A Reply to Protestant Apologist James White

James made a reply to the first couple paragraphs on his 2/9/2002 Dividing Line
so I decided to make a few changes to make my logic clearer


"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44 KJV)

This is a brief reply to some of the material in the James White article on the conversion of his sister Patty Patrick Bonds. Since this site carries that conversion story (and others), I wanted to make a brief reply to some of the biblical, theological and historical issues. I'll end with a scorecard of White's history of debates with Catholics (I own all of them except one, most of them were given to me from White himself) since he makes constant reference to his many "wins" -- I've listened to all of them dozens of times except the first one (1990 on sola scriptura with Gerry Matatics which is not available). A scorecard below for those who are interested in who really "won" these debates. Needless to say, "winning a debate" does not necessarily mean you have the truth on your side. It might simply mean you were a "better debater" that night. There is no doubt James White is a good debater, and he has had lots of practice over the years.

First, although White makes reference to his "personality" being "attacked and impugned" by myself (P) and others in an online chat at CHNetwork.org -- I think consisting of about 5 to 10 people that night at most -- that chat was clearly the few of us joking around. It was never meant to taken seriously. I do not have a "transcript" of it and I cannot remember exactly what I typed. By contrast, I virtually dedicate a page to him at my site with his many debates that are available online at StraitGate.com (removed due to Internet connection problems) -- see that page here. I hardly attack or impugn his personality on this page. It has been online over 3 years (initially on AOL). To see what I really think of White, go to that page.

The page also includes the audio links to many Catholic conversion stories from the popular EWTN program The Journey Home, and other debates from William Lane Craig. For those who do study the issues (such as those discussed in White's many debates) it will become obvious the "Reformed Baptist" beliefs (which is a tiny sliver of "Protestantism" which White claims to represent) will not hold up either biblically, historically, or logically.

For myself personally, I happen to like James White since he brings up a lot of issues that Catholic apologists need to answer, and I am also a "debate junkie" (as he was once called in This Rock a long time ago), although I don't debate formally in person. Much of White's anti-Catholic material is not new since it can be found in much older books such as Anglican divine George Salmon's Infallibility of the Church (orig 1888) which is capably answered by B.C. Butler in The Church and Infallibility here. I'll quote from portions of White's article in smaller font that deal with some of the biblical or historical issues; the personal information between himself and his sister I have no knowledge about of course; I'll just deal with the theological, apologetics and "debate" material since he challenges his sister to answer it in his article. Well, here is my polite answer to some of it.

<< And though we have gone through a number of e-mail exchanges since she made her decision known to us, what I said (unknowingly) in response to her anonymous e-mail is still what I'm saying today. Nothing has changed. Since Mrs. Bonds has chosen to go public with her story, I have been forced out of simple love of the truth to address her claims. >>

This is the first reference to "the truth." What is "the truth" in Protestantism, really? Can one define it? What is the truth on doctrine in Protestantism? Can it be known? There is really no such thing. Yes, James believes he has "the truth" but so do thousands of other Protestants that disagree with his version of "the truth" and doctrine. What is the truth on Baptism for example? On the Eucharist? On the sacraments in general? On the nature of the Church? On the government of the Church? On bishops? On priests? On salvation and justification? On predestination and free will? What is the truth on these doctrines according to Protestantism? Does anyone really know? How about on moral issues? What is "the truth" on these? Who knows according to Protestantism? They have the Bible yes, given to them by the Catholic Church, but they do not know what "the truth" is.

<< For the moment, I will do so by reproducing my first e-mail response to her anonymous e-mail. Then I will reproduce my response to an e-mail sent to me just recently by Roman Catholic apologist Steve Ray. >>

And this article shall answer the theological and apologetics material in his letter to the anonymous letter writer (his sister) and to Steve Ray.

<< There was just something about it. In fact, I found its attitude so common, and so exemplary of the emotionally-driven nature of converts to Roman Catholicism, that I sent a copy of it to my wife along with a little note stating that this kind of thing shows why people need to really love the truth or they will end up loving a lie. >>

Again, second reference to "the truth." What is "the truth" according to Protestantism? James White can only tell us his version of the truth and his version of the doctrines of Protestantism. There is no such thing as "the truth" in Protestantism. That is the one truth of Protestant doctrine and theology: that no one knows what "the truth" is in Protestantism. James can tell us what he believes is "the truth" but any Protestant (according to sola scriptura) is allowed to reject his truth from their interpretation, understanding, and viewpoint of Scripture.

