I've deemed today, "Be Nice To Catholic Apologists Thursday". Maybe what i'll do is take the time on Thursdays to say something nice about that group of ex-protestants that have dedicated their lives to correcting the errors of those people who are, according to current Roman Catholic theology, not really in danger of eternal separation from God for believing in sola scriptura and sola fide.
I stopped by a Catholic blog a few days ago. He was having an “open forum” in which one could ask him questions on any subject. I asked him a question on a Reformation topic I plan on writing about in the near future (not against him or his opinion). He provided a brief answer, but then went on to say:
“I won't go into this beyond that with you because that would go against my resolution to not dialogue with anti-Catholics anymore. You'll likely just take whatever I write here and distort it somehow, in an effort to present me in an unfavorable light. I've come to expect this, and it is sad, for so sharp of a person (and nice) as you are.”
I haven't done this. Requesting one sticks to ad fontes research does not qualify as “distorting” his writings. I can though think of a few instances in some of his replies to me in which he corrected a way I was misunderstanding his point. No one gets it all perfect in discussions.
On the other hand, I’ve often felt the same way about the way he’s treated my writings over the years. 6 or 7 years ago I had no idea who the guy was. I had been hanging around on the CARM boards, and this guy used to participate there as well occasionally (he has been banned from CARM and his material is now not even allowed to be posted by anyone). My first recollection of him was dialoging with him in a CARM discussion on the topic of God's middle knowledge. The discussion was very long. I recall writing a whole lot of material in the discussion. I eventually came across his website and I found this link:
Dialog With a Calvinist on Middle Knowledge, Sovereignty, and Salvation
The link was an edited down version of my discussion with this guy from the CARM boards. I recall reading it and thinking, “I said a lot more than this!” I went back over to CARM and I posted something like “Watch out when Dialoging with this guy” …“because when you do, he takes the discussion, edits them down, and makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about.” The CARM moderators were none too pleased and threatened to ban me if I kept up my complaint. I never forgot this episode. (updated to add: this guy has put this link on Middle Knowledge back up and added even further comments).
On the other hand, in the spirit of fairness, if I really have “distorted” his words, I thought it would be a nice gesture to make anyone who reads my writings aware of his responses to me. Below is a list of writings from him about yours truly, as they are found on his website under the category, “Anti-Catholic: James Swan (Reformed)”:
Counter-Reply: Martin Luther's Mariology (Particularly the Immaculate Conception): Has Present-Day Protestantism Maintained the "Reformational" Heritage of Classical Protestant Mariology?
Second Reply Concerning Martin Luther's Mariology
Luther's Outrageous Assertions About Certain Biblical Books (Reply to James Swan's Paper on Luther and the Canon)
My Use of Luther Biographer Roland Bainton: Does it Exhibit an Undue, Unfair Bias?: Part I: Introduction and Questions About the Older Luther
My Use of Luther Biographer Roland Bainton: Does it Exhibit an Undue, Unfair Bias?: Part II: Luther and the Artist Lucas Cranach
My Use of Citations From Luther Biographer Roland Bainton: Part III: Luther's Views on the Death Penalty and Persecution
My Use of Citations From Luther Biographer Roland Bainton: Part IV: Luther and the Bigamy of Philip of Hesse
The Ghost of Martin Luther Interviews James Swan About Dastardly, Wascally Luther- (satire related to Swan's critiques of my use of Luther biographer Roland Bainton)
James Swan vs. Lutheran Scholarship Affirming Luther's Lifelong Acceptance of the Immaculate Conception
Dialogue on My Critique of James White's Book, Mary -- Another Redeemer? (+ Part II) (particularly with regard to the differing views on early Mariology of Protestant Church historians J.N.D. Kelly and Philip Schaff) (vs. James Swan and "BJ Bear")
"The Lost Liguori": The Nefarious Protestant Conspiracy to Conceal St. Alphonsus' Christocentric Mariology
Dialogues With James White (+ Questions About My Editing of Dialogues)
James Swan's Opinion & Suggestions Concerning "Lengthy Papers"
Anti-Catholic James Swan's Unique, Ambiguous Use of Religious "Anti" Language
Did Luther Stop Believing in Mary's Immaculate Conception? + Yet More Questioning of My Luther Research (see "Question #6") My Reply James' "Counter-Reply" My Counter-Reply
So there you have it. Those of you reading through any of these links that have any questions for me- fire away. If I’ve distorted these writings, these links above serve as his defense.
He says I’m a “nice person”. But one needs to ask- would a “nice person” take his writings “and distort [them] somehow, in an effort to present [him] in an unfavorable light”?
I don’t think so. Nice people don’t knowingly do this.