Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Closer Look at David Waltz’s Objections

In comments below, David Waltz, noting that he “Could not sleep, so I jumped online and checked in on my blog and BA [‘Beggars All’]” said:
You accuse me of being "simplistic", and yet, in a number of the threads at Articuli Fidei where I have delineated the “methods” and “presuppositions” of liberal scholarship, you have been noticeably absent, and have failed to supply a conservative critique of the liberal paradigm.
Elsewhere, he had said, “perhaps John will give some thought to Garry Williams' reservations...”

And so, yes, in a recent blog post, I commented on his objection that a conservative Presbyterian had called Eamon Duffy a “revisionist historian,” and I had commented on David’s failure to suggest precisely how “Duffy’s work on the English Reformation intersects with what he has written about the early papacy” was a good reason to characterize his objection as “simplistic”.

But if he is inclined to suggest that his other materials offer more substance, well, that’s questionable too. For example, this post of his seems to contain and summarize his strongest objections to, and remedies for, the work of Peter Lampe. In this thread, which gets posted around the internet by some of David’s followers and fans who seem to be less thoughtful and sophisticated even than he is, which he seems to proclaim as his “magnum opus” against Lampe, I want to summarize his “objections,” just to show how absolutely “fluffy” they are.

After providing a series of links to my various blog posts responding to him (and which I have supplemented here), here, unvarnished, is his devastating criticism:
I do not believe that John has adequately addressed the most pressing issue—which I have mentioned on more than one occasion—here it is again:

The premise/presuppostion [sic] that archeology and secular history must take precedence over Biblical historicity.

This is the method that is foundational for Lampe (and so many other liberal scholars), and he applies it not only to Biblical historicity, but also to the history provided in the writings of early “Catholic” bishops and authors.
Look again at that most pressing issue: “The premise/presuppostion [sic] that archeology and secular history must take precedence over Biblical historicity." And that Lampe (and so many other liberal scholars) apply this method “also to the history provided in the writings of early “Catholic” bishops and authors.”

For gosh sakes, I hate to bring this up, but the Bible is history. And “archaeology and secular history” do not take precedence over “Biblical historicity” – these things confirm and provide a backdrop for “Biblical historicity.”

What in the world is David actually saying here? I grant that “Liberal Scholarship” has relied on the methodology of “historical criticism” (which incorporates – gasp – “archaeology and secular history) to challenge the Bible – Old Testament, New Testament, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the missionary journeys of the Apostles, the letters of Paul and the other New Testament writers.

Yes, using the tools of “historical criticism” – yes, “Liberal Scholarship” has provided the very Revelation of God [to which I hold most dearly] with the most intimate rectal exam that any school of thought or body of literature has ever undergone in the history of the human race.

But in doing so, two things have happened (and I have noted this repeatedly):
1. The facts and historicity of the Bible, especially the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, have been confirmed as true, in and by “archaeology and secular history,” to a degree that far exceeds virtually any other body of knowledge that we can point to, and

2. In the process of #1, “Liberal Scholarship” has beaten itself upon the Rock of Truth in such a way that it can no longer protest against the factuality of the Bible, Life of Christ, etc. Such things are now well-established facts. And thus, “Liberal Scholarship” has been reduced to one thing, and that is, to a denial of the supernatural character of the Bible.
And so, from a factual point of view, especially with respect to the New Testament, there are very few unresolved questions about persons, dates, places, events, etc. “Liberal Scholarship” and “Conservative Scholarship” largely have come to a consensus on these things (there are some outliers, but I am speaking of a vast majority). The one key difference is an allowance for the Supernatural or not. Conservatives embrace the supernatural, and take it for what it says it is; Liberals seek to explain it away.

And thus, when in Acts 2, for example, when Peter says, “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know …” – there is not much question between Conservatives and Liberals as to what Jesus said and what these folks are reported to know. There is not much disagreement about what “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it” means. Conservatives and Liberals, having both adopted methods of “historical criticism,” largely agree on the events that Peter was talking about.

Does everybody get this so far? Does anybody have any questions?

