11:14 am

MaryC said:
“The only place in Scripture where Faith Alone is mentioned is in James, as Bill has quoted above, and there it is to refute it.”
Just because Paul never puts the words “faith alone” together doesn’t mean he doesn’t teach the concept. I think the verses from Romans and Galatians give us ample evidence that Paul saw that works have no part in our justification before God. Again, context.
“On the other hand there are plenty of passages which indicate that we can forfeit our salvation by our own actions: Beloved, you have always shown yourselves obedient; and now that I am at a distance, not less but much more than when I am present, you must work to earn your salvation, in anxious fear” (Phil 2:12)”
What does the context of this verse say?
Phil 2
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
First, the NASB translates the verse “work out” rather than “earn.” I do not know Greek, but many Bible translators translate it “work out.” (Note that sola Scriptura is NOT “me and my Bible out in the woods”; I am merely saying that those who know more than I translate it it “work out”)
Secondly, the context here is that of proving that one truly is a child of God. Note especially verses 15 and 16. This is a comparison between the life of a non-Christian compared to the life of a Christian. Note that verse 13 it tells us God is the one who is at work within us. It is simply saying that the way we live is an indicator of whether or not we are truly saved.
MaryC continues:
“All of us have a scrutiny to undergo before Christ’s judgement-seat, for each to reap what his mortal life has earned, good or ill, according to his deeds” (2 Cor 5:10)”
The NASB says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Again, if we took this to mean we are justified by our own works, then Paul contradicts himself when he says:
Phil 3:7-9
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith”
And, ironically, the last verse of 2 Cor 5- “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (21)”
MaryC cites:
“[God] will award to every man what his acts have deserved” (Rom 2:6)
Again, context. We don’t deserve God’s grace. We deserve hell. Read the following chapters.
MaryC said:
“To show that the ‘born-again’ experience is not enough:
“there is graciousness, then, in God, and there is also severity. His severity is for those who have fallen away, his graciousness is for thee, only so long as thou dost continue in his grace; if not, thou too shalt be pruned away” (Rom 11:22)
And read what Paul says of himself:
“I buffet my own body, and make it my slave; or I,who have preached to others, may myself be rejected as worthless” (1 Cor 9:27)”
No one is here is saying that a faith that bears no fruit is a saving faith. I thik that “easy believism” is a horrible thing. But we must not confuse justification and sanctification.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

Francis03 said:
Marie, why do we assume that only James is subject to interpretation? If James contradicts Romans and Galatians, shouldn’t we also take a harder look at Paul’s words to determine what they mean? To use the phrasing of your post above: ‘Mere logic can tell us that if Romans and Galatians say we are saved by faith alone, it would be a contradiction of James in his epistle.’”
So you are letting one verse in James interpret all of Romans 2-4, Galatians 2-4, and Philippians 2?

tartanarmy June 20, 2006 at 11:29 am

“For the record, I have yet to see James White engage in ad-hominem.
I have not seen him personally attack anyone”.(Mike)
“However, I have seen him address the weakness of an
argument,the falseness of a statement, and the error of ones position. It’s just more of that “straight-talk” that many, such as yourself cannot tolerate. If it’s not spoken in oily and soothing tones, which ends in “maybe we’re both right” it’s construed into being hateful. Label such a person as “mean” or “nasty” or “uncharitable” and dismiss them. That way you can ignore their message”.(Mike)
—————————————————-
So true, and a breath of fresh air.
Shane had said,
“A live debate is also far more easily entangled with personalities, which serves no purpose and only clouds the issues.”
How silly is that comment? Read the comments on any blog type forum. Personalities rule the roost!
Nah, live moderated debate separates the men from the boys and tackles the issues head on.
Blessings
Tartanarmy

tartanarmy June 20, 2006 at 11:32 am

Shane, please ring the next Dividing line and put some muscle on your posts..You will discover how fair and balanced James White really is. You make some grand accusations my friend.
Mark

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 11:41 am

Marie P.-
In addition to the verses on the necessity of faith, with which we are all familiar, here is a sampling of other verses that talk about how we are saved. As you will see, faith is by no means the only requirement that the Bible speaks of.
Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who STANDS FIRM TO THE END will be saved.
Mark 16:16
Whoever BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Acts 2:21
…everyone who CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD will be saved.
Romans 10:9
…if you CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, “Jesus is Lord,” AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1 Corinthians 15:2
By this gospel you are saved, IF YOU HOLD FIRMLY to the word I preached to you.
1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes BAPTISM THAT NOW SAVES YOU also — not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…
Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME WILL FIND IT.
1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. PERSEVERE in them, because IF YOU DO, you will SAVE both yourself and your hearers.
James 2:14
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no works? CAN SUCH FAITH SAVE HIM?
2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow brings REPENTANCE that leads to salvation…
Philipians 2:12
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION with fear and trembling…
I’m sure there are many other passages, but this is all I could come up with in a half hour.
God Bless

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 11:51 am

TimJ,
Again….
No one is arguing that a faith that does not bear fruit can be called a saving faith.
I believe we must repent and believe, BOTH!
But why is it that a person has faith, repents, walks in the truth, etc in the first place? Because God has taken out their heart of stone and placed within them a heart of flesh.
You can quote proof texts all you want, but the plain reading of Paul is that one is justified by faith, not by works.

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 11:54 am

Paul taught that the Jewish CEREMONIAL law (which changed over time) was no longer necessary for salvation, but he also taught that adherence to Gods eternal MORAL law was absolutely essential for salvation. THAT aspect of “The Law” can not change at all.

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Marie-
These scriptures do not say “if you are saved you will do THIS…” (fruits of salvation)
but,
“If you do THIS, you will be saved…” (means of salvation).
Yoy didn’t address any of them, either, except to call them “proof texts”, which doesn’t really move the argument one way or another.
Sampling a wide range of verses on a particular topic (means of salvation) is just good Bible study. If I were trying to build an argument on one or two verses, I might accept the charge of proof texting, but I’m not, so I don’t.

John June 20, 2006 at 12:13 pm

Thanks for the advice Dave! You are not pompus and insulting, You only SOUND that way!

Paul H June 20, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Tim J.,
I remember that Steve Ray has a great list similar to yours, somewhere on his web site (www.catholic-convert.com) — or maybe it was on his blog a while back. If I can find the link to it, I’ll post it. Basically, his list showed how various passages in the Bible show MANY things that lead to or contribute to salvation (e.g., faith, baptism, perseverance, etc.). I think he had a list of about 8 to 10 different things, each backed up by passages from Scripture.

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 12:24 pm

I seem to have wandered way off topic with my comments on Faith Alone and why it is false.
But I’m afraid I can’t offer any opinion on James White’s debate tactics, because I have no idea who he is.
Anyway, Marie P., if you will e-mail me your mailing address, I will send you a copy of Jimmy’s book “The Salvation Controversy” for free.
You should read it. Jimmy used to be an Evangelical Protestant, and he understands the issues from both sides very well, along with the confusion of terms that sometimes causes misunderstandings.
Peace in Christ

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 12:29 pm

TimJ said:
“Paul taught that the Jewish CEREMONIAL law (which changed over time) was no longer necessary for salvation, but he also taught that adherence to Gods eternal MORAL law was absolutely essential for salvation. THAT aspect of ‘The Law”‘can not change at all.”
Not even the ceremonial law ever justified anyone. If circumcision was not part of the ceremonial law, then I don’t know what is. And yet Abraham was counted righteous before his circumcision.
Rom 4
1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN,
AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”
9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
17 (as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 12:30 pm

MarieP: I have asked you to cite an authority for your interpretation of scripture. You have refused to do so, calling it a trap. Is it correct to conclude that you accept only your own authority in interpretating scripture, in vialation of 2 Peter 1:20?

