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March 18, 2011


I've forgotten the exact terminology for it, but this is a fallacy of argumentation. Because someone can or will benefit doesn't say anything about the soundness or validity of their argument.

There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea.

Doesn't Mouw know that it's not Calvinists that are stingy with their wishes for human salvation, but God as He is depicted by them? I suppose, though, that the Calvinists believe that if only they knew what God knew, they would also give the all-things-considered nod to condemning most of humanity.

Motivations do make a big difference though when deciding who to trust when trying to sort out the facts that these arguments are based on.

On your March 9 post, you stated, "Bell tries to sidestep disagreement by saying he's only asked questions." This was a lie.

In Al Mohler's review of the book, he lies and is deceptive about several things in Rob Bell's book.

When those who oppose Rob Bell's books are so willing to twist the truth and lie about it, why should we trust anything else they present on the issues?

And if we *can* just point out *that* Rob Bell is wrong, why do so many people feel they need to twist his words in order to do so?

Mouw's comment isn't meant to be an objection to the Calvinist interpretation of hell, or a response to any reasons Calvinists offer. I take it that he is merely pointing out how utterly surprising it is to find people who both claim a gospel of love, AND seem quite comfortable with the idea that the majority of us will be left to languish eternally. It is a comment in the same spirit of Karl Barth: "Strange Christianity, whose most pressing anxiety seems to be that God's grace might prove to be all too free on this side, that hell, instead of being populated with so many people, might some day prove to be empty!" ("God Here and Now", 42).

Remember how Jonah reacted to God's decision to show mercy to Nineveh, and tell me that there is not, today in America, a whole culture following in his (Jonah's) footsteps.

There's our crew of resident universalists out in force. Catch your heretic-limit, fellas.

Hi James.
Here's Mohler:

I'd like to know where he told lies because I haven't read Bell and I'd like to know if Mohler can be trusted. I have watched his Everything is Spiritua and found Bell very entertaining and a decent communicator.

From Al's book: "Missing from his Gospel is any clear reference to Christ, any adequate understanding of our sin, any affirmation of the holiness of God and his pledge to punish sin, any reference to the shed blood of Christ, his death on the cross, his substitutionary atonement, and his resurrection, and, so tellingly, any reference to faith as the sinners response to the Good News of the Gospel."

Rob Bell's book talks about *every* point that Al says is missing, and how it relates to the gospel. The book has an entire chapter on Christ's death and resurrection and how it is foundational to the gospel message.

I originally just figured Al just hadn't read the book, but someone informed me that Al claimed he read the book twice before making this post.

Sorry, I meant from Al's post, not from his book. :-)

Thanks for the response, James.
I'm going to have to get the book, I guess. But we see Mohler is referring to Bell's summary of the Gospel:

It begins in the sure and certain truth that we are loved. That in spite of whatever has gone horribly wrong deep in our hearts and has spread to every corner of the world, in spite of our sins, failures, rebellion, and hard hearts, in spite of what has been done to us or what we’ve done, God has made peace with us.

Can you quote Bell's book to show that his version of the Gospel does, in fact, represent the Holiness of God, an adequate understanding of our sin, the shed blood of Christ, His substitutionary atonement the requirement of the sinner's response in faith, and the necessity of these to his gospel such that you can prove that Mohler is lying?


I think the primary reason people reject hell is because they find it an unsavory idea, and they don't want there to be a hell. The arguments are just cooked up to substantiate that wish.

It cannot be the case that I embrace hell out of some motivation, because hell is my least favourite thing about Christianity. I'd rather there were NOT a hell so I wouldn't feel obligated to defend it. I'd rather there were not a hell so I didn't have to worry about my relatives going there. I'd be fine if there were some temporary punishment for sins, but the fact that suffering in hell never ends does not sit well with me at all. But I nevertheless believe in it because it seems clearly to be what the Bible teaches.


I would need to quote multiple chapters to accomplish that, I think. The majority of the book comes down to explaining the gospel from Rob's point of view.

