Monday, May 15, 2006

Update on the Caner "debate"

I have resisted posting anything about the prospective "debate" between Drs. Ergun and Emir Caner and Dr. James White and me over the last few weeks because I did not want to do anything that would muddy the waters as we were trying to work out details regarding format, thesis, length, protocol, etc. Silly me. I have finally been completely disabused of every delusion I previously entertained that the Caners were interested in a genuine exchange of ideas for the purpose of clarifying points on which we agree and on which we disagree regarding the doctrine of salvation.
While it is certainly true that love hopes all things even love cannot deny reality. And the reality is that Dr. Ergun Caner, and to a lesser degree his brother, have engaged in some of the most bombastic, mean-spirited obfuscation that I have ever experienced in any attempt to communicate about matters of the Christian faith. For the last several weeks, I have refrained from allowing myself to make that judgment because I kept hoping that at some point Dr. Ergun Caner would tire of his game and would deal honestly and respectfully with the repeated requests to finalize details in appropriate and mutually agreeable terms. After last night, I am convinced that such hopes were a mere pipe dream. Dr. White has posted the entirety of the email exchange (the bulk of which is between him and Dr. Ergun Caner as spokesmen for each side) on his website. Warning: it is not for the faint of heart nor for those who would like to believe that the top administrators of Liberty Baptist Seminary and The College at Southwestern Baptist Seminary are gracious, considerate men or that they sincerely want to debate the issues involved in our disagreements (of course, anyone who read their flamethrowing comments on this blog in February should harbor no such delusions). Furthermore, if you intend to read the whole exchange, you will need a large chunk of time.
Dr. White provides the details and he and I will be discussing this tomorrow on his Dividing Line program. Let me simply reveal the convoluted thesis that Drs. Caner are insisting we debate:
Resolved: That God is an Omnibenevolent God to all of humanity through salvation and opportunity.
Now, if you can explain exactly what is being asserted here, please let me know. We have repeatedly asked for such an explanation from the Caners and--as has been the case with numerous other questions--have been completely stonewalled all the while being accused of exercising "delay tactics" and having our willingness to debate questioned. Read the correspondence. It really is amazing.
As it now stands, the "debate" is set for October 16 at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. They style that they have insisted on (finally, after much prodding that some formal style be adopted) is "Parliamentarian," which is based on the type of debate that characterizes the British House of Commons. Thus far, the Caners have not insisted that we be required to speak with British accents (though maybe we could persuade Dr. White to wear his kilt!).

345 comments:

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North Georgia Pastor said...

Dr. White,

While I am new to the Blogsphere, I am no "Driveby". Please forgive me if I have misjudged you. The last thing I desire is to attack one of God's servants. However, I sincerely felt as though you were attacking myself, L.A. Pastor and the Caners. Again, please forgive me.

I will be out of pocket for the next few days and may not be able to blog again until Monday.

However, if the lesser Caner is available for a cup of coffee at any Starbucks within 200 miles of Dallas, I would gladly like to share a cup with him and pick his brain. I am very interested in hearing his position on several issues first hand.

Perhaps, I will contact him at Southwestern. He may refuse to see me or he may not be in town. Oh well, its worth a try.

More when I return.

NorthGeorgiaPastor

Elias said...

Peter, thank you for not only reading my post, but taking the time to respond.

You wrote:
"In conclusion, Elias, I guess we just disagree on one of the final comments you made:
To not defend ones self, in my opinion, is a sign of weak convictions, it shows you aren't willing to stand up for what you believe."

You then went on to say...
"Besides being a little overkill if one desires to use that as a working moral principle by which to live..."

No one said to use this as a "working moral principle" by which to live by. If you read what I said in the context of what most people understand this blog to stand for which is a place where brothers in the Lord can come to sharpen each other through direct and honest debate, as well as defend truth and respectability unashamedly, which by the way is where I believe brothers like you come in who are brought here by the Lord to make sure things don't get too out of hand knowing that there will be some Reformed guys who are still in the cage phase in their "theology." If you read what I said in this context, you would know that I'm not suggesting living outside of this arena with an AK47.

"(that is, if it is so, it appears our speechless Lamb oozed weakness not strength as He stood before His shearers)"

I don’t know why this statement bothers me so. When I said what I said, I was referring to something very specific that you said about James White, not about what Jesus did in the face of the punishment and death our Lord bore on our behalf. What the He did for us is very sacred; you should not of made use of His sacrifice to try to prove your point.

