Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014, Beggars All in Review


I began this blog back in December 2005. It's hard to believe that it's almost 2015, and I'm still going at it.

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for those of you visit. While I don't post entries in order to attract visitors and comments (I mean, take a look at some of the topics posted here!), I really do appreciate that people take the time to visit, and some of you visit everyday.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Ken for all his insightful posts throughout the year, as well as his gracious spirit, and commitment to the Gospel. It always pleases me to fire up the computer and find Ken's insights, particularly his work on Islam. Ken also has his own blog, Apologetics and Agape, which really does describe him. I'm honored he takes the time to post here as well and so consistently follows up on comments left for him. He certainly has far more patience, compassion,  and stamina than I do.

I'd also like to thank my cyber-mentors and friends that often have a role behind the scenes in directing me towards sources, answering questions, and also inspiring me to keep blogging: Dr. James White, Steve Hays, TurretinFan, John Bugay, Algo, the French translation work of Rhology, and even though I don't have contact with him much anymore, Pastor David King (his is still the best contemporary book on sola scriptura and I still use it regularly).

As I look over my years of blogging, there are cyber-folks I miss as well. First and foremost is Carrie who will always have an open invitation to post whatever she wants here on the blog. Her life these days is probably far removed from the pettiness of online battles. Miss you Carrie, and you are in my prayers! Also I've not heard from Matthew Schultz in a while. He's a bright young man that's probably far removed from blogging these days.  I also haven't heard from my favorite Lutheran Brigitte lately. There are others who visited for a time, and then disappeared into the depths of cyber-space. It's unfortunate that often I don't know what's happened to some of these people- whether they've moved on to other things, or whether they've passed on.

I'd also like to thank the Roman Catholic visitors who stop by. There are some of you who are friendly and respectful like Peter Holter and Scott Windsor. You guys should set up a training blog for your fellow defenders of Rome. There are others of you, that, well, let's just say I am thankful you do read what I write, but you remind me how little sanctification I actually have. All in all the defenders of Rome, both the polite and the nasty, have been an excellent source for learning about defending and understanding the church. If you really want to know what you believe and why you believe it, simply interact with those who think you're wrong on almost everything.

I just finished reading a negative treatment of the the Internet by philosopher Hubert Dreyfus. Dreyfus makes some insightful points on the dangers of the Internet. He casts doubt on the notion that true community can exist in cyberspace. In regard to all the people I mentioned above, there is only one of you I've actually met in-person. For all the others, I think you're real! Despite what Dreyfus says, you're people that I've grown to know and enjoy interacting with. Sure, cyber-relationships do not equal physical relationships, but they are special nonetheless, and I'm grateful to have virtually met you.

1 Cor. 16:23
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you (in 2015).

James



18 comments:

Lloyd Cadle said...

Very nice post,

Blessings!

zipper778 said...

Thanks for the post James, it truly is interesting to see how you view your own blog.

Guy said:

"You say Scott an Peter are real gentlemen ( not like some of those other pesky papists. I know just who you mean. I pretend I am on my cell phone when I see them walking toward me ).
Did you ever wonder if they were such sterling examples of Catholicism because you never discussed Maryolotry with them? Perhaps if you had, they just might have morphed into cyber-boors like those other nasty papists?"

I don't mean to make an argument over this, but Scott and Peter have been posting on here for some time now and have challenged James on a number of topics including the ones that you have mentioned. I must admit that I also enjoy reading what those two have to say even though I may disagree with them on particular points.

Happy New Years everybody!

James Swan said...

zipper778 said...
Thanks for the post James, it truly is interesting to see how you view your own blog.


Thank you for being one of my long-time visitors. Happy New Year.

Pete Holter said...

Thanks, James. It’s very kind of you to mention me. Very magnanimous.

Zipper778. Todd Agnew’s “Grace Like Rain” is one of my favorites. And Skillet’s “Saturn” was one of God’s lures bringing me to faith before I knew Jesus.

Happy New Year everybody!

In Christ,
Pete

zipper778 said...

Pete Holter said:

"Zipper778. Todd Agnew’s “Grace Like Rain” is one of my favorites. And Skillet’s “Saturn” was one of God’s lures bringing me to faith before I knew Jesus."

That's pretty cool Pete. Grace Like Rain is one of my all time favorites. Todd Agnew's voice is very powerful in that song. I also love Skillet and have seen them in concert twice before, but I haven't listened to the song Saturn yet. I'll check it out, thank you :)

Ken said...

Thanks James for your encouraging words! Thanks for inviting me here back in 2009; it's been an adventure, and interacting with people helps me think through the defense of the faith better.

James Swan said...

guy fawkes said...James,
Although you are a Calvinist, I can't help but notice it is Luther and not Calvin wearing Santa's cap above. Why?