46 comments:

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

You wrote:

>>I commented on his objection that a conservative Presbyterian had called Eamon Duffy a “revisionist historian,” and I had commented on David’s failure to suggest precisely how “Duffy’s work on the English Reformation intersects with what he has written about the early papacy” was a good reason to characterize his objection as “simplistic”.>>

Me: I have not suggested that “Duffy’s work on the English Reformation intersects with what he has written about the early papacy”, but rather, that I am certainly not the only individual who believes that Duffy is a revisionist. Duffy's expertise is the religious history of England from the 15th through the 17th centuries; he is perceived by Williams (a gent of your paradigm) to be a revisionist. I am taking Williams at his word, for I am no expert in this particular genre; however, I am, and have been for 30 years now, a student of first 4 centuries of Christianity, and can say with confidence that Duffy has revised important historical understandings within this period (which is not his field of expertise).

I am currently working on a thread that traces a number of historical revisions that are dominating NT and early Church studies, putting a bit more time into this effort than you have devoted in your last couple posts on this issue.

>>Does everybody get this so far? Does anybody have any questions?>>

Me: Yes I do; first, you have not interacted with one (let alone all) of the scholarly works I cited in my thread mentioned above, of which you state, "which he seems to proclaim as his 'magnum opus' against Lampe" (FYI, I have not done so), can we expect at least some modest attempt on your part in the near future? Second, you claim "The facts and historicity of the Bible, especially the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, have been confirmed as true, in and by 'archaeology and secular history,' to a degree that far exceeds virtually any other body of knowledge that we can point to", this is simply false and uninformed, for the vast majority of liberal scholars reject the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and a good number reject the notion that any of His original 12 apostles left behind any written, eyewitness records (with the possible exception of portions of Matthew), have you read what the liberals are actually writing? Surely you most know, at the very least, that liberal scholars (and even the so-called 'moderates') believe the NT writings to be full of contradictions and historical errors.

In my upcoming thread I will provide examples from the liberal camp that challenge pretty much all of your recent assessments (apart from the belief that there was a historical Jesus, that He had 12 apostles, and He was crucified).


Grace and peace,

David

Tim Enloe said...

The larger issue you are highlighting here is essential in the context of understanding what has been happening to Rome for the past few centuries.

The Renaissance exposed several of the fraudulent documents with which many had defended Rome's claims that this or that doctrine, particularly papal supremacy, was "historical," and it only got worse from there. Once texts were allowed to be examined on their own merits rather than simplistically filtered through dogmatic claims, it became less and less plausible to outsiders for Catholics to argue that central Roman claims were "historical."

Over the last few centuries, Rome's official position has progressively retreated from trying to root itself in publicly-establish-able historical truths and has instead progressively rooted itself in what my friend Frank Ramirez ("kepha") calls "papal presuppositionalism." This is the notion that Theology is a privileged discipline that dictates to every other discipline what can and cannot be true even in that discipline's own sphere of competence.

Hence, history can never disprove any claim of Catholic theology, because Catholic theology is isolated from the rough-and-tumble, very imprecise (and never 100% certain) world of historical arguments. It's a reverse version of Lessing's Ugly Ditch, in which "accidental truths of history" can never become defeaters for any claim that is given the status of a "faith" claim. As this is most of the central claims of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church's claims become self-isolated from external reality, and self-uncorrectable by that reality. This is a massive redefinition of "faith" on the lines of pure fideism: "It's true just because we say so."

You see this all over the place in the current crop of Catholic defenders, like, say, Prejean and Liccione. They are totally unconcerned with what can be publicly established (that is, established by criterion that do not beg the question in favor of Rome), and are totally invested in circular arguments about the "authority" of a special class of men who by mysterious operations of grace get privileged insight into the nature of reality. I'm told by knowledgeable friends that Rome also treats the old concept of "natural law" this way. Used to, you could appeal to natural law as a standard that everyone could in principle understand as true; nowadays, you supposedly can't grasp even natural law without asking the Infallible Oracle of Rome what it means. This fideism bears no resemblance to the faith of the New Testament, in which "these things were not done in a corner," but were attested to by "many infallible proofs" of a quite public nature.

This is why folks don't like Lampe and others like him. The complaint that they are "Liberals" is just a vacuous scare word that covers up the fact that they continue to shed light on real history which enables others to more clearly see the difference between truth and the mere appearance of truth.

