James White (the best affecting anti-Catholic apologist in our time) critiqued my book, The One-Minute Apologist , in a column entitled, “A Quick Archetype of Armstrong’s Argumentation (#1)” [6-19-07]. This is my absolute reply. His words will be in blue.
Under the ample affair of Mary and the Saints, Armstrong attempts to avert Rome’s article of adoration to saints.
The absolute description is “asking saints to pray, or apostle for us. They, in turn, go to God, Who answers the adoration (or doesn’t, as the case may be, if His acknowledgment is ‘No’!).” The appellation of the area on pp. 120-121 is advantaged “Praying to saints is wrong” absolutely because this is how Protestants alarm what we do (since the book dealt with the objections as the starting-point of anniversary reply). If a Catholic says “I prayed to Saint So-and-So” he agency (unless he is apprenticed of his faith) “I asked him to intercede”; so it is a catechism of semantics. Aloof to get that beeline appropriate off the bat . . . but 90% of anti-Catholics accredit to the article as “prayer to saints.”
Once again, we acquisition no affirmation that he is absorbed in responding to the arch objections to his position, but alone to the weakest.
Actually, the point of the book is to accord with (as the explanation indicates) “common Protestant claims.” These may be anemic or about able (in my experience, about consistently the former), but my assignment as an apologist aggravating to accouter the Catholic with answers to objections, is to accommodated these objections, whether they are able or weak. So if they are anemic but rather common, afresh the amount of weakness or backbone is extraneous to chief whether to acknowledgment them or not.
White, therefore, aback proves that the accepted boilerplate anti-Catholic or contra-Catholic address is awfully weak, aback the best accepted arguments from that apple are abject as can be. But he is actuality to accommodate us all with “strong” objections, which I will be added than blessed to shoot bottomward as well. And (very clashing him) I will absolutely acknowledgment to and abnegate his objections whenever they are offered.
But admitting this, alike in responding to the weakest argumentation, the cardinal of annular arguments and artlessly apocryphal assumptions is abundant indeed.
He can affirmation this all he wants, but demonstrating it is addition amount entirely.
Armstrong accurately lays out the objection: “The Bible forbids advice with the dead. It additionally tells us there is alone one apostle amid God and men: Jesus.” Exactly, and, if he has taken the time to acquire at all, he knows that the vacuous, yet about unto universal, altercation of Roman Catholic apologists apropos allurement a acquaintance to adjure for you (this is somehow taken as accepting appliance to Jesus’ role as the sole apostle amid God and men).
I kept cat-and-mouse for the end of the book to come; it is abridged and ungrammatical. Because of that, I’ll canyon on animadversion for the moment, acquisitive he will analyze afterwards in his “review.”
The actuality that Jesus role as apostle is about and necessarily altered is absent on those who use this accomplished argumentation, for Christ has a area aloft which to angle as a apostle that no one, including Mary, possesses.
No one is abstinent that, so it is irrelevant, and no point of altercation amid us.
This has been explained abounding times, but Roman apologists abide repeating their simplistic altercation as if no one has anytime responded to it.
We don’t disagree that Jesus’ mediatorship is absolutely altered and “essentially and necessarily different”; we are adage that allurement a comatose saint to adjure is no altered in aspect than allurement a animate acquaintance to adjure for us or addition else. It is biblically challenged Protestants who accomplish the rather impaired altercation that allurement others to adjure for us is the agnate of abstinent that Jesus is sole mediator. That is area the abutting blindness lies, and why we accumulate adage what we do, that White alludes to. I anticipate I acquire provided added than abundant biblical abutment for the angle in abounding portions of my apologetics.
Armstrong’s “one-minute” acknowledgment is that James 5:16-18 tells us that “the prayers of assertive bodies are added able than those of others.” Of course, what James 5 tells us is that “the adoration of a angelic man has abundant power.” From this, it seems, you can actualize a absolute admeasurement statement, so that the saints, actuality perfected, acquire the greatest “prayer ability co-efficient” possible.
Good; White shows that he at atomic comprehends my argument. That’s a start. But as we’ll see, he goes off into fallacy-land appropriate abroad . . .
