GERRY SOLIMAN JUST DOESN’T GET IT CORRECTLY!!!
By Atty. Marwill Llasos
MR. GERRY SOLIMAN of Solutions Finder Apologetics responded to my appeal. As I expected, he would not face the issue head on. Here is how he defended himself. (http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-to-appeal-of-atty-llasos.html).
This is how Mr. Soliman wiggles away from the issue:
“He insists that they didn’t contradict because Fr. Abe was referring to the woman in Revelations 12:1 while Atty. Llasos was referring to birth pains in Revelations 12:2, but my article which I pointed out their contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun.”
I am astonished that Mr. Soliman does not exactly understand the issue I raised. Let us dissect Mr. Soliman’s understanding of the issue, or the lack of it.
Mr. Soliman states the issue that Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS and I did not contradict each other because Fr. Abe was referring to the woman in Revelations 12 while I was referring to birth pains in Revelations 12:2. This is inaccurate.
I wonder if Mr. Soliman has read and understood what I had written in my article. I request my readers to read it again so as not to be deceived by the Mr. Soliman’s way of inaccurately putting the issue. Here’s my article: (http://bromarwilnllasos.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post_24.html).
Let me state it the issue again: The issue is: Did Fr. Abraham Arganiosa and I contradict each other based on our statements that Mr. Soliman quoted in his blog?
My challenge was specific and categorical. I was referring to the exact statements that Gerry Soliman quoted from Fr. Abe and I which he said contradicted each other. “The specific statements Gerry Soliman quoted from us were discussing two (2) different issues. Fr. Abe’s statement was concerned about the identity of the woman in Revelation 12:1. My statement was concerned about the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelation 12:2.”
Here is the exact statement of Fr. Abe:
“I DIDN’T SAY THAT ‘THE WOMAN CLOTHE WITH THE SUN’ SOMETIMES REFERS TO MARY. IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOTHER OF THE KING OF ALL NATIONS.” (emphasis added)
And here is mine:
“To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.” (emphasis added)
Friends, lest it be forgotten, it was Gerry Soliman who quoted those statements from us. And my specific challenge is for him to point out that those statements he exactly quoted from us contradict each other. The problem with Mr. Soliman is that he is so reckless with his quotations in his pathetic effort to pounce upon us “contradiction.” Gerry, you brought this upon yourself. Better be careful next time.
Next, Mr. Soliman pointed out that our contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun. Yes, that may have been your point, but look at the statements that you quoted from us! I already explained that those statements that you said contradicted each other were discussing two different things. Father Abe’s quoted statement was about the identity of the woman while mine was about the interpretation of “birth pains” in Revelations 12:2.
As Mr. Soliman said, his point is that Fr. Abe’s and my contradiction was about the literal or symbolical identification of the woman clothed with the sun. But please check the exact quotes he said contradicted each other. Mr. Soliman’s article is rather brief, and I reproduce it below so that the reader can see it for themselves:
“Mary as the Woman Clothed with the Sun of Revelations 12: Symbolical or Literal?
Let the infallible Church of Rome tell you. According to Atty. Marwil Llasos, a Roman Catholic apologist specializing on Mariology:
To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally.
I hold Mr. Soliman’s word that he does not interpret Revelation 12:2 literally. And so do we.
According to Fr. Abraham Arganiosa, another Roman Catholic apologist and comrade of Atty. Llasos:
I DIDN’T SAY THAT ‘THE WOMAN CLOTHE WITH THE SUN’ SOMETIMES REFERS TO MARY. IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOTHER OF THE KING OF ALL NATIONS.
Well if your head is aching already, so is mine. Here is the real score on the Roman Catholic Church on the woman of Revelations 12: They didn’t have any official and infallible interpretation of it during the first 300 years of Christianity. In fact, none of the church fathers during that time ever interpreted the woman as Mary. Some of the church fathers referred the woman as Israel, the people of God but never on Mary. Mary as woman clothed with the sun is not an apostolic teaching.” [http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2010/11/woman-clothed-with-sun-of-revelations.html].
Mr. Soliman’s concern in that article is the literal or symbolic interpretation of the woman. But look at the quotations you chose! They aren’t discussing the same issue. And Gerry Soliman knows that as in fact he now admits he does.
But he continues to skirt the issue and would like to leave it just like that. Pushed against the wall, he now offers this afterthought:
“Here is my response: You cannot disassociate the woman clothed with the sun in the identification of the birth pains.”
Gerry Soliman is now jumping now to another issue. Convenient escape, is it not?
He says that we can’t identify the woman using 12:1 alone or 12:2 alone. Did I ever say that? He is refuting a point that was never raised. And he proffered the important rule when it comes to understanding Scripture: “context, context, and more context.” Again, who opposes it?
In all things, context is very important. That’s why Gerry Soliman must have taken the context where Fr. Abe’s quoted statement was taken out. He was responding the query on the identity of the woman of Revelation 12. Likewise, if Gerry Soliman was ever concerned with context, he should have treated the statement he quoted from me based on the exact context on which appeared. And here we have Mr. Soliman pontificating on “context, context, and more context.”