John Bugay said...

Tim, this is precisely the direction I hope to go in my next post. Whereas Rome once based its "doctrine of authority" on what was thought to be unshakable history; now that the history is eroding out from under them, they are necessarily "recalibrating" the doctrines.

I'm hoping further to show the transition from "authority" in the synagogues, (elders, etc.), into the Christian ministry.

While Rome's claims have moved to a position in which they have no "defeater," I think that by presenting the history as an alternative to "papal presuppositionalism," and doing it in a clear and straightforward way that people can understand, it will go a long way toward helping people put guys like Liccione and Prejean into context.

(From a historical perspective, this is exactly what Francis Sullivan and other "liberals" within the RCC are trying to do -- The claims to "divinely ordained" authority are re-adjusted to read "the office of mono-episcopacy evolved under divine providence..."

And I think that Reymond's way of handling that is the correct way. And of course, the Reformers were absolutely justified in throwing off what the "authority" had become, and returning to the only apostolic doctrine that they knew of: that which was found in Scripture.

David Waltz said...

John,

Could you please check the spam filter for a post I submitted about 1 hour ago (it initially 'took', and then vanished).

Thx much...

John Bugay said...

Tim, thanks for your comment here, by the way. It was watching Frank's go-rounds with those guys that really helped me to see these sort of things with more clarity. And I do think that, once we are able to put these things together in "internet-sized" portions of information, it will spread around among these kinds of discussions fairly quickly.

John Bugay said...

David -- James will likely check the spam filter this evening. I have no idea why some messages get caught. Maybe the use of symbols or special characters, or links.

David Waltz said...

Hi Tim,

You wrote:

>>This is why folks don't like Lampe and others like him. The complaint that they are "Liberals" is just a vacuous scare word that covers up the fact that they continue to shed light on real history which enables others to more clearly see the difference between truth and the mere appearance of truth.>>

Me: I don't like Lampe because of certain presuppositions that he brings to the table. Are we to assume that you too reject the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, and that they represent a nascent 'catholic' ministry that was nonexistent prior to the end of the first century? Are we also to assume that the majority of the authors of the NT documents believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime and that the early church had no sense of a need for a concrete visible ministry because of those expectations?

And lastly, at least for now, do you believe that historical contradictions exist in the accepted NT documents?


Grace and peace,

David

Tim Enloe said...

David,

I don't reject the entire body of a man's work because of his "presuppositions" - another scare word, by the way, that frequently is used by many people as a substitute for real, reflective thought.

One has to weigh scholarly arguments, not merely count them or demonstrate proficiency in typing by reproducing them because they happen to jive with one's own preexisting views (one's "presuppositions," if you will). It's not proper to reject the whole of a book because a "Liberal" wrote it, or to accept the whole of a book because a "Conservative" wrote it. These are relative terms. WHAT is the "conservative" conserving? WHAT is the "liberal" liberating?

There is enormous sloppiness in online apologetics discussions caused by simplistic, moralizing, approaches to scholarly works. I've noticed this for years: there is this love/hate relationship amongst amateur apologists regarding scholarly works. If the works support the "conservative" views, they are lauded to the skies. If the works injure the "conservative" views, they are condemned, and anyone who uses them in any fashion is swept up in a big net of condemnation.

You're not as bad as some folks in this respect, but frankly, you are bad enough. Just the mere fact that you ask me whether I agree with Lampe's conclusions about the pastorals just because I (may) think he's right about some other areas of history begs for me to ask you: Do you exercise discernment when you read scholarly works? Do you weigh scholarly arguments, or just count and reproduce them? Weighing arguments is not easy, nor is it an exact science. It takes patience and discernment to wade through a body of scholarship, and alas, online apologetics warriors have little of either.

natamllc said...

David,

here we go again!

I would like to, with respect, flush out just where you side basis your words reiterated here:

"... this is simply false and uninformed, for the vast majority of liberal scholars reject the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and a good number reject the notion that any of His original 12 apostles left behind any written, eyewitness records (with the possible exception of portions of Matthew), have you read what the liberals are actually writing? ...".

