Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sola solipsista

In all seriousness, I am becoming convinced that anti-Catholics are starting to take pride in ignorance. I'm not talking even about having a culture that doesn't value intellectual achievement. Anti-intellectualism, a general distaste for certain forms of endeavor, is not the same thing as actively using ignorance as a kind of currency for credibility. It's as if the less these people know about Catholicism, the more spiritually pure their knowledge is, and thus, the more respected they should be. It is, of course, a form of solipsism, because it denies knowledge about reality, and this seems to be a major way of which the anti-Catholic community cultivates its insularity and identity. The behavior appears cult-like to me, particularly given that it tends to gravitate around certain strong personalities. Historically, the only similar profile I have seen as Gnosticism, which emphasized a kind of spiritual "knowledge" that amounted to an ignorance of the phsyical world ("knowledge falsely so called" as Irenaeus described it). And while the make-whatever-you-want-of-revelation attitude of many Protestants is Gnostic in character, it still seems odd to me that the quasi-mystical social patterns would still have traction.

I started pondering this phenomenon in a comment on Dave Armstrong's blog. A commenter named Peter was discussing a comment by the anti-Catholic David T. King, in which King had made what appears to be an insane comment in response to David Waltz: "We disagree again on both Ratzinger and [Raymond] Brown. I don’t care what they said in other contexts. I know what they said in the statements I gave."

Peter noted:
King’s comments regarding context illuminates this man’s attitude towards the truth. I no longer take him seriously and I consider him untrustworthy.

I replied as follows:
>> BEGIN QUOTE
You know, I am really starting to come around to the idea that it is NOT reflective of his attitude to the truth but rather his ability to perceive logical connections. Quite honestly, I'm starting to think that the problem is that they literally can't grasp the conceptual structure involved. In the case you cited, for example, it's not so much that the statement is out of context (though it is), but that he doesn't understand the concepts implicit in the argument enough even to understand what the context would be.

I first remarked on the problem here:http://crimsoncatholic.blogspot....ing-

I admit that I didn't see how it could possibly be that what I said would just go over someone's head. But then I read this:http:// beggarsallreformation.blo...calvinists.html

Seeing Swan call this "one of the best epistomological questions I've heard in a long time" was another one of those jaw-dropping moments. This is, of course, the very same epistemological question is posed by almost every historical argument against sola scriptura that I have heard (viz., how does one explain the Fathers, or anyone else, making major mistakes if they were faithful Christians?), and I was stunned that Swan could have missed this.

And then came the real clincher: this comment.
http://beggarsallreformation.blo...crypha-

The impression I got from this was "Let's have a discussion on the Catholic doctrine of the canon, but let's not talk about the Catholic view of what the canon is." Same problem here:http://www.aomin.org/index.php?i...php?

I know, it seems like an improbable hypothesis at this point, but the evidence is there. For Swan to say what he did and for King to respond to David Waltz as he did just doesn't make sense unless they honestly don't get the conceptual framework of Catholicism. I know it's difficult to be charitable to people who have been that nasty, but we have to confront the fact that "what we have here is a failure to communicate." I don't know how to fix it, but maybe rather than being in hostile rebuttal mode, we ought to work on being more positive and trying to find some helpful illustrations or analogies to give some kind of handle on the concepts.
>>END QUOTE

Dave A. proposed an alternative explanation:
They won't accept any such instruction, of course. For the anti-Catholic, a Catholic supposedly teaching them anything about theology is, in their mind, sort of like an infant teaching Einstein about nuclear physics.

That gets back to both the personal element and the presuppositions. For them, we aren't even Christians, and an unregenerate mind can't grasp the things of God at all, so how could we possible teach them anything?

But while I resolved to think on that possibility, that didn't strike me as particularly satisfying either. It wasn't even personal disdain I was perceiving as simply a systematic disregard of the content of what was being said. It's as if conveying one's lack of awareness of what was being said was, in some bizarre way, a testament of one's understanding.

The discussion continued at Dave's blog, with Dave remarking
Swan is a strange bird. He's not the only anti-Catholic who does this "method", of course (White, King, Svendsen, all do the same thing, and William Webster has utterly ignored two lengthy critiques of mine too; even Jason Engwer eventually fled for the hills after being repeatedly refuted), but his is a particularly dense and obtuse case.

