Saturday, January 02, 2010

That's the Facts, So Don't Confuse Me the Facts

Here we go again:

"Your blog is an effort in damage control, and there are far too many things which Luther said and did which overwhelms your rationalized assertions. I've read O'Hare's book and not only does he quote Luther's own words but also those of his closest associates and Protestant historians.

I'm afraid you're defending the Luther of popular fiction and not the man of historical fact. Unfortunately, rationalizing arguments and presenting them as "facts" is all too common among bloggers, who seem to think themselves scholarly authorities on any subject under the sun
." [source]

These kind words are allegedly from a young lady posted on the Christian Worldview Forum, after I pointed out Father O'Hare plagiarized a quote from another source, and then mis-documented it. I have to admit, The Facts About Luther is the book that just keeps on giving. Even some of the more volatile Roman Catholic apologists know better than to quote this book.

Here's a fun little pro-O'Hare review I came across recently from The Catholic Educational Review (1917). Choice snippets:

The "great religious reformer," the "courageous Apostle," was in the first place a man filled with the evil passion of hatred—hatred which he constantly expressed in terms so bitter, so gross and so savagely blasphemous that they seemed like ravings of a mad man.

"...the "glorious Evangelist" suffered from a loathsome ailment caused by immorality."

"But Monsignor O'Hare so explains the weaknesses of Luther's character, some of them apparently inherited from his savagely cruel mother and his father (whom George Wicel, Martin Luther's friend, called a homicide), that there is pity mixed with the horror with which we regard the shocking and disgusting events of the life of the apostate."

"Monsignor O'Hare's limpid and forceful style and his admirable restraint add much to the book's value; controversial writers will do well to copy his methods. He leaves the apologists of Luther absolutely no loop
hole of escape; he has written what must in all fairness be called an unanswerable book. Never again, it seems, can an intelligent Protestant speak of the founder of Protestantism except with shame. Of the human founder of Protestantism, that is, for the foul-mouthed renegade monk was after all only a weak weapon snatched up by the Devil to use in his desperate effort to raze to the ground the Church of God—an effort which most ignominiously failed."

Monsignor O'Hare's book will have a long and useful life and pass through many editions. It deserves a place in the library of every Catholic, whether that library consist of a thousand books or of ten. And, even more surely, it deserves to be read by every Protestant who is willing to know the truth of history. But we pity the unfortunate people who have the task of reviewing it for Protestant publications."

As a response to this review 93 years later (LOL), and for the young lady on the Christian Worldview forum so enthralled with this book, here's a little homework:

Page 120 O'Hare cites Luther saying, "To the gallows with Moses". Yet, this is a statement from Johannes Agricola, not Luther.

Page 121 O'Hare cites Luther saying Moses is the enemy of Christ, yet he leaves out the context indicating Luther is speaking about distinguishing Law and Gospel, and claims friendship with Moses.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia contradicts O'Hare's opinion on Luther's call to the monastic life, as do other Roman Catholic scholars.

Page 334, O'Hare charges Luther as "an out-and-out believer in polygamy", but Luther went on to say in the same treatise O'Hare quotes, that Christians should not practice polygamy.

O'Hare says Luther's father was murderer, but actually the evidence shows it was probably Luther's uncle.

Page 361 O'Hare mis-documents an alleged letter to Pope Leo from Luther, which wasn't a letter to the pope.

Page 207, O'Hare cites Luther saying he wanted to throw the book of Esther in the Elbe, it was actually Esdras.

Page 207 O'Hare say Luther held the book of Job was a fable. Actually, Luther thought it was an historical account that read "like" a fable.

Page 207 O'Hare says Luther thought Ecclesiastes was incoherent and incomplete. Actually, Luther was talking about Ecclesiasticus.

Page 208 O'Hare cites Luther saying the book of Jonah is monstrous. But Luther treated the book with respect, and as history.

Page 315 O'Hare cites Luther saying the 10 commandments must be removed out of the heart. The context of Luther's statement is only in regard to viewing Christ as the only way to salvation rather than law.

Page 207 O'Hare cites Luther saying he has no wish to hear or see Moses. Luther's point though was the Law of Moses does not justify anyone, the gospel does.

Page 315 O'Hare cites Luther saying the 10 commandments are the cloak of all evil. This though is in regard to trying to be justified by Law. A paragraph later, Luther says "we, like Paul, should think reverently of the Law."

I can give her another batch of errors after she's done with these. There are plenty more where these came from. History and contexts are the friends of those who love truth. I take the Romanist challenge to go "deep into history" very seriously. If she can work through the above mess O'Hare created for her above and attempt to exonerate his work, it will her passing herself off an authority with rationalizations.

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