David, with as direct a question as I can put forward now,

Do you side with the vast majority of liberal scholars to which you refer?

Do you hold the same view that a good number reject the notion that any of His original 12 apostles left behind any written, eyewitness records?

John Bugay said...

first, you have not interacted with one (let alone all) of the scholarly works I cited in my thread mentioned above, of which you state,

I plan on interacting with them all, or as many as I can get to.


Second, you claim "The facts and historicity of the Bible, especially the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, have been confirmed as true, in and by 'archaeology and secular history,' to a degree that far exceeds virtually any other body of knowledge that we can point to", this is simply false and uninformed, for the vast majority of liberal scholars reject the bodily resurrection of Jesus,

I'm sure they reject the bodily resurrection of Jesus, but there are a huge number of details that are agreed upon.

Consider the work of Gary Habermas, who in his work “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus,” says that virtually 100% of scholars believe the first four are “so strongly evidenced historically that nearly every scholar regards them as reliable facts,” and the fifth is believed by more than 75% (pg 48).

1. Jesus died by crucifixion

2. Jesus’s disciples believed he rose and appeared to them

3. The conversion of Paul (from persecutor of the church to leading Apostle).

4. The conversion of James, the brother of the Lord (originally a severe skeptic)

5. The empty tomb.


Habermas “compiled a list of more than 2,200 sources in French, German, and English in which experts have written on the resurrection from 1975 to the present. He has identified minimal facts that are strongly evidenced and which are regarded as historical by a large majority of scholars, including skeptics.”

See this link

David Waltz said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>I don't reject the entire body of a man's work because of his "presuppositions" - another scare word, by the way, that frequently is used by many people as a substitute for real, reflective thought.>>

Me: Nor do I, but presuppositions become extremely important when the evidence being weighed can legitimately be interpreted (without violence) more than one way. For instance, I mentioned the Pastoral Epistles, because the authorship (and related dating) of these epistles are extremely important in determining just what type of ministry (or lack thereof) the apostles meant to leave behind. Early missteps and judgments will severely hinder later assessments.

>>One has to weigh scholarly arguments, not merely count them or demonstrate proficiency in typing by reproducing them because they happen to jive with one's own preexisting views (one's "presuppositions," if you will).>>

Me: Amen!

>>It's not proper to reject the whole of a book because a "Liberal" wrote it, or to accept the whole of a book because a "Conservative" wrote it. These are relative terms. WHAT is the "conservative" conserving? WHAT is the "liberal" liberating?>>

Me: Agreed.

>>There is enormous sloppiness in online apologetics discussions caused by simplistic, moralizing, approaches to scholarly works. I've noticed this for years: there is this love/hate relationship amongst amateur apologists regarding scholarly works. If the works support the "conservative" views, they are lauded to the skies. If the works injure the "conservative" views, they are condemned, and anyone who uses them in any fashion is swept up in a big net of condemnation.>>

Me: Once again, I agree.

>>You're not as bad as some folks in this respect, but frankly, you are bad enough. Just the mere fact that you ask me whether I agree with Lampe's conclusions about the pastorals just because I (may) think he's right about some other areas of history…>>

Me: Once again I brought up the Pastorals because one’s conclusions about these epistles (and others) directly determines the type of trajectory one will proceed along concerning the type of ministry instituted by the Apostles. I found a good deal of Lampe’s research to be interesting and informative, but remain convinced that the bulk of his work does not directly address the foundational issues at stake.

>>… begs for me to ask you: Do you exercise discernment when you read scholarly works? Do you weigh scholarly arguments, or just count and reproduce them? Weighing arguments is not easy, nor is it an exact science. It takes patience and discernment to wade through a body of scholarship, and alas, online apologetics warriors have little of either.>>

Me: I believe that I sincerely try to do so Tim. You mentioned Frank (kepha) earlier, have you so soon forgotten the ‘heat’ I received from his pen during our discussions on subordinationism and development concerning my willingness to challenge the ‘conservative’ take on the pre-Nicenes? (And it was not just Frank, but a number of posters here at BA have taken me to task because I do weigh scholarly arguments.)