That quote that Al gives is not Rob's "summary of the Gospel". In fact, the very first words of that paragraph, "It begins in..." clearly show that this is but a partial representation.

One cannot find Jesus summarizing the Gospel in a way like you seen in those "4 Spiritual Laws" pamphlets, and while those kind of summaries can serve as good starting points, they should never be used, or treated, as end points. The Gospel is much bigger than what a handful of words can adequately explain.

According to this review, for instance, Bell does not make substitutionary atonement a part of his gospel.

Another liar?


I don't have the time to find quotes from the book (and I don't have the book here with me), but I can paraphrase what he says in relation to that question:

"...represent the Holiness of God, an adequate understanding of our sin..."

Rob Bell affirms that God will not let any sin into Heaven, and that our sin is what separates us from God and leaves us in Hell.

" the shed blood of Christ, His substitutionary atonement"

Rob explicitly affirms that one of the import parts of what Christ did on the cross is substitutionary atonement. He makes it very clear that Jesus died and was bodily resurrected, referring often to the "empty tomb."

"the requirement of the sinner's response in faith"

Rob brings up the Prodigal Son story, and explains how the older son thought his good deeds would bring him his father's grace, but that it is in fact a response in faith. Rob even explicitly affirms the "sinner's prayer" as a valid, genuine way of responding in faith to Christ.

Sorry I can't give you exact quotes. You'll just have to read the book. But Rob does talk about these things in the book.

Thanks again James.
But surely you can show us where Bell says the sinner must repent in faith to be saved? That Jesus' death satisfied the wrath of God in His holy judgment on our sin?

In that review I linked they say:

To be fair, he says he doesn't reject substitutionary atonement outright. But in this book, he apparently thinks it unimportant or uninteresting.
He certainly thinks it is culturally irrelevant. After rehearsing the various New Testament ideas surrounding sacrifice and blood atonement, he relegates them all to the history shelves: "Those are powerful metaphors. But we don't live any longer in a culture in which people offer animal sacrifices to the gods." We have to understand that the first Christian writers were doing "brilliant, creative work" by putting "the Jesus story in language their listeners would understand."
One has to ask, then, if Jesus' death and resurrection are merely an expression of "how the universe works," why all the bother? Why do we need Jesus to come and die and rise when this is something we see daily in the fabric of the universe, a knowledge that, as Bells suggests, we have instinctively sensed all along? On the one hand, he says here and there that in Jesus "God was doing something new in human history," but it's unclear what exactly he means by that. When he explains what Jesus did, it's mostly about "the flesh and blood exposure of an eternal reality" about death and rebirth.
But it's here that we run up against Bell's hermeneutic, that is, the principle by which he decides if a biblical teaching is relevant. Why, for example, is blood atonement a time-bound explanation of the Cross, but the divinity of Christ is a deep mystery we shouldn't shun? Why are Paul's statements about the universality of salvation taken literally, but his teaching on substitutionary atonement as mere creative writing?

It seems they think that Bell does not make part of his gospel the blood and atonement of Christ.

Hey Daron,

I think it may depend on how charitably you want to read Rob's book. What the gospel is, and how best to communicate the gospel, are two separate questions. It sounds like some of these reviewers are confusing them for the same question.

Anyway, I have an appointment to run to, so I won't have time to discuss this more. It sounds like you'll probably just have to read the book to get at what Bell is trying to say.

Thanks, Daron, and all the best.

Your last one slipped in while I was adding mine, James.
Thanks for your summaries. I understand that Bell discusses Jesus' Resurrection (and says it is a symbol of how the physical universe works) and that he discusses the blood sacrifice and substitutionary atonement (and says it was a creative bit of writing of the NT writers to put tell the story in a manner that would resonate with their first century readers) but is it part of his "gospel"? These things get mention in his book, but is this the Good News that Bell is sharing?
What is his good news if it is not to dismiss what we have been taught in Sunday School about these doctrines?

I know this is his style, and this is what people are talking about when they say he raises questions, makes suggestions, but then does not clearly affirm what it is he is trying to suggest. His video, which I enjoyed immensely and ordered copies of for family and friends, did something like this. He was talking about Genesis and called the narrative a poem. Then he paused and pointedly said "for it is a poem". Now why did he say and emphasize that? It made no difference to his presentation whether or not Genesis was a poem, much less what he wanted his hearers to take out of that bit of information. BUt, of course, he wanted to make a suggestion about its interpretation. But he didn't really want to tell us what he was saying. That was how I interpreted him there, at any rate. And this was years ago when I'd never heard his name before and very much liked the video overall.

So I have ordered the book now. I am very curious to find out if Mohler is actually lying. Such a harsh charge against a Christian brother needs to be addressed.

Hi James, we've cross-posted a bit again.

""Rob Bell affirms that God will not let any sin into Heaven, and that our sin is what separates us from God and leaves us in Hell.""

But what of God's pledge to punish sin? This is what Mohler said is not part of Bell's gospel.

"""""Rob even explicitly affirms the "sinner's prayer" as a valid, genuine way of responding in faith to Christ.""""""

"A" valid way? Are there other ways? And what of the necessity of the sinner's faith response for his salvation?

Is Mohler really lying when he says these are not part of Bell's gospel? Or should one read Mohler, like Bell, with some charity before calling him a liar?

One las thing as I, too, must be off.
I agree with reading Christian brothers/sisters with as much charity as possible. Unlike our hypocritical friends above, I think there is room for many voices.
I don't think every single utterance about God needs to carry every element of thousands of years of theological wrestlings. I defended Rick Warren many times when I thought people were way too eager to find fault because he did not recite every aspect of their preferred doctrine every time he was head (hmmm, that defence may come back to bite me now?).
But how much charity ought our reading require? How much allowance need we make and how hard must we read between the lines to find the Gospel when people's very souls are at stake? Should we not question Bell's doctrine, as well as his vague style when he is speaking to millions about their salvation? If he is not clear about what is right should we not affirm what is right? And if he is saying something wrong, or hiding what is wrong behind obfuscation ought we not point that out? We've seen the emergent leaders go from benefit-of-the-doubt obscurantism to no-doubt-error recently. So should we not point out what is lacking in Bell's gospel?
And, in so doing, ought we not be entitled to a little grace and charity as well?

In case it's not clear, my questions are not merely questions. They are, like Bell's, answers in and of themselves.

Fred, the term you are thinking of is ad hominem fallacy.

Hi Sam, I think since Jesus spoke more often about Hell and judgement than He did about Heaven, you rightly consider/interpret the biblical revelation. All of the garden variety universalists seem willing to refer to are fringe, unorthodox writings of persons unordained or unproven as sound exegetes rather than review the WHOLE biblical revelation.


"Is Mohler really lying when he says these are not part of Bell's gospel? Or should one read Mohler, like Bell, with some charity before calling him a liar?"

Mohler explicitly states that Christ takes absolutely no part in Rob Bell's gospel. This is either true, or not true. I originally took it charitably as in I thought Al had not read the book, and was referring only to the small snippets that he quoted.

I would happily take Mohler's more charitably, but I honestly cannot see how. I suppose I could just say that he is confused, but I'm not sure he would take that as a more charitable evalutation.

I don't know, James.
It seems a charitable reader would notice that Mohler is not actually saying that Bell does not talk about Christ because he demonstrated the opposite in that same article:

He suggests that a better story would involve the possibility of a sinner coming to faith in Christ after death, or hell being a cessation of being, or hell being eventually emptied of all its inhabitants. The problem, of course, is that the Bible provides no hint whatsoever of any possibility of a sinner’s salvation after death. Instead, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” [Hebrews 9:27]

And what he means when he talks about Bell's "gospel" making no clear reference to Christ is shown here:

Once again, his statements are more suggestive than declarative, but he clearly intends his reader to be persuaded that it is possible — even probable — that those who resist, reject, or never hear of Christ may be saved through Christ nonetheless. That means no conscious faith in Christ is necessary for salvation.
He rejects the idea that a person must come to a personal knowledge of Christ in this life in order to be saved. “What if the missionary gets a flat tire?” he asks.

