To be honest, this kind of correspondence deeply saddens me. I am hesitant to post it, but I do so for mainly one reason: it seems the Caners are doing all they can to force any logically thinking person to run from even considering trying to engage in meaningful dialogue and debate with them. They are insisting upon their incoherent thesis without ever bothering to explain what it allegedly means; and now they are plainly stating that, unlike all the challenges first provided to them, the debate will be on “Omnibenevolence.” In my response I will provide documentation from Caner’s own keyboard demonstrating that once again he is trying to change history. But the following truly speaks for itself.
23 June 2006
Dear Dr White:
Once again, for those who are not revising history, I have decided to respond. As a Christian and a gentleman, I do want all to know that I shall copy this e-mail to others, and will more than likely post it on all websites, as soon as I get time. Unlike others, I do not have time to spend every waking moment cyberstalking.
Emir, I will handle this one, and then I shall leave this alone. October is the time for this- not four months prior. If Dr White wants to actually debate on level ground without stomping his feet and whining, then we shall have a debate, on the topic to which we all agreed.
1. You stated that the topic has been “demonstrated to be incoherent.” Actually, the moderator, who has won almost twenty national debate championships, has noted the topic was valid. The large number of encouraging e-mails we have received have seen this as coherent. Apparently the only people who imagine the topic as incoherent are those who simply do not want to debate God’s omnibenevolence. So, if you and your people do not want to debate, simply say so. We want to debate the topic. Just because you do not LIKE the topic does not mean it is invalid. You want us to define our terms before the debate, which is illogical. Defining terms is part of the purpose of debate. I see no reason to play my cards now. The debate is in October. Not now.
2. You continue to use man-made terms that you and those of your ilk want to revise (monergism and synergism, hyper Calvinism, etc.). You continue to prove our point- MOST evangelicals, including the millions who support Dr. Falwell, do not adhere to a 16th century movement , or 17th century Dortian parameters. We use biblical terms, in the biblical context.
3. As for your continued reference to my Esau statement, please continue to do so. The full biblical context of Esau, and others that you can cite, is clearly in OUR court.
4. As a matter of fact, this is a perfect illustration of the debate. In our brief history:
A. You called for the debate, speaking to your minions on your internet show.
B. We had no desire to debate you, since Dr Geisler had already adequately answered you.
C. You e-mailed that Dr. Geisler had NOT adequately answered you, which either illustrates your lack of clarity or blind adherence to your philosophical system of Augustinian predeterminism.
D. Finally, I agreed, but only if you were not allowed to narrow the debate. That is your manipulation of which we are all so fond.
E. The topic was resolved.
F. Then you whined about the time. Even though presidential debates are shorter, you somehow believed you deserve a bigger stage.
G. We offered the site. LU shall swallow the costs of taping. You are still not satisfied.
H. You want to narrow the topic, to fit your liking, and lengthen the time. That is not going to happen. Debate on a level surface.
Let me quickly add that I have not seen Dr. Ascol in this same light. Even though he and I would disagree vehemently on the topic, I have found him a calm Christian gentleman. I do believe we will be able to debate fairly, across the spectrum of Calvinism and Baptist theology.
Dr. White, in Oct 1960, Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe on the desk of the UN. He screamed “we will bury you!” His boorish behavior was followed by interrupting speakers, and loudly proclaiming his victory. I see parallels. Apparently, you believe this is all for show. That would be backed up by the fact that you cannot sneeze without posting it on your site.
James, you claim that we do not understand doctrines? Well, if that is the case, we stand in the stream of the vast majority of evangelicals who will not accept your doctrines of reprobation. In truth, we clearly understand, and we do not buy into it. We refuse to be categorized as Calvinism or Arminianism, Augustinianism or Pelagianism. I am a biblicist and a Baptist.
And neither will we be manipulated (my students call it being “punked”) into a limited debate topic, or a protracted debate time.
Either come, or don’t. Either debate the topic or admit you do not want to. In either case, Emir and I, and our respective schools, shall be there, on Monday, October 16, 2006, to debate the Omnibenevolence of God.
Until then, I shall just smile, every time I receive some e-mail. Every single e-mail proves our point. Neo-Calvinists cannot answer our points, so you attack us. Classic ad hominem. If our system of theology has brought disrepute to Christian theology, because we do not believe in neo-Calvinism, then we will gladly stand in that stream. From Norman Geisler and C.S. Lewis all the way back, we have church history, and logical biblical thought on our side.
I hope to see you October 16, 2006. And please, find your own URLs. You seem to have much more time than I do to do these things.