Monday, March 06, 2006

Cor ad cor loquitur Passes the 300,000 Visitors Mark

Thanks to all visitors and readers (each and every one - that means YOU)! It is my honor and pleasure to have you come to my blog.

This blog began on 2 February 2004. That was approximately 763 days ago. Thus, dividing the current 300,144 hits by that number of days, we arrive at a figure of about 393 hits a day average for the entire two years. Today the average is 676 a day (the highest figure attained so far, and the trend lately has been a slow but steady climb).

On a humorous note, the anti-Catholic Baptist apologist James White once proclaimed triumphantly on his blog that this venue could never survive without dealing with anti-Catholics: that I would run out of things to write about and my numbers would tail off considerably. That shows how little he knows about the scope and sweep of my writing, topics-wise (not that he ever tried to learn, in the first place). I haven't tried to dialogue (per my own public resolution) with anti-Catholics since January 2005: 14 months ago - with one exception.

That one exception was White himself: I replied to a critique of his according to my clause where I will respond to point-by-point critiques, even from anti-Catholics. So I did so and (typically) he was never heard from again (so much for his vaunted debating ability, and supposed unvanquishability). "Dr." (?) White opined that such a policy would be the death-knell of my blog, as if that is all we do here. In fact, since this past January, I don't even chronicle anti-Catholic folly and intellectual vacuity anymore, yet the number of hits per day continues to increase. White wrote on 5 April 2005:

You remember Dave Armstrong . . . Same fellow who then took an oath [it was not a sacred "oath" - for the hundredth time - it was a personal resolution!] to stop interacting with "anti-Catholics" (convenient use of terminology) - which had the not overly unexpected result of basically killing his blog, which then went into hibernation during Lent anyway [like this is some remarkable occurrence: an observance of Lent in one particular way, by a Catholic??!!] . . . it truly amazes me that someone who utterly lacks the tools to do the work he claims to do with such expertise continues to be dragged along by the rest of his compatriots. Just another example of "as long as it is in the service of Mother Church, it is all good." What a contrast: we seek to be consistent in honor of the truth, . . . Where is that kind of consistent dedication to truth on the "Roman" side?
Whatever my "tools" for my apologetic task may be, I believe that in April 2005 this blog was receving about 300 hits a day. Now the number is 676: or roughly a 225% increase. White's prophetic prowess is thus even more atrocious and off-the-mark than his anti-Catholic polemics. His buddy Eric Svendsen can top that for shoddy prognostications of the future and understanding of present reality. On 4 January 2005, he triumphalistically predicted (for some strange reason known only to himself) that I was shutting down my blog for good:

It appears that direct and substantive critiques of his work have proved too much for Dave Armstrong. He has pulled the plug on his little blog experiment gone bad . . . It seems Dr. White, in his critiques of Armstrong's arguments that supposedly "confound Protestants," ended up "confounding" Armstrong himself, . . . now, as poetic justice would have it, Dave Armstrong is not merely closing the comments section of his apologetic blog - he's getting out of the apologetic blog business entirely! Wow; bravo James! If we had only known earlier that it would take only five consecutive exegetical critiques of Armstrong's argument to shut him up (Titus 1:10-11), many would have done this a long time ago. Well done! : )
As Mark Twain famously cracked, "the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Instead, "as poetic justice would have it," now it is Eric's blog which has gone belly up (the last post as of writing appeared on 21 January 2006). Eric decided (on 2 November 2005) to basically stop doing Internet apologetics, and his friend, fellow anti-Catholic Jason Engwer, who had been writing most of the posts since that time on Eric's blog, also decided to do something else.

Even when it was operating, the Real Clear Theology blog allowed comments for only a brief time. They lasted only as long as a few critical opinions were rendered. Eric was always quick to ban anyone who disagreed with him and calmly explained why, on his previous discussion forum (I'm quite honored to have been one such refugee). James White has never allowed comments at any time on his blog. So much for confidence in one's position and free and open discussion . . .
I'm delighted to report that Eric Svendsen's entire website and his forums (not mine, as he so devoutly wished), are in trouble, numbers-wise. He himself informed us of this on his "farewell" post of 1-21-06:

. . . at this point I'm ambivalent as to how we'll proceed. The traffic for the foums has dwindled significantly over the past year . . . The Heavenly realm [discussion forum] has seen the least amount of traffic over the past year, and I will be closing that forum soon . . . if there is . . . no increase in forum activity, I may decide to close the website altogether.
The Areopagus general discussion forum is now seeing miniscule activity (probably because of Eric's habit of banning virtually every articulate Catholic who dares to comment, so there is no one left to mock and ridicule). I see that the entire number of posts for the month of February is 31, and there are no posts at all in the month of March. The last post was made on 25 February 2006. I'm not allowed in the Protestant-only Heavenly Realm forum, so I can't report on how that is doing.

Meanwhile, Cor ad cor loquitur continues, and thrives, with no end in sight, and with amiable, mutually-respectful dialogue between Catholics and Protestants, and with the banning of only one person in two years (the notorious anti-Catholic troll, Caroline Trace). Sorry for the passing note of anti-Catholic opinions (it had to do directly with the success or not of this blog, and the false predictions of my severest critics, so I thought it was temporarily relevant, as well as humorous).

In any event, thanks again for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you, and I hope you are finding what you need here. If I do say so, I think the uniqueness of my blog and much-larger accompanying website is comprehensiveness and my determination to stay focused on mostly apologetics. Even many of the better-known Catholic apologists today who have blogs seem to put out more social and political commentary and purely "fun"-type posts than anything else. That's okay - nothing wrong with that - but it simply isn't apologetics proper.

The latter is what you get here, peppered with an occasional musical or social or humorous piece. You always know what the overwhelming emphasis will be on Cor ad cor loquitur. I am an apologist, and so I write mostly apologetics! It seems simple enough, yet not many folks are doing that today as consistently as what you get here. I think one reason for that is that most people have neither the time nor ability to produce something fresh apologetics on almost a daily basis (i.e., in order to entice and maintain a significant audience of readers). Blogs are tremendously demanding on one's time and energy. Because I write very fast, have the time, and have a huge storeload of old papers, I am able to do that, and so keep readers' interest.

That is what I see as the distinctiveness of this blog, along with my strong, insistent emphasis on amiable discussion without the ridiculous, offensive rancor and acrimony that - sadly - characterizes so much of Internet discourse today. And that makes me quite proud of my readers. It's because of you that we have managed to engage in enjoyable, constructive discussions. Even while my usual (mostly anti-Catholic) critics continue to absurdly blast me for supposedly being so overbearing and "triumphalistic" (the standard charge that any confident Catholic will hear), we somehow manage (despite my alleged rudeness and "anti-Protestantism") to have great, substantive, constructive (I would say, superb) Protestant-Catholic discussion on an ongoing basis. Few things in my apologetic career make me happier than to see that taking place, when it is so rare these days.

Kudos to all of you!

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