What Is The Church?
An IRC Discussion from #CathApol on December 30, 1999

This is an IRC discussion that turned into a debate quite quickly. There are some good arguments made here, and then, as you can see, some heavy "dodging" techniques utilized by the Calvinist challengers. It seems when they got cornered, they changed the subject or started cracking jokes - just about anything to derail the discussion. Well, before anymore ado, check it out. My email address is at the end, if you would like to comment.

On January 17, 2000, I had another discussion with NSA and Gots.  NSA was a bit upset with the commentary here, so I told him I would revisit it.  He claimed that I was trying to humiliate and belittle the Calvinist challengers here.  This was not my intent, so after reviewing the commentary, I have made some additional remarks and a correction.  The changes made on the 17th are presented in navy blue (as here).  NSA's exact words were:

[00:45] <NSAStudnt> Ok, fine, Scott...just leave it as is, then. I just don't like being portrayed as an idiot by someone who clearly didn't listen to a word I said

Honestly, I did not see where I portrayed NSA "an idiot," in actuality, quite the contrary.  Perhaps NSA was feeling guilty by association because of the way some of his compadres behaved?  Anyway, I have added some to the text, if you have already read this, look for the blue or red text for additions.

Original IRC discussion
This comes from a logfile that was sent to me. One of the Protestant challengers kidded about me putting this on the web. I didn't comment, because I wasn't logging - but since someone sent it to me, here it is. This side contains the original discussion, the right side contains my commentary.
Commentary by Scott Windsor, aka BigSCOTT, after the discussion.
Before you continue, I openly admit that it is much easier to go back after-the-fact and come up with answers and/or critique of this discussion. I would also encourage any of the other participants to do the same thing. In fact, they could copy the code from this page to their own, and add a <td> Their comments </td> after each of my comments, which would turn this into a three column page.

Session Start: Thu Dec 30 1999

*** Now talking in #CathApol

*** Topic is 'Sola Ecclesia includes Scriptura, Gratia, Fides AND Traditio! (http://www.a2z.org/acts/cathapol)

*** Set by X on Sun Dec 12 

<Wolf_Song> hi

<BV> gday wolf, NSA

<Wolf_Song> hi bv

<NSAStudnt> Hello

<Wolf_Song> whats up?

<NSAStudnt> not much

<NSAStudnt> enjoying break from school, but trying to motivate myself to keep up with my Latin

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Wolf_Song> Ah, I love latin

<Wolf_Song> nope, don't know much, but what I know I love

<NSAStudnt> Me too, but I've had trouble with motivation since break started

<Wolf_Song> ic

<Wolf_Song> I think the angels may speak Latin :)

* NSAStudnt stares wistfully at the HUGE stack of vocab cards in front of him.

<Wolf_Song> :)

<Wolf_Song> Know what I used to do when I had studying to do that seemed daunting?

<NSAStudnt> what?

<Wolf_Song> I would take that work down to the beach.

<Wolf_Song> Sit on a little bench

<Wolf_Song> have a cup of coffee or soft drink

<Wolf_Song> play music on low

<Wolf_Song> and begin

<Wolf_Song> helps

<Wolf_Song> :)

<NSAStudnt> alas, no beaches around here.   :(

<Wolf_Song> mountains?

<Wolf_Song> where are you?

<NSAStudnt> Idaho

<Wolf_Song> Ah, there must be a beautiful peaceful place for you to go and enjoy the studying :)

<NSAStudnt> I dunno.  USually do it in front of the 'puter

<Wolf_Song> ikkk

<Wolf_Song> thats no fun

<NSAStudnt> probably why I don't get much done!

<Wolf_Song> Well, thats my suggestion

<NSAStudnt> Hard to study when there's so many Catholic apologists to have fun with.  :)

<Wolf_Song> like whom :)? May I ask?

<NSAStudnt> Well, folks here, on AOL, on Steve Ray's board, etc....

<Wolf_Song> so, how do you have fun with them?

<NSAStudnt> HOw do you think?

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Wolf_Song> I don't remember what brand of prot you are sorry?

<NSAStudnt> "Brand"....lol

<Wolf_Song> err didn't mean to add the ?

<NSAStudnt> I'm "brand x"

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Wolf_Song> which is???

<Wolf_Song> Calvinist by any chance?

<NSAStudnt> But of course...except I try to downplay the wrongheaded idea of identifying key elements of the Gospel with a sixteenth century man.  :)

<Wolf_Song> "wrongheaded idea of identifying key elements of the Gospel with a sixteenth century man." What's that mean?

<NSAStudnt> Well, it's like Charles Spurgeon said: "Calvinism is just a horrible nickname for the Gospel".  THe Gospel was around LONG before Calvin ever lived, of course

<Wolf_Song> You're kidding aren't you?  Calvin's interpretation of the Gospel was around long b4 Calvin???

<NSAStudnt> Of course.  St Augustine. 

<NSAStudnt> And before that, Paul

<NSAStudnt> :)

This sounded like an interesting conversation, however, Wolf_Song had another question to ask.

<Wolf_Song> uh of cours this is not so but I have a question for you b4 we get into that

<Wolf_Song> are all Calvinists presupositionalists? Sorry I'm a lousy speller

<NSAStudnt> so you're saying Augustine did NOT hold to what Calvin and Luther said about free will and predestination?

<NSAStudnt> Bzzzt!

<NSAStudnt> No, all Calvinists are not presuppositionalists.  I am not, for instance

<Wolf_Song> OK

<Wolf_Song> One more question

<Wolf_Song> I think I understand what presup is but I want your "take" to see if I'm correct or close, ok?

<NSAStudnt> Ok

<Wolf_Song> Presups believe what they believe, including in God because they presuppose it to be true. Am I at least close?

<NSAStudnt> That's what they say,yes

<Wolf_Song> :)

<NSAStudnt> why?

<Wolf_Song> I have found that it is impossible to really discuss religion with a presupositionalist

<Wolf_Song> What is your opinion as opposed to a presup person

<Wolf_Song> ?

<NSAStudnt> IT can be frustrating.  Though I am sympathetic to some of their points

<Wolf_Song> that is, how do you differ?

<NSAStudnt> I am a "classical apologist".  I believe that the classical theistic proofs are demonstrative, for one thing

<Wolf_Song> IE Aquinas?

*** Calvinist (jchan3@mon-pq8-55.netcom.ca) has joined #CathApol

<NSAStudnt> Yes

<Wolf_Song> hi cal

<NSAStudnt> Hi Calvinist...reinforcements.   :)

<Calvinist> hehe

<Calvinist> :)

<Wolf_Song> ok, then what part of the presups are you sympathetic to?

<Wolf_Song> also not good at grammar :)

<NSAStudnt> The idea that ultimate standards cannot be subjected to penultimate standards.

<Wolf_Song> I'll bet you are wondering what I'm doing here :)

<Wolf_Song> another fella with them big words :)

<Wolf_Song> translate penultimate

<NSAStudnt> less than ultimate

<NSAStudnt> Iow, God's Word authenticates itself primarily (however, there may be secondary things that witness to it, like the Church, manuscript evidence, etc)

NSAStudnt, (hereafter NSA) states that not all Calvinists are presuppositionalists, and Wolf_Song (hereafter Wolf), clarifies what her take on presuppositionalism is, at least in the eyes of NSA.

Then, NSA makes two claims that need to be addressed,

  1. God's Word authenticates itself...
  2. there may be secondary things that witness to it, like the Church, manuscript evidence, etc.)
1) How does God's Word authenticate itself? How can anything that is written authenticate itself. Rather, God's Word is authenticated by God's Church.
2) The Church is not secondary to the Bible. The Bible is the recording of the Church's history! Without the Church's existence, what would the Bible be recording? So then how can the Church be secondary to the Bible?

