Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #90

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

This will be a relatively short newsletter as I’ve been consumed with all the details of getting a radio station on the air in the last few days and have several things that need to get done today and tomorrow. Our goal is to be on the air by July 1. Once we get up and running, things shouldn’t be as hectic as they are right now.


Well, can I call ‘em or can I call ’em?! As I predicted, our ol’ pal Dr. Joe Mizzi refused to answer my most recent set of questions to him. Below is his non-response to those of you who emailed him the questions.

I will treat with Joe Mizzi below, but after this issue of the newsletter, I will no longer make mention of him until such time as he answers my questions. Some of you are saying, “Thank you!” while others are saying, “No, keep after him.” Well, I would keep after him if it would serve some purpose, if some progress could be made in the dialogue. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening. I have given him much more “airtime” than he would ever give me on his website. I have allowed him to reach more Catholics than his website probably does in years, and how does he return my kindness and thoughtfulness? He refuses to answer my questions.

Joe is more than happy to play the game as long as he has room to hide within his obfuscations, to dodge direct questions, and to avoid addressing specific arguments. But, once you put him into a situation of having to answer your questions or directly respond to your arguments, he withdraws from the field. At the heart of Joe Mizzi’s arguments is cowardness. He is, quite frankly, afraid to respond to my questions because he is afraid to honestly and seriously consider all the contradictions in his theology that are being highlighted by my questions. He knows at some level that my questions are exposing the illogic and hypocrisy of his views and he cannot allow that to become crystal clear, either to himself or to the readers, by actually answering my questions.

I am featuring his non-response here for one reason only: To show you that anybody – especially smart folks like Joe Mizzi – can say things that sound good on the surface, but when they are pushed to go below the surface of their theology, they are ill-equipped to do so and have to immediately come up for air or drown in a sea of illogic and contradiction.

I want to show you why Joe Mizzi will never answer these questions because I want you to see that by asking questions you can expose the nakedness of Sola Scriptura theology and hopefully plant some seeds with Sola Scriptura adherents.

I always teach people, ask more questions than you answer. Stop doing all the explaining of your theology, and ask for some explanations of their theology. Ask simple yes-no questions and ask for Bible verses. Follow-up one set of questions with another set of questions. Don’t let the other guy sit back comfortably on the offensive, while you remain forever on the defensive.

Now, I know several of you are currently in individual conversations with Dr. Mizzi. I would ask you to consider telling him that you will not respond to any more of his emails, and that he remove you from his email list, until such time as he responds to my questions. The reason I ask this, is because unless we can put pressure on him as a group, I don’t think he will respond in a meaningfull way to any given individual. On an individual basis he will continue his evasiveness, his non-responsiveness, his illogic, and his absurdity, but possibly…just possibly…as a group we might be able to get him to actually respond to a direct question. He wants to dialogue with Catholics…well, put a price on that. If he wants to dialogue with Catholics (actually he wants to prey on improperly catechized Catholics), let him, as part of any honest and fair dialogue, answer the questions asked of him by Catholics. No answers, no dialogue.

I’ll start off with his non-response to the questions and then I will respond to him by going through each question and pointing out why Joe won’t answer it. I would love to have as many of you as possible forward this newsletter to him: josephmizzi@onvol.net.


How to Dismantle an Anti-Catholic

Dr. Mizzi’s Non-Response:

Thanks for sending John’s second list of questions. Others did as well.

Unfortunately those questions do not present any significant progress on the first set. John continues to deal with ʽpossibilitiesʼ rather than present rational and biblical evidence to prove his case or refute mine. His approach is futile and unworthy of our time.

I want to thank John Mont for the information about the Bible translations in German dialects before Luther. My point was that Luther included the book of James in his translation and gave it to the people in their language. At that time the Catholic Church did not give the Bible in the vernacular to the laity.

