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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Alternatives

Ok, so Founder friendly Calvinistic Reformed Baptists have been left gnashing their teeth since it was announced the White-Ascol/Caner brothers tag team theological death cage match was cancelled. If you think about it, that is no small announcement. I am not sure that debate guy in charged realized what he did. Non-refundable flights probably had to be eaten, out of town visitors had to cancel the reservations on their Motel 6 suites, the cost of printing is certainly out the window. There is some lost of money involved here.

By now, sycophantic fans of both sides (I am a card carrying member for the Calvinists) are accusing each party with cowardice. Yet, in spite of the fact that this would had been an interesting fight to have watched, I am not entirely sure it would have been a profitable one.

With Ergun Caner being exposed as unhinged when it comes to addressing historic, theological discussions, the debate could have gone one of two ways: a) either James and Tom would be beating up two tomato cans who certainly deserve a public pummeling of that magnitude, or b) the event could had quickly spiraled into an out of control free-for-all. Though either one of those scenerios would have been fascinating to watch in an accident by the side of the road uncomfortable sort of way, ultimately, such a disgraceful exchange would have done no good, especially for the cause of Christ's kingdom.

However, I am amazed how none of James White's detractors are willing to take him on in serious debate over the doctrines of Calvinism. I find it truly amazing. Blog after blog condemn him as divisive on this issue, but when the folks are challenged to do a formal debate, they turn into chickens. I guess I can understand it if a person has never had any formal debate experience. A debate with one of the foremost Christian apologists in America would certainly seem intimidating. But certainly there is someone who thinks James White is crazy out of his head in Calvinism who would have the backbone to meet him in a moderated, public forum.

Seeing that there are no Baptists willing to take up the challenge, may I suggest an alternative? I suggest finding either a Roman Catholic or even a Unitarian to debate this issue. I would prefer the Roman Catholic for a couple of reasons.

A debate with a Catholic apologist would fit nicely into White's yearly theme of a Reformed-Catholic debate. Calvin debated Pighius, White could debate some modern day equivalent to Pighius.

Also, I think such a debate will serve the greater purpose of demonstrating how popular Baptist soteriology found in the SBC and Independent Fundamental oriented churches is hand in hand with Roman Catholicism. For a good many, they won't care. But for those who take seriously the separation of Roman Catholicism from Fundamental Baptists, this may serve as something of an alarm. A loud mouth Baptist preacher who thunders regularly from his pulpit against the Calvinistic intrusion of those terrible "Founder Baptists," may be surprised to learn he argues against Calvinism in the same way a Catholic does. I know it would bother me.

At least it is a thought. If you happen to know some of White's debate arrangers, pass this post along to them as a suggestion. In the meantime, we have White's match with Bishop Spong coming up. I for one am really looking forward to it and in fact, I agree with James that it is the more important of the two debates.

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