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ID founder Phillip Johnson a Catholic convert – who knew?

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Well, the person who knows that this is true is the author of a widely noted recent Canadian anti-Christian hatefest called The Armageddon Factor (Random House Canada 2010).

In this screed, McDonald claims that Phillip Johnson is a “convert to Roman Catholicism” (p. 198).

Johnson and his wife – whom I contacted – would be astounded to hear this. The Johnsons are staunch Presbyterians, with no intention whatever of swimming the Tiber.*

By the way, did you know that, as a breathless McDonald asserts, a resurgent Christian right is trying to take over Canada? You didn’t? Well, don’t bother knowing now. Worry about real issues instead.

Unless you think that Baptist ministers flew planes into the World Trade Center, and load up vehicles with explosives, and …

Others have complained about numerous errors of fact in McDonald’s book. See here, for example, where a Jewish civil rights lawyer comments that she just “makes stuff up”.

Apparently, traditional fact checkers have gone extinct, and we cannot interest the World Wildlife Fund in the problem.

Here’s a review that carefully sidesteps the issue: McDonald is an anti-Christian bigot with little regard for facts.

More later on what she has to say about me, mostly erroneous.

Don’t buy the book. You would just be putting more errors of fact and more nonsense in circulation, helping the post-modern cult of “I am entitled to my own facts, even in situations that are not under dispute.”

* becoming Roman Catholic

14 Replies to “ID founder Phillip Johnson a Catholic convert – who knew?

  1. 1
    Gods iPod says:

    I have never even heard of true followers of Jesus joining a cult before. The other way, yes, but moving from Bible to extraBiblical heresy, unlikely.

  2. 2
    Collin says:

    Gods iPod,

    The Jews would have called Jesus and his disciples a cult.

  3. 3
    IRQ Conflict says:

    @ Collin.

    I think your right. I would call that projection. For it was the religious Jews who would punish people if they so much as spit on the ground for tilling the soil on the Sabbath.

    Jesus said, if you want to be religious about something, feed the poor.

    You see, Christianity isn’t about works. It’s about repentance and acknowledgment that Jesus the Christ is Lord and Savior.

    That’s the milk of it anyway.

  4. 4
    CannuckianYankee says:

    This from Amazon:

    (Her book) “Yankee Doodle Dandy: Brian Mulroney and the America Agenda. Her controversial cover story in the Walrus, “Stephen Harper and the TheoCons,” inspired this book.”

    Sounds like she really has it out for any Canadian conservative; especially Harper. Is Harper even a Christian?

  5. 5
    IRQ Conflict says:

    Yes, the PM is a Christian.

  6. 6
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    @Gods iPod,

    The Bible comes from the Catholic Church. So it should not be surprising to find that there are a few Bible-believing Christian who find their way back home to the source of their belief. For a few examples, check out these books:

    Surprised by Truth

    Surprised by Truth 2

    Surprised by Truth 3

  7. 7
    O'Leary says:

    Esteemed commenters, the key question here is accuracy.

    Johnson did not become a Catholic. Whether one thinks Rome good or bad is irrelevant.

    We might naturally be expected to differ on such a point, but …

    the event never happened!!

    I hope McDonald is not trying to import to Canada a peculiar way of doing journalism (= just make it up, to suit one’s own cause). That does not work so well in a smaller country, or in any country where people are only a click away from accuracy.

    PS: For the record, I am a Catholic. Johnson isn’t.

  8. 8
    CannuckianYankee says:

    EP, Um, The Bible predates the Roman Church by several hundred years. If by Catholic you mean the universal Church, then yes. There are as many if not more abandoning the Roman Church today than there are joining. This doesn’t make it less truthful, just that Christianity is broader than Roman Catholicism; and even the Roman Church has acknowledged this in recent times.

  9. 9
    CannuckianYankee says:

    OK Denyse, I plead guilty.

  10. 10
    zephyr says:

    As Denyse points out, the point is that the author can’t get a basic important fact straight, P Johnson is a central and prominent figure in the ID vs Darwinism debate (in his relatively younger days he was considered the de facto leading public voice and most influential public policy making figure in the ID movement as such), so to get something like his Christian denomination so very very wrong (I had to laugh when I read that Johnson converted to Catholicism myself) is simply laughable and extremely amateurish.

    I am not a Christian myself, but characters like McDonald I find among the most infuriating and tiresome in the ‘elite’ circus that is the Western “intellectual” discourse. Self-appointed arbiters of truth and know-it-all-know-nothings (which is why they come across as typical nineteen year old college students no matter how old they actually are). Self-righteousness is one of the dominant traits here, as is pretending to know the complex multi-layered and multi-stranded dynamics of science, society and religion (and everything else under the sun) which they filter through their simplistic and superficial black and white secular worldview (that’s none too secular but that’s a whole other thing).

