Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Woman Rides The Beast


"The reason started when James Swan posted his remarks on this thread about Dave Hunt. I google a search to see why Swan didn't like Hunt and I guess is because they disagree on some theological points. I just don't like it when people post insults/opinions without presenting all the facts why that person is wrong." [source]

"I did a google search to see why Swan had a problem with Hunt and you are right. It has to do with the whole Calvinist debates with Hunt. That explains why the potshot at Hunt." [source]

What provoked this? someone was recommending Jack Chick's web site and Dave Hunt's A Woman Rides The Beast over on the CARM boards. Thus ensued "I have it, great book" versus "I have it, terrible book" saga. I had simply stated, "I have spent a number of years defending the Gospel and the Scriptures against Romanism. I would not endorse any work against Romanism by either Mr. Chick or Dave Hunt." I had forgotten about this thread and my comment until a Private message alerted me to visit this now ten page discussion. Re-entering the arena, I stated:

I was raised on Chick tracts. Somewhere in my house, I probably have a few of them still laying around. I'm quite sure I still have the Alberto comic books somewhere. As a young 1970's kid, there was a lot of speculation and talk about the soon-to-be end of the world. The signs were all in place. Armageddon was coming...because Israel was now a nation again and "this generation will not pass away... etc." 1980 was quickly approaching! Get ready for the rapture! The Chick tracts back then put all the signs together in a helpful comic book form for young minds to easily digest. Not to mention the fact that the Jesuits had secretly infiltrated the evangelical church.... according to Mr. Chick's publications. Scary stuff. But then in the mid 1980's (if I recall), Cornerstone Magazine completely destroyed the Alberto story. Well, the 1980's came and went. Israel is still a nation, and the generation is quickly passing away, and, well all the "forty years" stuff was just wrong.

In the 1980's Dave Hunt became a popular Christian author with his Seduction of Christianity (and follow up books). I have a number of his books, and in fact, his newsletter came in the mail today. ("Born That Man No More Die" (12/10). He likewise reads the signs of the times. Yes, I've been through his "A Woman Rides the Beast." I'll even admit to seeing the movie version he released.

Those of you who know a bit about the subjects I enjoy know of my Martin Luther related studies. Luther was convinced it was the end of the world and of Rome's role in the coming apocalypse. Well, he was wrong. Here we are, hundreds of years later. He expected the end within a few decades from the 1540's.

I don't follow the approach that Roman Catholicism is in error and dangerous because of prophecy and apocalyptic literature. Those who attempt to refute Roman Catholicism by interpreting the book of Revelation are simply setting themselves up for embarrassment.

I don't think everything Mr. Hunt puts forth is in error. However, his apologetic material is dipped in prophetical interpretation. In my opinion, this is not a wise method. I've studied enough of the history of prophecy and Dispensationalism to understand those who do this have to continually read the signs of the times, and then readjust their apologetics.

Rome is indeed in error, and can be demonstrated to be so over the central issues of authority and the Gospel. This is where the battle lies. I can recommend a number of helpful resources that don't have to continually reevaluate the signs of the times.. and then put forth "shock" type of stuff.

Here are a few books currently on my desk:

James White, The Roman Catholic Controversy (Minnesota: Bethany House, 1996)

James White, Scripture Alone (Minnesota: Bethany House, 2004)

James White, The God Who Justifies (Minnesota: Bethany House, 2001)

David King & William Webster, Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, (three volumes) (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001)

Eric Svendsen, Evangelical Answers, A Critique of Current Roman Catholic Apologists (New York: Reformation Press, 1999).

Eric Svendsen, Upon This Slippery Rock: Countering Roman Catholic Claims to Authority (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2002)

Eric Svendsen, Who is My Mother? The Role and Status of the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament and Roman Catholicism (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2001)

Eric Svendsen is not a "5 point Calvinist," so so much for my alleged bias against non-Calvinists. Also, Mr. Hunt made some good points in his Seduction of Christianity book. I read it, and own it. [That is, Dave Hunt isn't completely wrong on everything].

For those Protestants that have an interest in Roman Catholicism, take a look at your methodology. Are you defending the gospel, or are you speculating about which woman is riding the beast? Don't ignore the central truths of the faith to irritate your Roman Catholic acquaintances with speculative prophecy. Stick with defending the authority of scripture and the perfect righteousness of Christ. These issues don't require reading a newspaper in one hand, and the Bible in the other. They require reading a Bible with both your hands, and all of your mind.

