Stunning

Monday, July 21, 2008

Boggles the mind!

darin-houston wrote:

-I think it was a combination of things -- most of it was, i think, format -- with the personality involved, it needed to be more structured -- White seems to look more for victory than truth, I'm afraid, and the only way to keep it edifying in such a situation is to keep close rules -- if he had been more interested in understanding Steve and looking to identify holes (if any) in his own positions, I think even a casual conversation over the week would have been outstanding and useful.


-But that's exactly why Steve won the debate! James' one liners and such where diffused, and Steve clearly demonstrated a more consistent argument.

James' attempt to isolate John 6 from the rest of scripture, even words written by the same author, in the same book(!)was priceless! But Steve knew how to handle it, and did a good job.

----------------------------------------------------

The above are a few comments at Steve Gregg's forum from the thread I linked to a few days ago.

Did these people listen to the same debate between Dr White and Mr Gregg?
One wonders.

The mind truly boggles as to how some people can comment upon the very same debate and come to the complete opposite views as other people.
The debate was a very good example of just how much the Arminian uses human reason and philosophy rather than the Word of God as our authority.

Mr Gregg at no point in the debate was even close to exegeting the text of scripture to support his assertions, whereas James White did nothing but exegete scripture. White not only defended the reformed/Calvinistic view but thoroughly refuted and exposed the philosophical and irrational Arminian view espoused by Gregg.

Not only that, but the behaviour of the individuals spoke volumes as to who was acting in an honorable way throughout the debate.

It was Dr White who helped get the whole debate more focussed on the issues and it was he who suggested all the changes that made for a better exchange after the tension that was experienced between the two men around day 3 and 4 of the debate.

I would challenge those who found Gregg's efforts to be of good, to simply come here and show me where and how and when that happened.
After all, we did listen to the same debate, right?

Where was James refuted biblically for anything? Come and share here.

Here are links again to the five days. You judge who best served the audience with biblical answers, exegesis, refutation and honored God and His Word.

Mark


6 comments:

Brody said...

LOL.

I listened to the entire debate several times. And each time, I heard the same old canned arguments from James White. His misuse of John 6 was priceless, even to the detriment of his position.

And please quit whining about not being able to post over at Steve's site, you broke the rules and got yourself banned. Steve gave you plenty of chances, and you blew it.

It seems that Calvinist will go to any lengths necessary to defame those who disagree with them. The constant name-calling and such reveal something much more deeper than just discussing scripture.

I also find it funny that you would accuse Steve of using "Philosophy" instead of scripture. You do realize that half of the Calvinist structure depends on "mysteries" and "philosophy"?

Tartanarmy said...

Hi Brody, welcome to my wee place.
First of all, unlike Mr Gregg, I will allow you to post here and if I did ban you, it would never ever be for refuting Calvinism, unlike what Steve did to me for refuting Arminianism.

That said. Please Brody, actually interact with anything Dr White said in that debate.
So far, and this seems to be prevalent amongst non Calvinists, assertions and general comments do not a rebuttal make!

As far as the name calling, do you not read your board's threads about Calvinism and particularly references about Dr White?

Now, just maybe these so called "canned arguments" as you call them, may actually deserve the time to refute them.

How about it Brody?

Give me James position so that I and others can first of all get the idea that you grasp Calvinism, and then once you have done that, you can then refute the position using scripture.

How about it Brody?

I think it is about time that your beliefs get challenged, as you do not appear to have grown one iota in these last few years.

I am simply asking you to lay out Dr Whites position, and then carefully refute it.
If you can even begin to do that here you will gain respect.

Not links, or paste jobs, just you and me actually discussing the issues and citing actually what James and Steve have said.

Would be interesting to see someone like you actually do this.
I hold you to a certain standard as I know that you played a part in the debate taking place as did I.

You were one of the few looking forward to the debate as did I, so here we are Brody.

Do you care enough for the truth of Scripture to engage me upon this subject?

We shall see.

Remember, I will not ban you from here if you make an effort to refute reformed theology, which is what Steve did to me for attempting to refute Arminianism.

Since you have listened to the debate several times, surely you can raise some points Dr White discussed, and then refute them all by yourself here for all to see for themselves.

How about it Brody?

Mark

brody said...

Hello Mark,

Good to hear from you, and I hope all is well.

You said "Hi Brody, welcome to my wee place.
First of all, unlike Mr Gregg, I will allow you to post here and if I did ban you, it would never ever be for refuting Calvinism, unlike what Steve did to me for refuting Arminianism."

First off, Steve did not ban you for refuting Arminianism, you were banned for breaking the rules. And second, you refuted nothing. Simply stating the Calvinist position and various proof text do not refute anything. You just asserted the Calvinist position and attempted to defend it.

You said "That said. Please Brody, actually interact with anything Dr White said in that debate.
So far, and this seems to be prevalent amongst non Calvinists, assertions and general comments do not a rebuttal make!"

With certain time constraints in mind, I will do my best to interact here.

You said " As far as the name calling, do you not read your board's threads about Calvinism and particularly references about Dr White?"

Care to point out the names that James has been called? Please do, and I will urge Steve to remove them. You see, Mr. James(I ain't big on titles such as "Dr." see Matthew 23 and Job 32:22)constantly scoffs at people on his radio program, and does not allow certain callers to get through to challenge him on various subjects. I know, because I have been turned away twice by his cohort Rich. Steve allows anyone to call his show about any subject. You may be referring to me bringing this up, I am not sure, so please point out any name calling that has taken place.

You said"Now, just maybe these so called "canned arguments" as you call them, may actually deserve the time to refute them.

How about it Brody?"

How many times can we travel this road? Really Mark, you seem to think that you can convince me that Romans 9 and John 6 teach Calvinism, and I beg to differ. I know what you guys say about Romans 9, Eph 1, John 6, ETC.. I have heard the Calvinist position put forth by men such as R.C Sproul, Gene Cook, James White, Spurgeon, ETC...
And each time, I simply compared it to what the scriptures say, and totaled the arguments in my head. I found Calvinism wanting, and you didn't, so you bought the whole system, hook, line, and sinker, as they say in the deep south. I am sure I could type up every one of James' words from Steve show and point out areas of disagreement, but why? To convince you of my position? To be quite frank, I ain't concerned about convincing anybody of my position. I don't feel that I am important enough in the whole scheme of things to be as concerned with convincing people that the bible teaches that man has some degree of free-will.

My duty before God is to live my life "pleasing to Him". I struggle with this very thing and war on a daily basis to "fight the good fight". Systems of doctrine such as Calvinism and Arminianism are sometimes fun to discuss, but they are merely ways that people put their theology together. I have seen the lives of dedicated men and women who believe both, and they have one thing in common, they both desire to be pleasing to God, and live a life that shows it. I dare say that God isn't as concerned with how we try to figure out his "mysteries", and that He is more concerned when we put our talk aside, and keep His commandments. Things like "Loving the Lord God with all your heart, and "loving your neighbor as yourself" do not require arguing whether or not John 6 teaches Calvinism.

You said" I think it is about time that your beliefs get challenged, as you do not appear to have grown one iota in these last few years."

Let me ask you this, do you measure ones spiritual growth by their acceptance of Calvinism? How do you measure spiritual growth? I assume you think that because I have not sat down and typed up everything James White has said, and responded, that I am somehow immature?

Tartanarmy said...

Brody, Brody, I just want to discuss the issues. Scripture.

It is all very well taking the time to type everything you just said, but the issue is that you claim Steve's views to have refuted Jame's views, and I just want the proof. That's all.

It is your claim.
I am only asking for proof.

The way to validate your claim is to show you understand James views and then refute them.

It is called interaction.
It is called reasoning.

It is what scripture calls being able to handle the Word of God in such a fashion so as to accurately represent God's Word, which is a pretty important task.

I don't get the impression you want to do that, but prefer to just throw out victory cries for your man Steve.

In all honesty, I think Steve has some good things to say in other areas, but Calvinism is not one of them sadly.

Regarding me being banned, I was not told what rule I broke so please forgive me for thinking it was because of my defense of Calvinism, as I was interacting with several persons at the time, including Steve and I was pressing for answers.

Also, I interacted with people over there. I did not simply defend Calvinism with proof texts as you claim. When I quoted scripture I exegeted the passages, referred to context and compared scripture to scripture.
I also corrected faulty interpretations using scripture, and I even attempted to get others to define exactly what they thought us Calvinists were saying, as too many appeared to be misunderstanding even basic assumptions about Calvinism and even inconsistent answers as to their own views.

I am sure if all I did was to agree to disagree I would probably still be posting there today, but from my perspective, I would only be another voice too happy to follow along with the majority opinion, which is not always the most wise path.

James does not scoff at people as you put it, whatever that means. He may have a poke at someone using humor etc, but it is always in good fun and often deserved.
But when it comes to the serious business of defending scripture, there is no scoffing at all. The man becomes serious and rightly so in my opinion.