How perceptive. The reason it isn't Calvin is because the person who made it for me as a present chose to use Luther.

guy fawkes said...I find your veneration of Luther disturbing, bordering on Lutherolatry. I wish I could call it Lutherdulia but that term falls short of the impression you give. ( JimBrooks are you lurking? )

If putting a Santa cap on Luther is veneration, then I'm guilty. I intended it to be silly, actually anti-veneration. The human heart is an idol factory, including mine and yours. People worship all sorts of things... their families, their jobs, their abilities. Protestants likewise can make idols out of their favorite preachers or theologians. What's explicit in Romanism can be found implicit... everywhere.

James Swan said...

guy fawkes said...I clicked on your article dealing with Luther and Calvin's respective views on Predestination and began reading it only to stop after a short while.

That's similar to the method I use with your excessive blogger comments. I sift through them, and loose patience after a short while.

guy fawkes said...While you seem to think it is important to actually read Luther, I don't. He is too inconsistent in his thoughts.

I find the majority of your comments to be inconsistent, rabbit trails and non sequiturs. Yet, I didn't arrive at that by reading about your comments, but actually reading your comments. If someone were to visit here and dialog with me on the topic of an anonymous person with excessive comments from Portugal, I could easily go back to your comments and quote them and present my case without the possible distortion of a middle man.

guy fawkes said..I believe in reading what other people ( preferably Catholics ) who have plodded through his stuff have written.

Track down the thoughtful paper by Gordon Rupp entitled, “Miles Emeritus? Continuity and Old Discontinuity Between the Young and The Luther” [Yule, George (editor) Luther: Theologian for Catholics and Protestants (Scotland: T and T Clark Ltd., 1985)]. Rupp argues for a basic consistency in Luther's major ideas, as would I.

guy fawkes said...Although you seem to consider yourself somewhat of an expert on the man

No, I'm not an expert on anything. For an understanding of "expert" in the learning process, see: Hubert L. Dreyfus, On The Internet (London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 31-49. The author goes through the various stages of learning. If you go through these pages (and can demonstrate you have), I'll admit what stage I think I'm at in my Reformation studies.

guy fawkes said...I question how well you actually understand his muddle of ideas and contradictions on anything from Mary to JBFA. I bet you don't know him any better than the rest of us.

If one surveys my blog, most of what I comment on is Roman Catholics citing Luther- that's really my area of interest. That's why when you made the "Lutheran Luther scholars" comment and "German plough [sic] boy" comment it was so easy to shut you down.

James Swan said...

guy fawkes said...This article of yours lead me to thinking about Luther's views on JBFA.

Above you admitted you only "began" reading it, and only for a "short while." Now, you're going to pontificate upon it. Yes, that's really a person that makes me want to spring to attention and pay close attention to the criticisms offered... that leads me to succumb to using an overused cyber-jargon phrase: LOL.

guy fawkes said...I find Luther difficult because he seems to jump around, sometimes writing as a Catholic and other times like a Protestant in his statements on works, holy living and love.His stuff on Law and Gospel is so weird.

That's because it appears to me you don't know how to read correctly. One does not approach an historical source and first try to fit the content into a preconceived worldview. One read the source with an attempt to let the writer say what he's saying according to his own worldview and context.

guy fawkes said...Luther saw Love as a work of the Law, right? Love was merely an outward expression *towards man* demonstrating Faith in Christ. Love *toward God* was not part of JBFA, yes?

Here you're giving me the honor to determine if you are interpreting Luther correctly. Above you said I don't know any more "than the rest of us" about Luther.

guy fawkes said...Excuse the constant request for clarification on what I think I already know. It's just that I fear if I saw one thing not 100% spot on you are going to demand the exact quote or reference. Hence, I am treading lightly after noticing your nit picking "feet to the fire" approach with Lloyd.

Yes, if you want to dialog with me about the writings of a person from history, I'd like to know exactly which writing is in question. If you want to speak in vague generalities you may or may not remember, I'm not interested.

guy fawkes said... Moving on,

LOL, let's introduce another topic!

guy fawkes said... may I ask you for your spin on a quote Luther made when addressing the Law vs Gospel?

No. You think that my opinion is "spin" and that I don't "know" Luther better than "the rest of us" so there isn't anything in your words motivating me. Perhaps you're intent is to bully me by denigrating me. That didn't work in high school, it's certainly not going to work now.

Lloyd Cadle said...

Guy -

You nailed it on Luther being inconsistent. When I was a Lutheran I read many of his books and commentaries. I was such a fan of his, I even bought his 4 CD set on Luther's music. Ditto for Calvin. One very highly regarded Reformed pastor told me that I had read much more Calvin than he did.

That is why I made the mistake of pitting Luther against Calvin. The big picture issue here is what do Lutherans, Reformed (whether Baptist; Ken Jones of White Horse Inn brand, dispensational Calvinist; John MacArthur brand, Dutch Reformed; The 3 Forms of Unity, or the Sproul brand; the Westminister Confessions).

Folks make the mistake all of the time when go to Luther for Lutheran theology, or Calvin for Reformed, dipsy Calvinism, or Bapist Calvinism, etc., etc.