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 12:31 pm

brian -
Let me get this straight… people are saved by praying The Sinner’s Prayer?
Where can I find that teaching in Scripture?

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 12:31 pm

Brian: Please tell us where it says in scripture that we have to tell you where it says in scripture.

Paul H June 20, 2006 at 12:40 pm

I found it! Tim & Marie, here is Steve Ray’s take on this subject of how we are saved:
HOW DOES ONE RECEIVE SALVATION, JUSTIFICATION, NEW BIRTH AND ETERNAL LIFE?
By believing in Christ (Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31)?
By repentance (Acts 2:38; 2 Pet 3:9)?
By baptism (Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet 3:21; Titus 3:5)?
By the work of the Spirit (Jn 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6)?
By declaring with our mouths (Lu 12:8; Rom 10:9)?
By coming to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim 2:4; Heb 10:26)?
By works (Rom 2:6, 7; James 2:21, 24-25)?
By grace (Acts 15:11; Eph 2:8)?
By his blood (Rom 5:9; Heb 9:22)?
By His righteousness (Rom 5:17; 2 Pet 1:1)?
By His cross (Eph 2:16; Col 2:14)?
“Can we cut any one of these out of the list and proclaim it alone as the means of salvation? Can we be saved without faith? without God’s grace? without repentance? without baptism? without the Spirit? These are all involved and necessary; not one of them can be dismissed as a means of obtaining eternal life. Neither can one be emphasized to the exclusion of another. They are all involved in salvation and entry into the Church. The Catholic Church does not divide these various elements of salvation up, overemphasizing some while ignoring others; rather she holds them all in their fullness”
The above quote was taken from http://blog.catholic-convert.com/?p=187
However, the quote apparently was originally taken from Steve Ray’s book, “Crossing the Tiber”. I hope that I’m not violating copyright by posting it here — I’m merely quoting a portion of Steve’s own blog post, with a link to the full post, which I think is OK. But Jimmy can delete my post if he thinks it is inappropriate.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 12:44 pm

bill912 said:
“MarieP: I have asked you to cite an authority for your interpretation of scripture. You have refused to do so, calling it a trap. Is it correct to conclude that you accept only your own authority in interpretating scripture, in vialation of 2 Peter 1:20?”
I did answer you. You misunderstand what sola Scriptura means. It does not mean “me and my Bible out in the woods.”
Here is a definition of sola Scriptura, with texts from Scripture:
1._____ The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.
( 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20 )

4._____ The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.
( 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9 )

5._____We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
( John 16:13,14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20, 27)
6._____The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.
( 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Galatians 1:8,9; John 6:45; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; 1 Corinthians 11:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 14:26,40)
7._____All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.
( 2 Peter 3:16; Psalms 19:7; Psalms 119:130)

9._____The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.
( 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16)
10.____The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.
( Matthew 22:29, 31, 32; Ephesians 2:20; Acts 28:23)
London Baptist Confession of Fatih, 1689

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 12:51 pm

“You are just trying to trap. That is why I didn’t answer you the first time.”
“I did answer you.”
I find these two statements mutually exclusive. What am I not seeing?

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 12:51 pm

Tim said:
“brian -
Let me get this straight… people are saved by praying The Sinner’s Prayer?
Where can I find that teaching in Scripture?”
Please don’t assume that any of us believes in “easy believism”. None of us are saying that a person can truly believe and yet not repent of their sins, walk in the truth, love one’s neighbor, etc. That is a straw-man.
Titus 2
13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 12:53 pm

bill 912 said:
“You are just trying to trap. That is why I didn’t answer you the first time.” “I did answer you.”
I find these two statements mutually exclusive. What am I not seeing?”
I didn’t answer you the first time. The answered you later. I found a way to answer you that didn’t fall into the trap.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 12:53 pm

MarieP: None of the verses you quoted says that the Bible is the sole rule of faith. However, the Bible does say that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth. (1 Tim 3:15)

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 12:54 pm

That should be *I* answered you later.

bill912 June 20, 2006 at 12:56 pm

“I found a way to answer you that didn’t fall into the trap.” Well, I seemed to have missed the answer.
I was not trying to trap you. I was asking an honest question.

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 1:27 pm

“Please don’t assume that any of us believes in “easy believism”. None of us are saying that a person can truly believe and yet not repent of their sins, walk in the truth, love one’s neighbor, etc. That is a straw-man.”.
Okay, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what I asked. I wasn’t trying to equate the Sinners Prayer with easy-believism at all. I wasn’t constructing any kind of straw man. If I did, please show me where.
I only asked for some references so that I can see where the Bible teaches about the Sinner’s Prayer.
It is, after all, presented as THE way of being saved by most evangelicals, so I thought it must be pretty heavily attested to in scripture.

brian June 20, 2006 at 1:40 pm

I don’t think I mentioned anything about a sinners prayer. I was just curious about that whole belonging, not belonging, knowing, not knowing Jesus founded the Roman Catholic Church and being saved, not saved explanation, in light of what the Council of Florence states. You think they had that Invicible Ignorance concept in mind at the Council of Florence? Probably not, or it would have saved a lot of burning wood and flesh if they had.

David B. June 20, 2006 at 2:20 pm

John,
First you accuse me of being rude, then you purposely do just that! Not only is that a terrible way to further your point, but it’s wasting time on one comment that has nothing to do with the topic at hand!

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 3:07 pm

brian -
The sinner’s prayer thing was just to make the point that Catholics are not the only ones depending on extra-Biblical doctrinal formulations. Of course, we don’t claim to get everything explicitly from the Bible.
You were demanding Biblical evidence for teachings that are extra-Biblical. They are part of the authoritative teaching of the Church. By this SAME authority, the Church wrote, compiled and infallibly promulgated the Bible. The Church can infallibly promulgate extra-Biblical teaching, as well. This teaching is not directly Divinely inspired, like the scriptures, but it is Divinely protected from error.
Catholics believe this, so asking a Catholic to justify every doctrine by direct scriptural evidence doesn’t really make sense. The teaching of the Church will never contradict the scriptures, but it need not be spelled out explicitly in scripture, either.
Those who claim to find every doctrine in the Bible, though, are obligated to provide clear scriptural evidence for their beliefs.
Asking for Bible verses to justify the teaching you mentioned is a little like pointing out that my checking account balance is nowhere to be found in the Multiplication Table.
Aside from that, I am no expert on the specific teaching you mentioned, and I am certainly no expert on Church councils or what is infallible teaching and what is not, so that I won’t try to address.