John misrepresented my position when he stated that I do not believe in the passing of apostolic tradition by word of mouth. I have asserted the very opposite (see here and here). I have yet to meet a single Protestant who does not believe in the preaching of the Word (the major form of oral transmission of the apostolic teaching). We do not believe that preachers are infallible, but does that mean that preaching is useless? I donʼt think the misrepresentation was intentional . Like me, John is fallible; he can also make mistakes even though he believes that he is guided by an infallible magisterium. I gladly forgive him.

You may also like to read a short criticism of Johnʼs methods. See Unworthy Apologetics Tactics

Kindly use justforcatholics@yahoo.com for correspondence; emails on religious matters received on any other address may not be read. Thanks and God bless.



My Questions to Dr. Mizzi:

Question #1: Joe, you have admitted that it is “possible” that the Holy Spirit could have enabled the successors of the Apostles to “faithfully and accurately pass along the traditions Paul taught by ‘word of mouth.’” You, however, do not believe this happened. Is it possible that you are wrong on this matter and that Catholics are right…yes or no?

Comments: Dr. Mizzi admitted as a “possibility” that the Holy Spirit could have aided the early Church in faithfully and accurately transmitting traditions that Paul taught “by word of mouth.” However, he rejects the notion that this actually happened. As probable as God having created a 3-legged creature on Pluto, he said. So, my follow-up question to him is: Since the Holy Spirit could have done it, is it possible that you are wrong on this and Catholics right when you believe He didn’t do it and we believe He did? That is a logical progression from the last question.

You see, the thing with Joe Mizzi is that he has never admitted to even the possibility that he could be wrong and Catholics right on anything. He has never admitted that he was wrong on anything in regards to the Bible and to Christian doctrine. Oh, he’ll admit that he’s not infallible, but he will not admit that he has actually made a mistake in his rendering of Scripture and in his doctrinal beliefs. In essence, Joe Mizzi believes he is fallible in theory, but infallible in practice. The purpose of these questions, is to take him from the theoretical to the actual. This is why Joe Mizzi is so uncomfortable with my talk of “possibilities,” because, in theory, he has to admit he is not infallible; but, in practice, he refuses to do so. And, when I start showing the discrepancy between his theory and his practice, he simply shuts down and refuses to go any further. He doesn’t want to talk about “possibilities” because he doesn’t want to admit that it is possible he is wrong on any given interpretation of Scripture or any given doctrinal matter, and that Catholics are right.

Again, Joe admits that it is possible that the Holy Spirit did exactly what Catholics believe the Holy Spirit did in terms of oral tradition. Well, as I pointed out in my last newsletter, he would not even admit that possibility if the Bible stated clearly and plainly otherwise. But, he cannot point to a single passage of Scripture that supports his position. Not one. I found it a little bit bizarre when he stated that I’m not presenting “rational and biblical evidence” to support my case or refute his. I ask the reader to look at my last newsletter. Look at Joe’s responses to my first set of questions. Did he point to a single verse of Sacred Scripture to support his Sola Scriptura position? No! Not one. If someone can find a scripture verse he quoted in his answers, please let me know because I did not see one. Yet, I cited scripture verses all through my comments.

And, here I am asking Sola Scriptura Joe to give me his biblical evidence – here is his opportunity to show thousands of Catholics where the Bible teaches what he believes, and what does he do? He passes on the opportunity. It’s not “worthy” of his time. As one of my readers stated, Joe believes solidly in that Scripture verse from 1 Ptr 3:15, “Be prepared to occasionally give a defense to someone who calls you to account, but only if you feel like it at the time.”

Question #2: You do not believe in the passing on of Apostolic Tradition by “word of mouth” from one generation to the next. Is your belief based on your understanding and explanation of the Bible…yes or no? If, “yes,” please give me the specific verse or verses from the Bible that you draw your belief from.


Again, Sola Scriptura Joe has the opportunity to share with thousands of Catholics the scripture verses that support his beliefs on this matter regarding the passing on of tradition “by word of mouth,” but he declines to do so. Why? Because he knows a trap when he sees one. His doctrinal beliefs are supposedly based on the Bible alone, yet nowhere does the Bible say the oral traditions of Paul were not passed on to succeeding generations “by word of mouth.” So, his only option is to not answer the question. He feebly protests that these questions make no “significant progress” over the last set of questions, but what he really means is that they make no significant progress for his Sola Scriptura theology. No significant progress for Joe Mizzi’s side, so Joe Mizzi retreats until a softer target comes along.

