Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frank Turk and Phil Johnson Reply to My Critique With Christlike Examples of Charity and Reason / James White's January 2001 Resolution to Avoid All Interaction With Me (!!)

[ source ]

For background, see my previous paper of today: "Thank God We Are Not Like Dave Armstrong": Frank Turk's Critique of Protestant Apologist Behavior and Blindness to James White's Manifest Outrages. See also the combox of that paper, where I recorded additional comments that I made in the combox of Frank's post. Below I post the almost literally foaming-at-the-mouth insults of blogmaster Phil Johnson (words in green) and Frank Turk (words in blue). It's incredible, even by already rock-bottom anti-Catholic standards.

I find it especially sad that Turk has decided to ratchet up his anti-Catholic vitriol, even after I sincerely remarked in my paper (amidst criticisms) that I thought he had toned down his negative rhetoric considerably over the last several years, and that I didn't think his anti-Catholic posts were "personal". Now he's back to the old Frank, I reckon. He simply couldn't resist after evil, wicked boogeyman Dave Armstrong showed up in his vicinity. The reader may decide if their tone and substance are befitting of a Christian man of God setting out to share and defend his Christian faith, or not.

My own view ought to be very clear by now: I think it stinks to high heaven, and is an absolute disgrace to both Christianity and to the apologetic endeavor that I passionately love and have devoted my life to. And the saddest thing at all is that in all likelihood no fellow Protestant will speak up and condemn their atrocious behavior in this thread. No one will see (or state publicly, at any rate) that it is wrong. That's how low the anti-Catholic Internet apologetic world has sunk (if it was ever any different). If someone does have the guts and Christian conscience to do that, I will be most happy to note it here for posterity.

To Pyro-reader regulars: in Davespeak, "real discussion" is a monologue by Dave Armstrong in which we all sit at his feet in rapt admiration.

Nice to see you, Dave. You're welcome to post on-topic comments here. But be forewarned: the regulars here don't pull their punches. Many narcissists with fragile psyches have already been wounded in the melee.

Take care.

(3:01 PM PST, 7-27-11)

Right. I guess that is why I have posted online over 650 dialogues. All one-way stuff, right Phil? I rarely ever do lectures: obviously so I can get all this rapt admiration that Frank obviously has for James White. :-)

I didn't expect it to be a lovefest if I dared to comment here, but I was naive enough to hold out some remote hope for the distant semblance of an actual rational discussion. When will I ever learn?

(3:27 PM, 7-27-11)



HAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey -- I thought you swore off interacting with me AND Dr. White A LONG TIME AGO?!? Didn't you swear that off because we're evil or some other idiotic notion? let me find that link ... I seem to remember that your love of free speech ended poorly at CARM, and then again at my blog, and then again interacting with Dr. White, and then again intercating [sic] with TQ. You love free speech until it turns out to eat you alive.

I have been given advice, Dave, to pop off your comments here because, let's face it: highlighting your blog here is the best advertisement you'll get this decade, and as I have already said, who wants to proliferate the soft-core apologetic porn out there? Who does that benefit?

I encourage the readers to ignore Dave for their own good, and for Dave's own good. If you do read his comments, I forgive you, but remember this: there are some things you cannot unsee.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

(3:13 PM, 7-27-11)

For the record: you are the very essence of a lousy apologist, Dave. You are a nincompoop. You are not just a clown but you are a veritable clown car of intellectual hijinx which pulls up when it pleases, unloads everything from the [metaphorically-speaking] tiny dog with the point hat to the traffic cop with the faulty suspenders, and then expects to be taken seriously -- in fact, you are insulted when you are not taken seriously after parading your assortment of gags out for public inspection.

[oh yes: here's that link about you swearing off interacting with James White. I call that the wedding cake clown -- the one that's half groom and half bride, depending on which side you're looking at.] 

So what is it you want to talk about, pray tell? Besides you, I mean? What can we do for you?

