Altarpiece of the Church Fathers [St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose] (c. 1483), by Michael Pacher (1430-1498) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
* * *
[1 August 2003]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Potshots, Personal Remarks, and Poisoning the Well
II. Preliminary Discussion
III. Jason’s Introductory Counter-Reply and My Response
IV. Dionysius of Alexandria
VII. Cyril of Jerusalem
Introduction (from 11-20-15)
This was a much-ballyhooed debate with anti-Catholic Protestant apologist Jason Engwer that was highly advertised on the anti-Catholic CARM Discussion Board (probably the largest one online, then and now) in 2003. I was in “enemy territory” and their champion was gonna (was supposed to) rip me to shreds. I would finally get my “come-uppance” once and for all. Well, it didn’t happen quite like the expectations of the anti-Catholic minions.
Jason hedged and hawed and avoided direct argumentation with me (interaction with my arguments) from the beginning. He started in with the personal insults early on. It’s been that way in all the attempted debates I have had with him through the years. It’s what anti-Catholics do when they get with Catholics who can defend their faith.
It was so bad that out of the ten Church fathers originally to be debated, Jason dealt with only four and then decided to split from the debate (much to the disappointment of his fans). I continued on analyzing all ten. I had predicted that he would leave, five days before it happened. I could see the writing on the wall, and so observed:
One could not be blamed for thinking that you are setting the stage for your potential departure from this discussion. If you do run, the reason has already been given: I am an ignoramus, in over my head, and “everyone knows this” and this is why no one wants to dialogue with me, my paper has little of worth for you to spend your precious time, etc., etc. This is standard methodology people use for avoiding defending their propositions (and well known in political campaigning and rhetoric): immediately attack the person as ignorant, incompetent, not worth the time, and so forth. So if you leave, that is the reason (so you say), not, of course, because you are unable (and hence unwilling) to answer the substantive charges.
Jason made a prophet out of me!