26 July 2011

Open letter to Dr. James White (3 of 3)

by Frank Turk

Dear James;

All right -- let's get to this. So about 3 weeks ago we had this brief exchange on Twitter:


And to that point, you and I both know I do not hate apologists or apologetics. But here's the thing: there is nothing worse that bad apologetics, except maybe strident, careless, glib, misguided, overconfident, under-informed, or worst of all self-righteous so-called "apologists".

We reviewed some examples last week of this, right? The anti-calvinists, and the post-theological/post-biblical philosophers? It's easy to point at them and to voice our concerns because let's face it: they are not like us. They will be pleased to say so, in fact: they are nothing like us. That makes the enumeration of their differences -- many of which are their flaws -- not only easy but beneficial. We are not like Ergun Caner, for example. We are not like Dave Hunt. Thank God we are not like Dave Armstrong. Listing the ways we are not like them frankly is a kind of apologetic in and of itself, and it can be educational for the apologetic n00b or the "normal" christian to see the differences and realize that just because someone has a radio show, published a book, or professional alphabet soup after their name, what they put out isn't necessarily good spiritual food.

But what happens, James, when there's someone in our own camp who is off the ranch? And in this case, I don't mean rank doctrinal heterodoxy. How could they be "Reformed" after all and be heterodox? I'm talking about people who are heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. You know: that list strikes pretty close to home in our camp. We get accused of it often because there are many like that in our camp, and I grant the critics that it can be hard to see the difference between careful rebuke and reckless and brutal drive-bys when all one has witnessed is the latter rather than former because the former is really so rare.

In my view, we should take the warning of James the brother of Jesus seriously: Not many of us should become teachers, for we know that those who teach will be judged with greater strictness. Apologetics is a teaching ministry, part of the office of being an elder. And while one does not have to be an elder to be an apologist, one ought to be able to own the pastoral duties of apologetics to do give a proper defense of the faith.

This is simply not the way it works today, is it? Prior to the internet, it didn't work this way, but it was limited by resource availability. Now with the internet, the proliferation of self-appointed theological sentries looks like a toll road where every household has a booth to collect its own duty. It is now far less likely to find people who think that to defend and contend for the sake of Christ, and therefore for the sake of His people, one needs to be in and among His people -- it is in fact a badge of honor to be churchless. The idea that there is spiritual authority apart from the words one can self-publish is categorically lacking in the so-called apologetics blogosphere; 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.

This is a kind of crisis among us, and I think there's something you have taught me over the years which underscores the crisis: what we win people with, you have said, is what we win them to. We can see this clearly in those who are not like us: the real pelagians and semi-pelagians beget social gospel followers either on the left or the right; the softie arminians beget invitation junkies, and the hard arminians beget anti-intellectual zen Christians who think programs are the thing -- opportunities mean more than actual discipleship.

But what about the ones who are on our team about whom the discerning LOLCat would say, "U R DOIN IT RONG"? What do they beget?

This is where the rubber hits the road for us, I think, because in one sense, we would be right to say, "I am not responsible for what someone else teaches." And we're not. We're not responsible for what some quack with a blog teaches even if he says he's on our team, right? I can't control another person. I'm not his elder in his church. I can't be responsible, I might say, for someone who says he's reformed or orthodox or fundamentalist or "biblical" when he's wrong.

You can hear where I'm going now, I am sure.

If this is true, James, then I think we have to re-evaluate what we think we are doing in the playing field of apologetics. I realized this when I wrote my open letter to Mike Horton -- his response to the question of malfeasance in our own camp was, frankly, "well, that's out of my control." But if we applied that view to all the other issues we address, what exactly would we have left to do all day? Doesn't judgment start in the house of the Lord?

Now, I get it: we have to pick our battles, and neither of us would say anything less than, "the Church is very sick, and doctrine and Biblical wisdom is at bay. There is much to do and no ministry can do it all." There is plenty to do just to get anyone to the minimum of faith literacy who has grown up as a cultural Christian in this post-Christian society. There is plenty of work to do with Mormonism, agnosticism, academic skepticism, JWs, and most importantly about Islam from a Gospel and Christian perspective that one's day fills up pretty fast.

But it seems to me that if we have the time to refute anti-Calvinism -- which is usually a kind of commitment to ignorance -- we can find the time to refute heterodox behavior -- which is usually just a commitment to being awful.

In the end, these letters I have written to you are not about indicting you for anything because I think there's nothing to indict you for. We agree on so much, and I am proud to call you a father in the faith and a brother and fellow (if senior) workman in God's field. But this is a call to consider the state of Christian apologetics inside our own camp. Is there really nothing to be done to remedy the rampant unchristian approach so many take to Christian apologetics?

You have a great mind, and a deep pastoral heart, with which to consider the question, and I leave it to you. May God richly bless you.








90 comments:

Chris Nelson said...

Three letters to say that Dr. White has basically done nothing wrong but you want him to be the "tone" police for Calvinist apologetics! Really! I haven't been so disappointed since the sequel to a Fish Called Wanda.

Pierre Saikaley said...

"some quack with a blog..."

Look: I was self-effacing in the 1st open letter comments,now-could you quit picking on me?

:-D

Ok,more seriously.

I'm not sure what you can do given the open nature of the internet.

When I first came to faith in Christ, I found myself "giving an answer" because people didn't understand why I refused to join their ways, I started to live radically different and I had to explain myself and why and what I believed.

I didn't always do that well, especially when I let my passion take over my reason. But I was sincere.

Now I think the constituency of whom you speak in Reformed circles may be sincere, but misguided.

I think it's a beginning to rebuke the culprits in a forum like yours, as you have done. I think the Lord can use that as he has used your other writings. Obviously, you're blessed with a widely influential platform, and it should be used that way.

I'll admit it, when I first commented on this topic a while back I got schooled by your correction of my ideas, which I guess I never really considered very well. I was still in my "zeal without knoweldge" stage.

I thank you for it. It was a kind of iron sharpening, or faithful bruising, but it was gracious-at least I took it that way. The Spirit used it to go medieval on my pride and to the edification me.

Now, I take the opportunity to speak about God and his things more seriously, and not to think so much of myself as an "apologist".

I know we're all apologists to some degree or to some extent, but we're not all called to be James White.

You can't legislate this stuff. A manifesto on how to be an apologist will also not go over well with us here.

I think you and those who are in a position to do so need to keep doing what they are and let God use that to his glory and for the rebuke and correction of those who need it.

p.s. I like the graphic.

Thomas Louw said...

@ Pierre.
We all begin with the zeal without knowledge stage. Then we progress to the “less zeal with little knowledge phase.”

Then we “progress a lot” and have “all knowledge” and no zeal.

The “carrot” we all yearn for is “Blazing zeal for accumulating knowledge.”

True knowledge is applied knowledge.

Frank Turk said...

Hmph. When "heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power" gets reduced to "tone police," I guess I have to wonder if some people are reachable.

DJP said...

It's always particularly discouraging to me when I have worked hard to say something important as best as I can, and the first comment is flippant, superficial, dismissive and hollow. But your post speaks for itself to anyone who's read the Bible for more than talking-points, Frank.

If we see the Bible as nothing more than a list of arguments for the Trinity, the Gospel, and other doctrinal points, but do not equally feel the force of the passages that stress believers' responsibility to "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior," not only with airtight reasoning and arguments, but "in everything" (Titus 2:9-1), then he's no more wholly orthodox than a semi-Pelagian. It is a pity when a well-studied, flawlessly-argued, and convincingly-enunciated case for Christ's Lordship in some area is itself without a mark of His Lordship in the areas of love, kindness, and compassion.

Though doctrinal deviants often run to the "tone" argument to change the subject to something more nebulous and convenient for their defection, you (and we) have never denied that the same passage that urges apologetics equally urges the heart from which it must flow (1 Pet. 3:15-16).

Good point well made, Frank.

Robert said...

Great post, Frank. We definitely need to be examining ourselves in light of Scripture before taking to the streets and defending the faith. We also need to remember to love others as ourselves.

I am reading Mere Christianity and in one of the chapters, Lewis makes the point that we love ourselves in spite of the sinfulness that we see and hate in ourselves. We should have that same attitude towards others when we are doing apologetics. And we should rebuke people who don't seem to be doing this so that they might examine what they are doing and where their hearts are.

I hope this letter serves to make us all more aware of where our hearts are as we make a defense of our beliefs to people around us. Thanks.

truthinator said...

I like what you guys do here at Pyro. I guess you could say that I am on your side.

The problem with apologetics in this type of discussion is that it is difficult to defend varying points of view.

Everyone "believes the Bible to be God's inerrant word" be our take-aways of what is taught by these words differ. I differ from the Reformed perspective and I doubtlessly differ from other MacArthurites...

That is just how it is. How can we ever reach consensus when you have differing interpretational frameworks?