Question #3: Do you believe that all of the Apostolic teachings that were initially taught by “word of mouth,” were eventually written down in the Scriptures…yes or no? If, “yes,” please give the specific verse or verses in the Bible that say such a thing. If “no,” then please give the specific verse or verses in the Bible that say none of these non-written Apostolic teachings were passed on to future generations “by word of mouth.”


This is the flip side of Question #2. One of Joe’s underlying assumptions is that the things Paul taught orally to the Thessalonians and others were all written down and are contained in the Bible as we have it today. This is why he believes none of the traditions taught by Paul “by word of mouth” were transmitted orally to successive generations…because they were all written down. But, where does the Bible say anything to support this assumption? It doesn’t. So, again, this question represents a trap, because he is a Sola Scriptura kind of guy, but the Bible says absolutely nothing…either directly or indirectly…to support what he believes. So, if his belief didn’t come from the Bible, where did it come from? Protestant tradition. So, what is his only option to keep from exposing a huge hole in his theology? He has to avoid answering the question.

Question #4: Does 2 Timothy 2:2 command the passing on of Apostolic teaching via oral transmission…yes or no?

Comments: Again, in his first answers to my first series of questions, he made it very clear that he does not believe oral tradition could be faithfully and accurately passed on from one generation to the next. In order for oral tradition to be binding, it would have to be heard straight from the mouth of an Apostle, according to Joe. Yet, 2 Tim 2:2 clearly commands the passing on of oral tradition. This presents a bit of a quandary given Joe’s original answers. So, in order to avoid contradicting himself, what must he do? He has to avoid answering the questions.

Question #5: You have admitted that you “can” make mistakes in your “understanding and explanation of the Bible.” Have you, then, ever actually made a mistake in your understanding and explanation of the Bible…yes or no?

Comments: I think this is the question that Dr. Mizzi really had to avoid answering. If I had left this one out, he may have taken a stab at the others. As I stated above, he admits to the theoretical possibility that he could be wrong, but he does not admit that it can actually happen or that it has actually happened. He admitted that he can indeed “make mistakes in [his] understanding and explanation of the Bible,” at least, theoretically. But, if he actually admits that, due to his fallible nature and his admitted propensity to make mistakes in his understanding and explanation of the Bible, he had indeed actually made a mistake in his understanding and explanation of the Bible – that could, and would, cause all of his arguments against the Catholic Faith to come crumbling to the ground.

If he admits that he has made past mistakes in his understanding and explanation of the Bible, then how can he claim that his current understandings and interpretations of the Bible are 100% correct? He can’t!!! If he admits that he has made past mistakes, then he is also admitting that his current positions could be mistaken. In other words, his “assurance” of salvation is not so sure. And, if he admits the possibility that he could be wrong, then he has to also admit the possibility that the Catholic Church could be right. I think he would rather die than admit to that possibility. I believe his pride will prevent him from ever admitting to the possibility that the Catholic Church is right on anything where it disagrees with him. So, again, he will “say” that he can make mistakes and he will “say” that he is not infallible, but that is only in the theoretical realm. In practice, his de facto belief is that he is indeed infallible. My question reveals the disconnect between his theory and his practice. And, if he goes to the extreme and states that he is infallible, then he has contradicted his earlier answer. So, to avoid having all of this made perfectly clear for one and all, what does he have to do? He has to avoid answering the question.

Question #6: Since you can make mistakes in your interpretation of the Bible, could you have a mistaken interpretation and understanding of certain Bible verses that is causing you to mistakenly deny the truths of one or more Catholic teachings…yes or no?

Comments: Essentially the same comments as for #5.

