Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Tom Ascol on the Lynchburg Debate
03/29/2006 - James WhiteTom Ascol has shared his thoughts here. When the Caners asked to make this a two-on-two debate (I prefer a single debate myself, honestly, as it is easier for the audience to follow) the first person I thought of was of course Tom Ascol. Even more so since the issue of Baptist history had been mentioned, and I know Tom will be able to provide clear, concise statements regarding the topic that will stand up to post-debate examination (which, given the time frames and the presence of four speakers, will be quite important). ...
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Revelation 5 Revisited
03/29/2006 - James White"Amazing" is the term that crosses my mind as I survey some of the articles I've seen appear in response to my posting of...a single paragraph regarding a memorization verse a week ago. First, amazing that so many people read this blog (many thanks!). But more amazing is the kinds of replies that have been offered to a single paragraph of devotional commentary. I wonder why my published works do not garner such replies? I mean, I've seen replies that were ten times the length of that single paragraph. And it seems that I do not have the luxury, at any time, of speaking to fellow believers outside of the context of the strictest standards of scholarship. For example, this was sent to me a couple of days ago. Note that the author inserts the kinds of "formal errors" found in my devotional commentary on a Scripture memorization verse: ...
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Baptists and Calvinism: A Debate at the New Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia
03/27/2006 - James WhiteMonday, October 16th, 2006, 6pm, at the New Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. A debate on Calvinism, featuring:
Speaking against "Calvinism" will be the Dean of Liberty Theological Seminary, Dr. Ergun Ehmet Caner. Dr. Caner has been a vocal critic of Reformed theology in Baptist life. He is the author of numerous books and a professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
Joining him will be his brother, Dr. Emir Caner of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth. Dr. Caner is likewise an author, and both Caners are converts from Islam. You can visit Dr. Ergun Caner's website here, and Dr. Emir Caner's website here.
Speaking in defense of "Calvinism" will be the President of the Founder's Ministries, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, author and lecturer, Dr. Tom Ascol. In his role with the Founder's movement Dr. Ascol has often addressed the issue of the role of Reformed theology in historic Baptist life. Dr. Ascol has likewise spoken for us in our conferences, and will be part of our conference in November in Orlando as well.
And I have the great privilege of joining Dr. Ascol in defense of "Calvinism." This will be my fifth opportunity in sixty formal debates to specifically address the doctrines of grace and give a biblical defense of my faith.
There will be no cost for admission. The debate will be audio and video recorded and will be made available through the ministries of those involved.
edited: corrected time of debate
A Reminder to Dave Hunt Fans: Check Your Sources
03/27/2006 - James WhiteJohn Samson just sent me this article and I thought I would post it as another reminder to those who would follow Dave Hunt's errors without checking your citations. Every time you hear someone say, "Even Spurgeon denied limited atonement," kindly pull them aside and say, "You know, you might want to read Spurgeon's sermons promoting limited atonement before repeating that particular statement in public."
"The doctrine of Redemption is one of the most important doctrines of the system of faith. A mistake on this point will inevitably lead to a mistake through the entire system of our belief.
Now, you are aware that there are different theories of Redemption. All Christians hold that Christ died to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption. We differ as to the nature of atonement, and as to the design of redemption. For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when he died, did not die with an intent to save any particular person; and they teach that Christ’s death does not in itself secure, beyond doubt, the salvation of any one man living. They believe that Christ died to make the salvation of all men possible, or that by the doing of something else, any man who pleases may attain unto eternal life; consequently, they are obliged to hold that if man’s will would not give way and voluntarily surrender to grace, then Christ’s atonement would be unavailing. They hold that there was no particularity and speciality in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as much for Judas in hell as for Peter who mounted to heaven. They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire, there was as true and real a redemption made as for those who now stand before the throne of the Most High.
Now, we believe no such thing. We hold that Christ, when he died, had an object in view, and that object will most assuredly, and beyond a doubt, be accomplished. We measure the design of Christ’s death by the effect of it. If any one asks us, “What did Christ design to do by his death?” we answer that question by asking him another — “What has Christ done, or what will Christ do by his death?” For we declare that the measure of the effect of Christ’s love, is the measure of the design of it. We cannot so belie our reason as to think that the intention of Almighty God could be frustrated, or that the design of so great a thing as the atonement, can by any way whatever, be missed of. We hold — we are not afraid to say what we believe — that Christ came into this world with the intention of saving “a multitude which no man can number;” and we believe that as the result of this, every person for whom he died must, beyond the shadow of a doubt, be cleansed from sin, and stand, washed in blood, before the Father’s throne. We do not believe that Christ made any effectual atonement for those who are for ever damned, we dare not think that the blood of Christ was ever shed with the intention of saving those whom God foreknew never could be saved, and some of whom were even in hell when Christ, according to some men’s account, died to save them. ...
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Today on the DL: S.M. Davis' Sermon, Finally
03/21/2006 - James WhiteI listened to both of Dr. Davis' anti-Calvinism sermons today on my ride (they were worse than I remembered) and since a month from today I am debating an attorney who is a member of his church on this same topic, I would like to go through the sermon and highlight all the straw-man arguments, etc. I will let my future opponent know of the programs in the sincere hope that our debate will be as straw-man free as possible. And since Davis' stuff is almost nothing more than Hunt's materials organized and presented more forcefully, there's a wide application for everyone facing that kind of argumentation.
Quick Update: Actually took the first half hour to discuss the re-emergence (no pun intended) of the imputation issue, then got into the Davis sermon. Here's the program.
Dave Hunt: Utterly Without Willingness to Learn
03/01/2006 - James WhiteI was just referred to the Berean Call radio program from 2/26 (you can hear it here) where Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon discussed Calvinism again. There's really nothing new here---same stuff Hunt has been saying from the start. And that's the point. There is almost no difference in the falsehoods, errors, straw-men, and simple mind-boggling ignorance that Hunt demonstrated in our very first radio program years ago---before the first of many error-filled versions of What Love is This? cursed the bookshelves of America. He has not heard a word of what I, or anyone else, has said to him. Nothing. Willful, obstinate, documented refusal to speak the truth. It is shameful.
But the worst thing about listening to this short sound clip is this: one of the very first things I pointed out to Dave Hunt was that he had mis-cited Matthew 23:37 in his newsletter. I have documented this. I have pointed out the exegetical importance of recognizing the context of Matthew 23 and the distinction between "you" and "your children" and the role this has in the Lord's denunciations of the Pharisees. Hunt has had no meaningful response, of course, but despite this, as you listen to him rambling on in this sound clip, prepare yourself for his recitation of Matthew 23:37. Yes, once again, he mis-quotes the text! He can't even learn to accurately represent the words of Scripture! It is simply beyond all comprehension. Just amazing. Yes, I will be playing the clip, Lord willing, on the DL tomorrow.