Monday, January 25, 2010

Clash of the Titans- Staples vs. Sungenis

If you enjoy the unity of Roman Catholic apologetics, you'll enjoy this one:

Tim Staples vs. Robert Sungenis


Staples: I sent a private email to a friend to warn her of Bob Sungenis’ whackiness” that was not intended to become public information. I am not going to enter into a lengthy argument with you about this. I have gone down that road before with Mr. Sungenis and I have made the judgment that it is not worth the time. But now that I have been threatened with some untold “consequences” for my actions, and I have been accused of “slander” by Mr. Sungenis, I will spell out for you SOME of the reasons why I said what I said to my friend.

Sungenis: The real problem, in my opinion, is that Catholic Answers (for whom Tim works) has chosen to take the politically correct road in their treatment of this issue. Karl Keating was sent my Galileo Was Wrong books, but as far as I know, he still hasn’t read them and has never interacted with any of the arguments presented in them. Instead, Karl keeps repeating the same elementary viewpoints he has used in the past, but which have all been scientifically disqualified.


steve said...

All roads lead to Rome. Unfortunately, they can't agree on which Rome is the true Rome. They all lead to "Rome," but not necessarily to the same Rome. Kinda like Paris...Texas.

James Swan said...


You're being cynical. It's obvious, no... perspicuous, as to who represents the "True" church in this debate.

It's the guy who interprets Romanism correctly.

John Bugay said...

Well, they all report to the pope. I've been told that's the important thing.

Carrie said...

Well, they all report to the pope.

Except Gerry Matatics and the other sedevacantists.

Ryan said...

Mr. Staples goes in circles, and Mr. Sungenis has fallen off the map. What an apt analogy for their respective scientific opinions!

Luke Lancaster said...

I was wondering, what do you guys think about all these people who converted to Catholicism (Steve Ray, Patty Bonds, Scott Hahn, ect. ) after holding the same type of theology all you do? They all converted because they read the Early Church's writings, and were convinced that Catholicism is that Church started by Christ.

Ken said...

Luke, you obviously are new here and have not taken the time to look at many of our past blog articles. Please look around in the past articles.

The former Reformed folks over at Called to Communion are even better examples. Look around at the side bar and you can see we have discussed these issues many times here.

If you click on the side bar on "church history" (lots of articles there) or especially "Rod Bennett" (my personal friend who converted to Rome in 1996, similar reasons as Scott Hahn and Steve Ray, you can read my 3 part critique of Rod Bennett's book, "Four Witnesses". (Be sure to read the first part at Amazon first.) We were both members of a Southern Baptist Church, but we were not Reformed. I don't think Steve Ray was Reformed, but he was a baptist, as I recall.

If you click on other subjects like Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide or Roman Catholicism, or Papal doctrines, etc. you will have many articles to read that touch on these issues.

My friend Rod did not like the disagreements within Protestantism and honestly told me that he was tired of trying to figure out the issues of different interpretations of Scripture.

He said to me, "Wouldn't it be great if we had a living voice, an umpire, who could walk into the room and settle all these differences?"

He surrendered to the idea of an infallible Pope in order to relieve his struggle with wrestling with the exegesis of Scripture and history of interpretation.

The combination of the interest in old things, history, ancient relics, church buildings, etc. and the supposed connection of unbroken line of unity of bishops in history; along with not worrying about wrestling with tough issues and differences of interpretation over texts of Scripture, and just "letting the living voice of the Pope settle all disunity and disagreement over Scripture disputes"; those were the main things that attracted him.

I don't see any Pope or "bishop over all other bishops" or Transubstantiation or any Marian dogma or Roman Catholicism at all in the early centuries. People see what they want to see; as Newman did by his "development of doctrine" thesis of a seed / acorn developing into a full blown oak tree, etc.

For example, some off hand statement by Augustine in 400 AD developed into purgatory in the 600s to 1500s.

Ken said...

One of the clearest examples is Stephen, the bishop of Rome around 257 AD, claimed to be "the bishop of bishops", but Cyprian, Firmillian and 85 other bishops from all over the Roman Empire rebuked him for that claim, and at the seventh Council of Carthage in 258 AD, they totally rebuked him. They said, "no one sets himself up as bishop of bishops" The Eastern Orthodox to this day hold that same position; as did RC church historian Ignaz Von Dollinger when he objected to the Papal Infallibility Dogma in 1870 and was excommunicated for his stance.

William Webster's articles totally destroy Steve Ray's arguments on that issue.

Timothy Kauffman did a great job of poking holes in the claim that the early church taught Baptismal Regeneration here. See all six parts of that series.

Sometimes they seemed like they did believe in some form of baptismal regeneration, but Kauffman makes a great case upon closer examination, especially of Justin Martyr.

Ken said...

Luke Lancaster - this may help you find the articles on Rod Bennett's book, Four Witnesses:

I have also participated in combox debates and discussions with other Roman Catholics, especially at "Called to Communion" and some others also.

Ken said...

This one also explains a lot of reasons why some Evangelical Protestants convert to Rome.

Ken said...

Sorry, that should have been "Luke", not Lane.