(Calvinist joins now too)

<Wolf_Song> When you say "Church" to whom or what entitiy do you refer?

<NSAStudnt> Not the one you're talking about!   :)

<Wolf_Song> whom or what entitiy do you refer?

<NSAStudnt> The total aggregate of those who accept the Bible as God's word.  That may include some Catholics, but is not limited to them

I found NSA's last comment interesting. He does accept Catholics, at least some of them, as part of the "Church."  We just haven't nailed down what "the Church" is in his eyes.

<Wolf_Song> hmmm

<NSAStudnt> In other words, Rome is not the sum total of "the Catholic church"

No, Rome is not the "sum total" of "the Catholic Church." We do not ignore the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. The key is not that Rome is in charge of every little move of every single Catholic in every parish around the world. The key is that all true Christians are united in Christ through the representative He chose to "Feed (His) Sheep."

<Wolf_Song> where is the consensus in all this?

<NSAStudnt> What do you mean where is the consensus?

<Wolf_Song> well, you just mentioned a whole lot of people, and it seems amorphus to me sorry spelling again

<Wolf_Song> Scott, are you lurking here :) ?

<NSAStudnt> NOt amorphous.  Seems that way to you probably because you think "the Church" has to subsist in a single visible body that is identical everywhere

<Wolf_Song> I'm trying to get a "handle" on who or what entity is Church to you and I can't get my finite mind around it

<Wolf_Song> I can't determine who you think is Church so that we can listen to them also

So Wolf is narrowing the discussion down to "What is the Church?"

NSA answers below with a (quoted) textbook response.

<NSAStudnt> What Is the Church? The Church is an assembly of the faithful called or gathered out of the world; a communion, I say, of all saints, namely, of those who truly know and rightly worship and serve the true God in Christ the Savior, by the Word and Holy Spirit, and who by faith are partakers of all benefits which are freely offered through Christ.

<NSAStudnt> Second Helvetic Confession, Chapter XVII

So another question that could be asked here, "To be serving the True God in Christ the Savior, one should follow the Church that Christ established. Since Jesus declared that Simon, who in the same context would be renamed to `Rock,' would be upon whom His Church would be built (Matt. 16:18), shouldn't `True Followers of Christ (Christians) be members of the Church that is united under the Successor of Simon/Peter?"

<Wolf_Song> And where do I find these people that I may check into their interpretation of scripture?

<NSAStudnt> All over the place.

<Wolf_Song> ah

<Wolf_Song> amorphus

<NSAStudnt> You'll find much more agreement than you are accustomed to thinking there is among Prots

<Wolf_Song> HOw do I determine who to check things out with?

<Wolf_Song> uh, I WAS a prot and sorry disagree with you completely

Wolf focuses the discussion a bit more... the question now is, "Who is the Authority I should listen to, and how can I know who this authority is?"

<NSAStudnt> Well, if you had the time, you could list out the main beliefs of your fabled 23000 denominations

<NSAStudnt> Too bad  for you.  :)

<Wolf_Song> That isn't my assessment. However there are so many I can't count them

<Wolf_Song> Give me a for instance

<Wolf_Song> how are you like other prots?

<NSAStudnt> Do you really think there are 23000 different beliefs on the Eucharist among Prots?  Gimmeabreak

<NSAStudnt> 23000 eschatologies?

<NSAStudnt> Don't think so

<NSAStudnt> 23000 views on salvation?

<NSAStudnt> Nope

Let the reader take note, NSA did not answer how we are to know this authority, rather it would appear he is attempting to sidetrack Wolf into a discussion of the 23,000 Protestant denominations. Also note, it was not Wolf who brought up the 23,000 - clearly a diversionary tactic. NSA even attempts to belittle the 23,000 argument, that Wolf did not bring up, nor declare support for!

<Wolf_Song> Well

<Wolf_Song> I don't know about that

<Wolf_Song> However

*** Big_work is now known as BigSCOTT

<NSAStudnt> But it is convenient to up-play the differences between Prots, I grant you that

Yes! When some of those "differences" are on very foundational levels. Yes, some of the differences are minor, and an honest apologist would not attempt to say there are 23,000 differences on every level of every Protestant sect, however - bringing the discussion back into focus, there can only be One Truth, so even ONE "denomination" that varies on ANY foundational issue, is following a false Christ and worshipping a different god.

This is where I (BigSCOTT) joined into the discussion as well.

<BigSCOTT> here for a few...[minutes]

<Wolf_Song> tell me the prots who are like Calvinists but are not Calvinists

<NSAStudnt> Esp. when you hold to a false conception of unity

*** Calvinist has quit IRC (Leaving)

<NSAStudnt> Good example.  Re: Salvation, there are really only TWO views among PRots

<Wolf_Song> tell me the prots who are like Calvinists but are not Calvinists

<BigSCOTT> NSA.... what "false conception of unity?"

<NSAStudnt> Semi pelagianism (Arminianism) and Calvinism

<NSAStudnt> That's it.

<NSAStudnt> TWO


<NSAStudnt> That unity is determined by external unity within a visible hierarchy

<Wolf_Song> So, if there are two views, how is that unity?

<NSAStudnt> I said "more unity than you think", not "total unity"

As I stated earlier, even ONE difference, on a foundational level, designates one group believes in one "truth" while another believes in a different "truth." There can only be One Truth.

We would also have to reject the stance of equating Arminianism with Semi-Pelagianism, and rather than reinvent the wheel here, please take a look at David Armstrong's rebuttal to this at: http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ216.HTM

<Wolf_Song> give me some denominations that are not Calvinistic but believe the same

<NSAStudnt> But if we take the fact that pretty much every Prot is a Calvinist on his knees, despite his formal theology, then there's even MORE unity

<Wolf_Song> So, prove that assertion nsa

<NSAStudnt> Well, non Calvinist denominations would not believe Calvinism, right?  Stands to reason

<NSAStudnt> At least not in their formal confessions

<NSAStudnt> Which one?

<Wolf_Song> Well you said unity

<NSAStudnt> Yeah, but "unity" doesn't mean "uniformity"

<NSAStudnt> "Catholic" means unity in DIVERSITY, not total uniformity

<Wolf_Song> the fact that pretty much every Prot is a Calvinist on his knees, despite his formal theology,    prove that

<BigSCOTT> huh?  Every Prot is a Calvinist? 

<NSAStudnt> Ok...any self-professed Arminian who gets on his knees and prays for God to save his neighbor is a Calvinist on his knees, despite being an Arminian on his feet

<Wolf_Song> Tell that to the Lutheran Pastor who pastored you when you were Lutheran Scott :)

<BigSCOTT> yes... focus for a second... what is this "Every Prot is a Calvinist..." statement...

<BigSCOTT> right!

<NSAStudnt> Big, scroll up and pay attention to context

<Wolf_Song> nsa, you think you proved that? lol

<BigSCOTT> Wolf asked the same question...

<NSAStudnt> Whatever, Wolf..that's not an important point for me to defend anyway

<NSAStudnt> Just something to think about

"Every Prot is a Calvinist on his knees"
That statement caught both Wolf and I a bit off-guard, but perhaps this was an attempt (which utterly fails) to show unity among Protestants. Many, many Protestant groups reject the TULIP of Calvinism, which is foundational to calling anyone a Calvinist.

But then, NSA backs down, saying, "that's not an important point for me to defend anyway." Perhaps NSA realized the weakness of such a statement, and rather than retract it, he minimized the importance of it. IF this were a true statement, it would be VERY important for NSA to defend it! IF this argument could be shown to be true, then NSA truly has shown a unity among Protestants on at least one foundational level.

<Wolf_Song> I'm trying to find your "Church" so I can check things out

<BigSCOTT> You made the statement... I'd like to see an answer to it...

<Wolf_Song> hmmm scott

*** Brando (brando@brando.users.xmission.com) has joined #CathApol

<NSAStudnt> There are many churches that hold to basically "calvinistic" beliefs

<NSAStudnt> Many that hold to the Reformation era confessions

<NSAStudnt> Reformed Baptists, for instance

<NSAStudnt> Though I am presbyterian, I agree with many things with RB's

<NSAStudnt> Hi Brando

<Brando> :)

<BigSCOTT> Baptist are Calvinists... essentially... that's not much evidence

<BigSCOTT> James White is a Baptist and a staunch Calvinist

<NSAStudnt> Yes, that's who I'm talking about

*** Gotschalk (reliance@adsl-63-193-154-21.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net) has joined #CathApol

<NSAStudnt> Hi Gotschalk

<BigSCOTT> So, again, what is this "Every Prot is a Calvinist..." statement...

<NSAStudnt> Welcome to "Antiprotestant land".  LOL

<Gotschalk> i have a question...

<NSAStudnt> On his knees, Big


<NSAStudnt> And I said most, not ALL

Well, some reinforcements come in now... Brando and Gotschalk join the discussion.

As we see, NSA is still backing down from his claim, now saying that it's only Prots on their knees, and not all but most. OK, let's grant him that he didn't say "all" but he did say, "pretty much every Prot is a Calvinist on his knees." That was a bit stronger than "most."

I also reject the notion that this channel is "Antiprotestant Land." The purpose of #CathApol on IRC/Undernet is not to attack Protestants, but to defend Catholicism. Catholicism has a visible unity inherent to the nature of the Church, through the See of St. Peter and through agreement on all dogmatic decrees from the Church (be they in council or ex cathedra). The question on the table is one that challenges the unity of Protestantism, so I can understand NSA's feelings here (especially since he seems unable to answer this challenge), however it is NOT anti-Protestant. The question merely shows the weakness of the Protestant position to have any claim to being "The Church."

<Gotschalk> is there variation among Catholics on doctrine?

<NSAStudnt> Most Arminians are not consistent to their theology

<Wolf_Song> NSAS I cant tell you how much I disagree with you and I'm ex prt

<Wolf_Song> err prot

<NSAStudnt> Ex anabaptist, I'll wager.  :)

<BigSCOTT> so you (add) "on his knees" to the statement... you're still saying they are all Calvinist... clarify

<NSAStudnt> Not the same thing

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Wolf_Song> Ex Lutheran LCMS

<BigSCOTT> Gots... depends on how you are using the word "doctrine"

<Wolf_Song> NSAS couln't deas with this yourself had to call in reinforcements?

It would appear Gotschalk (hereafter Gots) was being briefed on this discussion, for he was barely here a minute or so, and begins with a question that is related to our discussion, but rather than dealing with the question on the table, he is attempting to divert the focus back toward us (Catholics). 

This is a common debate tactic, not that it is a bad technique either, IF the questioning is still related to the issue at hand.  Gots' question about alleged variation among Catholics is NOT the subject we are discussing. Once we answered the question given to the Protestants, this would be a welcome question.

The challenge to be answered by the Protestants here is "Where is the unity among Protestantism so that we may look to that unity for authority?" Gots' first question to the channel was, "is there variation among Catholics on doctrine?" If you can't answer the question (defense) then go on the offensive, and start asking questions. We should have answered Gots with, "There is an unanswered question on the table already, when that is answered, we will deal with alternative questions." Since we did not do this, Gots was somewhat effective - but as you will see, he is answered.

[Gots diversion attempt #1]

<NSAStudnt> IN prayer, many "arminians" act like "Calvinists":

<NSAStudnt> But I said this is not an important point for me to defend anyway

NSA is still backing down from his argument.

<BigSCOTT> if you mean dogma, no, no differences among True Catholics

<NSAStudnt> Whatever, Wolf

<Gotschalk> depends on how i am using the term doctrine eh?  how about the same way that Catholics use it when they attempt to point off the many differences among Protestants

<BigSCOTT> Like I said, if it is "dogma" there are no differences

The reader will note, I answered Gots completely - "in matters of dogma, ...no differences among True Catholics."

This is a point that even in several follow-up discussions with Gots, he does not concede nor even acknowledge.

<Gotschalk> really big?   do you have to interpret Catholic Dogma?

<Gotschalk> privately interpret?

<BigSCOTT> nope

<Gotschalk> yoiu dont?

<NSAStudnt> lol

<BigSCOTT> nope

<NSAStudnt> LOL

<NSAStudnt> ROFL

<NSAStudnt> :)

<BigSCOTT> We learn it...

Did I ever say that I have to interpret Catholic Dogma? No, but this is yet another attempt by Gots to divert attention from the main topic on the table. Then, NSA, seeing an opportunity to sidetrack the discussion (whether consciously or not) enters into a bit of ridicule. However, not affected by this, he is answered: "We learn it."

[Gots diversion attempt #2]

<Gotschalk> do you have an infallible personal knowledge that you understand it correctly?

Gots is throwing all sorts of questions into the mix, again an attempt to divert the attention from the main topic.  Infallibility is not an issue here at the present time in the present discussion.

[Gots diversion attempt #3]

<BigSCOTT> do you have to interpret the word "dog"

<Gotschalk> sure

<BigSCOTT> or do you accept what you have learned about dogs?

<Gotschalk> and some people whpo have a lower mental capacity have problems with that word

<BigSCOTT> All dogs have four legs, are mammals, etc.

<NSAStudnt> You mean what you have interpreted that was taught you about dogs

<Gotschalk> i accept...but i dont claim minfallible personal knowledge about my understanding about dogs

I provided a tangible answer to Gots' question on dogma, even used a bit of a play on words to show this dog-ma! Gots again attempts to divert the subject into yet ANOTHER topic, and that of infallibility. Again, he is somewhat successful in this diversionary tactic. The proper answer would have been, "We are not discussing infallibility here, but unity - stick to the subject." That's where that question should have ended. But, since it didn't and we go on, another response could have been that the word "infallible" is applied only to the Pope (and only when he speaks to the Church as a whole, and only when he asserts the authority of the See of Peter - or ex cathedra), to a dogmatic statement from an ecumenical council or to the Magisterium of the Church. Infallibility is NEVER referred to on a personal level.

<NSAStudnt> so, Wolf, where were we?

Here I must take a moment to applaud NSA. He truly attempts to bring the discussion back to the original question from Wolf to him, but this is kinda lost in all the diversionary tactics of Gots - which I acknowledge, I fell into them.

This is also an example of where I appreciated what NSA was trying to do, that is, to bring us back to the original discussion.  I am hardly trying to belittle him here.

<Gotschalk> so the quiestion really is...

* Brando saw a 3-legged dog once. :/

<BigSCOTT> I can infallibly accept that all dogs are mammals

<Wolf_Song> :) scott

<Gotschalk> really scott?

<Gotschalk> can i ask how you are infallibly sure about that?

<BigSCOTT> sure... show me ONE dog that is not a mammal, you win

<Gotschalk> thahts an argument from silence

<Gotschalk> i say that purple elephants exist on the moon

<BigSCOTT> Nope, I cannot prove a negative, you will have to provide the positive

<Gotschalk> prove to me that they dont

<Gotschalk> no you made the assertion, the burden of proofs on you

Gots is either deliberately avoiding or unable to come up with valid argumentation. I asserted that ALL dogs are mammals. All he would have to do to prove my argument as false is to show us one dog that is NOT a mammal. He asks ME to provide the negative! It is impossible to prove a negative, (which is what makes this line of questioning from Gots invalid) so the burden of proof does not lie with me, but with him.

<Wolf_Song> NSAS I was just trying to determine who "Church" is to you and all this other junk showed up :)

And, I applaud Wolf for keeping track of the original discussion and understand her frustration with the fact that "all this other junk showed up" and had either of us (as ops of the channel) had jumped on this, we could have kept this discussion better focused. We really now have at least two discussions going on, which is common on IRC - but makes the argumentation a bit more difficult to follow.

<BigSCOTT> can you show me ANY purple elephants?  I can show you plenty of dogs

<Gotschalk> and nevertheless we're not really talking about dogs are we?

No, we were not talking about dogs... we were talking about dog-ma, and I used an example of how I can KNOW something is true.

<NSAStudnt> I quoted a classical Protestant confession on that one, WOlf

<NSAStudnt> Did you read it?

<Wolf_Song> But, nsas I can't find 'em to check 'em out

Back to the original subject.

<BigSCOTT> Gots... you asked about interpretation... I gave you the analogy...

<Gotschalk> so, the classification of mammals is an epsitemological and subjective novelty anyway

No analogy is ever "perfect" but Gots was asking how I can know something? He was shown through the dog analogy how something can be known.

Gots is also, without answering me, attempting to belittle the argument.  


<NSAStudnt> They're in EVERY city

NSA answers Wolf, but doesn't answer the question she asked. She was asking about references to the quote that NSA made earlier, NSA responds with something about seeing "them" in every city - he's just a off subject here... but who can blame him with the diversion that took over the channel.

Again, to answer NSA's concerns, I am not faulting him with the diversion tactics that came into play on the channel.

<NSAStudnt> Just like RC churches

<Wolf_Song> I did, and everyone differs so how to find TRUTH oh me you folks are confused

Wolf, still sticking to the main topic, centers on the question of how a Protestant can know the Truth, or what he/she is following is the Truth.

<Gotschalk> i could term them bebblegoobs

<Gotschalk> now your analogy is very poor scott, and you havent answered the question

<BigSCOTT> Gots... I was not dealing in fantasy to answer you.

<Gotschalk> scott, believe it or not you were dealing in fantasy

The reader will note that BigSCOTT was talking about dogs, Gots was talking about purple elephants and bebblegoobs - it shouldn't take the reader much effort to figure out who was dealing in fantasy and who was dealing with the real and tangible.

<Wolf_Song> I wish you hadn't called these folks here, it is difficult to have this chat now

<NSAStudnt> <Wolf_Song> I did, and everyone differs so how to find TRUTH

<NSAStudnt> THat's too generalized a statement, Wolf

<Wolf_Song> Yep, and thats your problem nsas

<NSAStudnt> Don't ALL Prots say truth is found by reading and studying the Scriptures?

Wolf and NSA are getting back to the original subject more now. The response to NSA would still be, yes, that is the Protestant claim - that they all are united by seeking the Truth from the Scriptures. If this were something that was truly accomplishable, then we would have One Protestant Truth that would be found in EVERY Protestant Church. There would be no differences among foundational points (dogmas) between Protestant churches. Yet, these differences DO exist and since it is illogical to have more than One Truth, the question remains unanswered - how can one know they are following the Truth in Protestantism?

Again I am affirming that NSA (with Wolf) is sticking to the main topic.

<BigSCOTT> I answered you perfectly

<Gotschalk> now, please tell me how you have an infallible personal knowledge of rc dogma

<Gotschalk> ok, ill grant the dogs so we can leave an unrelated tangent

<Wolf_Song> please gotschalk, get in line

<Wolf_Song> we were having another discussion

<Wolf_Song> :(

<Gotschalk> wolf, are you nervous?

Wolf attempts to bring Gots back into the original discussion, and Gots attempts to make Wolf look nervous or coming from a weak argument. This is NOT the case though, Wolf is doing what she should do. The question should have been asked, "Gots, are you too insecure to deal with the original topic that you interupted?"

[Questioning Wolf's "state of mind" is yet another diversion tactic by Gots, we're up to #4 now.]

<BigSCOTT> I don't claim infallibility... but I accept the Truth as it has been taught by Christ's Church throughout the ages

<BigSCOTT> no... wolf is right... there was another subject on the table...

<Wolf_Song> You are messing up a discussion

<Gotschalk> so your private interpretation of rc dogma could be wrong scott?

<NSAStudnt> WOlf-- Don't ALL Prots say truth is found by reading and studying the Scriptures?

<Gotschalk> why should i believe your private interpretation?

<Wolf_Song> got please stop

<Gotschalk> ok

Here, Wolf had gotten Gots to agree to stop with his diversion, I missed that point and continued below. (Sorry Wolf!) But, I did start dealing with NSA and the original subject again.

<Wolf_Song> Yes NSAS but you mentioned "Church"

<Wolf_Song> I'm looking for it

<BigSCOTT> Gots, I do not privately interpret dogma, sorry you did not understand the analogy... so, enough of the diversion, where were we NSA?

<NSAStudnt> Yes, I did

<NSAStudnt> I dunno, Scott

<Wolf_Song> Im looking for specifics on who nsas calls "Church"

<Wolf_Song> Let me see if I can find what he said hold on

<BigSCOTT> All Catholics believe truth is found in the Bible too...

<Gotschalk> yeah and so do mormons scott

<Gotschalk> and JW's

<Gotschalk> and every other psuedo Christian cult

<NSAStudnt> My presbyterian church is "the Church"; James White's Reformed Baptist church is "the Church", etc, etc

<BigSCOTT> right, so your argument that all Prots say there is truth in the bible is very weak

<Wolf_Song> " Iow, God's Word authenticates itself primarily (however, there may be secondary things that witness to it, like the Church, manuscript evidence, etc)"   sooo I'm looking for "Church"

<NSAStudnt> My presbyterian church is "the Church"; James White's Reformed Baptist church is "the Church", etc, etc

<Gotschalk> yes they have a hard time understanding what the term ecclesia means...they are preprogrammed to think hiearchial structure of the roman goliath

OK, we're ALL back on the original subject now. We will note how NSA used the argument that "Don't ALL Prots say truth is found by reading and studying the Scriptures?" When I pointed out that Catholics do the same thing, Gots went into stating that Mormons, JW's, etc. all do that - which only further proved OUR point! Thank you Gotschalk!

Again, I am reaffirming NSA sticking to the main topic.  I don't know about the reader, but the writer here is really challenging the credibility of NSA's complaint, (about making him look like an idiot) especially in regard to NSA himself.  As far as humiliating Gots, I don't have to do anything to accomplish that, he does a good enough job on his own (the reader will recall who introduced bebblegoobs and purple elephants).

<Wolf_Song> Hmmm do you baptize infants in your church?

<Gotschalk> whats the issue here...the differecnes among protestants on doctrine?

<BigSCOTT> Gots, that was one of the issues...

<BigSCOTT> Baptists and Presbyterians are schisms from the One Church...

<NSAStudnt> blah, blah, blah

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<bishop3> NS!!

<NSAStudnt> bish!!!

<bishop3> Got

<Wolf_Song> NSAS do you baptize infants in your church?

Wolf points out something that divides many Protestant groups.  Which, I might add, is a direct answer to NSA's claim that his presbyterian church is "the Church" as well as James White's Reformed Baptist church is "the Church," since these two "churches" disagree on the fundamental issue of baptism!

<bishop3> hehehe :)

<NSAStudnt> Yes

* bishop3 observes

<Gotschalk> bigscott, if youd study history a bit more youd understand that your one church is historically the reason for those schisms

<Wolf_Song> James (White) doesn't and doesn't believe in it, (infant baptism) who is correct?

<BigSCOTT> I know the "reasons" Luther and Calvin "split off" but the fact remains they split off...

<NSAStudnt> I am, of course.  But since it isn't an essential issue, we can still have unity.

<Gotschalk> good question wolf...which brings me back to the issue i was discussing with scott before you booth chickened out....

<BigSCOTT> "reform" is not done from the outside...