He's not stupid, yet he acts like he is profoundly unaware of folks' answers to his materials (almost like a deaf person to a symphony or a blind person to a spotlight). After four years of this, I have pretty much concluded that he is simply an intellectual lightweight and a mere annoyance as regards serious discussion. To put it in the mildest way I can think of: he just doesn't get it.

One wonders if these guys consciously adopt a strategy of deliberate propaganda and suppression of opposing views. It's fascinating to observe how they act, from a psychological perspective. They must feel that it is working. If you can mock and ridicule and caricature and belittle a theological opponent long enough, then your fan club will believe anything you write about them, no matter how irrelevant, long since refuted, or ridiculous.

That's all I can figure out. White's been doing this for 12 years now, and Swan, as a member of his fan club, has adopted the same cowardly, idiotic "strategy".

That's when it occurred to me that demonstrating one's ignorance about Catholicism was actually a form of social currency. They're not even trying to understand, for the public demonstration that one does not understand is evidence that one is "regenerate" in one's thinking. When it clicked into place that this was the social function being performed by these exercises, this behavior started to make sense. And it turns out that I even had a test case that I had been mulling over on which to test this hypothesis: Eric Svendsen's attack on Timothy George.

For those who don't know, Timothy George is a well-regarded Baptist scholar and professor of church history. Despite being a Calvinist himself (albeit with some caveats about human limits to knowledge in this area), he committed the ultimate sin of actually involving himself in Catholic/Protestant ecumenism, including the Evangelicals and Catholics Together initiative. If my theory of intentional solipsism were correct, then the fact that George himself was Evangelical ought not prevent him from being deliberately misunderstood as a demonstration of Svendsen's ignorance of Catholicism (and therefore, perversely, his regenerate knowledge), just as he did in the case of Denver Seminary.

Suffice it to say that the application of the hypothesis in this instance gave me tremendous confidence in its accuracy. I note from the introduction:

The article (Evangelicals and the Mother of God) is by Timothy George, a man for whom long ago I had some respect. It is sad when formerly sound-thinking theologians, blinded by the draw of ecumenism, go down this path. As one whose doctoral thesis was on this very issue, I can say with confidence that the depth of George's knowledge of this issue rivals the depth of Jon Meacham's paltry knowledge of Christianity whenever he attempts an article about Jesus in TIME magazine.

So this establishes the neo-Gnostic mindset, contrasting Svendsen's spiritual knowledge ("one whose doctoral thesis was on this very issue") with George's lack thereof ("blinded by the draw of ecumenism"). Svendsen is the insider; George is the outsider ("formerly sound-thinking," "for whom long ago I had some respect").

When one begins an article with "It is time for evangelicals to recover a fully biblical appreciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary," it fast becomes clear where he is headed. George proceeds from there to make every exegetical error that characterizes Rome's view of Mary, even inexplicably conceding the Roman Catholic distinction between latria and hyperdulia--on what basis, we are never told.

Here we move into the detachment from reality. It is wrong even to accurately describe the Catholic concepts; spiritual knowledge is equated with not even knowing them. Note that George's remark itself was innocuous, not claiming belief in the Roman distinction, merely remarking that it exists and even evincing outright skepticism as to how coherently it is applied ("Good Catholics know, of course, that Mary is not the object of worship or the kind of adoration given only to God (latria), but rather of veneration (doulia), albeit of a special kind (hyperdoulia). But this distinction often seems to get lost at the local level."). But in this neo-Gnostic, even conceding the Catholic categories for purposes of accurate description is too much; George is an "outsider."

George goes on to engage in the very same symbolic reading of supposedly Marian-centric OT passages that even Roman Catholic scholars have abandoned these days. In other words, George is clearly a novice in this area, and has not yet discovered that the supposedly biblical defense he gives for an exalted Mary has long ago been rejected as time-worn nonsense by his more informed Roman Catholic counterparts. Only RC polemists use these kinds of arguments anymore. But if that's the case, what business does a supposed evangelical have in resurrecting them?

This turns out to be a drastic misrepresentation of George's position, but it fits the pattern perfectly. In fact, George doesn't even claim belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary, but simply saying that "there is nothing theologically difficult about affirming Mary’s perpetual virginity" is enough to end up on the bad list. This is too much understanding, and understanding of Catholic positions is bad. We may continue...

George's treatment of Mary's perpetual virginity and title of theotokos is lamentable. He somehow thinks that upholding the virgin birth is equivalent to upholding continued virginity after that birth, shamelessly evoking J. Gresham Machen as someone who would support his thesis

In fact, George said this in the context of the title "Virgin Mother," not "Ever-Virgin," which he discusses later. But again, pointing out any degree of commonality or understanding with Catholics, even one that Machen himself realized, is too much. Note that Machen, who is revered as a true Gnostic, could not have possibly shared George's beliefs (even though it is evident in this case that he did), and this becomes part of the detachment from reality.

George's woeful ignorance on what constitutes agreement with Rome is simply stunning. Because Machen was a staunch defender of the virgin birth--something that is explicitly biblical--he somehow implicitly agreed with Rome's doctrine of Perpetual Virginity--something that is demonstrably unbiblical?

Of course, George wasn't even discussing the perpetual virginity, but again, because George is ecumenical, he must be convicted of "woeful ignorance." Again, this is the tactic of knowledge by contrast; George's actual knowledge (which includes knowledge of Catholic belief) must be condemned in contrast with Svendsen's spiritual knowledge.

Then Svendsen moves on to a topic that should be well-known to readers of this blog: Nestorianism. As with me, Svendsen attacks Chalcedonian Christology, which he associated with Catholicism and excessive veneration of the Virgin. And as he did with me, he cites Nestorius as orthodox. But let us take heed of the neo-Gnostic tactics:

But George's ignorance does not stop there. Note well what he thinks about the Christological controversy:
The Church was right to reject Nestorius’ preferred title for Mary, Christotokos, “mother of Christ,” as an inadequate description of Mary’s role in the mystery of the Incarnation. We are not at liberty to construct a merely human Christ, cut off from the reality of his entire person.

Nestorius' alternative title, Christotokos, did not "construct a merely human Christ"; quite the opposite. The title "Christ" accounts for both the human and divine in Jesus, whereas "mother of God" does not. That George does not know this is just stunning.

This is probably the most concrete example we have of the tactic of contrasting real knowledge with spiritual knowledge. George's real knowledge of the subject matter is cast as ignorance, because real knowledge of Rome is evil, as contrasted with Svendsen's spiritual knowledge. And when I say "real knowledge," I mean real knowledge demonstrable by any criterion of reasonable certainty one might want to choose. Thus, for example, George is well-recognized as a knowledgable church historian, having reviewed the work of Daniel H. Williams (whose scholarly credentials are beyond question) and being known for being generally aware of scholarly works in the area. Svendsen is someone who by his own admission has "never claimed to have training in patristics," making his claim to convict George of ignorance completely unbelievable. (N.B., One might also note the same neo-Gnostic tactics regarding my "ignorance" and "delusion" being used against me in the linked article.) But even if the claim of ignorance were not prima facie unreal, it would be obviously disproved by the evidence of George's own words:

Some forty years ago, Heiko A. Oberman published an important article, using the research of Bishop Paulus Rusch of Innsbruck, in which he argued that the negative Nestorian reaction to Theotokos was initially a response to heretical groups who claimed that Mary was the mother of God not only according to the humanity of Christ but also according to the divinity of Christ, in the same way as there are mothers of gods in pagan religions. Epiphanius of Salamis attested the existence of such heretical groups, one of which he located in Palestine: a community of women who made circular cakes and offered them to the Virgin Mary, whom they had come to look upon as a deity. (This group was called the Collyridians, after the shape of the cakes in their ritual.)

Thus, according to Oberman and Rusch, in rightly opposing an exaggerated, heretical Mariolotry, Nestorius himself unwittingly fell into Christological heresy. This may be a more charitable reading of Nestorius than the facts warrant, but it points to a continuing concern of Protestants: Granted the legitimacy of doctrinal development, including the Christological clarification that led to the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, where are the checks against exalting the Virgin so high that her son is obscured?