I have read posts over at Steve's forum that blatantly attack the motives of James and others which simply out and out mock him or consign to him other less than brotherly traits upon his character etc.

But I do not want to get side tracked.

You have stated that he has misused John 6 and that it was priceless, and even to the detriment of his position.

Care to

1/ Give us a brief statement explaining James position on John 6?

2/ Show how his views "misuse" the text of John 6 itself. (that would be really interesting)

3/ Give your own exegesis of those passages in John 6, thereby correcting the faulty exegesis given by Dr White

(I call him Dr because the man deserves to be recognized for his study btw. It is called "respect", which is different to worshiping man or some such thing)

4/ Then, when you have given the right exegesis of John 6, you could then harmonize with other passages if you like.

Fair enough?

If you really want to start living to please God then might I suggest starting with honoring His Word?

And if you do not really want to go down this road and wish to merely assume I have bought into this thing called Calvinism hook, line and sinker, then can I suggest pleasing God by not making assertions about people misusing scripture unless you can substantiate such assertions?

And lastly, I measure a persons growth by their understanding and obedience to scripture, not Calvinism.

Mark

Brody said...

You said "Brody, Brody, I just want to discuss the issues. Scripture.

It is all very well taking the time to type everything you just said, but the issue is that you claim Steve's views to have refuted Jame's views, and I just want the proof. That's all.

It is your claim.
I am only asking for proof."

Yes, I have made the claim that Steve indeed had the upper hand, I feel this way because I compared what Steve said in scripture, to what James said.

If you wish, me and you can discuss the passages James and Steve brought up, but I do not have the time to word for word copy what Steve and James said. If you would like to do that, go for it. I will interact with what you have to say.

You said"I don't get the impression you want to do that, but prefer to just throw out victory cries for your man Steve."

Perhaps you are wrong in your assumption, and need to reassess the situation..? And BTW, does not James declare victory after every debate?...Lets not be hypocritical.

You said "Regarding me being banned, I was not told what rule I broke so please forgive me for thinking it was because of my defense of Calvinism, as I was interacting with several persons at the time, including Steve and I was pressing for answers.

Also, I interacted with people over there. I did not simply defend Calvinism with proof texts as you claim. When I quoted scripture I exegeted the passages, referred to context and compared scripture to scripture.
I also corrected faulty interpretations using scripture, and I even attempted to get others to define exactly what they thought us Calvinists were saying, as too many appeared to be misunderstanding even basic assumptions about Calvinism and even inconsistent answers as to their own views."

I saw no such no thing, rather what I did see was you doing what Calvinist usually do. That is, throw out a few Greek tenses, and proof text Romans 9 John 6 Acts 13 ETC... Forgive me for saying this, but I view exegesis far different than how Calvinist do. And I am sure you think your conduct was fine over at Steve's forum, but the record shows something entirely different. You were reprimanded several times, and you continued to do the same things, such as call people heretics, ETC... Now I am sure you will point out that the Apostles used such language, but I remind you that such is against the rules at the narrow path forum. It is a place of discussion, not preaching. I disagree strongly with many over there over certain issues, but I have the common decency to refrain from using terms like "heretic" and such.

You said "James does not scoff at people as you put it, whatever that means. He may have a poke at someone using humor etc, but it is always in good fun and often deserved.
But when it comes to the serious business of defending scripture, there is no scoffing at all. The man becomes serious and rightly so in my opinion."

You are simply wrong. James does mock people with whom he disagrees, and has a label for them too. He has posted several videos of himself supposedly "refuting" people, one of which where he "embarrassed" a Mormon man he was debating by challenging him on Eph 2, if my memory serves me correctly.. Hardly sporting if you ask me, considering Mormons in general rarely read the scriptures.

You said " I have read posts over at Steve's forum that blatantly attack the motives of James and others which simply out and out mock him or consign to him other less than brotherly traits upon his character etc."

James does the same thing.

You said "Care to

1/ Give us a brief statement explaining James position on John 6?"

No, you and I both know what James thinks of John 6. If you would like to discuss John 6, then I am all for it.

You said"2/ Show how his views "misuse" the text of John 6 itself. (that would be really interesting)"

We can discuss John 6 if you like, and I will show what I feel to be the correct interpretation. I am sure you and James feel the same way about John 6, so we essentially can kill two birds with one stone.

You said"3/ Give your own exegesis of those passages in John 6, thereby correcting the faulty exegesis given by Dr White"

See above.

You said "If you really want to start living to please God then might I suggest starting with honoring His Word?"

Why do you assume that I have not? Is it because I am not a Calvinist? Is "honoring God's word" essentially the same thing as "being a Calvinist?"

You said "And lastly, I measure a persons growth by their understanding and obedience to scripture, not Calvinism."

You just shot yourself in the theological foot Brother! You say you measure a persons growth by their "understanding" and obedience to scripture, but if someone who studies scripture comes up with another interpretation other than Calvinism, you will proclaim them to be in error, and guilty of rejecting the gospel itself. It is you who said "Calvinism is just another name for the gospel", you said this at Gene Cook's forum. Remember?

Now, do you care to tell me how you can resolve such a contradiction? Either you measure ones growth by their adherence to Calvinism, or you have a big problem on your hands.

Tartanarmy said...

Brody, I just want to stick to the main issues, but let me say that one's understanding to scripture is determined by one's consistency at exegesis.

Yes, I will freely admit that "Calvinism" as such is a more consistent method of exegesis than Non Calvinist attempts at exegesis.

And let us not confuse the context of my statement regarding "Calvinism" being another name for the gospel.
It was stated with regards to soteriology and was meant to communicate that Calvinism is really just a nick name for correctly "as in biblically" interpreting the gospel of God's grace in salvation, which it certainly is.

It was a quote made famous by Spurgeon btw.

There is no contradiction to be had here Brody.

Even if you have an understanding of the gospel, albeit inconsistently, that does not then mean only Calvinists can have the gospel.

What they do have is consistency and clarity, or a purer understanding but certainly not the "only" understanding.

Therefore, yes, Calvinism is the way to be more consistent in understanding scripture, but that does not equate to the idea that Non Calvinists cannot know or believe enough of the gospel to be Christian and saved for example.

Now, I did call one person a heretic over at Steve's board and have never seen a rule that states no one is allowed to use that term. The person I used it against is an avowed Open Theist and entertains other non orthodox doctrines and hence certainly has become a heretic.

If I had been told that such use of the term was not allowed, I may not have used it, but I was not told that such a term could not be used.

The truth is readily available on the public record at Steve's, and by that I mean that Open Theism and other deviant forms of teaching are openly encouraged at his forums.

You mention exegesis, and say we have different ways of understanding that term and what it means. That may be so, but we do not just get to define these terms without reference to what the term actually means.

For some, exegesis apparently means reading one's presuppositions into the text, but of course that is eisogesis, not exegesis.

For example Brody. When one approaches scripture already assuming Libertarian free will, one has already abused the text of scripture, for Libertarian free will as a concept needs to be proved not assumed with regards to scripture.
Non Calvinists break this rule from the very get go!

It colors everything you then read and becomes the invisible elephant in the room which assumption is yet to be deduced from proper exegesis.

Throwing out proof texts simply does not cut it.
Are the texts addressing "libertarian" free will, or are the texts addressing free agency?

Scripture clearly teaches one and not the other, and there is a huge difference between these two ideas!

Most if not all Non Calvinists assume that Calvinists do not teach free agency in man, which is simply not the case.

Anyways, if you would like to exegete John 6 and the passages disputed between us please feel free to do so. Let me know and I will open a new thread.

If however, you would like to discuss Libertarian free will, maybe we could discuss that.

But whatever we discuss, the scriptures shall define truth, especially when we do not agree with each other. That is the nature of attempting to get at the truth or falsity of our beliefs.

Now please do not ever say that only Calvinists know truth or that Calvinists alone know the gospel or some such thing.
It is useless rhetoric and stirs up subterfuge rather than light.

You may certainly say that Calvinists boldly claim their understanding (Calvinism) to be more consistent with scripture, ok?

I will not try to continue to get you to change your views regarding Dr White and his so called "mocking" of his adversaries, as you do not appear to have the ability to parse the difference between mocking and correcting those in error, as James certainly does.

Also, if you do not share the same basis for why those in error are in fact "in error", then there is no way "that" understanding will not effect how you interpret Dr Whites actions and question even his motives.

I can only say that James handles himself very well and does not put people down. I think his assertiveness and boldness is misunderstood by those not sharing his views and hence, too many make negative "emotional" comments about the man more than reasoned or even constructive criticism.

I would love for us to do some exegesis of scripture. That is all I really want. Starting with John 6 and how "exactly" what James teaches is "misusing" John 6.

Start with that and I will open a new thread for us.

Mark