November 9, 2006

Gender
Image by “OpenClipArtVectors” [Pixabay / CC0 public domain]
*****
SEXUALITY (GENERAL) 
*

Tragic Results of the Sexual Revolution [8-6-01]

Sociological Data Favoring Christian Moral / Sexual Views (Discussions About Christian Sexual Morality and Marriage With Atheists) [12-8-06]

Q & A: Catholic View on Sexual Morality & Contraception [1-1-08]

Condoms as a Solution to AIDS & Other STDs? [6-1-09]

Bestiality: Anti-Christian Morals Reductio? [12-21-15]

Catholic Sexuality: A “Nutshell” Explanation [12-29-15]

Catholic Sexuality: Dialogue with an Agnostic [12-30-15]

Dialogue on NFP: Anti-Sex and Anti-Pleasure? [1-23-17]

Dialogue on Rebecca Bratten Weiss’ Teaching on Sexuality [9-20-17]

Dialogues on the Sexual Revolution & Weinstein’s Victims [10-14-17]

Epstein and Weinstein: The Fruit of the Sexual Revolution [11-4-17; rev. 7-19-19]

I Condemned Society-Wide Sexual Coercion in 2007 [11-17-17]

Dialogue on Roy Moore: Sex, Facts, Ruined Lives, & Law [11-17-17]

Does President Trump = Frankenweinstein? [11-20-17]

Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]

Seidensticker Folly #6: God Has “No Problem with Rape”? [8-15-18]

Sex, Lies, & Videotape (“Discussion” w Angry Atheist) [2-15-19]

Mini-Debate on Libertarianism and Laws About Sex [3-7-19]

 

PREMARITAL / EXTRAMARITAL SEX / COHABITATION

Dialogue: Is Premarital Sex Wrong? [3-18-00]

Paul Sanctions Premarital Sex (1 Corinthians 7:36)? [11-21-09]

Catholic Virginity: “Anti-Sex” Viewpoint? [11-6-15]

Dialogues on the Sexual Revolution & Weinstein’s Victims [10-14-17]

Pope Francis: Pro-Marriage & Contra “Marital Skepticism” [1-29-18]

Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]

 

RADICAL FEMINISM AND FEMALE “PRIESTS”  

*
*
*
*
DEACONESSES
*
*

Dialogue with a Traditionalist Regarding Deaconesses [5-13-16]

*

MEN, WOMEN, MASCULINITY, FEMININITY, SEXISM, GENDER, MARRIAGE, FAMILY 

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Cussing Women, Chivalry, Etc. (+ very extensive and vigorous Facebook discussion) [8-24-16]
*
*
A Thought on Marriage Vows [Facebook, 4-26-17]
*
*
*
Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [National Catholic Register, 2-2-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
DIVORCE
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
ANNULMENT

*
*
*
Annulments are Fundamentally Different from Divorce [National Catholic Register, 4-6-17]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: GENERAL 
*

The Church Opposes Homosexual Acts, Not Homosexuals [7-16-08]

“Forced” Morality & Ubiquitous “Bigotry” [6-9-16]

My Supposed “Conflation” of LGBTQ Rights & Pedophilia [6-14-16]

Orlando, “Homophobia”, Terrorism, & Slander [6-23-16]

Defense of Bishop Barron (Rubin Interview): Did He Do Anything Wrong? Was it a Missed Opportunity (Particularly Regarding the “Gay Marriage” Issue)? (+ Facebook discussion) [2-13-17]

“Hated by All”, Catholic Evangelism, & the Fullness of Truth: Is it Possible for an Orthodox, Morally Traditional Catholic, Who Shares the “Unabridged” Catholic Message, to be Rapturously Loved and Liked by One and All Radically Secularist Leftists and Atheists? [2-13-17]

Lawler vs. Pope Francis #2: Homosexuality & “Judging” [1-2-18]

Is the Catholic Church “Against” Gay Priests? [8-24-18]

*
HOMOSEXUALITY: DEBATES
*
*
*
*
Dialogue with a Homosexual [3-15-07, at Internet Archive]
*
*
Debate on Catholicism & Homosexuality (vs. a Lawyer) [11-3-16]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: TEACHING OF THE BIBLE
*
*
*
*
Does the Bible Condemn Homosexual Sex? [9-17-06; expanded on 8-27-18]
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: HEALTH RISKS
*
The Health Risks of Gay Sex (John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D.; see also my Facebook cross-posting and discussion) [5-25-15]
*
*
HOMOSEXUALITY: SAME-SEX “MARRIAGE”
*
*
BATHROOM CONTROVERSIES
*
*
*
MASTURBATION 
*
Masturbation: Thoughts on Why it is as Wrong as it Ever Was [3-14-04 and 9-7-05; abridged, edited, and slightly modified on 8-14-19]

Masturbation Remains a Grave Sin (Debate w Steve Hays) [1-6-07; links added on 8-13-19]

Martin Luther Condemns Masturbation (“Secret Sin”) [6-2-10]

Masturbation Reference in Sermon on the Mount? [10-18-11]

Masturbation: Gravely Disordered According to Catholicism [8-16-19]

 
Last updated: 16 August 2019. 
***

November 9, 2006

Hell5
 Gila National Forest, New Mexico (May 2012). Photo by Kari Greer [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]
*****
  Hell and Sheol (Hades) / Damnation & Reprobation
 ***

Biblical Evidence for an Eternal Hell [1998]

Jewish and Old Testament Views of Hell and Eternal Punishment [4-14-04]

Dialogue w Agnostic on Basic Differences and Hell [5-17-05]

Replies to Some Skeptical Objections to the Christian Doctrine of Hell (“Religion Is Lies” website) [5-24-06]

Biblical Annihilationism or Universalism? (w Atheist Ted Drange) [9-30-06]

Dialogue w Atheists on Hell & Whether God is Just [12-5-06]

Dialogue on Sheol / Hades (Limbo of the Fathers) and Luke 16 (the Rich Man and Lazarus) with a Baptist (vs. “Grubb”) [2-28-08]

“The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail” Against the Church [11-11-08]

Hell: Dialogue with a Philosophy Graduate Student [12-26-08]

Dialogue: Hell & God’s Justice, Part II [1-2-09]

Purgatory is the Waiting Room for Heaven [4-25-09]

Luke 23:43 (Thief on the Cross): “Paradise” = Sheol, Not Heaven, According to Many Reputable Protestant Scholars [5-25-09]

Our Prayers and Souls Ending Up in Heaven or Hell [3-26-14]

Can Hell Actually be Defended? My Shot … [10-7-15]

Atheism & Atheology (Copious Resources, including on hell) [11-5-15]

A Defense of Hell: Philosophical Explanations of its Plausibility, Necessity, and Factuality [12-10-15]

Exchanges with an Atheist on Hell & Skepticism [12-17-15]

Did Jesus Descend to Hell, Sheol, or Paradise After His Death? [National Catholic Register, 4-17-17]

How to Annihilate Three Skeptical Fallacies Regarding Hell [National Catholic Register, 6-10-17]

Lawler vs. Pope Francis #3: The Pope Annihilated Hell? [1-2-18]

Pope Francis, Hell, Phil Lawler, Lies, Damned Lies, . . . [3-30-18]

Hell as a Deterrent: Analogy to Our Legal Systems [10-3-18]

Taylor Marshall’s Whopper: Pope Francis Denies Hellfire? [6-7-19]

*

Universalism / “Hoping All Will be Saved”
***

Dialogue on Hell & the “Possibility” of Universalism [May 2004]

Biblical Annihilationism or Universalism? (w Atheist Ted Drange) [9-30-06]

Did Pope St. John Paul II Teach Universalism? [4-26-11]

Did Julian of Norwich Teach Universalism & Deny Hell? [3-24-14]

Analysis of “Hoping All Will be Saved” / …Hell is Empty” [8-20-15]

Book of Revelation Annihilates Universalism [8-31-15]

Universalism is Annihilated by the Book of Revelation [National Catholic Register, 6-23-19]

Did Hans Urs von Balthasar Teach that Everyone Will Certainly be Saved? (Mark Brumley, The Catholic World Report, 21 Nov. 2013)

 

The Devil (Satan) and Demons

***

The Stupidity and Idiocy of the Devil (Dialogue) [2-23-97 and 4-10-97]

Unbiblical Antipathy to Miracles & Exorcism (vs. Calvin #53) [12-22-09]

