Sunday, August 21, 2005

Jonathan Prejean and the Missing Case for Catholicism

It seems that my discussion with Jonathan Prejean at Greg Krehbiel's board has come to a close, and Steve Hays has written a lot of replies to Prejean at his blog, without Prejean having made much of an effort to interact with what Hays said. Prejean never made a case for Roman Catholicism, he never refuted the arguments put forward for Evangelicalism (he chose to end the discussions on passages like Luke 24 and Galatians 3 rather than proceed with them), and he frequently set up arbitrary standards and contradicted himself from post to post. Those reading Steve Hays' earliest responses to Prejean should notice that Prejean would repeatedly ignore large portions of what Hays wrote, often claiming that there was nothing there to respond to or that he agreed with Hays, even when he didn't agree.

In his last post on the thread at Greg Krehbiel's board, Prejean accused me of being fideistic. Another Roman Catholic there accused me of being too rationalistic. I'll let the reader go through that thread and the threads at Steve Hays' blog and decide for himself who was making a publicly verifiable case for his beliefs and who was acting more fideistic.

Prejean says that he's "retiring" from "proselytizing" people like me and Steve Hays. Isn't it odd to call something "proselytizing" when you repeatedly refuse to make a case for your system, even when asked? Do I think Prejean is truly retiring from the sort of apologetic efforts in which he's been involved in the past? No. A better word than "retirement" would seem to be "retreat". I expect him to be back. But he wants more time to try to come up with better arguments. (Prejean's decision to "retire" probably is about as lasting as Dave Armstrong's "resolutions".) In the meantime, he names men like Karl Keating, Phil Porvaznik, and Dave Armstrong as examples of Catholic apologists whose work he recommends and who have already refuted the likes of me and Steve Hays. That's a fitting end (temporary end, I imagine) for Prejean's apologetic efforts. He leaves us with the arguments of Keating, Porvaznik, and Armstrong. We've been there before, and we've been unimpressed.

So long, Jonathan. Enjoy your retreat.