Friday, September 02, 2011

Dialogue with Baptist Ken Temple About the Equivalence (in Intended Purpose) of the Terms "Anti-Catholic" and "Anti-Calvinist"

By Dave Armstrong (9-2-11)

For the record, an anti-Catholic is anyone who disagrees with Dave Armstrong. I know he's got this pretend definition that he pulls out, but when you look at who he calls an anti-Catholic it's pretty clear that it's nothing but a sledge-hammer to use against those he hates.

(anti-Catholic Protestant Peter Pike, 12-14-09)

I actually accomplished something here, and (anti-Catholic) Baptist pastor and missionary Ken Temple (nice guy, as always) conceded at length that there was no essential difference between how these terms are used by both sides. He still thinks the terms themselves are illegitimate, though, whereas I say that they are perfectly kosher and descriptive if defined and used properly. I've held a perfectly consistent position on this matter for years (20, since I was received into the Church), and have written about it many times, as the links at the end of this paper will show. Ken's words will be in blue. This took place in one of my blog comboxes.

* * *

Anyone is welcome to post on my blog: even the anti-Catholics. I have made it known that I don't debate the latter, though, because it is a futile effort. I'm responsible as a steward of my time under God: to use it wisely.

When things get "ugly" in my dialogues, it is invariably with anti-Catholics or extreme "traditionalists"; sometimes with atheists. They come to the table with hostility.

The Anonymous One (TAO): Are you still excluding "anti-Catholics" from possible dialogues? 

Yes. I expose antics and talk about some peripheral issues (such as, e.g., how good of a Catholic D'Souza was, with Hays recently), but not any multi-round theological debate. It's a hopeless waste of time, and I value my time very highly.

When I was still willing to debate you guys, back in 2007, and about the definition of Catholicism, you and about six others turned me down, and that is when I gave up altogether attempting to debate with y'all.

If the basic premises cannot be discussed; if no one is willing to do even that, then there is no hope. It will only be ships passing in the night, without ironing out fundamental issues of definition. And that is a waste of time. If it ain't constructive dialogue, I'm not interested.

And why is it that you still question the validity of the description anti-Catholicism (implied by the quotation marks), while at the same time your buddy James White writes posts entitled "The Dark Side of Anti-Calvinism" (8-21-11)? Always the double standard. You can use your "anti" terms but we cannot. Ours is improper; yours is perfectly kosher. 

When I stopped debating anti-Catholics, I did, however, make it clear that I would still interact with the arguments of the classic guys (Calvin, Luther et al). Hence, I have books about those two (and lots of articles), I have interacted with Martin Chemnitz, and will soon be taking on William Whitaker and sola Scriptura.

If you can't find Protestants of that same mind today willing to intelligently dialogue, minus the nonsense and personal insults, then you have to go to the dead guys to find solid arguments and to stick to the topic and avoid the sideshow. That's fine with me, since I want my readers to see the substance, and the best exponents of opposing views, not the worst.

"anti-Roman Catholicism" or "anti-Romanism" or "anti-Papalism" is more accurate and is better than calling us "anti-catholics", since that later term is about people and poisons the well so that Roman Catholics would not even listen.

It's like the left that constantly calls almost every conservative a "racist", even though it is about issues and policies and ideas, not about race or racial prejudice.

So at least "the dark side of Anti-Calvinism" is about doctrine, not about people.  

The term is about doctrine, not people, as I have reiterated 3,976,483 times. "Calvinist" (or "Protestant") and "Catholic" are similar terms; thus, one can say "anti-Protestant" (meaning against Protestantism) or "anti-Calvinist" (meaning against Calvinism) and also "anti-Catholic" (meaning against Catholicism).

But it's not just against Catholicism, but taking it a step further and reading Catholicism out of the Christianity altogether, which is an absolutely ludicrous, self-defeating, and intellectually suicidal position for any Protestant to take.

