Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
If You Dare Speak Up...
02/24/2006 - James WhiteThe e-mail generated by posting the correspondence with Dr. Caner has been most enlightening. The majority have been very supportive and encouraging. Thankfully, my purpose in providing the article was not missed by the ones I am most concerned about. The contrast between the approach and methodology of the two sides has been clearly seen, just as it was in Debating Calvinism. A heart felt "thank you" to those of you who took the time to drop a note saying just that.
But, on the other side, not all replies have been positive. It seems many of those who have contacted Dr. Caner have been taken aback by his replies. Aside from such incredible lines as "Calvinists are much more heinous than Muslims" from his keyboard, today I learned that by patiently seeking to get Dr. Caner to provide even the first bit of evidence to back up his claims means that I have been, in his own words, behaving as a "petulant child." He continues to use the false dichotomy "I am Southern Baptist, not Arminian. Not Calvinist." Again, that has the logical coherence of saying "I am not Democrat or Republican. I am blue." Just another of those many issues Caner completely ignored in my replies. There are Arminian Southern Baptists and there are Calvinistic Southern Baptists and there are many Southern Baptists without a clue what either term would mean. But to continue to use exploded errors only shows the utter lack of respect for simple truth that so often accompanies dedication to human tradition. And, despite being repeatedly challenged to back up his claims (and the correction, repeatedly of the fact that Dave Hunt does not claim academic training at all), he continues to claim that "Drs. Geisler and Hunt" have answered me "correctly and completely." Evidently, Dr. Caner has no intentions to fall into my trap: he will not be confused by the facts.
Nadir Ahmed, self-proclaimed Islamic "apologist" living up to his name, wrote to say "You look dumb." Seriously. I couldn't make stuff like that up.
And I guess there is some fellow named "Charles" running about every single blog he can find posting something about Bob Ross (go figure--have to feel sorry for someone who invests their lives in such pursuits). I just checked Steve Camp's blog and read some of "Charles'" comments. Evidently whoever he is he's upset that at some time, years and years ago, I defended John MacArthur against Bob Ross' less-than-fair attacks. That would explain why Ross has since then attacked me on the ordo salutis. Despite Ross' behavior, and his unwillingness to even accept my own profession based upon the LBCF, I have refused to argue with the man. He did a great work many decades ago in printing Spurgeon's materials, and for that past work I have simply said, "Lord bless you, Bob," and left him to rail if he chooses to do so. There is no arguing with someone who says, "Well, you say you believe that, but you really don't."
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The Intellectual Pit Bull of the Evangelical Church?
02/23/2006 - James WhiteThat's the description given of Ergun Caner of Liberty University, one which he seems to proudly wear on his own website. Today I read where Dr. Caner said, "Calvinists are much more heinous than Muslims...I assume it is because they are predestined to be...." It just seems to me that if someone is going to promote themselves as fearless and unflinching, they might want to be able to back up their statements with serious, thoughtful, careful scholarship? Maybe?
As I noted yesterday, I stand ready to engage in moderated, fair, respectful, biblically-based debate in Lynchburg, on the campus of Liberty University itself, if invited, in defense of the particulars of Reformed theology, and do so as a believing, committed Baptist. Ponder for a moment the reality that the chances of something like that happening at Liberty are miniscule. Which is why I would be willing to debate Dr. Caner elsewhere, too, if he would feel more comfortable. We will video tape the debate and provide him with an unedited master at no cost to him.
Between the 20th and 22nd of February I exchanged a fairly lengthy series of e-mails with Dr. Caner. I believe when they are read in order, completely, they make an incredibly strong argument regarding what we have seen over and over again in our review of anti-Calvinistic rhetoric: these men wish only for a loud and inaccurate monologue; they show no desire for a respectful, deeply exegetical, faith-based dialogue. One side takes pains to be accurate in its argumentation, one side thinks theological terminology can be redefined upon a whim. It is simply amazing to mark off all of the questions I asked Dr. Caner that have, to this point, gone completely unanswered. So I offer this information so that those who are commenting in ignorance on my challenge to Dr. Caner will be silenced, at least, silenced before anyone who honors rational thought and truthful argumentation. Here's the file.