So George is clearly familiar with Oberman's scholarship (which is essentially the line of argument to which Svendsen refers) and more contemporary scholarship to boot, as the reference to this characterization being "a more charitable reading of Nestorius than the facts warrant" (which is exactly what I pointed out to Svendsen as being the overwhelming scholarly view today). So the charge against George is obviously unreal (indeed, if anything, George is conceding the legitimacy of the risk of excessive veneration), but again, the neo-Gnostic operation is about showing one's spiritual knowledge by denial of real knowledge. Moving to the conclusion...

George's focus in this article is on all the typical Roman Catholic polemical points (with which he substantially agrees), and he somehow ignores all the exegetical points regarding Mary's staus in the NT. Yet it remains a well known fact that whenever Jesus and Mary appear together in the NT, Jesus is at pains to distance himself from her and to put down any supposed privileges she might assume based on biological ties--indeed, going so far as to sever biological ties with her. George seems oblivious to this, which disqualifies him from speaking on the issue in the first place.

This is a nice tight summary of the neo-Gnostic mindset. George is accused of agreeing with "all the typical Roman Catholic polemical points," when in fact, all George did was accurately describe them, often for the express purpose of critiquing them. There's the charge of ignorance of the spiritual knowledge of Scripture, a bread-and-butter Gnostic claim. And note the Gnostic reading of Scripture in exactly the same way; the truth of Scripture is framed exactly as a negation of the knowledge that the Gnostic considers profane. And finally, of course, there is the charge that George is "oblivious" to the spiritual knowledge, which "disqualifies him from speaking on the issue." This is vintage Gnosticism; it could have been quoted verbatim in the second century.

The real lesson in all this is exactly the one George raises:
Beyond the theological constraints of a biblical religion, however, there was also what might be called an ecclesiological hardening of the arteries within the Protestant and evangelical traditions. To be an evangelical meant not to be a Roman Catholic. To worship Jesus meant not to honor Mary, even if such honor were biblically grounded and liturgically chaste.
...
Perhaps we should ask what Catholics, without ceasing to be Catholics, can learn from evangelicals about Mary. Certainly we should ask what evangelicals, without ceasing to be evangelicals, can learn from Catholics about Mary. If Catholics need to be called away from the excesses of Marian devotion to a stricter fidelity to the biblical witness, evangelicals should reexamine their negative attitudes toward Mary, many of which derive from anti-Catholic bias rather than sound biblical theology. They need to ask themselves, as the Groupe des Dombes suggested, “whether their too frequent silences about Mary are not prejudicial to their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

It seems undeniable that the anti-Catholics have fled to the tactics of Gnosticism in order to cling to these same biases in the face of a reality that directly contradicts them. Consequently, when confronted by what are patently unreal responses, we should remember that this is the purpose of neo-Gnostic methodology (viz., to establish credibility through denial of reality), and we should cling to the wisdom of St. Irenaeus, who patiently demonstrated the contradictions between the Gnostics and reality so that no sincere truth-seeker could follow them, even by mistake.

23 Comments:

At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Paul Owen said...

Jonathan,

As Svendsen's clumsy attempt at a critique of Timothy George demonstrates, and as his colleagues White and King and now Swan (who recently revealed his basic ignorance of Calvin's views on baptismal efficacy and how they differed from Bullinger, and was left to gape in silence when I offered a few Calvin quotes which burst his evangelical bubble) have repeatedly shown, this whole anti-Catholic crowd is simply not up to the task of serious theological debate. They repeatedly show a basic inability to understand discussions of topics because they are lacking in the necessary foundational knowledge. You would first have to give these men a basic grounding in historic Christian theology (not to mention biblial exegesis) before you can even begin to start a fruitful discussion of the issues separating Roman Catholicism and the Protestant faith. Who has time for that?

At the time of the Reformation, the struggle was between educated and competent theologians and doctors of Holy Scripture. Today, the most vocal critics of the Roman Catholic Church are basically a bunch of angry men who simply do not have the educational and intellectual tools to enter the fray and offer any serious challenge. No wonder Rome ignores them.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger roywilliams31jr said...

