In the “olden days” theological dialogues took time. You might receive an article, or a book, from someone who lives far away, addressing your own views/publications. No one would expect you to respond the day you received it. In fact, everyone would expect that time would pass before a response would be offered. It was not only expected, it was fully understood, given the technology of the day.

I’m not sure technology has helped us in this area. Fast theology is not always good theology. Take the current discussion between myself and Eric Svendsen. I purposefully did not respond to the initial discussion regarding the extent of the atonement (even though specific statements were made that contradict my own published position). I waited. People would ask, “So, are you going to respond?” I would say, “Yes, in time.” And you could just tell, “What, in time? What’s wrong, White? He must have refuted you! You must be struggling to come up with a reply! You are in trouble!” Etc. and etc. Now, I know in a live debate, as we saw in the Presidential debates last month, that long pauses are not good. In reality, long pauses should mean nothing. But we all know they do, in a live debate, especially when the majority of those viewing it are not judging on the basis of substance, but on the basis of appearance. You have to be able to think on your feet and speak with clarity and speed. But in a written discussion of something as sacred, as weighty, as vital (and as little discussed) as the atoning work of Jesus Christ, speed is not of the essence. Clarity, accuracy, and above all, fidelity to the Word, is what matters. Indeed, my own reason for engaging the discussion is the edification of the people of God who read and appreciate what both Eric and I produce. And I do not see that speed is helpful or good in this situation. I think taking our time will make the conversation considerably more useful to all concerned. Such may well be best for almost all such conversations. Quality over quantity and haste.

©2023 Alpha and Omega Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?