The only answer I can come up with for my own question is that we should all get over ourselves. We must get into God's word and humble ourselves. Stop worrying about how we look to others and stop worrying whether we will gain or lose blog share on the net.

I am addressing this to all not to some. Anyone else with me?

Truthinator.wordpress.com

Tony Miano said...

Frank: Often times writing articles that hit too close to home for some will draw such folks out from their bunkers to justify their behavior through sarcastic rhetoric and strawman argumentation.

That's why I think this series of articles (and in particular Part 3) and articles like it are important. If for nothing else, it causes people within the group you described to expose themselves--as is evidenced by some of the comments already posted. And it shows readers that the points you are making are about real people and real situations who are causing real problems within the Body of Christ.

Like you, I have a great deal of respect for Dr. White. And it's obvious that your series of letters is not an effort to "call out" Dr. White, but to use your correspondence with him to call others--those who, in almost a nomadic sense, deem themselves apologists--back to biblical behavior and form; and for some, back to Christ's Church.

Thanks for writing these letters.

Kirby said...

Hi Frank,
I just read all three letters today, and two things pop to mind.

1. I don't read apologetics blogs because I can barely stand them for all the reasons you gave. for me it actually is "baby..bathwater" which is sad, and I'll think about finding better resources outside of my personal library.

2. I'm going to read more of Dr. White's stuff, just because you like it. Because if anyone can write as clear an explanation of the state of reformed apologetics blogging as you have, with the correspondingly correct attitude, then I'll take their recommendations, too. But I haven't seen it yet. So, I'm going you on this one.

Thanks so much.

stratagem said...

I am glad I'm not an intenet apologist, after reading this. I know myself and I'm pretty sure I couldn't stay out of the list of potholes to step in that Frank noted, if I were doing the 'self-appointed orthodoxy police' beat with an infinte jurisdiction.

(To wit, "heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power")

I guess there is always something to be thankful for!

Johnny Dialectic said...

It does seem that three letters to get to this conclusion did not seem apt. One letter with specific examples of "people who are heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control" etc. and how that behavior "strikes pretty close to home in our camp" would have been more helpful. Upon reflection, however, I understand the long build-up being viewed as proper deference paid to one large voice "inside the camp" (driven, perhaps, by the desire not to get drawn into a spat with someone who specializes in turning spats into battles). For those of us "outside the camp," the deference is less due, but that is another matter entirely.

Yet the conclusion of this letter is sound, and one hopes recipient, author and readers will all take it into consideration.

OFelixCulpa said...

Frank,

You are very right about the problem, though you don't really speculate much about why it has become so. Part of it may be that the reformed group has had a tendency to exalt people who, though excellent preachers, are really breathtakingly arrogant individuals.

Of course a Bible teacher must be confident of what he teaches, but reformed people seem to have been unwilling to discern (or admit) when their guys have strayed from a good sort of confidence into personal arrogance.

It is understandable how exalting (or ignoring) arrogance in such people leads to more arrogance. When people strive to teach like their favorite teacher, they tend to mimic more than his exegetical and theological carefulness.

I wonder if the best way to approach it is for reformed leaders to make an effort to squash all of the hero worship that tends to surround them. What do you think?

Frank Turk said...

Naming names is not something I am against. Next week I will be naming names on another subject.

In this case, I am in favor of one class of activity and against another -- and the issues are clear without an exhaustive list of offenders. In fact, I would say that in this case naming specifc offenders gives them an opportunity to gain readership which, frankly, I would rather they never have.

If I wrote an open letter against Porn, would I need to link to porn to make my point effectively? So why would we think that linking to this intellectual/theological soft porn is a good idea?

104276095820173497474 said...

I found this post a little odd. I read people from both Calvinist and non-Calvinist communities. I view both as Christian. I know there's people out there who just want to spread strife and just flat-out bad apologetics (see Steve Miesel). Although I have never heard of Dave Armstrong and I may have a few issues w/ Ergun Caner, Dave Hunt? It seems as if the people listed in the second paragraph were put in a negative context. We'll probably never agree on free will/predestination before Jesus returns. While there is definitely a place to contend over these issues,they must be done in love and if the authorities are coming after us for our faith, will our last words to each other be arguing over whether or not we are eternally secure? It's not Calvinists vs. non-Calvinists, it's 'us', believers for whom Christ died, with all our misunderstandings, pet doctrines, undoctrinal rituals, and sins. I just wanted to comment a little on this. Thanks, Blessings, Becca

Frank Turk said...

re: Hero Worship

We're humans. I know it's nearly-impossible to believe, but I am a hero to some people in spite of my best efforts to curtail that. You can't stop people from idealizing the things they like and/or love.