Shane June 20, 2006 at 3:14 pm

Brian, the burning wood and flesh was burnt by the state, not by the Church. There may have been some Catholics or even Catholic priests or bishops involved with burning people, but just like today there are Catholic priests and bishops who support homosexual marriage, they did so without the support and/or knowledge of the Church.
In terms of invincile ignorance at the council of Florence, they may not have had it in mind, although they may have. Either way it doesn’t matter much. None of the teachings of Florence contradict it.

Tim J. June 20, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Paul H.-
Thanks much for the Steve Ray reference. I may have seen it before, though I don’t remember for sure. Good stuff.

MarieP June 20, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Shane,
Here are the URLs on White’s site about the debate with Staples:
Many Thanks, Honorius
An Open Letter to Tim Staples
Saint Joseph Communications Admits Defeat

MaryC June 20, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Marie:
What point do these endless tedious debates serve? James White cannot argue away the eternal Truths Taught by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith founded by Christ on Peter.
I haven’t heard that Tim Staples was so convinced by White that he decided to revert to Protestantism.

MaryC June 20, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Marie: in those links you provided, White comes across as a whining cry-baby.

Mary June 20, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Because God has taken out their heart of stone and placed within them a heart of flesh.
Which is grace, not faith.

Shane June 20, 2006 at 7:19 pm

Thanks, MarieP!

Paul H June 21, 2006 at 5:56 am

“Thanks much for the Steve Ray reference. I may have seen it before, though I don’t remember for sure. Good stuff.”
No problem, Tim. When I saw your list of Bible verses which show things other than faith that lead to salvation, it reminded me of Steve’s similar list, so I thought it might be of interest.

armand June 26, 2006 at 11:13 am

I am a bit confused that if a reader sends you an email question about a specific argument from a Protestant opponent, that you would not take the time to either ask the emailer for a citation of the opponents argument or read up on the opponents argument yourself. You do neither and simply give what you think is the Protestant argument for sola scriptura. It seems you totally avoiding the specific question that the emailer was asking. The question was specifically asking about the corban rule and James White’s use of it. A good apologist takes the time to thoughtfully consider the arguments of his opponents, not simply give a generalization of what they have seen from other protestants. Then you say Dr. White used ad-hominem arguments against you and that he is too difficult to deal with. However, by White stating that you are behind in the debate on this means you have not taken the time to read up on your opponents such as White on the corban rule and how it relates to sola scriptura. This is a documentable fact,not a malicious slander on your person or character. He did not call you fat,or ugly,or a liar, or a rapist. That woud be ad-hominem.

armand June 26, 2006 at 11:28 am

aren’t you the same James Aiken that debated this exact same issue with Dr. James White on the Bible Answer Man with Hank Hannegraff. I had the audio from Dr. White’s site and just listened to it a few days after you were on with him on the Dividing Line. On your blog you say that you didn’t know what Dr. White might be arguing in books or tapes. However, on the bible answer man this very issue came up and Dr. White explained how the corban rule was “sacred tradition” to the religious leaders and they used this tradition to violate scripture. Cleary he demonstrated that Scripture always trumps tradition and used the corban rule as a case study. So you were definitely familiar with Dr. White’s argument.

brian June 26, 2006 at 11:50 am

A lot of people died at the hands of Popes and Bishops for beliefs which the Roman Church now states will get them into heaven. Just read the Roman Churches official and current view on Muslims. I find it quite odd. I wonder if those people who were burned alive back in the day would agree that the Roman Church doesn’t contradict herself?
I’m grateful I defend my faith from God’s Word alone and not the past and present whims of men. If you’re honest about this, you must admit, that what you defend today as truth, you may have to disagree with tomorrow, if Rome changes her mind, again.

bill912 June 26, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Brian, please cite one contradiction in Catholic teaching on either Faith(what one must believe) or Morals(how one is to behave) that has ever occurred. Just one.

Tim J. June 26, 2006 at 12:05 pm

Brian-
“A lot of people died at the hands of Popes and Bishops for beliefs which the Roman Church now states will get them into heaven…”
Examples, please?
“…what you defend today as truth, you may have to disagree with tomorrow, if Rome changes her mind, again.”.
Well, wrong, but even if it were true, I counter that;
“If you’re honest about this, you must admit, that what you defend today as truth, you may have to disagree with tomorrow, if YOU change your mind.”.
You really have no way of KNOWING whether your understanding of scripture is correct or not. Did the Holy Spirit guide your understanding? Okay, ALL those who disagree with you claim the EXACT SAME THING.
I’ll take the Apostolic Succession, thanks.
I suspect that your understanding of infallibilty as it is taught by the Catholic Church is very distorted. It does not mean – has NEVER meant – that every word or action of every Pope os Bishop is infallible.

brian June 27, 2006 at 10:11 am

OK, let’s see:
One Pope declares the Apocryphal letters are not canonical and thirty years later, another Pope says they are. Were they both correct? Somehow I’m sure you’ll answer in the affirmative.
People who denied the authority of the Papacy were killed. I think Joan of Ark fits this category. She was killed by your church and then they induct her into the RC Hall of Fame. Very strange. Anyway, Muslims, according to section 841 of your catechism, will partake in paradise, but in the Council of Florence, the 17th Ecumenical Council, says they cannot partake in eternal life. Which teaching is correct and which teaching is false and why?
AS far as my understanding of the Scriptures being infallible, I never claimed that. I do claim that the Scriptures are infallible. However, you have decided, by your own personal and fallible understanding, to accept the extra biblical writings of men and must continue to rely on your fallible interpretation of what they teach, which once again, changes over time. The Holy Scriptures do not change and Jesus refers to them as truth. I still haven’t found one good word by Jesus regarding the traditions of men. And when I use the word traditions of men, I’m not referring to different traditions in how one worships God, but in your churches extra biblical doctrines of faith and morals, which you are bound to believe, or you will suffer the ever dreaded anathema by Rome. Does anyone dread those anymore?

bill912 June 27, 2006 at 10:31 am

“One pope declares the Apocryphal letters are not canonical and thirty years later, another pope says they are.”
I’m not clear as to what you are referring. Could you please tell us which popes and which letters you are talking about, and a reference to support same?
St. Joan of Ark did not deny the authority of the Papacy.
“I do claim that the Scriptures are infallible.”
On what authority?

Tim J. June 27, 2006 at 11:49 am

Brian -
“AS far as my understanding of the Scriptures being infallible, I never claimed that.”
Okay, just so we’re clear.
So, I don’t have any reason to believe what you or any Protestant preacher, teacher or scholar have to say about scripture, as your understanding about the origins, content and exegetical approach to scripture may be seriously flawed.
“Muslims, according to section 841 of your catechism, will partake in paradise”
No, sorry, that is not what that passage says. Read the entire section. SOME Muslims MAY go to heaven. As long as their ignorance is not their own fault, AND as long as they sincerely seek the will of God in good faith, they MAY “partake in paradise”. This is true of other faiths, as well.
Christ’s Church does not hold anyone accountable for their ignorance, as long as they come by it honestly. For this reason, Protestants are counted as “seperated bretheren”.
But this is no guarantee they will go to heaven. Even Catholics have no such guarantee. We must not only know the truth, but avoid sin. If we do sin, we must repent, confess and make what reparation we can.
We are simultaneously a bit harder on ourselves, and a bit more charitable to those of other faiths, than any other religion I know of.
“People who denied the authority of the Papacy were killed. I think Joan of Ark fits this category.”
You continue to make vague, general charges without giving any examples.
St. Joan did not deny the authority of the Pope. She was not killed by “The Church”, but by churchmen. In killing her they made a rash and errant prudential judgement, but they can’t look to Catholic doctrine to justify their actions. The Church rightly condemned their actions, even if it took some time to understand the situation.
If you had a real understanding of infallibility, you would see the difference between what The Church teaches and what her members sometimes do. There is no guarantee that the Church will infallibly live out her infallible doctrines.