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>I don't reject the entire body of a man's work because of his "presuppositions" - another scare word, by the way, that frequently is used by many people as a substitute for real, reflective thought.>>

Me: Nor do I, but presuppositions become extremely important when the evidence being weighed can legitimately be interpreted (without violence) more than one way. For instance, I mentioned the Pastoral Epistles, because the authorship (and related dating) of these epistles are extremely important in determining just what type of ministry (or lack thereof) the apostles meant to leave behind. Early missteps and judgments will severely hinder later assessments.

>>One has to weigh scholarly arguments, not merely count them or demonstrate proficiency in typing by reproducing them because they happen to jive with one's own preexisting views (one's "presuppositions," if you will).>>

Me: Amen!

>>It's not proper to reject the whole of a book because a "Liberal" wrote it, or to accept the whole of a book because a "Conservative" wrote it. These are relative terms. WHAT is the "conservative" conserving? WHAT is the "liberal" liberating?>>

Me: Agreed.

>>There is enormous sloppiness in online apologetics discussions caused by simplistic, moralizing, approaches to scholarly works. I've noticed this for years: there is this love/hate relationship amongst amateur apologists regarding scholarly works. If the works support the "conservative" views, they are lauded to the skies. If the works injure the "conservative" views, they are condemned, and anyone who uses them in any fashion is swept up in a big net of condemnation.>>

Me: Once again, I agree.

>>You're not as bad as some folks in this respect, but frankly, you are bad enough. Just the mere fact that you ask me whether I agree with Lampe's conclusions about the pastorals just because I (may) think he's right about some other areas of history…>>

Me: Once again I brought up the Pastorals because one’s conclusions about these epistles (and others) directly determines the type of trajectory one will proceed along concerning the type of ministry instituted by the Apostles. I found a good deal of Lampe’s research to be interesting and informative, but remain convinced that the bulk of his work does not directly address the foundational issues at stake.

>>… begs for me to ask you: Do you exercise discernment when you read scholarly works? Do you weigh scholarly arguments, or just count and reproduce them? Weighing arguments is not easy, nor is it an exact science. It takes patience and discernment to wade through a body of scholarship, and alas, online apologetics warriors have little of either.>>

Me: I believe that I sincerely try to do so Tim. You mentioned Frank (kepha) earlier, have you so soon forgotten the ‘heat’ I received from his pen during our discussions on subordinationism and development concerning my willingness to challenge the ‘conservative’ take on the pre-Nicenes? (And it was not just Frank, but a number of posters here at BA have taken me to task because I do weigh scholarly arguments.)


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Tim,

My comments keep get caught in Google's "spam filter"...they appear for a brief moment, and then disappear; as such, I am taking my comments over to Articuli Fidei...hope to 'see' you there.


Grace and peace,

David

Tim Enloe said...

David, glad to hear you weigh scholarly arguments. Perhaps I just haven't paid close enough attention to your many posts to see that. If so, mea culpa, and I hope you'll forgive me for saying you seem to do otherwise.

I'm afraid I can't follow you over to your blog for any extended conversation. I pop in here every few months or so just to see what's going on, but work these days keeps me so busy I can't even maintain my own blog, let alone maintain a long conversation on someone else's.

What caught my attention this time was this argument about "Liberal" scholarship, because I just don't see much value in the argument, especially in the realm of history. Anyone who is reflective and well-read can readily spot when a "Liberal" is interpreting history naturalistically, and will be able to steer clear of that portion of his work without any trouble. But that's not usually why the spectre of "Liberalism" is brought up in apologetics discussions. Usually it's brought up merely because a so-called "conservative" is fussed because said "Liberal" is challenging his own naive "conservative" opinions, and he doesn't know how to deal with it, so he starts ranting about the evils of "Liberals." That's easier than actually engaging both the "Liberal"'s own work and the larger body of scholarship it is a part of in a responsible manner.

I've been the victim of this idiotic variety of "conservatism" too many times to count, especially regarding my work on Medieval conciliarism, which some "conservative" Catholic apologists dismiss merely because occasionally a very important piece of evidence about papal claims in the Middle Ages happens to be provided by a so-called "Liberal" (e.g., Brian Tierney, Francis Oakley). The "conservatives" don't care about the evidence itself - usually, indeed, they don't have the intellectual tools to actually engage the evidence, let alone treat it responsibly - all they care about is that their precious "conservative" sacred cow is being attacked, and they feel they MUST "give an answer" to the craven "Liberal" attack.

