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  #1  
Old Sep 3, '10, 4:00 pm
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Tabby Tabby is offline
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Default Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

It looks like James White has been having a dispute with Fr. Peter Stravinskas over a debate they were supposed to have at the end of August on the Immaculate Conception:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4082
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4145

From what I've read of his work, James White tends to paint himself in the best possible light and others in the darkest shades possible. I'm curious if anyone knows whether there is more to this story than Mr. White has chosen to share.
  #2  
Old Sep 3, '10, 5:42 pm
bona fides bona fides is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabby View Post
It looks like James White has been having a dispute with Fr. Peter Stravinskas over a debate they were supposed to have at the end of August on the Immaculate Conception:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4082
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4145

From what I've read of his work, James White tends to paint himself in the best possible light and others in the darkest shades possible. I'm curious if anyone knows whether there is more to this story than Mr. White has chosen to share.
I don't know if there is more behind this or not. But it was very clear to me from the video in the #2 link that White had salted the audience with deeply studied Protestant "experts" and that the audience was overwhelmingly stacked against Fr. Stravinskas. I would like to know if Fr. Stravinskas knew that this was really supposed to be a debate and not just a general ecumenical collegiate Q&S session. The man cross examining him on the purgatory questions was insulting - "well that's an interesting translation". I don't know the debate format but a general audience member would never take a superior tone with a panelist or principal debater as the cross examiner did here. Fr. showed remarkable poise and intellect in not permitting himself to be entrapped by the cross- examiner who was using every trick in the book to try to elevate himself and subordinate Fr. Stravinskas. This was less about a theology debate as it was an attempt to publicly subordinate and humble a Catholic priest in my opinion. Fr. Stravinskas never lost his cool and was polite and respectful but was subject to some very rude tactics. The Protestants know very well that Catholics do not believe that anyone who goes to purgatory goes to hell. But that was the strawman that they were trying to push Fr. Stravinskas into in both videos. The first one they tried to make it look like souls already judged as "saved" by God and in purgatory could buy ther way out of "hell" by "writing a check". That was insulting. In the second video Fr. never got to explain that the soul who suffers loss by fire (works of straw and hay etc.) would still gain heaven just like the one who had all good works of gold etc. but the loss suffered was a diminishment in the capacity for deeper beatitude. Father probably could not argue this point since its not official doctrine and the debaters were trying to force him to take a position on an interior aspect of purgatory that we have private revelation from but no dogmatic or catechetical teaching on. That was "out of order" and a "foul". White should have moderated it if he was a man - but he's not a gentleman and permitted it as a grandstand.

People like White are opportunist and dirty-players. White tries to claim that father caused him to scrub/cancel a debate that he admits was never contracted. What a double speaking serpentine tactic. White plays dirty and has to resort to cheap tricks to advance himself. And that's the whole problem with debating White - its not at all about building up the Kingdom its about advancing White's finances and ego. Men like White eventually go down hard and in flames. It will be truly "interesting" to see it when it all comes back on him...

BF
  #3  
Old Sep 3, '10, 6:01 pm
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Exclamation Stravinskas and White

Fr. Stravinskas wanted more control over the debates than usual. That's it. AOMIN wouldn't agree to that. Chris Ferrara took up the Immaculate Conception debate, and I'm sure did fine.

The Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God (Juniper Carol, etc)

BTW, Fr. didn't do that poorly in his opening statement on purgatory, it was rather decent. He's just not used to the rapid fire back and forth required during debate. And White has lots of experience doing that.

Arguments Against Purgatory Considered

Phil P
  #4  
Old Sep 3, '10, 6:32 pm
Fr. Peter Stravinskas Fr. Peter Stravinskas is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

I would be happy to clarify the situation.

1. On July 6, Mr. Chris Arnzen contacted me on behalf of Mr. James White, to determine if I would be willing to debate Mr. White again. This time, on "the sinlessness of Mary," to be held around August 28 at an Assemblies of God church on Long Island. I replied to the email by asking Mr. Arnzen to contact me for a telephone conversation, which he did. At that time, I made three stipulations: a. the topic should be broadened to "the place of Mary in the life of the Christian"; b. the Assemblies of God venue was unacceptable and that I would insist on either a Catholic site or a neutral one; c. any video distribution of all or any part of the debate would have to be cleared by me (and similarly by James White for my distribution). Mr. Arnzen agreed to pass on those stipulations to Mr. White. The reason for the last requirement was that Mr. White had posted clips of our previous debate on Purgatory without my knowledge and used material in a less-than-honest representation of the total debate.