Then came the following dialog:

Well, I endorse Dave's book. Many of the reviews reflect my own opinions that his book is well referenced. His book is where I learned about the Vatican Bank Claims. I followed the book's references to learn more about this history through the Orthodox websites. Years ago when I was Catholic I remember hearing about this in the news but then I didn't pay attention to it all that much. So it was interesting to go back and research it for myself to discover the Vatican's involvment in this criminal act during 1930-40's. His book addresses the dark role of the Roman Church down through the centuries up til the last century.[source]

Once again, I don't think everything Mr. Hunt puts forth is in error. But, he often misses the battle. The battle is over the Gospel & Scriptures. I could care less about Rome's bank accounts.

You are right the battle is over the Gospel and Scriptures. Hunt is exposing the darkside of what Roman Catholicism truly is. That needs to be known too. If you truly knew what the Vatican Bank Claims were about you wouldn't have made the flip comment "I could care less". Thousands of innocent men, women, children died at the hands of Franscican priests and even nuns because they were Orthodox Christians who wouldn't convert. The victims were brutally slaughtered even for their gold teeth. The money was sent to the Vatican. [source]

What you consider a "flip comment" actually has reasoning behind it.In terms of argumentation and apologetics, I really don't care about Rome's bank accounts. While it might be interesting and correct information, I try to completely throw out this type of stuff in discussion with Roman Catholics. Here's why: let's say you present all this information about how bad Rome's papacy is, in terms of moral behavior. Your Roman Catholic opponent (for lack of a better word) could respond by presenting information about corrupt churches or behavior in Protestantism.Try to keep this rule keep in mind: if you use an argument and it works against your own position when applied to your own position, the argument is not valid. Once again, stick with the real battle: Gospel, Scripture, and authority.

I try to do that too. Howeverl Catholics have their own interpretation of the Gospel and Scriptures plus their authority is "the Church" they will not reason with non-Catholics on Scriptures either. It also doesn't hurt to read books like Hunt's to get the background history of Roman Catholicism and the papacy. I've learned stuff I never knew about before about my former religion. [source]

Never under estimate the power of the word of God. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). The books I mentioned earlier will provide you with a number of ways of dialoging with Roman Catholics over the Gospel, the Scriptures, and authority. Indeed, reading historical treatments of any subject is worthwhile. I tend to read historical treatments from both Protestant and Roman Catholic authors. No historical treatment is perfect, and if Roman Catholics have done research on Mr. Hunt's materials, we should listen to what they say, honestly evaluate their criticisms, and then take or give correction graciously.

13 comments:

eklektos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zipper778 said...

Dave, can you give an example?

Constantine said...

These issues don't require reading a newspaper in one hand, and the Bible in the other. They require reading a Bible with both your hands, and all of your mind.


Amen, and again I say, amen!

Constantine said...

I thought this was a "DA Free Zone".

Are we again to be subjected to endless infantile rantings and self-congratulatory quotes from himself?

Peace.

scotju said...

Mr Swan, I'll never agree with you on the core issues that seperate us, but you are correct about how stupid it is to base objections to either Catholicism, Protestantism, or even to Orthodoxy on an interpetation of 'prophecy'. American history, let alone world history, is full of failed attempts to ID the woman, the beast, the false prophet and to predict what they were going to do et al. Some are now claiming Islam is the anti-Christ system mentioned in Revelation. You can by a book from World Net Daily that expounds this idea. Needless to say, I'm not going to buy the book. I don't need to read a silly prophecy book to know Islam is a world threat. the newspaper, sans Bible, makes that very clear to me!

Pastor Aaron said...

"Stick with defending the authority of scripture and the perfect righteousness of Christ. These issues don't require reading a newspaper in one hand, and the Bible in the other. They require reading a Bible with both your hands, and all of your mind."

if only for this, the post is worthy of reading.

Andrew said...

Zipper,
Dave would give an example; but he announced a long time ago that he is done commenting here. You see, it is a waste of his time.

Andrew said...