This is just idiocy, plain and simple, and that's why whenever someone starts fussing about "Liberal" scholarship by demanding that if we are to accept Scholar A's conclusions in area X, we must also accept them in area Y, I find myself rankled. There's a very great difference between "reading" as in decoding letters and sentences like any competent 8th or 9th grader can do, and "reading" as in gaining real comprehension and insight from a text by engaging it, arguing with it, pushing and pulling and weighing and sifting until it gives up its wisdom. Most people who rant about "Liberals" while extolling the value of "conservatives" are guilty entirely of the former, and have no clue how to do the latter. That's been my experience in these apologetics frays, at any rate.

Sean Patrick said...

David - I think you are wasting your time, at least as far as John Bugay is concerned.

John only cares about scholarship insofar as he can pull things from it that damage the Catholic Church (or that he thinks damage the Catholic Church). That is the extent of his interest.

John's faith is not built on scholarship. He did become a Christian because he was so convinced by historians. Nobody comes to Christ that way. Yet he expects the Catholic Church to shut its doors and never open them again because his selection of scholars call into question the nature of the 1st century church. It does not matter than many of those same scholars call into question the nature of scripture and other ideas foundation to John's faith. John can just disregard those conclusions but we are not allowed to do that...in his mind.

Referring to the work of Jesuit theologian Kilmartin which John cited he said to a Catholic interlocutor on BA: "Kilmartin is a problem for you because he knows more than you do...Protestants are not bound by authority in that way, so I may agree or disagree with Lampe based on my own judgment of his case."

Do you see that? He reserves for himself judgement to disagree with the scholars that he is telling Catholics they are forced to accept. John admits that he is not playing by the same set of rules when it comes to scholarly inquiry so your attempt here to keep him honest will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears.

John Bugay said...

Sean, just by way of clarification:

Christ called me; therefore I have faith in Christ.

I gave the Roman Catholic Church many years of my life.

Through the voice of the Holy Spirit, (I can describe the process in no other way), over a period of years, I was convicted that the Roman Church was not what it had been telling me it was for all those years.

A study of Scripture and History have helped me to understand why that is so and how such an unhappy situation came about.

John Bugay said...

Evidently I responded to a comment from Sean Patrick that had come through my email subscription to this thread, but had gotten caught in the spam filter.

I'm sure James will release that when he gets a free moment.

Sean Patrick said...

John. , just by way of clarification:

Christ called me; therefore I have faith in Christ.

I gave the PCA many years of my life.

Through the voice of the Holy Spirit, (I can describe the process in no other way), over a period of years, I was convicted that the Catholic Church is the visible church that Christ founded.

A study of Scripture and History have helped me to understand why that is so and how such a happy situation came about.


See what I did there?

Have blessed Lenten season everybody.

Sean Patrick said...

Ooops.

He did become a Christian because he was so convinced by historians.

Should be ....he did NOT....

John Bugay said...

The problem with that Sean, is that history supports my version of the story, not yours.

John Bugay said...

That's why you gotta rail against every scholar who gets posted, whereas, I can understand and support what they say.

John Bugay said...

Sean Patrick was obviously here simply to hit and run.

I have personally found him to be THE most untrustworthy Roman Catholic I have ever encountered. On other threads, I have published the definition of the word "psychopath", once others described what it was like to interact with him. It was amazing how closely their definitions of him and the official definition of "psychopath" seemed to align with each other.

Sean Patrick said...

That's why you gotta rail against every scholar who gets posted, whereas, I can understand and support what they say.

I think you have me confused with somebody else.

I don't rail against scholarship. I appreciate good scholarship, even if and when I disagree with certain conclusions at times (just like you apparently).

Called to communion lists many scholarly works in our library section. See here. You will find names like Guarducci, Rivington, Congar, Lindsay, Allies, Soloviev, Fortescue, Giles, Bellito etc. Many of those scholars and others deal with similar themes that your scholars are dealing with but come to different conclusions.

So, it is off the mark to suggest that I 'rail against scholars.'