The originalal poster, Jonathan Prejean and Paul Owen are actually great examples of "a bunch of angry men who simply do not have the educational and intellectual tools to enter the fray and offer any serious challenge. Svendsen, White, King, etc. have all repeatedly and thoroughly addressed both of you Roman Catholics in the past (Owen claims he is not, but it has been quite obvious over the years he is nothing short of a RC dressed up in Protestant clothing - the only one he is fooling is himself).
Only if you weren't serious, I could actually stop laughing hysterically over these profoundly ignorant and foolish statements such as "They repeatedly show a basic inability to understand discussions of topics because they are lacking in the necessary foundational knowledge. You would first have to give these men a basic grounding in historic Christian theology (not to mention biblial exegesis)"
That may be silliest comment I have ever heard. Dr. White, Dr. Svendsen, and Pastor King have demonstrated, quite convincingly, their ability to exegete Scripture to a far greater degree than either of you - Especially Prejean who runs and hides whenever possible to cover up his inability to exegete Scripture in any reasonable fashion no matter what method he chooses to use - which has been self evident in all his confrontations with these men over the years.
Anytime I see you guys taking pot shots at Dr. Svendsen, it becomes quite clear that it is you who are the angry men, ever since he Biblically exegeted you both into a corner leaving you dumbfounded and refuted, which is what really has lead to your dislike of him. I see nothing but generalized character jabs at these men, rarely ever dealing with anything of substance.
The bottom line is simple, their reasoning makes more sense than yours, which is why they are very popular Apologists and respected exegetes, while you guys aren't. Period. Sorry if you are offended by this but I felt this needed to be expressed for others to read and now that it has, you guys can get back to your Protestant/Catholic Ecumenical pat on the back exercising.

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Paul Owen said...

Roy,

1. Thanks for clearing that up. I thought I was an Anglican, but you have now informed me as to my "true" ecclesiastical affiliation. You know me better than myself!

2. I have yet to see Svendsen demonstrate any meaningful capacity to engage in the task of biblical exegesis in a credible manner. He did leave me "dumbfounded" in our exchanges, but it was not because I felt refuted. Rather I was dumbfounded that he escaped from TEDS with an M.A. while displaying such an incredible inability to distinguish early Christian religion from the views of American evangelicalism, and such an astounding ignorance of basic Christian history and theology. To see his fumbling attempts to go after Timothy George (a man who has forgotten more historical theology than Svendsen will ever hope to grasp) made me feel embarrassed for him frankly. It was pathetic.

In any case, I don't hold it against you that you want to stick up for your theological heroes. It's understandable, and I wish you well in your journey friend.

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan,

Mr. Owen here has made a good point in his observation regarding the aforementioned parties:

..have repeatedly shown, this whole anti-Catholic crowd is simply not up to the task of serious theological debate.


Given these facts, why do you continue to engage these people?

For clarification, I am not saying that what you are doing is wrong or what have you, but even St. Paul had said:

2Thes 3:6:
6 And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.


All I'm saying here is that for those Protestants who will give an ear, more power to them.

However, for those who refuse, why waste such valuable time and effort?

2Tm 2:23
23 And avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes. (DRV)

God Bless,
e.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

As I pointed out here, they are employing the timeless philosophical tactic of BSing. It's practically the American way these days: if you don't know it, fake it! No wonder the fascination with oral debate and call-in radio! I can think of no formats that better facilitate passing oneself off as competent without requiring support in the facts.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

e.

By Frankfurt's argument, BS is actually a bigger threat to the truth, so it can even be more important to call out people who are trying to pass themselves off as authorities even than responding to sincere mistakes. Now that I see what they're after, the purpose is clear.

Thus, I can call BS on the Okie-lover "roywilliams31jr":
Anytime I see you guys taking pot shots at Dr. Svendsen, it becomes quite clear that it is you who are the angry men, ever since he Biblically exegeted you both into a corner leaving you dumbfounded and refuted, which is what really has lead to your dislike of him. I see nothing but generalized character jabs at these men, rarely ever dealing with anything of substance.
The bottom line is simple, their reasoning makes more sense than yours, which is why they are very popular Apologists and respected exegetes, while you guys aren't.


Try supporting THAT claim in reality. Not happening. This is simply taking to create the impression of speaking about reality, without actually having to ground the claim in anything. He is "shooting the bull" as it were, but that's all it is.

