If James White is to Win the Debate . . .

This made me laugh and admittedly, I never thought it through and made many assumptions on received authority (seminary professors?) without studying history. . . the author makes some grammatical errors, but the list is pretty eye-opening . . . for kicks no doubt and smarty discussions around the campfire . . .

Fifty Things You “Must Believe” In Order For James White To Win The Debate…

  1. That the OT canon was closed 200 years before Christ, despite the fact that no contemporary documents from this period were aware of such a closure.
  1. That the closed canon contained the entire Protestant canon, despite the fact that there is no document from this period produces a list of books.
  1. That the closed canon contained only the Protestant canon, despite the fact that there is no document from this period gives us the number of sacred books.
  1. That no one could add books to this fixed canon, despite the fact that the deuterocanonical books and others present themselves as inspired writings, which should not have been permissible.
  1. That Philo purposefully omitted any references to the deuterocanon, even though only 50 of the 2050 citations are taken from the categories of the Prophets and the Writings.
  1. That Jesus and his contemporaries accepted only those books in the Protestant canon, even though the New Testament does not provide a list, enumeration of books, or clear-cut threefold subdivision of Scripture.
  1. That the three fold division of “the Law, the Prophets and the Writings” excludes the deuterocanonical books, despite the fact that the Talmud, Jerome, Hilary, Origen, Epiphanius and others say that they could be included in this subdivision.
  1. That the “Zechariah” should be the son of Jehoiada (which Luke 11.51 does not say) and not the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah (which Matthew 23.35 does say).
  1. That the Talmud and Mishna was right when it put Chronicles as the last book of the Writings, but that the oldest Hebrew Codices (Leningrad and Aleppo) were wrong when they place Chronicles as the first book of the Writings.
  1. That the reference to the “blood of Abel” is Scriptural proof for the Protestant canon, even though Scripture never states that the last prophet to be murdered by the Jews must be recorded in the last book of the OT.
  1. That the New Testament purposefully refrains from quoting the deuteros, but it does not purposefully refrain from quoting Esther, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and numerous others.
  1. Beckwith is correct to identify only one authoritative quote from the deuteros as Scripture in the Apostolic Fathers, while such scholars as Oesterley, Roberts & Donaldson, Migne, Muilenburg, Kraft, Lake, Westcott, F.X. Glimm, Goodspeed, R.M. Grant, Harnack, Kleist, Knopf, J. B. Lightfoot, C.C. Richardson and Sparks were all mistaken.
  1. That the few paragraphs dedicated to the Apostolic Fathers in Beckwith is definitive, but R. J. Brabban’s entire doctorial dissertation to focus exclusively on this topic is not.
  1. That Rabbi Akiba was wrongly identified Bar Kokba as the Messiah and wrongly rejected the books of the New Testament as uninspired, but in the next breath correctly rejected the deuterocanon.
  1. That the Theodotion was right in omitting the deuterocanonicals from his translation, but the ancient church was wrong accepting only Theodotion’s translation of Daniel (which included the deuterocanonical sections).
  1. That Melito of Sardis didn’t know which books were read as sacred Scripture in his own church. (It’s a good thing Onessimus asked him about the canon).
  1. That Melito inexplicably ignored the large Jewish population in Sardis, choosing instead to travel to all the way to Palestine to receive an answer that he could have received if he had knocked on the Synagogue next door.
  1. That Melito was right to consult the rabbis in Palestine to get the canon, but wrong when he omitted the book of Esther and include the book of Wisdom in his list.
  1. That Josephus comments on Jew’s estimation of the twenty-two books could not have been an exaggeration, even though the statements that immediately followed were demonstrably false and highly exaggerated.
  1. That Josephus was right when he affirmed that the Pentateuch and Joshua as books being “laid up” in the Temple, but wrong when he asserts that his Antiquities of the Jews, (which used deutero-Esther and First Maccabees) were based upon the “priestly books.”
  1. That Epiphanius is a true witness to the canon in his mystical contemplation in On Weights and Measures, but a false witness in the Panarion when he includes Wisdom and Sirach among the Scriptures.
  1. That Hilary of Portiers was true witness to the canon when he gave a twenty-two-books, but a false witness he give a twenty-four-book canon that included Tobit and Judith in the very next sentence.
  2. That Origen was correct in stating that there is a twenty-two book canon, but wrong when he included Maccabees and omitted the twelve minor prophets.
  1. That Origen was right when he said that Wisdom “was not accepted by all,” but wrong when he only identified was the Jews that the detractors.
  1. That Cyril of Jerusalem was right when he excluding the deuteros from his canon, but wrong when he excluded them from the “apocrypha.”