So it is clear that Mohler is not shown to be a liar by merely demonstrating that Bell talks about Jesus.

While affirming that Bell talks about Jesus Mohler makes his point clear here:

Bell clearly prefers inclusivism, the belief that Christ is saving humanity through means other than the Gospel, including other religions. But he mixes up his story along the way, appearing to argue for outright universalism on some pages, but backing off of a full affirmation. He rejects the belief that conscious faith in Christ is necessary for salvation, but he never clearly lands on a specific account of what he does believe.

One of the major reasons I became Catholic was because all Evangelicals can do is mud-sling, and every argument is based on the arguer's own presuppositions. Scripture is no benchmark whatsoever because it has no absolute perspicacity.

A Baptist is actually no different from a Jehovah's Witness or Mormon. They just use their own translations of Scripture - what the original Greek or Hebrew means 'to them' at best.

Greg is absolutely correct, except its impossible to prove 'that' anyone is right or wrong in Protestantism.

It all gets reduced to 'proof-text' wars, each bringing out their favourites to combat the others...

The liberal, of course can ignore scripture altogether, and he's entitled to do so because Sola Scriptura isn't Scriptural. It's taken from a few out of context verses which are twisted to mean what the Evangelical means by it's sufficiency. Scripture is only materially sufficient. Formal Sufficiency comes with the Apostolic Tradition.

The first pope was talking about the first Protestants when he penned 2 Peter 3.16, and that is clear, in context. Peter also says that the Lord gave Paul wisdom, so it's not only the Scriptures (2Pet 3.15).

But, that's the unbroken line of Apostolic Tradition from that verse's author, which teaches that, not my own lights.

The mudslinging is a major problem, Paul.
Doesn't look that good coming from a Catholic, either.

Hi Daron.

I have no presupposition's because it's not MY interpretation. I am docile to the truth which has been passed onto me through Apostolic Succession. I'm not mudslinging, just stating the Catholic position.

Just tell me where what I've said is wrong, Daron, so I can learn how it's changed from when I was an Evangelical.

Just point me to the authority outside yourself and how, if Scripture's that authority, why there are 35,000+ denominations...

Your job should be easy.

My job is easy; a piece of cake, in fact.

Paul Rodden:

""because all Evangelicals can do is mud-sling, and every argument is based on the arguer's own presuppositions.
It's taken from a few out of context verses which are twisted to mean what the Evangelical means by it's sufficiency.
The first pope was talking about the first protestants when he [called them] ...
["" ignorant and unstable people [who] distort, ... Scriptures, to their own destruction."""

Mudslinging is dirty, regardless of your denomination.

Regarding your other demands, they have nothing to do with my comment.

OK Daron.

Apart from pointing to any 'experts' because you don't have a Magisterium, how exactly is Bell wrong?

Show me that he's wrong. Melinda gave her opinion, Mohler's given his, you've given yours, but so what? Who cares what they think? The formal sufficiency of Scripture's a moot point, it's no way self-evident, so that can't be used as a crierion.

Catholics believe in hell, and we don't believe in anyone being predestined to Hell. See CCC 1033-1037

The only way you can say Bell is wrong, surely, is to refer to one of your catechisms, but that spoils your 'Bible Alone' position, or what the Reformed theologian, Keith Mathison's, called solo scriptura. Or, you can continue blithely on in proof-text shoot-outs.

Why not ditch it, admit Catechisms are necessary? Because it'll raise the stakes and show how hopelessly divided you all are, whilst at the moment it's hidden by their absence?

All I've heard are opinions and nothing whatsoever that remotely convinces me Bell is wrong, although I know he is for sure, because the Catechism of the Catholic Church in which the fulness of truth resides, tells me so.

And if you don't believe that, show me how that's wrong.