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By Frankfurt's argument, BS is actually a bigger threat to the truth, so it can even be more important to call out people who are trying to pass themselves off as authorities even than responding to sincere mistakes.

Excellent point!

I, for one, am one of your avid supporters in your cause here.

However, what I find quite distressing is the fact that there seems to be an intellectual dishonesty about these folks.

IF they truly are the respected individuals that, for example, this person Roy seems to claim in his post here; that is, being of the kind of caliber much deserving of their credentials and status in their respective positions in both academia as well as in their ministries (not to mention, they're rendering themselves 'professional' apologists), then why the supposed intentional ignorance?

The "Ignorance is Bliss" attitude can certainly be something found understandable as far as the common man is concerned; but when the stakes are such that such knowledge should be an integral portion (i.e., a pre-requisite, in fact) of one's knowledgebase given his/her professional career, I would find it not only irresponsible (especially when such mis-information comes across to those folks they're actually responsible for; e.g., students) but also intellectually dishonest.

Let me try to clarify.

If it were an average individual, you would not expect such a person to possess a certain knowledge and/or skillset that's required of, say, a forensics expert.

Now, can a person actually claim him/herself a forensics expert if s/he did not obtain/learn knowledge fundamental (e.g., a required analytic course) to his/her profession?

In fact, if you were to put such a person on the stand, and if s/he were to demonstrate such lack of knowledge, this would inevitably go against his/her credibility, no?

It just seems that it would go against all honesty if a person did not actually go to the extent of fully exploring and learning things integral to his/her profession/position and, yet, passes him/herself off as being such an individual.

Kindly correct me if this isn't the case.

e.

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger roywilliams31jr said...

Paul, you are Anglican today, Roman Catholic tommorow?, and yesterday you were a conglomerate of all the previous denominations you were a member of?. You may not be a RC by membership, but by demonstration of your theological expositions in your many writings. The fact that you have more in common with the likes of Roman Catholics such as Prejean, while at the same time make great efforts to attack the likes of White, Svendsen, and King at every opportunity, speaks volumes in of itself. I certainly don't know you better than yourself, but at the same time one can surmise the evidence before oneself concerning your ecclesiastical bent. It has been pointed out to you in the past that even now you are at theological odds with your current denomination. Nonetheless, you may be an Anglican, but you appear much more RC than you think.

"I have yet to see Svendsen demonstrate any meaningful capacity to engage in the task of biblical exegesis in a credible manner"
Really, because he seemed to do a very good job on his site when you guys were going back in forth quite a few months ago. If Dr. Svendsen didn't engage in biblical exegesis in a credible manner, what does that say about yours?
Actually, after reading Timothy George's article, i'd say his comments were a bit more embarrassing and pathetic.
Were all entitled to our opinions I guess, and you shouldn't hold it against me that I would stick up for these men. I only point out that they are a much more stable group who are diligent and faithful to God and his Word by rightly diving it for the love of God and his people. I appreciate their work and am greatly blessed by it. I wish I could say the same about your exegesis sir, but after years of reading much of your material, I am afraid I cannot. I wouldn't necessarily call them "heroes" either, more like biblically sound men, who possess an ability to expound scripture, convey it in an understandable manner, devote hard work and effort to demonstrate their beliefs, aren't men pleasers, and give all the Glory to whom it is deserved. They are my kind of guys, what can I say.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roy,

Respected exegetes? Really? By whom?

I won't even touch the reasoning stuff... I think Jonathan has shown (several times) that it is, in fact, their "reasoning" that is suspect.

Roy... is Nestorianism orthodox Christology? Why or why not?

BC

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan,

Roy is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of what I just said at Envoy...

Wow...

BC

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger roywilliams31jr said...

Prejean said,
"I can call BS on the Okie-lover"
So he can hit, but not cover - much like your apologetic strategy.

"Try supporting THAT claim in reality. Not happening. This is simply taking to create the impression of speaking about reality, without actually having to ground the claim in anything. He is "shooting the bull" as it were, but that's all it is."

Not happening? How about Has Happened?
Ok, here's the reality - go to Svendsen's website, re-read your interactions with him, it was real, you were really refuted in actual time and space. That wasn't difficult at all. This is all just BS though, lets move on.