2. Mr. Arnzen immediately encouraged me to find a Catholic venue, which I did rather quickly (although it changed once due to size considerations but was finally settled by July 19).

3. By July 20, I asked again if all three stipulations were acceptable, at which time Mr. White said he would never agree to my third requirement. A series of emails and phone conversations ensued. When Mr. White was adamant in his refusal of my original terms, I informed him that I would not participate -- as I had indicated on the very first day of the converstion with Mr. Arnzen.

4. Subsequently, Mr. White posted his version of events on his website, which was brought to my attention by a viewer. I contacted Mr. Arnzen to object to the skewed presentation of "facts" and asked that either the post be deleted or that an accurate account be given, namely, that the video issue was a sine qua non for my participation from the very first conversation. Therefore, my refusal to participate on July 20 was not "backing out" (as though I was intimated by the theological acumen and debating skills of Mr. White); rather, he had failed to comply with the original demands.

5. Mr. White danced around the issue in several emails. By August 18, he asserted that Mr. Arnzen had no authority to make any agreements on his behalf (if so, what is an agent?). Subsequently, Mr. Arnzen admitted in a phone conversation that perhaps he had neglected to bring the issue to Mr. White's attention in a timely fashion. At which point, I suggested that that fact be entered into the record.

I want to stress that throughout the planning process, Mr. Arnzen was nothing but a genuine Christian gentleman. I cannot say the same for the man for whom he seeks speaking and debating engagements; one need only read Mr. White's post to discover nastiness and arrogance writ large.

My fundamental (no pun intended) mistake was even entertaining a Round Two with the man. As someone noted earlier here, he had packed the audience for Round One with groupies from hundreds of miles away. At the outset of that debate (by the way, I coached high school debate for years), I said that I was not enthralled with the idea of theological debates because they rarely accomplished much; I noted that the Church's participation in debates with Jews (in the Middle Ages) and Protestants (at the Reformation) did little to win either men's minds or hearts. I would have preferred a friendly theological conversation or dialogue.

Bottom line: I was not making a demand of Mr. White, from which I would be exempt. My participation was, from the first moment, contingent on the acceptability of my three terms. If that data was not conveyed to Mr. White with sufficient notice or if Mr. White chose to ignore those demands, that is not my problem. It simply means I did not back out of the debate; it was never a viable possibility, to begin with.
  #5  
Old Sep 3, '10, 7:52 pm
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Lightbulb Fr. Peter and almsgiving

Thanks for the clarification, I stand corrected. Love your books, I have several.

As for the almsgiving quotes from Tobit (the YouTube clip), here are several references to the Fathers in support (ironically from a "Puritan" site):

The Early Church and Alms-Giving

Rewards for almsgiving

When you can do good, do not hesitate. For "alms delivers from death" [Tob. 4:10]. Polycarp (c. 135, E), 1.35.

Therefore, almsgiving is a good thing, as is repentance from sin. Fasting is better than prayer. But almsgiving is better than both. "For love covers a multitude of sins." Second Clement (c. 150), 7.522.

As Solomon says, "He that has pity upon the poor lends unto the Lord." For God, who stands in need of nothing, takes our good works to Himself for this purpose: that He may grant us a reward from His own good things. For our Lord says: "Come, you blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat." St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180, E/W), 1.486.

Sins are purged by alms and acts of faith. St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.363.

It is written, "Alms do deliver from death." Assuredly, this is not from that [original] death that the blood of Christ has extinguished and from which the saving grace of baptism and of our Redeemer has delivered us. Rather, it is from the death that creeps in afterwards through sins. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.332.

Be earnest in righteous works, by which sins may be purged. Frequently apply yourself to almsgiving, by which souls are freed from death…Let good works be done without delay. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.447.

Make Christ a partner with you in earthly possessions, that He also may make a fellow-heir with Him in His heavenly kingdom. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250, W), 5.479.

