Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
What Edit Job is This? Part...Who Remembers?
12/27/2004 - James WhiteSo I'm thinking about trying to find some way of wrapping up the What Love is This? series of blog entries, and so I ask myself, "Given that Hunt accused Calvinists of misusing the subjunctive in Debating Calvinism, I wonder if he inserted something relevant to that allegation in this new edition?" A quick search for "subjunctive" in the e-text of the book yields nothing. So I looked for something relevant to John 3:17, the text in which the issue came up. I ran across this section:
Like most other apologists for Calvinism, White avoids John 3:14-15 and doesn't even attempt to deal with the unequivocal statement in 3:17 "that the world through him might be saved "(to which his explanation of John 3:16 couldn't possibly apply). Obviously,this further comment by Christ explains the meaning of the entire section (John 3:14 -18) pertaining to His death on the Cross, making it very clear that God gave His Son for the salvation of the entire world. (p. 338)
Now, we know Hunt made changes in the second edition in light of having run into numerous brick walls (like making 1 John 5:1 disappear without comment), so maybe there could be some positive changes. For example, I surely have dealt with John 3:17, not only in Debating Calvinism, but in my open letter to Hunt on the topic of the first edition of What Love is This? So here would be a chance for Hunt to correct his work and remove a false statement and, in fact interact with what I had to say and prove his position true. Yes, well, as you can predict by now, the section is unchanged. No interaction offered. But it is still worth responding to as the example-to-the-nth power of the consistency of error to be found in Dave Hunt's anti-Calvinism campaign.
For example, in the above statement, Hunt is ignoring the fact that "that the world through him might be saved" is the purpose clause expressing the why of the sending of the Son by the Father. Because Dave never seems to feel it necessary to give positive exegesis of a text (we hear a lot about what the text cannot mean, but precious little about what it means in context) he doesn't tell us what he thinks the text means in the sense of telling us directly whether he is asserting the "might be saved" means "possibly, maybe, but in many cases, this attempt will fail" or just what. That seems to be his take in Debating Calvinism, but then again, all we really got at that point was how Calvinists twist the subjunctive in Greek anyway. The final sentence in the quote does seem to confirm this, but Hunt stays far away from actually touching the text itself. So we really do not have any idea how Hunt himself handles the fact that John uses "world" in so many different ways, only that I am surely not handling the term properly in light of Hunt's traditions. But soon Hunt turns to my discussion of John's use of kosmos and the fact that you can see this by reference to the Johanine corpus as a whole. He writes,
Recognizing that fact, White rightly declares that in 1 John 2:15 "world "means "the present evil system, not the universal population of mankind "(emphasis in original). White is now caught in a web of his own making. If the fact that "world "in verse 15 means "the present evil system" refutes the claim that in verse 2 it means all the people in the world, why would it not also refute White's view that it means "all Christians throughout the world...at all times and in all places"?
If you'll give me a moment to get out of this web of my own making, I'd like to point out that it does seem Dave has a very hard time following arguments relating to word usage. Remember, Dave Hunt continues to take a word, such as the perfect passive participle of di,dwmi at John 6:65, ignore its grammatical form, its syntactical context (eva.n mh. clause after o[ti, yet another periphrastic), look solely at its root, and argue, for pages, based upon utter a-contextual usages elsewhere that the term doesn't have to mean what it means in John 6:65 (see this embarrassing display in the original edition of WLIT? pp. 343-345, and the current edition, pp. 433-435). Not a single one of the passages Hunt offers is parallel to the form found in John 6:65. So, it is painfully obvious that Mr. Hunt is not only ignorant of basics in the area of exegesis, but, he has refused, consistently, to learn when the opportunity has been afforded him. And here we once again cannot but feel for him as he misses the entire point. I was pointing out the obvious fact that you cannot look at the word "world" and go, "Oh, without a doubt, without looking at context, world always, everywhere, means every single human being who has ever lived or will ever live." I did not suggest for a moment that 1 John 2:15's use of "world" is parallel to, or definitional of, 1 John 2:2. So since I am the one making the point that John uses the term more than a dozen different ways in the corpus of his writings, how did I end up creating a "web" in which I am caught when I consistently see two different uses in two different contexts in John? One is truly left wondering at times.
I think I will finish our examination of the new edition of WLIT? The Revenge of Eisegesis with one more article examining Hunt's eisegetical insertions into John 6, and a final call to TBC and Hunt to admit his errors and pull this monstrosity from circulation in the simple name of honesty and truth.