James Swan and His Love of the Ridiculous Self-Published Books of David T. King and William Webster
My best-selling book (one of four) with Sophia Institute Press (2007). See book and purchase information.
James Swan is a Reformed Protestant anti-Catholic polemicist, who runs a website called (well, at least affectionately by myself and some of my readers) Boors All. I won’t tax the patience of readers with our past history. Suffice it to say that the man despises me. He plays games with my papers and books; for example, writing “book reviews” without mentioning that I am the author of the book.
His goal is always to put me down as someone not to be taken seriously, and as an utterly incompetent researcher (and he has also often classified me as mentally ill, just for the record). It’s all personal attack. I long ago tired of documenting in any systematic way his 1001 lies about myself personally or my research, but in this paper I would like to simply document one particular double standard that often occurs on his blog. Double standards often typify anti-Catholic treatments of Catholics.
In a recent paper Swan (words in blue below) noted one of my books, without mentioning my name as the author (pretty odd stuff):
As far as I can tell, the quote was taken from the self-published Lulu book, Martin Luther: Catholic Critical Analysis and Praise, page 44. . . . If the person using this quote actually checked the documentation given in this self-published book, he would’ve realized “Ibid., from: O’Connor, 15” was barely helpful as a reference. Even the “O’Connor, 15” part was wrong.
Well, folks, I must confess to an outrageous error that Swan managed to identify: I incorrectly listed a page 15 in my source, when in fact, the material in question was actually on page 20 (as in my original 1991 handwritten research notes: I just checked). I repent in dust and ashes and renounce my entire corpus of apologetics books, since this horrific, inexcusable error has destroyed my competence. It was a nice run, but it’s over now . . .
Seriously, though, I want to concentrate on Swan’s cynical practice of identifying my books as “self-published.” Never mind that I have six books “officially” published by three different Catholic publishers, with a fourth (100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura) to be published soon by a fourth major Catholic publisher: Catholic Answers [note: the total as of April 2020 is twenty-two books with five Catholic publishers and two Protestant ones]. Several of my books, for that matter, are also carried in important theological and municipal libraries (including many Protestant ones). None of that matters in Swan’s mind. He only wants to note others of my books that I put out on my own, and never misses a chance to describe them as “self-published.”
He makes a big deal about that, as an indication that my work is of no significance whatever, because it is merely “self-published.” He also fails to see the highly amusing hyper-irony that every time he states this, it is on his own “self-published” and non-supervised blog [and to my knowledge has never had a book published by a publisher]. The man couldn’t get anything officially published to save his life, yet he mocks me as “self-published” when he knows full well that I have several books (six) published by real live publishers, with real live, breathing editors, managing boards of real people, etc. Here is a second example:
On page 122 of a self-published book, Martin Luther: Catholic Critical Analysis and Praise (2008), a Catholic apologist documents the quote as: . . . In the Catholic apologist’s case, his book on Luther is self-published, . . . (10-12-08)
He does the same to other authors: several of them Protestant, but not Calvinist, and so subject to his belittling (examples: one / two / three / four / five). Oddly enough, however, Swan has an extremely high opinion of a three-volume work by anti-Catholic comrades William Webster and David T. King:
Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume I: A Biblical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura
Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume II: An Historical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura (Webster)
I say “oddly enough” because these were put out by “Christian Resources, Inc.” Ever heard of that outfit? I didn’t think so. I demonstrated in a paper over two years ago that this “publisher” was run by Webster himself. It’s self-publishing, folks. Anyone can print their own book if they like and put it out. It’s easy to do today.
Knowing this, why is it, then, that when Swan exalts these works (as he often has and continues to do) he never ever ever (far as I can tell from searching his site) mentions that they are “self-published”? Why in the world would that be? Maybe you can write to him and ask. I can’t, because he has told me he blocks my e-mails, and I’m banned from his blog as well. Here are examples:
As a token of appreciation for your comments on this blog, i’d like to send you David King’s book: Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (Volume I) (9-7-06)
I cited this quote from David T. King, Holy Scripture: The Ground And Pillar Of Our Faith Volume 1 (WA: Christian Resources Inc, 2001), 224]. (10-23-06)
[two citations] (10-24-06)
As David King points out in his book Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, . . . (7-26-07)
For a detailed look at this argument see: David King, Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (WA: Christian Resources inc, 2001) p.130-136. (7-31-07)
For an extended treatment of this quote by Basil, see William Webster, Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001), Vol. 2, pp. 142ff. (8-10-07)
For an excellent compilation of quotes of the Church fathers teaching on the primacy, sufficiency and ultimate authority of Scripture, get a copy of Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol III – The Writings of the Church Fathers Affirming the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura. (12-30-07)
I would also be interested in knowing if you’ve read Dr. White’s Roman Catholic Controversy, Webster/King’s Holy Scripture: The ground and Pillar of Our Faith (3 vols), and Svendsen’s Who is My Mother? If not, you really should get some of these books before making your final decision. (1-19-09)
For an excellent compilation of quotes of the Church fathers teaching on the primacy, sufficiency and ultimate authority of Scripture, get a copy of Holy Scripture:The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol III – The Writings of the Church Fathers Affirming the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura. (7-7-09)
Here’s reason number #986 why I keep the book Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Volume One on my desk. (4-5-10)
[three citations] (7-31-10)
You get the idea. Never a word about these volumes being self-published. They’re right up there next to the Bible in importance and near-inspired nature. The original page of the publisher, “Christian Resources” — where I documented that Webster was the director and founder is no longer online. But a current “Contact Info.” page leads right to Webster’s e-mail address. If there is any doubt that this is not a traditional publisher, but a glorified, slickly disguised self-publishing operation, the Book Printing page outlines how anyone can pay to get a book printed:
The price depends on the size of the book. As an example, the price for producing a paperback book, 80 pages in length, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ in size would be approximately $4.50 per book. The customer would be responsible for shipping costs.
If you have interest in having a book printed please contact Bill Webster for an estimate
How Christian and democratic of William: anyone can get a book published at good ol’ Christian Resources. Even Swan could put out a book if he likes, filled with his relentlessly profound pearls of wisdom! Well, anyone but a Catholic, of course . . .
Through the marvel of Internet Archive, it was easy enough to establish that Webster runs this outfit:
Christian Resources is a non-profit teaching, apologetics and publishing ministry dealing with issues related to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Gospel, Church history and the Christian life. The ministry is dedicated to the teaching and proclamation of the Gospel, a biblical and historical defense of the teachings of the Reformation and the discipling of believers in their Christian walk.
The Director and Founder of Christian Resources is William Webster (home page, scanned on 9 February 2005; link now defunct)
Clicking on the category, “Books” on the same page above, we find the “hit” of this self-publishing juggernaut of Christian truth, the three-volume series I have been mentioning above.
Gotta love those incessant anti-Catholic ethical double standards . . .
(originally posted on 8-1-11)