As for the "emotionally-driven nature of converts" to the Catholic Church, just listen for yourself to some of the stories on The Journey Home here. You will not find there "emotionally-driven" stories (there are exceptions, I am talking about the conversion stories found on this page here) but for the most part stories of deep biblical, historical, and theological conviction, which cost the convert everything: usually all their friends, their jobs, their livelihoods. Read the books Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray, Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie, any number of conversion stories in Surprised by Truth I or II, and you will not find "emotionally-driven" stories but "truth-driven" stories: these converts were driven to see the Truth of the Catholic Church, several of them after having been trained in Protestant seminaries. Do some have a great emotional experience as a result? Of course since we are human beings! We have emotions just as God and Jesus does (John 11:35). But these converts (or reverts) also recognized the one "truth" of Protestantism: that no one knows what the truth is according to Protestantism; and they left that confusion for the original, historical Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself.

<< Without going into details, I discovered that little had changed since the anonymous e-mail from a few months earlier. The issues were still the same, though it was interesting to be told that she had never been able to listen to a single one of my debates because I am so mean and intimidating to my opponents (which speaks volumes, since if she had that kind of mindset long before her conversion, she could never have fairly examined the responses I have made to Rome's teachings) .>>

I have listened to all of your debates (except the first one in 1990 on sola scriptura which is not available). See the scorecard below. And I have read all the anti-Catholic books of James White, Roman Catholic Controversy [1996], Fatal Flaw [1990], Answers to Catholic Claims [1990], and Mary, Another Redeemer [1998], the book by Norm Geisler/Ralph MacKenzie, as well as books by Svendsen, McCarthy, Zins, Webster, Ankerberg/Weldon, all of them. All of these except a couple I found and bought myself. Have them all, read them all many times. Sorry, they aren't convincing especially given the contradictory nature of Protestant beliefs: no Protestant knows what is true on doctrine. They have the Bible and the Creeds, unfortunately they do not believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of which the Bible and Creeds speak: the original, historical Catholic Church that Christ founded on the Rock of Peter (Matt 16:18f).

For a detailed reply to James White on Matthew 16 and the Papacy, see the article Jesus, Peter and the Keys: James White's Objections Answered.

<< Keep in mind: I had no idea this was my sister writing to me. As I have re-read this note, even in preparing it for posting here, I have rejoiced in the grace of God who prompted me to address the very issues that He in His wisdom knew would speak to the reality of my sister's defection from truth. She has never been able to respond to these points, and indeed, unless God is gracious to her, she never will: >>

Oh I'll respond to them right now. Again this is the third reference to "truth." What is this "defection from truth" you speak about? (From her recent appearance on the Journey Home, Patty was a Calvinist, so I deleted a sentence here). How can one "defect from truth" in Protestantism anyway? What is the truth on doctrine? We have the Bible which is inspired truth (2 Tim 3:16f) but obviously that is not enough since there is no agreement on doctrine in Protestantism. Again, there is no such thing as "defection from truth" in Protestantism since no one can tell us what "the truth" is according to Protestantism. There might be "defection from the Reformed Baptist faith" but that is not necessarily "defection from the truth" in the minds of thousands upon thousands of Protestants since the 16th century.

Please James be logical and make some sense here. The phrase "defection from truth" makes no sense using Protestantism's standard of sola scriptura (Scripture alone) and the individual Christian's absolute right to private interpretation of Scripture. There is no "defection from truth"; there is only defection from your truth, from your particular small slice of Protestant belief: the Reformed Baptist "truth."

<< Liturgy can be very attractive, especially if one's experience of Protestant churches is that of merely attending, passively, services, without any deep passion for the truths of God. And, in so many churches today, the sermon is basically a warmed-over version of the same theme, the "4 Spiritual Laws" dressed up in another section of verses. If that has been your experience, I can fully understand why ceremony and liturgy would be attractive. However, please let me note something else: Roman liturgy holds no attraction for me. It can't, since I know what it *represents.* I come into the presence of God seeking to be changed by the proclamation of His truth. That is worship. >>

Again, the fourth and fifth references to "the truth" and "His truth" in this article. One must admit there is no such thing as "the truth" in Protestantism. There is only what you firmly believe to be the truth according to Scripture with thousands upon thousands of Protestants firmly contradicting your beliefs from Scripture. That is what you really mean by "the truth" and "His truth." Let's get this straight.

<< Liturgical actions may, for a time, seem attractive. Talk to the hundreds of thousands who have fled Rome's liturgy and they will tell you it is as empty as can be. It may, for a while, seem "exciting," but mark my words: in a matter of time, maybe months, probably more like years, you will begin to realize that it no longer excites you the way it once did. And so at first you will just try to "recapture" the feeling by increasing your activity, going more often, and, for a brief time, it might work. But, eventually, you will experience, deep down inside, the realization that ceremonies, no matter how "new" they may seem to you now, cannot make up for the fact that they do not represent truth. >>

Yet another reference to "truth" -- you said the liturgy does not "represent truth" and that it can become boring, mundane, empty. Only if we do not recognize Who is there at the Liturgy and Mass: Jesus Christ Himself and His body, blood, soul, and divinity we receive in Holy Communion (1 Cor 10:16f; 11:27,29; Luke 22:19f; John 6:51ff).

This Liturgy you say does not represent truth? This Liturgy:

James White's response to this on Dividing Line is he doesn't see the words "transubstantiation" or "substance/accidents" here. I would reply that Ignatius never uses the words "homoousias" (of one substance) -- Does this mean Ignatius does not believe fully in the Holy Trinity? Same thing. Will James at least admit Ignatius and every Father after him explicitly contradict his own beliefs? The "Lord's Supper" that James White teaches is merely a symbol, not "the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father...raised up again" (Ignatius) or "the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus" (Justin). Ignatius and Justin are very clear. They certainly did not find the Liturgy "empty." It was the primary way the early Church worshipped God, through this Liturgy and Mass:

ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (c. 110 AD)

I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to Romans 7:3)

Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: FOR THERE IS ONE FLESH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and one cup IN THE UNION OF HIS BLOOD; one ALTAR, as there is one bishop with the presbytery... (Letter to Philadelphians 4:1)

They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrn 7:1)

Or this Liturgy does not represent truth?

ST. JUSTIN THE MARTYR (c. 100 - 165 AD)

We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [Baptism], and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined.

For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology 66)

Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachi [1:10-12]...It is of the SACRIFICES OFFERED TO HIM IN EVERY PLACE BY US, the Gentiles, that is, OF THE BREAD OF THE EUCHARIST AND LIKEWISE OF THE CUP OF THE EUCHARIST, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it. (Dialogue with Trypho 41)

For more on the Liturgy and Mass of the early Christians, see This is My Body: Eucharist in the Fathers.

<< Your friends may well be Christians who do not know Catholicism and who in fact reject its teachings about purgatory, or the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice, or the role of Mary, etc. Or, more likely, they are believing Catholics, and you are "hearing" in what they say what you *want* to hear in what they say because of your attraction to them as individuals. >>

You mean these Christians who believed in purgatory, the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice, and the role of Mary? Or were they not Christians after all, but Catholic Christians?

ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (c. 354 - 430 AD) on Purgatory and prayers for the departed saints:

"The man who has cultivated that remote land [Gen 3:17] and who has gotten his bread by his very great labor is able to suffer this labor to the end of this life. After this life, however, it is not necessary that he suffer. But the man who perhaps has not cultivated the land and has allowed it to be overrun with brambles has in this life the curse of his land on all his works, and after this life he will have either purgatorial fire or eternal punishment [-habebit vel ignem purgationis vel poenam aeternam-]." (De Genesi contra Manich 2:20:30 c. 389 A.D.)

"'Lord, rebuke me not in Your indignation, nor correct me in Your anger' [Psalm 38:1]...In this life may You cleanse me and make me such that I have no need of the corrective fire, which is for those who are saved, but as if by fire...for it is said: 'He shall be saved, but as if by fire' [1 Cor 3:15]. And because it is said that he shall be saved, little is thought of that fire. Yet plainly, though we be saved by fire, that fire will be more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life." (Explanations of the Psalms 37:3 c. 392 A.D.)

"Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment [-ante iudicium illud severissimum novissimumque-]. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment." (The City of God 21:13 c. 413-426 A.D.)

"The prayer either of the Church herself or of pious individuals is heard on behalf of certain of the dead; but it is heard for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not for the rest of their life in the body do such wickedness that they might be judged unworthy of such mercy, nor who yet lived so well that it might be supposed they have no need of such mercy." (The City of God 21:24:2)

"That there should be some such fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish -- through a certain purgatorial fire [-per ignem quemdam purgatorium-]." (Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 18:69 c. 421 A.D.)

ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (c. 350 AD) on the Eucharist and the propitiatory nature of the Mass:

For just as the bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ... (Catechetical Lectures 19 [Mystagogic 1], 7)

This one teaching of the blessed Paul is enough to give you complete certainty about the Divine Mysteries, by your having been deemed worthy of which, you have become united in body and blood with Christ. For Paul proclaimed clearly that: "On the night in which He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ, taking bread and giving thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying: 'Take, eat, This is My Body.' And taking the cup and giving thanks, He said, 'Take, drink, This is My Blood.'" He Himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, "This is My Body," who will dare any longer to doubt? And when He Himself has affirmed and said, "This is My Blood," who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood? (22 [Mystagogic 4], 1)

Once in Cana of Galilee He changed the water into wine, a thing related to blood; and is His changing of wine into Blood not credible? When invited to an ordinary marriage, with a miracle He performed that glorious deed. And is it not much more to be confessed that He has betowed His Body and His Blood upon the wedding guests? (22 [Mystagogic 4], 2)

Do not, therefore, regard the Bread and the Wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but -- be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the Body and Blood of Christ. (22 [Mystagogic 4], 6)

Having learned these things, and being fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the apparent Wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so... (22 [Mystagogic 4], 9)

Then, having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual songs, we call upon the benevolent God to send out the Holy Spirit upon the gifts which have been laid out: that He may make the bread the Body of Christ, and the wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Spirit touches, that is sanctified and changed. (23 [Mystagogic 5], 7)

Then, upon the completion of the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that PROPITIATORY victim we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and OFFER THIS SACRIFICE FOR ALL WHO ARE IN NEED.

Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this HOLY AND MOST SOLEMN SACRIFICE IS LAID OUT.

For I know that there are many who are saying this: 'If a soul departs from this world with sins, what does it profit it to be remembered in the prayer?'...[we] grant a remission of their penalties...we too offer prayers to Him for those who have fallen asleep though they be sinners. We do not plait a crown, but OFFER UP CHRIST WHO HAS BEEN SACRIFICED FOR OUR SINS; AND WE THEREBY PROPITIATE THE BENEVOLENT GOD FOR THEM AS WELL AS FOR OURSELVES. (23 [Mystagogic 5], 8, 9, 10)

What about those Christians? Or were they not really Christians after all?

For patristic material on the role of Mary, see this full article on the Immaculate Conception.

<< I can understand how you would be impressed: however, are you equally impressed with what Rome says is *happening* there? Is it impressive to you for people to bow before the host, worshipping it as God? Is it impressive to realize that these people believe they are approaching the very sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and yet, they do not believe that they are perfected thereby (contra Hebrews 10:10-14)? I must firmly and lovingly ask you: what impresses you, God's truth, or man's pageantry? >>

Again, a reference to a non-existent "truth" in Protestantism, "God's truth" no less. If you mean the "truth" as you understand it from the Reformed Baptist faith which is a couple hundred years old at most, then Yes you have that "truth." But you certainly cannot say you have "God's truth."

What "Rome" says is happening there is what St. John Chrysostom says is happening there over 1,500 years ago. Was he or was he not a Christian according to you? Yes from William Jurgens, but that's all I need to answer you right now.

ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (c. 344 - 407 AD) on the Eucharist and the Mass:

When you see the Lord IMMOLATED and lying upon the ALTAR, and the priest bent over that SACRIFICE praying, and all the people empurpled by that PRECIOUS BLOOD, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven? (Priesthood 3:4:177)

Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the SACRIFICIAL VICTIM WHO IS PLACED THEREON! (Homilies on Romans 8:8)

Christ is present. The One [Christ] who prepared that [Holy Thursday] table is the very One who now prepares this [altar] table. For it is not a man who makes the SACRIFICIAL GIFTS BECOME the Body and Blood of Christ, but He that was crucified for us, Christ Himself. The priest stands there carrying out the action, but the power and the grace is of God, "THIS IS MY BODY," he says. This statement TRANSFORMS the gifts. (Homilies on Treachery of Judas 1:6)

Let us therefore in all respects put our faith in God and contradict Him in nothing, even if what is said seems to be contrary to our reasonings and to what we see. Let His WORD be of superior authority to reason and sight. This too be our practice in respect to the [Eucharistic] Mysteries, not looking only upon what is laid out before us, but taking heed also of His WORDS. For His WORD cannot deceive; but our senses are easily cheated. His WORD never failed; our senses err most of the time. When the WORD says, "THIS IS MY BODY," be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the REBIRTH and the RENEWAL....How many now say, "I wish I could see his shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals." ONLY LOOK! YOU SEE HIM! YOU TOUCH HIM! YOU EAT HIM! (Homilies on Matthew 82:4)

Take care, then, lest you too become guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ [1 Cor 11:27]. They slaughtered His most holy body; but you, after such great benefits, receive HIM into a filthy soul. For it was not enough for Him to be made Man, to be struck and to be slaughtered, but He even mingles Himself with us; and this NOT BY FAITH ONLY, but even in every DEED He makes us His BODY. How very pure, then, ought he not be, who enjoys the benefit of this SACRIFICE? (ibid 82:5)

...if everywhere grace required worthiness, there could neither then be Baptism nor Body of Christ nor the sacrifice priests offer.....now He has transferred the priestly action [of ancient times] to what is most awesome and magnificent. He has changed the sacrifice itself, and instead of the butchering of dumb beasts, He commands the offering up of Himself....What is that Bread? The Body of Christ! What do they become who are partakers therein? The Body of Christ! Not many bodies, but one Body....For you are not nourished by one Body while someone else is nourished by another Body; rather, all are nourished by the same Body....When you see [the Body of Christ] lying on the altar, say to yourself, "Because of this Body I am no longer earth and ash, no longer a prisoner, but free. Because of this Body I hope for heaven, and I hope to receive the good things that are in heaven, immortal life, the lot of the angels, familiar conversation with Christ. This Body, scourged and crucified, has not been fetched by death...This is that Body which was blood-stained, which was pierced by a lance, and from which gushed forth those saving fountains, one of blood and the other of water, for all the world"...This is the Body which He gave us, both to hold in reserve and to eat, which was appropriate to intense love; for those whom we kiss with abandon we often even bite with our teeth. (Homilies on Corinthians 8, 1[2]; 24, 2[3]; 24, 2[4]; 24, 4[7])

"So also was Christ offered once." [Hebrews 7-10] By whom was He offered? Quite evidently, by Himself. Here [Paul] shows that Christ was not Priest only, but also Victim and Sacrifice. Therein do we find the reason for the words "was offered." "He was offered once," [Paul] says, "to take away the sins of many." Why does he say of many and not of all? Because not all have believed. He did indeed die for all, for the salvation of all, which was His part....But He did not take away the sins of all men, because they did not will it....What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of His death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this Sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This Sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one Sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the Sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one Body. And just as He is one Body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one Sacrifice. (Homilies on Hebrews 17, 2[4]; 17, 3[6])

Not in vain was it decreed BY THE APOSTLES that in the awesome Mysteries remembrance should be made of the DEPARTED. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. For when the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome SACRIFICIAL VICTIM is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have DEPARTED in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf. (Homilies on Philippians 3:4)

 That is what "Rome" says happens at the Mass, more or less.

<< _Rome Sweet Home_ is a very poor book, at least for anyone concerned about truth. >>

Once again, another reference to "truth." Replace the word truth with "the gospel as I understand it from the Bible" or "concerned about the truth of my Reformed Baptist faith" then this sentence would make sense. But "truth" of Protestantism in general makes no sense of the word "truth." Rome Sweet Home might not be a strong book apologetically, but it represents the truth of the Catholic Faith just as well as your supposed "truth." For more truth try Dr. Scott Hahn's 800,000,000 page dissertation Kinship by Covenant. There's a little truth for you. (Of course I am exaggerating the number of pages but you get the point).

