Monday, July 03, 2006

On Bob Klaus And The Catholic Legate

I’ve been trying to abide by Catholic apologist Bob Klaus’s request to wait until he returns from his vacation to continue interacting with him. But some of his comments in the blogback need responding to.

First, I greatly appreciate Bob Klaus (pictured Right) stopping over here. Of course, he’s welcome to post anything he wants- I will not edit him. I’ve never heard of Bob before- and I’m sure it’s mutual on his part, he's probably never heard of me. Of course, I consider myself a theological-cyber-space “beggar” (hence, “beggars all”)- so I wouldn’t really expect him to be familiar with this blog or my interest in the Reformation.

I am though familiar with the Catholic Legate website which he is part of. I’ve linked to the Legate website for quite some time now (along with many other “Glory” websites). I do this because one of the best ways to learn about the Reformation is to have the presence of its antithesis. One of the primary ways I learn about my faith is to study that which opposes it.

Bob serves as webmaster and editor of the Catholic Legate site. This link provides some background information on him. I’m really hoping Bob’s not anything like his associate from Catholic legate, Dr. Art Sippo. Bob needs to understand upfront, any group of Roman Catholics that take Art Sippo seriously and will host his materials on their web site gets a suspicious Swan eyebrow raised. In other words, I’m hopeful it’s just a fluke that Sippo’s on the Catholic legate site, and Sippo doesn’t represent the typical approach from the Catholic legate folks. It is quite possible that the other cyber-staff members of Catholic Legate are cordial and have a grip on reality. In fact, I’m hoping this is the case. I don’t mean this to be insulting to Bob or the other staff members, but if they take the time to read my blog entries dealing with Art Sippo, they should be able to understand where I’m coming from.

Anyway, for those of you playing along, Bob took some shots at me from the OBOB impenetrable bunker. "OBOB" is a Roman Catholic discussion board that (allegedly) allows no counter responses from Protestants, especially a guy like me. It was very frustrating on my end not be allowed to respond on OBOB, since my links were being scrutinized. Of course, they have their rules, which say I can’t. I had posted on OBOB once before and was given immediate warnings- I posted an old warning in the blog back for all to see. Well, Bob noted that I deserved the warnings because I violated the “rules”. Bob pointed out:

I will point out that even in the case of your January 2005 warning, your post was not one of fellowship or inquiry as to the Catholic faith (which is the purpose of OBOB), but rather one of telling Catholics why our doctrine of indulgences is supposedly wrong. Hence it was a post designed to debate us and therefore against the rules that apply to ALL Congregational Forums. Were I to post a similar message in a Lutheran or Baptist Congregational Forum (i.e., being critical of their beliefs) I would have been warned too.”

After I was warned by the OBOB folks, I respected their warning and never posted on their board again. I really don’t know how to pretend fiction is fact and keep my mouth shut. I simply concluded they need their own impenetrable bubble to perpetuate whatever false information makes them feel good. If posting solid facts means “debate” then I guess I might as well go do something else. Their rules state no Protestant interference. Ok, fine. Have a nice day.

Now, I could go along with Bob’s explanation above- except for one thing: the OBOB moderators are not consistent. If one were to take a look at the recent thread in which I was not allowed to defend myself, other non-Catholics are participating, making some of the same arguments I would. Guess what? It appears they are not being silenced. Hence, It’s really hard for me to understand exactly why my voice was squelched.

Bob, who is one of the board moderators, posted an apology, and he also noted he revised some of his comments. I greatly appreciate that, and it makes me hopeful that if we do interact on any topics, we can keep it at this level. I’ve appreciated his cordial demeanor here on this blog, and I would ask those of you who stand over in my corner to treat Bob Klaus as a guest. In fact, treat all the Roman Catholics who stop by here as guests. I like the fact that Roman Catholics will stop by the beggar camp every now and then. I know, every so often I cross the line and get polemical- sometimes things get too silly to take seriously. But in Bob’s case, he’s got my attention and my respect.


Oddball Pastor said...

All I can say James is that ou need to show some discernment in lkinking to RC sites. I looked at some of the bits they have,and I looked at one listing "erros protestants hold." Except none of them is a protestant belief. All of them bar none, a straw man.

That's just embarrassing.

James Swan said...

I don't link to those sites because I like them- I link to them because they show the striking contrast in theology and history with those positions I hold.

I also link to them because i'm not afraid of them. I trust in Christ too much to be afraid of them.

They are the theologians of glory. I trust in the foolishness of the cross.

James Swan said...

...and like I said, I don't know Bob, nor have I read any of his materials on Catholic legate. That he offerred an apology and edited his comments on OBOB makes me think he's not the Sippo type. Unless he proves otherwise, we can discuss our disagreements with him rationally.

James Swan said...

I would also point out that I stole the idea of presenting antithesis from Phil Johnson:

Brent- I respect you and your opinion- if indeed it does more harm than good to link to the "glory" folks- I'm listening. When a pastor talks, I listen!


FM483 said...

James, judging by recent comments from Roman Catholics disturbed by your blog shows me you are doing something correct. Obviously, most people do not exercise the patience to clearly refute false historical claims by certain people - but you do. This seems to be yielding fruit by raising concerns over the validity and indirectly, even the intellectual integrity, of certain RC apologists. Truth is the only solution to lies and when spoken in love we are doing the will of God. I do concur to a certain extent with the other poster that one has to always be careful when stepping into the lions' den, but the Scriptures tell us to carry the sword of the Spirit and put on the armor of God, His Holy Word. What is so disturbing to me with respect to Roman Catholicism is that it is an "enigma" of conflicting and confusing beliefs. If you were to ask Roman Catholics whether faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ for their sins is the only known and revealed path to heaven, you will not find agreement among them on this essential doctrine. Hence, not only are RCs theologians of Glory, as you point out, but their very souls are at stake. They are like the injured man whom no one would bother to stop and help in the parable of the Good Samaritan - but you take the time.

God Bless You James,

Frank Marron

Oddball Pastor said...


Forgive me, I missed the irnoy of the classification.

Churchmouse said...


I still have some qualms about a forum which is allowed to critique, but allows no counterpoint even to those who they are critiquing, but holy hands up in the air my brother. Jesus is good and our trust is firmly in Him and in His precious eternal Word.


James Swan said...

I thought a lot about my linking to the RC sites after Brent brought it up. I think I probably should somehow note that i don't link to them in any sort of approval. Most of them blatantly deny the gospel and present caricatures of non-Roman beliefs.Some folks from my church actually stop by the blog, and I doubt they know what I mean by "theologians of glory". I don't want to be shunned at church(lol)!

A few months ago, my internet service provider deleted all my links contained in my "favorites"- which I had ammased over the years. I used to have a folder of just RC sites that i used for research purposes. some of the ones I could think of, I put on the blog.