<Wolf_Song> please got let me chat with nsas first

<Wolf_Song> How is it that you do not think it an essential issue when Lutheran prots do

<Wolf_Song> ?

<Gotschalk> for example...mitch pacwa says that trents anathema shouldnt be understood in a damning sence...but gerry matatics disagrees...whos righht?

<BigSCOTT> I didn't chicken out of anything... you didn't comprehend the analogy is all

Well, Wolf asked Gots to wait a bit, he didn't - and I responded to Gots again. The point being that Mitch Pacwa's and Gerry Matatics opinions of Trent are not the issue. An anathema from Trent, in and of itself, is not a matter of eternal security - the point that the anathema came from, THAT would be an issue.

[Gots diversion attempt #5]

<NSAStudnt> Right, big...reform was attempted from the inside, and then your wonderful schismatic church had a cow

<NSAStudnt> :)

<NSAStudnt> Just like it did with the East in 1054

<NSAStudnt> My, my, my, how marvelously SCHISMATIC is Rome!

Well, now NSA is getting into diversionary tactics. The issue is not whether Rome is in schism from the Eastern Orthodox, or vice versa. The issue is where can we find the Truth - where is the Authority for Truth? A relatively lame attempt was made to say "ALL Prots read the Bible to find the Truth..." but it was left at that.  (Lame, because Catholics read the Bible and find Truth there too).

<Gotschalk> i comprehended it perfectly, your analogy was utterly irrelevant, and u failed to address the question

<Wolf_Song> oh my gracious, I give up

<BigSCOTT> ROFL... now it is our Church that is schsimatic!


<Wolf_Song> NASAS when we are having a conversation, please don't call in reinforcements so that you don't have to deal with the truth

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<BigSCOTT> Laughing hysterically!

<Wolf_Song> Scott, they aren't in schim but heresy

<Gotschalk> so heres the question...are you arguing that the many differences among protstants prove something?

<NSAStudnt> Whatever, Wolf...I didn't call in reinforcements

<NSAStudnt> I was kidding in that remark to  Gots

<BigSCOTT> they started with schism though

<Wolf_Song> NASAS you didn't tell them about this discussion???

<Wolf_Song> Oh, give me a break

<Gotschalk> please wolf, the day that you actually answer an argumnet then you should take on airs

<NSAStudnt> I did, but not because I "didn't want to handle the truth"

<NSAStudnt> Sheesh, you RC apologists are so goofy

<NSAStudnt> Thinking you can know things about people's motives!!!

<Wolf_Song> got, please be civil here

<NSAStudnt> Shame on yoU!!!!!!

<Brando> I think Gots brings up a good point here, one that is yet to be answered.

<Gotschalk> so anyway, whats the point of the many differences among protaestants anyway?

<BigSCOTT> OK, settle down everyone...

<Brando> Are you trying to argue the differences among protestants proves something?

Well, in this exchange things started getting out of hand... and Brando, who had been fairly silent up to this point, helps Wolf and me to bring us back into focus. Yes, the argument is whether or not the differences in Protestantism proves something. As Wolf and I pointed out earlier, the fact that some of these differences are on foundational levels - this is an expression of differing truths, and logic demands that there is only One Truth.

[Gots goes after Wolf's person (talking about her "actually answer(ing) an argument (sic).  This is an ad hominem attack, which is one of the common fallacies of rhetoric and would also qualify as diversion attempt #6.]

<NSAStudnt> Everyone is somehow "dishonest", uses "sleight of hand", "doesn't want to know truth", etc.


<BigSCOTT> what was the point Brando that Gots made?

<Gotschalk> what are point are you two attempting to make?

<Wolf_Song> fellas nsas and I were having a certain discussion that I wanted to finish. You will not allow it what are you afraid of?

<Gotschalk> id like to join wplf, what r u afraid of?

<NSAStudnt> We're afraid of you, Wolf...you and your bad epistemology and flawed understanding of history.

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Gotschalk> lol

<NSAStudnt> Hey, this is turning out to be fun after all.  :)

* l0g0s sings "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf"

<NSAStudnt> ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!

<l0g0s> tra la la la laaaaaaaa

Now, rather than deal with the fact, as Brando was helping us get back to, NSA would rather play games.  And the others chimed in.

Here I offer a correction.  It was not NSA that started the game playing, but l0g0s, (who reacted to something NSA said).  It was l0g0s who started "singing" nursery rhymes. My apologies to NSA in this regard. 

<Gotschalk> brando, scott cant even attempt to address my point

<Wolf_Song> hmmmm scott

<Wolf_Song> GOT he isn't supposed to. we were having another conversation

<NSAStudnt> Hey Gots, I guess we just need to admit it: We're afraid of the RCC's truth claims.  Let's just quit denying it.

<BigSCOTT> I came back for a few... and am defending... I was not attacking or attempting to "make a point" I was answering questions...

* l0g0s wonders if that's the wolf song

<Gotschalk> he makes some analogy about beinwolf, that issue is related to the issue you are discussing with nsa

<NSAStudnt> Let's be honest for once in our sorry Prot lives.

<Gotschalk> oops

<Gotschalk> wolf, that issue is related to the issue you are discussing with nsa

<Gotschalk> and scott its good that you were attempting to 'make a point' since you failed pretty badly

* l0g0s has yet to see this "issue"

<Gotschalk> werent

<Wolf_Song> Got, you came in here to deliberately confuse. I make this charge because, when you were asked to stop you didn't. Don't you think nsas is up to it?

<Wolf_Song> It isn't for you logos

<Gotschalk> wolf, i stopped and scott kept addressing it what more do you want...and anyway i think that issue ois rlated to the issue that you and nsa are discussing

* l0g0s looks around the room...looks left...looks right...."Here issue, issue...where are you?"

* NSAStudnt thinks that 90% of RC apologetics consists of crying "Foul" instead of trying to own up to real arguments

<Wolf_Song> you just described yourself nsas

NSA continues, though there is some effort now by l0g0s (another Protestant) to bring us back to the issue at hand. The fact remains, we were not "crying foul" but rather attempting to stay focused.

Actually, l0g0s is sacastically asking about the original issue.  NSA's complaint about RC apologists (sic) "crying Foul" is off-based.  

<Gotschalk> im making the point that there is as much variation among Catholics on doctrine (and even how they inetrpret dogma) as there is among protestants

Gots ignored the earlier point that there are NO differences among True Catholics on matters of dogma. He also ignores the fact, as it was brought out and explained that Catholics do not "interpret" dogma. We learn what the dogmatic teachings of the Church are, and there is no disputing them - among True Catholics.

Again, the question was not in regard to variation among Catholics, especially on points of DOGMA.  Gots seems to ignore the fact that several times he has been told there are NO DIFFERENCES among TRUE CATHOLICS on matters of DOGMA.  Rather than continuing down this dead-end road, the "valid" answer to us would have been to show a REAL DIFFERENCE between REAL CATHOLICS on matters of DOGMA!  Gots WAS answered, and our answer did not change each time he asked the question.  Get a clue Gots - ask a different question.

<Wolf_Song> I happen to like issues thrive on them even

*** NSAStudnt is now known as Anti-Cath

<Anti-Cath> LOL

<Gotschalk> and that there is no way around that fact

<Wolf_Song> No there isn't got bu that isn't the question at hand right now

*** Anti-Cath is now known as NSAStudnt

<Gotschalk> because none of you have an infallible personal understanding oof Catholic doctrine or dogma

Again, Gots misses the point and also states something that is totally irrelevant. None of us ever claimed "infallible" understanding of doctrine or dogma.

[This tactic has already been used at least once by Gots, but since he brings it up again, this is diversion attempt #7.]

<BigSCOTT> Gots... my point did not fail at all...

<BigSCOTT> All dogs are mammals... show me one that is not, you win...

