Monday, May 25, 2009

A response to: Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Avoiding Landmines in Roman Catholic Apologetics

I ran across a blog post titled:Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Avoiding Landmines in Roman Catholic Apologetics, I thought it was finally going to be an honest piece about the mature discussion of Apologetics, boy was I wrong.

He gives a list of what he considers arguments to be avoided, he doesn't believe any of them to be wrong, just to be avoided. First, he states that "Rome should be identified with the Whore of Babylon and that the Pope is the Antichrist." but that Anti-catholic apologists should not actually say that.

The second is that the sexual abuse allegation "may even be the necessary and natural outworking of the celibate priesthood that Rome imposes" and that they are "simply a reason not to make your son an altar boy or your daughter a nun" This is a gross over-generalization and surely not a reason to deprive your child of the privilege of serving at the altar or to discourage them from entering a religious life. It implies that sexual abuse is widespread and in every parish when just the opposite is true. It is blatently dishonest.

Next, he alleges "doctrines within Roman Catholicism are not static and modern Catholicism's beliefs do not much resemble the beliefs taught in the Bible or believed in the early church" This is of course another gross generalization. His post is quickly becoming a bad apologetics post.

Next is the myth of Catholic disunity on many issues. While this is true on some issues, the idea that there are few "official catholic positions" is ludicrous, the Catechism gives the "offical Catholic position, on many issues, the Dogmas of faith are non-negotiable and there are lists of those available but the author makes no attempt to point his readers to these resources, in fact he makes no attempt to point them to sources of good information at all!

In his segment titled "Martyrologies" I must give him credit. That was well written and spot on.

In his section 6 titled " Arguments You Don't Understand" he makes the understatement of the year, he says "If you don't understand them (scriptural arguments), though, you have no business using them." Boy is that true, he goes on to list scriptural arguments he clearly does not understand.

He goes on to list some good advice, that apologists should be honest, not be arrogant.

He goes on to reinforce his belief that Catholics are not Christians, and actually calls those who believe that they are "bad apologists". He concludes with "Our regard, generally speaking, of the lost condition of Romanists is (contrary to their complaints) a judgment of charity, because it exhibits a concern for their never-dying souls, and should always be kept in mind in dealing with them. This regard for their lost condition is not because we bear them animosity, but because we care for their souls."

A word of advice to Turretin, if you want to "evangelize" Catholics, don't call us "Romanists". If you do, don't expect us to listen. You should add a new "landmine" that you missed, avoid name calling. It is juvenile and gets you nowhere.

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