Sunday, September 25, 2005

More & more about less & less

***QUOTE***

And so, quite consistently, I have made exceptions in some cases. I attempted to discuss why I decided not to try to dialogue with anti-Catholics (because that was not a theological debate but merely a clarification), with your big buddy Steve Hays, but he refused to interact with my reasoning


When you are an anti-Catholic and find yourself unable to reply to rational, fact-based, documented arguments (often with the aid of Protestant scholars) from a Romanist . . .oops, Catholic . . . ooops, ROMAN Catholic, what do you DO? Well, that's easy! You flee for the hills in terror and insult the Papist and make out that he is a highly disturbed individual, etc. (IOW, massive use of the ad hominem fallacy, complete with repeatedly insulting comic book graphics), and then ultimately ask your readers if you should ban said person from your environs. This is an old story, folks: I've observed it firsthand in Svendsen, White, Engwer, Webster, King, Hays, Ankerberg: all the leading anti-Catholic "lights" - as soon as they run out of "answers".

***END-QUOTE***

Thus far I’ve chosen to sit out Armstrong’s temper tantrum over Frank Turk, in large part because it’s all so incredibly trivial, and in small part because it’s only tangentially about me.

But since it’s getting too late to write anything serious, I’ll indulge myself in a few comments.

i) I don’t know of another man who has such an inexhaustible capacity for going on and on about absolutely nothing.

The historical etymology of “anti-Catholic” is irrelevant to this debate. All that’s relevant is Armstrong’s self-serving usage.

ii) The record will show that I did interact with Armstrong’s diversionary tactic by exposing it for the diversionary tactic that it was.

What I refuse to interact with is a Catholic epologist who wants to “reason” about his own precious motives instead of reasoning about Catholicism.

iii) To my knowledge, I’ve always been consistent in my use of synonyms, employing “Catholic,” “Romanist,” “papist,” “popery” and the like interchangeably for purposes of stylistic variety and euphony.

My usage isn’t normative for anyone else.

Armstrong is of the stated view that you should call folks whatever they want to be called. I disagree. We should call people what they are. I value truthful speech over PC speech.

Mohammedans prefer to be called Muslims. Mormons prefer to be called Christians. Sodomites prefer to be called gay or families. Witches prefer to be called Wiccans. Arab terrorists and suicide-bombers prefer to be called martyrs and Palestinians. Illegal aliens prefer to be called undocumented workers. Hyperpreterists prefer to be called full preterists. Abortionists prefer to be called health-care providers. And so it goes.

I’d just note that Armstrong’s ecclesiastical superiors do not play by Armstrong’s own rules.

For example, they refuse to dub any Protestant denomination a “church.” They reserve that term for their own communion and analogous denominations.

According to the Vatican Fathers, the Lutherans don’t have a real church. The Baptists don’t have a real church. The Presbyterians don’t have a real church. Instead, we’re merely “ecclesial communities.”

BTW, I, as a Calvinist, have no hesitation in calling a Lutheran denomination like WELS or LCMS a church. I don’t consider it any less a church than some Reformed denomination like the OPC or PCA.

Now, the Vatican Fathers aren’t trying to be offensive. They have a principled reason for their linguistic discrimination: they view the Church of Rome as the only true church, although they extend their penumbra over the Orthodox Church and other suchlike.

I’m not offended by this linguistic discrimination. But, by the same token, I have an equally principled reason for my own usage.

iv) Finally, I understand why Armstrong doesn’t find me especially likable.

But he’s exactly the same way with nice, polite guys like Steve Jackson and Jason Engwer. When you’re not nice to those who are nice to you, then you forfeit any right to take umbrage when others treat you the way you treat them.

8 comments:

  1. >The historical etymology of “anti-Catholic” is irrelevant to this debate. All that’s relevant is Armstrong’s self-serving usage.

    Which is what?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave's functional definition of "anti-Catholic" is any Evangelical he doesn't want to debate. One of his preconditions is that you must stipulate to his state of grace and the Christian identity of the Catholic Church before being allowed the inestimable privilege of debating with his august personage.

    BTW, I have never banned him from my environs. I have never threatened to ban him from my environs. There only individual I've ever banned from my environs is a certain androgynous and potty-mouthed troll.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a perfect right to not debate someone whom I think is an anti-Catholic: i.e., one who denies that the Catholic Church is Christian. How is that "self-serving"? I'm in the process now of confirming from Christian sociologists that my definition (one of a range of many) is entirely proper. You don't like that? Go debate and refute them.

    Why am I required to debate people who holds positions that I consider intellectually suicidal and the height of absurdity?

    We all make such choices. You may not like that, but so what? I don't like what you think of my Church. Join the crowd. Life is tough.

    Why should I care what YOU think of my criteria for who I will spend time debating? I make my own decisions; I don't operate on the basis that "oh wow, Steve Hays may not LIKE my decision to avoid anti-Catholics like himself!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment is to Dave....

    Dave said:

    "I'm in the process now of confirming from Christian sociologists that my definition (one of a range of many) is entirely proper."

    I don't know you Dave. You don't know me. Steve Hays doesn't know me. And I have never met him.

    So my questions are based only on my particular belief system. Which, of course, may be disregarded.

    My questions:

    "Why in this world would you seek the approval of "Christian sociologists" to validate your position on anything!?"

    "What could you possibly hope to gain from fallen man?"

    And perhaps you may want to consider that it is not that certain persons are against one or more religious groups of people, but, rather, they stand against anyone who denies the obvious and knowable truths in scripture, regardless of which group they may affiliate with.

    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi there Dave,

    i)Disposing of your straw man argument, no one is contesting your right to debate, or not, with anyone you please.

    ii)If you don't care to debate me, that's fine. I win by default. Thanks for surrendering without a fight. Now I can move on to other targets.

    ReplyDelete
  6. iI have a perfect right to not debate someone whom I think is an anti-Catholic: i.e., one who denies that the Catholic Church is Christian. How is that "self-serving"?

    a. It's self-serving because it stacks the deck in your favor, because it means you don't have to defend your communion from the charge it is not a legitmate church, while you do not extend the same favor to your critics. If a Protestant does not believe the gospel of Rome saves, then it follows Rome is an illegitimate communion. Thus, this means you will not debate the doctrine of justification. That's very convenient for you.

    b. Your own communion does not label Protestant churches as Christian churches. They are merely "ecclesial communities." By your own standards, your own communion is bigoted, yet you reject this assertion.

    c. If you think a position is intellectually suicidal but you won't debate them, it's not as much self-serving as rank cowardice. If your position is correct, then stand up and debate it in the open when challenged without melting down and calling people names. As it stands now, your major defense is the "Nana Nana Boo-Boo" aka "Anti-Catholic" defense.

    I'm in the process now of confirming from Christian sociologists that my definition (one of a range of many) is entirely proper. You don't like that? Go debate and refute them.

    a. All this shows is that you can find Christian sociologists that might agree with you. This is just an appeal to authority that proves you can't sustain your own arguments. If your critics find an equal number that support them in response, all that will prove is that you can both find people that support you. This adds no merit to your argumentation.

    b. Given your penchant for misquoting them in the past, pardon us if we don't all ask for a list so we can all contact them ourselves for clarification.

    b. I understand you put this on your blog...as if Christian sociologists in the academy actually think you are a major academic force to be reckoned with to whom they will gladly respond. That smacks of arrogance. Get a clue, Dave, the apologetic world does not revolve around you. Somehow I doubt you're little more than a blip on their radar.

    ReplyDelete
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