<Gotschalk> it certainly did scott...in what way did you ever prove that you had an infallible knowlede of anything?

<Wolf_Song> Ok got

<Wolf_Song> for a minute

<BigSCOTT> All dogs are mammals... show me one that is not, you win...

<Gotschalk> scott....so you are very very very sure...or you have divine revelation that gives you infallivble assurance about that?

<Wolf_Song> Why do I have to have an infallible understanding of Transubstantiation to believe it?

<Gotschalk> if you could only answer the question scott?

<BigSCOTT> I believe it

<Gotschalk> thats not the issue wolf

<Wolf_Song> Why do I have to have an infallible undersanding of electricity to believe it?

<Wolf_Song> You prots are so silly

<Gotschalk> its your understanding of transubstatiation

Well, we're back on the subject again... Gots just isn't comprehending the fact that Catholics do not attempt to "interpret" matters of dogma, rather we "accept" or "learn" those things. Christianity centers on Faith, and we have Faith in the Authority that Jesus Christ left for us. We do not have faith in some neo-authority that has come out preaching a different gospel than the one that is preached and has been preached by Christ's Church from the time of the Apostles.

Again, I assert, Gots question WAS answered.   His reasoning that we must interpret "everything we hear or read" on the same level is not valid.  He refuses to accept that there are LEVELS of understanding and interpretation.  When it comes to Catholic Dogma, Catholics do not "interpret" differently than what the Church teaches.  If they do, they are no longer Catholics!   Sure, a Catholic CAN interpret dogma "on his own" but if that interpretation is different from the Church's - the Catholic either submits to the Authority that Christ left him, or leaves the Church.  There is no margin of interpretation in matters of dogma.

[Gots also is again asking me if I have proven to have "infallible knowledge (sic) of anything."  Again, this is NOT the subject of THIS debate, so we're up to diversion attempt #8.] 

*** l0g0s is now known as RidingHoo

<NSAStudnt> So do I have to have an infallible understanding of the canon in order to believe it?

<BigSCOTT> wolf is making good points that are supporting my point

<RidingHoo> hmmm

<Wolf_Song> Why do I have to have an infallible understanding of God to believe in Him

*** RidingHoo is now known as RedRdngHd

<Gotschalk> which is *why* incidentally there is so much variation among Catholics

<Wolf_Song> you folks are so silly

<NSAStudnt> lol

<Wolf_Song> There are not got

<Gotschalk> because none of you have an infallible personal understanding of doctrine or dogma

<NSAStudnt> So do I have to have an infallible understanding of the canon in order to believe it?

<BigSCOTT> Gots... there is NO variation on matters of DOGMA

<Gotschalk> so the question is...who should we silly prots believe?

<Gotschalk> gots, there is variation in matters of your understanding of dogma

* NSAStudnt believe in Gots' private interpretation of the Bible.

* NSAStudnt is too dumb to think for himself

<BigSCOTT> you keep ignoring that point for some reason

l0g0s is truly showing his/her lack of desire for serious discussion, changing his/her nick to RedRdngHd - hereafter called "Red."

It's not a matter of being able to think for one's self, (something I find a bit ironic coming from a Calvinist, one of whose main tenants is Predestination). The matter is whether or not to accept the Authority that Christ has provided. Mind you, Jesus wrote nothing, never commanded or promised that something would be written in order to be followed, but He DID promise there would be the Church!

<NSAStudnt> :)

<Gotschalk> scott, im sorry but i dont see how i am ignoring the point

<NSAStudnt> So do I have to have an infallible understanding of the canon in order to believe it?

<Gotschalk> you dont seem to understand the dilemna youre in

<BigSCOTT> there is NO variation on matters of DOGMA

<BigSCOTT> no dilemma

* RedRdngHd notes that there are eastern catholics, western catholics, latin catholics, tridentine catholics, modern catholics, american catholics, liberal jesuit catholics...hmmm...probably about twenty more groups...not counting the sickly minded pilgrims wandering around the globe looking for apparitions of Mother Mary

Here, "Red" goes back to one of the original diversions... we are not discussing differences in the Catholic Church, for in matters of dogma, WITHIN the Church, there are NO DIFFERENCES. Differences in Rites or rituals is NOT an issue here - core, fundamental, dogmatic issues are!

<Gotschalk> scott....i understand the party line there ok....

<Gotschalk> do you understand what im saying?

<Wolf_Song> Got

<NSAStudnt> So do I have to have an infallible understanding of the canon in order to believe it?

<Wolf_Song> answer me

<Gotschalk> you must privately INTRPRET every Catholic Dogma...and every word that comes out of your popes mouth

<Wolf_Song> Why do I have to have an infallible understanding of electricity to believe it?

<BigSCOTT> Red... (James?) there is ONE Catholic Church... all who are Catholic accept ALL the dogmatic positions of that ONE Church...

<Wolf_Song> Red are you JAMES????

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I thought that l0g0s was James White, but here James White himself enters the channel, (NAwrites).

<Wolf_Song> :)

<Gotschalk> wolf, you dont, unless an argument arises among two people in the 'electricity club' and we dont know whos right

Well, that was a complete dodge by Gots! Wolf's point is that even though we don't understand everything about electricity, there are certain principles that we accept and do not question.

<BigSCOTT> Eastern Catholics do not vary from Latin Catholics

<NAwrites> It's the invasion of the rabid Calvinists.....

<NAwrites> :-)

<NSAStudnt> lol

<Wolf_Song> lol

<Wolf_Song> hi james

* BigSCOTT thought l0g0s was James too

<Gotschalk> so my question is who should we believe on matters of interpretation of Catholic dogma?

<NAwrites> What a way to start the LAST YEAR of the millennium....

<Wolf_Song> Its still true though isn't it got

<Gotschalk> you or someone else

Well, yes, it was an invasion of Calvinists... I'll say that much. It would have been nice had they come in and either waited to be asked a question, or waited till they knew the subject before commenting. If they did know prior to arrival, then what they have done is purposely come in to disrupt the discussion by attempting to divert it to other subjects. That being said, as operators of the channel, Wolf and I could have insisted on sticking to the topic more - and Wolf was trying.

[Again, the discussion was not about who you are to believe in matters of Catholic dogma!  Yes, there is a tangential relationship here - but you first must deal with the question that was posted here for the Protestant/Calvinist challengers.  Ever since Gots arrived in the room, he has been attempting to get us to answer HIS question, when there was already a question/challenge for the Protestants to deal with.  We're up to diversion attempt #9.]

* RedRdngHd thinks we should talk about the year 1054 AD

<BigSCOTT> Why Red...

* NSAStudnt agrees

<Gotschalk> it may or it may not be wolf

<NSAStudnt> Not to mention 1545

<BigSCOTT> the Eastern Schism is still a schism

<Gotschalk> since your enot infallibly sure we cant say

<NSAStudnt> You mean the ROMAN schism is still a schism

<Gotschalk> wolf...hardly

<RedRdngHd> oooohhhh wait I thought it was ONE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH

<NSAStudnt> Since the East sees it that way

<BigSCOTT> that would be the position of the East

Yes, that is the position of the Eastern Orthodox - however, not the position of the Eastern Rites within the Catholic Church. But again, yet another distraction from the main topic.

[Again, Gots brings up the topic of infallibility for individual Catholics, specifically Wolf, and he WAS answered in this regard.  Diversion attempt #10.]

<Wolf_Song> Hey, James, they even needed you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must be gettin' good :) :)

<Gotschalk> you and scott i could handle by myself with 2 hands tied behind my back

<BigSCOTT> Gots... ROFL again

<NAwrites> Actually, nobody said anything about "needing" me.  Red said he was dancing in here, and I wanted to see it for myself....

<BigSCOTT> you haven't handled anything yet Gots!