The Devil’s Stupidity & Vanity [3-4-16]

Screwtape on the Neutralization of Effective Apologetics and Divine Callings (National Catholic Register, 2-5-17) [see also, the original 20% longer Facebook version] [1-25-17]

“Withstand”! Satan Exploits Errors & Falsehood for His Nefarious Ends [3-4-17]

Satan is Highly Intelligent—and an Arrogant Idiot   [National Catholic Register, 11-27-17]

Are We Allowed to Rebuke and/or Mock the Devil? [11-30-17]

Satan Referenced 24 Times in Gaudete et Exsultate [4-9-18]

Christians & the Stupidity of Satan (vs. Insulting Humanist) [11-9-18]

7 Takes on Satan’s Persecutions and the Balanced Christian Life [National Catholic Register, 11-24-18]
*

Judgment / Second Coming

Judgment of Nations: A Collection of Biblical Passages [9-21-01]

*
Judgment of Nations: Biblical Commentary and Reflections [9-21-01]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*


Last Things (Eschatology) / Prophecies

*
*
*
 
Heaven / Souls / Resurrection / Limbo

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Last updated on 3 August 2019.
*****
November 8, 2006

Schleiermacher
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834), the “Father of Modern Liberal Theology” [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
* * * * *

General

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Humanae Vitae: August 1968 & the “Progressive” Revolt (Cardinal James Francis Stafford) [7-29-08]
*
*
*
Conscience Must be Formed in Harmony with the Church (Proof from Scripture & the Catechism of the Catholic Church) [7-19-09] 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Christological Heresy

 
*
*
*
*
Trashing the Bible / Theologically Liberal or Skeptical Exegesis
*
Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
*
*
*
*
*
Defending the Historical Adam of Genesis (vs. Eric S. Giunta) [9-25-11]
*
*
Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]
*
New Testament Proofs of Noah’s Historical Existence (Seton Magazine article, 22 April 2014)
*
“Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” (Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine, 11-24-14)
*
*
*
Implications for Ecclesiology?
*
*


Modernist Skeptical Historiography 

* 
Last Updated: 7 June 2019.
 
***

November 8, 2006

* * * * *
Inquisition and Crusades
 
 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Were 50 Million People Really Killed in the Inquisition? [National Catholic Register, 5-30-18]
*
The Inquisition, as Medieval Catholics Would View It [National Catholic Register, 7-31-19]
*
EXTERNAL LINKS
*


The Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church

My statement: I would remind Catholics (and non-Catholic Christian allies) who are despairing over this dreadful scandal to recall that all great reform movements in the Catholic Church followed times of great immorality within its ranks (we Catholics being sinners and in constant need of God’s grace, mercy, and help, along with everyone else). The terrible revelations now being exposed can potentially be a huge wake-up call to reform seminaries, Catholic educational institutions, and the priesthood from the inroads of theological modernism, false psychological thinking, “political correctness,” heterodox, compromised teaching on sexuality, and relativist, non-traditional ethics and morality in general. Those scourges are the ultimate and long-term cause of these tragic events, and no informed Catholic that I know has ever denied that the Church (i.e., with regard to the beliefs and behavior of many of its members, not in its teachings) is suffering from a modernist crisis. I would note in passing that the fashionable, wrongheaded, agenda-driven calls for a married or female clergy have little to do with the current problem, and cannot resolve it, since upwards of 90% of the sexually-abused were teenage males. The problem obviously is something other than celibacy itself, or Clintonian urges towards heterosexual promiscuity. Having believed for a long time (based on historical hindsight) that spiritual and ecclesiological revival is coming in the 21st century, I think this unutterably tragic scandal can and will – by God’s grace and mass repentance — eventually be instrumental in leading to a great movement for reform, orthodoxy, and revival (Romans 8:28). The laity will likely play a large part in the coming revival, as they often have in the past.
***
 *
 *
“With all that is going on in the church today, I wouldn’t dwell on this non-sequitur.” [i.e., the issue of whether we should call priests “Father”] [Facebook, 8-13-18]
 *
*
*
*
*
*
 *
*
*
*
LEAVING (OR WANTING TO LEAVE) THE CHURCH DUE TO SEXUAL AND OTHER SINS AMONG THE CLERGY
*
*
*
*
*
The Sex Scandals Are Not a Reason to Reject Catholicism [National Catholic Register, 8-24-18]
*
EXTERNAL LINKS
*
Benedict and Clergy Sexual Abuse: Decisive and Aggressive Action (Judy Roberts; National Catholic Register,  5 March 2013)

The Myth of Pedophile Priests (Fr. Dwight Longenecker, 22 March 2010)

“The Myth of the Pedophile Priest”: A Researcher Puts Scandals in Context (Philip Jenkins, 3 March 2002)

The Sex-Abuse Crisis: What are Christians Doing About It? (David Manthei, 1 Dec. 2014)

“Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy,” by Richard Fitzgibbons & Dale O’Leary (The Linacre Quarterly, 2011) (+ my extensive commentary in the Facebook combox: 8-18-18]
*
“Bishop Morlino: ‘Homosexual Subculture’ a Source of Devastation in the Church” (Catholic News Agency / National Catholic Register, 8-19-18) [+ extensive Facebook discussion and related links]
*
*
Is Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Related to Homosexual Priests? (Matthew E. Bunson, National Catholic Register, 11-2-18)
*

Sex Abuse Scandals: Catholic, Protestant and Secular – You May Be Surprised (Steve Ray, 3 Dec. 2018)

“Sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests” (U. S. Dept. of Education study)

The Root Cause of the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal (Dr. Michael Liccione, Mind & Spirit, five-part analysis, 2-18-19)

Benedict XVI essay: “The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse” (Catholic News Agency, 4-10-19)

“Serbia Rocked by Orthodox Church Sex Scandal” [article, + Facebook discussion on the general issue, 4-29-13]

For why do they sit at the gate, and what do they watch for, if it be not for this, that so soon as any bishop or clergyman or monk or nun has fallen, they may have ground for believing, and boasting, and maintaining that all are the same as the one that has fallen, but that all cannot be convicted and unmasked? Yet these very men do not straightway cast forth their wives, or bring accusation against their mothers, if some married woman has been discovered to be an adulteress. But the moment that any crime is either falsely alleged or actually proved against any one who makes a profession of piety, these men are incessant and unwearied in their efforts to make this charge be believed against all religious men. (St. Augustine: Epistle 78 [6]: to the Church at Hippo [404 A.D.] )

Sinners in the Church

Thomas Howard on the Sins of the Catholic Church [Facebook, 1991]
*

Sins and Sinners in the Catholic Church [1998]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Paganism, Slavery, & Other Real or Imagined Scandals (like Halloween)

*
*
*
The Joys of Halloween and the “Baptizing” of Pagan Customs (with Rod Bennett and Mark Shea) [Facebook, 11-1-06; expanded: 10-31-16]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
 
EXTERNAL LINKS
*
*
*
Did the Church Ever Support Slavery? (Steve Weidenkopf, Catholic Answers Magazine, 9-18-17)


The Galileo Controversy

[See: Philosophy, Science, and Christianity Page]

*

Pope Pius XII and the Nazi Holocaust / Persecution of Jews / Anti-Semitism


Last updated on 1 August 2019.
*
***

Photo credit: photograph by LunarSeaArt  (2-26-17) [Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons license]

November 8, 2006

Trinity2

Basic minimal (equilateral triangular) version of the “Shield of the Trinity” or “Scutum Fidei” diagram of traditional Christian symbolism [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

*****

CHRISTOLOGY / JESUS CHRIST
*
*
Jesus is God: Hundreds of Biblical Proofs (RSV edition) [1982; rev. 2012]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
50 Biblical Proofs That Jesus is God [National Catholic Register, 2-12-17]
*
*
*
Can the Prayers of Jesus Go Unanswered? [National Catholic Register, 6-10-19]
*
*
*
EVENTS IN JESUS’ LIFE
*
The Passion of the Christ: Review and Reflections [2-29-04; abridged and edited on 4-10-17]
*
Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-10-04; additionally edited for publication at National Catholic Register: 12-21-17]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Was Christ Actually Born Dec. 25? [National Catholic Register, 12-18-18]

The Bethlehem Nativity, Babe Ruth, and History [National Catholic Register, 1-1-19]

