A few months ago I ran into one of the writers for the “Do Right Christians” blog, a “Dr. Ach.” I discovered, very, very quickly, that logical thought and honesty is not a high priority on this particular website, and immediately dropped the non-discussion. I thought the background looked familiar when I was directed to an article today by a “Dr. Elisha Weismann.” It surely seems that the Dividing Line has a lot of listeners who listen for some other reason than to learn, that’s for sure. In any case, I read through an article titled “James White Amillenialism, Ecumenism and Curious Habits.” It is one of the most laughable “throw everything including the kitchen sink and see if your followers will buy it” type of screeds I’ve run into in quite a while. Of course, this is a KJV Only site, and KJV Onlyism produces the most wide-eyed forms of vitriol and slander on the Internet, so we should not be overly surprised.
I can tell there is no chance of a fruitful exchange with Dr. Elisha, that’s for sure. But let me just point out a few items.
1) Honest folks know that when I mentioned the eschatology debate (in reference to Alan Kurschner’s exchanges with others regarding different forms of pre-millenialism) I specifically indicated that there are key areas of eschatology, such as judgment, the existence of hell, eternal punishment, the return of Christ, etc., that are vital (and I have defended some of those truths in debate and dialogue in the past). But, of course, that very important statement got lost in the “hearing” of Dr. Elisha, who could write, “Apparently, the return of Christ is not something of significance in the field of apologetics according to White.” Amazing.
2) We are then given a very insightful explanation of why most Calvinists are amillenial (well, leaving aside those crazy posties!), and that is due to…Romans 9-11! Yes, see, we all know that if we were premillenial, then Romans 9 wouldn’t be about individual salvation! Ah, I get it now! Amazing. This is followed by paragraphs of, well, interesting diatribe about eschatology, sort of proving my point about how folks who put this first in their theology end up, well, a bit on the imbalanced side.
3) Then we come to a sub section titled “Other Issues We Have With White.” Oh goodie! Now we start into the “let’s create all sorts of associations and not bother to establish meaningful links” conspiratorialist thinking that we are running into with Chris Pinto as well. It works like this: “Minnesota recently approved gay marriage. James White was born in Minnesota. Therefore James White approves gay marriage.” That kind of thinking (though, normally, there are as many as five steps to the argument!).
4) The first shows the brilliance of this kind of thinking:
We stumbled on to a website called Defending the Faith, promoting a “Apologetics Cruise” featuring James White and Jerry Johnson. Ironically, the url for the Defending the Faith website is called “SovereingCruises.org”. So now apparently God is not only sovereign over man’s will, but also over $500 cruises as well. Jerry Johnson is a member of the Nicene Council organization. The Nicene Council is a NOTORIOUS Roman Catholic council that set the stage for many of the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
Well, there you go! A few years ago we partnered with Jerry Johnson on a small cruise (I think it was our last one, actually, I don’t recall). Sovereign Cruises and my dear friend Mike O’Fallon put it on, as he did all the rest of our cruises going back to the late 90s. And Jerry is a member of the Nicene Council, and we all known the Nicene Council was a NOTORIOUS Roman Catholic council! So, I am an ecumenist!
Now, the absurdity of such thinking is astounding. Not a single person at the Council of Nicea would have had a clue what the phrase “Roman Catholic Church” even meant, and it is sad that these non-Roman conspiratorialists are always willing to grant to Rome far, far more than history ever does. The Council of Nicea was, of course, the place where the full deity of Christ was defended, despite the rise of Arianism in the decades thereafter. So Dr. Elisha has a very, very odd view of history, to be sure. But to take such an errant view of Nicea, transfer it lock, stock, and barrel to the modern Nicene group that Jerry is a part of, and by that accuse me of “ecumenism” is surely a wondrous example of why it is next to impossible to reason with these folks. But, why waste a wild-eyed accusation? Dr. Elisha can find more “connections”! We read, “Thus it comes to no surprise to us that James White aligns himself with such ecumenical organizations since he regularly supports their “Bible” versions. It is also no surprise that James White is now attacking Chris Pinto showing that the ESV and other Bibles are part of a Jesuit conspiracy.” Well there you go! Don’t worry about all those debates with Roman Catholic apologists! No, no, that was all a cover, you see! Unless you present KJV Onlyism, you are actually a Jesuit! See, there isn’t a fact on God’s green earth that can stop a conspiratorialist from reaching their goal.
5) Then we have a paragraph questioning why we are raising money for a trip to South Africa, all based upon the idea that A&O is “an apparently small radio and online ministry.” While we are definitely small, Dr. Elisha seems to have missed that the income listed for A&O is total, including all book orders, postage, mp3s, you name it. Take the costs out, and realize that we have two full time employees, who rely upon their wives for health insurance, and the need to raise the funds for the trip (not just including air fare but hotels and at least some transportation etc.) is pretty obvious to even the most jaded mind.
6) Well, if all of the above wasn’t enough to prove to you that that nasty James White character should be avoided, here comes the coup de grâce! You see:
Now I don’t know how many hours are spent riding a bike 1000 miles a month, but personally if I was an apologist that needed an enormous amount of funds that $15,000 a month does not cover, for the sake of defending the gospel, I certainly would not be spending THAT MUCH leisure time riding a bicycle. It is in my opinion poor stewardship of God’s time, as well as the people who are donating to his website.
First, I am sure Dr. Elisha has never sent us a dime, and never will. Secondly, I now have a better idea of what kind of folks follow me on Twitter! Third, if Dr. Elisha were to care about the facts (and it is obvious that is not the case), it is pretty easy for folks to realize how central my “bike time” is to what I do. I have no secretary, no research assistants, no readers. Everyone who listens to the DL knows how often I comment about how many books I just read while riding, how many debates I reviewed, etc. It is my preparation time, not only for the DL (which would be enough), but for preaching and debating as well. I would never, ever get as much read and studied if I were not able to ride. So while I do not answer to KJV Only internet gossips, I will point out that the investment of my “leisure time” to preparation and study has proven rather fruitful, for I surely do not see Dr. Elisha’s books on Islam, Roman Catholicism, justification, or the Trinity, being used in Bible schools across the English speaking world, nor do I find Dr. Elisha debating people from Bart Ehrman to John Shelby Spong to John Dominic Crossan to Shabir Ally to Tim Staples, etc. So not only do I reject Dr. Elisha’s judgmentalism, I also hereby challenge the good doctor to a bike race! That will settle it all!
Finally, I will simply allow this paragraph to speak for itself (for those who have been listening to the response to Walls thus far):
So far, White has done a terrible job at refuting Walls, and has merely paused several times to restate Calvinist views. White first states that it was several months, and then actually a year since he has known about the video, now decides to address it. His criticism follows a version of “Mighty Fortress Is Our God” where he makes fun of the now deceased Dave Hunt and his fans, and plays a quote where he continues to misrepresent what Hunt said. Hunt said that he was ignorant of the Reformers, not that he was ignorant about Calvinism as a theology.
Now remember, Hunt’s words about being ignorant of the Reformers were spoken to whom again? Yes, me. I was the one interviewing him. I well knew what he meant then, and anyone who has listened to that show knows very well what Hunt was doing, and what he meant.
And so we have a fascinating insight into the conspiratorialist KJV Only mindset, where the restraints that keep the rest of us from making wild, illogical and irrational connections are missing, and the result is a muddled mess of accusation and confusion.