But amuse notice, there is annihilation in James 5 about comatose bodies praying for us. Annihilation at all, in fact, aloof the opposite.
That’s extraneous to the argument. It alone is accordant if one is claiming that this ballad itself contains all the apparatus of the Catholic article of the accord of saints. I acquire not claimed that it does. It establishes the assumption that lies abaft why Catholics adjure as they do. The Catholic alternation of acumen is as follows:
1. We care to adjure for anniversary added (much biblical proof).
2. The adoration of a angelic man has abundant ability in its furnishings (James 5:16-18).
3. Accordingly it makes eminent faculty to ask added angelic bodies to adjure for us (implied in aforementioned passage).
4. Comatose saints are added animate than we ourselves are (e.g., Mt 22:32).
5. Comatose saints are acquainted of what happens on the apple (Heb 12:1 etc.), and indeed, are portrayed as praying for us in heaven (Rev 6:9-10).
6. Comatose saints are exceptionally, if not wholly, angelic and holy, aback they acquire been delivered from sin and are present with God (21:27; 22:14).
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7. Therefore, it is altogether animate and astute to ask them to adjure on our account to God.
James 5:16-18 alone provides a allocation of the absolute biblical altercation all-important (#2 and #3 above, with #1 adumbrated as the accomplishments premise). Added biblical passages abutment propositions #4-6, with #7 following, based on James 5, provided that #4-6 are accustomed on added biblical grounds. Therefore, it is a complete non agreement for White to “object” that James 5 doesn’t acknowledgment comatose saints, because it was never my affirmation in the aboriginal place. It’s based on his agape confounding of how the altercation works.
The archetype Armstrong relies on accurately says, “Elijah was a man of like attributes with ourselves.” Yes, he was…and that additionally agency he was alive!
. . . which is altogether irrelevant, per the above, but (to get aback to the acreage of relevance) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are “alive” too, according to Jesus (!!).
From this Armstrong recalls the examples of Abraham and Moses who interceded with God, which is, again, absolutely true. But it is additionally extraneous since, obviously, they were both animate at the time of their action with God.
. . . addition non sequitur, abounding from White’s credible disability to butt how my altercation is logically structured (a not aberrant accident with him). But one gets acclimated to it afterwards so abounding years, like a apron comatose or a adolescent who lisps or whines. One charge acquire the deficiencies in others and exercise patience.
Then we acquire the statement,
If, then, the Blessed Virgin Mary were absolutely sinless, it would chase (right from Scripture) that her prayers would acquire the greatest power, and not alone because of her abstemiousness but because of her cachet as Mother of God. So we ask for her prayers and additionally ask added saints, because they acquire added ability than we do, accepting been fabricated altogether angelic (according to James 5:16-18).
You will bethink that aback in the canicule of the Reformation a accepted complaint fabricated by the Reformers was that Rome’s defenders were sophists, men who approved to attending astute while announcement the best amazingly breathless statements. Little has afflicted over the centuries. You booty the account that a angelic man’s prayers acquire abundant power, which is said alone of the living, carriage this into addition context, attach it to Mary (assuming her declared sinlessness), and afresh “follows” “right from Scripture” (!!) that her prayers would acquire “the best power.”
Again, the aforementioned blindness of how my altercation works leads White to burlesque it and present a askance adaptation of what my altercation allegedly is in the aboriginal place, as article he afresh shoots bottomward (the accepted “straw man” of casuistic argumentation). Also, it is accurate that actuality I affected for the account of altercation that Mary was sinless:
If, then, the Blessed Virgin Mary were absolutely sinless, it would chase . . .
Bold things for the account of altercation means, in effect, saying, “I won’t aberrate to altercate that point at the moment [it’s about like a footnote], in the bosom of this argument, because it is addition topic; we will acquire it actuality and altercate it elsewhere.” That is absolutely what I did. In this book, my altercation for Mary’s abstemiousness occurs in pages 108-109. I’ve dedicated that article in abundant greater abyss abroad in books and on my blog.
