One way you can detect unfounded tradition masquerading as “biblical beliefs” is to note the prevalence of “this passage can’t be saying this” combined with little or no positive “the text clearly says this” followed by meaningful exegesis. When someone can only tell you what the Bible doesn’t say, but can’t tell you positively what it does, they have a tradition problem.
Dave Hunt’s writings are filled to overflowing with the “this text doesn’t say this, since the whole Bible says this” kind of eisegesis. Whenever you see Hunt saying, “the entire Bible tells us…” just take that phrase out in your mind and put in “my tradition tells me” and you’ll be right on the point. What Love is This? (eds. 1&2) is the perfect handbook on how not to do either exegesis or historical research. A classic example is given on page 420 of the second edition (334 of the original):
Yet Christ clearly says it is those who actually come to Him whom He will raise up at the last day. Calvinists read into Christ’s words what isn’t there. He actually said:
1. All that the Father giveth me [not all He draws] shall come to me;
2. and him that cometh to me [not everyone the Father draws] I will in no wise cast out.
3. And this is the Father’s will…that of all which he giveth me [not all whom He draws] I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
4. Every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him [not all who are drawn], may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up….
5. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him [all who come have been drawn —not all who are drawn come]: and I will raise him up at the last day [all who will be raised up have been drawn, but not all who have been drawn will be raised up].
1. Drawing is introduced in v. 44, not v. 37. However, if Hunt is going to positively assert, as he does, that those who are given and those who are drawn are a different group, then he needs to prove this from the text. He doesn’t even make the attempt. A serious reading of the text indicates that those who are given by the Father to the Son come to the Son; those who are drawn by the Father to the Son come to the Son; both groups receive eternal life. So, if you have both groups coming and both groups receiving eternal life, upon what logical basis do you conclude that they are not the same group? Hunt has consistently failed, miserably, to interact with this text with the slightest evidence of willingness to learn or change. The result is as embarrassing as his mythical Hebrew text of Acts. And should you find that “harsh,” look over the subtitles in his book sometime, subtitles like “God the Puppet Master” (p. 394), and ponder the seriousness of the ramifications of his current crusade.
2. Of course, no Reformed person is positing an identity between coming and being drawn; the identity of the group given (who then comes to Christ in faith) is the issue.
3. Ditto to #1.
4. Odd, “I will raise him up….” Isn’t that what happens in 6:44 to the one who is drawn by the Father to the Son? Which takes us to that passage…
5. Hunt is desperate to avoid the text at this point. He is asserting that the one who is drawn is not identical to the one raised up. But as I have asked dozens and dozens before: where does this text indicate a disjunction here? Why is the “him” who is drawn not the “him” who is raised up? I’d like to ask Dave to substantiate his turning kavgw. (“and I”) into a disjunctive? Would he do the same a few sentences later in 6:54, “”He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,” where obviously the one raised up by Jesus is the one who has eaten Christ’s flesh and drunk His blood (i.e., come to Christ in faith)? The parallel is complete (even to the point of the grammar, which not only refutes Hunt, but shows us that the Roman Catholics missed the boat as well!).
This kind of argumentation is utterly without merit, but it marks the depth of Hunt’s biblical material. More in our next installment.