"You expect me to trust a guy who apparently spends most of his life defending protestantism to recommend an even handed treatment of its originator?"
I get comments like this all the time. Usually, from the folks over at Catholic Answers. I received a blogback comment on my previous entry on the Facts About Luther from the person who prompted this entry. I would like to briefly respond to the points he made.
"I'm 'manualman' from Catholic Answers. I hadn't realized my post had become a blog entry."
Well, you should probably check the private message feature that the Catholic Answers site provides. I sent you 2 private messages.
The first was sent to you January 1, 2007 at 10:30 AM. I mentioned, “I will probably address the comments raised in the recent thread you started. There are many good books on Luther written by Roman Catholics. O'Hare's book is not one of them.” I then linked to my blog.
The second private message was sent to you January 2, 2007 at 7:01 AM. I stated, “As noted, I took a look at your comments on Patrick O'Hare's Facts about Luther: Christmas Present: The Facts About Luther.” This message linked to this very blog entry.
"Your thoughts are appreciated, but your mind-reading skills are wanting..."
Why not just come out and say you don’t appreciate my perspective?
" 'He's interested in being fueled in maintaining an outdated Catholic polemic.' If that were true, I wouldn't have started the thread in the first place! Instead of ascribing base motives to me, try a bit more imagination."
I am accurate in my assessment, and you demonstrate that you don’t even understand my position. The approach that Catholic scholars previously took in studying Luther was to evaluate Luther the “person” rather than Luther “the theologian”. To gleefully read and recommend a book like that put forth by O’Hare is to maintain an outdated approach to studying Luther. The book has value only in demonstrating how flawed this particular method was.
Just recently, I noticed that a Catholic apologist put up a list of recommend books to study Luther and the Reformation. I noticed he included O’Hare’s book. I wrote about this here on this blog. Then all of sudden, O’Hare’s book disappeared from his blog entry. Hmm…wonder why? At least he seems to grip that O’Hare’s book is not helpful in studying Luther. See also, this blog entry- He notes of O’Hare’s book, “That was the first research I did upon converting and I think I would do it a bit differently today.” Perhaps the same could be said of you.
“You expect me to trust a guy who apparently spends most of his life defending protestantism to recommend an even handed treatment of its originator? Simply because you named a few catholic authors is scant reassurance. I can find a few nominally protestant authors' work which you might not like much too you know!”
Oh yes, you nailed me. I’m up to my usual deceptive tactic of trying to mislead Roman Catholic layman in his pursuit of historical truth. Give me a break. In my own writings, I’ve positively cited many Catholic authors that have written on Luther, and I can also point out books by Protestants that are a waste of time to read. I am familiar with a large corpus of writings on Luther.
Much of my work is available to be scrutinized by those who oppose me. In regard to Luther biographies, I’ve had Catholics thank me for the research I provided. If my recommendations of books on Luther are so biased and untrustworthy, I challenge you to prove your case rather than merely state it. If you’re interested in fueling an outdated polemical approach to Luther, you can follow Art Sippo’s advise. Sippo claims to be knowledgeable on Luther and the Reformation, but as I demonstrated in my discussion with him, he doesn’t know what he talking about.
"On the contrary, I intend to read Rix and Hillaire Belloc before finishing O'Hare. THEN I will give a few protestant apologetic authors a shot. I suspect you proceed no differently. Pick authors you trust first and THEN examine the arguments of those you don't."
You are mistaken. My personal library of Luther and Reformation books is extensive. I read and use the books as I come across them. O’Hare’s book was one of the earliest books I acquired on Luther. Upon an initial reading, I was shocked by the information, as you were. I initially read more Catholic web pages on Luther than either Protestant books or web pages on Luther. One of the reasons this very blog exists is because I found the Protestant community severely lacking in providing responses to the polemical material put forth by Roman Catholics. In other words, I read Catholic material on Luther, and then began my in-depth studies on Luther.