"Others may defend meĆ¢€¦even I may defend me. But when I do...I do not feel so good about it. For me, it solicits pride, which some feel...is strength. Not me. I'd rather look weak."

Peter, I want you know that I understand what you are saying. When you wrote this, you were probably thinking about what Jesus told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." As a Christian and fellow Pastor, I can understand how others might perceive us defending ourselves as prideful which is why I believe you have to exercise wisdom and discernment when confronted by someone who you say something they disagree with especially when that person is a new believer. But we aren't talking about new believers here or laymen, we are talking about discussions between Elders in the body of Christ. The example that I might use is Paul confronting Peter. Are there any other examples you can use from the Bible to describe what your seeing?

marc said...

I predict (along with others here) there will be no debate. The Caner's will opt out or demand something outrageous and cause the debate to be cancelled.

Tom and James,
I know I'm not saying anything original here, but 'watch your backs jack' if the debate actually does happen. Wear your best flame retardent suits (or Kilt).

peter lumpkins said...

Hey Bristo,

I will answer you rather quickly for my hunny is on her way home and I have to get up and cook supper...you know the drill, look busy.

First, no. I do not take the Apostle off my reading list "for defending himself way too much." But, that is your assertion, not mine, for I do not know that it is possible for the Inspired Authors to, when they write Scripture, "defend too much".

And, even Paul described himself as he,in your words, "defended himself way too much" he noted entering the realm of "folly" (1C11.1), "speaking foolishly in this confidence of boasting" (1C11.17) which was arguably "not profitable" (1C12.1) Indeed, when he lauches into high gear, he says "I have become a fool in boasting: you have compelled me..." 1C12.11)

What I fail to see from the Apostle is his "way too much" didactical insruction to stand before every critic and defend the details of my every decison, motive, thought, heart, feeling, etc. etc.

Consequently, I think a correct view of Apologetics centers itself on Once Given Faith and not my personal vindication. Nor are the two even equal, as some seem to imply with insistence that if I do not defend myself, I am weak and cowardly. Ok. I accept the charge. Call me the weaker brother.

Principle: Christ's Honor-- always. My honor--sometimes, maybe, and, for me, I hope under God, more times than not, not at all. And, my brother bristo,if what I have just stated seems to you like an opinion perhaps based on "feeling", well continue believing it if you wish. I only hope, under my Redeemer God, that while I by no means perfectly live my life under the Authority of Holy Writ, I do attempt to place myself under Scriptural authority in every sphere of my existence. God help me, I pray...

All that aside, bristo, you are mistaken in apparently implying I took Dr. White off my reading list. To the contrary, I just read something else from his site. Thus, was this much ado about nothing?

Gosh! The time! Supper! Coming Hun. With that, I am...

PeterFrank

p.s. I am tried of this song. I think i will play another tune...

Jeff A. Spry said...

Someone earlier asked about Ergun Caner's dissertation. I found the answer in an interview he did with CBN.com concerning his book, "Christian Jihad"

QUOTE: "I teach systematic theology and church history. My Ph.D. dissertation was on the Crusades. My Master of Theology was on the calling of the Crusades."

The whole of the interview is here:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/ChurchHistory/Crusades_CanerChristianJihad0505.asp

brad reynolds said...

Nathan
Good comment on “having the conviction to stand by your words.” We agree here.

But we shall disagree about showing respect to those whose position deserves respect by using a title. I would never let my children, even when they are saved refer to you as Nathan, they will refer to you as Mr. White. And if I ever meet the President I will not say “How are you doing George?” To be courteous and mannerly towards one’s position on earth does not indicate a difference of position before Christ. But, it’s ok if we disagree here
BR

brad reynolds said...

Savedandsure
I apologize about the repetition…it appears needed here as the same questions are asked, but I certainly didn’t mean to offend you by answering them. Your concern for the selling of my book is encouraging.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Tom

I thought this was over long ago but to the dismay of Elias (who points out the number of my comments) I like to answer those who address me, and yet at some point (probably reached long ago) the vanity of doing so outweighs the courtesy of doing so, but as one who believes in giving the benefit of the doubt allow me to jump in again.

Tom, if I forgot to answer your questions (other than the ones I’ve been clear about not answering for conscience sake) I apologize, I certainly never intended to ignore you or them…please reference them – as to the questions asked since my last post.