Oh, and Gerry Soliman charged that I made a “lame excuse” that I was “just” referring to birth pains. Boy, here we go again! When will Gerry ever learn? Repeat: I was pointing out to the “exact quotation” that Mr. Soliman yanked from my article. And that quoted statement was precisely talking to nothing but birth pain! Lame excuse?
And here comes Gerry Soliman’s turn to turn the tables.
“Any objective reader would have to consider the context of the issue. When Fr. Abe and I briefly had a discussion about birth pains in Atty. Llasos’ blog, the identity of the woman was obviously discussed as well. As a matter of fact, the article written by Atty. Llasos in his response to me discussed first who is the woman before discussing birth pains. So if he is just discussing birth pains, I wonder if he avoided discussing who or what had these birth pains?”
Oh yes, you had that discussion about the birth pains and as you said the identity of the woman was also discussed. Where in my articles did I deny that? Again, raising an issue out of a non-issue. My article, which was prompted by your article, pointed to a specific issue. If you still don’t get it, I will re-state it for the nth time. I was concerned with the “exact quotations” that you cited in your article of November 2, 2010 which I reproduced above.
Gerry doesn’t want to face the music. Here is his lame excuse:
“Let’s recall what I said which Atty. Llasos based his statement “we don’t interpret it literally“:
Your question is not just a matter of who or what is the woman in Revelations 12, but also whether this could be understood literally or not. I think you favor more the literal understanding which points you to the blessed Mary (correct me if I am wrong). On the otherhand, I don’t interpret it literally thus, I can’t give you a name.
Since I believe this chapter is symbolical, I identify the woman as the people of God.
I was talking there about the woman and stating that the chapter is symbolical. It is understood that we considered the surrounding verses of the birth pains in Revelations 12. Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains. So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains:
To answer Mr. Soliman, verse 2 of Revelation 12 does not in any way affect the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Because, just like Mr. Soliman, we don’t interpret it literally. In his comment in my blog article, Mr. Soliman said, “I don’t interpret it literally …” to which I replied that “there are points of agreement already between his position and ours.”
Thus, the association of the woman clothed with the sun can’t be avoided.”
Gerry Soliman can say a lot of things. He can connect the “woman” to “birth pains” all he wants. He can’t rant about the unavoidable association of the woman with the birth pains all he wants. But, so what? It was not the point of my article. Everything here that Mr. Soliman says to divert the issue is inconsequential. The point that I have been making all along is that the exact statement that he quoted from me and Fr. Abe were discussing two different issues. As Mr. Soliman himself concedes, Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains. So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains.” Precisely, Mr. Soliman. Now your getting there.
“Fr. Abe also made an identification of who is woman before proceeding to birth pains.” Yes, he was making an identification of the woman before he proceeded to birth pains. And where did Mr. Soliman get the statement of Fr. Abe that you quoted? From his identification of the woman.
“So when Atty. Llasos quoted from me, I don’t interpret it literally, he connected it to discussing birth pains.” And where did he get the statement he quoted from me? From my discussion of birth pains.
Let’s not gild the lily anymore. The point has been sufficiently belabored already. And Mr. Soliman has all but conceded the point when he gave me this unsolicited advice: “Atty. Llasos, you need to look at the bigger picture. That sums up what I have to say.”
Gerry, I appreciate your advice. Don’t worry much about me. I can assure you that I do look at the bigger picture. But I look at the details, too. While looking at the vast expanse of the firmament, we should not lose sight of the nitty-gritty details.
It is regrettable indeed that Mr. Soliman would not face the issue I squarely raised. As an escape, he pointed to another contradiction of me and Fr. Abe:
“Therefore, both of Atty. Llasos and Fr. Abe contradicted each other. To repeat:
Fr. Abe: IT REFERS TO MARY LITERALLY ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES
Yes, there is the word birth pain or birth pang in both texts but the pain of the Woman Clothed with the Sun is due to the Birth of the Messiah
Atty. Llasos: we don’t interpret it literally
The pain the woman is suffering here is not indicating she was suffering pain in birth, but the suffering at seeing her Son’s agonizing pain and suffering on Calvary.”
By now, we know Gerry Soliman very, very well. And if he has not yet learned his lesson, we will teach him another one. In the subsequent articles, both Fr. Abe and I would (again) expose Mr. Soliman’s faulty reading comprehension and intellectual dishonesty.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Lk. 16:10, NLT).
[Note: Gerry Soliman raised other points. I reserve my right to respond to them in future articles so as not to convolute the present one. I humbly beg the indulgence of my readers. Thank you.]
Atty. Llasos, you need to look at the bigger picture. That sums up what I have to say.
Before we end, I would like to respond to Atty. Llasos’ comment on my assertion of contradition against Mr. Carlos Palad on the canon of Scripture. It’s not going to be long. Please refer to the definition of terms below which were taken from Merriam Webster online:
Definite – free of all ambiguity, uncertainty, or obscurity
Final – not to be altered or undone
Open – containing none of its endpoints
Remain – to continue unchanged
Settle – to establish or secure permanently
I am expecting that he (and probably Fr. Abe) will write bad things about me personally (as they always do) and even ridicule what I have written here in his (or their) subsequent articles. Nevertheless, I take full responsibility of what I have written so far.