Besides, you again exercise a double standard. James White uses "anti-Calvinist" all the time, as a search on his blog quickly reveals. Hence he has an article, "Anti-Calvinist Derangement Syndrome" (7-4-10). But how dare Dave Armstrong use the wicked term "anti-Catholic"!!!! That can never be. It might offend the folks who sit there and say outrageously that a good Catholic cannot possibly be a Christian or be saved, if he accepts and lives by all that the Catholic Church teaches. 

Here's many more instances of Bishop "Dr." (???) White, using this terminology:

"anti-Calvinist piece" (12-21-10)

"George Bryson and his anti-Calvinist materials" (12-22-06)

"I find it ironic that Shea will use the 'anti-Catholic' moniker frequently, yet, it is his attitude that is most accurately described as 'anti-Protestant' or anti-Calvinist or however else you'd like to express it." (7-15-09)

"anonymous anti-Calvinist blogger 'Charles' (3-7-06)

"Liberty and its anti-Calvinist crusade" (12-8-06)

"the Hyper Anti-Calvinist crowd" (8-18-11)

"So we will be following the pattern we have established in reviewing anti-Calvinist sermons" (10-10-05)

"the current anti-Calvinist movement in the SBC" (6-8-06)

As usual, Ken, you hang yourself in your own logic (or illogic, I should say). Or you throw logic and consistent standards to the wind and have one standard for your anti-Catholic Protestant cronies and another for us "Romanists."

I will concede that point; that we all should be more careful and it would be better to say things like "that person makes arguments against Calvinism" or "his book or articles are against Calvinism as a system" or "that Evangelical Protestant argues against Roman Catholicism as a system" or "against the doctrines of Romanism", etc.

But I can also see that it is much shorter and easier for both sides to say or write, "anti-Calvinist" or "anti-Catholic"; but I sincerely wish that the focus is on doctrine and arguments rather than people. Somehow, "anti-Catholic" sounds more against people, whereas "anti-Calvinist" sounds more against doctrine. Admittedly, that is just a feeling I get.

But we are all human and not one of us is infallible, as is your Pope; he is not infallible either.

However, the apostle Paul did call false teachers names to their faces - Acts 13:8-10 "you son of the devil", and something similar - Polycarp to Cerinthus - in Irenaeus (I think).  So, there is Scriptural basis for that also, and historical tradition, it seems. 

That's progress, Ken! Praise God! I am sincerely glad that progress was made on the linguistic front, and that you see that your side does the exact same thing that it has been accusing us of doing these past 16 years (since I first debated White through the mail).

You're just one person, though. Maybe you will cease and desist from irrational objections to "anti-Catholic" and "anti-Catholicism" but I doubt that White, TAO, Hays, Frank Turk, Doe, and all the rest will do so. It's too ingrained. It's gone on so long that I can't envision it ever changing. But hey, anything's possible.

White and others have been saying that I am a bigot, simply because I use an objective term that has been commonly used by scholars (historians, sociologists) since time immemorial. And they give themselves a pass for doing exactly the same thing. I've documented how all these guys use "anti" terms. Bishop White's hypocrisy on this (typically) surpasses that of others by a wide margin.

The right use of language and proper definitions of terms are extremely important.

You are still, unfortunately, missing the fine point of the theological definition of "anti-Catholic". We don't use the term simply for someone who disagrees with Catholic doctrine (Geisler does that, but I don't classify him as an anti-Catholic).

It refers to the notion that Catholicism is not Christian at all, and the view that a good Catholic (one who believes all that the Church teaches and is obedient to it) cannot be a good Christian, or a Christian, period; the idea that we teach a false gospel, and salvation by works, accompanied by all the other lies told about us, implying that we are sub-Christian.

That is anti-Catholicism: the utterly unfounded denial that a thing is what it is (that Catholicism is Christian). 


Ken said...

I should have known you would make a whole article out of it.

I deleted the other one because I made a mistake.

Dave Armstrong said...

Anything worth passing along, I'll make an article of! If your friends would grasp the concept of these words, I wouldn't have to write 30 articles about it, but as it is . . . :-)