The late Jim Moran, at his website that was taken over by the cult he confronted
, at one point mentioned a paper titled, "From Parchment to Pixels: The Christian Countercult on the Internet" by Dr. Douglas Cowan
. Jim, who made sure people understood he was not in full agreement with Cowan's views, posted the following email from Matt Paulson of the Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry
(CARM) - one of the ministries Doug Cowan misrepresents:
When sound Christian ministries preach the truth they often get attacked. I read the article you found "From Parchment to Pixels: The Christian Countercult on the Internet" by Dr. Douglas Cowan. Ironically, I see that you found it in a "library" on New Religious Movements. Possibly, Dr. Cowan is attempting to start a new religious movement himself. CARM will keep an eye on him. For your information, this is a reply are several incorrect statements in this article about CARM.
Dr. Cowan stated "And, unless one looks specifically for Slick's personal information, CARM's web presentation could easily deceive a visitor into thinking it is a multi-staff, professional research organization." Dr. Cowan does not have his facts correct. If he had spent more time on the CARM web site he would find that there are several people who work with Matt Slick's CARM, myself being one of them. For several months, time CARM web site has been asking for volunteers. Apparently Dr. Cowan wants to falsely paint CARM as a one man band. This is not the case. Also, His remarks about the appearance of "professional research" is strange and untrue. Either the CARM web page is "professional" or it is "amateur." If Dr. Cowanis admitted that CARM looks like professional research, in what way is the visitor deceived? If the CARM library is well organized and well researched then is not this a sign of professionalism? I think so.
Interestingly, this article makes several non-sense statements. Dr. Cowan states, "Its ["Countercult on the Net"] library is designed not to inform the visitor about the group in question, but to confirm for the visitor why that group is heterodox, why it should be avoided, and why conservative Christianity is the only viable option in place of it." Sadly, Dr. Cowan is wrong again. The information on CARM IS to inform on various religions. It is impossible to explain how a group is heterodox without discussion the nature of the group in total. We at CARM are constantly getting e-mail from members of these religions which thank us for providing factual information about their churches.
Moreover, Dr. Cowan falsely broad-brushes CARM and other Christian apologetic Internet sites as non-tolerant, and "conservative" (if that is a crime). He has in mind to paint apologetics as a new religious movement. This is not the case.
Briefly, Dr. Cowan contrasts the early Christian apologists to groups like CARM and other Christian apologetic web sites. Yet, he fails to acknowledge that these early Christians were more conservative and much less intolerant than CARM. The early Church Fathers called heretics to account for their doctrines by using Scripture. They openly debated the theological issues. Likewise, CARM encourages the reading of Scripture and the healthy theological debate made through the CARM articles and the CARM Internet discussion boards.
Finally, if Dr. Cowan had read the CARM web site he would have discovered that CARM is "reformed" or Calvinistic. This is important reason not to classify CARM as a "new religious movement." Reformed theology has been around for 500 years. Many of the Internet apologetic ministries are Reformed mainly because this theology follow closest to the Bible. Clearly, the mission of CARM is not to save the world and forced unbelievers into Christian converts. Also, it is not our mission to promote Christian apologetics, but if that happens we will rejoiced in people who join forces with us.
Thank you for pointing us the reference to CARM in this poorly written article.
In His eternal grace and mercy,
Source: Email from Matt Paulson, CARM, to Jim Moran, May 17, 2001