1. Why didn't you call (James) before simply castigating him publicly?

I think castigate is a little harsh, but anyway, from reading the e-mails, one readily notices many differences (already pointed out) further this was a Blog about thoughts about the e-mails (ie – you invited comments).

2. Why would you ask me to speculate about Dr. Dever’s opinion?

I never asked you to speculate, I asked you to call him and ask him. Have you yet by any chance?

3. Why don't you ask them yourselves and not expect me to speculate on that?

I did seek advice, I assumed you had a great relationship with Dr. Dever (I’m sure he doesn’t know me) and would be visiting about the luncheon and thought how easy it would be for you to ask him. I thought it would help lend credence to your position.

4. Is it just to castigate a man for posting emails that he did not post but simply linked to?

We disagreed on the semantics long ago.

5. Brad, you say that this action has hurt the kingdom and hindered fellowship among brethren. Please explain exactly how this has been done.

I assumed that the Caners would respond as I would if someone had taken my private e-mails and against my wishes posted them for public viewing – I would lose trust in them. Further, for the world to view conflict among brethren openly and publicly hurts the kingdom…the Bible does not say “they will know you for your truth-seeking’’ but rather “for your love one for another.”

Concerning your question of my questioning my colleagues I have been unable to get back with one and just got back to the other today – they too are busy men. Anyway, I certainly did not ask the question as you asked me to, for I do not know of anyone who has asked you to “cover-up” anything, to ask you to keep something like a personal e-mail private (which honestly wasn't asked either for the deed had been done), especially when it does not honor Christ and the other Christian party asked you to keep it private is not asking you to cover-up anything.

I have asked for consistency in this area by publishing all e-mails and or phone conversations, not selective ones, but to no avail.

What I did ask was “is it wrong to take confrontational personal e-mail among brothers, which at the beginning both parties agreed that any public disclosure include all comments in their entirety, but then one asks that it be confidential, and publish it for the world to see?” (I think that is certainly very fair to your position) – the response - NO.
BR

Nathan White said...

Brad,

I would agree with you concerning the example you gave. But Scott is not a child, nor is he under your household.

We're back to judging motives again, Brad. How can it be rightly said that Scott was being disrespectful? How can we be so sure that Scott does not know these men in a personal sense?

In addition, you failed to interact with the passage I provided. Again, titles are not the issues; titles demanded or expected certainly are.

I am all too saddened by the CEO-type SBC leaders who subtly place themselves above accountability by manipulating their congregations to call them 'brother Bill', or 'Pastor Steve', etc. Whether we like it or not, constantly using these titles for our senior pastors subtly places an unspoken wall between them and the average guy on the pew. And that's just what we need, even less accountability than they have already.

brad reynolds said...

PeterFrank and North Georgia Pastor
As I read your comments I was convicted and humbled. I wish my parents had read them, my dad would be proud and my mom would believe themJ

But honestly, I fear the way others view me here, is more in line with the truth than your encouraging words, Jeremiah 17:9. comes to mind.

PeterFrank
You are wise. There is a difference in Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit defending his apostleship and us defending our actions. Christ is our example and his life, trial, and death testify to your position.
BR

Tom said...

Nathan,

Well said. The hierarchy that exists in the church among brothers is unfortunate. It ought not to be the case. One look at Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, or Paul being addressed as "Paul" (and not Rev. or Bro., or "pastor") lays waste to such things. Election itself lays waste to "titles" and such. Who among us can rightly claim or require a title among Christ's sheep, unless it is the title "servant of all"? That being said, if by using "Danny" or "Paige", a dig of some kind was meant, certainly that is not proper among the elect.

Tom Robertson

brad reynolds said...

To All,

Wow – I felt after the first 10 comments I was wasting my time, but honestly two good things have come from this:
1. God has taught me much on defending myself.
2. I have encouraged 2 of my students in History of Ideas (a course on contemplating and interacting with the works of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc from a Christian worldview – by the way, may I encourage you to encourage others who are going to college or seminary to look toward SE) who are curious about Christian disagreement to come and observe this Chat. This can be a learning experience for them also.
Thanks
BR

Tom said...

