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August 21, 2006

Comments

Shane

Dr. White is not evangelical, he's reformed. Regardless of how wrong he may be, he is owed the respect of being referred to properly. :) The one point that Dr. White has made that I must agree with is that Catholic apologists sometimes are too loose with their language, using the terms 'fundamentalist' and 'evangelical' for any and all non-apostolic Christians. I don't blame Ms. Arnod for this; it is almost cultural in its usage. Aside from that issue, very good points. I'm glad you posted it, someone needed to provide a forum for this post of his to be discussed; it is somewhat outlandish.

Tope

Shane -

Evangelicalism and Reformed Christianity are not mutually incompatible. I was raised as a Reformed evangelical, and my parents and siblings still are Reformed evangelicals.

Brent Robbins

If we wish to refer to him properly, should we call him Dr. White or Mr. White? That's what I would love to know because from every source I have heard his "doctorate" came from an unaccredited institution.

Unaccredited = phony bologna

Tim J.

"And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary... and to spirits like Michael and they are lighting candles and bowing and praying toward a box with something the priest consecrated..."

Whereas in a Protestant service, they could only conclude that they are supposed to pray to a black book (must be a spell book), and worship a sweaty, shouting man ("We must appease this shouting, sweaty, angry god, lest he grow ever louder and never shut up...").

Well, it makes as much sense as White's "argument". Does "Dr." White not understand the difference between "similar" and "the same"?

"Gee, this transmission fluid looks just like Kool-Aid... "

Shane

Actually, his post on the chocolate Mary was worse, in my opinion.

SDG

Why doesn't Mr. White notice that the article also mentions Protestant sects such as Zion Christian Church that "fuse traditional African beliefs about the power of the ancestors with orthodox Christianity"?

Thank God that whatever offenses Catholic ministers might commit, the Holy Spirit would never permit Catholic doctrine to be corrupted in that fashion.

Mr. White naturally has the privilege of being able to reply that the particular Protestant church to which he happens to belong isn't engaged in such scandalous behavior. One of the advantages, I guess, of Protestantism breaking up into so many fragments is that you can always legitimately claim that your particular group isn't responsible for the particular failings of the others.

Yet when Mr. White writes, "Goodness, if a minister in our church were found to be engaging in such idolatry, they would not be 'exhorted' to cease, they would be removed forthwith," one has to wonder, just out of curiosity, how many ministers does Mr. White's particular denomination have in South Africa? How many native black African clergy working in rural African villages? For how long?

I know that the Reformed tradition generally in South Africa has not had a history of syncretism. It's had a history of apartheid and racism. Of course, Mr. White's Reformed denomination is likely quite separate from all that. Many groups may claim that they haven't dirtied their hands as others have; but that means little apart from the question of how much useful work they've accomplished in the process.

Jordan

1. I like how this whole argument rests upon the "obvious" stupidity of all tribal peoples, who are too dumb to make distinctions in veneration and worship.

2. I like how the apologist in question in his no doubt comfortable armchair feels the need to outright condemn fellow Christians in a region where being a Christian can cost you your life. "Obviously", if this apologist was in charge of the African Church, where 90% of the memebers are converts, and where, again, death could be knocking at the doorstep of any one of those members, everything would be going perfectly smoothly.

Barbara

The article said that the priests were told to "desist". How does "desist" get interpreted as "exhort"?

I guess when one is used to interpreting Scripture for oneself, then English is not far behind.

Kevin from Ohio in Virginia

It's not very charitable to be putting these quotes on Dr. White's title. He may have gotten his degrees from Harvard or a box of Cracker Jacks for all I know, but is it supposed to make us feel better about ourselves if we degrade him with sarcastic punctuation?

Especially during a discussion of faith, I think we should seek to love our neighbors as ourselves and at the very least be civil with each other.

*there is a boatload of snobbery toward people of other cultures who this apologist presumes do not have the intelligence to know the difference between the Blessed Virgin Mary and "tribal deities" or between hyperdulia and idolatry*

Maybe because he can't tell the difference, he assumes others can't.

"It's not very charitable to be putting these quotes on Dr. White's title. He may have gotten his degrees from Harvard or a box of Cracker Jacks for all I know, but is it supposed to make us feel better about ourselves if we degrade him with sarcastic punctuation?"

It is disrepectful to those who have real doctorates to call someone with a phony doctorate doctor.

BenYachov(Jim Scott IV)

"Doctor" comes from a latin word meaning teacher. I thought the Bible said to call no man teacher accept the Messiah? Protestants should know that verse it's right after the same verse where Our Lord says "Call no man Father". Courious how for the likes of Mr. White & anti-Catholics like him he STOPS interpreting that verse literally when it gets to that part......"Dr" White...yeh right!

Ya gotta love the double standards of anti-Catholics. They are beyond comical.

Even someone with an honorary degree gets called Doctor. Unaccredited where, the U.S.? Perhaps it is accredited elsewhere. If we, out of charity as mentioned in a previous article by Jimmy are to call a protestant bishop, by bishop or reverend, how is it that the term Doctor is any more sacred? This is the snobbery that made me move away from Rome and into independent catholicism.

Steve

As a catholic, I rather like James White's style, I'm not ashamed to say. But the secret to liking his stuff is to not take him too seriously. He's kinda like a shock jock - the prodestant apologist equivalent of Howard Stern.

Say whatever you want about anyone or anything. Don't matter if it's true, as long as it gets attention.

I can deal with that.

Shane

I also disagree with the refusal to refer to Mr. White with the title of doctor. We as Christians are not meant to think of ourselves, of our reputations, of how others view us, or of our accomplishments. Of course there is nothing wrong with considering these matters, but when it comes down to the choice between defending our own interests in these matters or serving God, we must choose God.

Dr. White is in need of love and truth. He is also in need of criticism when he leads Catholics or himself astray by his arguements. However, unless one wishes to discredit Dr. White's arguements by attacking his education, there is no reason to refrain from the use of the title other than to puff oneself up as more educated than he or attack to Dr. White personally. What's more, given that most Catholic apologists, such as Jimmy Akin for example, do not have formal degrees in theological fields, attacking Dr. White's education would be hypocrisy. It is not the degree of the man making an arguement that matters: it is the arguement itself.