Are the Two Genealogies of Christ Contradictory? [National Catholic Register, 1-5-19]

Seidensticker Folly #31: Jesus’ Burial Spices Contradiction? [4-20-19]

Jesus Didn’t Always Turn the Other Cheek (Proverbs) [7-6-19]

What Does “Turn the Other Cheek” Mean? [National Catholic Register, 7-20-19]

Caiaphas’ Unjust Accusation of Jesus as a Blasphemer [8-2-19]

Dr. David Madison vs. Jesus #3: Nature & Time of 2nd Coming [8-3-19]

Why Jesus Was So Unpopular (Parallel with Socrates) [8-17-19]

Did Jesus Teach His Disciples to Hate Their Families? [National Catholic Register, 8-17-19]

David Madison vs. the Gospel of Mark #8: Ch. 9 (“Mean” Jesus) [8-19-19]

*

JESUS AND MARY
*
*
*
*
*
*
YOUNG MESSIAH FILM (2016) / KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS
*
*
*
*
*
*
TRINITARIANISM / THE HOLY TRINITY / THE HOLY SPIRIT
*
*
*
Filioque: Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue (William Klimon) [July 1997]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
50 Biblical Evidences for the Holy Trinity [National Catholic Register, 11-14-16]
*
*
THEOLOGY PROPER (THEOLOGY OF GOD) / GOD’S ATTRIBUTES AND NATURE 
Dialogue w Mormon Apologist: God & Doctrinal Development (vs. Dr. Barry Bickmore) (+ Part Two) [12-22-01]
*
*
Is God in Time? (vs. John W. Loftus) [11-30-06]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Thoughts on the Level of Our “Comprehension” of God (St. John Chrysostom) (dialogue with Deacon Steven D. Greydanus) [Facebook, 9-14-17]
*
*
*
Seidensticker Folly #20: An Evolving God in the OT? (God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, & Omnipresence in Early Bible Books & Ancient Jewish Understanding) [9-18-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
GOD AS JUDGE
*

Judgment of Nations: A Collection of Biblical Passages [9-21-01]

Judgment of Nations: Biblical Commentary and Reflections [9-21-01]

Reflections on Judgment and Sufficient Knowledge for Salvation [6-7-02]

Reply to a Calvinist: Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart (vs. Colin Smith) [10-14-06]

Dialogue w Atheists on Hell & Whether God is Just [12-5-06]

God’s Judgment of Humans (Sometimes, Entire Nations) [2-16-07]

“How Can God Order the Massacre of Innocents?” (Amalekites, etc.) [11-10-07]

Final Judgment & Works (Not Faith): 50 Passages [2-10-08]

Origen (c. 185 – c. 254 ) on Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook, 2-27-08]

Did Moses (and God) Sin In Judging the Midianites (Numbers 31)? [5-21-08]

God “Hardening Hearts”: How Do We Interpret That? [12-18-08]

St. Paul: Two-Faced Re Unbelief? (Romans 1 “vs.” Epistles) [7-5-10]

God’s “Punishing” of Descendants: Unjust? [7-8-10]

Dialogue on Faith and Works and the Relation of Each to the Final Judgment (vs. Bethany Kerr) [10-10-13]

Final Judgment Always Has to Do with Works and Never with “Faith Alone” [9-5-14]

Israel as God’s Agent of Judgment [9-28-14]

Final Judgment is Not a Matter of “Faith Alone” At All [National Catholic Register, 10-7-16]

Exposition on the Scriptural Relationship Between Grace, Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook , 3-15-17]

Does God Ever Judge People by Sending Disease? [10-30-17]

Is God an Unjust Judge? Dialogue with an Atheist [10-30-17]

God’s Judgment of Sin: Analogies for an Atheist Inquirer [9-6-18]

Seidensticker Folly #17: “to the third and fourth generations”? [9-11-18]

Does God Punish to the Fourth Generation? [National Catholic Register, 10-1-18]

No OT Judgment = No 2nd Coming & Last Judgment [10-8-18]

Did God Immorally “Murder” King David’s Innocent Child? (God’s Providence and Permissive Will, and Hebrew Non-Literal Anthropomorphism) [5-6-19]

Madison vs. Jesus #9: Clueless Re Rebellion & Judgment [8-7-19]

*
THEISTIC ARGUMENTS
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

My Opinion on “Proofs for God’s Existence” Summarized in Two Sentences [Facebook, 6-18-18]

Seidensticker Folly #13: God Hasta Prove He Exists! [8-29-18]

Dialogue: Has God Demonstrated His Existence (Romans 1)? [9-1-18]

Seidensticker Folly #14: Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

*

Last updated: 19 August 2019.

***

 

November 8, 2006

Cover (552x832)
(October 2010, 187 pages)
***** 
GENERAL (CATHOLIC SOTERIOLOGY) / INFUSED JUSTIFICATION / FAITH AND WORKS

*

Justification: Classic Catholic & Protestant Reflections [1994]

Fictional Dialogue: Justification & Salvation [1995]

Salvation and Justification in the Gospels and Acts [1996]

St. Paul on Justification, Sanctification, & Salvation [1996]

Dialogue on Grace (vs. Anti-Catholic Phil Johnson) [1996]

Romans 2-4 & “Works of the Law”: Patristic Interpretation [2-16-01]

Reply to Atheist Queries Re God (Esp. Trinity & Salvation) [late April 2001]

Justification in James: Dialogue [5-8-02]

Council of Trent: Canons on Justification (with a handy summary of Tridentine soteriology) [12-29-03]

Initial Justification & “Faith Alone”: Harmonious? [5-3-04]

Faith & Works: Oil & Water or Two Sides of a Coin? [2004]

“Catholicism Refuted”? (Kevin Cauley): Pt. V: Salvation (+ Purgatory Again) [12-11-04]

Catholics’ Underemphasis on Justification by Faith [3-30-06]

Dialogue w Three Lutherans on Justification & Salvation [2-1-07]

Catholic Bible Verses on Sanctification and Merit [12-20-07]

Origen (c. 185 – c. 254 ) on Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook, 2-27-08]

Catholic-Protestant Common Ground (Esp. Re Good Works) [4-8-08]

Comparative Soteriology (Salvation): A Handy Chart [7-19-08]

St. Paul on Grace, Faith, & Works (50 Passages) [8-6-08]

Grace, Faith, Works, & Judgment: A Scriptural Exposition [12-16-09; reformulated & abridged on 3-15-17]

Bible on Participation in Our Own Salvation (Always Enabled by God’s Grace) [1-3-10]

Monergism in Initial Justification is Catholic Doctrine [1-7-10]

Bible on the Nature of Saving Faith (Including Assent, Trust, Hope, Works, Obedience, and Sanctification) [1-21-10]

Biblical “Power”: Proof of Infused (Catholic) Justification [3-14-11]

Justification: Not by Faith Alone, & Ongoing (Romans 4, James 2, and Abraham’s Multiple Justifications) [10-15-11]

Various Thoughts on Salvation “Outside” the Church [2012]

St. Paul’s Use of the Term “Gift” & Infused Justification [2013]

Salvation: By Grace Alone, Not Faith Alone or Works [2013]

New Testament Epistles on Bringing About Further Sanctification and Even Salvation By Our Own Actions [7-2-13]

Dialogue on Faith and Works and the Relation of Each to the Final Judgment (vs. Bethany Kerr) [10-10-13]

Our Prayers and Souls Ending Up in Heaven or Hell [3-26-14]

St. Peter Sinking (Faith & Jesus’ Expectations) [8-11-14]

Salvation, Eternal Security, & Grace: Dialogue w Bethany Kerr [4-13-15]

“Catholic Justification” in James & Romans [11-18-15]

Philippians 2:12 & “Work[ing] Out” One’s Salvation [1-26-16]

Final Judgment is Not a Matter of “Faith Alone” At All [National Catholic Register, 10-7-16]

Catholicism = “False Gospel”?: Exchange with Anti-Catholic [3-18-17]

Reply to a Calvinist on Faith Alone and Works [of God Only?] [4-4-17]

Is God Alone Holy, According to Scripture? Or Can We Be Too? [5-3-17]

Debate with a Lutheran Pastor on Faith and Works [5-4-17]

“Why Desire Salvation?”: Reply to a Non-Christian Inquirer [National Catholic Register, 7-7-17]

“The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves” [National Catholic Register, 7-19-17]