What we ought to do, however, is find the strategic places to demonstrate and also call out how balance works.

For example, let's say some group of people have a weekly radio show/podcast which, weekly, bemoans the ailments of the chruch at large. If they spend 52 weeks, say, on the ways in which the Gospel has been effaced in local preaching, does 52 weeks of negative examples ever actually express what ought to be done? Even oif they give a perfunctory head-nod to the statement, "but of course we should preach Christ in all the Scriptures, as Christ did on the road to Ennaus," or some such thing, does that cover it?

My opinion: no. That doesn't even follow Paul's own example in the way his epistles are written. The best positive example that is convenient for everyone to follow is Chris Rosebrough -- who alternately features winners and losers homiletically and theologically in the effort not just to call out the sheep-beaters and kooks, but also to equip through a positive example of those who are doing it right.

So I don't think hero worship is actually the root cause. I think it has its own dangers, but wanting to effectively be "like Mike" (as they used to say) is not the worst thing that can happen if one is looking to grow in the faith.

Frank Turk said...

Dear "104276095820173497474":

When Dave Hunt takes the attitude you have here and repudiates his open disdain for Calvinists and Calvinism as heresy and a non-Christian system of theology, I'll be pleased to accept his apology and begin reforming my view of him.

Thanks for asking.

Robert Warren said...

...breathtakingly arrogant individuals...

One of the reasons I hold
"the big guys"
in high esteem is because they were the first folks I heard who told the truth about the over-arching doctrines of the Bible. Until my wife and I found a local church where the Bible is exposited and held in high view, these folks were all we had. Maybe some of them are arrogant and we don't recognize it because we are listening to their message, rather than their mannerisms. It might also be helpful to distinguish between certainty and arrogance.

...I grant the critics that it can be hard to see the difference between careful rebuke and reckless and brutal drive-bys when all one has witnessed is the latter rather than former because the former is really so rare...

Is it possible the critics' view of Reformed theology in general (not just the apologists) is more influenced by the ad hominem arguments of "their guys", than by actual experience?

Chris Nelson said...

I dutifully agree with 95% of posts on 95% of their subject matter but my job allows me 24 plus hours a day to listen to Christian radio over the public airwaves and this issue is not a problem at all! In fact, I don't think someone like Ravi Zacharias would call Satan himself a false teacher and would spend hours trying to convince him that he means no disrespect. He couldn't even call Rob Bell a heretic.

BrettR said...

I started reading this open letter series to Dr. White wondering what you were going to hit him with; I really could not see what issue you would have with someone who really is in a class by himself in the field that he is in. I am sure that someone could complain about his "tone," but not on this blog. As I read on, it did seem like you were waggling at the tee for three weeks only to see there was no ball on the tee. So I read it all in one reading and saw that is was a well stationed warning light. Warning for what? My lust for a club and a beating drowning out my need for wisdom and humility.

Thanks for the letter, Frank.

And ditto Tony Miano.

christianlady said...

I really think it's important for there to be some kind of instruction out there for bloggers. I do. I left a church that was trendy, was shifting the ship in a different direction, was focusing on being missional, and more. When I saw problems my husband and I went to elders and the pastor, and began to realize many in our church had fought this battle. Some had been kicked out, some had tried to continue working in the church to help change it...but ended up leaving also. So much was not scriptural. Funny, I recall not knowing what exactly to do in this situation. I began blogging to deal with the emotions and not spread rumors about my church. I certainly was not perfect in how I dealt everything, and I'm certain my blog is far from perfect. I discovered other bloggers and some leaders of ministries. I have learned that it is tempting to sin while pointing at someone else without even realizing you are being tempted. It's easy to go ahead and sin and believe you are right all along. Too easy.

Frank Turk said...

Chris --

There are other issues in apologetics as I lined out last time; I didn't hardly list them all. I would agree that the so-called "apologists" who seek no offense whatsoever -- to the point of denying what is plainly true -- are also a problem.

Those like that in the "reformed" camp are few and far between.

Frank Turk said...

And before anyone jumps to any conclusions, here are a couple more end notes (sorry DJP) for this post:

1. A few weeks ago we poked @Challies are commenting that he thought there should be an appointed few to speak for the rest of us about doctrinal issues. By no means am I saying that -- I would utterly repudiate that. What I -am- saying is that those who want to speak for "us" ought to be inside the Biblical boundaries of what speaking for "us" (and in some sense, for God) define. When I say that 85%+ ought to close up shop, it's not becuase they aren't "chosen" or "appointed": it's because they do a lousy job.

