"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mark Horne says I reason like a Chick tract!

(Mark Horne's Post is found on this site) Hello Mark, I am assuming you are refering here at least in part to a recent letter to my former church. You said: "You are not impressing anyone when you claim that you don’t have the ability to read the Bible for itself but you do have the ability to study all of Christian history and identify the supernatural office that can tell you what to think." I'm not sure where your going with the "not impressing anyone" comment. I wasnt trying to put on a puppet show, I wanted to give people at my former church some reasons why my family is leaving. I felt they deserve that. I have studied and interpreted the Bible for 20 years with the intention of serving my Saviour, and have done the best I can, as I presume you also do. If you can show me a way I can be sure I am interpreting it correctly, I will be there with you. I did not claim some great ability to interpret history as you seem to claim I did. What I did was look for churches that CLAIM to have an infalible teaching office. Once you start looking for those churches, history is fairly easy to manage. There are only a few that even claim it, and many (Mormons and JW) can be dismised outright. You said: "...while I’m not Eastern Orthodox, pretending you can dispense with their claims in two sentences and prove that we should all submit to the Pope is rather breathtaking. I don’t see any reasoning in Jack Chick tracts that is really any more shallow than that." I wanted to give a brief reason why I did not go in the Orthodox direction. (this is a letter to my church remember) I did not "intend to prove" anything in what I wrote about Orthodoxy, just to give a brief outline. Hope that clears that up. More shallow than a Chick tract? Wow that is quite a slam! I will try to be a deeper thinker like some of my Christian brothers appear to be. I will pray for more wisdom. Anyway, as far as your central point which was: "If you can really read and argue from history in the hope of persuading others, then why not simply argue for your views from Scripture? If you aren’t following your own authority in deciding which church to submit to then how are you following your own authority when you read the Bible and believe what it says?" This is called the tu quoque argument (see I can pretend to be smart!) and I don't think you quite understand where I am coming from epistemologically. No offence, perhaps it is just because all you read was the letter to my church, but there is a big difference between using my faculties to find the church Christ founded, and interpreting scripture for myself. You might not agree, but I would suggest familiarizing yourself with what converts like me actually think. Like in a debate where each person needs to explain the other persons position in a way they would agree with. Know what I mean? Check out an explaination of why the tu quoque is not persuasive to me at all here: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/05/the-tu-quoque/ At least you can then get a better feel (than the letter I wrote) of a convincing argument. By the way I am not necessarily the guy to give a solidly reasoned argument. Like most human types, I make decisions for a variety of reasons. Some of it intuition. This decision of mine was PRIMARILY based on the lack of internal logic in sola scriptura. The doctrine makes no sense to me after trying my best to make sense of it for 3 months. I even corespended with Keith Mathison. Still makes no sense. I am not a scholar, I am an Electronics Technician. I know I have heard your name before, forgive me if I forget who you are, but I know you are some well known Reformed Pastor or Profesor. I don't claim to be able to match wits with you, but the people who can have been way more convincing than Reformed attemters. The Chick tract comment was funny, kudos, but if you truly think people like me are in error for converting and want to stop us, then care enough about us to learn what arguments our little minds have actually been convinced by, and then defeat those arguments. you could start here: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/11/solo-scriptura-sola-scriptura-and-the-question-of-interpretive-authority/ Peace, David Meyer


  1. In Mark’s defense (on a minor point), he is a much milder man in person than in writing. At any rate, he certainly was when I knew him back in the ’90s.

    On the other hand, it is…ironic…for him to suggest that your blog post epitomizes pulp-pop-Protestant “theologizing” when his own retort is no more substantive, and when it is disappointingly dismissive. It’s okay for him to “answer” you in about a dozen sentences, but it’s illegitimate for you do any summarizing of your own in a blog post? Hmmm… I know Called to Communion is on the scholarly end of things, but generally a blog isn’t the online equivalent of a peer-reviewed forum.

  2. Though it seems that Mark did not intend to write down a thorough article, still there is not any serious argument in it and after two years of studying hard, reading books also from the reformed side, I can say that not even the best men did not offer any worthy and serious argument. I have read Mathison's responses and know that he would not be saying more then what he has said, though many are expecting his reply, so I am not impressed. Read books like The Roman Catholicism edited by an author who has changed its views, in favour of a general ecumenism, in view of the unity of John 17 prayer and a another one who has written a book against the RCC, who is now a convert himself. So this is the best that the reformed can offer.

  3. It's funny that your received the response that you did. I received a very similiar response from an FV'er close to me (criticizing a lack of anything "compelling" in my reasoning, without really substantively saying what was missing) when I told them I had made the decision to convert to the RCC. I think we ought to be fervent in our prayers for the "FV" crowd, as I am sure they feel very much stuck between a rock (RCC) and a hard place (TR-types). St. Francis de Sales, pray for our FV brothers and sisters!