Wednesday, May 21, 2008

James White on Steve Ray.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 turned out to be an interesting day, of sorts, for the Beachbum. I had just received the 4th, and final, volume of the English translation project of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. As I sat down at my desk to begin my reading of the tome, I looked down at my watch and saw that it was 10:55 (PDT), and for some unknown reason The Dividing Line flashed to the fore of my thoughts from the deep reassesses of my mind. It had been well over a month since I had last listened to a live broadcast of James White’s webscast program, so I thought I would ‘multi-task’ and listen in while I read Bavinck. At the end of the webcast, I immediately wanted to jump into the fray, and type up my musings; but instead, I chose to get a workout in. (I want to thank James for that extra bit of energy which allowed me to set a personal record of reps (15) with 210 lbs., in the bench press [grin].) After my workout, I thought it best to refrain from making any comments until I could download Tuesday’s webcast, which would enable me to type up accurate quotes, rather than just paraphrases from my memory.

Now, before I proceed to provide some extracts from the Tuesday program (HERE), I would first like to bring to mind the introduction that is played before each webcast: “The apostle Peter commanded Christians to be ready to give a defense for the hope that is within us, yet to give that answer with gentleness and reverence.” Let’s see how well James lives up to that opening…

After a somewhat benign commentary concerning technical difficulties that he had been dealing with, James finally gets to his main topic for the Tuesday program: Steve Ray. Approximately 5 minutes into the program James states:

“…once again, you may recall a few weeks ago, we were, uhhh, uhhh, looking at some of the stuff Steve Ray was saying; and Steve Ray likes to go around and, uhhh (clears throat)—in case you are wondering who Steve Ray is, uhhh, we like to say he pretends to be Indiana Jones…

Right then, I got the impression that the program was going to be yet another diatribe directed at popular Catholic apologetics. After attempting to defend his opening remarks about Steve Ray, James then takes a quick shot at Tim Staples, and the follows that with these gems: “this is the, is one of the best they got, wow, amazing”; “this is top notch stuff, wow…absolutely amazing”. James then gets a bit worked-up over some of the plaudits that the host, Teresa Tomeo, of Catholic Connections recently bestowed upon Steve Ray during the radio program, providing some more, “insightful” commentary.

Before getting to the actual clips from Teresa Tomeo's Catholic Connections radio program that gave rise to main thrust of The Dividing Line webcast, James takes 2 unrelated phone calls, and then finally returns back to the Steve Ray topic at the beginning to the second ½ hour; it is in this second ½ hour that James’ diatribe picks up some real steam. He titillates his listeners with subjective assessments that include: “his [Steve Ray] form of Protestantism was not exactly, ummmmm, the deepest, and the result of a lot of meaningful study”; “I would have to identify, Steve Ray has not advanced beyond the Jack Chick level of apologetics, even as a Catholic; he [Steve Ray] uses the same mindset Jack Chick uses against Roman Catholics”.

James then gets to the primary reason why I decided (probably against better judgment) to type up this post: Steve Ray’s “abuse of the early Church Fathers.” James’ states that Steve “takes a theology developed a thousand years later” and reads it back into the writings of the early Church Fathers. James is absolutely correct on this! Fact is, many apologists (Catholic and Protestant) are guilty of James’ charge; BUT SO IS JAMES!!!

In my April 23, 2008 post (HERE), I provided a quote from the pen of the Baptist patristic scholar D.H. Williams that lends concrete evidence for James’ own “abuse of the early Church Fathers.”

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I shall provide further evidence of the “abuse of the early Church Fathers”, on the part of James, this time from his book The God Who Justifies.

In the meantime, I would like all to reflect upon the following words from our Lord:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 – KJV.)

Amen Jesus, amen.

Grace and peace,


No comments: