Monday, October 08, 2007

Protestant Church Historians & Patristics Experts Schaff, Kelly, & Pelikan Get James White's Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval


I noticed a portion of an old paper of mine, in writing my chapter on the Blessed Virgin Mary in my upcoming book, The Church Fathers Were Catholic: Patristic Evidences for Catholicism. Reformed Baptist apologist Bishop James White was claiming that the early Church knew nothing at all of the Mary as Mediatrix doctrine ("complete absence"). I cited these men to the contrary.

Anyway, I utilize the helpful work of these three eminent historians quite a bit in my book. Moreover, I use many many quotations from the famous Schaff-edited 38-volume edition of the Church fathers' writings. In order to show that they are not some quasi-Catholic sources that can't be trusted by Protestants, or even slanted in a "Catholic direction", I thought it would be useful to document once again what White thinks of them, since he is perhaps the most vocal and prolific (anti-Catholic) Protestant opponent of Catholicism online at the present time. That way, I eliminate beforehand a certain form of objection to my sources.

* * * * *

1) Article: "Exegetica: Roman Catholic Apologists Practice Eisegesis in Scripture and Patristics" (3-4-02)

White cites "Protestant church historian" Kelly once with regard to whether Rome had a single bishop or a group of bishops in the second century (the same era as Irenaeus).

2) Article: "Did The Early Church Believe In the LDS Doctrine of God?" (7-27-00)

White, arguing against Mormonism, cites Kelly at length, introducing him as "One of the greatest patristic scholars". And he is the only historian White cites, in an article about the "early Church".

3) Article: "The Pre-existence of Christ In Scripture, Patristics and Creed" (7-27-00)

Again, in an article dealing in part with patristics, Bishop White cites only Kelly as a scholar in his section "Patristic Interpretation." And then in the following footnotes, Schaff is also mentioned:
25) For the text of the Nicene Creed, see J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (New York: Longman Inc., 1981), pp.215-216 and Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985) vol. 1:27-28.

26) Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 1:30.
4) Article: "A Test of Scholarship" (7-26-00)

Again, Kelly is proclaimed as "One of the greatest patristic scholars" and White notes after a very long citation from Kelly: "I am appending a selection of quotations from the early fathers that substantiates the conclusions of . . . Kelly quoted above." White writes later:
J.N.D. Kelly’s fine work, Early Christian Doctrines (1978), a work that occupies a space close to my desk (for frequent reference).
Jaroslav Pelikan's comments on the notion of theosis in the early Church are also cited at length.

5) Article: How Reliable Is Roman Catholic History?: An Example in a Recent Edition of This Rock Magazine" (7-25-00)

Kelly is cited three times as an expert on early Church ecclesiology. It stands to reason, that if Kelly can be used in an effort to show that Catholic Answers' history on a certain disputed point is inaccurate, he can also be used in such a fashion against anti-Catholic and "contra-Catholic" arguments in general. Kelly is obviously White's favorite patristics scholar and historian of the early Church.

6) Article: "A Debate Between Professor James White, Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and Brother John Mary, Representing the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" (7-24-00)

Kelly is cited as an expert about the very Church father under consideration:
I note that J.N.D. Kelly asserts that Ireneaus, Tertullian, and Origen all felt Mary had sinned and doubted Christ (Early Christian Doctrines, 493).
Philip Schaff is also cited pertaining to the question of whether Pope Sylvester called the Counci of Nicaea.

7) Article: "The Trinity, the Definition of Chalcedon, and Oneness Theology" (7-21-00)

Bishop White cites "noted patristic authority J.N.D. Kelly".

Philip Schaff is mentioned even more times on White's site (29 compared to 11 for Kelly):

8) "An In Channel Debate on Purgatory" (2-21-02)

White cites Schaff twice with regard to the views of Pope Gregory the Great.

9) "Catholic Legends And How They Get Started: An Example" (6-11-01)

Schaff is cited interpreting a letter from Pope Zosimus.

10) "Failure to Document: Catholic Answers Glosses Over History" (10-25-00)

Schaff is mentioned twice with regard of the history of the proceedings of Vatican I.

11) "Whitewashing the History of the Church" (8-31-00)

Schaff is cited with regard to Cyril's views and the Council of Florence. This provides us with a delightful irony, since if Schaff can be cited as a "witness" to alleged Catholic "whitewashing" of history, he can be utilized to show anti-Catholics engaging in this practice, too.

12) "Truths of the Bible or Untruths of Roman Tradition? James White Responds to Tim Staples' Article, "How to Explain the Eucharist" in the September, 1997 issue of Catholic Digest" (7-25-00)

Schaff is cited twice with regard to historical debates on transubstantiation.

13) "The Trinity, the Definition of Chalcedon, and Oneness Theology"
(7-21-00)

Schaff is cited with regard to the Council of Chalcedon and Christology, and his work is recommended for further reading on the Council.

14) "Dancing With Phil Porvaznik" (7-15-07):
The tradition to which Schaff or Kelly or anyone else would refer would not, and could not, fulfill the Roman requirements of the term. Any tradition to which Schaff would have made mention would not have contained any of the elements upon which Rome has defined her dogmas, the very dogmas she must defend by denying sola scriptura! We see here the deceptive nature of Catholic argumentation, . . .
15) "A Brief Detour: Scott Hahn and Luke 1:28" (1-4-05):

Philip Schaff's Creeds of Christendom is favorably cited.

16) "On Dancing with Rome" (7-20-05)

Lengthy Schaff citation about Mariology. The image “http://files.aomin.org/images/gif/Cartoonmicro.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

17) "The Da Vinci Code VIII" (11-15-05)

Schaff is cited concerning the Council of Nicaea.

18) "Ancient Baptists and Other Myths" (8-25-06)

"Renowned church historian Philip Schaff, speaking of the Council of Nicea, . . ."

19) "Going Against Your Better Judgment" (1-12-05)

A lot of Schaff material from the 38-volume patristics set . . .

20) "Assumptions and Shallow Arguments: Steve Ray and the Poor State of Catholic Apologetics (#3)" (9-19-07)

Kelly called an "eminent church historian".

21) "Another Example of 'Head in the Sand' Apologetics" (9-21-06)

Kelly cited on matters of Mariology.

22) "Notorious James White: Dirty Debater" (7-28-06)

Kelly again cited regarding Mariology.

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