Biblical Evidence for Salvation as a Process [National Catholic Register, 8-4-17]

Biblical Evidence for Catholic Justification [National Catholic Register, 11-2-17]

“Faith and Works”: Unbiblical, Semi-Pelagian Terminology? [11-4-17]

Seidensticker Folly #22: Contradiction? Saved by Faith or Works? [10-1-18]

Seidensticker Folly #29: Repentance: Part of Salvation [10-26-18]

Jesus Associates Works, Merit, & Heroic Sacrifice w Salvation [11-10-18]

‘Doers of the Law’ Are Justified, Says St. Paul [National Catholic Register, 5-22-19]

Jesus on Salvation: Works, Merit and Sacrifice [National Catholic Register, 7-28-19]

Jesus: Faith + Works (Not Faith Alone) Leads to Salvation [8-1-19]

Old Testament Sacrifices: Killing Animals to be Saved? [8-17-19]

*

THEOSIS / DIVINIZATION / DEIFICATION

Theosis and the Exalted Virgin Mary [7-11-04]

Martin Luther: Strong Elements in His Thinking of Theosis & Sanctification Linked to Justification [11-23-09]

“In Him” An Expression of the Oneness of Theosis? [3-13-14]

Vs. Pasqualucci Re Vatican II #1: Gaudium et Spes (Incarnation) [7-11-19]

*

SOLA FIDE (FAITH ALONE): THE PROTESTANT VIEW 

“Doing Something” for Salvation: Dialogue w Evangelical [1996]

Salvation and Justification in the Gospels and Acts [1996]

St. Paul on Justification, Sanctification, & Salvation [1996]

Trent Doesn’t Necessarily Exclude All Variants of Imputation (Kenneth Howell) [Facebook, July 1996]

Dialogue w Baptist on Romans 1:1-3 & Justification [January 1997; revised 8-11-00]

Faith Alone: Development of Church Fathers & St. Augustine? [11-24-00]

Romans 2-4 & “Works of the Law”: Patristic Interpretation (2-16-01)

Faith Alone & Original Sin: Reply to Smalcald Articles [1-30-01]

“If You Died Tonight”: Debate w Matt Slick of CARM [5-22-03]

Paul vs. Calvin: “Doers of the Law” Will be Justified [2004]

Luther’s “Snow-Covered Dunghill” (Myth?) [10-5-05]

John Wesley (Founder of Methodism), Denied “Faith Alone”? [10-20-05]

Catholics’ Underemphasis on Justification by Faith [3-30-06]

Luther’s Projection of His Depression & Crises Onto St. Paul [6-1-06]

Dialogue on Luther’s “Getting to a Gracious God” (vs. Lutheran historian “CPA”) [6-4-06]

Alister McGrath on the Protestant Innovation (Corruption?) of Imputed Justification [Facebook, 8-28-06]

Dialogue w Three Lutherans on Justification & Salvation [2-1-07]

Ecumenical Dialogue: Protestant & Catholic Soteriology [7-8-07]

Church Fathers & Justification: Martin Chemnitz vs. Catholicism [9-9-07]

Church Fathers vs. the “Reformation Pillar” of “Faith Alone” [10-24-07]

Final Judgment & Works (Not Faith): 50 Passages [2-10-08]

Origen (c. 185 – c. 254 ) on Faith, Works, and Judgment [Facebook, 2-27-08]

Catholic-Protestant Common Ground (Esp. Re Good Works) [4-8-08]

“Working Out” Salvation & Protestant Soteriology (vs. Ken Temple) [4-9-08]

Martin Luther: Good Works Prove Authentic Faith [4-16-08]

John Calvin: Good Works Manifest True Saving Faith [9-4-08]

Original Sin, Imputation, & Baptism (vs. Calvin #40) [11-17-09]

Martin Luther: Strong Elements in His Thinking of Theosis & Sanctification Linked to Justification [11-23-09]

Martin Luther: Faith Alone is Not Lawless Antinomianism [2-28-10]

Catholics & Justification by Faith Alone: Is There a Sense in Which Catholics Can Accept “Faith Alone” and/or Imputed Justification (with Proper Biblical Qualifications)? [9-28-10]

Dialogue with a Lutheran: Salvation & Miscellany [10-14-11]

“Leaven” of the Pharisees: Hypocrisy or False Doctrine? (vs. Lutheran Nathan Rinne) [11-3-11]

The “Obedience of Faith” in Paul and its Soteriological Implications (Justification and Denial of “Faith Alone”) [from Ferdinand Prat, S. J.; Facebook, 2-1-12]

Salvation: By Grace Alone, Not Faith Alone or Works [2013]

Bishop James White on the Book of James: His Juvenile “Challenge” Will be Met [10-7-13]

*
*
*
*
*
How Are We Saved? Faith Alone? Or the Way Jesus Taught? [National Catholic Register, 5-11-17]
*
*
*
PRAYER
*
*
*
*
*
Biblical Prayer is Conditional, Not Solely Based on Faith [National Catholic Register, 10-9-18]
*
*
Can the Prayers of Jesus Go Unanswered? [National Catholic Register, 6-10-19]
*
*
SIN / MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN
*
*

Dialogue on Mortal & Venial Sin [4-14-06]

Blaise Pascal on Ridicule and Sarcasm Regarding Sin and Folly [12-29-11]

Martin Luther and Lutherans on Mortal & Venial Sins [10-30-17]

What the Bible Says on Degrees of Sin and Mortal Sin [National Catholic Register, 7-6-18]

“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”: Biblical & Christlike? [8-21-18]

Should We Pray for All People or Not (1 John 5:16)? [9-5-18]

 

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION / ETERNAL SECURITY / APOSTASY / PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS / PREDESTINATION / GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Dialogue on Luther’s “Getting to a Gracious God” (vs. Lutheran historian “CPA”) [6-4-06]

Romans 9: Plausible Non-Calvinist Interpretation [4-22-10]

St. Paul: Two-Faced Re Unbelief? (Romans 1 “vs.” Epistles) [7-5-10]

God’s “Punishing” of Descendants: Unjust? [7-8-10]

Novelist Anne Rice’s Deconversion: Straw Men & “Baby / Bathwater” (conversion to humanism but not atheism) [7-30-10 and 8-9-10]

Salvation, Eternal Security, & Grace: Dialogue w Bethany Kerr [4-13-15]

“Once Saved, Always Saved”: Is it Biblical? Antinomian? [8-18-15]

Fallen-Away Catholics: They Never Were in the Fold? [Facebook, 10-27-16]

God “Hardening Hearts”: How Do We Interpret That? [12-18-08; expanded on 1-4-17]

My “Review” of Martin Scorsese’s Silence (+ Facebook Discussion #1 / Facebook Discussion #2) [1-13-17]

Some Nagging Questions About Scorsese’s Silence [National Catholic Register, 2-19-17]

“Reply to Calvin” #1: The Elect [3-3-17]

“Reply to Calvin” #3: Synergism, Grace Alone, & the Elect [4-3-17]

Luther (Unlike Lutheranism) Taught Double Predestination [1-11-18]

Predestination and Salvation: Q & A with an Atheist [7-24-18]

Predestination Mysteries: Dialogue with an Atheist [7-24-18]

Seidensticker Folly #3: Falsehoods About God & Free Will [8-14-18]

Should We Pray for All People or Not (1 John 5:16)? [9-5-18]

Madison vs. Jesus #7: God Prohibits Some Folks’ Repentance? [8-6-19]

*
LIMITED VS. UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT  
*
*
*

Dialogue: Does the Bible Teach Limited Atonement? [2-23-19]
*

Calvinist Hems and Haws with Regard to Answering My Biblical Refutation of Limited Atonement, Then Flatly Refuses [Facebook, 2-26-19]
*

ERROR OF UNIVERSALISM

THE GOSPEL, FAITH, AND “PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS” 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
“The Harvest is Ready”: 14 Tips for Catholic Evangelism [National Catholic Register, 7-12-17]
*
*
Swearing and Sharing the Faith Don’t Mix Very Well! [National Catholic Register, 7-16-18]
*
Some Thoughts on Evangelism and Being “Hated by All” [National Catholic Register, 7-20-18]
*
*

GRACE, CATHOLIC ANTI-PELAGIANISM, AND SYNERGISM

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Is Grace Alone (Sola Gratia) Also Catholic Teaching? [National Catholic Register, 2-5-18]
*
MERIT AND REWARDS
*
ORIGINAL SIN AND TOTAL DEPRAVITY 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Total Depravity & the Evil of the Non-Elect (vs. John Calvin) [10-12-12]
*
*
*
*

*****

Last updated on 18 August 2019.
***
November 8, 2006

BibleRosary
Photograph by Chris Sloan, 28 Nov. 2009 [Flickr / CC BY 2.0 license]
*****

Table of Contents


* * *
I. Relationship of the Bible to the Church

II. Tradition (Apostolic)

III. Sola Scriptura (Scripture as the Only Infallible Authority)

IV. Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture

V. Material and Formal Sufficiency of Scripture / Rule of Faith

VI. The Canon of Scripture

VII. Deuterocanonical Books (So-Called “Apocrypha”)
*
VIII. Biblical Archaeology / Israel
*
IX. Biblical Accuracy / Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties
* * * * *

I. RELATIONSHIP OF THE BIBLE TO THE CHURCH
***

Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Philippians (RSV) [1998]

Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Colossians (RSV) [1998]

Laymen’s Greek & Hebrew Bible Resources for Free [1-22-02; linked sources added on 11-28-16]

“Why Don’t Catholics Read the Bible?” [6-26-02]

Catholic “Three-Legged Stool”: Scripture, Tradition, & Church: Dialogue with an Anglican on the Catholic Rule of Faith (vs. Jon Jacobson) [10-31-02]

The Freedom of the Catholic Biblical Exegete / Interpreter + Bible Passages that the Church has Definitively Interpreted [9-14-03]

“Biblical Evidence” from the Catholic Point of View [2-1-08]

Bibles & Catholics, Sunday School?, Memorization, Etc. [9-25-08]

Books by Dave Armstrong: Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths: A Source Book for Apologists and Inquirers [4-18-09]

How Do Catholics Approach & Interpret Holy Scripture? [6-17-09]

Catholic Interpretation of Scripture (Hermeneutics / Exegesis): Resource List (Links) [6-28-09]

Were Vernacular Bibles Unknown Before Luther? (+ later Facebook discussion) [6-15-11]

Reply to a Lutheran on Tradition & the Patristic Rule of Faith [1-10-12; additions on 2-20-18]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Dialogue on Authoritative Bible Interpretation in the New Testament (vs. Reformed Baptist Elder Jim Drickamer) [1-14-17]
*
Was the Catholic Church Historically an Enemy of the Bible? [National Catholic Register, 3-27-17]
*
Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
*
Catholics R More Biblical Than Protestants? (Dialogue) (vs. Dustin Buck Lattimore) [5-3-17]
*
The Analogy of an Infallible Bible to an Infallible Church [11-6-05; rev. 7-25-15 and 6-7-17; published at National Catholic Register: 6-16-17]
*
*
*
Why Are Catholics So Deficient in Bible-Reading? [National Catholic Register, 11-22-17]
*
*
Catholic Biblical Interpretation: Myths and Truths [National Catholic Register, 12-3-18]
*
*
 
II. TRADITION (APOSTOLIC) 
 
***

Classic Reflections on Tradition, Sola Scriptura, & the Canon [9-14-92]

Assumption & Immaculate Conception: Part of Apostolic Tradition (dialogue w James White) [June 1996]

Dialogue on “Tradition” in the New Testament (vs. Dr. Eric Svendsen) [1996]

Apostolic [Quasi-] Protestantism?: Dialogue with Eric Svendsen [6-26-96]

Dialogue on “Perspicuous Apostolic Teaching” (vs. James White) [May-June 1996]

“Tradition” Isn’t a Dirty Word [late 90s; rev. 8-16-16]

Books by Dave Armstrong: Bible Conversations: Catholic-Protestant Dialogues on the Bible, Tradition, and Salvation [June 2002]

William Webster vs. Tradition, Development, & Truth [4-10-03]

“Moses’ Seat” & Jesus vs. Sola Scriptura (vs. James White) [12-27-03]

Binding, Authoritative Tradition According to St. Paul [2004]

Refutation of “Catholicism Refuted”: Pt. II (Tradition, Papacy) [12-10-04]

James White’s Critique of My Book, The Catholic Verses: Part I: The Binding Authority of Tradition [12-30-04]

Refutation of James White: Moses’ Seat, the Bible, and Tradition (Introduction: #1) (+Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI) [5-12-05]

Bible and Tradition Issues: Reply to a “Bible Christian” Inquirer (Particularly Regarding St. Augustine’s Position) [3-1-07]

Nature of Tradition & Church: (vs. Two Lutheran Pastors) [10-9-07] 

Martin Luther’s Remarkably “Pro-Tradition” Strain of Thought [1-18-08]

Erasmus’ Hyperaspistes (1526): Luther’s Anti-Traditional Elements [2-10-09]

Biblical Evidence for Apostolic Oral Tradition [2-20-09]

25 Brief Arguments for Binding Catholic Tradition [2009]

Tradition, Succession, Apostolic Deposit (vs. Calvin #25) [7-1-09]

Tradition, Church, & the Rule of Faith (vs. Calvin #27) [7-6-09]

Biblical Evidence for True Apostolic Tradition (vs. “Traditions of Men”) [6-23-11]

Bible on Submission to Church & Apostolic Tradition + Biblical Condemnation of the Rebellious & Schismatic Aspects of the Protestant Revolt [8-27-11]

Biblical Evidence for the Oral Torah [10-18-11]

 “Tradition” Is Not Always a Bad Word! [written specifically for children: 12 or younger; 2-12-14]
*
*
Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
*
Tradition is Not a Dirty Word — It’s a Great Gift [National Catholic Register, 4-24-17]
*
Dialogue on Oral Tradition & Apostolic Succession (vs. John E. Taylor) [5-17-17]
*
*
*
*
*
*
 
 III. SOLA SCRIPTURA
***

Debate: Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Jason Engwer) [8-1-03]

Ten Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Jason Engwer) [8-1-03]

Sola Scriptura: Unbiblical!: Refutation of Dr. Richard Bennett [9-15-03]

Refutation of Dr. John MacArthur’s Sola Scriptura Defense: “The Sufficiency of the Written Word” [9-15-03]

Biblical Argumentation: Same as Sola Scriptura? [10-7-03]

Quick Ten-Step Refutation of Sola Scriptura [10-10-03]

“Moses’ Seat” & Jesus vs. Sola Scriptura (vs. James White) [12-27-03]

Sola Scriptura and Private Judgment Are Logically Circular [1-28-04; slight modifications and abridgment on 9-5-17]

Difficulties of Authority: Luther, Calvin, & Protestantism [4-11-04]

Sola Scriptura is Self-Defeating and False if Not in the Bible (vs. Kevin Johnson) [5-4-04]

Jerusalem Council vs. Sola Scriptura [9-2-04]

Analyzing Luther / Protestant Traditions of Men Inevitable [9-29-04]

Dialogue: Lutherans, Sola Scriptura, & the Church Fathers [5-29-05]

Levites and the Old Covenant System vs. Sola Scriptura [4-9-06]

OT Levites & Priests: Closer to Sola Scriptura or Catholicism? [4-9-06]

Catholic Rule of Faith and Binding Authority: Old Testament Analogies [4-9-06]

Cardinal Newman: “The Principle of Continuity between the Jewish and Christian Churches” (Catholic Authority) [Facebook, 4-9-06]

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman on the Authoritative Interpretation of God’s Revelation (Over Against Sola Scriptura) [Facebook, 4-9-06]

Sola Scriptura: Church Fathers (?), & Myself (?), by Analogy [2-7-07]

Lutheran Chemnitz Wrong Re Fathers & Sola Scriptura (mostly dealing with St. Irenaeus and Tertullian) [8-29-07]

Lutheran Chemnitz: Errors Re Fathers & Sola Scriptura (including analysis of Jerome, Augustine, Origen, Epiphanius, Ambrose, Lactantius, Athanasius, and Cyprian) [8-31-07]

1 Timothy 3:15: Sola Scriptura or Visible Church Authority? [10-2-07]

Papal Infallibility Doctrine: History (Including Luther’s Dissent at the Leipzig Disputation in 1519) (Related also to the particular circumstances of the origins of sola Scriptura) [10-8-07]

Sola Scriptura Debate (vs. C. Michael Patton) [10-19-08]

Sola Scriptura: Catholic Scholars vs. Apologists on its Illogical Nature? (E.g., Joseph Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Henri de Lubac) [11-13-08]

Unbridled Sectarianism, Sola Scriptura, Luther, & Calvin [6-24-09]

St. Paul’s Word Selection vs. Sola Scriptura [4-3-10]

Dialogue with a Lutheran: Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Nathan Rinne) [10-13-11]

Mass Baptisms in Acts & Future Binding Church Decrees (Cardinal Wiseman) [1-10-12]

Sola Scriptura, 2 Tim 3:16-17, & “Man of God” [1-27-12]

Biblical Argumentation is NOT Sola Scriptura [5-8-12]

Books by Dave Armstrong: 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura [May 2012]

Answer to Sola Scriptura “Prooftexts” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 & Romans 16:15-16 (vs. David T. King) [6-26-12]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
10-Point Biblical Refutation of Sola Scriptura [National Catholic Register, 12-11-16]
*
Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
*
Catholics R More Biblical Than Protestants? (Dialogue) (vs. Dustin Buck Lattimore) [5-3-17]
*
3 Effective Biblical Refutations of Sola Scriptura [National Catholic Register, 11-12-17]
*
David T. King Ignores Sola Scriptura Biblical Disproofs (Incl. lengthy analysis of 2 Peter 1:20: “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”) [11-13-17]
*
*
The New Testament Canon is a “Late” Doctrine [National Catholic Register, 1-22-18]
*
* 
*
*

IV. PERSPICUITY (CLEARNESS) OF SCRIPTURE

***

Baptismal Regeneration: Central Doctrine, According to Luther & Lutheranism [1996]

Dialogue: Clearness (Perspicuity) of Scripture and the Formal Sufficiency of Scripture (vs. Carmen Bryant) [6-8-00]

Dialogue: Church Fathers on Perspicuity & Sola Scriptura [6-11-00]

The Sufficiency & Perspicuity of Scripture & the Trinity [6-16-03; slightly revised on 1-20-04]

The Revised Fundamentalist Baptist Version (RFBV) [5-18-04]

Is the Bible in Fact Clear, or “Perspicuous” to Every Individual? [2007]

Luther: Scripture Easily Grasped by “Plowboys” [11-1-08]

Erasmus’ Hyperaspistes (1526): Sola Scriptura and Perspicuity of Scripture [2-12-09]

25 Brief Arguments Regarding Biblical “Clearness” [2009]

The Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture: A Summary [1-22-10]

The Anglican Newman (1833-1838) on the Falsity of Perspicuity (Clearness) of Holy Scripture [3-7-11]

The Bible: “Clear” & “Self-Interpreting”? [February 2014]

Perspicuity (Clarity) of Holy Scripture [11-21-15]

Protestant Unity on “Central” Doctrines?: Baptism as Test Case (vs. Methodist Philosophy professor Jerry Walls) [1-9-17]

Dialogue on Authoritative Bible Interpretation in the New Testament (vs. Reformed Baptist Elder Jim Drickamer) [1-14-17]

The Clearness, or “Perspicuity,” of Sacred Scripture [National Catholic Register, 11-16-17]

Biblical Interpretation & Clarity: Dialogue w an Atheist [5-26-18]

Is Inspiration Immediately Evident in Every Biblical Book? [National Catholic Register, 7-28-18]

Bible “Difficulties” Are No Disproof of Biblical Inspiration [National Catholic Register, 6-29-19]

*

V. MATERIAL AND FORMAL SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE / RULE OF FAITH
***
*
The Sufficiency & Perspicuity of Scripture & the Trinity [6-16-03; slightly revised on 1-20-04]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
*

VI. THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

***

*
Development of the Biblical Canon: Protestant Difficulties [2-26-02 and 3-19-02, abridged with slight revisions and additions on 7-19-18]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
The New Testament Canon is a “Late” Doctrine [National Catholic Register, 1-22-18]
*
Is Inspiration Immediately Evident in Every Biblical Book? [National Catholic Register, 7-28-18]
*

VII. DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS (SO-CALLED “APOCRYPHA”)

***

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
How to Defend the Deuterocanon (or ‘Apocrypha’) [National Catholic Register, 3-12-17]
*
*
*
***
 
VIII. BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY / ISRAEL
***
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
IX. BIBLICAL ACCURACY / ALLEGED BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS AND DIFFICULTIES   
[see also related papers in the Atheist and Agnostic section]
 

Master List / General / Resources

***

*
*
*
*
*
*

Jesus 

***

*
*
*
*
*
Gadarenes, Gerasenes, Swine, & Atheist Skeptics (vs. Jonathan MS Pearce) [7-25-17]
*
Atheist “Refutes” Sermon on the Mount (Or Does He?) [National Catholic Register, 7-23-17]
*
*
*
*
*
What Does “Turn the Other Cheek” Mean? [National Catholic Register, 7-20-19]
*
*
*
*
*
*
Death of Judas: Alleged Bible Contradictions Debunked (vs. Dave Van Allen and Dr. Jim Arvo) [9-27-07]
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Genesis, Adam and Eve, and Other Early Figures

***

*
*
*
Defending the Historical Adam of Genesis (vs. Eric S. Giunta) [9-25-11]
*
*
Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]
*
“Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” (Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine, 11-24-14)
*
*
*

Modernism vs. History in Genesis & Biblical Inspiration [7-23-18]

Scripture, Science, Genesis, & Evolutionary Theory: Mini-Dialogue with an Atheist [8-14-18; rev. 2-18-19]

Seidensticker Folly #21: Atheist “Bible Science” Absurdities [9-25-18]

Seidensticker Folly #23: Atheist “Bible Science” Inanities, Pt. 2 [10-2-18]

*

Massacres and Wars of Annihilation / God’s Judgment

***

Last Updated on 3 August 2019.

*****

 

July 30, 2019

Libby Anne was raised (like so many atheists I have encountered) as a fundamentalist Protestant and later became an atheist. Her blog on Patheos is called Love, Joy, Feminism. Today I am responding to her piece, “Jesus, the Trinity, and Subterfuge” (7-29-19). I want to focus on her specific claim as to whether Jesus claimed to be God or not. Her words will be in blue.

*****

I spent my evangelical childhood and adolescence studying apologetics; as a young adult, . . . 

I don’t know how she missed all the biblical passages I shall bring to bear, then . . . As I mentioned in a recent reply to another atheist:

It’s one thing to simply state, “I don’t believe or accept what the Bible / Christianity teaches.” We understand that this is (broadly speaking) the position of the atheist.

It’s quite another, on the other hand, to state, “The Bible teaches particulars x, y, and z” . . . which opens one up to the possibility of being shown that the claims made are demonstrably false statements as to fact.

Thus, in the present instance, Libby is making assertions about what Jesus did or did not claim. Thus, it is a discussion of biblical interpretation (hermeneutics) and exegesis). And that is my area. I’ve been doing apologetics for 38 years, with special emphasis on the Bible, both as an evangelical and as a Catholic.

Early Christians argued over who Jesus was precisely because he never directly claimed to be God. He was vague

This is absolutely false, and I will thoroughly refute it below (as the bulk of this reply). But first let me briefly tackle a few other claims she makes.

Seeking to understand the relationship between Jesus and God the Father, early Christians came up with varying ideas—some argued that he was an ordinary person whom God raised up and elevated to some semi-divine level, effectively adopting as his son; others argued that Jesus was God’s son, preceding from him and subject to him. 

This completely ignores the distinction between heresy and orthodoxy. Christianity was clear from the beginning that Jesus was divine, and that the Holy Trinity (albeit less developed than it was later: like all doctrines) was true. Whoever denied these things were heretics (not Christians), and recognized as such by the early Church.

These early Christians, remember, did not have a settled canon of the Bible, and relied instead on a broad array of writings, some of which are now lost.

That’s correct. But the Gospels and several of Paul’s epistles were accepted as canonical fairly early on. And there was a robust apostolic tradition: as can be seen in the writings of early figures like St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp.

The doctrine of the Trinity took hundreds of years and multiple church councils to create. You would think that if it were all that important, Jesus would have been clear about it—what better time for a deity to speak directly to complicated doctrinal issues than when they’re literally here, in person! . . . 

When it comes to the Trinity, the New Testament is confusing at best. If the Bible were at all clear about this, it wouldn’t have taken hundreds of years and multiple church councils to work out the relationship between God and Jesus (don’t even get me started on the Holy Spirit).