Brad:

We evidently are not even going to agree on the reality of what happened in the emai exchange and posting thereof, much less on whether or not doing so was allowable or sinful. I have no doubt that you *think* you represent my perspective in a "certainly very fair" way, but I strongly disagree that your representation was indeed fair. I suppose we will have to simply chalk this up to the fall and its impact on each of our minds!

Again, he who frames the questions can dictate the answers. Ergun Caner did not "ask that it be kept confidential." Why not simply quote him to your colleagues? After repeatedly writing disrespectfully--which you know full well he did because you willingly read what you have criticized for being posted, though you refuse to discuss it--he then demanded in the most strident language that we not make the emails public. This, after an initial agreement that any "public disclosure include all comments in their entirety."

Here is the way I see these events unfolding:

We all agree that any posting of the emails will include all of them in their entirety. Dr. Caner, perhaps forgetting about this, employs vitriolic, taunting, disrespectful language to make his points. After this, he *demands* that the emails not be made public. When Dr. Caner made his demand I very quickly and forcefully refused to bow to it. This is a far cry from your recounting of the events like this:

"Is it wrong to take confrontational personal e-mail among brothers, which at the beginning both parties agreed that any public disclosure include all comments in their entirety, but then one asks that it be confidential, and publish it for the world to see?”

Quite honestly, Dr. Reynolds, if the question were put to me that way, I would probably agree with you But that is not the way these events unfolded.

The emails were never intended to be confrontational, at least not from James or me. They were intended to work out details of a public debate. Dr. Caner turned them into confrontations and then tried to *demand* that we keep his antics from the light of public scrutiny, a demand that we rejected.

I will make you an offer: Why not let me talk to your colleagues to whom you have put this question. I will use only the verbatim words in the email exchange and let's see if they still agree with you. My guess is that they will see things in a different light (Prov. 18:17). I would be very willing to do this, Brad, because, from what I have read of your perspective, I have my doubts that they have the whole story.

Elias said...

Nathan, I have to agree with Dr. Reynolds. You and Scott need to learn some manners.

johnMark said...

Brad:

You've continued to repeat,"I have asked for consistency in this area by publishing all e-mails and or phone conversations, not selective ones, but to no avail."

Agree or disagree with the issue of pulicly posting emails the above is not t how anyone makes decisions. Not anyone I know. I wonder, do you paint everything with such a broad brush in this manner? For example, have you ever used in a sermon (or otherwise), for illustrative purposes, a personally story about someone yet not naming nor identifying said person(s)? If so, should you not also be "consistent" and reveal all the information about the folks in the story?

Or shouldn't you be consistent and find every blog out there that has written on this subject and post your opinion as you have here? If you post on one you must post on all. This is the mentality your proposition warrants.

My point is that decisions aren't made in a vacuum and each situation will dictate different types of responses.

You also said, "There is a difference in Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit defending his apostleship and us defending our actions. Christ is our example and his life, trial, and death testify to your position."

Of course, Christ is our example and I don't believe the implication that the men defending themselves deny this one bit. They uphold this, actually. Who told us to be ready to give a defense? Shall we not take heed in that? If I use the above reasoning when could I or anyone ever use Paul's actions and words? If there were commotion and no fellowship during the Lord's Supper would one not be able to give instruction by reading Paul warnings at Corinth?

Anyways...I gotta run for now....hope you get my point.

Mark

Truth said...

The intent here is not to be a "drive-by", but I seldom take the time to post with any regularity. Today, however, I'm concerned and feel led to post, so here goes...

This has been a fascinating week for me regarding the revelations and blog comments surrounding the Caner debate. I've read them all. I'm a retired Air Force officer, an active consulting electrical engineer (part time professor on occasion), and my introduction to real Christianity came in a discussion I had in 1993 with a colleague, a fellow engineer and faculty member where I was teaching engineering at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, and the initial focus was his "error" about not accepting the "fact" of evolution. Through my friends grace and kindness, with no doubt that the credit all goes to God who guided his apologetics, I came to the point I had to discard evolution and simply ask God, "God, if you really are real, please guide me to the truth about you." It was a very private moment, but over the next month I then found out how wretched I was in the eyes of God and my desperate need for a Savior. I found out why the Bible can be defended, but not other religions or cults or Roman Catholicism or atheism. Our Lord has given me a passion toward the study of apologetics and systematic theology; to know my faith and to share Jesus. I say all this to give a context to the remarks I'm about to give.