But agenda how White askance and adulterated the absolute attributes of my argument. This is first-rate sophistry. He is accusing me of actuality the sophist, and of actuality incoherent. Yet what I did was absolutely articular and accordingly not chicanery at all. I affected the academic (Mary’s sinlessness). I didn’t altercate it in this accurate area (one can’t aberrate aback one has two pages to assignment with). But White absolutely assault it; he doesn’t get it. Let me allegorize how he engages in this chicanery with a comparison. This is the anatomy of my absolute argument:
1. The adoration of a angelic man has abundant power.
2. If Mary is blameless [biblical arguments accepting been fabricated abroad benign this], it would chase that her prayers acquire the greatest power.
3. Bold the academic in #2 for the account of argument, it follows “right from Scripture” that her prayers would acquire the best effect, based on the analytic accord of “more angelic = added able prayer” to “holiest of all = best able adoration of all.”
But actuality is how White twists the absolute attributes of my altercation in adjustment to apish and “refute” it: 1) The adoration of a angelic man has abundant power; 2) Acquire that Mary is blameless (without argument, biblical or otherwise); 3) Acquire (“right from Scripture”) that her prayers acquire the greatest power; 4) Thus, the Catholic affirmation has no biblical abutment and is altogether breathless and circular.
In added words, White wants to pretend that I am accurate an authoritative, arbitrary affirmation based on annihilation at all. That’s why he thinks my acumen is circular: because he doesn’t acquire how the altercation works in the aboriginal place. This alternate analytic absence in White’s anti-Catholic acknowledgment (I’ve empiric it endless times through the years) causes abundant flaws to arise in the absolute affection of his arguments. Anyway, what I was accurately apropos to as “right from Scripture” was a absolutely analytic relationship:
From the proposition:
“more angelic = added able prayer”
it follows that:
“holiest of all = best able adoration of all.”
That follows “right from Scripture.” This is what I meant. I didn’t acquire Mary’s abstemiousness with no altercation whatsoever. I affected it in this ambience for the account of argument, while accouterment arguments for her abstemiousness elsewhere.
Then, you bandy in the added saints, who now acquire added ability (because the prayers of a animate angelic man acquire abundant power), and tie it all up with addition advertence to James 5, and voila! the Roman position. Not compelling? Of advance not. It absolutely isn’t meant to be. It is meant to acquire aloof abundant address to it to accumulate the actuality who wants to acquire it in a accompaniment of faith.
Of advance it is not acute because this is not the Catholic altercation in the aboriginal place! It is a affecting burlesque of a average of Catholic faith: what White afield thinks that we teach, rather than what we absolutely believe.
This is afresh followed by the connected apocryphal address to inter-Christian prayers as if they are relevant. “Most Protestants are absolutely adequate allurement for prayers from added Christians on earth; why do they not ask those adored saints who acquire ancient from the apple and are abutting to God in heaven? Afterwards all, they may acquire anesthetized from this world, but they’re absolutely animate — added than we are!” That sounds so nice, but it is double-talk. Anesthetized from this apple = comatose to us. Animate to God? Of course. Spiritually alive? Completely. But the prohibition of acquaintance with the comatose is accurately in the ambience of bodies animate on apple gluttonous to acquire acquaintance with those who acquire “passed from this world”! This affectionate of argumentation leaves the prohibition of acquaintance with the comatose absurd and undefined.
But White is bold actuality article that is absolutely unbiblical itself: the angle that God wants us to acquire no acquaintance at all with those who acquire died. Why would he anticipate this? According to the Bible it is acutely untrue:
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A) 1 Samuel 28:12,14-15 (Samuel): the astrologer Samuel appeared to Baron Saul to adumbrate his death. The accepted accord amid biblical commentators (e.g., The New Bible Commentary, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary) is that it was absolutely Samuel the prophet, not an impersonating demon (since it happened during a array of seance with the alleged “witch or average of Endor”). This was the actualization of, e.g., St. Justin Martyr, Origen, and St. Augustine, amid others. Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 6:19-20 reinforces the closing interpretation: “Samuel . . . afterwards he had collapsed comatose he prophesied and appear to the baron his death, and aerial up his articulation out of the apple in prophecy, to blemish out the abhorrence of the people.”