brian June 28, 2006 at 9:39 am

Obviously, my statement about Muslims didn’t suggest every single Muslim will go to heaven. Please reconcile the two statements your church officially stated regarding Muslims in general. One statement says Muslims will not partake in eternal life, no exceptions mentioned, and the other statement says some will. Your answer didn’t address my question.
Also, according to your logic, if I know a “sincere” Muslim, whatever that means, there is really no good reason to evangelize him, because according to the teachings of your church, now, they will still partake in paradise. The only benefit I could see, according to your churches teaching, is that maybe if they became a Catholic, they would spend less time in Purgatory.
Just about every single Muslim has heard the claims of the Scripture’s, declaring Jesus Christ as Lord. Who’s fault is their ignorance when they reject Him as Lord and Savior? Oh, I forgot, as long as they reject Jesus Christ honestly according to Rome, they can partake in Heaven. Wow, what a religion you hold to. I will trust what the Scriptures teach, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”. John 3:18 Everyone loves John 3:16, but they never continue through verse 21. You and your church are lying to people and you think your being so loving. Not telling people that Jesus Christ is their only hope for eternal life is NOT loving. The world may think so, but Scripture tells a totally different story.
As far as Catholics being hard on themselves, I find the exact opposite true. I know many Catholics who are drunkards, use profanity, openly purchase and view pornography and are never questioned by other Catholics, their priest’s and are in perfectly good standing with their local parish. (I know there are Protestant churches where this goes on too) But I do know that this type of behavior would never be allowed to continue in churches which honor God and His Word. I mean you can take this one step further and look at the record of the RC Catholic Church, when it comes to child molestation by it’s clergy. For the most part, no one really seems to care. Has anyone on this site objected to Bernard Law being appointed by your former Pope, to one of the seven churches at the Vatican? Was this his reward for protecting mother church, while allowing the systematic molestation of Roman Catholic children by his clergy? Good grief! What about Mahonney in LA. The guy’s been lying through his teeth and using every trick in the book to conceal evidence, just like most other bishops. These are the apostolic successors of Peter?Look, we can on and on regarding behavior. I just see a very different level of behavior and accountability with people who consider themselves Catholic and people who claim to place all their hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

David B. June 28, 2006 at 10:21 am

Brian,
I have several points:
(1) The Church Herself isn’t sinful, it is her children. If a man tells his son to go and buy bread for dinner, and his son commits a crime while on his way home, is the Father guilty of his son’s sin?
(2) The most sinful man may be Pope, but that doesn’t remove Apostolic sucession from the vicar of Christ. Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church founded with Apostolic sucession. Plainly You don’t trust Him.
(3) You say Catholics don’t care about child molestation. I am a Catholic, and very angry with many of the clergy concerning the sex abuse scandal. To lump all Catholics together as complicit in the scandal isn’t a very Christian thing to do.

Tim J. June 28, 2006 at 10:55 am

Brian -
It would be SO easy to judge Protestants by the publics sins of their leaders… Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts… there are many more.
It would be easy to look at CBN and conclude that Protestant preachers are all a bunch of hucksters motivated by money and power. Snake oil salesmen.
This would ne inaccurate and unfair, but it could be done. The fact that many non-Catholics are happy enough to swallow the anti-Catholic bilge that the mainstream press pumps out is a disappointment, as well as being very short-sighted.
The MSM attacks the Catholic Church because they hate Christ and we are the biggest Christian target they have. If they ever succeed in bringing down the Catholic Church in America, they will happily turn to YOUR church, and the evil they speak of YOUR church will be every bit as distorted as what they speak of the RC Church.
If you have read this blog for long, you know that most of the regular readers are no supporters of folks like Cardinal Mahoney.
“As far as Catholics being hard on themselves, I find the exact opposite true. I know many Catholics who are drunkards, use profanity, openly purchase and view pornography and are never questioned by other Catholics”
Well, maybe, but a bit off-topic. We can bandy stories of individual misbehavior all day without making progress… my hypocrites against yours… it goes nowhere.
I was referring to the Catholic Church in her doctrines. We allow for the salvation of people outside the visible Church (like yourself), while also allowing for the possibility of eternal damnation for some (many?) professed Catholics, even ourselves.
Being a Catholic is no free pass to heaven, and being a non-Catholic is not an automatic trip to Hell. I will never say that God may not save whoever He wills to, whenever and however He sees fit.
However, we ARE bound as Catholics and Christians to evangelize because;
1)Without the benefit of the Sacraments, the liturgy and the revealed Apostolic truth of Christ (through Scripture and Tradition) living a life of sincere faith and discerning the will of God is much, much harder (about near impossible, from where I sit, but only God knows).
2)We have been commanded to do so by our Lord, and that is enough by itself. He wants people to know Him, love Him and be happy with Him in this life. How can we refuse his command? If we loive people we will evangelize them.

Inocencio June 28, 2006 at 10:59 am

Brian,
“I will trust what the Scriptures teach”
Exellent approach! The Sacred Scriptures make it clear that Our Blessed Lord established His Church [Matt. 16:18] as a teaching hierarchy to speak to the world in His name and with His authority [Matt. 18:17-18]. His Church was teach men whatsoever He had taught [Matt 28:18-20].
Our Blessed Lord placed on all men the obligation of listening to and obeying His Church [Luke 10:16; Mark 16:15-16]. He promised to be with His Church to the end of time [Matt. 28:20]. He sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of infallible truth [John 16:13] upon the Apostles and their successors to guide them in their teaching mission [John 14:26].
Our Blessed Lord Himself wrote nothing, other than in the dust. He commanded the Apostles not to write but to teach and preach [Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15]. Christ disciples and all Christians were obligated to hear His Church [Luke 10:16] not to read the still non-existent or at best incomplete New Testament Scriptures. His teaching Church, which even teaches the angels [Eph. 3:10], was in existence long before a single line of the New Testament was written. The Apostles evangelized different peoples, not by presenting to them a copy of the New Testament (which did not yet exist), but by preaching the Gospel, the oral message (Sacred Tradition [2 Thes. 2:15; John 21:25]) of Christ to them. Thousands of men became Christians [Acts 2:41] and adhered to the whole truth of God [Acts 2:42] before they read a single book of the New Testament.
It was the leaders of the teaching Church Christ established who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the books of the New Testament and declared which books of the Old Testament were canonical. It was His Church [1 Tim 3:15] which collected and preserved these books and distinguished them from spurious books which others might have considered Scripture. It was from His Church that the Protestants of the sixteenth century (and you) took their Bible and also their belief in its divine inspiration.
Here is a brief history of the Councils who set the Canon of Sacred Scripture and the Popes who approved them. Each council recognized the same books as canonical.
Council Pope
Rome (382) Damasus (366-384)
Hippo (393)
Cathage (397) Innocent (401-417)
Cathage II (419) Boniface (418-422)
Gelasius (492-496)
Florence (1442) Eugenius IV (1431-1447)
Trent (1546) Paul III (1534-1549)
I have read that there were over 50 books which claimed to be “Gospels of” such as Peter, James, Thomas, Hebrews, etc and over 20 “Acts of” such as Paul, Thecla, Pilate, etc. Also many people considered the Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles, Apostolic Constitution, Paul’s Epistle to the Laodiceans and the Epistle of St. Clement to be Scripture.
So you should seek first His kingdom [Matt. 6:33] and understand you need to obey the holder of the keys to His kingdom because the pope has the Lord’s authority to bind and loose [Matt. 16:19].
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