I believe that refusing to call Dr. White 'Dr.' is simply an exhibition of pride and/or hatred (whatever the degree of it may be); it serves no Christian or apologetics purpose whatsoever.

Scott W.

For an article on Mr. Whites credentials see: http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/heos-drsham.html

It looks like most would not mind calling him Dr. if not for the attempts to lord it over others in debate.

Shane

It looks like most would not mind calling him Dr. if not for the attempts to lord it over others in debate.

I would say, as a corollary to my previous post on the matter, that criticisms of the degree's authenticity would be legitimate in a debate setting in response to claims that the doctorate gives greater weight to Dr. White's arguements.

Steve

If White wants to be called Doctor, then call him Doctor. Who cares.

Henceforth, please refer to me as "young master."

Steve

"He's kinda like a shock jock - the prodestant apologist equivalent of Howard Stern. "

Though not nearly as effective.

Brother Cadfael

independent catholicism?

"independent catholicism?"

Couldn't that be translated as "Solitary Universalism"?

Scott W.

If White wants to be called Doctor, then call him Doctor. Who cares.

Ok, I'm convinced. I be sure to include "Dr." when I mention Send-in-five-boxtops-Dr. White.

"Even someone with an honorary degree gets called Doctor."

Actually, it is usually only those with big egos who call themselves doctor after getting an honorary doctorate. I worked in a university where the president had an honorary doctorate, and he knew better than to use the title doctor.

Michael

What's more, given that most Catholic apologists, such as Jimmy Akin for example, do not have formal degrees in theological fields, attacking Dr. White's education would be hypocrisy. It is not the degree of the man making an arguement that matters: it is the arguement itself.

There is a not-so-subtle difference between Jimmy's lack of a doctorate and White's lack of a legitimate doctorate (if it is, indeed, I'm just goignn with what people say). That is, Jimmy doesn't presume to have credentials he does not. It's not White's level of education that is the issue; it is his assumption of legitimacy and credentials that he does not have. Not only that it, is extremely offensive to those of us that worked long and hard for legitimate doctorates.

Tim J.

"It's not very charitable to be putting these quotes on Dr. White's title."

Okay, the quotes were snarky. I apologize.

By the way, I have a Master's Degree, so y'all can address me as "Master".

If Dr. White's degree is an honorary Ph.D, then I do think it is somewhat ridiculous to insist on the title. I feel the same way about Dr. Laura Schlessinger, even though I like her.

Someone help me out here: Wasn't it us Catholics who invented the idea of the doctorate anyway?

Scott W.

I feel the same way about Dr. Laura Schlessinger, even though I like her.

As I understand it, she does indeed have a doctorate from an accredited school. It's just not in any therapuetic field.


Scott

Shane

There is a not-so-subtle difference between Jimmy's lack of a doctorate and White's lack of a legitimate doctorate (if it is, indeed, I'm just goignn with what people say). That is, Jimmy doesn't presume to have credentials he does not. It's not White's level of education that is the issue; it is his assumption of legitimacy and credentials that he does not have. Not only that it, is extremely offensive to those of us that worked long and hard for legitimate doctorates.

As I said, if in a given situation he presents his doctorate as some sort of evidence to suggest that his arugements ought to be given greater credence than others, then certainly questioning it's authenticity would be appropriate. My point was that the formal education of a person doesn't really matter whereas the validity of their arguements do. Jimmy Akin's arguements are no less valid because he doesn't have a Phd in theology.

My only comment would be that as a Catholic, someone claiming to have reached an achievement of yours should not be something you are worried about. I can play the piano; if someone says they can do likewise when in fact they cannot, I do not worry about it; if I did it would be rather vain. If someone wants to claim they can match my achievements when they cannot, good for them - It makes no difference to my life except to my ego, and my ego is the last thing I should ever be worried about.

Robert Miole

"I mean, put yourself in the sandals of the person attending the Roman Church in the bush of Africa somewhere. All you've known has been tribal religion, but you also hear about this religion called Catholicism. And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary (could you differentiate between her and one of your tribal deities? Could you? You really think pleading the meaning of 'hyperdulia' is going to work here?) and to spirits like Michael and they are lighting candles and bowing and praying toward a box with something the priest consecrated and put in their and toward images and statues -- just what should we expect folks are going to think? And put yourself in the position of the priest in that rural location. Is he going to really be in a position to attempt to engage in the kind of double-speak Rome's apologists have to use to get around the Bible's prohibition against the very kind of spiritism that is part and parcel of the surrounding culture?"

Gee, Mr. White, I don't know. I'm not from Africa. But you can ask this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Cardinal_Arinze

Robert M,

Apparently you do not realize the vast diversity of the continent of Africa where you go from a European influenced culture in South Africa, to very primitive tribes in the center to the Middle Eastern influenced culture in Egypt. If you think Africa is all just one big mass of people you are sorely mistaken.

Francis DS

>If we wish to refer to him properly, should we call him >Dr. White or Mr. White

Whether his degree is accredited or not is irrelevant, in my view.

It's our decision to decide whether we want to call someone doctor or not. Just because someone was granted a degree by a university doesn't mean he's my doctor (teacher). I have a friend who has a doctorate in geology -- in what way is he a teacher of me? Why should I defer to him?

Call someone doctor if you want, just don't forget it's your decision to do so.

And those priests in the African bushlands should be teaching the natives how to do exegesis in Greek using the NASB. JW was just too polite to say it out.

I went to a Hindu temple in Bartlett Illinois as part of an educational program (not to worship).
I found it very interesting, informative and educational. The architecture was gorgeous. Indian and Italian marble hand done. Indian wood with intricate hand carvings. Turkish limestone.

If you want to know the difference between reverence and idoloatory you can learn it at a Hindu temple (and I am sure other religions) that believe that the idols (in their words) are real, and they feed them, bathe them, turn off the lights and let them rest. They are spooky little dolls. They look like short humans. They mean it very literarlly and claim "miracles" from the idols and bow before them and claim they see them talk and move.
There is a clear distincition from actually worshipping a statue and the symbol or reverence in Catholicism.