The matter comes to this: whatever a has bestowed upon another person with thought of receiving an advantage from him he really bestows upon himself. For such a man will receive a reward from God. God has also admonished us that if at any time we prepare a feast, we should invite to the entertain*ment those who cannot invite us in return. St. Lactantius (c. 304-313, W), 7 A 76.

Tobit is Scripture, and that alms aid our salvation the earliest Fathers believed. Of course not the crass caricature that White presents, but:

"In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For this year’s Lenten Message, I wish to spend some time reflecting on the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. The force of attraction to material riches and just how categorical our decision must be not to make of them an idol, Jesus confirms in a resolute way: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Lk 16,13). Almsgiving helps us to overcome this constant temptation, teaching us to respond to our neighbor’s needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness. This is the aim of the special collections in favor of the poor, which are promoted during Lent in many parts of the world. In this way, inward cleansing is accompanied by a gesture of ecclesial communion, mirroring what already took place in the early Church." (Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2008)

Amen.

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on "alms" --

Dikaiosune and eleemosune are both used in the Septuagint to translate chesedh, "kindness," and are also both used to translate tsedhaqah, "justice." Almsgiving was regarded not merely as a plain evidence of righteousness in general but also as an act of justice, a just debt owing to the needy. "No one refuses directly," Mackie says, hence, possibly, Christ's teaching in Luke 11:41, "Let your righteousness (charity) be from within," "Give your hearts to almsgiving."

Defined by the old Catholic Encyclopedia: "(Greek eleemosune, "pity," "mercy"), any material favor done to assist the needy, and prompted by charity, is almsgiving."

"Scripture is rich in passages which directly or indirectly emphasize the necessity of contributing towards the welfare of the needy. The history of the Church in Apostolic times shows that the early Christians fully realized the importance of this obligation. Community of goods (Acts 4:32), collections in church (Acts 11:29ff; 1 Cor 16:1; Gal 2:10), the ministry of deacons and deaconesses were simply the inauguration of that world-wide system of Christian charity which has circumscribed the globe and added another testimony to the Divinity of that Church which directs her ministrations towards the alleviation of human misery in every shape and form...The Fathers of the Church frequently and unequivocally inculcated the necessity of almsgiving."

(then follows references to St. Cyprian, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St, Augustine, etc).

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8, NIV)

Thought I'd help a little.

Phil P
  #6  
Old Sep 3, '10, 9:48 pm
BernadetteM BernadetteM is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

What really is the point of debating Mr. White or others like him? They don't win hearts and as with this case are used in devious ways to prove their own points.

If no one would debate Mr. White again he would go back to being someone no one has ever heard of. Until I read on CAF of others debating Mr. White I had never heard his name and would hope Catholics leave him to his deception and lies with none to watch and give him some kind of legitimacy.

The Catholic Church appears to be the only Church that is so hated by so many, which points to it being the True Church founded by Christ.

These types of "Christians" have hearts of stone and unless the Holy Spirit opens the door I don't think a 1000 debates will change them.

I understand that Catholics would like to have the true Faith for all, but I believe that Christ said " if they don't hear then shake the dust from you sandals and walk away", my wording.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette
  #7  
Old Sep 4, '10, 3:51 am
Fr. Peter Stravinskas Fr. Peter Stravinskas is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

You are absolutely correct on all scores, Bernadette. Debating White just gives him a forum. Let him wallow in silence, conducting his meetings in some now-unused phone booth. As I noted at the end of my entry, experience -- both personal and historical -- demonstrate that little or nothing is gained from debates.
  #8  
Old Sep 4, '10, 9:49 am
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Arrow debates

Now I don't want to start a "debate" on the topic , but it can be argued that Jesus (with the Pharisees) and Paul "debated" (the Greek word συζητώ = argue, debate, discuss, reason). Acts 18:28 "For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ." (NIV) or "....with powerful arguments in public debate....." (NLT) or "For with much vigour he convinced the Jews openly, shewing by the scriptures, that Jesus is the Christ." (Douay-Rheims).

But debating someone who cannot be convinced, cannot admit when they are wrong, is closeminded, and/or is out to ridicule the opponent after the debate, might be a waste of time. That may be true of White, and many people think it is.

