Sunday, September 15, 2013

The 38 Most Ridiculous Things Martin Luther Ever Wrote?

Over on the Catholic Answers forums I came across a person advertising his blog entry, 500 Years of Protestantism: The 38 Most Ridiculous Things Martin Luther Ever Wrote.

What really shocked me was the attitude of the person who posted this recent blog entry. He appears to want to be taken seriously as some sort of Roman apologist. He actively promotes himself by writing books, has some sort of (internet) radio show, Youtube videos, and "media appearances," and of course he accepts donations.  In terms of marketing, he has put a lot of time and care into his image, more than most of the self-proclaimed Roman e-pologists around today.

But the polished appearance is backed up with little apologetic substance. With the exception of two quotes, the majority of "the 38 ridiculous things" were direct cut-and-pastes from the web page, Luther, Exposing the Myth. (Luther, Exposing the Myth appears to have been partially plagiarized from: Verbum the newsletter of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Ridgefield, CT, Spring 1985).

I left a few comments for the author, pointing out that I've done an extensive review of  Luther, Exposing the Myth.  I demonstrated the very first quote he used was a complete mis-citation. His response:
Context and translation aside, let us not miss the central point - Luther was a teacher of hate, violence, intolerance, and polygamy. He also modified Scripture and rejected the Divine Revelation of some books in the Bible.  
And I then stated:

So... you don't care if the quotes you posted are accurate or not? How is it you consider yourself an "author" that has written a book on apologetics, and history isn't important to you? The goal of going through particular quotes is not to defend Luther as a Protestant saint. I see the study of any person in church history as an exercise in the love of God and neighbor. How do I love my neighbor in the study of church history? There probably are many ways, but the one that applies here is in my words. If I bear false witness against my neighbor, even if he's been dead for hundreds of years, I am not loving him. I say let the people in church history be exactly who they were, warts and all. Luther certainly had warts and sins, but he did not "kick the cat" as well on the way to posting the 95 Theses. That is, he is not as bad as many portray him to be. Why would you want to bear false witness? Zeal without truth= nothing.

He responded:
James Swan we aren't going to keep going back and forth about this. You are a Protestant and an apologist for Luther. That's your perspective. I read your critiques. Some of them I agree with, some I don't. You don't have to agree with the ones I selected to make an example of. That's your free choice. There is no false witness here, inasmuch as there are keen and respectable differences in translation, understanding, and motive to interpret (re-interpret) both. Again, the overall motive of this article is to demonstrate a few things that I'm sure you don't disagree with - that: 1. Luther taught hate. 2. Luther taught violence. 3. Luther taught polygamy. 4. Luther hadn't a clue what the Catholic Church actually taught (to no fault of his own in a sense). 5. Luther was invested in championing the German Princes interest and that greatly affected his theology. 6. Luther did not come in the mold of a true prophet of God. Prophets were an the ascension of holiness, rather than on the descent into debauchery and earthly interest.
 My response:
I am absolutely certain you have no desire "to keep going back and forth about this," because frankly, you don't appear to want to do the hard work that truth demands. Ah well, it's the Internet. Responsibility isn't always a top priority.
In one other comment, he stated, "James Swan I read your article. I complemented you on it, but I disagree with some of your opinions." So even though I can demonstrate the very first quote he posted is bogus, that just "my opinion"? Wow. Amazing.

It was obvious the man did not want to have any interaction with me, or perhaps couldn't. I think in all the years I which I've challenged Romanists on their materials, never have I come across someone so allergic to truth while so intent on promoting himself as an apologist.


Anonymous said...

This catholic "apologist" makes me chuckle. First, since his mind is only fixed on himself, his works, and his supposed self-made "righteousness" he cannot even begin to fathom how truthful and accurate these observations are. His mindset is ONLY on his works and the law so he cannot begin to understand the nature of sin and thus real gospel.

Second, to label this as anything approaching "scholarship" or "apologetics" as you do is extremely good natured of you. This is pure slander, distortion and propaganda period. To take a snippet of quotes totally out of context of the largest work like this is sickening low to say the least! I am a fairly new reader of your blog, but if this is what you must routinely deal with every day then may God bless you and give you strength.