What you need to do is interact with this observation which I posted a minute ago: "He reserves for himself judgement to disagree with the scholars that he is telling Catholics they are forced to accept. John admits that he is not playing by the same set of rules when it comes to scholarly inquiry..."

I am not the only person who has noticed this about you. You pretty much admitted it. Given that, I wonder why you argue with Catholics about history at all? What is there to argue about?

Sean Patrick said...

John.

I see that you played your 'don't trust Sean, he is crazy and dishonest card.'

Hard to argue with those accusations. I'll leave you to your cheerleaders now.

Maybe step outside of the confines of BA sometime and actually interact with people about what you are 'railing against' all the time? Just a suggestion.

John Bugay said...

How many times now have you vowed not to come back here?

Sean Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dozie said...

The sad thing is that we have some people here whose academic credentials are at best questionable but who nonetheless have the audacity to lecture the Catholic Church on matters of scholarship. These individuals assume they have certain knowledge, historical or otherwise, which the Catholic Church is not privileged to. The Catholic Church is however not some Baptist or any other Protestant denomination; we are talking about an institution with one of the largest libraries in the word; an institution with one of the largest collections of ancient manuscripts in the world; an institution which has educated far more individuals than any other non-governmental body in the world; an institution which single-handedly built western civilization; an institution whose research library admits, by advance application, only world renowned scholars placed on waiting list; an institution who gave the world the university system. Yet we have people of questionable scholarship, and some admitting to be no scholars at all, attempting to lecture the Catholic Church on scholarship. Sad and shameful, in deed.

James Swan said...

Why should I trust Sean's version of "God calling him" to the RCC, when he's vowed not to post here, and still does? His credibiltiy is a bit suspect.

John Bugay said...

James, I would not be surprised if it was the Lord who called him to Rome. He is the perfect poster child for it.

And Dozie, you left something else out. It has been one of the most thoroughly corrupt institutions in history, and it has never repented.

Turretinfan said...

You have to love the way Sean Patrick rolls. Nothing like a good well-poisoning attempt: "John only cares about scholarship insofar as he can pull things from it that damage the Catholic Church (or that he thinks damage the Catholic Church). That is the extent of his interest."

After concluding his opening salvo here with "your attempt here to keep him honest will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears," he then has the temerity to grouse: "I see that you played your 'don't trust Sean, he is crazy and dishonest card.' Hard to argue with those accusations. I'll leave you to your cheerleaders now."

- TurretinFan

Agellius said...

James and John:

Very uncharitable comments about Sean, I must say.

James Swan said...

Yeah, I should trust a guy who says one thing, and does another. right.

John Bugay said...

Agellius, welcome to Beggars All.

If you knew Sean Patrick and the history that we've had with him, you'd be amazed at how charitable and restrained we have been.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Turretinfan writes:

You have to love the way Sean Patrick rolls.

Some people are just fundamentally childish in their online behavior. If Sean acted this way in just about any other intellectual or social environment, he would have been ostracized by even the most forgiving of people long ago. The attitude and "arguments" Sean offers as a credible witness to his faith in Rome can be described as nothing but puerile and absurd.

It would be best if we just left him to his gratuitous bravado, unfailing use of insults, regular employment of logical fallacies, and the incorrigible heart of pride that naturally produces such contemptible behavior. His utterly embarrassing conduct at Triablogue (which culminated in posting on multiple accounts after being banned) and equally dishonest and immature public actions (such as publicly claiming he would never visit Beggars All again), have shown the blogging community that there is literally no value in engaging him or his opinions.

Agellius said...

Not saying anything about Sean's behavior since I don't know him. But if I were you, I would either ban him or else ignore him. Badmouthing him publicly is neither Christian nor gentlemanly.

John Bugay said...

Agellius, go over to Called to Communion and observe him for a while.

Turretinfan said...

Agellius:

Is there some reason you don't criticize Sean for badmouthing John?

-TurretinFan

James Swan said...

Would you explain how any of my sparse comments are bad mouthing? I'm asking a question. He said one thing, he does another. Why trust him? Why trust his conversion story?

Agellius said...

Turretin:

Well, I saw Sean being called a pyschopath, followed by implications of dishonesty. Did he say things that were equally insulting about James or John? If so, I would certainly admonish him in the same way.