Grand Master of All Knowledge and Wisdom Brent Robbins

From now on, I wish to be addressed as:

"Grand Master of All Knowledge and Wisdom Brent Robbins."

IF you do not address me as such, you are showing me disrespect and you are not a good Christian!!!!!!!!

PS: I bought a degree in the mail that declares me that title, so I am worthy of it, thank you very much!

bill912

Robert Miole: Excellent point!

Michael

My only comment would be that as a Catholic, someone claiming to have reached an achievement of yours should not be something you are worried about. I can play the piano; if someone says they can do likewise when in fact they cannot, I do not worry about it; if I did it would be rather vain. If someone wants to claim they can match my achievements when they cannot, good for them - It makes no difference to my life except to my ego, and my ego is the last thing I should ever be worried about.

It's not merely that he is claiming an acheivement he doesn't have; he is claiming an authority he doesn't have. It's not just my ego that is important; it is that he is being fraudelent and if we let him get away with fraudelence, it weakens the degrees of others and calls into question the legitimacy of the authority granted by accredited universities.

Shane

It's not merely that he is claiming an acheivement he doesn't have; he is claiming an authority he doesn't have. It's not just my ego that is important; it is that he is being fraudelent and if we let him get away with fraudelence, it weakens the degrees of others and calls into question the legitimacy of the authority granted by accredited universities.

That is legitimate; I have said as much above. :) Being offended, however, is something quite different.

Catholic Mom

We will accomplish very little if we merely throw stones at this anti-Catholic Protestant apologist. The objection is less to his assumption of titles than it is to his message of misinformation. The antidote is truth. His message is harmless if we are armed with the truth. Therefore, IMHO, the best response to this sort of bigoted diatribe is vigorous catechesis. If everyone who claims to be Catholic really understood and accepted Church teachings, these lies and false accusations would be inconsequential. It is the poorly catechized who are vulnerable to being influenced by these falsehoods.

Sean S.

If White gets to be called Doctor, can I now go as Lord Duke Baron Sean, Knight of the Order of the Black Shorts and Imperial Sovreign of the Golden Keyboard?

Brian John Schuettler

Ah, shucks. He was just funnin' about. Maybe if he didn't have so many targets to shoot at in the Church. I know, why don't we sign him up for RCIA. Yeah, right.

Monica

Personally, I'd like to join a REAL group like the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo and work my way up to Grand Snark of the Universe. I like my titles to be legitimate and respectable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concatenated_Order_of_Hoo-Hoo

Ed Pie

feels the need to outright condemn fellow Christians

Are we sure he considers us Christians? Blurring the line between hyperdulia and latria may only be half the equation.

John G

I think James White himself would be an obvious choice for the title of Grand Snark of the Universe--its use in the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo not withstanding.

Kasia

I really appreciated the comment about Hindu idol worship. It draws a distinction that I honestly hadn't thought about. My thanks to the anonymous poster!

Maureen

Er, Mr/Ms. Blank Space:

Cardinal Arinze's father _is_ a witch doctor. Yes, literally. I'm not kidding. (He hasn't converted yet, either, sad to say.) That's why the article says the Cardinal's a convert from "African Natural Religion".

So, no, Mr. Miole's comment was not at all uninformed. And yes, the tribal people can make religious decisions and distinctions for themselves, especially if called by God and properly catechized. These aren't stupid people.

It is only by God's grace that any of us have the true faith. Condescending to those who do not is a spiritually dangerous thing.

Paul R. Hoffer

In regards to Dr. White's degree: here are some definitions to consider:

1) a person who is qualified to practice medicine. I do not believe that he has ever held himself as that.

2) a person who holds the highest university degree. There is no qualification that it be from an "accredited" school. The only qualification I see would be his own personal intellectual and spiritual honesty as to whether he feels that the scholarship and research that he did to earn the degree is comparable to the the scholarship and research that a doctoral candidate would do at an accredited school. Since Ie have not seen either his scholarship or his research work done to earn that degree, I can not judge the man.

I, myself, hold a juris doctorate degree. That, passing a bar exam, and $250.00 bi-annually permits me to practice law. Except for the pompous ones, we lawyers generally use the title Esquire instead of Doctor. Like the famous Dr. Samuel Johnson, we would prefer the title of "Esquire" meaning gentlemen or persons of civility as opposed to "Doctor" meaning people lording over others with their superior knowledge.

3) Austral./NZ informal: a cook on board a ship or in a camp or station. To my knowledge, Dr. White has never claimed to be an Aussie...

Given some of the things that have been said about Dr. White, particularly by the KJV-only crowd, perhaps the definitions for the verb "doctor" would be more apropo...

>verb 1 change in order to deceive; falsify. 2 adulterate (a food or drink) with a harmful or potent ingredient. 3 Brit. remove the sexual organs of (an animal) so that it cannot reproduce.

Personally, I do not generally read Dr. White's blog unless it is referenced in something else that I am reading. His writings purport to show much scholarship, but very little Chritian charity. It is my opinion that he wastes his gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Jeb Protestant

The problem that I have is that Rome sits in judgment on every Protestant denomination as being insufficiently Christian, but does nothing about Roman Catholics unversities funding pro-abortion groups, Catholic theologians teaching that Jesus didn't know why he died, etc.

Why doesn't Rome take the beam out of its own eye . . . .

Kasia

Jeb Protestant,

I cannot speak to your concerns because I am unfamiliar with the accusations. Could you please expand on them?

The one thing I can say - and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm very new to this - is to your first concern: "...Rome sits in judgment on every Protestant denomination as being insufficiently Christian..."

I don't know that the Holy See would characterize things that way. The way it's been explained to me is that the Catholic Church teaches that it has the fullness of God's Truth, the fullness of the Faith, and that Protestant churches, in discarding or changing various Catholic teachings (which ones depend on which denomination is being discussed), are now missing or denying some part of God's plan of salvation. It doesn't mean that all non-Catholics are hellbound or
"insufficiently Christian".

I've never heard a Catholic say that Protestants aren't Christians. I have, on the other hand, heard Protestants say that Catholics aren't Christians.

Some better-informed person than me, please feel free to correct me!