In their silly desperation to retain their sin and their punishment for sin instead of trusting Christ to bear it for them, its almost comical how these self-righteous "holy" Romanists will fight tooth and nail to remain condemned under the curse of the law - and in the process be willing to break any commandment (in this case the 6th as you point out) to "do good" as they self-define it. If this is not the height of relative morality I do not know what else would be.

Like I said, it would be hilarious how they argue so hard to keep their sin if it were not for the fact that this kind of false teachings lead many, many to be lost.

Rooney said...

Is it me or is Catholicism simply a lot more "politically correct" than Protestantism on the cyberspace?

Just search up "Sola fide" or "Sola scriptura" on google or Youtube and go through a few page of the results, you will see a lot of attack on them.

In contrast, search up "Papal infallability" or "Bodily assumption" on google/Youtube and its almost like 90% of the links/video results defending it. I saw next to nothing against Papal infallability on Youtube but huge videos defending it.

Search up for example "Sungenis White debate" or "White Staples debate" on google and you will know who tends to comes off better in the search results.

Lets not even talk about

Any explanations on why we see such?

David L. Gray (Yoseph M. Daviyd) said...

Thanks for the fair critique James. This article has since been updated with some feedback. Sorry so late, but was doing family stuff this weekend. Also, I don't know where you gathered that I am a Catholic Apologist .... I've NEVER called myself that, and I've always corrected Catholics who called me that. I am NOT an Apologist - formally or informally. To call me an Apologist is disrespectful to real apologist. LOL Sorry if I gave you that impression. With religious writings and audio/video I am only guilty of proposing the Catholic faith and of being a critic of things I find errant, funny, and irrelevant.

Blessings and Shalom,

James Swan said...

With religious writings and audio/video I am only guilty of proposing the Catholic faith and of being a critic of things I find errant, funny, and irrelevant.

That's um, the behavior of a Roman apologist.

James Swan said...

Mr Gray, You stated on your blog:

In some cases Swan was spot on, but in other cases he would have been much better off not trying to contextualize or excuse Luther. In those cases, Swan’s intellectually honesty is betrayed by his passion for Luther.

If you have time, can you give me some examples of where I was "spot on," where I "contextualize or excuse Luther," and where my "intellectually honesty is betrayed by his passion for Luther"?

I'm actually not a Lutheran, so it doesn't bother me if Luther was wrong or did something wrong.

David L. Gray (Yoseph M. Daviyd) said...

::: That's um, the behavior of a Roman apologist.

LOL Actually, I'm a critic of Catholic apologetics as well. I don't know why they spend so much time explaining the faith in context of the reformulation of the 1500's. That's very weak in my opinion, and diminishes the faith. I understand why the protest must always explain itself in light of Catholicism, but there is no reason for us to defend Catholicism in light of the protest, IF the protest is false.

As for your request, I do owe you that explanation since I put it out there. I just don't know when it will be coming, but it will come.

Jugulum said...


From your description, it sounds like you want to engage in the activities of apologetics, but you object to the way Catholic apologetics has typically been done (both historically and currently).

In other words, the actual meaning of "apologist" applies to you, but you want to distance yourself from some of the connotations & associations of the phrase "Catholic apologetics".

That's a fair thing to want to do. And I get why that would make you tend to avoid the word "apologist". But unless I'm missing something, actually saying "I'm not an apologist" is at odds with the reality of your actions.

Similarly: I might tend to avoid the word "evangelism" when talking to some people, because of associations & connotations it has for them. But if asked whether I believe in evangelism, I'd have to say "yes"--and then explain how that doesn't include the associations they might have in mind.

James Swan said...

Jugulum, I would be surprised if Mr. Grey returns back here to engage your comment.

One thing I did get confirmation from coming across Mr. Grey is how Wikipedia is infested by people that have no business putting together entries on history. Mr. Grey apparently contributes and edits entries: