Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Swan on Luther and the IC

A Blessed Fifth Day of Christmas to all who are of good will...

Just a quick note/response here for now.  James Swan has posted three more "parts" to his response to me on Luther and the Immaculate Conception.  He seems to be repeating himself quite a bit and (speculating here) perhaps he's trying to overwhelm me so that he can have "the last word" in this discussion.

Now I must emphasize - I am not yet ready for a full/contextual response.  If his goal is to overwhelm - well, it's working partially.  I say partially because the volumes of his replies is slowing me down, but there WILL be a response, as I have promised.

Noting again now... I am appreciative of Mr. Swan's efforts to demonstrate potential and realized flaws in the citations which have been on my website regarding "The Reformers on Mary."  Once we've pretty much exhausted this discussion (which based upon Swan's repeating his points, I think we're pretty close to that now) then I will amend the original page on my site as well as the "work in progress" blog entry here so that both places will have the same information.

So, with that, I will close.  This posting is intended to be acknowledgment of Swan's continued responses and to let the readership here know that a response is forthcoming.



  1. Your reply to Steve Hays is one of the reasons I like CathApol. You refused to get into a fight with this childish fool. You told him to stick with the issues instead of throwing insults at you. Other Catholic blogs shold follow your example instead of allowing someone like Hays to rant on and on abot the Holy Catholic Chrch.

  2. You're right about Swan trying to "swarm" you. That tactic is used quite often by people and organizations who are trying to win a argement or dispte with someone with a better or a more accurate point of view. they reason that if I/they can put out more verbage than their opponent, they will win the argement. If the opponent falls into the trap of trying to answer everything that is being tossed at him, he will probably lose from sheer exhaustion trying to answer everything that is thrown his way. So just answer at your own pace and let Swan waste his time (and not yours) with his verbalrrha.

  3. Well, my comment at BeggarsAll was posted and then it disappeared, now it's back again. I'm not sure how that's happening... all I can think is it's one of two things:
    1) The "spam filter" catches it after it's posted and puts it in the spam folder until an administrator releases it.
    2) Someone there deleted it, but did not "permanently" and thus it showed back up again.

    I'm leaning more toward option 1, as I believe a temporarily deleted comment still leaves a placeholder saying "Comment deleted" and once it is permanently deleted, there's no way to get it back. Anyway, the comments I removed above may be found at BeggarsAll.

    I reiterate my position - I am working on Mr. Swan's comments, he's posted a LOT of them (5 parts). Granted, some of them are merely repeats - but I still have to weed through them. He's also not very supportive at times. When it suits him, he posts quotes and/or images of original sources, but at other times he's taken the position of "go out and buy it yourself." Well, I've already gone out and bought 3 sources (spending over $50 so far) so as I said, I'm not opposed to spending some money - but I'm not going to break the bank over this.

  4. I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower also.

  5. Mr. Hays position is rather rich, accusing me of dishonesty - and drive by apologetics, when it was Mr. Swan who "drove by" my site, found a page on my site which I didn't even author - and even as I am making the effort to present the facts accurately - AND am sticking to the point. The "peanut gallery" over there is getting into distractions, insults, back patting and high-fiving. It was tempting to continue defending myself against such childishness - but I'm just going to continue my response to Mr. Swan, as I have time, and in the interim, I am removing that page from my site. The version which is here I'll keep as that is the one I am editing for use.

  6. I gotta admit, the behavior of Protestants at Beggars All often really depresses me. But I also gotta admit, the behavior of Catholics is often equally as depressing. I will say, I am rather impressed at how you have managed to keep your cool in the midst of some of the more unmerciful comments concerning yourself.

    I still don't understand why you care whether Luther believed the IC or not? You don't hold him an authority, but neither do any Protestants. If he believed it, then he was wrong.

    Rather than trying to show that a Reformer right out of Roman Catholicism still maintained some residual Roman Catholic beliefs, wouldn't it be more worthwhile to try to demonstrate the IC in some manner that Protestants find compelling?

    That was a thought.

    Love in Christ,
    John Lollard

  7. John,
    Your thought is a good thought. The only reason I have for "fixing" the page I had up on my site is due to the fact that it apparently had misinformation on it, and I had it posted for quite a few years. I'm sure my site has been a source for others too - so I want to correct the information and republish that page.