    There are too many ironies here too mention (and its people of McDonald’s ilk who are so convinced they get irony and the rest of us are just a bunch of rubes don’t you know), and these ironies are so way over the heads of the McDonalds of the world.

  11. 11
    Gods iPod says:

    “The Bible comes from the Catholic Church”

    You should try stand up, because I’m already laughing…

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    …”You should try stand up, because I’m already laughing…”

    Don’t laugh. Who do you think made the decision about which books made the cut and which books didn’t? Who do you think excluded such offerings as the “Gospels” of James and Peter, and Thomas on the grounds that they were not the infallible word of God?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    semi off topic: Now this video is interesting:

    Arch Bonnema Speaks about the Arc of the Covenant
    http://video.google.com/videop.....381710825#

  14. 14
    Frost122585 says:

    The Catholic Church DID in fact decide which books would be included in the Bible. That is just a fact of history. The Catholic Church is the original FIRST Church which spread the books all Christians read and accept today. As many people well know there are other books out there which have been excluded from the Bible because the Catholic Church Theologians (dating all the way back to the first century or so) realized or decided they were not legitimate due to their inconsistent and or erroneous claims.

    So the position of the Catholic Church is that it is the one true Church of Christ- Christ’s ministry- and that is to distinguish it from any other Church which may come and try to preach a false message in his name. Catholic which means “universal” is the formal ministry of Christ.

    The declarations of the Church throughout the ages are infallible. That is, the Dogmas of the Catholic Church are there and defined so that the people – the followers of Christ or divine elect- may know and understand what the truth of what Christ was saying actually is in light of what we know he said.

    This does not mean that there were not times when false prophets or fraudulent self declared Catholics “seemed” to be part of or even heading the Church itself- but in those cases where supposed Popes or Church leaders were declaring erroneous things or acting wickedly they were NOT in fact truly acting as Popes or leaders but instead they were actually Apostates anathematized from the Church by their own heretical beliefs and actions.

    What you need to understand is that Christ clearly makes Simon (St. Peter) the first primary leader of the Church- which is what the Popes are supposed to continue to follow and be since Peter’s time.

    IN Matthew 16:18 Jesus says

    “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”

    Christ CHANGES Simon’s name to Peter to denote a new special position of leadership- as was traditionally done in the old testament as well. He also clearly implies that Peter is the one who’s faith will NOT fail him- as he is the elected rock on which the Church should be continued and founded on after Christ.

    I must also note that most protestants act towards Catholicism exactly the same way that most evolutionists do towards ID- they agree with everything they have been told or read or here is wrong with it – usually because they were brought up or raised with that general bias and whenever they hear anti-Catholic rhetoric it just affirms for them what they already have decided to believe. They do not for example actually read and pay equal mind to the arguments for why Catholicism is actually the true Church of Christ vs why it is a “cult” or something like that.

    To truly understand the ID/Evolution debate- and the Catholic/Protestant or Non-denominational debate- one must actually truly and wholeheartedly study all the issues and topics involved therein- deeply and thoroughly enough to obtain the real facts and truth.

    Peter- the undisputed apostle of Christ- was in fact in the end executed- in a sense fulfilling what Christ said he prayed for- that Peter’s faith would not fail him (as it did before when he denied Christ 3 times) up until and through the end- and that Hell itself would not prevail against his faith- even though it certainly tried it’s hardest by crucifying Peter upside down for his following.

    Those who criticise Catholicism for the evils attributed to it- like in the cases usually sited regarding the middle ages with taxation and persecution- and up through more recently with the sex scandals and things- need to realize the fallacy they are committing to conflate the people who claim to be Catholic- and acting against all the Catholic teachings- with the actual Church itself- the revealed word of God it’s tenets and teachings.

    So, anyone can claim to be a Pope- or a Priest and ware the appropriate garments- that does not make them part of the Church nor representative of what the Church is actually about.

    On the contrary from the Catholic perspective it is much easier to start or invent your own Church and infer whatever meaning you want from the Bible’s passages than to actually have to walk the narrow path that Christ describes of in Matthew 7:13-14

    “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”

    which implies a specific, absolute and necessary path to salvation- not a general “believe what you what and think is right- and you will be fine” kind of path.

    There is a reason the Catholic Church has been residing in St. Peter’s Basilica (the old through the new) for the last 1600 years.

    And certainly I am biased as a Catholic- and protestants who read my post will certainly be biased against what I am saying- but the fact remains that most people who have already made up their minds against Catholicism know little to nothing about the origins of Christian Church history- and intellectually speaking, ignorance, is the greatest bias of all.

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