Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Listening, Or Not Listening...That Is The Question.
I have been peaking over at a recent Haloscan comment thread found on a Romanist's blog. I'm swamped with work, and really should keep my priorities focused elsewhere, but one particular comment really makes me question whether or not he actually listened to the radio interview of mine he critiqued on his blog for a few days. He stated,
"The irony is that Protestants decry "man-centered" religion and the Catholic notion of saints, yet when it comes to Luther they are often so afraid of showing any of his faults, that they engage in pseudo-hagiography and historical revisionism. Many Protestant historians freely admit these faults. Indeed, it is common knowledge as a scandal, just as was the incident involving the bigamy of Philip of Hesse (and Calvin's role in executing Servetus). But Swan won't because it goes against the agenda he is pushing: building up Luther more than the facts will support, and always opposing Catholics and Catholicism, no matter what. Particular truths and even attempted semi-academic (since he is no academic, nor am I) neutrality and objectivity are quick casualties, with that mentality. Homepage 11.06.07 - 8:24 pm # "
I've been under the assumption that this guyactually listened to the interview, because the part about the anabaptists and peasants was presented at the very end of the show. Perhaps though he didn't- the comment above suggests that I'm afraid of showing Luther's faults. But if you actually listen to the interview, I pointed out Luther's involvement in the bigamy of Philip of Hesse, and also, when asked if Luther persecuted the Jews, I provided an example of a form of persecution committed by Luther. Ironically, while not mentioned in the interview, I actually stated in his Haloscan thread that Calvin had a role in the Servetus execution.
In charity, I'm giving this Romanist the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he actually did not listen to the interview, but rather was sent the clip by one of his readers. This is within the realm of possibility. For instance, I probably am not wrong when I say this particular person (BenYachov [Jim Scott 4th]) did not listen to the interview, nor has he ever read anything I've written on Luther: "Why does James Swan need Luther to be morally near perfect? He won't believe in the sinlessness of Mary(unlike Luther who DID believe that) but he can't bring himself to believe Luther ever did anything grieviously wrong?"
In the same thread, Jonathan Prejean states of me, "The point wasn't that he was trying to white-wash Luther " (he goes on to make an argument that I simply nitpick errors to vilify Catholics, while when Catholics criticize Luther in the same way, they are vilified). I'm not sure if Prejean listened to the interview, but at least he has spoken accurately- I try to let Luther simply be Luther. Recall, I'm not even a Lutheran, nor do I believe that Luther was the Protestant pope, or immaculately conceived. In fact, I'm thankful for Luther's faults, because it shows that God uses people in mighty ways, despite the sin in their lives. I find this a comfort.
What I have tried to do, is point out that some Catholics tend to vilify Luther, and cite his words out of context. Further, I have tried to demonstrate that Luther is treated with double standards by Roman Catholics (for instance, in regard to the issues of justification, the canon, or Mary). This does not mean I think Luther was a faultless man, and needs to be "cleaned up" a bit. This should be obvious to anyone who listens to the radio interviews I did on Iron Sharpens Iron.