Response to White’s Assumption(s)

by Steve Ray on August 16, 2007

Update Sunday, 8/19/07: My Defense and Explanation of the Assumption and Queenship of Mary is coming along nicely. It is currently at 24 pages since I wanted to be thorough. That is why I object to people demanding an answer "right now! At first I was going to keep it very short, but for the sake of many other readers, and because Sunday was a quiet, rainy day, I thought I would be more thorough. Plus, I just LOVE this stuff and once I get started it is hard to stop! I think some may regret their quick and cavalier responses. I hope to have it up in a day or two.

Tomorrow (Thursday or whenever I can get to it) I will be posting my brief response. Gary Michuta wrote the basic response and I will flesh it out and add a few items. Gary is a very good apologist and you can learn more about him at http://www.handsonapologetics.com. But first I have to finish the Study Guide for the Apostolic Fathers' DVD which has to go to the printer this week.

I find I am important enough to again be featured on White's blog. I just skimmed through it because it is too long-winded and goes on and on. Again, he sure takes me more seriously than I've ever taken him. Since most of his latest just seems to be his typical whining and invective, I'm  not wasting my time in a lengthy response. He's not worth the time it would take  to respond to his latest rant other than to say what I've known for a while. He is a waste of time and getting into a tangle with him always makes me feel like I need a shower. My guess is that a lot of people feel this way, except of course his groupies.

There, now White has another "mean thing said by Steve Ray." So today he can howl some more and write another long-winded rant. This is actually kind of sad — like poking a rabid dog with a stick. He always responds so predictably.   :-)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara August 17, 2007 at 9:57 AM

Everytime I see this sort of exchange that includes James White, I can’t help but think it must pain his sister Patty tremendously. To everyone involved thus far: we can engage in defending the faith without unduly burdening our sister any further than she must be already.

Guardian August 17, 2007 at 10:12 AM

If Ole’ Jimbo White wants a response he can go get a multitude of books written about Mary’s assumption from the local library. Why doesn’t he refute the hundreds of pages that have already been documented and systematically laid out over the years by scholarly research? He always demands that busy Catholic apologists (who have more important things to do) respond ASAP to his latest blog entry about anything he disagrees with.

In reality, Ole’ Jimbo doesn’t need a response, he just needs lots of love and hugs. :)

Dave August 17, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Hi Steve,
I am a Roman Catholic. I, thank God, will always be so. I affirm all that the Catholic Church teaches.

I am also an admirer of your work. I have some of your books and tapes and they have helped me to grow in my faith. Keep up the great work!

Now, in regards to James White, I know there is a lot that can be said about him. I have read a great deal of his work and I, of course, think that it has been refuted.

But, regardless of the way James himself acts, I am rather ashamed of the way a great many Catholics speak about him. Regardless of the way James White behaves, I do not believe that we have the right to speak ill of him.

Now, I know that some people use humor, but sometimes that humor goes to far. I am completly disappointed with the likes of Dr. Art Sippo. I see an utter lack of charity in the way he deals with people. I wish he would change his ways. I know that some people may say that St. Jerome use to blast their opponents as well as some other saints did, but that still does not make it right. Others may say that Jesus Himself would blast the Pharisees. Well, none of us are God. Jesus can do what He wants, but His command to us is to love one another, regardless of what the other person does to us. I know that we are only human, but when speaking of Christ and defending His Church, love should be pouring out of us in all our dealings, even
when the people we are dealing with are not charitable in return. I believe it is Saint Paul who tells us to always love so that we can heap burning coals on
our enemies (I am paraphrasing since I don’t have a Bible on me at the moment.)

Your work is excellent Steve. Your work stands up to what James White presents. But when you let anger come into your writtings, or when humor goes over board, I think that we are only hurting the body of Christ. Jesus does not want to see His children fighting.

Remember, we are going to be judged for every idle word. Let all of our words be full of love to everyone that we deal with, even to James White. He has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him as well. To speak nasty of James White, or anyone for that matter, is to speak nasty to Jesus Himself.

Again, we are not Jesus. Jesus commands us to love. Love, love, love and more love! Let us deal with everyone as we would deal with Jesus Himself! If James White does not want any personl dealings with any Catholics then just let him be. He will have to explain why that is to Jesus. All we can do is kick the dust off of our feet, walk away and continue to pray for him. But we can continue to
address the errors of his exegesis (I don’t have any examples at this time) in
a charitable, loving way. That is what Jesus would want of us.

Steve Ray August 17, 2007 at 12:52 PM

Dave: Thanks for your kind words and support. I appreciate your post too and take it to heart — I really do.

 But I would say that besides exhorting us to love, Paul also said he wished the circumcizing Judiazers would slip with the knife and cut the whole thing off — castrate themselves (Gal 5:12). He also said, "You foolish ("stupid" in NJB and other translations) Gatatians, who has bewitched you."

Jesus who was the most loving of all was also brutally honest at appropriate times. Just one example is this: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (Mt 23:27).

Love is not synonomous with "nice". Jesus' words above would be considererd very inappropriate today and politically incorrect, but he said the truth. Many of us have a history with guys like White. When I say I feel like a shower after interacting with him, it is the absolute truth. But, like you correctly exhort me, I have no hostility against him or bitterness and I do pray for him.

Dave August 17, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your reply! :)
Please pray for me as well, because I sometimes loose my temper and
speak uncharitably of others. I pray that the Lord removes that from my soul.

I have a question in regards to Paul’s epistles and the Assumption of Mary.

One of the arguments I hear from Protestants is that the traditions that Paul is referring to in his epistles is the Gospesl that he already delivered in previous epistles and thus that would make the Assumption of the Blessed Mother a tradition of man.

I posit that St. Paul could have written his epistles before the Blessed Mother was assumed (but she obviously would have to had been assumed before the Book of Revelation was written).

Has this topic ever been discussed? When did St. Paul write his epistles and when does tradition say the Blessed Mother was assumed?

Eric August 17, 2007 at 11:59 PM

Hello,

What I don’t understand is why is the Assumption of Mary even an issue? Why is this a dogma in the first place, considering for the first 1950 years of the church it wasnt even considered a truth in the church. I don’t know too much about the Catholic Faith so excuse my ignorance, but why wasn’t it made a dogma before 1950? It just seems late in the game to me and not really an essential issue in terms of making it a dogma for Christians to believe.

Steve Ray August 18, 2007 at 8:10 AM

Hell Eric: There is often a time lapse between what the Church believes and when she officially defines it. For example, the Church always believed in the Trinity but the word was not first used until 180 (“trias”) and it was discussed and defined over the next centuries. Complicated deep things take time to understand and explain. We knew men had hearts long ago but it wasn’t until techology developed that we could actually go in and work on them. The Assumption was part of the truth of the Church from the early centuries, but was officially defined and explained as a dogma in the last century.

StubbleSpark August 18, 2007 at 3:31 PM

Mysticism is the particle beam cannon to the sword and shield of apologetics.

It is the unanswerable offensive weapon and can be employed in situations like these.

Feel free to answer White’s logical arguments, but do not cave in to responding to his vective and you will no doubt feel less like you need a shower.

Revel in your stripes! If they were good enough for our Saviour, then they are good enough for us.

Mysticism mysticism mysticism! In order of magnitude compared to apologetics you are the angelic to the human soul. Mysticism mysticism mysticism! Blazing silver and white in the battlefield of night! Mysticism mysticism mysticism! More than Q and A, you are the only answer to evil and death.

PhilVaz August 20, 2007 at 8:38 PM

Hey Steve, I’ll link to my article in your comments here. It contains all the best material on the Assumption (magisterium, Popes, modern history, eastern and western Fathers) from Juniper Carol’s Mariology from the 1950s, plus my answers to some objections (of Bill Webster, although I don’t name him) to the Assumption at the end. I also include a few comments from Shoemaker’s (I believe he’s a non-Catholic, religious studies dept at Univ of Oregon) recent book on the origin of the Assumption traditions. Very complete.

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/AssumptionMaryJuniperCarolMariology.htm

Phil P

PhilVaz August 21, 2007 at 9:36 AM

BTW, two references to the Assumption pre-Council of Ephesus (i.e. before the Transitus literature showed up):

St. Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 377) : “….either the holy Virgin died and was buried; then her falling asleep was with honor, her death chaste, her crown that of virginity. Or she was killed, as it is written: ‘And your own soul a sword shall pierce’; then her glory is among the martyrs and her holy body amid blessings, she through whom light rose over the world [or her holy body from which light shone forth for all the world, dwells among those who enjoy the repose of the blessed]. Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and He can do whatever He desires; for her end no one knows….” (Panarion 78:23, PG 42:737).

Timothy of Jerusalem (c. 400 AD) : “…some have supposed that the Mother of the Lord was put to death with a sword and won for herself a martyr’s end. Their reason lies in the words of Simeon, ‘And your own soul a sword shall pierce.’ But such is not the case. A metal sword, you see, cleaves the body; it does not cut the soul in two. Therefore, the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that He who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption [or to the places of His ascension, or into the regions high above].” (In prophetam Simeonem, PG 86:245).

Some late date this “Timothy, a priest from Jerusalem” however between the 6th and 8th centuries. Looking forward to the paper on the Assumption.

Phil P

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