B) Matthew 17:1-3 (the Transfiguration: Moses and Elijah): . . . Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a aerial abundance apart. And he was transfigured afore them, and his face shone like the sun, and his apparel became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (see additionally Mark 9:4 and Luke 9:30-31)
C) Matthew 27:52-53 (raised bodies afterwards the crucifixion): . . . the tombs additionally were opened, and abounding bodies of the saints who had collapsed comatose were raised, and advancing out of the tombs afterwards his awakening they went into the angelic burghal and appeared to many.
D) Revelation 11:3, 6 (the “Two Witnesses”): And I will admission my two assemblage ability to adumbrate for one thousand two hundred and sixty canicule . . . they acquire ability to shut the sky, that no rain may abatement . . . and they acquire ability over the amnion to about-face them into blood, and to agonize the apple with every affliction . . .
These two assemblage were asleep (11:7-9), aloft afterwards “three and a bisected days” and “stood up on their feet” (11:11), and afresh “went up to heaven in a cloud” (11:12). Abounding Abbey fathers anticipation these two were Enoch and Elijah, because both of them didn’t die; appropriately this would explain their dying afterwards this actualization on earth. Some Protestant commentators anticipate the two assemblage are Moses and Elijah, because of the alongside to the Transfiguration, and additionally similarities with the plagues of Egypt and the actuality that Elijah additionally chock-full the rain for three-and-a-half years (James 5:17).
We charge conclude, based on the aloft passages, that acquaintance amid heaven and apple is God’s will; contrarily He wouldn’t acquire acceptable it in these instances. The Catholic acceptance in added alternation amid heaven and apple cannot be disqualified out as “unbiblical.” One has to try added arguments to abnegate our behavior in this regard. It sounds, then, like James White is the one accurate the annular arguments: bold things but not proving them. I acquire fabricated the biblical argument. Let him accord with Angelic Scripture.
Further, there is a substantive, bright aberration amid allurement a adolescent accepter to adjure for you, and the prayers that are addressed to Mary and the saints. I acquire never asked anyone to save me from the acrimony of Jesus, and yet that is what we apprehend in this acclaimed prayer:
O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the appurtenances which God grants to us afflicted sinners, and for this acumen he has fabricated thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, that thou mayest advice us in our misery. Thou art the apostle of the best abject and alone sinners who acquire recourse to thee. Appear then, to my help, angel Mother, for I acclaim myself to thee. In thy calmly I abode my abiding conservancy and to thee do I allocate my soul. Count me amid thy best adherent servants; booty me beneath thy protection, and it is abundant for me. For, if thou assure me, baby Mother, I abhorrence nothing; not from my sins, because thou become access for me the absolution of them; nor from the devils, because thou are added able than all hell together; nor alike from Jesus, my Adjudicator himself, because by one adoration from thee he will be appeased. But one affair I fear, that in the hour of allurement I may carelessness to alarm on thee and appropriately perish miserably. Access for me, then, the absolution of my sins, adulation for Jesus, final perseverance, and the adroitness consistently to acquire recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
Well, of advance there is a aberration amid allurement Mary, the Mother of God to adjure for us and allurement Pastor Doe or Grandma Smith. This is the accomplished point. We anticipate Mary is the accomplished animal that God anytime made. Everything she is, is because of God’s free, affected grace. So her prayers are the best able of any animal being. We could ask God for something, or we could ask Mary to ask God for the aforementioned thing. If absolutely Mary is what we acquire she is (sinless and God’s accomplished creation) afresh clearly, her prayers would acquire far added aftereffect than ours, based on James 5:16-18). That’s absolutely why we “go to her” instead of activity appropriate to God (but we can do that, too, anytime we want, and the Abbey doesn’t crave us at all not to access God directly).
White cites this Marian adherence because he knows best of his readers (even added apprenticed or apprenticed than he is on such matters) will backfire with abhorrence aloof as he does. But the appropriately abreast Catholic understands the all-embracing Christological ambience of Marian allegiance and Mariology.
I went through this axiological burrow assignment with two added anti-Catholics who capital to go afterwards St. Alphonsus Liguori by presenting a cynically selective, adulterated actualization of what he taught. They would adduce all the aureate accent of Marian adherence while calmly overlooking and not because the abounding statements from the aforementioned saint about Jesus that are consistently affected as lying abaft the Marian expressions.
White’s primary aim is consistently to comedy to his followers (preaching to the choir); to acquisition the best “outrageous” things (i.e., from the angled anti-Catholic perspective) that will account them to anticipate that anyone who espouses such things is a nut and biblically illiterate; in airy darkness. But it is absurdly presented so selectively that it amounts to a half-truth, which is no bigger than a lie (in both a acknowledged and analytic sense).
If one doesn’t acquire the Christological accent abaft Catholic Mariology (doesn’t alike try to do so), afresh one has no achievement of compassionate the Mariology itself. It’s as simple as that. White sees to it that he never presents the full, counterbalanced picture, because that would assignment adjoin his purpose of accurate the Catholic attending like a case idolater who doesn’t alike apperceive that Jesus is the one Who saves, etc., etc.
When Mr. Armstrong finds me accedence bottomward in advanced of one of my adolescent believers, agitation aback and alternating face prayers while fingering a cord of beads, and agreement a lit candle afore them, afresh we can allocution about parallels.
One doesn’t acquire to do that with animate bodies (i.e., those still on apple with us, not accepting died), but affluence of association bow bottomward afore the grave of a admired one, or at the abode area they were asleep in a car crash. Bodies ablaze candles in anamnesis of bodies who died (look at, for example, what happened afterwards the deaths of John Lennon and Princess Diana, or, for that matter, 9-11). I’ve apparent abounding bodies kiss comatose bodies in caskets. They are no best there; it’s aloof a comatose body. So is that some abhorrent account too? There are affluence of statues of bodies we absorption as heroes.
Humorously and ironically enough, on the absolute aforementioned day that White issued this critique, he acquaint a account of “the acclaimed Reformation Wall” in Geneva: huge statues of “reformers” Farel, Calvin, Beza, and Knox. Statues account the anamnesis of bodies we adore for some acumen or other. Otherwise, why acquire them at all (just for pigeon toilets?)?
If White would get abundantly biblical, he could bow afore one of these statues and ask one of these men (represented by the statue, for a beheld and angelic aid) to adjure for him, too (assuming they are out of affliction yet, and bold they were accepted the adroitness to alike get to purgatory). Afterwards all, alike John Calvin captivated that comatose saints adjure for us (Institutes, III, 20, 24), admitting he denied (without acumen and adjoin the affirmation of Scripture) that they empiric what happened on the apple or should be asked to pray.
I’d abundant rather see Mr. White agitation aback and alternating in a agitation armchair with an anterior arbiter on logic. Best of the prayers of the Rosary are beeline from the Bible: the “Hail Mary” was accurate by an angel of God, Gabriel (Luke 1:28). The abutting allotment of the Rosary was accurate by Elizabeth, and recorded in Scripture (Luke 1:42). Would White admonition Christians to burden from praying biblical prayers that came from the aperture of an angel and from Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist? That would be odd. But this is aloof addition of White’s approach to alter absorption from my absolute atoning that he is allegedly “refuting.”
But afresh we acquisition the branch that drew my absorption to this section. I adduce it in full:
If it is objected that the comatose saints cannot apprehend us, we acknowledgment that God is absolutely able to accord them that ability — with affluence of acknowledging biblical evidence: 1) the “cloud of witnesses” that Hebrews 12:1 describes; 2) in Revelation 6:9-10, prayers are accustomed for us in heaven from “saints”; 3) abroad in Revelation an angel possesses “prayers of the saints” and in about-face presents them to God; 4) Jeremiah is declared as one who “prays abundant for the people” afterwards his afterlife in 2 Maccabees 15:13-14. The saints in heaven are acutely acquainted of alluvial happenings. If they acquire such awareness, it isn’t that abundant of a bound to deduce that they can apprehend our requests for prayer, abnormally aback the Bible itself shows that they are absolutely praying. (p. 121)
Let’s appraise this argumentation. First, the altercation would be based aloft a abridgement of biblical evidence, forth with the absolute biblical prohibition adjoin acquaintance with the dead.
We acquire apparent how there is a absolutely permissible “contact with the dead” of some array illustrated in the Bible, by four explicit, actual examples. I acquire accursed what is not permitted, appropriate forth with White, in the aforementioned area he is critiquing:
A Protestant Ability Added Object:
It is not bright how these Catholic practices are any altered from the séances, magic, witchcraft, and diabolism banned by the Bible. Aback you appear bottomward to it, Catholics are still messing about with comatose spirits.
The One-Minute Apologist Says:
Catholics absolutely accede that these things are prohibited, but abjure that the Accord of Saints is a convenance included at all in those condemnations.
The aberration is in the antecedent of the abnormal ability and the intention. Aback a Christian on apple asks a saint to adjure for him (directly accurate by the biblical break above), God is the one whose ability makes the accord amid ancient and animate associates of the Anatomy of Christ possible. The average in a séance, on the added hand, is aggravating to use her own occultic admiral to “conjure up” the comatose — aperture up the absolute absolute achievability of aroused counterfeit. Catholics aren’t “conjuring” anyone; we’re artlessly allurement abundant ancient saints to adjure for us. If they are acquainted of the earth, afresh God can additionally accomplish it accessible for them to “hear” and heed our adoration requests. If this weren’t the case, afresh saints and angels in heaven wouldn’t be portrayed as they are in Scripture: acutely animate and still complex in alluvial affairs. (p. 121)
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To reply, “Well, God is absolutely able to accord them that power” is not, in actuality a response. Of advance God can do so. God has all power, and aback that is not a point in dispute, this is a archetypal archetype of a red herring. If God had capital to align things so that Mary is the mediatrix of all graces, and so that saints apostle on our account in a Christianized pantheon of gods in heaven, He could acquire done that. The catechism is not “does God acquire the ability to do so,” the catechism is “has God done so?”
There is absolutely biblical affirmation for this. The Bible audibly teaches us these things:
1. Comatose saints are alive.
2. Comatose saints are acquainted of alluvial affairs.
3. Comatose saints acquire accurately appear aback to apple and acquire had acquaintance with animal beings.
4. Comatose saints adjure for us in heaven.
Those things are aloft dispute. They’re absolutely biblical. White seems to abjure #4 (“saints apostle on our account in a Christianized pantheon of gods in heaven”). He describes this as an archetype of a red herring and denies that God has brought this accompaniment of diplomacy about. But he is contradicted by the absolute archetype of Revelation 6:9-10, that I cited in the absolute branch he acclaimed in his own critique. It is a analytical alignment that ignores absolute biblical proofs while wishfully apperception that there are none:
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw beneath the chantry the souls of those who had been collapsed for the chat of God and for the attestant they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, angelic and true, how continued afore thou become adjudicator and avenge our claret on those who abide aloft the earth?”
Is it accurate that the Bible doesn’t absolutely accompaniment that we should ask these aforementioned comatose saints to adjure for us? Well, yes and no. It’s not absolutely explicit, yet the Bible does present angels in heaven accepting article to do with “prayers of the saints.” I presented this in A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (p. 112):
Revelation 5:8: “The four animate creatures and the twenty-four elders fell bottomward afore the Lamb, anniversary captivation a harp, and with aureate bowls abounding of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Revelation 8:3-4: “And addition angel came and stood at the chantry with a aureate censer; and he was accustomed abundant aroma to admix with the prayers of all saints aloft the aureate chantry afore the throne; and the smoke of the aroma rose with the prayers of the saints from the duke of the angel afore God.”
I ask Mr. White and anyone abroad who believes as he does: “what are men or angels (or both) in heaven accomplishing with the ‘prayers of the saints’? What faculty does this accomplish in the Protestant worldview?” Our prayers, according to that theology, go appropriate to God afterwards any intercessory “mediator.” How, then, is this explained? Perhaps White can acquaint us how it fits into his Baptist tradition. I’ll chase the teaching of the Bible rather than counterfeit traditions.
Now, aback to what I was arguing above. The missing “plank” there was an archetype of biblical sanction of our allurement saints to adjure for us. I acquire aloof presented two biblical instances of creatures in heaven accepting article to do with our prayers. If they acquire accustomed our prayers, afresh it follows logically that either:
1. animal beings asked them directly,
2. God beatific them their way, aloof as one column appointment ability accelerate a amount of mail to addition to “sort”, afore the ultimate destination (back to the aboriginal one).
3. Prayers automatically get channeled through creatures afore they get to God.
In any of these scenarios, action of the saints is involved, and White stands refuted from the Bible. It’s not aloof “me ‘n’ God.” Others are complex in the action of prayer.
Moreover, alike if these proofs are somehow alone or discounted, it follows from accepted faculty that if #1-4 aloft are accurate (the “chart” added aloft about comatose saints), that we can ask them to intercede, aback if they are acquainted of alluvial diplomacy and alike adjure for those on the earth, afresh accepted faculty would assume (at atomic to me) to behest that they can, best likely, “hear” our prayers as well. It’s two altered curve of argument: one absolutely biblical and the added a aboveboard and believable acknowledgment from absolutely biblical data.
But what affectionate of acknowledging biblical affirmation are we offered?
. . . affirmation of the array that I acquire aloof categorical above, that I had already provided in my aboriginal book. In the present book, I had alone two pages of amplitude to avert anniversary belief, so I acutely couldn’t accommodate the abyss that I could in my aboriginal book, where, for example, I adherent seventeen pages to accord of saints. In The Catholic Verses (Sophia: 2004), I provided the clairvoyant with fourteen added pages on the topic.
I mean, if prayer, an act of adoration in Scripture, is to be offered to anyone but God,
Asking saints to adjure is not the aforementioned as praying to them (in the faculty of assured them to absolutely acknowledgment the prayer).
surely there will be cutting affirmation begin in the normative convenance of the Christian church, and in the writings of the aboriginal leaders of that church, the New Testament. But is that what we find?
Yes. I acquire provided the biblical evidences. I won’t absorb added of my time delving into patristics, as this is, ostensibly, a analysis of my book (mostly biblical arguments). But it’s absolutely there, if White wants to altercate about patristic beliefs.
The aboriginal argument accustomed is Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, aback we acquire so abundant a billow of assemblage surrounding us, let us additionally lay abreast every barricade and the sin which so calmly entangles us, and let us run with ability the chase that is set afore us.” Armstrong assumes that the “great billow of witnesses” refers to saints in heaven celebratory contest on earth. However, accustomed that this is a capricious account afterward the affiliate on the affectionate men and women of old, it is far bigger to acquire this argument as apropos to them and to admit that a attestant is not one who is celebratory contest (as in Western thinking) but one who testifies, witnesses, by their life. The affectionate of old are the ones who acquire witnessed to God’s adherence by their own lives, and, aback we acquire their testimony, we are to run the chase with backbone and joy. There is no reason, in the ambience of Hebrews, to achieve that the biographer was absolutely teaching that saints in heaven beam alluvial events, a abstraction that would be absolutely extraneous to his point.
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Well, that is Bishop White’s opinion. He is advantaged to it, but he has to altercate for it and authorize why it is the best believable allegorical position, aloof like anyone else. He can’t artlessly apprehend anybody to acquire his chat as if from on aerial because he said it. Abounding others disagree with him on this. I acquire myself begin at atomic three non-Catholic accent references (Thayer, Vincent, and Kittel) that affirm that the aspect of “spectatorship,” which lends itself to the Catholic angle of accord of saints, area saints in heaven are acquainted of, and beam contest on earth. This is present in Hebrews 12:1, and cannot be disqualified out artlessly on the base of a above-mentioned doctrinal bias. Attestant is the Greek chat martus, from which is acquired the English chat martyr.
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