brian June 29, 2006 at 7:15 am

OK, thanks for the many words, but I still can’t seem to an answer regarding my Muslim questions. Please reconcile the two statements I mentioned previously and explain how they are both true. Also, I am fully aware of what the Scriptures teach regarding proclaiming the gospel to the lost. Again, my question is, if a “sincere” Muslim, who rejects the gospel, which all “sincere” Muslims do, including some of my Muslim friends, what is the benefit of them becoming a Roman Catholic? Remember, according to your church, they are still going to partake in paradise, if they are sincere Muslims and follow their faith, faithfully. Please just answer my questions directly. Reconcile the two statements of your church regarding Muslims and explain the benefit the Muslim experiences, by becoming a Roman Catholic. Thanks
One last thing. I think most of the TV evangelist’s and Protestants you mentioned above are as despicable as your church leaders. My question was, did anyone on this site protest the appointment of one of your bishops, Bernard Law, who was personally responsible for letting predator priest’s prey on hundreds of RC children, to one of the highest positions in your church? It’s a fair question. And I still stand by my statement, that there is absolutely no comparison in the standard of acceptable behavior demanded by members of the Reformed Baptist Church which I attend and the average Roman Catholic Church. Again, I know there are many Protestant churches which operate by similar standard’s, as the Church of Rome. I just believe, from what I’ve personally witnessed over the years, churches that honor God and His Word, behave very differently from those churches that don’t.
You wrote:
It was the leaders of the teaching Church Christ established who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the books of the New Testament and declared which books of the Old Testament were canonical.
Where do the Scriptures teach that the writer’s of the NT were inspired?
Also, are you saying the Jews didn’t know which books of the OT were actually the Scriptures, even though Jesus held them accountable to them, long before any man made council declared anything? Give me a break.

Joe June 29, 2006 at 7:42 am

Brian,
To paraphrase a well known apologist: ‘if you’re standard for the one true church was impeccability in the old testament, you would have missed the one true church.’
Also, the old testament canon was not finalized in the day of Christ. For instance, the sadducees accepted only the pentateuch while the pharisees accepted a longer canon which included the prohets and other historical books.
And still there was the longer Greek canon which Christ refers to when he commands the Jews to follow the teachings of their church leaders because they sit on the chair of moses. This last reference was indeed like so many other references found in the new testament was in the longer Greek canon.
Regarding acceptable behavior as an indicator of the true church. I suppose attending the church of corinth, which was often the object of much of St. Paul’s rancor would have been beneath you.

Inocencio June 29, 2006 at 7:58 am

Brian,
Please reconcile the two statements I mentioned previously and explain how they are both true.
What documents are you talking about regarding Muslims?
You mentioned the Council of Florence and current teaching. If you cite your references I would gladly read them and comment.
Where do the Scriptures teach that the writer’s of the NT were inspired?
I already answered that. Do you not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers?
“It was from His Church that the Protestants of the sixteenth century (and you) took their Bible and also their belief in its divine inspiration.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

francis 03 June 29, 2006 at 9:02 am

Brian,
I am not completely knowledgeable about Florence, and I too would appreciate citations to the documents you’re talking about. As to the logic of converting Muslims under Catholic teaching on salvation:
The basic question is, how do you know whether someone is “sincere?” In Catholic theology the sacraments are much more “automatic” than the ‘sincerity’ of our belief. As a Protestant you might find this distasteful, but you’ve got to admit that its inner logic is coherent. If a Muslim gets baptized, confesses his sins and receives Last Rites just before death, then unless something very strange was going on in his interior life (that invalidates the sacraments) he is almost certainly going to heaven. On the other hand, if he persists in unbelief, then the only way he can go to Heaven is if there is something strange in his interior life that “invalidates” the unbelief– i.e., makes it sincere.
You can be more or less charitable about what the threshhold is for “sincerity,” but under just about any standard you’re still going to have a greater certainty of the man’s salvation if he has in fact accepted Christ.

Mike July 2, 2006 at 11:14 pm

Wait a minute…you’re upset that White used such derogatory insults as: “you didn’t do your homework” and “he used second-hand resources” ?!?! Wow–if you want an example of what ad hominem is, read the comments on this thread. This is disgraceful.

Pitero July 7, 2006 at 1:39 am
brian July 7, 2006 at 7:07 am

To All:
The Council of Florence, the 17th Ecumenical (and hence “infallible”) Council of the Roman Catholic Church, said the following:
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. (Denzinger 714).
Yet, section 841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993) says:
The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
Please reconcile these two statements.
What in the heck does this mean? (below)
You write: On the other hand, if he (the Muslim) persists in unbelief, then the only way he can go to Heaven is if there is something strange in his interior life that “invalidates” the unbelief– i.e., makes it sincere.
This is a perfect example of what happens to a church and a people, that abandon the sole authority of the Scriptures to thoroughly equip a man of God, in exchange for the traditions of men.
You write: I already answered that. Do you not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers?
No, I don’t believe that. Please show me, from the Scriptures, where the writers of the NT were inspired.
By His grace and for His glory alone.

Tim J. July 7, 2006 at 8:52 am

Wait a minute. I’m confused…
Brian, do you, or don’t you believe that the New Testament is inspired scripture (and therefore inerrant and infallible)?

francis 03 July 7, 2006 at 8:53 am

brian,
You wanted to know how it would benefit a “sincere” Muslim who disbelieves in Christ to become Catholic, if it is possible for him to go to Heaven if he dies Muslim. My answer, stated differently, is that a person who subjectively perceives the truth about Christ (or culpably fails to do so) and rejects it cannot be saved. Therefore, rather than guessing about the “sincerity” of:
(1) the Muslim’s disbelief (i.e., his rejection of Christ is predicated on the fact that he in good faith never sbujectively understood the truth about Jesus,), and
(2) the Muslim’s practice of his own faith (i.e., he is seriously trying to please God despite his previously-assumed innocent ignorance of Christ),
his salvation is much more likely, from the point of view of Catholic theology, if he were simply to accept Jesus and receive the sacraments.
Your comment about abandoning the Scriptures in exchange for traditions of men communicates your dislike for this arrangement. But I believe it fully addresses the concern you posed in your original question.
By the way, if the New Testament is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, what makes it authoritative to you?

francis 03 July 7, 2006 at 8:59 am

As to Florence– I think I saw something similar to the text you quote in a papal bull from around that period, titled I think “Cantate Domino.” I honestly don’t know the answer, but it’s my understanding that there was a 20th-Century schismatic Catholic group known as Feeneyites who also made a big deal out of this. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I could point us to controversies with that group to see the strongest arguments on both sides.