Mainly I see debates as benefit for those in the audience (or the general public) who have questions, and are "on the fence" willing to be convinced one way or the other. This is best done when both sides represent the best possible case for their position respectfully (whether it is Catholic vs. Protestant, Christian vs. atheist, etc). Plus they can be fun to listen to. Written debates are probably best for this purpose, as oral / formal debates require a special skill to be successful. Although I haven't debated formally, so I don't really know, but I have watched / listened to my share. I think they are fun if they don't get too "heated".

I have many on this page here (but no White online since AOMIN doesn't allow it)

Phil P
  #9  
Old Sep 4, '10, 4:24 pm
Catholic Dude Catholic Dude is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

Debates with James White can be beneficial (though not always). For example, he wouldn't stand a chance if he debated Sola Fide, as this post shows quite decisively:

http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/201...sis-of-my.html

While White is one of the better Protestant Apologists, there are numerous Catholic arguments against Protestantism that are just too damning (pun intended).
  #10  
Old Sep 4, '10, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

All are welcome to offer a prayer for James White at the Prayer Intentions thread.
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God the Father and Reconciliation (MP3)
  #11  
Old Sep 5, '10, 2:14 am
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Exclamation SuperWhite

<< Let him wallow in silence, conducting his meetings in some now-unused phone booth. >>

Sorry I keep thinking of this image:



Brings a different meaning to the biblical phrase "put on the new man"....

Phil P
  #12  
Old Sep 5, '10, 3:04 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: Fr. Peter Stravinskas and James White

I understand the need for the third condition. Prooftexting can happen to video as easily as it does to Sacred Scripture. It seems a reasonable precaution.
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Old Sep 5, '10, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: SuperWhite

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilVaz View Post
<< Let him wallow in silence, conducting his meetings in some now-unused phone booth. >>

Sorry I keep thinking of this image:



Brings a different meaning to the biblical phrase "put on the new man"....

Phil P
Nice "W." I am now officially impressed with your graphic prowess.
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  #14  
Old Sep 5, '10, 6:13 pm
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Question CalvinMan

<< Nice "W." I am now officially impressed with your graphic prowess. >>

Kind of sloppy, it must look "seamless."

Don't know whether to go with "W" or "C" for CalvinMan. And the book would say "Institutes". Or jersey would say RB and book would be BC for Baptist Confession of 1689.

Phil P
  #15  
Old Sep 7, '10, 12:33 am
PhilVaz PhilVaz is offline
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Exclamation salt and pepper

White blog citing Fr. Stravinskas << "As someone noted earlier here, he had packed the audience for Round One with groupies from hundreds of miles away." Again, this is a lie that, evidently, Mr. Stravinskas (see how easy that is?) is intent upon repeating. Ironic, given his threat to take legal action, that he would keep repeating a manifestly false statement. I wonder what evidence he has that I "packed" the audience? He might wish to make sure that evidence is solid. >>

Fine you didn't salt the audience. A little pepper maybe? No? All right. Point taken. You have little control of such things.

Now go back to your phone booth, where you belong, or else send a few groupies our way to debate the issues. What are we, a rock band? Groupies?

BTW, that Akin vs. White from 1995 may not be a formal debate, but it was a lot more interesting than about 99% of your "debates" and covers all the issues. Too bad you didn't interrupt more often during that one. The only one more interesting may have been the Matatics vs. Bahnsen from KKLA 1992 (part of "Best of PhilVaz").

But anyway, the Akin vs. White shall continue to be offered as the definitive Catholic vs. evangelical/fundamentalist (radio) debate until you come up with something better, more interesting, that covers all the topics. More radio debates please!

To repeat: White's main "case" against Catholicism has been answered quite thoroughly in here. From some old threads:

White's Papacy argument
(see the PDF's in this thread, it's all been done much better with more sophistication over 100 years ago, the Anglican vs. Catholic battles in England)

The Papacy and James White

White's invitation to Guardian and others

White and sola scriptura

White and old arguments he won't use anymore

Documenting James White (and ad hominem, etc)

And so on....that's enough for now. Do a search for more.

Phil P

Last edited by PhilVaz; Sep 7, '10 at 12:48 am.
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