2. I am also not saying that people ought not to defend the faith. I am specifically saying that the faith ought to be defended, and I'm even OK with Arminians and Wesleyans defending the faith from their perspective -- when they do so responsibly and (again) Biblically. When they come out swinging against the theology which, frankly, birthed their entire possibility to even think those thoughts, they need to step back and regroup.

3. Also regarding defending the faith: everyone has got to practice someplace, but if I can give a small piece of advice -- the two best skills to practice are saying honestly, "I don't know," and "I was wrong." If people possessed those skills, the rest of their approach would self-correct radically.

back to it.

Rachael Starke said...

Re: Timothy's dirty laundry list - let's not forget the damage these guys do in their own homes, as well as in the world. A man who manifests those characteristics in the course of his "ministry" is manifesting them with his family. The damage there is often of the worst kind, truly millstone-worthy. That's why the church needs to be warned not to listen to those who don't put themselves under the authority of a local body. There's absolutely no one to call him to account when they're wreaking theological havoc on their wives and children.

Robert said...

Just wanted to say that third point of yours in the last comment is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. Humility is totally against our fallen nature, but it is something that Jesus calls us to...and we need to exhibit it more in every facet of our lives. We can still boldly proclaim the truth and be humble because it isn't our truth, it is God's. Yes, we get to share it and know it, but God is the source, not us.

Johnny Dialectic said...

I'm even OK with Arminians and Wesleyans defending the faith from their perspective -- when they do so responsibly and (again) Biblically .

Awesome.

When they come out swinging against the theology which, frankly, birthed their entire possibility to even think those thoughts, they need to step back and regroup.

To be filed in the "When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife" Dept. under "Petitio Principii" and next to the "Physician, Heal Thyself" forms. But I will take it in good humor in light of the memory of Wesley and Whitfield, and the hope for more common cause in the future.

Frank Turk said...

Johnny --

So you're saying I didn't already say that? Really?
.
Really?
.
.
.
Really?
.
.
.
.
.
Really?!

Solameanie said...

Hmm, this meta is taking an unexpectedly snarky turn! ;) Perhaps we should switch the debate/discussion to the "second work of grace?" Just to keep things on a low boil.

Seriously and kidding aside, I'm looking back to the days when Walter Martin was alive. It seemed like the apologetics community (I'm beginning to really dislike the word "community" by the way) was a lot more unified than it is now. At least they were largely focused on cults and false religions instead of tearing each other (or Calvinists) to pieces.

I think I'm going to write Dave Hunt and tell him I not only made the journey from Arminianism to Calvinism years ago. I'll also confess to being a full five-pointer. It was a logical progression.

DJP said...

Have you stopped evangelizing and started murdering heretics yet? I gather he'll want to know.

Solameanie said...

I keep a few of Servetus' bones in an urn on the mantel of my fireplace. Does that count?

Johnny Dialectic said...

Always trying to discern what you say. Really. But note that prolixity sometimes leads to perplexity, though I am always happy to get a cheat sheet or study notes.

Dave Armstrong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Armstrong said...

Blasted typos!

I have made a lengthy response to this piece on my blog, noting what I think are striking ironies and extreme blind spots. Anyone can access it by going to my profile and to my blog, "Biblical Evidence for Catholicism." It's currently at the top of the blog, or will be close to the top (dated 7-27-11), for those who read this later on.

Isn't free speech wonderful? Anyone is welcome to comment on my blog or on the Facebook combox that is cross-linked to the blog piece. Thank you kindly if my comment is not deleted here. That reflects well on you.

Robert said...

I hate to respond to comments too much and take away from the post, but "Biblical Evidence for Catholicism"? I think that speaks plainly and clearly enough for itself. I did go and read through about half of your response. That was enough to show me that you have some personal issues with Frank, Dr. White, and several others who share beliefs that conflict with yours. I haven't had much exposure to Dr. White, but I have read enough of Frank's writing to feel comfortable with the fact that he shows much grace to those to whom he writes.

Being raised in the RCC explosed me to much pride within their beliefs and I am glad God has shown me enough grace to be freed from that. If only the RCC had enough humility to examine their past and renounce/recant just some of the things that they have done that would be a nice start. Don't think I will hold my breath on that one, though.

Dave Armstrong said...

At least they were largely focused on cults and false religions instead of tearing each other (or Calvinists) to pieces.

Protestants have always torn each other to pieces. When has this ever not been the case?