<Wolf_Song> A likely story James :)

<BigSCOTT> Red... there IS only One Church...

* RedRdngHd dances the snoopy dance on the way to grandmother's house

<NAwrites> See?

<RedRdngHd> tra la la la laaaaaaaaaa

<Gotschalk> heyt scott...thats an interesting point....how do you know its the church at rome?

* RedRdngHd sings "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf"

<NSAStudnt> Yeah, NA...you know how us PRot apologists are so used to using "clever lawyer tricks" to get around the truth. 

<NSAStudnt> So we called in the Big Guns

<NSAStudnt> LOL

* BigSCOTT is not worried about all the guns...

* Wolf_Song is huffing and puffing as we speak

* BigSCOTT is wearing the Body-armor of Christ!

<BigSCOTT> :)

<Wolf_Song> Neither am I big, but it is confusing

<Wolf_Song> err type

Well, I don't know about "clever lawyer tricks" but all this "big guns" are doing a pretty good job of diverting the attention from the subject at hand... which, if the reader recalls, is what is "the Church" for Protestantism?

Gots asserts that he could handle both myself and Wolf with 2 hands tied behind his back.  Well, he's not doing a very good job of it here.  He can't even stick to the main topic of THIS discussion.  He gets a bit frustrated (in later discussions) because I will not back down from my position.  He doesn't seem to realize that he HAS been answered, and answered fully.  If he still has an issue, he needs to try a different question.  Asking the same question, over and over again, and getting the same answer, over and over again, can be frustrating.  But if anyone was reading/logging the discussion from the 17th on #prosapologian, it was Gots who is losing his cool and resorting to adolescent namecalling (wherein I was called a "twit" by Gots, among other things).  No Gots, you have proven you can't handle even one of us at a time.

<Gotschalk> scott, the day you answer my question about your infallible interpretation of Catholic dogma is the day ill concede

Well Gots, I did answer your question, long ago! I said we are not infallible and that we DON'T interpret Catholic dogma! So, I take it you concede?

* RedRdngHd wonders how singing and dancing are prot apologetic tricks...

<Wolf_Song> Oh got that is so silly

* NAwrites cleans out his trackball....

Well Red, singing and dancing in the middle of an argument IS an apologetic "trick" that diverts attention from the main topic, in hopes that your opponent responds more to your "trickery" than adhering to the main topic. Again, the "big guns" and the not-so-big-guns were somewhat successful in that endeavor - but we did seem to keep coming back to the main topic, so those efforts were not totally successful.

<Gotschalk> really wolf...id like to know how you know it...did the church at rome 'just fall out of the sky into your laps?' as the one true church?

Ah! Good question! (at last!) No, Gots! The Church didn't just fall out of the sky! Jesus declared that there would be a Church. St. Paul declares that this Church would be the pillar and ground of Truth! He also commands that we stand firm and hold to the Traditions we were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us, (2 Thes. 2:15). He further demands, in the same context that we adhere to the Traditions which we received from them, (2 Thes. 3:6). So, no, our Church did not "fall from the sky," rather it was given to us from God through the Apostles. The succession of the Apostolic See is clearly made important in Acts 1, wherein they select the successor to Judas' See. Thus, succession IS important to the Church - and our Church can show that succession, all the way back to St. Peter!

[Yes, it was a good question, but again it was NOT the question we were discussing!  Hence, we're up to diversion attempt #11.]

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<Wolf_Song> bishop got bored :)

* RedRdngHd looks around the forest for substantive catholic issues to be talked about

Red is now losing all credibility in this argument, for there are several substantive Catholic issues being talked about!

<Wolf_Song> James, since you are here. May I ask, are you a presupositionalist? Sorry about spelling

<NAwrites> What is a presupositionalist?

<NAwrites> Oh, yes, I am.  Didn't read it correctly....

<Wolf_Song> Well, NA, that which "emanon" is :)

<RedRdngHd> even little red riding hood has presuppositions (and she can spell it correctly too)

<Wolf_Song> NA, I just learned about presup and I think I got it down. And wondered if you are one

* NSAStudnt doesn't think RC apologists have presuppositions...they just "know" the truth because Holy Mother Church tells them so.

Wolf had asked this question initially of NSA, who claims he is not a presuppositionalist. Red is still only poking fun at the discussion (which in the future will get Red kicked from the channel if a serious discussion is taking place and all he/she is doing is creating a distraction). James (NAwrites) answers that he one and this is the last substantive comment James makes.

Yes NSA, Catholics DO "know" things because our Holy Mother the Church has taught us these things. We accept the authority given the Church that she, through the Holy Ghost, will guide us to all Truth.

<Gotschalk> scott,perhaps you should think about that issue more....

<BigSCOTT> Gots... which issue is that?

<Gotschalk> hte issue of your private interpretation of Catholic dogma

<Gotschalk> do you honestly think youve answered it with your dogs illustration?

<Wolf_Song> sigh

<BigSCOTT> That was pretty clear Gots...

<Gotschalk> i can ngive you a better illustration than that and it still doesnt wirk

<sigh> I must sigh with Wolf. Yes Gots, I answered you more than once and in different ways.
  1. I openly stated that Catholics do NOT "interpret" dogma!
  2. I gave you an analogy of how we can "know" things and not argue them anymore.
Gots has refused to see that I have answered!

[And Gots again brings up private interpretation of Catholic dogma, which is NOT the issue here (even though he was answered) so we have diversion attempt #12.]

<Gotschalk> you know nwhat i  find amusing...is that i can argue there side better than they can

<BigSCOTT> you have yet to show me even ONE dog that is not a mammal... I can show you plenty that are...

I reassert that Gots has not been able to show us a dog that is not a mammal, so until such a time, my argumentation is completely valid and accurate.

[Who cares how well you can argue our side (which you haven't even shown that you can!).  Diversion attempt #13.]

* RedRdngHd warms up his...uhhh...her voice and begins to sing


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<Gotschalk> scott heres a better analogy for your case...is 2+2 4

<RedRdngHd> Jesuits love me this I know...for Mother Church she tells me sooooooo

<NSAStudnt> lol

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<Gotschalk> your dog analogy is for the dogs so to speak

<RedRdngHd> little ones to her belong we are weak but she is strong

<BigSCOTT> that works too... but the dog analogy is not flawed either

<Gotschalk> theyre both f;lawed

<Brando> hah! for the dogs.

* NAwrites thinks he is now seeing Millennial Madness. :-)

<Gotschalk> you just dont seem to understand it

<RedRdngHd> yes Mother church loves meeeee

<BigSCOTT> 2+2=4 is just a mathematical equivalent

<RedRdngHd> yes Mother church loves meeeeeeee

<Wolf_Song> yep na I think so

Red continues with the silliness. Gots attempts to say he can argue this better than me, and brings out the 2+2=4 argument. The mathematical argument is a good one as well. Neither are "perfect" but neither are flawed in this respect.

<Gotschalk> you still havet proved an infallible knowledge of either proeposition

I don't know how many times I made it quite clear to Gots, but I will say it again here, Catholics do NOT claim infallible knowledge or infallibility of any kind on a personal level! Perhaps if Gots reads this webpage where I have pointed out all the times he HAS been answered. Gots bases this challenge on a false premise.

[Again Gots attempts to get us talking about personal infallible knowledge.  NO Catholic claims this!  Gots claims to be an ex-Catholic, which I accept he probably was baptized a Catholic, but his argumentation proves he really doesn't know the Catholic Faith - if he had, he may NOT have left it, but that is (admittedly) a non-argument, for we cannot argue where he would be now if he had known the Truth back then - without taking some "Star Trek" - alternate path down the space/time continuum.  Still, he again goes into this side-issue so we have diversion attempt #14.]