<< You believed the Church failed? Gracious, I hope not! The Church did not fail. The problem is, *Rome is not the primitive Church.* >>

That is correct. Rome is not the primitive Church. Rome is a city inside of Italy. The Catholic Church is the primitive Church, and the Catholic Church was always centered in Rome. Here is what JND Kelly says of the beliefs and doctrines of St. Augustine on the early Catholic Church:

"According to him [St. Augustine], the Church is the realm of Christ, His mystical body and His bride, the mother of Christians [Ep 34:3; Serm 22:9]. There is no salvation apart from it; schismatics can have the faith and sacraments....but cannot put them to a profitable use since the Holy Spirit is only bestowed in the Church [De bapt 4:24; 7:87; Serm ad Caes 6]....It goes without saying that Augustine identifies the Church with the universal Catholic Church of his day, with its hierarchy and sacraments, and with its centre at Rome....By the middle of the fifth century the Roman church had established, de jure as well as de facto, a position of primacy in the West, and the papal claims to supremacy over all bishops of Christendom had been formulated in precise terms....The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See [of Rome] was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, and prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than the fulfilment of the divine plan." (Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, page 412, 413, 417)

For a detailed reply to James White on "Rome has spoken" from St. Augustine, see the article here.

James White believes however this is not the original Church, so the original Church failed, it died a long time ago becoming the Roman Catholic Church. The primitive Church of St. Augustine is the Catholic Church, and it is not the Church of the Reformed Baptist faith, or any other Protestant faith for that matter.

<< No one in the days even of the Council of Nicea believed as Roman Catholics do today on so many issues, such as the Papacy, Papal Infallibility, transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, and the entire Marian complex of dogmas. These are simple facts that cannot go away, no matter how much we "wish" they will. >>

I can agree there is no full-blown doctrine of papal infallibility, transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, some Marian doctrines OR the 27-book New Testament canon until the fourth or later centuries. These all stand or fall together. There is certainly biblical evidence for all Catholic beliefs, whether explicit or implicit. Anyone can see this in Dave Armstrong's new book A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (2001). I quote what Karl Adam says in his beautiful book The Spirit of Catholicism:

"We Catholics acknowledge readily without any shame, nay with pride, that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the gospel of Christ, in the same way that the great oak cannot be identified with the tiny acorn. There is no mechanical identity, but an organic identity. And we go further and say that thousands of years hence Catholicism will probably be even richer, more luxuriant, more manifold in dogma, morals, law, and worship than the Catholicism of the present day." (Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism [Franciscan Univ Press, 1996], page 2)

The acorn to oak analogy makes sense in light of the development of doctrine by the Holy Spirit in the Church: the Holy Trinity, the doctrine of Christ, the New Testament canon, and all the rest are all part of this same development....

<< But as with everything based upon emotion and not truth, it cannot last through the storms of life....Truth is not something we just understand. We are to LOVE it. Embrace it. Hold it as precious. If you don't, you'll be willing to trade truth for feelings of belonging, or feelings of fulfillment, even if they are based upon error... >>

Again, more references to "truth" and "error." Truth is not something you can embrace in Protestantism, nor can you "hold it precious" since it doesn't exist. There is no such thing as "truth" on doctrine. I know, I keep saying that but its true. It is the only true thing about Protestantism. There is no truth on doctrine; and there can be no "error" either. No Protestant church or individual can define what is truth or what is error. They have the Bible, but they disagree on doctrine. There is no truth, nor can there be error. Period.

<< Of course, Mrs. Bonds did not avail herself of any of my offers. Indeed, as I noted, in later months she would claim she had never been able to listen to my debates because I am so "mean." But I bless God to this day that when she wrote to me, without knowing I was speaking to my sister, I spoke the truth to her: the very truth I repeated, over and over again, in e-mails to her in the months following her announcement. >>

Once again, a reference to speaking the truth. What truth would that be? Where is truth in Protestantism? If you mean you spoke the gospel as you understand it according to the Bible as you interpret it, yes you spoke that "truth." That is the only "truth" you can repeat over and over: your truth.

<< When I sent her patristic materials, she would send them to Tim Staples or someone else. No biblical responses were provided to me on any of the main issues at stake, and, of course, nothing in the above letter has ever truly been addressed. >>

Hey not everyone can be the great biblical scholar and exegete you are. Some of us try, like Dave Armstrong and his massive web site and his new book Biblical Defense of Catholicism which is sufficient to demolish the majority of your claims.