Turk is simply following the honorable tradition of Luther vs. the Anabaptists, Luther vs. Carlstadt, Luther vs. Zwingli, Luther vs. Oecolampadius, Calvin vs. the Lutherans, Puritans vs. Anglicans, Melanchthonians vs. Gnesio-Lutherans, Arminians vs. Calvinists, button-wearing Mennonites vs. the non-buttonites, etc. He's completely consistent with the way that protestants have always argued and acted.

Dave Armstrong said...

That was enough to show me that you have some personal issues with Frank, Dr. White, and several others who share beliefs that conflict with yours.

I have every bit as much prerogative to express my opinion that Turk and White have acted abominably in doing their apologetics, as both of them make critiques of others whom they think have acted abominably. There is no difference. Goose and gander.

It's not necessarily a personal issue (in my case, I flatly deny that it is; it is a matter of ethical principle). If that were the case, then you would have to say the same of Frank Turk, as he makes his sweeping claims about Arminian apologists and some Reformed ones he doesn't care for (tactics-wise): that it is merely personal and thus able to be immediately dismissed as such. I actually don't think it is personal with him, either, though it often is with White, without a doubt.

You don't automatically assume it is "personal" when Frank Turk does that. You only do that with me because I am a Catholic and am not enamored of those who champion your cause.

I haven't made t-shirts and offered them on my site, that say "Free Dave Armstrong." LOL All of that works both ways, assuming it is true at all.

I have offered to be on James white's webcast, to talk about non-theological issues and to find some common ground. White would have none of that. I have apologized on many occasions for things I said that went too far. He never has reciprocated for his huge mountain of personal insults. Etc. I've commended him for efforts that I thought were good and worthwhile, as I did in the present paper. He has never returned that compliment. My record is clear on this. So is his. You simply refuse to see it because a Catholic pointed it out.

Rhology said...

Dude, I knew DA would show up when I read the post. Knew it.

Solameanie said...

Um, Dave, given the RCC's history, I would be careful about lobbing too many missiles at Protestants. Not to mention the fact that there's plenty of squabbling to be had today among Catholics. The Catholics for Choice (abortion) group comes to mind among others.

I actually think having a good scrap is fine when there's something worth scrapping about. Especially when core doctrine and the Gospel is at stake. Considering that the Apostle Paul also seemed to think so, I'm in good company.

Dave Armstrong said...

Dude, I knew DA would show up when I read the post. Knew it.

I see. So Frank is allowed to make a gratuitous, non sequitur potshot using my name as the very essence of a lousy apologist (and I would have never known about this, except that my name came up in a search), but I am not allowed to give my side, or to note the ironies and hypocrisy I see in his analysis?

That is somehow further fodder for your insinuation that it is altogether improper or absurd that I show up and dare utter my $00.02 worth. I'm simply supposed to shut up and not be too uppity with my Reformed masters.

At least I am allowed to speak here, unlike on your buddy's blog, where I am banned (while he continues to bash my research in about every fourth post).

Dave Armstrong said...

Perhaps some real discussion can actually yet occur, but I won't hold my breath.

Dave Armstrong said...

The Catholics for Choice (abortion) group comes to mind among others.

Sure, every group has dissidents in its midst. That's a given. But you entirely miss the point. A dissident group is not a separate denomination. Catholic teaching on abortion remains what it has always been, and that is all that is relevant. Thus, all four solidly pro-life Supreme Court Justices are Catholics (Kennedy also is but he waffles on the issue).

Many Protestant denominations, however, and almost all the largest ones, have caved on abortion and now sanction it. No comparison whatever. And this is a major reason I became a Catholic: because the Catholic Church alone has maintained apostolic, biblical morality as well as doctrine in their fullness.

Phil Johnson said...

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.

Frank Turk said...

DAVE!

DAVE ARMSTRONNG!

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 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.

Dave Armstrong said...

in Davespeak, "real discussion" is a monologue by Dave Armstrong in which we all sit at his feet in rapt admiration.

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?

Frank Turk said...

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?

Dave Armstrong said...

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?

DJP said...

Yeah, Frank; it was that "Nice blog, come see mine and tell me what you think" comment. Didn't you see it? They always stand out so, due to their thoughtful and arresting interaction.

Turretinfan said...

Poor Dave. You've set him off again.

Dave Armstrong said...

Regarding Frank's linking to my March 2001 statement, swearing off interaction with James White:

Yes, it's true that I went too far, in saying that I would never talk to or mention James White and Tim Enloe at all. 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.

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).

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 no longer on my blog but available at Internet Archive (and linked in my second reply to this, to be posted shortly.

After I refused to debate him on his webcast or in live oral debate (preferring written debate, always), he pouted, took his bat and ball and went home, in these words [see next comment]:

Rhology said...

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

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

Dave Armstrong said...

James White, personal letter to me, dated 11 or 12 January 2001:

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? . . .

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?

Dave Armstrong said...

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

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 Swan's blog, where I am banned. Steve Hays selectively deletes my comments, so I don't bother commenting there anymore, either.

Rhology said...

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.

Dave Armstrong said...

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.

Dave Armstrong said...

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.

Rhology said...

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.

Robert said...

Sorry if I started a chase into off-topic land. Although it is good to actually see what you were talking about, Frank.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

After making my way through all the comments and looking up the word heterodoxy and getting a slight headache from what seems to be induced by a mechanical monkey with clanging cymbols, I had to read the post again to remind myself what it was actually about. As if the title wasn't helpful enough. (sigh)

I know, Frank, you don't expect the people to whom you address your open letters to actually respond. But you've written three letters to James White (accusing him of nothing worse than being your friend and mentor), and I was hoping we might hear his responses to your questions (back on topic). Doesn't he google himself daily to find out what others are saying about him and then respond to them? Or should I look on his website for a lengthy response? I really do think it would be helpful (for me) if you would sum up what you actually did ask Mr. White, so I might be able to ponder those questions myself. But this tired housewife is calling it a day, and maybe it will become clearer to me tomorrow.

trogdor said...

I, for one, cannot abide such a slanderous comparison against mechanical monkeys. At least they are occasionally amusing, they're significantly more enlightening, and if nothing else they will eventually run out of steam and stop annoying you.

Scooter said...

I almost resisted the temptation to post this. The flesh is so weak...

I glanced at Mr. Armstrong's blog a little bit, saw the large picture of Frank with an aura behind and thought:

"If I pray to St. Frank of Pyro, will I become as wise and witty as he?"

*hears the ominous depression of the ban button*

Along the more serious vein, I've already appreciated this series of open letters. I desire to be in a teaching position in the church but an honest look at the pastoral epistles says I don't meet them.

I hope and pray that God will give me the grace to adore the Gospel with convicting and gracious speech that these letters have modeled.

Thomas Louw said...

Frank.
You are a genius. You slip Dave Hunt’s name into your post knowing he will show up and illustrate what you have been saying in the last three posts.

Tyrone said...

Frank! "I guess I have to wonder if some people are reachable." - Really!
I think that is exactly what Israel believed when Goliath appeared on the scene, but it never phased David... If God is willing He is most definitely able!

Frank Turk said...

Thomas:

I'm not a genius -- you're a genius!

Best comment on this thread so far.

Frank Turk said...

Tyrone -

Yes, of course this is true. Sometimes I still think like a common materialist rather than a grateful monergist. Thanks for the reminder.

Frank Turk said...

Scooter --

I'll not have anyone praying to me, but if you send in your indulgence I'll gladly give you from the treasury of the t-shirt shop a trinket of equal or lesser value.

And for the record: just to prove I can actually find something nice to say about Dave, I'm grateful he still uses that dashing picture of me when I still had my hair. I love that picture. I wish I was still 35. [sigh]

And just to keep my street cred: I'd be glad to use a picture of Dave he finds particularly dashing, but why do all pictures of Dave Armstrong look like he's nursing a particularly-nasty cough drop?

Watch:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C [this was supposed to be the one with Dave in a Tree, but Google can't find it -- nice work, Dave!]

Although I admit he actually looks happy in this photo with his wife. Points for that.

DJP said...

Dave Hunt's here? Where?

stratagem said...

It's that pouty, bad-boy-of-rock-and-roll lip thing, for sure.

dac said...

The post was ok, but the comments are mememorable.

And Frank, if you relabel your store to be selling "indulgences" where we receive tokens (i.e. tshirts and the like) in return for our donation, I will buy something there.

word verification - gonashe (as in gonashe your teeth?)

dac said...

err, I will make a "donation" there, in return for my indulgence.

Anything to avoid more time in purgatory.

Dave Armstrong said...

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.

witness said...

Dave Armstrong said...

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

Can a catholic guy legally say that?!?

Dave Armstrong said...

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.

witness said...

Hey Dave... according to your "authority" you can't say that...

"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).


"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Canon 14).

Dave Armstrong said...

