White Lies? Well, that's what he, James White, accuses many Catholic apologists of doing when they mention 33,000 Protestant denominations. I have responded to White a number of times on this matter, most recently in December of 2011:
White has posted another "response" to the 33,000 figure on July 29, 2012 - and though presented as new information, he attaches a video he actually published back in 2009.
The statement of 33,000 denominations is not a "lie." Like I have explained to White a few times now, it is a creative use of the numbers. In actuality, the original statement from the World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001, of 33,089 denominations includes 239 "denominations" of Catholics. How is that possible? What David A. Barrett has done is used "countries" as another "denomination." There are 234 countries in the Catholic list. So that's a statistical ONE denomination! So, in fairness, if we use the same math for the Protestant denominations (dividing the total number by the number of countries) Barrett lists 8848 Protestant denominations and then divide that by the number of countries - you're left with a statistical 38 denominations. Again, White has been shown these figures before - but chooses to ignore the REAL facts and go off on out-of-context statements from Catholic apologists and accuse them of "lying." So, in light of the FACT that White KNOWS what I am presenting (again) here - one must ask, who is REALLY lying here?
White calls upon the "honest Roman Catholics" to beg to apologists like Steve Ray, Tim Staples, etc. to "stop giving us a black eye, stop demonstrating that you don't do your homework, you don't listen to what anyone else says..." Well, I call upon the "honest Protestant" to get hold of White and "beg him to stop giving (you) a black eye!" Tell White to LISTEN to what other people say! Tell White to consider that his objections HAVE been answered and the numbers used by Catholic apologists are not "lies" - but again, a creative manipulation of the numbers. Keep in mind as well, it is NOT the Catholics who came up with the number of 33,000, rather is was David Barrett!
Has Steve Ray responded to this before? Yes! In 2007 he responded using a newer version of the World Christian Encyclopedia (I used the 2001 edition which uses numbers from 1995 - the version he's using has figures from 2000, but he doesn't cite the actual source - the Amazon.com link he points to is the 2001 edition). So, while I'd like to know with more precision which edition Ray quotes from - the bottom line is, he did the math in a similar way that I have done. Unaware of what Ray wrote in August of 2007, I wrote in December of 2007:
Here are the stats I found from the original source:
David A. Barrett said:Table 1-3 Organized Christianity: Global totals in 1995 AD
Note: Denomination is defined as an organization within a single country. This means that if the Roman Catholic church is in 234 countries, it would have a at least 234 denominations. Conversely, To say the Roman Catholic church has 239 denominations in 234 countries, is a conclusion that seriously misreads the data. On the other hand, the fact that there are 8848 denominations in the Protestant column, does not mean there are 8848 Protestant denominations as Catholics suggest. If you divide 8848 by the 237 countries, you come up with a figure of only actual 37 denominations in 237 countries.
Mega-bloc |.........| Denominations in 1995 |..| countries
Roman Catholic...| 239 ..............................| 234 (dividing it out, that's a statistical "1")
Orthodox.............| 764 .............................|133 (statistical = 6)
Protestant ...........| 8848 ...........................| 231 (statistical = 38)
Anglicans ............| 168 .............................| 162 (statistical = 1)
Marginal .............| 1488 ............................| 215 (statistical = 7)
Independent .......| 21,582 .........................| 220 (statistical = 98)
Total ...................| 33,089 .........................| 237 (statistical = 140)
(David A. Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001, p 12)
(The "statistical" statements in parentheses were added by me, and I used his math.)
So, that's where the "34,000" figure came from. It INCLUDES Catholics in the numbering of Christians, but using the editor's own math, Catholicism is a statistical "1" whereas Protestants are "38" groups, then add in the "98" independents and you can see the dividing of the Body of Christ - which is contrary to His Will. His Will is that we are to be One, just as He and the Father are One - and we WERE One, for over 1000 years when Orthodoxy split with Catholicism, and it would be another 500 years later that Protestantism would be born and further splits would be made from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In JMJ, Scott<<<
PS- I would also note that in "using the author's math," he misrepresents his own figure by 1, since he used the TOTAL number of countries and divided that into the number of Protestant groups - but according to his own figures - there are only Protestants in 231 countries, not 237. That is why my parenthetical "statistics" are slightly off from his earlier statement. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/catholicdebateforum/message/19209I had actually written that earlier myself on the Locutus Webboard, but due to security concerns on my webserver, I took down Locutus - so I am not sure of the exact date I first posted my information.
What I find a bit disturbing in White's presentation is that he mixes fact with fiction. Yes, IF we use the 33,000 figure, that INCLUDES 239 Roman Catholics. But White goes off on the 200+ number and does not consider the ACTUAL number, that which I have represented as a "statistical" number above when the number of countries is factored in.
White also objects that in that larger number "we" (Catholic apologists) include marginal, independent and other Protestants - like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. I realize HE does not consider these as fellow Protestants, but nonetheless, they remain in "protest" against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which Jesus Christ Himself founded in 33ad.
As I have expressed above, ANY NUMBER GREATER THAN ONE equates to that number, minus one, TOO MANY!
Will White acknowledge that Catholic apologists have responded to his accusation of "lies?" Will he admit to his own lies - or at least that he himself stretches the truth for his propaganda/agenda? Don't hold your breath on that one.
As for ME - I do not favor using the 33,000+ number - for even if we're not "lying" in using it, it is a bit more complicated - and you have to be prepared to defend yourself and know the REAL numbers behind the 33,000+ figure. I repeat, ANY NUMBER GREATER THAN ONE equates to that number, minus one, TOO MANY! Don't get caught up in insisting upon huge numbers! If the number is TWO, it's huge in God's eyes when it comes to "denominating" His followers for He desires that we are ONE, just as the Father and the Son are One. (John 17:21)