Friday, January 04, 2008

"Dave Armstrong Himself": the Big Bad Boogeyman (Kevin Johnson & Josh Strodtbeck)

Kevin D. Johnson
I am growing tired of having all my words framed in light of the unfortunate discussion between myself and Michael Pahls, [Paul] Owen, or [Jonathan] Bonomo [former contributors to RefCath all]. Is there some need to keep mentioning them that I don’t know about? I mean, they’re having cordial discussions now with Dave Armstrong himself [starting here] and somehow I’m seen as the bad guy.

( 1-9-08 )

Josh Strodtbeck
Kevin’s experience seems to mirror Michael Spencer’s. It goes something like this:
1. Discover that not every Roman Catholic theologian, literary work, historical resource, and liturgical practice is spawned of Satan.
2. Write a few things expressing positive opinions concerning these things, even defending a few things from misguided polemics.
3. Win some kind of affection from Catholics…
4. …who then proceed to try to convert you to their version of history…
5. …and are HIGHLY offended that you do not readily lap up everything that say as God’s own truth, claiming that unless you say they are right about everything, right down to infantile proof-texting from 5th century texts, your claim of being respectful and interested in dialogue is null and void.
6. Respond to their polemics with some of their own, drawing the ire of professed Roman sympathizers and cries of “I told you so! You Prot bastards are all the same!” from the Catholic antagonists.
Now, I have managed to avoid this because I have never, ever given the impression that I have ever agreed with anyone other than myself, and even that is a rather uncommon event. I did get caught up in Dave Armstrong’s personal quest for psychological and intellectual self-validation, but always as a foe to be conquered rather than a near-convert who only needed a bit of nudging. However, others who have ventured a brief dive into church history or ecumenism have not been quite so lucky. Perhaps our friends who have left the site will avoid this by always treating everything even the most unbalanced e-pologist says as really quite reasonable and equally if not more valid than their own understanding of things.

( 1-9-08 )

I must say I got a huge kick out of the ridiculous irony of Kevin and Josh naming me as the arch-Satan of Catholic opposition to their nonsense, and equating Protestant blogmaster Michael Spencer with Kevin's position with regard to Catholics, in light of what Michael Spencer has written about me not all that long ago:

Dave Armstrong writes me really nice letters when I ask questions. As someone ridiculed by the arsonists [Phil Johnson's blog], I have to have a liking for the guy. Really, his notes to me are always first class and very respectful and helpful. . . . Dave Armstrong has continued to answer my questions in respectful and helpful ways. I thank the Lord for him.

--- Michael Spencer, aka "The Internet Monk", on the Boar's Head Tavern site, September 27 and 29, 2007
Meanwhile, Kevin attains new lows (which is saying something, with his record!) with his abominable post, Heidelberg Had Trent Obtained the Editorial Rights. Here it is in its entirety and all its "Reformish" glory (filed under "All in Good Fun"):
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Catholic communion; that, with the precious blood of Christ, a plenary indulgence or two, and masses for me after I’m gone, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil but I’ll still be spending a good thousand years in purgatory; and so preserves me (unless I commit a mortal sin and really screw it up) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head and especially if I spend all my time bowing before the Blessed Mother who has all the real power to save, you know, because she’s so “connected” with her Son; yea, that all things must be subservient to my participation in the cult of the saints and making sure I make Mass twice a year, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of the possibility of eternal life if I work really hard, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him so I can make sure to earn the right to pass through the pearly gates once I’m done with the cleansing fires of purgatory.

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