After all, Kevin DeYoung has also recently published a book, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, arguing a return to his preferred Catechism, and JI Packer's published, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, who's arguing for formal catechesis, which means there's doctrinal content to teach.

If Bell is a Christian Universalist, so what? he's just another Protestant. Bible alone is just one of the many ideas of Protestantism. He's as orthodox as any other Protestant from where I sit.

I anyone else curious why Paul neither acknowledges nor apologizes for his own mud-slinging?

Agreed, Frodo.

As I said, Paul, the rest of your rant is irrelevant to my comment or the OP - regardless of your seating assignment.

The only way you can say Bell is wrong, surely, is to refer to one of your catechisms, but that spoils your 'Bible Alone' position, or what the Reformed theologian, Keith Mathison's, called solo scriptura. Or, you can continue blithely on in proof-text shoot-outs.

Hi Paul, you seem to be mimmicking your "Called to Communion" cohorts by distorting Mathison. In his book "The Difference a Vowel Makes", he makes the case that Reformed theologians avoid the charge of being bibliscists that you Roman Catholics like to throw around indiscriminently to anyone who's not in submission to Rome.

It's true that modern evangelicals are often guilty of biblicism and thus earn the charge of solo scriptura-ists as they discount church councils and creeds in deference to individual interpretation. You'll find many of those here on this site, but I dont think you can call Daron one.

It would be most charitable of you to learn the difference so that when you accuse non Roman Catholics of wild exegetical individualism in biblical interpretation [which is what solo scriptura practioners do], so that you show a true understanding of what you say. Any attempt to make this charge stick to confessionally Reformed Protestants who're most faithful to Reformation principles only show yourself appearing to be, or more accurately, proving yourself to be ill informed.

A profitable [but long read-over 900 posts] from around a year or so ago at the Green Baggins Blog called "Whose Lens Are You Using" gave opportunity for adherants to Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Reformed Protestants to defend their respective views on scriptural interpretation. The conversations yeilded a very profitable discourse that might've been something from the late 16th century. I dont know if it's available in archives there, but if it is, I recommend it.

I really dont expect anyone to read this through, but as it was going on, I checked in everyday and read most of it. It was a great education and supplimented other sources of information regarding the other communions. Here are links:

Green Baggings Blog

Whose Lens Are You Using

Hi Brad.

Thanks for your helpful reply. I'm more concerned about truth than any 'denomination', although Catholicism isn't a denomination.

Thanks for the links. I've already read the WLAYU post, and I'll look at the others.

In all honesty, the problem I have is I've never met and Evangelical who's fitted that description in WLAYU. They must be like black swans (or Green Baggins).

In all honesty, if I'd found them, in all likelihood I might not be Catholic now.

The only thing I've ever been confronted with are supposed biblical 'proof texts' which are anything but conclusive.

I have purchased around 78 of Greg's talks, and not one of them refers to confessions, catechisms, etc..

People like Mohler do so, but they use a pick-and-mix approach.

What do you think about that argument of Ecclesial Deism over at Called to Communion? It shows Mohler simply chooses the bits of the Fathers which agree with his view, and ditches the rest. Is that what faith is meant to be: grazing for support of one's own position and jettisoning anything which challenges it?

Thanks, Brad.
R.C. on Sola Scriptura.

In all honesty, the problem I have is I've never met and Evangelical who's fitted that description in WLAYU. They must be like black swans (or Green Baggins).

In all honesty, if I'd found them, in all likelihood I might not be Catholic now.

So Catholicism was picked and chosen dependent upon a preferred graze.


The reformed folks have their own catechism, which they often refer to. It is called the Westminster Confession, or WCF, for short. Daron and Brad B. are quite enamored with the WCF, and could discuss it with you in great detail.

I guess the Apostles Creed wasn't detailed enough for them....

Catholicism is attractive to many because of just what you have been talking about, the chaos that is Christiandom today.

I just can't buy Catholic doctrine, though. It's the history of the Catholic Church, also...... troubling.

