Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Dave Hunt: Credibility Crash Continues
12/02/2005 - James WhiteIt doesn't matter how often he is refuted. It doesn't matter how often he is challenged. Dave Hunt seems utterly unconcerned about such minor things as truth, accuracy, consistency, or any related issues. When it comes to his most recent crusade, Mr. Hunt's ears are closed. Evidently, he assumes he has already lost any Reformed readers or supporters he once had, so why worry about it anymore? Credibility is a commodity, and evidently he thinks that with his particular audience, the chances they will even care about his errors should they encounter the documentation of them are pretty small.
Back at the beginning of September Hunt wrote a rambling response to a "question" in his newsletter regarding Calvinism (yes, the same subject he repeatedly refuses to debate against meaningful opponents). It was quite clear he was saying that a person who had only been exposed to the "gospel of Calvinism" could not, in fact, be saved. The only saved Calvinists are those who were saved by believing in Dave's anti-Lordship gospel first, and then became Calvinists. As soon as folks began responding to this absurdity, TBC began spinning his article by saying all he was talking about was his (utterly absurd) claim that Calvin believed in a gross form of baptismal regeneration. But this was self-evidently not his point in his article.
Well, in the December, 2005 issue of The Berean Call newsletter, two portions directly relate to the issue of Calvinism. First, Hunt attempts to address the storm he created in September with another brief article, and then, a little later, Hunt attempts to make it look like he can actually deal with 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (he doesn't even start to do so, as we will see). The irony of his first response is that while he begins by making the same argument TBC presented in defense of his September comments, he simply can't hold the line for very long, and immediately gives evidence of his true convictions. After misrepresenting Calvin once again (Lord willing, we will be providing a full response to his errors on this point in the near future) Hunt says,
Am I denying that Calvin was saved? No, only God knew his heart. But if all he believed was (as he taught) that Christ died only for the elect, and that his infant baptism into the Roman Catholic Church proved that he was one of the elect, then he never got saved no matter how eloquently he wrote about Christ's sufferings on the Cross for our sins.Hunt's dogged ignorance is indeed tremendously frustrating (is there no one in his inner circle to stop him?). Anyone who has read even a small amount of Calvin knows Hunt isn't even in the ballpark, so who is he trying to convince, anyway? Only the most bigoted can find this kind of rhetoric at all compelling. But note, it is not only Calvin's views on baptism that are in view. Calvin's doctrine of atonement is in view as well, for he writes, "if all he believed was (as he taught) that Christ died only for the elect...." So, if you believe in substitutionary atonement, and that Christ's death actually saves, you are not saved? Or, since Hunt holds a grossly unbiblical view of the nature of faith (he holds the Wilkin view that precludes the existence of false faith), if you were raised at my church, like my children, and have been taught the gospel consistently, including the perfection of the work of Christ on behalf of His people, then would it follow my children cannot be saved since this is the only gospel they know? But one's view of the atonement isn't the only possible source of a false gospel according to Hunt: ...
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Paul McCain on Jesus
12/01/2005 - James WhiteJust a quick note before I head off to St. Louis. I was just referred to this on Paul McCain's blog. I'm sorry, but is the only apologetic offered by these kinds of anti-Calvinistic Lutherans "You need to say Jesus in every other sentence...preferably at the beginning of the sentence"? Rev. McCain (as he asks to be identified) is afraid to take his eyes off Jesus...so, by means of this highly spiritual sounding mantra, he 1) seems to be insisting he has the right to engage in simple dishonesty and trafficking in falsehoods without being held responsible for so doing (i.e., his misrepresentations and straw-man attacks on Reformed theology), and 2) he declines to engage the very words of Jesus Himself in John 6:35-45. How ironic to claim you just want to stay focused on Jesus, who is the truth, when you peddle falsehoods in His name; how much more ironic to say you don't want to take your eyes off of Him, when you won't listen to Him speak. Chalk up another man who is more than happy to castigate Calvinism, but lacks the conviction to do so in the context of fair debate. Monologues are, indeed, so much easier than dialogues.
P.S. I was just informed Rev. McCain is president of Concordia Publishing House, the publishing arm of the LCMS. I'm very disappointed. I would expect more of someone in Rev. McCain's position. Much more.
An Explosion of Anti-Calvinism
12/01/2005 - James WhiteI awoke this morning to a veritable explosion of anti-Calvinism, and the relationship of the various sources of these outbursts is somewhat educational.
Last night I was directed to the blog of Paul McCain, a Lutheran who writes for World Magazine. Specifically, I was directed first to a poem he posted, then unposted, then posted again. I likewise read an article on the "Fruits of Calvinism" and scanned through the comments. I was surprised not only at the vitriol of the rhetoric, but at some of the fairly well known individuals who were cheering him on in the comments.
You would expect the poem to come from the likes of Dave Hunt's camp (he's back at it again, demonstrating repeatedly his utter lack of concern for accuracy and truth in exegesis), but what makes it worse is the attempt made by McCain to defend it through reference to Phil Johnson's discussion of polemics in defense of truth. As I'm sure Phil will note himself, his comments would require the highest, strictest standard of truthfulness in the representation of even those with whom you disagree, and this poem shows no such concern. I quote from here:
Is there room for polemics like this in the church today? As we reflect on the Apostle Paul's harsh words against false teaching in Galatians and elsewhere, and our Lord's firm rebukes and sharp words against error in his day, is there room anymore in the church for such polemics? Why, or why not?
Jesus loves me! This I know
Predestination tells me so
Sovereign God loves me so well,
But He may want you in hell!
Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I'll never know!
Jesus loves me, I will win!
Can not fall away by sin.
Can't resist His grace, it's true,
Died for me but not for you. ...
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