Monday, July 18, 2011

More on Self-Published, Momentous Anti-Catholic Books (Such as Those by William Webster and David T. King)

By Dave Armstrong (7-18-11)

Some prominent anti-Catholics online have engaged in the cynical practice of identifying my books as "self-published." Never mind that I have six books "officially" published by three different Catholic publishers, with a seventh (100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura) to be published soon by a fourth major Catholic publisher: Catholic Answers, and an eighth (The Quotable Newman) also slated for publication (Sophia Institute Press) in 2012. [as of 8-7-15, it's now ten and possibly soon, 11] These were (or will be) published by real live publishers, with real live, breathing editors, managing boards of real people.

Several of my books, for that matter, are also carried in important theological and municipal libraries (including many Protestant ones). None of that matters in these profound anti-Catholic minds. They never miss a chance to describe all of my books as "self-published." Some are, but we know what is intended by these tactics of selective truth.

It's also a highly amusing hyper-irony that these statements are almost always made on "self-published" and non-supervised blogs. Oddly enough, however, these same anti-Catholics have an extremely high opinion of a three-volume work by anti-Catholic comrades William Webster and David T. King:

Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume I: A Biblical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura

Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume II: An Historical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura (Webster)

I say "oddly enough" because these were put out by "Christian Resources, Inc." Ever heard of that outfit? I didn't think so. I demonstrated in a a paper over two years ago: "Self-Publishing and "Podunk Publishing" Efforts of Some of the Leading Anti-Catholic Authors (King, Webster, White, Svendsen)" -- that this "publisher" was run by Webster himself. It's self-publishing, folks. Anyone can print their own book if they like and put it out. It's easy to do today.

When these works are extolled it is rarely if ever mentioned that they are "self-published". Never a word about these volumes being self-published. They're right up there next to the Bible in importance and near-inspired nature. The original page of the publisher, "Christian Resources" -- where I documented that Webster was the director and founder -- is no longer online. But a current "Contact Info." page leads right to Webster's e-mail address. If there is any doubt that this is not a traditional publisher, but a glorified, slickly disguised self-publishing operation, the Book Printing page outlines how anyone can pay to get a book printed:

The price depends on the size of the book. As an example, the price for producing a paperback book, 80 pages in length, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" in size would be approximately $4.50 per book. The customer would be responsible for shipping costs.

If you have interest in having a book printed please contact Bill Webster for an estimate

How Christian and democratic of William: anyone can get a book published at good ol' Christian Resources. Well, anyone but a Catholic, of course . . . Through the marvel of Internet Archive, it was easy enough to establish that Webster runs this outfit:

Christian Resources is a non-profit teaching, apologetics and publishing ministry dealing with issues related to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Gospel, Church history and the Christian life. The ministry is dedicated to the teaching and proclamation of the Gospel, a biblical and historical defense of the teachings of the Reformation and the discipling of believers in their Christian walk.

The Director and Founder of Christian Resources is William Webster
(home page, scanned on 9 February 2005)

Clicking on the category, "Books" on the same page above, we find the "hit" of this self-publishing juggernaut of Christian truth, the three-volume series I have been mentioning above.

Gotta love those incessant anti-Catholic ethical double standards . . .



Magister Christianus said...

As I have told my Latin III students when we study Roman publishing, the self-pub trend, or more specifically print-on-demand, has simply brought publishing full circle, for this was just how the Romans did, albeit with slave copyists. Furthermore, in some current research I am doing, I have run across a book publishe by Wiley, a well-know publisher, yet its author makes wild, unsubstantiated claims. Bottom line: Wikipedia and Lulu are not necessarily less trustworthy than a commercial publisher. A reader must check footnotes and bibliography. There is the true proof of the pudding.

Dave Armstrong said...

I agree to some extent, which is why I put out books on my own, and also with conventional publishers. The oversight and professionalism of traditional publishing is a plus, though. A person can put out a good book on their own, but of course they can also put a bad book out. No quality control . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

Of course my point i this article was to point out the double standard: mocking Catholic books for being self-published (as if that were an automatic disqualifier) while ignoring the same status in the case of anti-Catholic ones put out by buddies and comrades-in-arms.

MBrandon said...


I think that the time you spent on this response to ongoing drivel is actually beneath what you stand for. You do great detailed research on the faith we love, and I enjoy trying to follow what you write. Yes, you can never do Twitter.

But, wasting one moment of your time trying to refute a buffoon actually sounds more like hurt pride defending itself than meaningful writing.

You cannot win with people behaving foolishly. They are determined to be right, and the truth is elusive to them, because they run helter skelter with their fingers in their ears.

You do not have to defend yourself. You have a Lord and Saviour who has already done so. Move on. Let it go.

God Bless You, and those who persecute you.


Dave Armstrong said...

I always get a response like this whenever I deal with anti-Catholics. I understand the sentiment, but it is simply a brief foray into the world of anti-Catholicism, to expose the mentality of it. I think it is worthwhile to do so for the sake of others who are on the fence or in that world. It has nothing to do with defending myself.

Your comment could, it seems to me, apply just as well to Jesus, Who excoriated the Pharisees and noted their double standards, or Paul with the Judaizers, or scores of Church fathers who dealt with heretics and heresies.

I don't care if people think I am "defending my honor" or not. Of course I am not. The example of his denigration of my books only serves as the springboard to make the larger point.

It is very worthwhile to expose the phony, dishonest mentality of much of anti-Catholicism, so as to discourage people from being taken in by it. I do very little of that anymore (I haven't engaged in true, substantive debates with these guys for four years), but when I do, sure enough I hear this criticism every time.

You and anyone else are welcome to comment on the matter, of course, and I respect your opinion, and know the good motivation behind it, but I know exactly what i am doing and its purpose, and will continue to do this periodically. It doesn't interrupt any of my main work; it is just a momentary diversion.

Dave Armstrong said...

Even if I was intending to "defend" myself (which I wasn't), there would be ample precedent for that: St. Paul defended himself in his trial in the book of Acts (he didn't just depend on the Holy spirit and prayer).

Cardinal Newman wrote his classic Apologia pro Vita sua: a 300-page defense of his character against charges of dishonesty that were rather widespread. He caused a sea change in English opinion about Catholicism, so that was well worth it indeed.