I came from a charismatic background and as you can imagine there wasn’t much emphasis on biblical exegesis of any sort. I grew up arminian and when I came of age I essentially ended up with the half-baked semi-pelagian free-will man-centered doctrine that is so prevalent on christian radio today. A certain bible answer man was my favorite teacher at that time because he seemed to be one of the first to actually demonstrate that you could be a christian and have a brain. A couple of years back a friend of mine let me borrow “What Love is This?” by Dave Hunt. The author mentioned this person named James White a few times in that book (as well as in his magazine) wonder of wonders you ended up on the Bible Answer Man around the time I finished the book. There was supposed to be a “debate” between yourself and George Bryson and I was anticipating that he would wipe the floor with you. From the very beginning it became clear that Bryson was having a tough time and so the moderator of the debate decided to join and debate against you (?!) What I heard in those few hours was one of those defining moments in one’s life. There was the Bible Answer man being questioned about certain verses in the Bible (John 6, Gen 50) and he was DODGING THE BIBLE! Now I’ve told you before I didn’t like you after that interaction, but I had to give the debate to the one who was faithful to the scriptures. Long story short, that lead me on a journey through much reading, and many Dividing Line broadcasts. It was during those years of listening to the Dividing Line that I was able to hear the reformed faith articulated and defended in the most convincing fashion I’ve ever heard. The nuance and precision of the argumentation as well as the application of these truths were nothing short of life-changing.
It is also important to point out that since I became a “calvinist” i have had many opportunities to present the biblical view of God and man to others in my local body.
*One of the elders arranged a debate in which I was called upon to defend reformed truths and it had a convincing impact on those who heard.
*I was called upon to present a defense of “calvinism” to a group of friends at a 20 somethings bible study and you wouldn’t believe the things that happened as a result of that interaction.
One of them came to me and said:
“I used to be afraid to share the gospel with certain people, but now that I know that God’s in total control I just speak the truth and leave the rest up to him”
*Another who was a staunch Arminian when I met her has actually come to embrace the biblical understanding of God’s grace. (I was also able to show this person the value of expositional teaching and also explain the importance of doctrine in our day and our generation specifically. which has also been a staple of your teaching.)
*I’ve got a friend who attends Liberty University (!) who described himself as a “four-pointer”. I pointed him to your site and shared a few of the things i’ve learned and now he’s embraced limited atonement.
*I am currently in the middle of another bible study in which I am able to present a brief history and an “in-depth” look at the five points with a few friends.
It’s funny, people always ask me what seminary I went to. I honestly believe that the time i’ve “spent” with you is more beneficial than if I had gone to some of the seminaries that are out there today.
So praise God for Dave Hunt, George Bryson, and that Bible Answer guy. You were not treated fairly on that show but I can tell you that it has borne fruit in my life and in the lives of others. I know you all are small, I know you may not be a big name, I know you attract much unfair criticism, but brother, you have been used MIGHTILY by the Lord!