<< The young Roman Catholic who posted my sister's story, who uses the nick "A," invited me to enter the chat. I did, but used a non-descript nick so as to just sit and observe. >>

Just thought I would quote this line since you mention A, the 17-year-old kid who co-owns this site with me. That's not his nick, that's his real name: A.L.. Cool name, cool kid, cool site. He's the best Catholic apologist in New Jersey. So there. I own the domain name www.biblicalcatholic.com

Now onto White's response to Steve Ray. I'll just quote a little since this is getting tedious, tiresome, and somewhat boring.

<< Rant and rave? A fascinating choice of words, especially coming from the one who argues from the “silence” of history. :-) Your words would carry at least some level of weight if your work was defensible, but, as your unwillingness to expose it to direct and public refutation demonstrates you well know, it is not. >>

The silence of history is a reference to one sentence in Steve Ray's book Upon This Rock where he mentions we need to hear not only what the Fathers do say and write, but what they don't say (meaning their actions or practices, etc). That is perfectly logical and reasonable. Steve Ray's books are hardly an argument from silence. For a little taste of Steve Ray's evidence for the Papacy contra James White and William Webster, see his site here.

White and Webster should pay a visit someday to Steve Ray and his friends, all meet for a nice dinner. You can video tape it, call it "A Dinner with Anti-Catholics" or perhaps "Late Night Coffee with James White" if you don't want to have a full meal. Get together, hash out your disagreements nicely, politely, in person and video tape it. A wonderful project. Then send me and A a copy of that tape. Thanks.

<< While only a few years ago she was baptized (for the third time), proclaiming that her position then had led her to understand, finally, the “truth,” she now denies even the faith she then professed. >>

Look who's talking about "truth" again this time in quotation marks. All Protestants have their "truth" in quotation marks, why doesn't James see this? He is firmly convinced he has the "truth of Scripture," so do thousands upon thousands of other Protestants who disagree with him on doctrine. Again there is no real truth in Protestantism. That has to be candidly admitted.

<< So exactly how she is to “ignore” me is hard to say: seemingly, what you are counseling her to do is to continue to talk *about* me (and my family), but not to respond to me (i.e., engage in a monologue). The necessity of this is obvious: Mrs. Bonds has no more meaningful response to offer in defense of Rome’s claims than you do, Mr. Ray, and deep down inside of yourself, you know your “arguments from silence” and selective quotations about Isaiah 22:22, etc., would not last thirty seconds under cross examination. >>

Well, all it has to last is about 20 minutes in cross-examination since that's normally how long your cross-examinations are. And Yes, I think Steve Ray could last 20 minutes in cross-examination with you on his book Upon This Rock. It would hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. If not, write a 700 page book refuting it. Steve does not "argue from silence." Read the book. Its called Upon This Rock published by Ignatius Press (1999) in case you forgot the title.

The meaningful response is found above which is meaningful enough for these little "online battles" we have.

Skipping a little more, we find this:

<< Why is it that such a little man can, without fear of contradiction, claim to have won *at least* half of the debates I have engaged in, and in all fairness, the vast majority of them? >>

Well, glad James White might admit he lost half of his debates. We'll do the debate scorecard at the end of this reply to tally up the real wins and losses.

<< Last evening I sat in the Coming Home Network chat room (I was informed I just missed Mrs. Bonds’ presence in the same chat room) and watched at Dave Armstrong, P and others engaged in the same kind of diatribe. Every aspect of my personality was attacked and impugned. Interestingly, when I came back under a nick they would recognize, all was sweetness and light. >>

Had to quote this part since this time I get mentioned. I disagree, the attacking, diatribe and impugning went on even after James White revealed himself in that chat. Leave Dave Armstrong out of this. It was me and A doing all the attacking, diatribe, and impugning, in jest, joking and horsing around. All right, it was probably just me doing that. It was an online chat between about 5-10 people if memory serves. Nothing to get upset or uptight about.

<< That means true spirituality does not compromise on His truth, His glory, His holiness, His revelation in His Word. It takes precedence over all human relationships, including familial ones. >>

Ah ha, so A's comment that James White has no "spirituality" (in the above chat) really seems to have upset him. We were thinking of sending him a book from Mother Teresa, but he might need more than that, something like The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. That would help James' spirituality. Charles Hodge or Philip Schaff ain't gonna cut it for spirituality.