Historically, the Calvinists would gladly kill you if you disagree with them. I don't see them having trouble with their ministers being child abusers, though.

Hi Jeff,
Do you have evidence of my being enamoured with it? A quote, perhaps?

How's the mud-slinging going for you? You've got a lot of filth in that comment. Why is that?

Did you know your public school teachers sexually abuse children at a greater rate than priests? Since that's every bit as irrelevant why don't you mention that?

Seriously, what is wrong with you people? Does not agreeing with the complete doctrine of a blog really do this to you?


It's only a matter of choice if there's a marketplace to choose within. Catholicism doesn't have such a marketplace.

To become Catholic is to change, not choose.

A Baptist can become a Catholic, but a Catholic can't become a Baptist. You can't be an ex-Catholic, only a lapsed one. But you can become an ex-Baptist because it's a matter of change in belief content (choice), not a change in one's nature.

Thanks for the explanation. V. helpful!

I couldn't buy Catholic doctrine either, but that's because 'Catholic doctrine', as I learnt it as a Protestant, was either falsehood or simply misunderstood.

But, as you probably know, we don't worship statues or Mary, we don't confess 'to a priest', we don't participate in cannibalism. We don't resacrifice Christ at every Mass, and on-and-on it goes...

Of course, all the conspiracy theories will come out at this stage - that I've been duped by Satan, that we say this to get people to convert but it's not what we truly believe, blah, blah, blah... :-)

Hi Paul, you are right about STR and Greg, they as a general rule dont promote confessional Protestantism, but anything less is not really Protestant in the sense of what the Reformation was about. This should be especially pertinent to any discussion between Roman Catholics and others when talking about unity. As I see it, Greg Koukl is teaching more and more overtly toward true Reformation theolgical positions as time goes by but omits quoting Reformed confessions [but he is not out of accord with orthodox Protestanism generally]. The charge of "solo scriptura" at Greg in this case, I admit, may be apt since "sola scriptura does include creeds/confessions etc.. as subordinate authorities that allow individuals to check themselves against private interpretations that might veer off of the whole biblical message. Whether Greg does this often I dont know, but I've heard him quote creeds and confessions--I just dont know if it was done as appeal to authority.

What do you think about that argument of Ecclesial Deism over at Called to Communion? It shows Mohler simply chooses the bits of the Fathers which agree with his view, and ditches the rest. Is that what faith is meant to be: grazing for support of one's own position and jettisoning anything which challenges it?"

I havent read it, and wont probably since I dont have the time and am not able to interact on the level of the contributors, but I dont need to either. They had ample opportunity on the GB WLAYU to defend and failed to demonstrate nothing less than the charge laid against Mohler. Mohler btw, if my memory serves me is a "reformed Babtist" which is far from a confessional Protestant. In fact, many Reformed consider the term "reformed Babtist" to be antithetical within itself, since the Reformed are by definition paedobabtists.

I want to point out that if anyone cares to get a short cut to the crux of what RC's do,[as I'm trying to point out to Paul] check out post 432 on WLAYU and beyond. The fact that not even the Roman church lives up to it's standards escaped the notice of their apologists.

On the other hand, I hope to experience unity with the Roman apologists at some point, and I wont be so bold as to say that we'll experience it when they see it the Protestant way, but nevertheless, I yearn for unity in doctrine with all true believers, but alas, I dont think this will happen prior to Heaven.

The---or at least a---term for this fallacy (assuming that an opponent is wrong and showing how he got that way rather than demonstrating that he is wrong) is "Bulverism." Coined by C.S. Lewis in his 1941 essay of the same name, which I read in God in the Dock. There's a Wikipedia article on it.

Thanks again for the links, Brad.
An excellent statement here:

And here's a fellow whose questions have long been on my lips.