It looks like Mr. White has read our comments, and he doesn't like what we say:

"Oh, and I'm sure someone will point it out, but I forgot to insert a link to the article over on Akin's blog. Here it is. I just scanned the comments and was simply amazed at the childishness prevailing there. The last time I saw this kind of behavior was on the playground in sixth grade. If I am so dull and such a fake, why don't you folks back up your brave brilliance by actually engaging my work? Just unreal. See, for these folks, it doesn't matter how long you have taught, how many books you have written, how wide your scholarship has been proven in books, published articles, or in the breadth of your debating experience. Those things are irrelevant for the prejudiced. Convenient excuse for ignoring the facts of the argument, too."

Brent Robbins

Notice how...

1. He does not defend his doctorate

and...

2. If he wishes to be judged on his teaching experience, books, articles and debates, then he should get rid of the phoney title of "doctor" and base his reputation and authority on his works.

He brings this on himself.

Shane

It is unfortunate that Dr. White criticizes those Catholics who post on this board as refusing to "back up [their] brave brillance by actually engaging [his] work." I have offered to do just that and yet he has declined my offer.

While I respect you, Dr. White, I cannot allow you to chastise the individuals here for having failed to do something which has been attempted by one of us. You may not wish to accept this offer for various, even valid, reasons, however this does not alter the fact that an engagement has been offered. It is not honest to continue to claim that "these folks" have failed to do so when in fact one has. You could legitimately claim that we are not qualified to interact with you, Dr. White, but do not hold it against us that none have attempted to, for this is not true.

He continues to quote those posters who attack hi, personally and characterize all others as being similar, while not quoting those who do interact with his arguements, or those Catholics who defend him. I wish more would be fair to him as a person, even while criticizing his arguements, but I also wish he would be more fair to those who are fair to him (or indeed to even those who are not, as the Lord commands).

Rhys

If White can make the criticism that he does, I could equally say that perhaps Catholicism is a better evangeliser to those of traditional African religion, as the devotionalism of Catholics has something to offer to their spirituality that the bland strict adherence to diagrams and lists,
obsession with grammar and fitting the Bible into 16th century thought patterns
Calvinism does not.

Charlie

"It is unfortunate that Dr. White criticizes those Catholics who post on this board as refusing to "back up [their] brave brillance by actually engaging [his] work." I have offered to do just that and yet he has declined my offer. "

Shane, don't worry yourself over James White's taunts. Remember, this is coming from a man who routinely dismisses Catholic apologists for not interacting with his "work", but his own breadth of scholarly interaction is surprisingly shadow. For example, in his book _The God Who Justifies_, he purports to defend the Reformation's view on justification, but he NEVER addresses the scholarship of the New Perspective or NT Wright.


White is not a scholar. He is not even a good apologist. He is simply an internet bully who has a talent for smearing other people with insults.

AJ

I wonder if White will talk about all the Baptists that are KKK members? Nah...probably not.

Jonathan Prejean

White replies:
Anyway, the issue is quite relevant to Rome's refusal to be submitted to biblical authority, and to the fact that her tradition "makes void" the Word of God in vital issues such as the nature of worship and that fact that there is no biblical basis for differentiating between latria and dulia as Rome does.
...
You note Michelle does not respond to the foundational platform of the argument: Rome's teachings about worship. Instead, she just glosses over this, referring to them as "the Christian faith." That sort of misses the point, doesn't it? Just a bit. Instead, she attempts to make it look like I am being a "snob" toward folks who...evidently, out in rural areas of Africa, are supposed to have access to the finely tuned arguments of Catholic Answers regarding the alleged (and false) distinctions between latria, dulia, and hyper-dulia. It is snobbery to think that such Latin distinctions might just be lost on most folks whose entire religious experience has been in tribal African religion?

The Fathers of the Second Council of Nicaea seemed to think that the distinction between iconodulia and idolatry was clear and understandable enough, given that they considered it a Christological error to be an iconoclast. I find it a bit odd that White labels them "Rome's teachings," and it's just ignorant to call them "Latin distinctions" (they were Greek, both in language and cultural origin). We do, of course, teach that this is binding Christian dogma, but it was the united witness of the entire Christian world at the time that proclaimed it as true (Rome sent a couple of legates, of course, but the Council itself was conducted by Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople). And one could hardly argue that these people, given the past of their cultural setting, were oblivious to the possibility of pagan idolatry; nonetheless, they rejected iconoclasm as a solution.

White crows about his "much higher standard of accuracy in representing Rome's teachings on this subject," but he appears oblivious to what should be rather basic historical facts about the origin of that teaching. White sarcastically inquires, "And so do we find Michelle providing a scintillating response to the latria/dulia issue, perhaps examining the use of db;[' and related terms and most especially the LXX usage that comes into the New Testament, demonstrating that in fact there is a clear and purposeful delineation between latreu,w and douleu,w and their related word groups?" One would think it a little more basic to ask whether someone attacking "Rome's doctrines" had bothered to examine the source of the distinction himself before engaging in such useless irrelevancies, because he should have known that the use of the term was later in origin. Would White suggest we should review the LXX usage of homoousion to interpret First Nicaea? Then why would we turn to the LXX, written centuries before Second Nicaea, to identify what Second Nicaea meant by the distinction? Surely White is not asserting that technical theological terms need to originate only in Scripture and mirror the Scriptural usage!

The conceptual origins of the distinction come as a corollary from the denial of Nestorianism; one cannot inconsistently say that it is idolatry to venerate the created in Christ, which is what all rightful veneration does. White claims theology matters, and it surely does. Perhaps White will care to explain why he ridicules a basic Christological distinction (the iconodulia/idolatry distinction) that anyone who isn't Nestorian is bound to endorse. Better yet, perhaps he can explain why his spiritual father Calvin couldn't grasp this elementary theological distinction himself, leaving him to iconoclasm, denial of the Real Presence, denial of merit theology, denial of infused justification, etc., etc. Calvin's Nestorian inability to distinguish nature and person also led to prelapsarian Pelagianism, distorting his concepts of the atonement, sin, righteousness, and salvation.