<< And when a member of one’s family engages in behavior that is directly condemned in Scripture (in this case, open and knowing apostasy) one is faced with a choice >>

Once again, this makes no sense. An "apostasy" means an apostasy from the truth, but James White can't tell us what the truth is according to Protestantism, or according to Scripture for that matter. An "apostasy" can only mean to him a falling away from the Reformed Baptist faith, since he believes that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But if that is the case, a large majority of Protestants are apostates, since they are not Reformed Baptists.

Apostasy has classically been a falling away from the Christian faith entirely, since Patty did not do that, she did not openly or knowingly fall into any "apostasy." Unless St. Augustine, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and St. John Chrysostom (see above) are all "apostates" as well. Are they Christians? If so, Patty and other Catholics (or the Orthodox for that matter which share so much of our Catholic doctrine) cannot be apostates.

<< And so the situation stands. I spoke the truth to an anonymous e-mail correspondent in July of 2000: only God can make that truth come alive in the heart. >>

Again, yet another reference to the "truth" which doesn't exist in Protestantism.

Now for a debate scorecard, tallied by the

Official Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of Forensics:Official Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of Forensics

Update: An appeal has been formally filed to the Committee by James R. White to adjust the scores. See his appeal in the right hand column. 

The Score is out of a possible 10 points overall.

 

Who What When SCORE Appeal
James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Fr. Mitch Pacwa

James White vs. Fr. Mitch Pacwa

James White vs. Dr. Art Sippo

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Patrick Madrid

James White vs. Dr. Robert Fastiggi

James White vs. James Akin

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Tim Staples

James White vs. Gerry Matatics

James White vs. Fr. Mitch Pacwa

James White vs. Robert Sungenis

James White vs. Robert Sungenis

James White vs. Tim Staples

James White vs. Robert Sungenis

James White vs. Fr. Mitch Pacwa

James White vs. Fr. Peter Stravinskas

James White vs. Patrick Madrid

James White vs. P

James White vs. A

sola scriptura

Eternal Security

Peter/Papacy

Justification

Mass/Eucharist

Justification

sola scriptura II

Mass/Eucharist

Justification

OT canon

Peter/Papacy

sola scriptura

various topics

Bible Answer Man

Marian Doctrines

sola scriptura

sola scriptura III

Peter/Papacy

Mass/Eucharist

Justification

papal infallibility

papal infallibility

sola scriptura

purgatory

Prayer to Saints

Everything

Everything

1990

Dec/1990

Dec/1990

Jan/1991

Jan/1991

1991 (part)

Nov/1992

Nov/1992

April/1993

April/1993

Aug/1993

Sept/1993

Feb/1995

Oct/1995

1996

1996

1997

1998

1999

May/2000

July/2000

Oct/2000

Dec/2000

May/2001

July/2002

Dec/2022

Dec/2044

unknown

James 3, Gerry 7

James 4, Gerry 6

James 6, Mitch 4

James 5, Mitch 5

James 4, Art 6

James 6, Gerry 4

James 3, Gerry 7

James 5, Gerry 5

James 4, Gerry 6

James 6, Gerry 4

James 4, Patrick 6

James 5, Fastiggi 5

White 2, Akin 8

James 6, Gerry 4

James 4, Tim 6

James 3, Gerry 7

James 6, Mitch 4

James 4, Robert 6

James 4, Robert 6

James 7, Tim 3

James 3, Robert 7

James 6, Mitch 4

James 7, Peter 3

James 4, Patrick 6

??? TBA

??? TBA

James 7, Gerry 3

James 6, Gerry 4

James 7, Gerry 3

James 7, Mitch 3

James 7, Mitch 3

James 10, Art 0

James 8, Gerry 2

James 5, Gerry 5

James 6, Gerry 4

James 6, Gerry 4

James 7, Gerry 3

James 6, Patrick 4

James 7, Fastiggi 3

"was not a debate"

James 7, Gerry 3

James 6, Tim 4

James 6, Gerry 4

James 7, Mitch 3

James 7, Robert 3

James 6, Robert 4

James 9, Tim 1

James 6, Robert 4

James 6, Mitch 4

James 8, Peter 2

forthcoming

FINAL SCORE, add them yourself, don't take my word for it!

James White: 111 (or 157 on appeal)

Catholic Opponents: 129 (or 73 on appeal)


P

See also A's Truth or Reputation?


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