<Wolf_Song> please red, behave

<RedRdngHd> yes Morther church loves meeeeeee

<NSAStudnt> The Bible,,,er, the church she tells me so!

<RedRdngHd> The pope sure tells me so

<Wolf_Song> please red

<BigSCOTT> red behave... repeats will get you kicked

* RedRdngHd should have been a hymn writer

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<Wolf_Song> ratz

<RedRdngHd> repeats?

Well, Red continues with his/her silliness, and after being warned by both Wolf and myself, James suddenly quits the channel without explanation or even a "goodbye."

<Gotschalk> just because i cant prove one instance where thats not the case is irrelvant to whether you infallibly know it to be true or not

Is anyone keeping count? Gots keeps asserting that we must infallibly know something, and that line of argumentation was dismissed at the very beginning of this discussion!

[Again, infallibility is NOT the issue of THIS discussion.  Diversion attempt #15.]

<Brando> Wolf, James White is a presup.

<Wolf_Song> thanks

<Brando> np. :)

<Brando> Well, gentleman... play nice now. :)

<Wolf_Song> :)

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<Gotschalk> if you guys need help with your argumenst come look me up

<BigSCOTT> Gots... how is 2+2=4 a flawed argument (unless you change the base)?

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<Gotschalk> you dont seem to be understanding the issue at all scott

<Wolf_Song> hi st

<Wolf_Song> got that is a silly issue

<Gotschalk> the issue isnt whether it is tru or not...its your infallible knowledge of it

<StMark> HI, I have a question when anyone has time

<RedRdngHd> actually, to the RCC 1=3, at least when were talking about how many papal sees could exist at one time in history

<BigSCOTT> I fully understand 2+2=4 as well....

<Gotschalk> wolf, that constant mantr from you is getting to be a bore

<Gotschalk> mantra

<Gotschalk> fully isnt infallibly scott

<Wolf_Song> and you are too got

<Gotschalk> certainly isnt infallibly

<Gotschalk> very very very sure isnt infallibly

<BigSCOTT> how is it fallible?

<Gotschalk> you dont seem to be understanding this

<Gotschalk> because you are by nature scott a fallible creature

<BigSCOTT> If I have 2 apples, and I add 2 more apples, I now have 4 apples...

<Gotschalk> are you not?

<Gotschalk> scott, you are not even getting warm here

* RedRdngHd wonders why we are talking about math instead of theology

<BigSCOTT> that doesn't mean I cannot fully accept the truth of 2+2=4

<Gotschalk> hes trying to make a point red...but its a bad one

* BigSCOTT didn't bring up math

<Wolf_Song> gots, are you a presuppositionalist also?

<Gotschalk> yes but scott you dont have an infallible knowledge and so if someone disagrees, who should we believe?

Again Gots goes with this requirement that Catholics must have "infallible knowledge" on certain matters, and I repeat, WE DON'T. Perhaps though, I was misleading him a bit, for he said the math and the dogs arguments were "flawed" and when I asked about them being "flawed" I did ask, "How is it fallible?" Gots, perhaps, got some fuel for his argument because I used that term. So, for clarity, I assert again now, individual Catholics do NOT have, nor claim infallibility on anything! Well, there is ONE Catholic who CAN claim this (the Pope) but only under specific circumstances, and very rarely does this happen. In fact, at the time of this writing it has been nearly 50 years since the last time a pope has made an infallible (ex cathedra) decree (and not one of the last four popes has ever made such a decree). Infallibility is a "buzz-word" among Protestant apologists who REALLY don't understand the Catholic position on infallibility.

[Diversion attempt #16 - same diversion as last time.]

<RedRdngHd> yes...I know...well...I guess I shall return to my singing until they come up with a good argument

* RedRdngHd clears his voice

<Wolf_Song> we don't have to have infallible knowledge got and you are getting boring

<Gotschalk> wolf, dont worry about my apologetic methodology, i doubt you understand it aat any rate

* RedRdngHd warms up again....mememememememememememe

<Gotschalk> brb

<NSAStudnt> So do Prots have to have infallible knowledge?

<Wolf_Song> Got, that is the hole every Calvinist climbs into, they say we don't understand

<Wolf_Song> lol

<NSAStudnt>  So do Prots have to have infallible knowledge?

* RedRdngHd sings "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf...the big bad wolf"

<RedRdngHd> tra lala alalaaa

<BigSCOTT> if you disagree with 2+2=4 (in a base 10 system) you are a heretic

<NSAStudnt> But don't you have to interpret the equation?

* RedRdngHd loves how math turns us into heretics

<BigSCOTT> using the analogy Red...

* StMark is Episcopalian and wishes to ask a question, and I think you are over analyzing it BigSCOTT

* NSAStudnt wonders why he is being ignored

<Wolf_Song> Ok stmark shoot

<Gotschalk> ok im back

<Gotschalk> where were we....

<StMark> Is Hell forever or it is a "waiting room"?

<Gotschalk> scott had admitted he didnt have an infallible peronsl knowledge of anything

<Wolf_Song> Forever STMark

<Gotschalk> which brings us to my point in theology

<StMark> that is what I thought

<BigSCOTT> hell is forever

<StMark> I was told Mother Teresa was in Hell awaiting judgement

<BigSCOTT> NSA... no, I do not have to interpret the equation....

<NSAStudnt> You don't?

<Wolf_Song> Oh, brother we really need this

<Gotschalk> he doesnt seem to understand his dilemna nsa

<BigSCOTT> I was taught the principles of math... I see 2+2 and I KNOW it is 4

<Gotschalk> the equation may or may nnot be true...thats not the issue

<StMark> Thanks Wolf_Song

<Gotschalk> yes but you dont infallibly know it...and perhaps those who taught you were flawed

<NSAStudnt> Right, gots

*** Disconnected

Well, this is the last section of this logfile that was sent to me. I, unfortunately, was not logging this discussion, so we missed the final conclusion here. But clearly we see that Gots was focused on one flawed point, that Catholics must have infallible knowledge - and he wouldn't back down from that claim after (repeatedly) being told we don't have nor do we claim to have infallible knowledge on anything. The original points of this discussion with NSA were as follows:
  1. What is "The Church" in Protestantism?
  2. What is the Authority in Protestantism?
  3. Where is the unity in Protestantism? (Keeping in mind that Our Lord desires "that we be One, even as He and the Father are One."
Were these points EVER fully answered in this discussion? No. Feeble attempts were made to answer each one, but those attempts crumbled when put under further scrutiny. We must also recall that the above three points were the issues of discussion here, and the sidetracking issues that were brought up by the Protestant apologists, in the context of THIS discussion, did not need to be answered (though many of their diversions were answered in the process).

I would further challenge any of the Protestants that engaged us this day to a webpage debate. One wherein a thesis and format is decided and agreed upon by the participants. This webpage debate can (and should) be mirrored on both my webpage and the Protestant's webpage - or an other Protestant's page. So, are any of them up for the challenge, or are they only bold enough to debate live, wherein they hope they can trap their opponent into saying something off-the-cuff, or if they can catch (us) with a need to look something up, which is not practical in a live debate. The web-based debate gives BOTH sides an equal chance to better research and represent their arguments.

So, are any of them up for the challenge? If anyone accepts, there will be a link to the webpage carrying the debate that will replace this section of this text. If you are reading this, then, to date, none of them have accepted the challenge.

Others who would like to answer this challenge may do so as well. Send your response or reply to: bigscott@a2z.org.

Posted January 4, 2000.
Made public on #prosapologian on January 8, 2000.

Additional comments presented on January 17, 2000 are in navy blue.

Gots' diversion attempts, also added on January 17, 2000 are in red.  (And I probably overlooked a couple).

As of May 9, 2000, none of our challengers have accepted my challenge to a webpage debate.

Number of visitors to this page since January 4, 2000:

Continuation of this discussion.

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