" It's practically the American way these days: if you don't know it, fake it! No wonder the fascination with oral debate and call-in radio!"

Read: I was embarrassed on James White's radio show because I couldn't answer a simple question, and through all my obfuscation and sophistry I still came off as foolish.

What is wrong with oral-debates? They seem to be perfect grounds to demonstrate more than the surface level beliefs of each participant. It lays out the different viewpoints to those who are searching for answers to their religious inquiries. No need to be so upset because Dr. White is a great debater and comes away presenting a better perspective in his debates. Its not just him that is so good, its the ability to provide us with sound reasoning and a rock solid defense of biblical Christianity that he gives during these debates that seal it for most people.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roy,

When you get back from asking Svendsen about how Nestorianism is, in fact, the name of orthodox christology... I was wondering if you would address a couple of questions about these gems:

You write:
"What is wrong with oral-debates? They seem to be perfect grounds to demonstrate more than the surface level beliefs of each participant."

If you are, indeed, speaking about oral "debates" featuring the likes of White and Svendsen... are you serious?

You write:
"It lays out the different viewpoints to those who are searching for answers to their religious inquiries."

I see...Do you think it a possibility that a person who is someone who only *seems* more polished could win a debate of this type with mere rhetoric if the listeners were swayed by such things...?

You write:
"...Dr. White is a great debater and comes away presenting a better perspective in his debates. Its not just him that is so good, its the ability to provide us with sound reasoning and a rock solid defense of biblical Christianity that he gives during these debates that seal it for most people."

Ok... if Dr. White is, indeed, a "great debator" who is providing folks with "sound reasoning" for "rock solid defences" of "biblical Christianity" (meaning Svendsen/White type "Reformed" ecclesial communities)... I don't want to be a "christian."

BC

 
At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not happening? How about Has Happened?
Ok, here's the reality - go to Svendsen's website, re-read your interactions with him, it was real, you were really refuted in actual time and space.


Prejean was refuted?

How?

I thought to actually refute an argument, you'd have to address it with logic and supporting facts?

I didn't know BS sufficed.


No need to be so upset because Dr. White is a great debater and comes away presenting a better perspective in his debates. Its not just him that is so good, its the ability to provide us with sound reasoning and a rock solid defense of biblical Christianity that he gives during these debates that seal it for most people.


Sound reasoning?

Please demonstrate this 'sound reasoning' you speak of.

First, there must be 'reason' for it to be sound in the first place.

There was nothing substantive or sound about White's 'lack' of reason in the confrontation.


I may not have agreed with Prejean's approach to the matter, but certainly can grasp where he's coming from given 'historical' Christianity versus the 'fabricated' one you seem to subscribe to, Mr. Roy sir.

e.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger roywilliams31jr said...

BC,
Prejean and Owen respectable exegetes? Really, by Whom?

If you need to know real names, grab some of Dr. Svendsen, Dr. White, and Pasor Kings books and read the endorsements of men who feel the same.
As far as this conversation goes, I am only concerned that I respect them.

" I won't even touch the reasoning stuff... I think Jonathan has shown (several times) that it is, in fact, their "reasoning" that is suspect."

Of course you do, yet at the same time you might as well plug in Dr. Svendsens name where ever Jonathan's is and consider this my thoughts as well.

"Roy... is Nestorianism orthodox Christology? Why or why not?

Do I really need to direct you to the conversations between Dr. Svendsen and Jonathan on Dr. Svendsens site? Isn't it obvious that after reading through these interactions I side with Dr. Svendsens position?
Please, with the re-hashing of the the whole "Nestorianism" issue. It is much to time consuming and tedious to get into a discussion like this on the internet (for me anyway; slow typer, responsibilities, children, etc.)
I can confidently point you to Eric and Jonathans discussion a few months ago, and you can go calculate your conclusions from there.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger roywilliams31jr said...

"I see...Do you think it a possibility that a person who is someone who only *seems* more polished could win a debate of this type with mere rhetoric if the listeners were swayed by such things...?"

Possible, but more likely probable that Dr. White holds the more logical perspective. I don't think Stravinskas, Pacwa, Sungenis, Matatics, Michuta, etc. are unpolished at all, and the claim the Dr. White is distributing more rhetoric to gain the listeners is nonsense. He makes more sense, you know it, but don't like it. Fact.

"If you are, indeed, speaking about oral "debates" featuring the likes of White and Svendsen... are you serious?"

Yes, I am. In the above-surface-level context, they are just fine. Sorry you guys come off as not making alot of sense, but that is the position you defend. I am quite sure if the RC apologist didnt' seem to have contradictory beliefs, you'd be quite fine with an oral "debate"

Ok... if Dr. White is, indeed, a "great debator" who is providing folks with "sound reasoning" for "rock solid defences" of "biblical Christianity" (meaning Svendsen/White type "Reformed" ecclesial communities)... I don't want to be a "christian."

That's a shame, but tell me, If being a Christian entails celebrating "Divine Mercy Sunday" then I guess I'll pass on those Plenary Indulgences being passed out in the confessional that Sunday.
I'm sure there is some really sound reasoning for rock solid defences of biblical Christianity in that message from Jesus back in 1930 to sister Faustina, after all, it was inscripturated in a diary. Is this not also the very Word of God?

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roy,

Thanks for answering my questions...

I see that I was *exactly right* about you...

I just wondered by whom White and Svendsen were considered "respected exegetes." From what I can tell...

You wrote:
"As far as this conversation goes, I am only concerned that I respect them."

Yeah... just what I thought...

As to the whole "Nestorian issue..."

You wrote:
"It is much to time consuming and tedious to get into a discussion like this on the internet..."

Translation: Svendsen already told me what to think about that... don't confuse me with the facts. Got it!

You write (in trying to inform me on the "Nestorian issue"):

"I can confidently point you to Eric and Jonathans discussion a few months ago, and you can go calculate your conclusions from there."

I have already read the discussion to which you refer, and I have "calculated" my conclusions... Eric Svendsen is a Nestorian heretic who doesn't have the foggiest idea of what Christianity is.

BC
"

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Josh G. said...

It's sort of stunning to have your point proven so precisely.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a shame, but tell me, If being a Christian entails celebrating "Divine Mercy Sunday" then I guess I'll pass on those Plenary Indulgences being passed out in the confessional that Sunday.

I'm sure there is some really sound reasoning for rock solid defences of biblical Christianity in that message from Jesus back in 1930



Just as there must be some rock solid evidence for the pseudo-Christian beliefs of the Protestant denominations that only came about starting with the Lutherans in 1517, the Presbyterians in 1560, and the Baptists in 1600.

Hmmm... now where exactly was Sola Scriptura in the early Christian church before Protestantism was even born?

Please, please, gimme an answer -- you can if you imagine and daydream long and hard enough.

e.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

Josh:
That's what I was thinking! I especially like this one:
Were all entitled to our opinions I guess

Yes, everyone has beliefs, and some of us even bother to have *reasons* for them!

e:
However, what I find quite distressing is the fact that there seems to be an intellectual dishonesty about these folks

Dishonesty requires a commitment to the truth, even if only to deny it. That's why they fall in the category that I've described.

One bit of fact checking:
Ok, here's the reality - go to Svendsen's website, re-read your interactions with him, it was real, you were really refuted in actual time and space.

In fact, it's not POSSIBLE to re-read my interaction with him, because his half of it doesn't link mine. You did remind me that I need to get that series on the sidebar though.

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhhh... Jonathan, I didn't say the following that you seemed to have ascribed to me:

One bit of fact checking:
Ok, here's the reality - go to Svendsen's website, re-read your interactions with him, it was real, you were really refuted in actual time and space.

In fact, it's not POSSIBLE to re-read my interaction with him, because his half of it doesn't link mine. You did remind me that I need to get that series on the sidebar though.





If you check my 11:46 AM post where I merely quoted it, my actual response read as follows:

Prejean was refuted?

How?

I thought to actually refute an argument, you'd have to address it with logic and supporting facts?

I didn't know BS sufficed.


e.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

Sorry, that wasn't directed at you. It was simply a general fact-checking observation for the benefit of the audience. Should have made that clear.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

Closing comments because I'm not interested in babysitting the blog over the weekend.

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan,

You have to babysit the blog?

I thought the blogs have administrators for that.

Have a Good Weekend then.

 

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