I live in central Virginia and fully intend to go to any nearby debate that includes Dr. James White. My relationship with James White goes back to the mid-90's when I started becoming active in real apologetics (seeking out Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses primarily, and some in my family who are Roman Catholics, and atheist colleagues) and his books provided a scholarly basis for research and exegesis regarding their unbiblical views, and I've been able to verify their views from their first hand perspectives. James is very accurate and he references very, very well, which lends itself to independent research. I have met James twice and corresponded with him a few times as well. I know he takes a strong stand on the inerrancy of the Bible. I have downloaded many of his mp3 debates and benefited greatly in listening to them and preparing for encounters with many of these sincere, but sadly deluded people under the yoke of works salvation. I have read and used most of his written works. Writing on Calvinism, he presents a six-pedaled TULIP with emphasis on the Sovereignty of God first--I've adopted this presentation. I have great respect for this young man of faith and the scholarship he exhibits. Exegesis is what it's all about.

I also have a relationship with SEBTS at Wake Forest NC. I have a brother-in-law in a Master's program there and I go down occasionally to visit his family hear some of their speakers. I've been to the last two (Feb 2005 and 2006) apologetics conferences for younger college students. I've spoken with Danny Akin about his views of Calvinism--he told me he agrees with 4 points, but not with the limited atonement. He also emphasizes his close relationship with R. Albert Mohler who is a 5-pointer according to Dr. Akin. I am a Southern Baptist and my church is part of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, SBCV.

I'm concerned about the direction the SBC is heading on the issue of Calvinism. Clearly we should all be about truth and grace and knowing and teaching God's Word. I want to know God. I want to properly represent God. From what I know about James White, that's true of him, too (and I suspect of Tom Ascol as well). We know he can get along with his debating opponents in a way that honors God. He has shown this as recently as the debates he's had with John Dominic Crossan and Shabir Ally to name just two. What I don't understand is the behavior of the Caner's which is notably worse than the two non-Christians just named. (Do they even have tapes or mp3's or something demonstrating their debating abilities?) I've seen them appear on the John Ankerberg show, and that was fine, but that's about it. I suspect this debate, if it happens, will not be about what I want it to be about, and that is the exegesis that tells us how a person is to be saved. I want to see how both sides make their case in debate with exegesis and cross-examination. That's how I can grow in knowing the God that is real. My prayer is that this debate brings honor only to my Lord.

In Christ, SteveH

Sam Hughey said...

BR,

You stated, 2. I have encouraged 2 of my students in History of Ideas (a course on contemplating and interacting with the works of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc from a Christian worldview – by the way, may I encourage you to encourage others who are going to college or seminary to look toward SE) who are curious about Christian disagreement to come and observe this Chat. This can be a learning experience for them also.

I think this is an excellent idea (I mean this respectfully) and I hope they learn from participation as well as observation and that merely responding to a question doesn't necessarily mean an answer was given. Responses and answers are not always the same.

Sam Hughey

Tom Buck said...

The amazing thing in this whole discussion (having spent the last hour or so reading everyone's post) is that the complaints seem to be all about "form" and nothing about "substance." There is NO Biblical command or principle that would indicate that the posting of this correspondence would be a sin. This is obviously a matter of opinion. Dr. Reynolds is obviously entitled to his opinion but not the moral outrage that he seems to keep hammering, while he has no outrage for the Caners’ comments. I do believe the first question to ask is, “Why do the Caner’s not want this correspondence to be made public?” Dr. Reynolds says we cannot judge their motives. Well, you can at least eliminate some motives based on their actions.

First, we know it isn’t because they believe in a strict standard that all email correspondence should always be kept private and never made public. That is evident in the fact that Ergun Caner made his emails public in another discussion with another person. Dr. Reynolds pointed out that it was agreed upon to do this with that other person. Okay, but the question should still be asked in regards to why Dr. Caner would be okay with it in one situation and not another. What makes his correspondence with Drs. White and Ascol have the need of such secrecy?

The second thing we know for a fact is that there was a change midstream in their requests. It started with they were fine as long as all the material and not snippets were posted and then it moved to we hold all of this to be confidential. Any reasonable person would wonder why this is the case. There has to be a reason and when you look at their previous actions of having no problem with other public postings, one has to ask the question of why they are unwilling to have their words in this situation made public. If I had written their words I know I would be embarrassed at the way they have continually treated other brothers in Christ.