(3:28 PM, 7-27-11)

* * * 

Yes, under deliberate provocation and in exasperation one day I used words (over ten years ago now) that went too far, in saying that I was sick and tired of anti-Catholic nonsense and would never talk to or mention James White at all, ever again. But I made no "vow" -- as has been maintained since by many anti-Catholics. I didn't "swear" that I would never do so, or make an oath, etc.

It was a resolution (I specifically used the word "resolve" several times) that I later modified after reflection. I wrote, "I resolve to neither interact with, nor to even mention at all, James White" and that "I am through with debating all anti-Catholics." What I have been doing for the past four years is avoiding all theological debate with anti-Catholics, as a matter of principle and time-management; not all discussion whatever.

I made one temporary exception in the case of Jason Engwer, when he was going after a friend of mine who was wavering in his Catholic faith. The nature of my present position on the matter  has been distorted time and again, too (no matter how much I have clarified), and used as a pretext for idiotic mockery. Of course, it is ignored that James White has stated several times that he would utterly ignore me, and then went back on it and interacted with my writing yet again: including two additional challenges to oral debate (three total, in 1995, 2001, and 2007: all consistently refused because I think it is an inferior medium to written debate).

Bishop White challenged me to oral debate in 2001, precisely because it was following his poor performance in our lone live chat debate (12-29-00) in his chat room (mostly centering on Mariology) -- having previously fled for the hills in our initial written 1995 debate by postal mail: leaving my previous 36-page reply completely unanswered, as it has remained for 16 years. I have posted that ever since, and White never has: quite odd if he in fact prevailed in the debate.

The fact of the matter, then (the side of the story that is never ever heard in certain quarters), is that James White virtually begged me in letters dated 11-12 January 2001, to avoid any personal interaction with him henceforth. This was over two months before my "resolution" that has mockingly been thrown in my face ever since by anti-Catholics, including White himself.

It's all documented in an old paper of mine entitled, Case Study in Anti-Catholic Bigotry and Condescension: Dr. James White Rejects Personal Reconciliation and Continues to Pour Forth Insults, Yet Simultaneously Pushes for an Oral Debate; no longer on my blog but available at Internet Archive. After I refused to debate him on his webcast or in live oral debate, he pouted, took his bat and ball and went home, in these words:

Again, nothing new here....I discovered this years ago when you first contacted me, which was exactly why I have done everything I could to avoid further contact with you. . . . 

I'll tell ya what: we have a tentative agreement with someone for the 2002 Long Island Debate.  If that falls through, how about you free up some time and face me in public? . . . 

I detest inconsistency  and deception.  I detest surface-level assertions and the misuse of facts. That is why you and I don't get along. I'm not impressed by rhetoric and bluster and verbosity.  There are many who are, I'm not one of them.  I have a deep-seated dislike of those who make a show of  knowledge for the sake of something other than the truth itself. . . . 

Will you defend  what you have written on our webcast or not?  Yes or no? . . .
[My reply at the time: "No. My challenge to do some sort of writing debate stands, as it has since mid-1995. You have admitted that basically you think I am dumb and without substance. So why do you want to interact with me? Is it the common tactic of Protestants loving to talk to dumb Catholics, so their view can look better?"]

I have done all I could since then in light of certain aspects of your behavior to avoid interaction like the plague. My website contains nothing about you for that very reason. . . . So I apologize for even considering the idea of having any contact.  As they seem to say amongst  the young people today, "My bad." . . .

I have to often remind myself that it is not my duty to rebut every false argument.  I used to think it was, when I was a younger man.  I no longer think that way, though at times I succumb to the temptation to try, in some measure, to do what I should not. I have to trust God's Spirit to lead His people as He sees fit.  I have had a number of folks contact me about your posting of my letters and actually warn me against "casting pearls before swine" in doing what I am doing even now.  I had three people say to me this morning, "You are wasting your time."  I will have to accept their counsel after this response. 

Mr. Armstrong, I have no interest, whatsoever, in continuing this with you.  I don't like you, and I don't believe you like me. Until a few weeks ago I had followed the path of wisdom and avoided every entanglement with you. I erred in moving from that path. You will undoubtedly claim "victory" and shout loud and long about my supposed inability to respond to your "tightly reasoned" arguments.  So be it. 