Does Rome claim Augustine, Cyril or Aquinas?
Then it claims Sola Scriptura:

Hi Daron, glad that you are getting familiar with this discussion. I actually have made a word document from it and saved it--and also printed it for one teaching elder where I go to church since he personally knows several of the participants from Westminster Seminary California. It took about 500+ pages [both sides if I remember correctly]

Actually, many of the participants on that site are ordained Reformed elders, [either teaching and/or ruling]. Perry Robinson was Reformed but is now Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholic guys are all associated with Called to Communion and I believe are former Protestants. I went to CtC's site following a link on this blog from Francis Beckwith and got familiar with them with about a week or two of interactions concerning the reformed doctrine of JBFA.

Anyway, I'm confident that the discussion was performed by capable representatives and I think this discussion could not have been any more complete if it had been done by official church reps from each of the 3 bodies.

Toward the end of this discussion[but prior to the very end where tempers got short], it became evident that one has to abandon the rules of logic to accept Roman doctrine--like what was asked/challenged at post 432.

@Brad B

Thanks again for taking the time for another helpful post!

I want to make sure in my ecumenical work I understand without parodying, and your sort of comment helps.

In response to your question; "How's the mud-slinging going for you? You've got a lot of filth in that comment. Why is that?"

I said, "Historically, the Calvinists would gladly kill you if you disagree with them. I don't see them having trouble with their ministers being child abusers, though."

Is this factually incorrect?

And really, public school teachers? I don't see public school administrators moving their sexual abusers from school to school to avoid exposure.

Relevance? The requirement for celibacy in the priesthood might be a large contributing factor....
A doctrinal difference there....

Right, Jeff, defend it.

Yes, public school teachers. You don't see what you don't look for and doesn't turn the crank of the media. But like I said, it's irrelevant. Like everything you wrote.

In case you want to know something you could google
sexual abuse public schools" or any such thing.
Here's the first thing that came up when I did so.

(CBS NEWS) - Any institution that has allowed children to be harmed by predators deserves to be taken to task for it. No institution should get a pass. And no profession should get a pass. Not preachers, not priests — not even teachers.

Especially not teachers. And yet …

Consider the statistics: In accordance with a requirement of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, in 2002 the Department of Education carried out a study of sexual abuse in the school system.

Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church.

“[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

So, in order to better protect children, did media outlets start hounding the worse menace of the school systems, with headlines about a “Nationwide Teacher Molestation Cover-up” and by asking “Are Ed Schools Producing Pedophiles?”

No, they didn’t. That treatment was reserved for the Catholic Church, while the greater problem in the schools was ignored altogether.

As the National Catholic Register’s reporter Wayne Laugesen points out, the federal report said 422,000 California public-school students would be victims before graduation — a number that dwarfs the state’s entire Catholic-school enrollment of 143,000.

Yet, during the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government’s discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools...

Doctrinal difference? Doubtful. But don't let that stop your uninformed mudslinging. When you have a small denominational difference with someone it is obviously the best tact.


You have bemused and frustrated me. Your link to that discussion on the position of the church and counsels has waylaid any attempt for me to get work done :(

But seriously, it's very interesting and I am learning a lot about the history of the church. I think it's a good primer for my own further study. Maybe I'll finish reading all 900 posts in a few months. Thanks.

Me too, Austin.
I got up around 600 yesterday. :)

Brad B,

You said,

"I actually have made a word document from it and saved it"

Any chance you could post it, say, on Google Docs for others to download?

It could be very helpful and would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Frodo, I think it might be best if I ask for permission, so I will by e-mail tonight [to Lane Keister the GB owner]. I just copied and pasted sections at a time to MSWord but I admit it took quite a bit of time.

To anyone who's benefitted from reading that, thank the participants, you all know I'm sure how much time they must've spent.

Hi Paul, I appreciate your method and carefulness with a desire to be well informed. As a Roman Catholic I think you'll agree that the mischarcterizations going your way outnumber the other way around. I say this because most of the modern evangelical world cannot state their own doctrinal position with accuracy, much less, anothers. I think I have done due diligence myself[as much as a layperson ought], and have much more respect for well informed Roman Catholics who actually know their church doctrines than those evangelicals who really do operate as solo scripturalists.

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