Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Debate Audio with Dr. Michael Brown
01/27/2010 - James White
I have been very busy since the end of the Michael Brown debate today, and in fact, have been working toward a possible major debate event that I really didn't think was going to happen (can't go into details yet), so I have not had a chance to do much else. I would like to thank Dr. Brown for a very irenic and hopefully useful discussion, and I look forward to a significantly less interrupted series of encounters on the DL in the near future. For those who missed portions, or who expressed frustration at the breaks (I had said I thought we would get 38 minutes out of an hour, and it was actually 36), here is the full audio, breaks removed, from both days, in a fairly tight audio file (for those poor souls, like Carla of Canada, who still suffer from Dai Lup syndrome).
We All Deserve an "F" on the Atonement
01/22/2010 - Alan KurschnerI once heard a lecture by Dr. Paul Lim on the extent of the atonement. He commented that years ago students approached their grade from the perspective of a zero with the aim of increasing the points to a letter grace of D, C, B, and hopefully an A. He said this is not the case anymore since many students today assume that they start with (deserve) an "A" and only the possibility of losing their points or grade level. Dr. Lim's point is obvious: many approach the blood of Christ today assuming that God is obligatory in his grace. And since the blood of Christ is predicated on his love, the same is said of the love of God. It is not demanded; it is freely bestowed -- not on everyone, but to those whom he chooses based on his infinite wise counsel. The person who demurs that God is free to confer his electing grace on his chosen cannot with any honesty believe that "God owes us nothing." But if God owes us something, why would we think so highly of his love and grace? It would be expected and deserved.
All of this is a good reason why the term "limited atonement" should probably be jettisoned from the Reformed vocabulary. It suggests that all deserve the atonement (everyone starts with the letter grade "A"), and therefore God "takes away" something that he is obliged to bestow. The reality is everyone starts with an "F", and thus God in his wisdom, freedom, and love, bestows grace to a particular or definite undeserving people.
It is one thing to say that we are undeserving sinners; it is another to be consistent and apply that to the love and blood of Christ. As it is often said in Reformed circles, we dare not ask for a "fair" God since fairness and justness would require us to suffer for our own sins in eternal perdition. We do not want a fair God, rather our hope is in a merciful God whose willing Son absorbed the wrath on the cross as our glorious substitute.
Response to C. Michael Patton on the Divine Decrees and Hyper-Calvinism
01/08/2010 - Tur8infanC. Michael Patton has a new post entitled, Calvinism and the Divine Decrees – Correcting a Misunderstanding. Unfortunately, Patton's post actually promotes a misunderstanding and confuses a few categories. ...
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Why I'm a Calvinist and He Isn't!
01/07/2010 - James White
I will be joining Dr. Michael Brown live on his Line of Fire radio program January 26th and 27th to discuss Calvinism. Dr. Brown did a series a few months ago on why he is no longer a Calvinist, and he mentioned then that he wanted to do a debate on his program. After we do those programs we will arrange to have him on the DL as well. We might be able to go more in-depth on the DL as we can be more flexible with our time. I hope to engage more of the exegetical subjects in that context. But till then, be looking forward to this discussion on Line of Fire in just a few weeks!