Honora July 7, 2006 at 9:08 am

Sometimes I can’t help thinking of how lethal Saul was before the Lord gave him a clue, that rather than doing right by God as he’d thought, Saul was actually persecuting Him (via persecuting His). Being knocked off a horse wasn’t what settled Paul’s hash, it was the realization that he’d held such a partial take on it all. He was happy to cooperate in correcting that even before the scales (ew!) fell from his eyes, for he truly loved God — enough to be beaten, imprisoned, “be-thorned,” and ultimately martyred for love of Him and His.
You know, I think most of us are Sauls at heart.. we truly love the Lord but sometimes we just go about it very blindly in our zeal. Sometimes we allow too many scales, and not enough thorns. Saul/Paul (perhaps like Chesterton, Rabbi Zoller/Eugenio Zolli, Marcus Grodi, Scott Hahn, even Peter himself) had to struggle with what really loves the Lord best, but some just fail to struggle with it enough, because a loss of face (necessary humility) seems far worse a condition than a be-scaled blindness. Not that I have a full take on it – lightyears away, still, and I, too, have persecuted – but we pray for Light to come to us all, and remember we are brothers and sisters in Christ’s scheme of things.. as best we can. When in the public eye, it’s not easy. We see and hear so much animosity and division which I believe springs more from judgment than from pride — judgment which paradoxically often has sprung from wanting the best for everyone!
We were made Family in Christ Jesus, and I think we’re going to be astounded at the moment of our deaths to find exactly how much so. Pending that definitive Light, we were asked to embrace Christ’s new commandment, to live it day to day, person to person. He also told us to go and learn what it means, that He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Thus, I am always doubly thankful when, like JA’s, a cool head prevails.

Tim J. July 7, 2006 at 9:23 am

“This is a perfect example of what happens to a church and a people, that abandon the sole authority of the Scriptures to thoroughly equip a man of God, in exchange for the traditions of men. ”
Now, see? You got that wrong. The Catholic Church has never abandoned the smallest bit of scripture (though Protestants have abandoned several books of it).
We have always held to the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture, and we also hold fast to those elements of Apostolic Tradition that exist alongside scripture… the authority of the Church. You statement presented a false “either/or”, when the truth is “both/and”.
Not simply the “traditions of men”, but the “Traditions of the Apostles”, the representatives of Christ. The Bible is one of those traditions! So, whether you know it or not, when you acknowledge the authority of the inerrant and infallible scriptures, you acknowledge the authority of the Catholic Church.
As to Muslims, the Catechism is not equivalent to the statement of an infallible Council or Papal encyclical. I would need to compare apples to apples to make any sort of real sense of things… do you have an encyclical or council document in mind that addresses the issue?
Never the less, the Catechism is a reliable guide, so I will take a shot.
The main point is this; saying “the plan of salvation includes Muslims” is not the same as saying that “Muslims will be saved by their religion”.
The passage doesn’t really elaborate on HOW the plan of salvation includes Muslims. There was a time (read Acts ch. 11) when there was a controversy about whether the plan of salvation included Gentiles.
Turns out it did (thank God), but the “plan” wasn’t that the Gentiles remain in paganism.
So, the Catechism statement is more vague than it might first seem.
Like I say, I would like to see another council statement or encyclical to compare with the passage from the Lateran council.

brian July 10, 2006 at 9:28 am

I knew this would happen. I ask a simple question, requesting answers from the Scriptures, to substantiate two separate RC teachings regarding Muslims, and I get everything but what I asked for. I’m not surprised.
As far as Apostolic teachings not included in the Scriptures, please present me with a comprehensive list of all these so called handed down teachings. I’ll save you the trouble, you can’t. Whatever Rome says goes and you have to accept it as authoritative Apostolic tradition/teachings, period. That is the Romish religion. As for Christians, we, like the example in the Scriptures regarding the Bereans, search the Scriptures for the truth. I find it odd, that it was OK for Bereans to search the Scriptures in order to test if what the Apostle Paul was teaching was true, but Roma Catholics would be sinning if the challenged the teaching authority of their Popes. Canon 752 makes sure you guys won’t even challenge teachings not declared infallible! Why didn’t Paul chastise the Bereans for testing what he taught? Just think about it.
And to answer another question, the Scriptures are inspired, not the writers who penned them.
2 Timothy 3:16
I know we can go on and on. The bottom line is, we believe in different gospels. I will hold to the gospel the Apostle Paul said was preached, (past tense) accepted, (past tense) in Galatians 1:6-9 You, on the other hand, can follow and believe whatever whims your bishops communicate to you today and whatever whims they communicate to you tomorrow. I can only hope and pray that you will come to know The Truth.
By His grace and for His glory alone,
Brian McLaughlin

bill912 July 10, 2006 at 10:14 am

Brian, I asked you 4 questions above. I’m still awaiting your answers.

Tim J. July 10, 2006 at 11:45 am

Brian -
“And to answer another question, the Scriptures are inspired, not the writers who penned them.
2 Timothy 3:16 ”
And how is THAT supposed to work???
No matter… Pope Brian has spoken!
This is what happens when people try to approach the Bible from outside the Church. They end up worshipping their own opinions.
As for the Bereans, there were plenty of other Jews who REJECTED Christ based on their ERRANT understanding of the scriptures. If the scriptures were self-interpreting, Jesus would never have been rejected by the scribes and teachers of the law.
Paul’s authority came from Christ… he didn’t need the approval of the Bereans! They searched the scriptures for their own edification, certainly, but don’t pretend that Paul submitted to the authority of the Berean’s take on the OT. He authoritatively showed them how to approach the scriptures in order to discern Christ… they could just as easily have got it wrong, as many of their countrymen did.
But many think they need only the Bible, and the Bible apparently dropped whole out of the sky at the death of the last apostle… there was no controversy over it’s contents… no need for an authoritative definition of the canon from the Church… every Christian was walking around with a King James in his pocket.
Does it matter that the great masses of Christians though the ages couldn’t READ? That only a very few ever SAW a Bible? Did that detract from the authority of the Gospel they received? No, because the Church has the authority to preach, teach and administer the Sacraments, even if every Bible on earth were destroyed (as tragic as that would be).
The stark historical FACT is (regardless of how uncomfortable this makes some people) that the Bible grew out of the Church, the Church did not grow from the Bible. This is without dispute.

Anonymous July 10, 2006 at 11:50 am

Brian and Tim are not that well informed nor good writers.

MaryC July 10, 2006 at 12:06 pm

Go ahead, anonymous; dazzle us with your vast knowledge and brilliant literary style.

brian July 11, 2006 at 7:50 am

Well, I’m going to give this one last try.
Can someone please reconcile the two contradictory statements, made by different Popes, regarding Muslims and salvation. And if at all possible, please try and support your answer with Scripture.
Again, the Scriptures do not teach that the writers were inspired. If you think they do, please reference where I can find that teaching in the Scriptures.
Wow, you really know how to twist what I said regarding the Bereans. Let me put it this way; can you search the Scriptures to test what your popes are teaching, in order to determine if it is true? No you can’t and that’s my point. The Bereans were considered “of more noble character than the Thessalonians”. My argument isn’t about the Apostle Paul submitting to the Bereans, that’s ridiculous to even insinuate. It’s about the Bereans challenging Paul’s teachings, from the Scriptures and being considered of noble character. You my friends, are under the Romish teaching of being anathema, if you even attempt to do as the Bereans did, and Scriptures tells us they were of noble character. Quite a contrast on how Rome views those who question her teachings, no?
Regarding the Scriptures, I guess for hundreds of years no one knew what was inspired and what wasn’t. I guess the Jews had to wait until the 16th century to find out what books were contained in the OT? I guess the great Jerome, which your church once agreed with as to what books were included in the Canon, agrees with me.
And by the way, the Councils of Hippo and Carthage, the majority followed the judgment of Jerome too. But who cares what they followed, Rome has changed her mind, again. You must follow the changing whims of your earthly kings, no mater what they say. So unlike the Bereans.
By His grace and for His glory, alone.
Brian

bill912 July 11, 2006 at 8:08 am

“Regarding the Scriptures,I guess for hundreds of years no one knew what was inspired and what wasn’t.”
Correct. For the first 3+ centuries of Christianity, different Christian communities believed that certain books which they possessed were inspired while others were not. There were books which nearly all the Christian communities accepted as being inspired, and others which some Christian communities accepted as being inspired but other communities did not. The former group included the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, most of the Pauline letters, 1 Peter, Acts, 1 John, and James. The latter group included The Shepherd, The Acts of Paul and Thecla, The Letter of Barnabas, The Letter of Clement, The Letter of Jude, The Letter to the Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and The Book of Revelation. It required an Authority to determine which books were inspired and which were not. That Authority was the pope and bishops of the Catholic Church, acting on their Apostolic authority. The canon of scripture was determined by Pope Damasus I, and the Councils of Hippo and Carthage in the late 3rd Century. (See “Where We Got The Bible”, by Henry G. Graham, published by Catholic Answers).

francis 03 July 11, 2006 at 8:22 am

brian,
I was very interested in your line of questioning on non-Catholics and salvation. I wish you would have continued on that instead of throwing out all these latter ideas without offering any support for them.
As far as believing in Church teachings is concerned– being required to believe something doesn’t mean that you can’t investigate as to why you should believe it. Any Catholic who has accepted the authority of the Church has already decided, as a matter of his own personal faith and not on anyone else’s authority, that the Church cannot and will not contradict Scripture in matters of faith and morals. Ergo, if a Catholic decides that the Church has done so then his faith in the Church is gone already, and he won’t be likely to worry about the anathemas of such a “discredited” institution.
This issue doesn’t seem too difficult to me. Again, I wish we had stayed on salvation “outside the church.”

francis 03 July 11, 2006 at 8:25 am

Addendum to second paragraph, above:
However, a Catholic who remains in the Church is perfectly free to (1) search the Scriptures for the support (or at least lack of contradiction) of his Church’s teachings that his faith tells him he will find, and thik and pray about that, and (2) attempt to reaffirm his faith in the Church by verifying that such support or non-contradiction is in fact present.

brian July 12, 2006 at 9:20 am

So, I guess the fallible decision of a person who decides to trust all the Bishops of Rome, makes a one time decision to follow everything Rome teaches, and when they read teachings that appear to be contradictory, they have already decided, perhaps years ago, that those teachings must both be true and not contradictory? Funny thing, the Bereans weren’t examining the Scriptures, just to investigate as to why they should believe what Paul was teaching, (as per what you wrote above) they were examining the Scriptures “to see if what Paul said was TRUE”. Acts 17:11-12 Please stop twisting what the Scriptures clearly teach, as I’m really getting tired of repeating the same things, over and over again. What Paul was teaching was being challenged by the Bereans. They didn’t check their brains at the door and have to accept anything Paul taught, if what Paul taught didn’t reconcile with the Scriptures. They were even considered noble for not just believing blindly, like you must do according to Canon 752.
I don’t know what else to tell you. If you can’t understand the difference in the liberty the Bereans had to test what Paul was teaching, and your relationship to your Popes and Bishops according to Canon 752, I can’t help you.
As far as going forward with discussing salvation outside of the Roman church, please reconcile the two teachings I’ve mentioned about 5 times already. I know you’ve already decided that both teachings must be true when you fallibly decided to become a Roman Catholic, but I just wanted to see how you reconcile them. That’s all I’m asking. Thanks.
BY His grace and for His glory alone

Tim J. July 12, 2006 at 9:57 am

Brian -
I already commented on the very vague nature of the statement you took from the Catechism, and asked you to provide something more substantial in the way of a Papal encyclical or conciliar document. I also explained that the vagueness of the Catechism statement makes it open to being reconciled with the Lateran Council statement.
In truth, there is not much to reconcile.
You failed to provide the documents requested, and also neglected to address the vagueness of the Catechism on this point.
You are doing to the Catechism what you do to the Bible… taking one line and interpreting it according to your own biases apart from the tradition of the Church. You are imposing on the text a meaning that is not there.
You say that I am not free to question the authority of the Pope and Bishops, but that is false. I can call their authority into question any time I find reason to do so, but I can’t do this and call myself a Catholic any longer. I accepted the authority of the Pope and the Bishops when I saw that the RC Church was the ONLY serious candidate for the historical church founded by Jesus Christ.
I have always found the Church to be right, and my doubts wrong, on every question. I looked around at the state of Evangelical Protestantism and could not accept the premise that the chaos and confusion apparent in continued doctrinal disagreements was actually authored by God. “We all disagree, but the Holy Spirit is behind it… at least we’re not Catholics!”.
Again, you say one thing, I say another… who is to judge between us? Take it to the Church.
I find FAR more reason to be suspect of the novel and baseless traditions of Protestantism (like salvation by the Sinner’s Prayer) than any of the traditions of the One True Church.

bill912 July 12, 2006 at 10:00 am

“Brian, I asked you 4 questions above. I’m still awaiting your answers.”

brian July 13, 2006 at 1:55 pm

I can see we are getting no where. Now the onus is on me to explain what Rome means when she makes statements concerning salvation to those outside the Roman Church. Very simply, one statement condemns Muslims and one statement doesn’t. Of course, according to you, these statements by your Popes aren’t sufficient to explain what Rome really means or teaches. Instead of providing me with more Roman Catholic teachings on this matter, which would make things clearer for the average Roman Catholic to understand, you differ to me to provide you with this documentation. How absurd. Keepem confused, that’s the Romish way!
Please show me an example of where I’m twisting the meaning of your Popes statements, regarding the salvation of Muslims.
And thank you for finally admitting that you can not exercise the same liberty the Bible commends the Bereans for! I guess the Bereans weren’t Roman Catholics then?!! But the Scriptures say they were of noble character? Wait, I’m confused. The Apostle Paul’s teachings could be tested against the Scriptures to ensure their truth, but your Popes can not!! I truly hope there are some reading this, who can see how the wicked traditions of men contradict the Word of God. Paul’s teachings can be tested by men the Bible calls “of noble character”, Popes can’t. And if you do, Rome places an anathema, a curse, on you. Three cheers for all those anathema’s!! I think Rome’s placed about 125 on me and if you read them all, 99% of Roman Catholics have earned some too. But I know, no one really pays attention to all that stuff anymore anyway.
Chaos and confusion you say? I’ll bet that if you asked every member of the church I attend how a man is saved from his sins and then went down the block to the Roman Catholic Church and asked the same question, you will get the same answer from virtually every person at my church, and get all kinds of answers from people attending the Roman Catholic Church. You can’t even reconcile simple statements from your church regarding the salvation of Muslims. Great unity.
Sinners prayer? Give me a break. Trying to categorize a Reformed Baptist as a Fundamentalist is what the Papist reverts to when he can’t defend his Romish traditions against the teachings of Holy Scripture. It’s a cheap trick made to discredit a person which honors God not.
Bill wrote: It required an Authority to determine which books were inspired and which were not. That Authority was the pope and bishops of the Catholic Church, acting on their Apostolic authority.
That’s great, so the Jews never knew what the Scriptures were that Jesus held them accountable to? Did Jesus know? Give me a break. They all had to wait to the 16th century? That left a lot of dead Jews who never though they had the right OT books. And you just ignored that St. Jerome and a number of Councils agreed with the books Protestant’s call canonical. Go get the debate DVD of James White debating a Roman Catholic apologist on this topic a few years back. All my Catholic friends were whining like sore losers after the debate.(I still love them)It’s the same old thing every year, they say we, (Catholics) have to get better debaters, James White is too good. That may be true, but more importantly, he possesses The Truth and that’s what counts in the eyes of the Lord.
I’m going to try and attempt to leave this board. I might get sucked back in. Wouldn’t be the first time. But if I don’t, I hope you people will seek the truth with all your mind, heart and soul. Just say, “Lord, reveal YOUR TRUTH to me, because I know that’s all that counts”. Ten and a half years ago, the Lord lead me out of the darkness of the traditions of men and into the light of His Truth.
By His grace and for His glory alone,
Brian

MaryC July 13, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Brian:
it matters not how good a debator James White is if he is not preaching the Truth; the serpent was pretty plausible in the Garden of Eden (and no, I am not comparing the estimable Mr. White with Satan).
You also show your ignorance, not only of Catholic teaching, but of Scripture. Anathema does NOT mean ‘curse’ but excommunication, which can only be applied to those who were in Communion with the Church in the first place. It is intended to hopefully engender a spirit of repentance in the one excommunicated, and is, in fact, a sanction rarely used.
If you, as a Reformed Baptist, object to the label ‘Fundamentalist’, perhaps you should stop using the terms ‘Roman’ and ‘Romish’ in such a desparaging way. Try just typing ‘Catholic’ instead of ‘Roman Catholic’- it’s less time consuming.

bill912 July 13, 2006 at 2:52 pm

Also, there are 20-something different Catholic Churches. The Roman Catholic Church is only one of the Churches that make up the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

bill912 July 13, 2006 at 2:54 pm

I’m disappointed that you chose to ignore my questions, Brian. I really did want to read your answers, and still do.

Tim J. July 14, 2006 at 11:13 am

” …I hope you people will seek the truth with all your mind, heart and soul. Just say, “Lord, reveal YOUR TRUTH to me, because I know that’s all that counts”.
I have, Brian, many times… and the Lord led me, by His grace and for His glory alone, to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that He established.
It’s a shame that your understanding of Catholic doctrine is no better now than when you left the Church, but it appears that you don’t really wish to be instructed, but are looking for justification for your preconceived opinions.
I am not a historian, theologian or apologist, and I have no more time than you do to go in search of documents.
I gave you all the explanation I could on the two statements you presented. You don’t seem to want to accept it or respond to it, but now appear to be disappointed that I have not personally combed through the documents of the Church looking for something more substantial.
I truly hope that you will open your mind at least to the possibility that the ultimate authority on how the Bible is to be understood is not to be found in any private interpretation.
Remember, also, that every faithful Catholic believes that he or she is saved by grace, through faith in the blood of Christ…
If that is not Christian, then please explain to me how.
We believe that Christ saves us by sanctifying us… not by some legal fiction, but by actually, really making us fit to inhabit heaven. Why would He do less? Why would I wish for Him to?

brian July 18, 2006 at 9:46 am

This is how silly this message board has become. I write about the Bereans being considered of noble character and how they examined the Scriptures, to test if what the Apostle taught was true and the response I get is that I don’t understand what anathema means? I was at a debate where James White tried to get Mitch Packwa (not sure of the spelling) and the best White could get Mitch to say was, “it, anathema, was nothing good”. I will leave you all with these ignorant definitions of the word anathema, since I got it so wrong, and you can continue to pretend that the Bereans didn’t have the authority to test what the Apostle taught against the Scriptures, to see if it was true. Listen to your Popes and Bishops and submit to them as Canon 752 commands you to. I will continue to submit to God’s Word and hopefully continue to act as the Bereans did.
Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Anathema \A*nath”e*ma\, n.; pl. Anathemas. [L. anath?ma, fr.
Gr. ? anything devoted, esp. to evil, a curse; also L.
anath?ma, fr. Gr. ? a votive offering; all fr. ? to set up as
a votive gift, dedicate; ? up + ? to set. See Thesis.]
1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by
ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by
excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as
accursed.
[They] denounce anathemas against unbelievers.
–Priestley.
2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.
Finally she fled to London followed by the anathemas
of both [families]. –Thackeray.
3. Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by
ecclesiastical authority.
The Jewish nation were an anathema destined to
destruction. St. Paul . . . says he could wish, to
save them from it, to become an anathema, and be
destroyed himself. –Locke.
Anathema Maranatha(see –1 Cor. xvi. 22), an expression
commonly considered as a highly intensified form of
anathema. Maran atha is now considered as a separate
sentence, meaning, “Our Lord cometh.”
Source: Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800′s)
Anathema, separated; set apart
Source: Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
Anathema
anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a
temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the
word is _anath(ee)ma_, once in plural used in the Greek New
Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered “gifts.” In the
LXX. the form _anathema_ is generally used as the rendering of
the Hebrew word _herem_, derived from a verb which means (1) to
consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so
devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev.
27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with
the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the
extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of
application. The _anathema_ or _herem_ was a person or thing
irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and “none devoted
shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death” (27:29). The
word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num.
21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing
accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a _herem_ =
_anathema_, a thing accursed.
In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In
some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless
certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). “To call
Jesus accursed” [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him
execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the
apostle says, “let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his
conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.
In Rom. 9:3, the expression “accursed” (anathema) from Christ,
i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has
occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of
his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression
of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation
of his people.
The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love
not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to
all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the
severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of
“everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

Inocencio July 18, 2006 at 10:30 am

brian,
Listen to your Popes and Bishops and submit to them as Canon 752 commands you to.
You mean as our Blessed Lord commanded.
“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16
“And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” Mark 6:11
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matt. 18:17

I will continue to submit to God’s Word and hopefully continue to act as the Bereans did.
You keep searching the Old Testament just like the Bereans.
And we will pray for you and submit to those our Blessed Lord sent with His authority.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

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