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Waldron’s Cascade Argument

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron had a very cordial debate on the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?” Dr. Brown’s rebuttal arguments did not appear to me to reflect an understanding of Dr. Waldron’s primary argument, the so-called Cascade Argument.

I strongly believe that it is important to a dialog that both sides understand the other. Thus, my hope is that by spelling out this argument in writing, I can clarify the argument to Dr. Brown, to those who agree with him, and more broadly to those considering the question of the gifts.

The Cascade Argument can be summarized thus:
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Response to Jason Reed’s Apostasy Story

Jason Reed recently joined Rome’s communion. Because he’s served as a seminary professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, his apostasy to Rome’s communion has made waves in certain circles. Mike Schulte was kind enough to post a 56 minute video that includes a recent talk given by Jason, in which he explains his move.

No summary of Reed’s story will be fully fair to all its nuances, but it appears Reed never could explain why Roman Catholicism is contrary to Scripture and enjoyed Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica when introduced to it as seminary student. Thus, when he was surrounded by Roman Catholic professors, intellectual Roman Catholic peers in grad school, and Roman Catholic family, he found justifications for making a move to Rome.

In more detail (all time stamps are approximate):
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Geisler on Caner’s Debating Claims

The preceding post was a montage of video and audio clips of Ergun Caner bragging about his debating experience and his willingness to debate his critics. His bravado would be amusing if it was not such a serious issue.

What makes it worse is Geisler’s attempted defense of Caner on this point:

The Charge that Caner Falsely Claims that he has had more than Sixty Debates with Muslims. – Critics challenge this statement and claim it is an intentional embellishment. But they mistakenly assume that all debates are formal. Caner lists many formal debates in the last ten years or so. But he has also engaged in multiple informal debates as well. There is no evidence to deny his claim. Indeed, given his numerous encounters with Muslims, it is reasonable to assume there were at least sixty.

That was posted on Norman Geisler’s website (at this address: ). After my rebuttal of Geisler’s points, the page disappeared from Geisler’s site (at least, it is gone from the address above and is not included in the page about Caner on Geisler’s website today), though you can still (for the moment) find it on (here). As I pointed out:

Caner lists many formal debates in the last ten years or so? Where? We’ve reviewed Dr. Caner’s debating claims before (see the discussion here – we cannot seem to find these formal debates, or even any informal debates).

See my previous full responses to Geisler, at this index (link).


The Other Thing Francis of Rome Said: about Killing in the Name of God

Francis of Rome recently made some comments about atheists that got a lot of attention, but in the process people missed a bigger point. Francis stated:

Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.