I said it all (with help from Art Sippo) here:
http://www.envoymagazine.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1673

White's snobbery is typical of someone who knows just enough to be dangerous. A properly catechized but unsophisticated Christian knows full well what the difference is between God and not God, even if he doesn't understand the niceties of the iconodulia/idolatry distinction, so confusion with ancestor worship and the like is inexcusable. A theologically savvy and well-catechized Christian understands the iconodulia/idolatry distinction and its roots in the condemnation of Nestorianism, so he could never confuse the two. White is right in that area where he thinks he knows better than the unsophisticated, but he actually doesn't know the subject well enough to analyze it meaningfully, leading him into error.

The only suggestion I would make is to call this what it is: not anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian, and specifically, Nestorian. That isn't to say that White himself isn't Christian, but he certainly holds beliefs that implicitly deny the single personhood of Christ.

joe

As much as I disagree with mr. white, I s'ppose we best fight our foe with kindess and charity. Who knows how God is working on his heart. And I myself have been humbled by stumbling upon my own ignorance once in awhile.

AJ

Sometimes I think it is necessary to point out someone's hypocrisy.

Inquisitor Generalis

No offense, Michelle, but I really think it's ineffective to be whining about James White's lack of charity. What do you expect from these people? The only solution is to stop whining like girls and to start getting tough w/these guys. I'm sick of Catholics always being the nice ones. Let's start playing hardball. The Catholic Church has thousands of years of history behind Her, and these pathetic little sects have generally been around for less than 100 years. There's absolutely no reason to pretend that we take them seriously at all. We're defending the Ancient Faith, not them. They've rejected the religion of their own ancestors.

Rick Beckman

Commenting on an article condemning the apparent arrogance and snobbery of a Protestant apologist, it seems quite hypocritical that so many of the comments seem so condescending toward Dr. White's degree. So what if it isn't from an accredited institution? Is the world the judge of a Christian's education?

Luke was a physician, but I doubt he had an accredited doctorate. I hope you are equal in your condescension and scoff whenever the Bible calls him a physician.

Dozie

<<>>>

No one who has no evidence of the supposed Mr. White’s doctorate degree has an obligation to address him as Dr. He does not act like one who has a doctorate as far as I am concerned. As an African, I resent his discussion of Africans in very condescending manner.

By the way, this is no forum for defending Mr. White; he can do that for himself. He deserves no respect or arguments from Catholics than any wild dog deserves.

Shawn

Shane:

I can't wait to hear you on Mr. White's radio show tomorrow at 11am MST, don't forget to call 877-753-3341.

Lord Bless
Shawn

JeremiahBailey

I always found it kind of sad how people seem to ignore James White and attack his credentials. He has taught in well known Seminaries, and if he did not earn his title it would have come to light years ago. I trust James White who can at least argue rationally over someone like Art Sippo, who is an M.D. but couldn't argue his way logically out of a wet paper bag.

Dozie

Cardinal Arinze's father _is_ a witch doctor. Yes, literally. I'm not kidding. (He hasn't converted yet, either, sad to say


Who says Cadinal Arize's father is still living? By the way, Arinze was my metropolitan Archbishop before he was called to Rome.

Paul H

Quote: White is not a scholar. He is not even a good apologist. He is simply an internet bully who has a talent for smearing other people with insults.

I don't know much about Dr. White, but based on what little I have seen of his writings, I would have to agree 100%.

Scott W.

Commenting on an article condemning the apparent arrogance and snobbery of a Protestant apologist, it seems quite hypocritical that so many of the comments seem so condescending toward Dr. White's degree. So what if it isn't from an accredited institution? Is the world the judge of a Christian's education?

Maybe if we repeat it enough times it will sink in: When one makes appeals to authority (as White does with his doctorate) It is not only 150% legitimate to question it, it is seemly to do so.

Scott W

Italics off.

Paul H

Italics begone!

Paul H

Darn, you beat me to it. :)

Jonathan Prejean

More irrelevant responses:
If I am so dull and such a fake, why don't you folks back up your brave brilliance by actually engaging my work?

I pointed out to White specific instances of people having pointed out to him why his position didn't touch the Catholic position that he ignored.
http://www.envoymagazine.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1670

I note that I HAVE been responding to his work, and he's the one who didn't have time to respond to me, not vice versa, although he now seems to have conjured the time to respond to everyone but me.

See, for these folks, it doesn't matter how long you have taught, how many books you have written, how wide your scholarship has been proven in books, published articles, or in the breadth of your debating experience. Those things are irrelevant for the prejudiced.

No, they are irrelevant for anyone, period. James White continually grouses about the ad hominem fallacy, but he can't claim immunity to ad hominem if he is going to make an argument from authority. One can have done all of these things and still be wrong; one can have done none of them and still be right. If we want to judge people by their arguments, then White's arguments on this subject are unsound. If we want to judge him by his authority, then his scholarly qualifications on the subject of patristic theology and his peer-reviewed work among scholars of patristic history and in journals of Catholic theology are non-existent. So rather than hiding behind his non-existent qualifications, he should probably concern himself with his *actual* inability to grasp the basic distinction between iconodulia and idolatry mandated by the condemnation of Nestorianism.

Convenient excuse for ignoring the facts of the argument, too.

The facts of the argument happen to be that White completely failed to interact with the origin of the teaching in question and that White made several misleading statements about "Rome's teaching" and "Latin distinctions" that could easily be interpreted to suggest that the entire Christian world, including all five patriarchates, did not teach the same thing. That is the case unless White is now conceding that the only Christian Church at the time was the Roman Catholic Church, an admission I will receive with good cheer.

bill912

I always found it kind of sad that some people ignore most of commenters (like the ones who quoted and rebutted James White), and attack the few who commented on his credentials.

Rick Beckman

I'm sorry, where did White appeal to his doctorate in the message in question (this one)?

Seriously, the article was signed simply "James R. White" without mention of any title.

So, because you dislike what he says, a bunch of people are attacking something that has no relevance to the subject at hand. Great method of debate. I'm sure it'll accomplish much. :)

Rick Beckman
I always found it kind of sad that some people ignore most of commenters (like the ones who quoted and rebutted James White), and attack the few who commented on his credentials.