The bottom line, cash value, big picture answer here is that folks have to study, read and meditate on the Confessions of these ecclesial Christian groups to find out what they really teach, not men like Luther, Calvin , etc.

It is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time. And most folks won't do it. Most folks today get their theology by reading pamphlet's, or quick read websites. That is why most of them are ignorant.

Lloyd Cadle said...

Last add ignorance: I was an elder on a WELS (the conservative Lutheran synod, even more than the LCMS), and the president of the board for more than 10 years, never even heard of the Book of Concord. And he led the congregation. Imagine that?

Unbelievable. No wonder these outfits have to put their liturgies on big video boards because their members are too lazy to memorize them or too dunce to read out of a hymnal. I am not talking about visitors, but life long members.

As Luther would say, "Enough already!"



James Swan said...

Lloyd Cadle said...Guy- You nailed it on Luther being inconsistent.

From your years of study, and without simply Google searching it... what exactly Mr. Cadle, are the 3 major issues you think Luther was "inconsistent" on? I'm not asking you what you think is inconsistent with Rome or church history. I'm asking you to explain within Luther's own theology, what do you mean? Primarily think in terms of soteriology, because that's really the big picture. From my own studies, I can produce such a list.

Lloyd Cadle said...Folks make the mistake all of the time when go to Luther for Lutheran theology, or Calvin for Reformed, dipsy Calvinism, or Bapist Calvinism, etc., etc.

Have I, or anyone here (besides you) made this mistake?

Did you see my comment above:"If one surveys my blog, most of what I comment on is Roman Catholics citing Luther- that's really my area of interest." In other words, you do realize that this is one of my main interests, not Lutheranism as a denomination?

Lloyd Cadle said...

James -

I am sorry that I don't have the time. Since I started posting here, I have cited numerous Early Church Fathers, Confessions, Scriptures and quotations from theologians in all camps. And for the most part, it just falls on deaf ears.

Most of my answers are not paraphrases but are forcing me to go into dusty old boxes of books (I am extremely allergic to dust and get severe migraine headaches), and type out responses on an IPAD.

In trying to defend Catholocism, I am now spending valuable study time on Protestant theology, which I have long since left. I am wasting my time.

I will leave with this question. It is one that I asked myself when I started studying church history. What is the true voice of Christ, one for the last 2,000 years, or the conflicting voices of 40,000 denominations?

That question has led numerous top notch theologians, like a Dr. Scott Hahn to convert to Rome or to the Orthodox.

I will now spend my time in personal study and in doing apologetics with those that really want to learn, rather than those that want to bash and just argue.

Wishing you the best,

zipper778 said...

Lloyd said:

"I will leave with this question. It is one that I asked myself when I started studying church history. What is the true voice of Christ, one for the last 2,000 years, or the conflicting voices of 40,000 denominations?"

Or maybe if you posted something other then bogus information like this quote you would get somewhere. The reason why we ask you to post proofs is because you have made a lot of claims with little to nothing to back it up.

This is what I would expect from the Roman Catholic Church. Just ignore proof from the Bible, history, and logic; and then make sure you make a lot of false claims about your opponents (40,000 denominations). Sounds like a terrible organization to me.

James Swan said...

Lloyd Cadle said......I am sorry that I don't have the time. Since I started posting here, I have cited numerous Early Church Fathers, Confessions, Scriptures and quotations from theologians in all camps. And for the most part, it just falls on deaf ears.

Well Lloyd, you'll have to forgive us for not treasuring the nuggets of wisdom you've so graciously given out here.

Lloyd Cadle said......Most of my answers are not paraphrases but are forcing me to go into dusty old boxes of books (I am extremely allergic to dust and get severe migraine headaches), and type out responses on an IPAD.

Perhaps there other places you can visit in cyberspace that appreciate talking in generalizations.

Lloyd Cadle said.....In trying to defend Catholocism, I am now spending valuable study time on Protestant theology, which I have long since left. I am wasting my time.

I would like to suggest you spend your time on pro-Roman websites. Such places typically don't mind vague facts about Protestant stuff, and will cheer you on with the type of material you post.

If you stop by here and make broad statements about Luther or Calvin, you will be asked to back up what you say in some instances. Claiming to have done years of homework and study is not an acceptable answer if facts are not provided. It may work at Catholic Answers, but it won't work here.

Arizona Samson said...

"I am really branching out my cyber-ministry to carry the Good News to those poor souls still floundering in the darkness of anti=Catholicism."

If your "work" here and in your bottom-whipping at the hands of Steve is any indication of the success of your "ministry" then by all means keep up the good work.

Arizona Samson said...

"Or my favorite subject, the Blessed Virgin Mary"

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. ~ Rom 1:25

zipper778 said...

Guy said:

"Who worships the creature in lieu of the Creator?

Not the Catholics."

Roman Catholicism absolutely worships created things and even admits to it. It is Christ alone who is to be worshipped.