I know different, and what's more, I think, somewhere down inside, you do too. Continuing to attempt to reason with you is likewise foolish: if you write an angry e-mail, like yesterday, and I reply to it, the next day you'll use the calm, rational response, and upbraid me for being nasty.  No matter what I do, the end is the same.  I knew this years ago.  My memory must be failing or something for even making the attempt.  
I'm going to ask you to join me in promising to stay as far away from each other as possible.  I'm not asking you to not respond on your own website to what I write or doing whatever you want to do when speaking, etc.  I am talking about personal interaction.  Stay out of #prosapologian.  Don't write to me.  Don't ask to do dialogues, debates, or anything else.  You just do your thing, and I'll do mine. OK?

Note again that this was written on 11-12 January 2001. My letter where I said I was through interacting with White was dated 14 March 2001. White reproduced it in its entirety on his blog in order to mock me, on 6 April 2007, and now Frank Turk links to that today, in his attempt to show that I am a hypocrite and a coward; wanting to run from debate with James White and others. Why, then, is White's own resolution of two months earlier ignored? Why is he not regarded as a coward for refusing extended, multi-round written debate with me for now more than 16 years, and not regarded as a hypocrite for going back on his January 2001 "word" to avoid all personal interaction with me henceforth (since my critics insist on branding me with both labels and worse)?

Frank Turk spends another lunch hour bashing us unregenerate pitiful Catholics and anyone else who dares to disagree with him.

* * *

[Reply to Frank Turk] I made my lengthy reply. Did you not see it? If you did, why do you ask what I want to talk about, as if you were in some other world, unaware of the happenings around you?

(4:08 PM, 7-27-11)

This was summarily ignored. Later, after the "discussion" recorded in the combox below, Frank roared back, in ultra-ludicrous, clueless fashion (my bracketed replies are added presently: not present in the combox):

This is my favorite part! This is the part where Dave makes fun of himself!

Watch: [cites my words in the combox, and his own, somehow thinking he is utterly "vindicated" in his vicious, asinine personal attacks]

Now, what I said was plain:
- Dave swore off interacting if Dr. White (and me)
- He did so becuase -we- are idiotic and evil

[I've never called any fellow Christian "evil" in character, to my knowledge (I have been called this many times by anti-Catholics: particularly Steve Hays). No doubt some manifest sins and slanders I have indeed described in that fashion (acts are distinguished from people), but not as Frank spins it; if he thinks otherwise, let the slanderer prove it by documentation beyond a bald charge. I've assuredly called many arguments of anti-Catholicism "idiotic". I generally think most major anti-Catholics online are not stupid people; they are usually sharp and intelligent, but weighed down by many false premises and houses of logical sand built upon them. It's not an "intelligence" problem, but a "bad logic and lack of knowledge" problem. The reason for stopping debate with anti-Catholics was primarily because of the profound irrationality and utter impossibility of rational discussion back-and-forth. True dialogue or debate requires a significant measure of good will, and anti-Catholicism will not, cannot grant that to a Catholic, by the very nature of the beast. So it is impossible, and I don't waste time in such discussion: not at any length. I did more than my share through the years; never enjoyed it at any time, and at length decided that I was through with it altogether]

- he loves free speech
- but he hates it when it end poorly

[I hate it when dialogue or rational discussion never occurs at all (as in Frank's combox): absolutely, but note how Frank cynically spins it as my ceasing to enjoy it because I was supposedly bested by the profundities of anti-Catholicism. No argument ever occurred here, save one person producing some snippets from Trent that he spun as having to do with "grace alone" when they were about "faith alone." I refuted it with the actually relevant portions of Trent and was merely mocked and ridiculed. It gets downright silly . . .]

- ex. 1,2,3,4
- he loves free speech until it eats him alive.

As it is doing right now, I might add.

So that said, where did I say anything about "fleeing", "terror", "overwhelmed", the force of James' arguments, or Dave's "disgust".