I wasn't attacking those who commented about his credentials, merely pointint out the inconsistency. Say what you want about what White said; of that, I am not bothered. He has a radio show anyone can call in and talk to him personally. He'll defend himself, so I see no reason why I should.

But, the subject of "credentials" and "accreditation" and whatever else has always fascinated me. That any Christian cares about such things regarding spiritual matters is mind boggling. The Bible tells us that more than one of the apostles were simple, unlearned men. If having an accredited degree is what it takes to know what you're talking about, woe to the early church who believed those unlearned apostles. Personal study and meditation of the Scriptures can do far more than an institutionally-sanctioned education ever could.

Average Joe

I've been a Catholic all my life, and for now, I still am...

Frankly, the comments of some on this board, attacking the accredidation of Dr. White's degree (yes, I call him DOCTOR, as he's done as much research as anyone with a million-dollar degree) is purely childish. If you don't like White's "rants," stop responding in this way, as you're only giving him more ammunition to call you childish. I find White's tone less than charitable, but his grievances about being misrepresented by those who've not read his works are well-founded.

White and his fellow "prot cults" (to quote some supposedly charitable Catholic apoligists) are beaten up for a lack of unity over how to interpret Scripture. OK, so we have catechisms and councils and a "living tradition" to interpret it authoritatively...leaving us to fight over how to interpret the interpretations. Who should I listen to? The conservatives on EWTN who back the church 100%? Those who still hold that anyone not in communion with the Pope IS outside of salvation? Perhaps the liberal priests at my university (accredited, thank you very much) who taught that the Bible is filled with errors and who simply laughed at the idea of Papal infallibility? Maybe the cradle-Catholics at Sunday Mass who can tell me the life story of every saint in the church, but stare blankly back at me when I use confusing words like "justification?" Or the legions of "converted Protestants" who read This Rock and soak up every word like a sponge, but who never actually understood Protestant doctrine to begin with? Perhaps Marcus Grodi, who claims to be a "former Calvinist" but whose understanding of Reformed teaching sounds nothing at all like what the Reformed actually teach? His misunderstandings (that I've heard on his show, anyway) could be cleared up with a few hours of tapes from a Sproul, Piper, or (God help us all) White. No, I'm not convinced that these men are right in their beliefs, but at least our own apologists could fairly represent their beliefs, misguided or otherwise. Lastly, I could ask my parish priest (again), and have him brush aside my questions and refer me back to "Catholicism and Fundamentalism." A vicious cycle!

The evangelical world (and no, it is NOT incompatible with "Reformed..." originally it WAS "Reformed") is in tatters. Frankly, my view from within the "Mother Church" is that we aren't far behind. It kind of leaves me feeling like there's nothing to do but sit in some ashes and repent for spending so much of my life getting tangled up in all this back-and-forth mud slinging. No doubt I'll be called upon to give concrete examples of what I've claimed. Maybe I'll be called upon to call into a radio show, or who knows what. I won't. I'll just get dragged into the mud wrestling from all sides.

White could use some lessons in sounding less sarcastic, brash, and arrogant...so could some of our own. But his arguments are more logical and intelligible than what I read from our own side. And his portrayal of our doctrine is more accurate than our portrayal of his (though Protestantism is, absolutely, a moving target).

I'm Catholic by the skin of my teeth, and it's wearing very thin. I'm going to go into my kitchen and stare at grilled cheese and some Hershey kisses, and wait for a sign from above. If that doesn't work, I'll take them down to the nearest underpass.

I've had it with apologetics on all sides. I'm going to stick to my Bible (that my own church, not long ago, wouldn't have allowed me to read in English) and just pray that God Himself will settle all this for me. I'll do good works whether they earn merit or not. And I'll keep going to Mass for now, because frankly, we have far better music.

bill912

Yeah, and he used a learned rabbi name of Saul, too.

bill912

"I'm going to stick to my Bible(that my own church, not long ago, wouldn't have allowed me to read in English)..."

You are wrong about that, Average Joe. There were English translations of the Bible centuries before the Reformation. The Church never condemned the reading of the Bible, and never condemned accurate translations of the Bible.

bill912

"No doubt I'll be called upon to give concrete examples of what I've claimed." An excellent idea.

Dr. Eric

You can call me Dr. Eric any time, I earned it by spending a year up to my elbows in a cadaver, and other things... ;-)

Shane

Dr. White, I urge you to reconsider your most recent post. I urge you to retract your final statement and apologize for it. You only destroy your own reputation by challenging others to be respectful when you cannot do so yourself. Calling those out who may challenge you without standing up to their claims is one thing, but making a statement which both demonizes your opponents and shows incredible disrespect to those who are dying in cold blood is far over the line. Dr. White, I have been defending you, and aside from our theological differences, I am very much on your side, but this is inexcusable. I hope that you will take this as the rebuke of one who cares for you and has been standing up for you and realize your grave error.

JV

I'm going to stick to my Bible (that my own church, not long ago, wouldn't have allowed me to read in English) and just pray that God Himself will settle all this for me.

Sounds like you're already protestant. :( Average Joe, you're in my prayers. Don't give up on the Faith because of snarky Internet debates. Trust the Lord, who gave us his Church and gives us himself. Not some Gnostic castles in our imaginations, but his flesh and blood.

J.R. Stoodley

Average Joe is in need of prayers.

Joe, you seem to have a decent grasp on who in the Church is faithful (like EWTN, generally) or not (the priests you mentioned). Yes there are cases where it is hard to tell how to interpret the teachings of the Church, especially when it comes to the issue of infalliblity. Still, that does not automatically mean the teachings themselves are not authoritative.

It is fine to be put off by apologetics. Not everyone is called to get involved in what can indeed turn into "mud-slinging." Especially when you are not entrenched into any one position, the "I'm right and you're wrong" stuff can be quite disenchanting.

If I were you I would put that stuff aside and focus on your own spirituality and faith. You seem to be on the edge of a huge decision; whether or not to leave the Church in which you were raised. You need to spend as much time as you can in prayer and discernment.