This is a pet peeve of mine, believe me it's not limited to Protestants. I say similar things to Catholics all the time. You can see for yourself on the Vox Nova blog. Although, that's a moderated blog, so you almost never see anything as blatantly insulting as calling someone a psychopath.

Agellius said...

James:

In my opinion that's just better left unsaid, that's all. As I said, I would not blame you for banning him from commenting, if in your view he had demonstrated consistent dishonesty. I just think public condemnations are a bad idea.

Hey, that's just what I think. You are certainly free to ignore my advice.

John Bugay said...

Agellius, start at this link, and look "up" the discussion (that is, at comments prior) at the kinds of things Sean was saying.

http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/the-neatly-ordered-ordinary/#comment-81763

See how applicable or inapplicable my posting was of this definition.

David Waltz said...

Hi Agellius,

If you have not yet already discerned this, BA is a hostile environment for any who dare to question it's Reformed contributors and their supporters. You will find, with just a bit of research, that most of the charges that are brought to bear upon the non-Reformed folk who make attempts to offer alternatives to type polemics offered here, are usually practiced by the individual(s) who raises those charges.

Just recently, a gent who posts under the name Raymond, brought to light but few of the numerous examples of such behavior: beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/03/normative-value-of-truth.html.

I think you will find (as have I) that you have entered into a sea of double-standards.

But with this said, if you have patience, if you can brush aside and not overly worry about the ad hominem attacks that will invariably come your way if you continue to participate here, you will find that your efforts will bear some fruit.


Grace and peace,

David

John Bugay said...

Well hello there David, grace and peace, etc., etc., and if anyone dares not to assent to our words, let him be anathema...

Matthew D. Schultz said...

David,

That you would use Raymond's list is sufficient in of itself to show that your charge is not to be taken seriously. Raymond's charges were false for various reasons, as noted in the thread you linked. It's apparent you're grasping for anything that will cast us in a poor light.

I think you will find (as have I) that you have entered into a sea of double-standards.

You have no evidence for the charge. And do you even know what our standards are?

You gratuitously extol our critics as virtuous while denouncing us as deeply hostile and inconsistent, all the while claiming you want us to have grace and peace, and that you are a patient, long-suffering person. You try to paint yourself as taking the high road, but this is belied by your calumnious posture. It's all rather distasteful behavior.

David Waltz said...

Hello Matthew,

An interesting response for sure; you wrote:

== That you would use Raymond's list is sufficient in of itself to show that your charge is not to be taken seriously. Raymond's charges were false for various reasons, as noted in the thread you linked.==

Me: Subjective pleading and sophistry are not proofs in my book.

>>It's apparent you're grasping for anything that will cast us in a poor light.>>

Me: Right...

==I think you will find (as have I) that you have entered into a sea of double-standards.

You have no evidence for the charge.==

Me: I have listed numerous double-standards in the past, but, once again, they are deflected with subjective pleading and sophistry; it would be redundant, and a waster of my time, to reproduce what has already be posted.

>>And do you even know what our standards are?>>

Me: Depends on scope of "our".

==You gratuitously extol our critics as virtuous==

Me: Baloney, I have not done so.

==while denouncing us as deeply hostile==

Me: Not "deeply hostile", just hostile (please try to refrain from putting words into my mouth).

==and inconsistent,==

Me: It is inconsistent to whine about someone else's action(s) while engaging in the same action(s).

==all the while claiming you want us to have grace and peace,==

Me: I sincerely hope that you (and anyone else I extend it to) will truly have grace and peace in their lives—to suggest otherwise is yet but one more example of hostility.

==and that you are a patient, long-suffering person.==

Me: I do...wow, that is news to me.

==You try to paint yourself as taking the high road, but this is belied by your calumnious posture.==

Me: So I am slanderer??? Nice slander Matthew...

==It's all rather distasteful behavior.==

Me: Well, at least you are consistent with YOUR calumnious behavior.


May grace and peace enter into your life (you need it brother),


David

Matthew D. Schultz said...

If all you have to offer is a vapid riposte coupled with sanctimonious piety, there's nothing of substance left to engage.