January 26, 2010

Dr. Brown and Dr. James White Debate Calvinism (Part 1)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dr. White’s Website www.aomin.org

313 Comments
  1. Robert,

    “You make some strange statements about free will and intentional actions…”

    And yet, you have not engaged my argument.

    “Second, if I have a system then what is it? Tell me about it.”

    I do not know what your system is. I’m not familiar with your philosophy, theology, etc. But our system is formed by what we think on those issues. It’s absurd to claim that you do not have one. That’s like saying you don’t have opinions or thoughts or ideas. Of course, we are trying to be Biblical, so we want Scripture to shape our system.

    Calvinism is not a static system as you seem to suggest. I would describe myself as Calvinist because my beliefs about what Scripture says are very near equal to TULIP. If you don’t like the term, call me “Calvinistic” or “Monergistic” or “One who affirms Lordship-Salvation” or “Reformed Baptist.” I don’t care what you call it. It’s not like I take LBC or WFC and try to line up Scripture with what they say.

    Furthermore, do you call yourself a Christian? Do you use the term Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox to refer to yourself? Are those not systems of belief?

    “No, I think I am quite aware of what having a man-made theological system looks like. And regarding a “biblical system” that is invented by men, there is no such thing.”

    Now you’re confusing. Perhaps you should argue your point more clearly. So far all you’ve said to me is that Calvinism is a man-made system of theology – and it’s false…and you’ve proven neither point.

    “At best we are to properly interpret the scriptures. Where we really differ is in the interpretation of certain bible verses.”

    Yes, that’s my point. Perhaps you should read what I said more carefully.

    ““That’s why I say [that] your system is do[es] not provide a convincing explanation of what’s in Scripture.””

    Sorry I wrote this at 2am, so if there are mistakes in my grammar, I apologize.

  2. Hello Ben,

    Ben wrote:

    “In Calvinism one can apparently take credit for salvation unless God causes faith in a person. Because God causes faith (i.e. irresistibly causes someone to believe) God gets all the credit, and the person believing gets none. If God did not cause us to believe, then we would be able to take credit for our faith and boast in it (according to Calvinism).”

    So according to Calvinism God irresistibly causes a person to become a believer?

    If you are irresistibly caused to do something, aren’t you being forced to do something?

    But I have heard some Calvinists speak about God’s sovereignty as if it is the direct, complete and continuos control of all things. If God exercises that kind of control over human persons, then why would he have to force someone to become a believer? Why would he have to force anyone to do anything if he directly, completely and continuously controls his or her will?

    “But how is this different than God causing us to sin?”

    This is a very good question for the theological determinist.

    If God is the author of the whole play (which is what the theological determinist is claiming when they claim that God has a total plan, a secret will, that God has already decided every detail in advance). Then just like a human author decides who the heroes and villains will be and EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE OF THEIR OWN PLAY, God must do likewise with his total plan/his secret sovereign will.

    “How is it that when God causes faith He gets all of the credit and we get none, but when God causes sin we get all of the credit and He gets none? I hope that you will be able to answer this question without appealing to mystery or avoiding the question by saying the burden of proof somehow rests on me, etc.”

    Right, if God gets all the credit for salvation of a person because he controls everything and controls and causes the person to be a believer, then doesn’t that same control apply to those whom he decided beforehand would go to Hell and be punished for eternity?

    You cannot simultaneously claim that an author is the author of **the entire play**, and then when speaking of the villains or the bad things that happen in that same play, claim that they are not the author of them **all** as well.

    That is why the theological determinists’ claim that God is **not** the author of sin does not make sense logically, it is extremely inconsistent.

    If He is the author of the whole play in all of its details, then that includes **every** detail of that same play.

    Why can’t the Calvinists/theological determinists who claim he is the author of the whole play, at the same time then admit that he is the author of sin as well? Isn’t every sin part of that total plan, that secret will?

    Robert

  3. Christophe,

    With my past interactions with other Calvinists, you could be titled as a Hyper Calvinist from other Calvinist. Would you agree or disagree.

  4. “Eighth and particularly troubling for non-Calvinists is what the two will theory says or implies about God’s character”

    Robert,

    Very well said. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your post? It would make a nice addition to my blog.

    Blessings,
    Greg

  5. Hello Greg,

    “Very well said. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your post? It would make a nice addition to my blog.”

    Glad to see the agreement, regarding borrowing the post, sure no problem. Just wondering, what is your blog? I’d like to see it (can you provide a name or web address, thanks).

    Robert

  6. Hello Greg

    This is slightly off topic. Are you the Greg who wanted the Craig Keener talks? I sent them to you but I received a notice that the email did not get there. I will try again.

    You could repost your email address on the blog, in case I have the wrong end of the stick.

    Anthea

  7. I always find it interesting that Calvinists like Dr. White think it’s important to debate the validity of Calvinism. If predestination is true then winning or losing all the debates in the world is pointless as he cannot change (and why even try) the minds of those he thinks were predestined to believe or not.

  8. I found a bitesize 3 minute discussion of predestination by Roger and Faith Forster :

    http://www.ichthus.org.uk/Articles/141798/Home/Free_Resources/Coffee_with_the/_06_Predestination.aspx

    Roger wrote a TREMENDOUS book on this called ‘God’s Strategy in Human History’ :

    http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Strategy-Human-History-Responsibility/dp/0946616558/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327670554&sr=1-2

    In the Appendix,he discusses the fruit of Augustine,the man who first brought the pre-selection view of predestination.

  9. Personally,I would like as many people as possible to OBJECTIVELY make the connection between the ACID TEST of Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:33-37,and the ACIDIC WORDS of John Calvin on February 13,1546 ; words which,in 1553,he put into action ; actions which,in 1554,he sought to defend – twice. With regard to the ACIDIC WORDS of Martin Luther,they were not directed at Jewish people alone,and not only penned in old age during sickness (Is age or health a mitigating circumstance ? In sickness or health, if a branch abides in the true vine,an advance in years is supposed to lead to maturation and increasing conformation to the image of Jesus,is it not ?). In chapter one of Leonard Verduin’s TREMENDOUS book ‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren’,Leonard wrote,’They [the leaders of the Magisterial Reformation] constantly urged the magistrate to draw the blood of the opposition’. Now,if a spade is still a spade,what is to be OBJECTIVELY made of that. SOUNDNESS and KILLING are mutually exclusive – period. ( Just as a newborn baby is vaccinated against deadly diseases they can contract from the world,alas,newborn disciples need to be vaccinated against various deadly deceptions they can contract from the Body – Reformation-inspired OSAS being chief among them.) As said,may as many people as possible make the connection.

    A free article on John Calvin’s fruit has been written by Daniel Corner.

    Daniel’s article :
    http://www.revivaltheology.net/1_cal_arm/ashes.html

    Leonard’s book :

    http://www.amazon.com/Reformers-Their-Stepchildren-Dissent-Nonconformity/dp/1579789358/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325147580&sr=1-1

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*