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I spent a little time in the RCC. I swam the Tiber, in part because the only arguments against Rome of which I was aware were of the Dave Hunt, www.jesus-is-lord.com variety. The problem(s) with these types of arguments is that they are very often not true, or greatly exaggerated; and also easily refuted by any semi-knowledgeable Roman Catholic. It was actually on DA's website that I first encountered James White. Oops.

Viisaus said...

George Salmon made an apt comments about anti-Romanists "whose zeal is not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2):

http://www.archive.org/details/infallibilitych02salmgoog

pp. 12-13

"In arguing with a Protestant, (Roman Catholic) challenges him to say on what grounds he can justify his submission to the Bible if the authority of his Church be set aside; and he is quite ready to assail with infidel arguments the independent authority of the Bible. For Rome's maxim has been, 'All or none'; and, like the false mother before King Solomon, she has been ready to slay the souls whom she is unable to keep.

Thus the inexperienced Protestant, engaging in this discussion, is likely to find the arguments on which he had placed most confidence set aside altogether, or the texts which had seemed to him conclusive disposed of by evasions quite new to him; while, on the other hand, he is plied with citations from ancient Fathers, purporting to show that his interpretations of Scripture are modem, and opposed to the judgment of all antiquity. Thus it frequently happens that an attack, begun with all the confidence of victory, ends in disappointment, and there is danger lest the disorder of failure should degenerate into total rout.

What I am insisting on, then, is that, in this controversy, it would be a fatal error to despise your antagonists. Very often has it happened that untrained bands, full of high spirits, and confident in the goodness of their cause, have found that their undisciplined courage was no match for the superior science of their opponents, or have advanced into false positions whence no courage could avail to extricate them."


Many amateurish anti-Romish activists can indeed be enthusiastic, but "pointlessly brave" like those First World War soldiers who were mowed down by machine-guns well before even reaching enemy positions...

Reformed Veritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reformed Veritas said...

James,

I would heartily concur with your remarks. Mr. Hunt, as a pentecostal and arminian, is already compromised with romanism when it comes to the gospel and the doctrine of scripture, even before we get to the Book of Revelation. This compromise further undercuts his presentation and version of Reformation eschatology.
(See for instance, the Trinity Foundation's Review for Oct.-Dec. 1994 and May-June 1999 on the theological linkage.)

J.I. Packer’s classic Introduction to Luther’s classic of the Reformation, The Bondage of the Will touches upon the question of whether or not saving faith in Christ is the work of our (sinful) free will - i.e. a works righteousness - or a gift of God’s sovereign regenerating grace in Christ. Not to give away the plot, but both arminianism and popery come down on the free will side of the question.
(See Vol. 73; No. 20; September 1, 1997 of the Protestant Reformed StandardBearer for at least the conclusion of Packer.)

Likewise the title to Trinity Foundation’s reprint of Evangelicalism, the Charismatic Movement, and the Race Back to Rome is self explanatory.
(See the Trinity Review for Nov.Dec. 1986.)

Consequently for Mr. Hunt as a arminian fundamentalist pentecostal to major on the spectacular and speculative aspects of prophecy contra Rome is to put the cart before the horse, never mind who is riding the poor beast.

It is to ignore the one thing necessary: the Reformation gospel. Salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone, through predestinating and electing grace alone, as found in Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. The broken reed of arminian fundamentalist pentecostalism only confesses three out of five. That’s not good enough and that’s not genuine protestantism.

Thank you.

Raymond said...

Here are a few books currently on my desk:

James White, The Roman Catholic Controversy (Minnesota: Bethany House, 1996)

James White, Scripture Alone (Minnesota: Bethany House, 2004)

James White, The God Who Justifies (Minnesota: Bethany House, 2001)

David King & William Webster, Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, (three volumes) (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001)

Eric Svendsen, Evangelical Answers, A Critique of Current Roman Catholic Apologists (New York: Reformation Press, 1999).

Eric Svendsen, Upon This Slippery Rock: Countering Roman Catholic Claims to Authority (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2002)

Eric Svendsen, Who is My Mother? The Role and Status of the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament and Roman Catholicism (Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2001)


Sounds like you are really out to get a balanced view of the issues that separate the Catholic Church from Protestantism.

James Swan said...

Raymond,

By any chance are you Raymond Taouk? there's a guy I'd love to talk to.