    In the longrun, you're correct - what Luther believed - even throughout his life - is of little significance to really any of us in the 21st century. While we would maintain he held on to some truths longer than others, those who oppose the IC would just say he was wrong - as Mr. Swan has already expressed would be his view if my view prevails. As I said, the only "win" here for me is to present an accurate page in place of the one I've since removed. I'm sure Swan & Co. would be happy if I were to just quit and give up on this - I'll not give him/them that satisfaction.

    It does seem that the closer I get to presenting the truth - the more the insults fly from "their side." They are acting like they have something to hide, something to be ashamed of - and truly, their behavior IS something to be ashamed of. Perhaps there is another "win" possible here - and that would be for them to realize and admit to how poorly they are behaving and amend their ways? I won't hold my breath for that to happen - but one can hope.

    In JMJ,

  8. Ironically, while I have stated my whole apologetic is not based in answering Luther's view on the IC, just look at the last 6 articles here on CathApol compared to the last 6 on BeggarsAll (as of this morning). While I am working on my web page off-line, I am not focusing all my attention on this Luther and the IC discussion.

    CathApol = 1:6 (back to 12/24)
    BeggarsAll = 5:6 (back to 12/23)

    Now, I've already spent too much time on this today and will be out of town tomorrow - I might be looking at some more tonight, but likely won't get back to much until Jan. 2nd or 3rd.

    Happy Seventh Day of Christmas! And if I don't see you before, a Blessed New Year!

    In JMJ,

  9. Swan mistakenly stated:

    You go Scott! I can't wait to see the proof for Luther's lifelong belief in Mary's assumption. You'll be the first!

    To which I responded:
    Last I checked, we're not debating the Assumption but the Immaculate Conception.

    You are indeed a hard person to dialog with. I always have to repeat and clarify with you.

    So, you misspoke and made a statement about me arguing for Luther's "lifelong belief in the Assumption," when I have never argued for such a thing and the web page in question did not either. You made a simple mistake, confusing the Assumption for the Immaculate Conception - and rather than take a simple correction - you attempt to turn this back on me - and *I* and the "hard person to dialog with?"

    1. The web page you took down and that which you are revising is called: "Reformers on Mary
    An Assembly of Quotes" correct?


    2. That web page contains this statement:"Assumption of the Blessed Virgin-Although he did not make it an article of faith, Luther said of the doctrine of the Assumption:
    "There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know."

    Yes, it indeed does.

    3. Isn't this the web page you're revising? Or you're only revising some of it?

    Yes, it is the page and I am revising quite a bit of it.

    4. I've seen with this "debate" with you that you don't appear to read things carefully, and I have to clarify and repeat, often. Is this because you're just skimming through quickly? Why would I ever want to "debate" you on any other subject?

    Again, it was you, Mr. Swan, who made a mistake here. The discussion or "debate" we have been engaged in regarding a "lifelong belief" has been wholly on the subject of the Immaculate Conception. The primary mention of the Assumption is that one citation from the webpage, and we've scarcely mentioned it since then, and certainly not in the context of a "lifelong belief" of Luther.

    And now you use this faux pas as an excuse not to debate on a challenge you yourself made. Well, don't debate it if your content not to - but remove the statement that no Catholic is willing to debate you on the subject (of tradition), for that is quite false.

  10. Scot, the Swan is trying to swarm you. Keep doing what you're doing right now. Keep him on the subject you're supposed to be discussing. If he contines to go off topic, drop it so you won't waste your time and energy. I suspect he'll pull this stunt everytime he wants to discuss anything with you, so you might want to consider wheather it's even worthwhile to dialogue with him.

  11. JS: LOL Scott- I did mean "Assumption." You are simply too much.

    Well, if you indeed meant that, then again it is not *I* who is being difficult here! Rather, after WEEKS of discussing the "lifelong belief" of Luther on the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - you've suddenly switched gears to discuss the ASSUMPTION? "LOL" all you want, but the objective reader here knows who is trying to stay on topic and who isn't. I would have accepted the "oops, I meant the IC" - as others have made the same mistake, but to now claim you MEANT to say "Assumption" demonstrates a deliberate attempt to distract the discussion we were having.

    I repeat, I am not arguing and have no plans of doing so, for a lifelong belief by Luther in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statement on the web page merely stated that he acknowledges she is in heaven, and knows not how she got there. In short, he accepts there was an assumption - but does not know the means of that assumption. That is ALL I have to say on the matter of Luther's belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


    PS- Just one of my pet peaves, and I blundered it... I said "if your content not to..." and that should be "if you're content not to..." in the previous comment I posted.

  12. Thanks scotju, I do understand what is going on and that is why, as you point out, I am trying to keep Swan focused. Soon this will be over, I have no intention of prolonging it after the web page is republished - though he is threatening a new assault on the web page. Since I am crediting him in many of the sources on Luther, he will be attacking himself through much of it, unless he lets those citations slide. If he does let them slide, there's not a whole lot left! I, for one, am not ashamed to list him as a source if he indeed was my source. I have no doubt that he has far more Luther resources than I ever will have.

    In JMJ,

  13. As I've tried to point out more than once, one reason to prove Luther's belief in the IC is that some protestants believe it is a recent invention of the Church. It was proclaimed dogma in the 19th century but was a belief of the Church from the beginning of her founding by the Apostles at the command of Christ Himself.

    So, at the very least, the very least, the concept of the IC dates to the 16th century. That is at least 300 years before the Church "made it up" according to some prots. The belief in the IC can be proven through the writings of the ECFs and has its roots in Luke chapter one and Revelation 12.

    As for authority...of course Catholics don't see Luther as an authority. He was a heretic. Many Protestants no longer see him as an authority because his theology doesn't agree with the one their religion made up in the last couple of centuries (or later). Most of them hold to no authority at all except what their pastor, minister, leader, head of the house,...say is true.

    The IC is a 2,000 year old truth. Period. Whether Luther believed it or not is irrelevant EXCEPT to prove it is NOT a recent invention of the Church.

  14. Blogger CathApol said...

    I am not accusing you of dishonesty, but you did flip topics midstream on the "life-long belief" topic. We were (and I assume continue to be) discussing the life-long belief of Luther on the Immaculate Conception, and NOT the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ABVM).

    As for the deleting of comments, that was my faux pas, and I humbly admitted it within moments of seeing what really happened. Again, it happened twice - that's all - and previously I had never experienced that from the author side (and only rarely from the admin side). I was unaware that posts may show up for a moment and then be marked "spam" and "disappear" until an administrator approves them. I have been quite understanding of other posts which appear to have done the same thing since then.

    I do not and am not accusing you of dishonesty. Did I accuse you of changing subjects? Yes, that's not necessarily dishonest - that's just muddying up the waters. IF we had been discussing a "life-long belief in the ABVM, THEN you would have been justified in bringing that topic up, but we were not, the page did not, does not and will not.

    What I have done is "moved" the "updated" copy of that page to a new blog post and restored the "original" back to what the page originally had on it. That makes your comments/corrections you added in the combox make more sense. I have also updated the "Indices" page to include the addition "parts" you've posted as well as what I have posted recently (which isn't much from me since most of my public comments have been in comboxes).

    I reiterate - I do not believe you to be handling this dishonestly. I have not been too keen on the backhanded compliments and/or outright insults, and I believe I've not responded in kind. I remain gracious and thankful for your efforts and research.


    James Swan said...


    As far as I can tell, the immaculate conception part of this has been over for quite a while. There's really no meaningful discussion going on anyhow: I put forth stuff, respond to your arguments, you ignore most or all of it.

    Why don't you finish your entry, and when you're "done" I'll take a look at it, and comment. That is, I'll respond to the information you put forth as "american catholic truth" whether it's about the immaculate conception, the assumption, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.

    If you have any sort of responses to my entries on Luther & the immaculate conception, then we'll revisit the topic. As it stands now, you don't have any, so we might as well slam the lid on things over here.

    I'll be shutting down these comments since you really aren't responding to any of Luther's Mariology, or the points I've raised.

  15. As far as I can tell, the immaculate conception part of this has been over for quite a while. There's really no meaningful discussion going on anyhow: I put forth stuff, respond to your arguments, you ignore most or all of it.

    I see, you declare it - it's over. Swanna locuta est, causa finita est.

    The fact of the matter is, you've brought up side-topics, I've responded to them. Part of what you're doing is actually keeping me from finishing the web page.

    Why don't you finish your entry, and when you're "done" I'll take a look at it, and comment. That is, I'll respond to the information you put forth as "american catholic truth" whether it's about the immaculate conception, the assumption, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.

    That's fine.

    If you have any sort of responses to my entries on Luther & the immaculate conception, then we'll revisit the topic. As it stands now, you don't have any, so we might as well slam the lid on things over here.

    I've had plenty to say. I've even granted how one can read it your way in the 1544 comment. You don't give an inch - that's your prerogative.

    I'll be shutting down these comments since you really aren't responding to any of Luther's Mariology, or the points I've raised.

    I suppose that's one way to claim "the last word." Bully for you.


  16. I will focus more attention on finishing up, but I will not close the comments.


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