All Christian doctrines develop over time, just as, for example, science or philosophy are constantly developing as time goes on. We would fully expect this. Christians (despite constant atheist charges to the contrary) think just like everyone else does. And with thinking comes further understanding — more in-depth knowledge and comprehension — over time. Development of doctrine is my favorite topic in theology and one of my specialties. I have a web page about it and a book as well.

The Holy Trinity is fairly apparent in Holy Scripture itself, as I have contended: though not utterly obvious. It takes a little work and study  to see the whole “biblical picture. I also compiled, as one of my earliest apologetics projects, very lengthy collections of the hundreds of biblical indication for the deity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity. I shall draw from those today.

And that brings us back to our main topic: a reply to Libby’s contention: that Jesus “never directly claimed to be God. He was vague.”

I feel like a mosquito on a nude beach: where to begin? To read the New Testament and miss all these is like looking up in the sky on a clear summer day at noon and not being able to locate the sun. I don’t mean to be crass or insulting, but it’s really just about that bad.

All passages will be from RSV. Jesus’ own words will be in green:

*****

Direct Statements of Jesus’ Equality with God the Father

John 5:17-18, 21-22 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working still, and I am working.” [18] This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.… [21] For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. [22] The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,” (cf. 16:14-15; 17:10)

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man… will repay every man for what he has done. (cf. Rev 22:12; Ps 62:12; Is 40:10)

John 14:7-9 “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” [8] Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” [9] Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (cf. 12:45)

[The Old Testament plainly taught that God was the judge of men:

1 Samuel 2:10 …The LORD will judge the ends of the earth… (cf. Gen 18:25; 1 Chr 16:33; Ps 7:11; 9:8; 96:10; Is 2:4; 33:22)

Psalm 50:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! (cf. 58:11; 67:4; 82:8; 94:2; Jer 11:20)

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (cf. 3:17; Ezek 18:30; 33:20; Joel 3:12)]

John 10:30, 33 “I and the Father are one.”… [33] The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

Eternal and Uncreated

John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he. (cf. 8:28; 13:19; Ex 3:13-15)

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Revelation 1:17 …Fear not, I am the first and the last, (cf. 2:8; 22:13, 16; Is 44:6; 48:12)

Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega,… [identified as Jesus in 22:16] (cf. Rev 1:8; 21:6)

[God alone is eternal and uncreated:

Genesis 21:33 …the LORD, the Everlasting God. (cf. Ex 3:14; Ps 90:2; 93:2; Is 40:28; Hab 1:12)

Romans 16:26 …the eternal God…. (cf. Dt 33:27; Is 57:15; 1 Tim 1:17) ]

Divine “I” 

Jesus teaches in His own authority (“I say to you”) in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:18-34, etc.), and many other passages. The prophets, in contrast, spoke as God’s messengers in the second person (“The Lord says…”). He often talks in a way in which only God could speak. For instance, when He addresses the seven churches in the book of Revelation, He is clearly speaking to them as God (Rev 1:17-3:22). Perhaps the most striking example of this occurs in Matthew 23:

Matthew 23:34, 37 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes… [37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

Eternal Creator

Revelation 3:14 …the beginning [arche] of God’s creation.

Revelation 22:13 I am… the beginning and the end. [identified as Jesus in 22:16] (cf. 21:6)

[Arche is the Greek word for “beginning” — from which we derive our word “architect.” Its literal meaning is “origin, active cause, source, uncreated principle.” Thus, Revelation 3:14 Jesus is saying that He is the “architect” or creator of the universe. In 21:6 arche is also applied to the Father, so it can’t possibly mean “created being.”]

Jesus is Worshiped, and He Accepts Worship

John 5:23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

[God alone is to be worshiped:

Exodus 34:14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), (cf. 20:3)

Deuteronomy 8:19 And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall surely perish. (cf. 11:16; 17:3; 29:26; 30:17; 1 Ki 9:6-9; Jer 16:11; 22:9; 25:6; Dan 3:28)

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” (cf. Mt 4:10) ]

Jesus is Omnipotent

John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. [implied: the Father’s unique characteristics are also possessed by the Son; cf. 2:19; 3:35; 5:19-20; 6:40; 10:17-18; 13:3]

John 10:28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. (cf. Dt 32:39; Jn 10:29)

[God alone is omnipotent:

Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted. (cf. 11:7-11; Prov 19:21; Is 14:27)

Jeremiah 32:17 …Nothing is too hard for thee, (cf. Gen 18:14; Dt 32:39; Ps 33:9; Is 46:10; Jer 32:17; Rom 1:20) ]

Jesus is King of the World

John 18:37 Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world,…” (cf. 1:49; 12:13, 15; 18:36; Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2)

[The Old Testament taught that only God was such a king:

1 Samuel 12:12 …the LORD your God was your king. (cf. Ps 95:3)

Psalm 10:16 The LORD is king for ever and ever; (cf. 24:8, 10; 47:2; 84:3; 98:6; 103:19; Zech 14:9, 16)

Isaiah 33:22 …the LORD is our ruler, the LORD is our king; he will save us. (cf. 43:15; 44:6; Jer 10:10; Mic 4:7; 1 Tim 1:17; Rev 15:3) ]

***

Photo credit: Christ Pantocrator (Church of St. Alexander Nevsky, Belgrade); photo by Petar Milošević (2-20-17) [Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license]

***

May 26, 2019

This is a follow-up discussion: brought about by an atheist’s response to my article, “Atheist vs. Christian Ignorance of the Bible: A Brief Observation.” The words of gusbovona will be in blue.

*****

Atheist here.

1. Part of the problem atheists have with the Bible is that they suspect its god doesn’t care about communication with humans precisely because one must work to figure out exactly what the Bible means. Presumably the god of the Bible would know what would communicate effectively without the danger of mis-interpretation. And, a Bible that requires interpretation looks too much like a Bible with no deity behind it.

All books require interpretation, so why would it be the case, according to you, that somehow the Bible, granting for the sake of argument that it is inspired revelation from God, would be the simplest book in the world? I think that is actually the last thing we would reasonably expect in such a book. If the Bible were so simplistic that any young child could immediately grasp it, we can be assured that it would be roundly mocked by atheists even more than it is now. They would say, “you expect us to believe that this tripe was written by an infinitely intelligent, omniscient God?!” See my article: Why We Should Fully Expect Many “Bible Difficulties”.

It’s not so much a question of simplicity (although an argument can be made for the simpler, the better) as it is of the need for interpretation.

I grant that all writings need interpretation, but some need more than others, and the difference can be vast; the less interpretive difficulty, the better, in general, would you agree?; and the vast amount of interpretive difficulty with the Bible argues for a lack of divine influence.

There is a certain middle ground. I believe that the main doctrines of the Bible are indeed clear, once one attains a fair amount of familiarity with it (learns the basics of hermeneutics and exegesis and systematic theology). Then it’s relatively easy to interpret it. But history shows that folks, generally speaking, need guidance in terms of having definite answers: “the Bible / Christian faith teaches thus-and-so.” That is the role of an authoritative Church and tradition, which the Bible itself teaches the necessity of (I wrote four books about the topic of biblical and Church authority), and which is one of the strongest rationales for Catholicism and Orthodoxy, over against Protestantism.

Theological truth also entails complexities, the more one gets into it, just as science and philosophy do. Philosophers and logicians talk about elegant simplicity, but that doesn’t always hold. Relativity and quantum mechanics and black holes are very complex and counter-intuitive, but they are considered to be profoundly established in physics and astronomy, more so than Newtonian physics, which is simpler and far more intuitive.

The Bible also teaches that men do not understand the Bible and spiritual truths because of their own corruption and rebellion. Hence the Apostle Paul writes: “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14, RSV). And Jesus taught the same:

Matthew 13:10-13 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” [11] And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. [12] For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. [13] This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

This “spiritual” factor understood, it then becomes a causative factor in the ability to interpret Scripture properly. One has to be open to the things of God. If not, they won’t “get it.” And this is what I consistently see in atheist attempts to interpret the Bible. There is no willingness to properly learn (very little intellectual humility), and there is outright hostility. This is why I compare the atheist view of the Bible to a butcher’s view of a hog. The Christian views it as “Shakespeare from God” or as a wonderful painting, that has to be unpacked and revealed to be the marvel that it is. This takes some significant effort and labor, but it’s not at all impossible.

You are still conflating simplicity/complexity and interpretation. My point was about interpretation. Something very simple can still need to be interpreted correctly, and something complex can require very little interpretation.

Yeah, I agree. As I have argued, there are both simple and complex aspects to understanding the Bible and interpreting it.

***

2. Can you give an example of someone disrespecting the Bible?

I provided many in the links in the above paper. Here is one of my personal favorites, though, because of the astonishing and amusing ignorance of the view set forth: Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? (vs. Ed Babinski).

It’s difficult for me to guess exactly what statement in the link you provided that was disrespectful. Can you just quote a single sentence or a paragraph? Or do you mean that mis-interpreting the Bible to contain an absurd cosmology is the disrespect itself?

The latter. But broadly speaking, to ask an apologist like me to list the ways in which atheists disrespect the Bible and Christianity is like asking me what I love about my wife (I’m very happily married). It’s very difficult to answer, because it’s a thousand things. So I provided a list of my articles that deal with this topic. The evidence is ample therein, and in many other dialogues of mine with atheists. Bob Seidensticker is Classic / Textbook Exhibit #1 of atheist biblical ignorance and hubris. And he challenged me to defend the Bible. Once I started doing so and refuting his nonsense, he fell off the face of the earth. What a coincidence . . . Please tell him “hello” from me if you ever talk to him, and let him know I’m still alive and kickin’. :-)

I didn’t ask you to list the ways that atheists disrespect the Bible. I asked you for an example. I can take the example of Biblical cosmology, but I didn’t want you think I was asking for a list, or even an exhaustive list.

***

3. You appear to trust your “long experience in dialogue” over a scientific study. Are you aware of the dangers of accepting one’s long experience in an empirical matter?

The topic is very complex. As I noted: “People have differing levels of understanding in all human groups.” It would highly depend on how the research was conducted (unfortunately, the link I thought I made to the study is not there), but, as with any large group, one has to take into account differing degrees of education. Thus, if we surveyed “Christians” completely at random, sure, we would see a lot of ignorance, since most Christians (to our shame) are poorly educated in theology: which is a large reason why I became a professional apologist.

The comparison needs to be between educated Christians, who understand Christian doctrine, and atheists who also have a fair degree of biblical knowledge (or claim to, anyway). This is where my experience in dialogue becomes quite relevant, because I think I have demonstrated over and over, that many atheists who make out that they are such experts on the Bible, are far from it. So, for instance, one could consider my 32 refutations of one atheist who makes these claims: Bob Seidensticker (I see that you follow his blog). He shows himself to be biblically and theologically ignorant (in matters of simple fact) and out to sea again and again.

Or one could observe how abominably ignorant Richard Dawkins: one of the most renowned atheists, is about Bible matters, in my paper on that: Richard Dawkins’ “Bible Whoppers” Are the “Delusion”.

In other words, what we need to do is compare the most knowledgeable in each camp, not take some survey of Joe Blow Christian on the street vs. the typical atheist, who is usually relatively more educated (because they are usually persuaded to be an atheist in hyper-secularized academic settings).

I think you misunderstand my comment. I wasn’t talking about you disagreeing with atheists like Seidensticker, I was talking about you reaching a conclusion based on your personal experience even though it differed from a scientific study:

Grimlock: 

If the average atheist’s knowledge of the Bible is abominable, the average Christian seems to be even worse off. (At least in the US.) [source from Pew Research]

You: 

So I reject a view that holds that they are more ignorant of the Bible (as an entire class) than atheists. It’s a joke. And I know so for certain, from my own long experience in dialogue.

The two things are not mutually exclusive. As I have explained my view in much greater depth, it is seen, I think, that it’s perfectly complimentary to any of these studies. I freely grant that Christians en masse are scandalously ignorant of theology, too. So it is necessary to compare the “cream of the crop” of both camps, to make a penetrating, insightful comparison. You have to get a theologian or apologist like myself up against a proclaimed atheist “expert” on the Bible, to see how each party fares.

It seems to me that a survey that says that Christians know less about the Bible than atheists do is mutually exclusive with a conclusion (in your case, drawn on personal experience) that rejects the idea that Christians are more ignorant of the Bible than atheists.

***

 

Photo credit: Tobias Van Der Elst (7-16-17): Morteratsch, Canton of Graubunden, Switzerland [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]

***

April 29, 2019

Google Analytics Blows That Out of the Water

Popular online atheist and anti-theist polemicist Bob Seidensticker and one of his clone-sycophants claimed that I was trying to use his site merely to drum up traffic on mine. Their words will be in green and blue, respectively.

*****

This is the guy that I banned, and explained why in great detail (because he’s a big shot atheist online). Three days later I saw this nonsense. There was a huge flatulent fuss on his site: a “feeding frenzy” against me. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever observed online (and that’s sayin’ somethin’!). One of the more entertaining and humorous motifs among many (I almost lost my dinner, laughing) was this charge, that I blew out of the water with objective facts:

“MR”: Clearly using you to try to drum up traffic to his site. Not sure how that helps him when he just turns around and bans everyone. Guy seems a little mental to me, though. This isn’t normal behavior unless you’re a 13 year old.

Bob Seidensticker: Is he just trying to get clicks on his posts?? Pathetic. [link]

Nice try. First of all, I was second in traffic for the last month of records at Patheos Catholic, out of some 65 blogs. Secondly, we have a way to actually see what is generating traffic, called Google Analytics (Bob can do this for his site, too). Checking out mine for the period of July 1st to now, I see that the top ten most-visited posts have nothing to do with atheism:

1. Cain and his wife
2. Chappaquiddick
3. Papal guidance
4. Death penalty
5. Biblical canon
6. Death penalty
7. Early development of the papacy
8. Luther’s view of priestly celibacy
9. Titles: “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic”
10. Death penalty

Looking at the next ten most popular, I see two articles about atheism. Two out of top 20 hardly suggests that I have to rely on Bob‘s site (or any atheist site or interaction with them) to drive traffic to mine. It’s ridiculous, and those are the objective stats to prove it. This isn’t a normal “argument” unless you are a three-year-old.

To his credit, Bob acknowledged the stats (he could hardly deny them), but then he just made another potshot:

As for MR’s comment, he’s just trying to make sense of your actions. And they don’t make sense. And that could just be our fault–we assume that acting like a thoughtful adult is the best route. If you’re succeeding by being a petulant schoolyard bully, that is surprising.

[For those who would like to see multitudinous examples of Bob and his clone-followers acting like “thoughtful adult[s]” be sure to visit just the one “discussion” thread which was a “feeding frenzy” against me. You’ll see in about thirty seconds that his standards for discourse are vastly different than mine. It will be most “enlightening”, I guarantee. Bob complained about my merely posting what he and others said about me in this thread, and wanted me to take it down. Too bad: live with it! It’s public. If I am to be lied about by a bunch of fools, the very least I can do in response, is simply expose the idiotic inanities]

MR, undaunted, continued on in the face of all evidence:

Still doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to use Bob to drum up traffic to your site. And your behavior is still that of a 13 year old, though it appears others appear to find you even more immature. Have you been drinking or something? This is not normal behavior.

***

For those who would like to see how Seidensticker attempts to “argue” against Christianity and the Bible, I have now written 32 direct refutations of his nonsense (after he himself challenged me to make replies): all completely ignored by him.

My banning of him on my blog and Facebook page has no relation to whether or not he can answer. These posts are public to all. All he has to do is reply on his blog, and then notify me of it by email: apologistdave [at] gmail [dot] com. Then I will counter-reply. But he can’t use the lame excuse that his banning on my blog makes it impossible for him to reply. Thus, it appears that he is intellectually (not technically) unable to do so.

Lastly, Bob himself bans people from his blog. He banned me. Many (if not most) atheists do so (to different degrees, but they definitely do). They are no different from Christians in that regard. I ban when someone doesn’t abide by my simple rules of conduct, which have been consistently enforced the entire 22-year time that my blog has been online. Absolutely anyone is welcome and will not be banned, as long as they conduct themselves in a civil fashion. Banning has absolutely nothing to do with what a person believes, and everything to do with how he or she conducts himself. I’m sure I’ve banned far more Christians than atheists.

***

(originally 8-11-18 on Facebook)

Photo credit: GregReese (11-16-18) [PixabayPixabay License]

***

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives