Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tim Staples debates Matt Slick live on radio today

Tim Staples from Catholic Answers will be appearing on Matt Slick's radio program today to discuss justification and salvation. Matt Slick is the president of CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) and is a Protstant from the Reformed tradition. Listen live from 7-8pm CST at

If you miss the live show, you can catch it archived here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Critical Date in Watchtower History

If 587BC is the correct date for the fall of Jerusalem instead of 609BC...

Jesus would have returned invisibly in 1936 to take the throne instead of 1914. (According to the method of Watchtower dating. *see below)

If Jesus returned invisibly in 1936 the following could not have happened:

On inspecting the remnant of his anointed disciples in the year 1919 C.E., the reigning King Jesus Christ did find the appointed "slave" faithful and discreet in the feeding of his "domestics." Accordingly, he appointed this "slave" class over all his belongings. (God's Kingdom Has Approached, WTBTS 1973 p. 355)

In short, if Jesus returned in 1936, the Jehovah's Witness leadership (the "Faithful and discreet slave class") could not possibly have been appointed in 1919 to lead His organization. This claim to be Jehovah's true spirit-led organization would be false.

Thus, dating the fall of Jerusalem to 607BC is crucial for the Jehovah's Witnesses. However, every authority outside the Watchtower dates the fall of Jerusalem to 587BC due to substantial evidence found in the Babylonian records.

I've found the best approach to take in bringing this up to a Jehovah's Witness is to wait until he discusses how the Watchtower came up with the 1914 date for Christ's return. When the Witness breezes over 609 while adding up the dates, stop him politely and tell him you've always been taught that Jerusalem fell in 587. Ask the Witness for more information on the matter, especially from any standard/accepted history source. Make him do the digging and wrestling with the issue.

In the meantime, read up on the subject yourself. Online try: which is an excellent summary of all the proofs for 587. Also see which chronicles one man's letters back and forth with the Watchtower Society on the issue.

If you really want to dig deep, get Carl O. Jonsson's book The Gentile Times Reconsidered which is a definitive treatment. You can find the 2004 edition on Amazon for less than $15.

The Witness will probably return in a week with the Watchtower's pat answer on the subject as found in their Insight on the Scriptures. Take the time to read it and craft good leading questions based on your research for his next visit.

*The desolating of Jerusalem and the land of Judah by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E. marked the overthrow of the Messianic kingdom of David, and hence this is what marked the beginning of the "seven times" of the Gentile domination of the world of mankind. Unalterably, then, the 2,520 years of the Gentile Times began then, and, because of beginning there, they ended in early autumn of the year 1914 C.E (God's Kingdom Has Approached, WTBTS 1973 p. 261)

Monday, October 15, 2007

True but Profitable?


A simple word on the surface, but quite dangerous in application. For instance, say you strike up a conversation with a healthy pregnant woman. Would "big," which can mean something positive like "robust," be a proper compliment to pay her womb?
You would be speaking truth and not intending anything untoward or negative. However, the woman would more than likely take the word in its more common sense when applied to persons, "fat."

A similar two-faced word is "anti-Catholic." Its common definition is one who is bigoted or hostile toward Catholics. The Know-Nothings were notoriously anti-Catholic in this sense. Also, those who concoct lurid conspiracy-fantasies about Catholics or knowingly and inexcusably twist Catholic doctrine are conducting anti-Catholic behavior.

"Anti-Catholic" also has a more technical definition, namely anyone who believes Catholicism does not possess the Christian gospel and also makes a point of contending against Catholic belief with the goal of leading Catholics from the fold. Using this definition I could be termed "anti-Mormon" or "anti-Jehovah's Witness."

A frustrating amount of digital ink has been spilled over this distinction, especially in regards to Reformed-Baptist apologist James White and others like him who have mounted vigorous attacks on Catholic doctrine and do not believe Catholicism to part of the Christian fold. Many Catholic apologists insist on labeling Dr. White as anti-Catholic since he meets the criterion for the second meaning. Dr. White objects because the label carries heavy baggage from the first meaning, which to my knowledge he does not meet.

Much like the robust pregnant woman above, the average person generally thinks of the common sense of a word when they read or hear it. Therefore, while one might be technically correct to label someone like Dr. White "anti-Catholic," it is also misleading to those who do not understand the less common meaning.

In brief, the average fella has a good chance of coming to the conclusion that Dr. White is anti-Catholic in the Know-Nothing/Maria Monk sense, which he is not. We should strive for accuracy, not only in the technical sense but also, insofar as we are able, in what those who hear us understand. Charity demands this.

So, departing from the norm a bit, this blog will only be using "anti-Catholic" in the common sense.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Guest appearance on The Catholic Hack Podcast

Just wrapped up a two hour interview on the Jehovah's Witnesses for Joe McClane's "The Catholic Hack" podcast late last week. I have new found respect for all you podcasters putting out good shows week after week, especially those of you who do it in your spare time.

I think we were able to cover a lot of ground and hit some key points about how to evangelize to those who are members of a controlling group.

The interview will air in four or five segments and can be found at Make sure to listen to some of Joe's other shows while you are there, as he is both knowledgeable and entertaining.