[the usual fundamentalist noncomprehension of at-bottom, serious rhetorical exaggeration; I knew this would happen! Anti-Catholic fundamentalists have the greatest difficulty comprehending words in their context and their specific meaning within those contexts, in reference to arguments being replied to. This is a classic case. They struggle with different literary forms. This is true of their biblical exegesis as well as their difficulty in understanding the arguments of opponents or differing theological systems. And Frank has always been particularly bad in this regard. He doesn't get it so many times, but he thinks he does. Few things are more annoying in discussion. Many many times in the past my meaning went right over his head, and I lacked the patience to walk him through step-by-step. Why bother? There is no use, anyway.]

So from the clown car we now have the clown who throws the bucket of confetti instead of the bucket of water, -and- the clown with the big thick glasses -and- the clown who trips over thin air.

Just when you think the last one has come out, here comes the next one. 

(11:43 AM PST, 7-28-11)

I truly thought Frank had gotten over this sort of juvenile, foaming-at-the-mouth, ultra-irrational anti-Catholic bilge, as I stated in the initial critique, but I was, sadly, quite mistaken. I guess, with Bishop James White as one's hero, it can scarcely be avoided, since it is so central to White's approach. Like father, like son.

"witness": AAAHHHHHHH!!! I am feeding a troll!

Sorry I got suckered in. 

(11:46 AM, 7-28-11)


You are now dealing with the clown who only speaks in malaprops. It will be funny until you realize he's serious.

(11:54, 7-28-11)

And then, here you are: not different by an angstrom, not a mosquito's breath of metamorphosis, not a single word of improvement or change since we last met. You're like a Jack in the box -- every time the song comes to that same part, POP! goes the WEE-SUL!

Thanks Dave -- thanks for bringing the You to this thread. Without it, it would have been so much less entertaining. 

(12:17 PM, 7-28-11)

I clearly am a much-beloved, respected, venerated figure on this forum.

* * * 

As promised above, I want to happily note that one Protestant did have the guts and integrity to utter a criticism of Frank Turk. "Coram Deo" (these inane nicknames will be the death of me) did so on 7-29-11:

First you have Frank Turk saying stuff like this:
the idea that we can be both humble and certain, have both Truth and Love, both gentleness and reverence, both Scripture and reason, all heart, mind and soul, and above all having both freedom and responsibility when we are militant for truth and the right faith of others cannot be found.

even as he epitomizes that which he decries; physician heal thyself!

Then you have his theological yang, Dave Armstrong, show up! What a hoot!

It's like watching Super-Christianman and Bizarro Super-Christianman slug it out in a war of words as to who can be most unlike Christ!

(6:33 AM PST, 7-29-11)

I replied:

This is a time for celebration and ticker-tape parades, CD. I wrote in my second paper about this pathetic fiasco:

"Now he's back to the old Frank, I reckon. He simply couldn't resist after evil, wicked boogeyman Dave Armstrong showed up in his vicinity. The reader may decide if their tone and substance are befitting of a Christian man of God setting out to share and defend his Christian faith, or not. . . .

"And the saddest thing at all is that in all likelihood no fellow Protestant will speak up and condemn their atrocious behavior in this thread. No one will see (or state publicly, at any rate) that it is wrong. . . . If someone does have the guts and Christian conscience to do that, I will be most happy to note it here for posterity."

You have done so (of course you have to condemn me, too, and do the "immoral equivalence thing" but that is inevitable and beside the point).

I'm rejoicing ecstatically that a fellow Protestant (and, I believe, a Reformed guy) actually dared utter a criticism of the rank hypocrisy and disgraceful behavior exhibited in this thread by Frank Turk.

Good for you. Praise be to God. That made my day, and I will add your comments to my paper, as stated.