  1. That Athanasius, the great defender of the faith, was a hypocrite when he instructed the churches in his 39th Festal Letter not treat the deuteros as Scripture, while he himself used them as inspired Scripture in his other writings.
  1. Athanasius was right in excluding the deuteros from the canon, but wrong when he stated the “canononical books” alone was not entirely accurate and it was
    necessary to also add the deuteros.
  1. That Athanasius was right when he omitted the deuteros among the “canonical books,” but wrong when he placed Esther outside the canon and explicitly included Baruch.
  1. That Athanasius was right when excluded deuteros from the canon, but wrong when he also excluded them from the apocrypha.
  1. The primitive Church was right in inheriting the Jewish practice of reading the inspired Scripture in a special station during worship, but wrong when it prescribed that the deuteros were to be read in that station.
  1. That the fathers, who knew Hebrew, knew the correct canon, but the steady stream of Jewish converts from time of Christ until the fourth century, who had perfect knowledge of Hebrew and the Jewish laws, did not know the true canon so as to advocate a change to the rabbinical canon.
  1. That Isodore of Seville, who knew Hebrew, was correct when he listed the Protestant canon, but was incorrect later in the same section when he stated that the deuteros were also Scripture equally divine and authoritative.
  1. That Jerome, who relied on demonstrably false understanding of the textual history of the OT, he nevertheless identified the true canon, but that the Bride of Christ for over three hundred years had falsely attested to the inspired status of the dueteros?
  1. That Jerome was a true witness to the Christian Old Testament canon, but the councils of Rome, Hippo, Carthage II and IV are not.
  2. That F. F. Bruce was right when he denied the inspired status of the deuteros, but wrong when he claimed that the African councils simply reaffirmed the common belief of the time.
  1. Jerome’s adoption of the post Bar Kokba canon correctly represented views of his time, but Jerome’s disciple, Exuperius, was wrong to question Jerome opinion by enquiring to Innocent I as to which books are included in Scripture.
  1. That those Christians who followed the common Christian Bible in the form of the Old Latin, the Vulgate, and the oldest Codices of the LXX which had the deuteros intermixed with the other books of the OT was deceived, but that any person who quoted Jerome’s critical prefaces were part of an enlightened “scholarly tradition.”
  1. The medieval scholars were right when they quoted Jerome, but wrong when they quoted the deuteros as inspired Scripture in their other writings.
  1. That Wycliff was right when he parroted Jerome’s prefaces in his translation, but wrong when he quoted the deuteros to confirm doctrine.
  1. That Martin Luther was wrong in 1517 when he quoted the deuteros as canonical Scripture against Maccolini, but was right in 1518, when after being cornered by Johann Eck Luther denied Maccabees canonical status.
  1. Calvin was wrong in the 1536 edition of the Institutes where in several places he calls Baruch a Prophet, but right in the 1539 edition when these embarrassing remarks were expunged.
  1. That Cajetan was right when he raised Jerome above every Christian councils and teachers in regards to the canon, but wrong when he raised Jerome every biblical exegete and interpreter as well.
  1. That the early Reformers were wrong when they considered the deuteros part of Scripture, but right when they said that these Scriptures “apocrypha” could not confirm doctrine.
  1. That the 1611 KJV did not witness to the faith when it included the deuteros cross-referenced to the New Testament text, but the 1623 KJV did witness to the faith when these were removed in subsequent editions.
  1. The 1537 Matthews Bible was right when it labeled the deuterocanon as apocrypha, but the 1539 and 1540 editions were wrong when they changed the title to the “Hagiographa” – “holy writings”
  1. The Great Bible was right in those editions that it labeled the deuterocanon apocrypha, but wrong when it labeled the deuterocanon “the Hagiographa” and “the Fourth part of the Bible.”
  1. That the Thirty-Nine Articles correctly witnessed to the Protestant Faith when it quoted Jerome as excluding the deuterocanon as apocrypha, but it falsely witnessed to that Faith in the Thirty-Fifth Article when it prescribes the reading of the Book of Homilies as containing “…godly and wholesome doctrine and necessary for these times.” Yet these Homilies use the deuteros explicitly as inspired Scripture.
  1. That the learned John Whitgift was wrong when he claimed that the deuterocanonicals were Scripture and ought not to be called “apocrypha”, but the Puritans, who (as Goodspeed contends) rejected the deuteros simply because of their sensational nature were correct.
  1. The 1531 Zuruch Bible was wrong when it claimed that the fathers said that the deuterocanonical books were to be read publicly in the Church, but the Olivetan Bible, Matthews Bible, 1560 Geneva Bible were right when they claimed that the father prescribed that they should not be read publicly in the Church, but only in secret.
  1. That the Council of Trent added books to the Bible in reaction to Protestantism even though the Council Fathers voted early on to “pure and simply” repeat the canon given at the Council of Florence hundreds of years before the Reformation.
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Nietzche the Lutheran?

“For he who sows to his flesh will from the flesh reap corruption…” (St. Paul, The Letter to the Galatians 6:8a)

A parable: So young Friedrich Nietzsche toiled in his mind and heart about following the clerical path and becoming a Lutheran minister. Theology or Philosophy? In a fit of confusing rage, he threw his fist up at God and demanded absolute proof of God’s existence. “Show me you are real and I will do as you say! Come down to me in my study and show me you are there!” Well, it didn’t happen. How arrogant. How myopic. What hubris! For God to make special appearances at the whim of creation is mind-numbing and well, redundant. Redundant? Sure, it’s happened multiple times, but definitively in the Incarnation of the Son of God in the manger—“phenomenal cosmic power… itty, biddy living space.”

So, Nietzsche chose the path of unbelief. After all, existentialism is all about choices and living with the consequences right? A blind leap of faith into atheism. Being consistent with the Lutheran “either/or,” he chose poorly, spending the remainder of his intellectual pursuits mocking the Christian religion and Christian morality. He wildly embraced the metaphysical assumptions of pure Darwinism and struggled to be the ubermensche trying to consistently live out the moral consequences of a life without God. Doing as he pleased, viewing himself as the latest development in the evolutionary food chain, he succumbed to his baser, irrational instinct and unleashed the vice of rabid sensuality and visited brothels after his lectures in philosophy. Hmm.

Well, I’m not sure how Nietzsche’s authentic, transparent and “being real” existentialism held together when he contracted syphilis. I guess he had to be the ubermensche and continue mocking Christian morality to the end… you know, dumb ideas like “Thou shalt not commit adultery” and Jesus limiting only legitimate sexual expressions for the marital bliss of perpetual and permanent fidelity between one man and one woman. Utter nonsense to be sure.

So, philosophy students would come see Nietzsche after classes at the asylum where he spent the last ten years of his life. Every day, apparently at the same time of day, the great god-hater and nihilist would come out of his chambers, go to the rusty piano, begin banging on it with his elbows bellowing German folk songs at the top of his lungs. He died in 1900.

Interesting how syphilis “corrupts” the brain matter…

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My Argument Against God

November 4, 2013 Leave a comment

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I com­paring this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: A fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: Just as, if there were no light in the uni­verse and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

Categories: CS Lewis

All Hallow’s Eve

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Joseph Johnson:

An oldie but a goodie… Halloween is a Christian Holyday :)

Originally posted on Further Up & Further In:


hristendom or Christian culture emerged in the pagan world as a conquering force; in the words of Isaac Watts, “He’s come to make his blessing flow far as the curse is found.” The West was profoundly changed and transformed as a result of the spread of Christianity. Hence, Christendom emerged as paganism was suppressed. People often accuse the Christian church for having pagan origins—they are partly right.

Wherever the Gospel has been proclaimed, paganism has been suppressed. Where there have been pagan holidays and celebrations, which are as CS Lewis said only shadows of the real truth, the Christian church has pre-empted them with Christian meaning and replaced their pagan observance with the victory of the Son of God.

All Saints Day was moved to November 1 in the 8th century after a speech “of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just…

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A Theological Novum

September 12, 2013 Leave a comment

I found this disturbing a few years ago…

Reformed Protestantism’s historic distinction between the passive or imputed righteousness of Christ given in justification, and the active or infused righteousness given in sanctification, has its genesis in Luther’s thought. Prior to Luther justification had been tied to regeneration, so that the forgiveness of sins was viewed not merely as a forensic declaration of the believer’s status as righteous before God, but as a process whereby the believer is actually made righteous. In this way, as Alister McGrath has pointed out, Luther introduced a theological novum into the Western church tradition ‘which marks a complete break with the tradition up to this point.’

Ted Dorman, Quidlibet Journal

Alister McGrath, Iustitia Dei, p. 182ff

Categories: Theologia, Worth Quoting

On the flip side…

This morning I was pondering the irony of the fact that non-Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is headed by a man when the reason I am a Catholic is because it’s headed by Christ. On the flip side, Protestants believe their churches are headed by Christ when, all too often, they are cults of personality and headed by charismatic men and women who gather thousands around them because of their attractive and lively personalities and ability to arouse an emotional response.

– Jill Souder Dembroff

Man in Revolt

Joseph Johnson:

“. . . They are all the sons of God.”

Originally posted on Further Up & Further In:

‎”THE pessimist is commonly spoken of as the man in revolt. He is not. Firstly, because it requires some cheerfulness to continue in revolt, and secondly, because pessimism appeals to the weaker side of everybody, and the pessimist, therefore, drives as roaring a trade as the publican. The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to persuade all the other people how good they are. It has been proved a hundred times over that if you really wish to enrage people and make them angry, even unto death, the right way to do it is to tell them that they are all the sons of God.”

~GK Chesterton: ‘The Defendant.’

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