Specifically, it seem to me though that the real issues you have to deal with are whether or not the Magestarium indeed has the authority it claims, whether the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ, whether its sacraments are valid and what they are claimed to be, and whether in light of these things God wants you to remain in the Catholic Church despite the faults of many Catholics.

My prayers are with you.

Kallistos

I think it is time you all came to Eastern Orthodoxy. Just like Protestant Franky Schaeffer.

Lily

OK, he's Doctor White...
Doctor, Doctor, how come a little Methodist girl, only one generation removed from a one-room schoolhouse in the coal country of Appalachia can understand the difference between latria, dulia, & hyperdulia, & you can't, Doctor??

Sincerely yours,
:-)Little Methodist Girl,Grand Duchess of Belalugosi, Servant of Feline Forces Everywhere, & Protector of Heavily Armed Rodentia.

Shane

Update: the same Shane I referred to below posted a strong rebuke, alleging that I have somehow "demonized" my opponents here. Once again, something tells me that if the roles were reversed, all of a sudden the blinders would come off and Shane would not be confused.

Dr. White, I am neither confused nor do I have blinders when something is coming from the other side. The reason that I am involved in this discussion is because I posted several times exlusively for the purpose of defending you against those whom I feel made unfair statements.

Katyusha rockets are against the rules of war since they cannot be aimed at a particular target. They are meant to do general damage. So too are the inane, empty, vacuous ad-hominems that make up the substance of the Roman Catholic commentary to which I have been replying. They are random attacks that are not aimed at specific targets such as the biblical evidence or reasoning behind denying the propriety of Rome's dogmatic affirmation of prayers to saints, angels, and Mary. Further, those firing them are cowards. They hide amongst civilian populations so that if they are attacked it will always be possible to cry foul.

Dr. White, I do not deny the parallels being made. My rebuke was concerned with your comparison between Hezbollah and the Catholics here, for two reasons. One is that it is an inappropriate and over the top comparison between Catholic blog commentators and Hebollah a terrorist organization that knowingly kills innocent people. Your parallel conflates personal attacks with acts of the murder of women and children; it is grossly exagerated to the an irresponsible point. Even if you wish to that Catholics kill souls by their teachings, you cannot claim that they do so knowingly. The parallel can not even begin to compare to the point you are trying to make.

Worse than this is that the statement trivializes the sufferings and deaths of all the victims of the warring in the Middle East. Real people are really dying. Real mothers are losing real children, and real children are becoming homeless orphans when their real mothers and real homes are destroyed. People are dying before they have had the chance to repent, and they are going to hell. It is all of this that your parallel raises up in the mind, and all of this that it asserts to be a fair and accurate metaphor for the personal attacks that are being levied at you. The attacks are unjust; the parallel is inexcusable, Dr. White.

Aside from Shane himself, and Mr. Prejean, both of whom called once, the rest of the rabble-rousing crowd that is so quick with the slander and so slow with the study does the same thing.

I cannot speak for Mr. Prejean. As for myself, the reason I have called only once is that your webcasts are held during a very inoppurtune time for my schedule. The reason that I was able to call in the day that I did was, if I recally, because it was a Tuesday program being aired at the later Thursday time. I have a job to attend to which does not permit me the liberty of listening or calling in to your webcast whenever I wish to.

Need I post examples? It would be quite easy to do so, as Shane well knows. I've watched it over and over again. They will bravely proclaim my error---until I face them directly. And then all of a sudden the bravado is gone, and often times, so are they, scurrying off only to come back again when they feel the "coast is clear."

Dr. White, I could just as easily point to this behavior amongst Protestants. In Many Protestant apologetics forums, Catholics are banned Catholics at the first instance of presenting any arguements. In many Protestant radio programs (yours, honorably, not being one of them), the hosts hang up the moment a Catholic begins to address a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching or cite a Bible passage. These examples are far worse than anything that happens in the forums you speak of. There are those that do this on both sides of the issue, Dr. White. By your own criteria, this arguement can be used against your side as well as the Catholic side and is invalid.

Furthermore, as I have said, the offer has been made for me to interact with you directly. You have declined to accept; that is understandable and I will not question your decision. However, I will also point out that you cannot claim that we will not make such efforts when you have a standing offer on the table to do just that, whether it is palatable to you or not.


Church Militant

Hi Michelle,
I've been reading C.S.Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" and the things you mention reminded me a very great deal of the bigotted idea of "the white man's burden" as Lewis deals with it.

One would think that after all the World...and especially the U.S. has been through in dealing with all the racial justice issues that Christians have been confronted with over the years, that that sort of attitude would not have been embraced by any Christians, much less the teaching non-Catholic clergy.

Knocking the African bishops of the Catholic Church for dealing with something like this is hypocritical at best when the only way that the n-Cs in question can avoid dealing with all the doctrinal weirdness (example: Shepherd's Chapel) cascading down from Sola Scriptura is to not speak of it at all.

I will never understand why these preachers can't simply preach the Gospel instead of playing a compare & contrast game from their pulpits and in their literature.

Oh...wait a minute...perhaps they learned that from the secular press and media. Think about it...
Bad news and controversy sells best, doesn't it?
CM

James White says:

"Aside from Shane himself, and Mr. Prejean, both of whom called once, the rest of the rabble-rousing crowd that is so quick with the slander and so slow with the study does the same thing."

According to the dictionary, the definition of slander is: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation.

I don't recall anyone saying anything false here. Basically what we have said is that he has an unaccredited doctorate. Nothing false here, he has discussed this issue many times. Although it seems that discussion of his so called doctorate really tends to irk him.

I appears that it is James White who is the one guilty of slander in this case. Although, it think it actually would be libel, since we are in a written form.

Sailorette

Good gravy, folks, the "doctor" thing was brought up by someone nitpicking (a favorite hobby of mine) on if the guy was protestant or evangelical. Give it a rest....

Doc, grow up. There were several posts responding to the meat of your comment, and you chose to focus on the-- to me, rather amusing-- byroad on the question of the validity of your degree.
I know there are several "schools" that would hand me a degree right now (I have some 80 credits from the Navy, but they can't be honestly applied to any one degree) so the question isn't exactly out the window, even if it is off the post topic.
Touch a nerve or something?

Maureen

Holy crud. I leave the comment box, and all this happens!

Re: Dozie

Actually, now that you mention it, I don't know whether Cardinal Arinze's dad is alive or dead now. But several years back (1998?), his dad was interviewed after meeting Pope John Paul II. He was still alive, unconverted, and in practice back then.

We had some interesting discussions in the early blogosphere about Arinze's dad, and about the old Vatican statement on "earth religions", or whatever they called them.

And I _think_ that people talked about his dad again during all the papabile discussions, and nobody seemed to be saying his dad was dead, then. (Hey, it's not like he would have been the first pope with unconverted pagan relatives. It's just that it's been a while....)

Kevin from Ohio in Virginia

"It is disrepectful to those who have real doctorates to call someone with a phony doctorate doctor."

Incidentally, ladies and gentlemen, it is also disrespectful to those who have a title that you do not regard as genuine to mock it with, as I said earlier, sarcastic punctuation. Since we profess a faith in Christ, I think we ought to remember that everybody is worthy of our respect and manners. Love your neighbor as yourself, right?

Steve

If Mr. White wishes to engage catholics, then where are the com boxes on his site where we can respond to his pomp?

Scott W

Incidentally, ladies and gentlemen, it is also disrespectful to those who have a title that you do not regard as genuine to mock it with, as I said earlier, sarcastic punctuation.

It would be disrespectful if it simply a problem with those "who do not regard as genuine", but it is not a subjective issue. It is an objective fact, and refusing to acknowledge otherwise is no more disrespectful than refusing to acknowledge a crazy person as Napoleon Bonaparte.

bill912

"...everybody is worthy of our respect..."

Uh, no.

Kasia

Amen, Kevin. Let's have some charity and turn the other cheek.

The one point I have to make goes back to Dr. White's original argument. He said "You really think pleading the meaning of 'hyperdulia' is going to work here?" While I don't appreciate his apparent characterization of Africans as ignorant pagan bushmen, it's true that translational issues complicate things. (The same thing is true for English speakers, I might add.)

Example: one of my dearest friends is from Kenya, and grew up speaking Swahili. According to her, there is no distinction in Swahili among different sorts of mental health issues. Either you're normal or you're crazy, with even more negative connotation on the "crazy" than there is in English (maybe more like "nuts"). So if you want to express that someone is mildly depressed, if you want to say they are bipolar, if you want to say they are a little unbalanced, if you want to say they have post-traumatic stress disorder, or if you want to say they're paranoid schizophrenic with homicidal tendencies, they're still "nuts". Clinical terms may have evolved in Swahili - I don't know - but in layman's terms, there's only one word, and it has an extremely negative connotation. Therefore, there is an understandable stigma on mental illness or mental health issues in Kenya. Now, my friend is extremely intelligent. She's fluent in several languages. Having had several years in the U.S. to understand the nuances of American English, as well as our cultural understanding of mental health issues, she does appreciate that there's more to the story than "normal" and "nuts".

I could see how trying to explain "hyperdulia" or "latria" could give rise to similar translational problems - it does for English speakers too. However, it's just plain wrong to assume that an African (or anyone else) can't understand distinctions, once you and s/he share a common understanding of the language you're using.

Kasia

Bill912,

Uh, actually yes. Everyone deserves a measure of common courtesy and basic respect, even if they do not respond in kind. What everyone does *not* deserve is "respect" like, for example, I respect my friend for her sharp intellect and love of Christ. That kind of respect is earned; basic respect is deserved.

Maybe this is another translational issue. ;-) Does anyone know a language where the two are distinguished?

bill912

Uh, actually, no. I have no respect for criminals, terrorists, and various other low-lifes. I never will.

quasimodo

Is it too late to get in on this one. I agree that the bishops should shut down the inappropriate practices of their priests but...

the cultures in Africa are VERY different from our own:

Imagine a priest in the US coming to a small village to say Mass. After Mass the mayor of the town approaches the priest and tells him (in very threatening terms) that if he wants to give Homilies in his town he must preach what the mayor tells him to and in the way the mayor says he should.

Substitue "chief" for "mayor" and put the village in Africa and you have a real life example of what priests face there. An African priest took some classes with me in the local seminary and gave this as an example of his experience.

Atreyu

I think we would call the one "Christian love" - which we are required to give everyone (love thy neighbour as thyself) - and the other, simply "respect", or possibly "honour". I don't know of anywhere in the Bible where it says we must respect or honour everyone.

Atreyu

Sorry, I meant to quote Kasia's last post in my post above. No edit function... :)

Kasia

Atreyu, that's a good point. I'll happily stand corrected: everyone (Dr. White included) deserves Christian love, or charity. Bill912, with Atreyu's distinction in mind, I will certainly agree with you that not everyone deserves respect. However, even terrorists and criminals deserve Christian love.

Our Lord came to save the fallen, the sinners, the criminals and "lowlifes". Surely we owe Him the courtesy of giving the benefit of the doubt to our fellow man? I know I'm not good enough to throw the first stone.

bill912

I'll agree that everyone deserves love; that we wish the best for them(which, in many cases, means we wish their conversion from evil).

"Surely we owe Him the courtesy of giving the benefit of the doubt to our fellow man?" If that means everybody, then no. We are to judge their actions(but not the state of their souls), and not be afraid to call evil "evil". "By their fruits, you will know them."

c matt

And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary (could you differentiate between her and one of your tribal deities? Could you? You really think pleading the meaning of 'hyperdulia' is going to work here?)

Well, Dr. White isn't smart enough to make the distinction, so how could we expect these poor souls to be?

Kevin from Ohio in Virginia

I'm a little bit sorry I opened this can of worms, but this is my final take on the matter.

I like the distinction made by one responder between the different types of respect, "Christian love" and "honour."

As a former Marine, I have no respect (meaning I don't honor them or hold them in high esteem) for the terrorists who have killed many of my fellow Marines, including a very good friend of mine. As a Catholic and as a Christian, however, it is my job to treat them with respect (meaning with Christian love).

Of course, I wouldn't lump Dr. White in with criminals and terrorists as one other responder seemed to, but that's just me. My mother raised me to treat others as I would like to be treated myself.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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