(8:01 AM, 7-29-11)

Sure enough, Frank Turk then closed the thread to further comments, as soon as he was criticized by a Protestant. It took all of twelve minutes after my comment. This is the perfect storybook ending: sealing his hypocrisy and intellectual cowardice for one and all to see. It had to end like this. Anti-Catholics almost universally censor and ban and delete and shut down comments when they are cornered and have no rational answer, or not even spin and sophistry and obscurantism anymore. Just shut it down and run and hide under a rock . . .  It's the perfect metaphor for the intellectual, biblical, and logical bankruptcy of the anti-Catholic position itself. The only good thing I can say about it is that Frank at least had the guts to leave CD's and my last two comments up in the thread before it was closed.

But who knows? Later on (when all the dust and stink has died down) someone may come along and delete all the "evidence." That's why I have learned from long experience to record everything of note in any exchange with an anti-Catholic, because a week or month later anything could quite possibly be deleted for posterity. For example, John Q. Doe deleted all his comments in a thread on a Lutheran blog, where he let loose and told me exactly what he thought of me: that I was a "psychotic" and quite unbalanced figure, etc. It was the classic Doe temper and avalanche of put-downs. Fortunately, I recorded most of it, since he tried to eliminate all this evidence of his mentality from view. One lives and learns! And this from the king of going back to papers written 20 years ago or more: to the Internet Archives: knowing that in my case, I have often revised my own papers, like any serious writer does. He got a taste of his own medicine . . .


Dave Armstrong said...

Further replies in Turk's combox:

What I have been doing for the past four years is avoiding all theological debate with anti-Catholics, as a matter of principle and time-management; not all discussion whatever. The present discussion is not theological: it is ethical: about proper conduct of apologists online. My name was introduced in a potshot that had nothing even to do with the topic at hand (the abominable performance of Arminian and lousy Reformed apologists).

Of course, it is ignored that James White has stated several times that he would utterly ignore me, and then went back on it and interacted with my writing yet again: including two additional challenges to oral debate (three total, in 1995, 2001, and 2007: all consistently refused because I think it is an inferior medium to written debate).

(5:25 PM PST, 7-27-11)

Dave Armstrong said...

ME: "James White has stated several times that he would utterly ignore me"

"Rhology": "That was a resolution, not a vow, Dave, one which he later modified after reflection."

ME: My point exactly. Thank you. So if we both made resolutions we obviously haven't kept, why am I mocked for it (and lied about for years, making out that I "vowed"), while he gets a pass, and no one utters a peep about his ridiculous behavior of saying he will ignore me, not doing so; saying I am an absolute idiot, yet challenging me to formal debates in 1995, 2001, and 2007 (the next challenge will be due in two years)?

Always the double standard, with anti-Catholics. It never fails. One ethic for you guys and another for us despised, detested "Romanists."

And this is on-topic, Phil. Again, it was Frank who brought up a letter of mine from over ten years ago, to mock and throw it in my face. So I have shown that James White did almost exactly the same, two months earlier.

If Frank brings something up to try to put me down, I am entitled to respond, given a stated commitment to free speech and fair play here. It's on-topic. I addressed Frank's comment and intended insult. You guys at least allow me to comment, unlike White's chat room and [Doe's] blog, where I am banned. Steve Hays selectively deletes my comments, so I don't bother commenting there anymore, either.

(5:38 PST, 7-27-11)

Dave Armstrong said...

Rhology mocks again (the usual anti-Catholic fare):

Just a reminder to other readers - this post was entitled: Open letter to Dave Armstrong and discussed only Dave. Dave is all that matters anyway.

(5:41 PM, 7-27-11)

Dave Armstrong said...

I replied:

Lying about others doesn't advance you one bit in the spiritual life, "Rhology". And that is good Protestant teaching. You guys follow the Ten Commandments, just as we do.

(6:10 PM PST, 7-27-11)

Dave Armstrong said...

Again, posted in Turk's combox:

Liars are particularly singled out as especially wicked sinners in 1 Timothy 1:10; 4:2, and Revelation 21:8, so lying and bearing false witness is not something to be taken lightly at all.

I have given a warning that comes from Holy Scripture and Christian love. Ignore it at your own peril. If you want to spit upon God's Word by behaving in a way expressly condemned therein, then there is little anyone can do to stop you except for citing the scripture, appealing to your Christian consciences, and praying.

(6:19 PM PST, 7-27-11)

chamblee54 said...

Good Grief.

chamblee54 said...

You should never wrestle with a hog. You will get dirty, and the pig will have a good time.

Dave Armstrong said...

"Rhology" responds:

That's what I mean, Dave. You can't let stuff go, and you go way too far in your wild-eyed misapplications. You think my last comment was a lie, eh? K, cool, yeah, sure.

(6:20 PM PST, 7-27-11)

Back to my regular work and your regularly scheduled program.

Dave Armstrong said...

It always ends the same (insults). But it is not worthless to illustrate the bankruptcy of both the anti-Catholic position and the sadly frequent unethical nature of anti-Catholic behavior. That discourages people from being persuaded by the positions, which is a good thing. If one person doesn't do so as a result, I am ecstatic and more than willing to put up with all the insults that can be generated by these fools.

Dave Armstrong said...

I wrote in Turk's combox just now:

Thanks again to Phil for allowing me to express my obviously massively unpopular view here. I appreciate that. It's what free speech is about: letting the despised person have his say as well.

A rational discussion would have been nice, too, but one can't have everything. In any event, there is a lot to be said for hearing both sides of any given story.

For example, Frank put out the propaganda (I was merely replying to it, but many think I have no right to do so) that I supposedly fled in abject terror from James White, overwhelmed by his unanswerable arguments (choke and belly laughs!), whereas the fact of the matter is that he had been quite deliberately avoiding rational discussion with me for years (way back to 1995) before I ever made my resolution statement of disgust at his antics, and particularly two months before, when he reiterated his desires in no uncertain terms, in obvious "sour grapes" mode.

That's the whole truth, not just a half-truth, which is little better than a lie. It's good to set the record straight, even if it is expressed in utterly "hostile territory" such as this, because truth is truth, and facts is facts, no matter how much nonsense or mockery or ridicule surrounds them.

Truth has its own inherent power, and (surprise!) I happen to know, oddly enough, far more about my own life and experience and interior motivations than Frank Turk does. I'm the world's greatest expert on those things.

Had there been an actual discussion here, as opposed to mere contemptuous frivolity and senseless swipes, I would have been more than happy to document the myriad of instances of James White's endless insults of almost all people he disagrees with (many of them Protestants), but no one wants to see any of that.

White is the Perfect Man (everyone knows this!). He has no faults or deficiencies; never has to apologize for anything, has never been wrong at any time about anything; is always a glowing exemplar of profound Christian charity and selflessness. he has never sinned; apparently (from the sound of it) he was immaculately conceived: has never even struggled with original sin or temptation as the rest of us mortals unfortunately have had to.

Seriously, though, his ethical problems are patently obvious without my having to document them, anyway. Just go to the man's blog and read through it!

The blinders are firmly in place, with no sign whatever of their coming off anytime soon. It's sort of a "Baghdad Bob" mentality (remember that guy? LOL).

Very well; carry on in your determination not to see the slightest problem with your hero. If any suggested "reform" of Reformed apologetics (per Frank's open letters) is to have any traction at all, it'll have to start at the "top"; but if those shortcomings are ignored, then nothing at all will change. It's your house. I'm only giving my opinion as to how it looks from the outside. Reject it if you like. No skin off my back.

May our glorious Lord and Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ richly bless (and guide and sanctify and save) all here, by His grace alone.

(9:38 AM PST, 7-28-11)

Dave Armstrong said...

Again in the other combox:

"witness": Can a catholic guy legally say that?!?

[see my previous comment above]

I replied:

Why not? You think any of that is contrary to Catholic teaching in the slightest degree? I'll save you the trouble: it's not.

Likewise, Martin Luther could hold to a slightly different version of Mary's Immaculate Conception, and Luther and Calvin and Zwingli and many Protestants subsequently, to her perpetual virginity, and Heinrich Bullinger to her Assumption, and remain good card-carrying Protestants. It all comes down to learning the facts.

(10:43 AM PST, 7-28-11)