Well, getting back into the “groove” after two weeks overseas, but I really won’t have too long to enjoy “normalcy.” I have a debate in SoCal Friday evening with Steve Tassi, a radical anti-Calvinist whose videos are filled with an amazing mountain of strawman argumentation (“Calvinism is fatalism,” “Calvinists argue God is a hypocrite,” “Calvinist theology is abortion theology” and a huge number more). But, if a miracle takes place, the topic is actually (ready for this?) Romans 9. Yeah—I was ready to do the general Calvinism topic, but Mr. Tassi requested, just a few days ago, to do Romans 9. I mean, that’s like challenging you to a two-on-two game of HORSE and saying you can have Steph Curry on your team. Of course, I’ve already heard, briefly, Mr. Tassi claiming that (sitting down?) the real issue in Romans 9 is…dispensationalism, so, this could be quite interesting.
Then, next week is RefCon here in Phoenix. Looking forward to seeing everyone, but I need to let folks know that though I will do what I can to be around as much as possible, I still have some things I need to take care of during the conference, so I won’t be around all the time. My topics are going to be pretty “heavy” too: I will start with a plenary presentation against “theological perfectionism,” that is, hyper-Calvinism. But I hold a “high Calvinism,” so in my “break-out session,” I will continue the theme by addressing the argument that unless you attribute to God internal self-contradiction in regards to His desires, you are a hyper-Calvinist. In the process I will examine the OPC statement (found here) on 2 Peter 3:9 and the “free offer” issue (for those interested, I take the minority position noted at the bottom of the statement). There will also be a Q&A session I will be involved with.
Sunday I will be preaching both morning and evening sermons at PRBC.
So I understand Leighton Flowers is really up in arms. Evidently he really doesn’t like Rich Pierce’s review of our debate. I had the opportunity to listen to some of that debate this morning (wanted to review where I focused in my opening since I have the identical time control) and was struck by Flowers’ admission that his presentation did not, in fact, parallel how he would defend the deity of Christ to a Muslim, for example. I was out on New River Road in the middle of nowhere so I felt free to rather loudly say, “Well, that was the debate, right there.” I also noted some major errors in Flowers’ arguments, particularly in the exegesis of the text and the identity of the “clay” in the passage. Anyway, I received an “open letter” from him recently, which included this statement: “but I will continue to post these facts through social media and send it to parties with which Dr. White seeks to engage in future debates to warn them of this type of misleading behavior. I do not want other potential opponents to be treated in the manner I have been treated without being fully aware of what they are getting themselves into.” Sour grapes is an understatement, but Flowers is the first person out of more than (I estimate) eighty people I have debated who said he was going to contact future debate opponents to “warn them” about the big meanie James White! My goodness. Someone really, really, REALLY needs to get some hobbies and interests other than…me. Just sad.
Speaking of sad…Eric Lounsbery wrote to more mega-tweets demonstrating that there is absolutely, positively nothing to be gained in attempting to deal with lone wolves who refuse to obey the Scriptures. Like Flowers who couldn’t help but include a threat in his open letter, Lounsbery succumbed as well:
I ask this sincerely because during your most recent show you mentioned multiple times that I was “stalking” you. Undoubtedly, someone of your intelligence knows this is a very serious claim to make, one that could (if others were the subject of your comments) carry legal implications. Let me point out why I am seriously concerned about you and your state of mind.
Legal implications for identifying someone’s stalking behavior? Yes, well—got it! The world is truly becoming a very strange, strange place.
Oh, one other thing: we are having recording problems in Sunday School at PRBC. We are working on it, and I tried to provide a back-up this past Sunday. Unfortunately, I chose my iPhone instead of my iPad, and it only recorded three minutes of the class (the iPad would have worked fine). I will use my iPad in the future. So, we missed a few sections from the Church History lesson on Sunday morning. My apologies!