Not so. Those refer to faith alone (and the second to "fiducial faith"). I was talking about Grace Alone, which is taught most explicitly in Chapter 8 on Justification:

In what manner it is to be understood, that the impious is justified by faith, and gratuitously.

And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.

Works salvation, Pelagianism, and semi-Pelagianism are condemned in canons 1-3, with the ultimate sole causation of grace everywhere in sight:

CANON I.-If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema.

Nice try, then, but no cigar . . .

Frank Turk said...

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

Watch:

| 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.

Just think -- I said this:

[QUOTE]
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 with TQ. You love free speech until it turns out to eat you alive.
[/QUOTE]

Now, what I said was plain:
- Dave swore off interacting if Dr. White (and me)
- He did so becuase -we- are idiotic and evil
- he loves free speech
- but he hates it when it end poorly
- 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".

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.

witness said...

My observations were right on... anytime our cooperation to obtain is required to... well obtain then we have moved beyond the realm of God's grace/gift alone.... Wait a minute!

AAAHHHHHHH!!! I am feeding a troll!

Sorry I got suckered in.

Frank Turk said...

witness;

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

Frank Turk said...

... oh man, that hat is going to wear me out ...

Dave -- I know I said this already, but I have been having a burdensome week at work this week. From fires in two plants to Overnight delivery trucks smashing into cargo to translating standard business terms into Chinese and back again, my week has been marginal at best.

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.

James Swan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Swan said...

oops, typo.

-- I know I said this already, but I have been having a burdensome week at work this week. From fires in two plants to Overnight delivery trucks smashing into cargo to translating standard business terms into Chinese and back again, my week has been marginal at best.

Your handicap here appears to be that typing on the Internet isn't your full-time job.

Dave Armstrong said...

Turk clearly knows more about Chinese and trucks than about theology, basic Christian ethics and something like, e.g., rhetorical exaggeration. I say, one ought to stick to what one does best.

Turretinfan said...

Frank Turk:

At the risk of going off the official topic of this post (Dave Armstrong), I was wondering whether you had a specific person in mind when you wrote: "But it seems to me that if we have the time to refute anti-Calvinism -- which is usually a kind of commitment to ignorance -- we can find the time to refute heterodox behavior -- which is usually just a commitment to being awful."

i.e. if you thought someone in particular that Dr White knows well is engaging in heterodox behavior?

Feel free to reply by email, if you don't want to disrupt the flow of the conversation about Mr. Armstrong.

the phantom of the bookstore said...

"Many narcissists with fragile psyches have already been wounded in the melee."

Quotes like this are why I love Pyro....

Warms my heart...like a fire.

Solameanie said...

Dave,

Let me make one final point, at least from me. I seem to remember having you on my radio program many years ago before you "went home to Rome." At that time (and I'm forgetting what book etc. was being promoted at the time), it seemed like your interest was right in the pocket with biblical Christian orthodoxy. Your turn to Rome came afterward, which disappointed me and my co-host very much.

The long and short of it is that if you embrace Rome, you embrace a false Gospel. You can't mix grace and works in terms of soteriology, and that is precisely what Rome does while talking out of both sides of its mouth. I hope and pray you repent, and recover a true biblical Gospel.

Frank Turk said...

TFan --

I dare say that James can figure out if he knows anyone like that. I'll bet he does. I'll bet that at least one formerly-famous national figure who is not a musician would come to mind that he and I would agree on -- and I don't mention a name because this person is, right now, in enough trouble without heaping more coals on the fire.

It's probably not anyone he's got blogging at AOMin, if that's what you're worried about -- but I'll bet that, just like Chris Rosebrough, he has seen or heard sermons or blog pots from bad calvinists.

Are you willing to go on record to say that you have not? I'd be interested to know.

Frank Turk said...

Since you put it that way, I know about holding down a day job, Dave.

Next.

Frank Turk said...

TQ!

Turretinfan said...

"Are you willing to go on record to say that you have not?"

Well, I can think of someone who sounds like he fits that description. Someone who Dr. White recently criticized on the Dividing Line.

But yes, my primary concern was about the blogging team and/or the ministry itself, as opposed to the person who I think you are alluding to.

Coram Deo said...

This is fantastic. 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!

Pop the corn, kids!

But seriously, Dave, since you're here, just for kicks and giggles could you call me an "anti-Catholic bigot" right here in the meta?

This one's going in my scrapbook!

In Christ,
CD

Dave Armstrong said...

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.

Frank Turk said...

Oh yes: decried by both CD and Dave Armstrong in one comment thread.

#Winning

Thread is closed.