On Accurate Portrayals

James White says:

“A word should be said about the extent of the documentation from Roman Catholic sources. It is our intention to quote numerous Roman Catholic sources in demonstrating the position of Rome on the issues to be examined in this work. We will draw heavily from the official decrees of the Council of Trent as well as the documents of Vatican II. Various catechisms and works of theology will also be referenced, some from the ‘conservative’ side, some from the more modern. We feel it is vital to be very careful in documenting anyone’s position with which we are to disagree. There simply is no benefit, and no reason, for misrepresenting the Catholic position. We will at times go beyond what would be necessary to make sure that the Catholic position is understood and accurately portrayed. Nothing bothers us more than to be misrepresented in a debate; therefore, to be consistent, we must be careful to accurately present the position against which we are arguing. ‘Straw men’ are easy to create, and easier to knock down. There are, sad to say, far too many ‘anti-Catholic’ books and works around that show little or no concern for accurate citation or presentation. We know that it is impossible for us to make every Catholic happy with our presentation of Catholic beliefs, for Romanism presents a rather multi-form spectrum of perspectives in our modem day. But we will stick with the published works of the RCC 18 in defining terms, beliefs, doctrines, etc. That will not mean, of course, that we agree with those definitions, beliefs, or doctrines— but, if the Roman position is clearly presented, we will be able to contrast the Biblical teaching that much more clearly and forcefully” (James R. White, The Fatal Flaw: Do the teachings of Roman Catholicism Deny the Gospel? Crown Publications (1990).

18 The abbreviation RCC will be used throughout this work, and no disrespect is intended by its use at all. It is simply a fact that the phrase “the Roman Catholic Church” takes a lot of space, not to mention time in writing!

James White had said this:

“We feel it is vital to be very careful in documenting anyone’s position with which we are to disagree. There simply is no benefit, and no reason, for misrepresenting the Catholic position.” (James R. White, The Fatal Flaw: Do the teachings of Roman Catholicism Deny the Gospel? Crown Publications (1990).

But for those being repulsed by the word of the cross (e.g., James White & other typical tolerant Calvinists), misrepresentation IS a beneficial tool not only to slander and marginalize true believers with, but also to create and knock down straw men. It is much easier to knock down a man of straw than to deal honestly with the hammer and fire of God’s Word.

“[They] plot to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, even as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What [has] the chaff to [do] with the wheat, says Jehovah? [Is] not My Word thus like fire, says Jehovah, and like a hammer which breaks a rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:27-29)

Related

Final sermon of a four-part series on Romans 10:1-4 preached by Marc D. Carpenter

Advertisements