Question #7: Since you admit to “many false beliefs and mistakes,” could you be wrong in one or more of the areas where you disagree with Catholic doctrine…yes or no? In other words, could the Catholic Church actually be right on at least one, possibly more, of the doctrines you deny…yes or no?

Comments: Again, essentially the same comments as for #5, but I would also add that here we get an inkling of how, in responding to six simple questions, his positions are starting to implode. He will admit that his forefathers in the faith held to “many false beliefs and mistakes,” and he will say, amazingly so, that Evangelicals proudly continue the traditions of their forefathers in the faith in that respect (in other words, he again theoretically admits to holding false beliefs, but he will not bring it down to an individual level and admit that he does indeed hold to false beliefs in practice). But, he had to admit that Evangelicalism is riddled with false beliefs and mistakes. Okay, you’ve admitted that…now, what are some of your false beliefs and mistakes that you hold to? And, if you admit to holding false beliefs, how can you say the Catholic Church holds to false beliefs? Could not one of your false beliefs be that the Catholic Church teaches false beliefs? It simply amazes me what lengths people will go to in avoiding the truth that the belief they cling to simply makes no sense.

Question #8: Are you guided by the Holy Spirit when you interpret Scripture…yes or no? If, “yes,” then how can you admit to errors in understanding and explanation of the Scriptures? If, “no,” then how can you be sure of any of your understandings and explanations of the Scriptures since it is based on your human reasoning and understanding?

Comments: This is slam the door and throw away the key. Joe has absolutely no chance here so what does he have to do? Avoid answering the question. If he says, “Yes,” he is guided by the Holy Spirit when he reads and interprets Scripture, then that would be contradicting his earlier statement that he can make mistakes in his “understanding and explanation of the Bible.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t make any mistakes in His understanding and explanation of the Bible. So, if Joe is guided by the Holy Spirit in his interpretation of the Bible, then he can’t be making any mistakes in his understanding of it. But, if Joe says, “No,” he is not guided by the Holy Spirit in his interpretation of Scripture, then he has admitted that his beliefs, which are based upon his interpretations of the Bible, are entirely human in origin. And, if they are entirely human in origin, then how can he say he knows with 100% certainty that they are right? How can he say with 100% certainty that the Catholic Church’s teachings are wrong? He can’t, on either count. Quite a predicament he got himself into when he answered my first set of questions…that’s why he’s not answering my second set. But, I warned him not to answer that first set of questions…I was trying to help him out.

Question #9: Were you unaware that there were several editions of the Bible available in German before Martin Luther was even born…yes or no? If your answer is, “yes,” will you now admit that you were wrong on that account?

Comments: His response to this information was Alice in Wonderland-ish. He simply re-stated his original assertion: “At the time [the time of Martin Luther] the Catholic Church did not give the Bible in the vernacular to the laity.” When he first stated that, I responded by pointing out the historical facts that the Bible existed in the vernacular for the laity of pretty much every country where Christianity had been introduced, before Martin Luther was even born. If these Bibles didn’t come from Catholic sources, then whence did they come? Protestants? Don’t think so since the First Protestant wasn’t even born yet. So, what does he say in the face of historical fact that completely refutes his assertions? He simply repeats his original response. And notice what he calls me…John Mont. I don’t take any personal offense, but the fact that he can’t even get my name right is to me indicative of his whole approach…facts don’t matter – he just says whatever he wants to say without regard to what the Catholic Church actually teaches, or what it actually says in the Bible, or what someone’s actual argument is.

Question #10: Does the Bible say that the Letter of James is “God-breathed”…Holy Spirit-inspired and inerrant…yes or no? If, “yes,” please give chapter and verse. If, “no,” then will you admit that your knowledge of the inspiration of James has its roots in oral tradition…yes or no?

Comments: Again, another trap that Joe Mizzi dare not step into. He knows the Bible doesn’t mention anything about the inspiration of James, so he would have to admit, if he answered the question, that his belief is based on Tradition. But, he doesn’t believe in Tradition. So, what is an anti-Catholic apologist to do? Refuse to answer the question.

Question #11: Is it possible that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead…yes or no?

Comments: This goes to my comments in the last newsletter that Joe would not admit to the possibility that Jesus did not rise from the dead. He simply would not do it. Why not? Because the Bible states very clearly that Jesus did rise from the dead. Since it is so clear in the Bible, Joe would not ever admit that it didn’t happen. Yet, Joe admitted to the possibility that the Holy Spirit could indeed have aided the Bishops of the early Church to faithfully and accurately pass along, by word of mouth, the traditions Paul taught “by word of mouth.” Which means, Joe is indirectly admitting that his belief that these traditions were not passed along “by word of mouth,” is not in the Bible. So, I was asking him this question to prove to you that he would not ever admit to the possibility that Jesus did not rise from the dead. He knows that if he answers this question, he’s put himself in quite a dilemma when it comes to defending his position on oral tradition.

Question #12: Does the Bible say, directly or indirectly, that we are to discern the spirit of truth from the spirit of error by individually picking up the Bible and reading it…yes or no? If, “yes,” please give chapter and verse.

Comments: Joe, as a Sola Scriptura sort of chap, and from all that he teaches and preaches, quite obviously believes that we do indeed discern the spirit of truth from the spirit of error by picking up the Bible and reading it for ourselves and relying on our own individual interpretations (unless, of course, you happen to be Catholic). Yet, the Bible very clearly states that it is otherwise. So, again, he can’t answer this question without poking a gigantic hole in his Sola Scriptura theology.

Now, a couple more things: 1) Another of Joe’s contradictions. In his email above he states the following: “John misrepresented my position when he stated that I do not believe in the passing of apostolic tradition by word of mouth.” Yet, he said the following in response to the question previously asked of him about the possibility of Paul’s teachings being passed on faithfully and accurately by word of mouth: “Could God have created a 3-legged creature on Pluto? Yes. Did he? I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t.” In other words, Joe clearly proclaims one minute that he does not believe in the passing on of oral tradition, but then in the next minute he says he does believe in the passing on of oral tradition and that I’ve misrepresented him. Well, if I misrepresented Joe’s position, it’s only because I quoted Joe. But, what he is really trying to do is say that because he believes in preaching, he believes in the oral passing on of Apostolic tradition. In other words, he’s trying to do what he does best – redefine the terms in such a way as to cause confusion in the mind of the reader. He is trying to claim that I am saying something I am not. He is trying to confuse the issue. He is trying to take my discussion on Tradition, and turn it into a discussion on preaching. He is re-defining what I am saying to make it say something that I didn’t actually say. Once again he is practicing misdirection and, in my opinion, outright deceit.

Also, he has posted something on his website about “Unworthy Apologetic Tactics.” Basically, he’s saying that it’s “unworthy” for me to ask him “endless” questions about his position. And, it’s “unworthy” for me to ask him for Scripture verses to back up his positions. And, he expects that because he declares these things unworthy…then that means it is so. Joe Mizzi has spoken. Sorry, Joe, you can run, but you cannot hide. Your refusal to answer this simple series of questions…which is far from endless and should have taken you 5 minutes to do so, has exposed you for the fraud that you are. I will continue to pray for you and ask my readers to do the same, but know this: for every unchatechized Catholic that you turn away from the Church by ensnaring them in your web of misrepresentations, half-truths, and outright lies, you are kindling the anger of a righteous and just God against yourself. And the fact that you admit to being fallible, to believing in false beliefs and mistakes, and being prone to error in your understandings and explanations of the Bible, should give you serious pause. If you cannot be certain of your understandings of the Bible, if you admit to mistakes in your understandings of the Bible, then why are you so willing to gamble the souls of others on your uncertainty?

In Conclusion

Please send along copies of this newsletter to Dr. Joe Mizzi: josephmizzi@onvol.net..

I hope all of you have a great week!

How to be added to, or removed from, the list

If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend, and you would like to be added to our distribution list, all you have to do is go to www.biblechristiansociety.com and click on the “Newsletter” page to sign up. It will take you about 10 seconds.


Apologetics for the Masses