I have had personal experience with being accused of sinning for sharing email correspondence. Dr. White is very much aware of this as I wrote him months ago about this. An elder in my church was in correspondence for months with a PCA elder who convinced him of the paedobaptist position. My elder did not disclose that this interaction was going on. We confronted him on keeping it a secret and he said the PCA elder advised him not to come to us while he was sorting things out because to be a good elder he needed to be able to stand on his own. I spoke on the phone with the PCA elder and confronted him about this advice, which I believed to be a violation of biblical eldering. To make a long story short, we communicated via email for sometime and I ended up sharing some of his comments and argumentation with Dr. White and others to get counsel on whether the PCA elder was correct. When this matter became public in our church, it was necessary to share some of the correspondence to present the PCA elder’s argumentation to expose it for what it was. This PCA elder called me deceiving, unethical and accused me of not being a very good pastor for not keeping our correspondence a secret because he never gave me permission to share it. But his pattern of wanting to hide in the shadows of secrecy had already been established. Say what you want in private and not be willing to stand behind your words in public.

Dr. Reynolds, nor any other person, has made a biblical case for it being a sin to share correspondence of this nature. While it was private in a sense, it was clearly correspondence about a public event. I do not believe a biblical case can be made for Dr. Reynold’s assumptions and all he is left with is his personal conviction and opinion, which he can hold himself to but should not self-righteously hold it against others.

I do believe a biblical case could be made for this: “Don’t let anything come out of your mouth or be put into writing in private that you would not be willing to defend in the light.”

My personal opinion is that this is nothing more than hiding behind a smokescreen. We should be willing, when dealing with issues that are not personal and private, to have our words be public if need be. Everything we write should be able to be viewed or we should not write them. In fact, presenting what the person said in writing is clearly an attempt to accurately represent what the person said instead of verbally giving your own interpretation.

If you are unwilling to stand behind your comments, then keep your "keyboard" shut, so to speak. If you want to look for sin, it is found in the SUBSTANCE of the argumentation. Or, in the Caner's case, the lack thereof. Dr. Reynolds should be way more concerned with the substance of those emails than his constant harping on his "opinion" that they should not have been posted. If all you have to go on is your opinion and not Scriptural evidence, I think you should not be so quick to call another person's action out as sin.

Dr. Reynolds, I know you have answered the question that you will not judge the words of the Caners’, even though you have read them, because you think it was sinful to print them without permission. Well, the cat is now out of the bag, so to speak. If you really felt so strongly about this, you should not have read them. If private correspondence is so sacred a trust, then you violated the very trust you now claim to defend by reading it yourself. But you have had no problem to keep harping about how wrong Drs. White and Ascol have been.

Dr. Reynolds, I am asking you, now that you have read these emails, to do one of two things: either get off your moral high-horse and hold the Caners’ accountable for the words they said (unless you contend that what is said in secret is not to have any accountability) or kindly move on. We have heard your opinion quite clearly repeated over and over, while you continue to ignore most of the questions directed to you by Tom Ascol and others. To put aside all tact, basically, put up or shut up.

Bottom line, everyone that reads the correspondence with any level of intellectual honesty can clearly see that the substance of these emails reveal the true character of the Caners in this matter. One does not need to judge their motives. Their words speak for themselves. Thank God that Dr. White was willing to present this before God's People so that we could have a chance to look at the substance of these emails and could we please discuss that and quit chasing these self-righteous rabbit trails???




Tom Buck

Jared Moore said...

Guys,
I think that emails are copyrited as soon as they're written [by law]. However, if it was agreed upon beforehand that the entirety of the emails would be used, then there shouldn't be any argument. [I mean, who cares what Tom does... it's up to him, and who am I to say that he's done anything wrong?]

Also,
Even if you were to take the other approach, and say that the emails [lawfully] shouldn't be used, then Tom is allowed to quote [lawfully] from Caner's responses... basically the same way anyone would quote any other author.

Lastly,
Tom, I don't believe that you've done anything wrong in your handling of this issue... and, you know what? The bottom line is... it doesn't matter what I think about how you've handled yourself "ethically" or "righteously" because whatever I come up with for the definition of these 2 words [in the area of email regurgitation] is invented from my brain, and for me to hold you to MY standard would be snobbish, arrogant legalism.

Oh, how easy it would be if we could just please everybody... but, the Fall has hindered us so that this is impossible...

I look forward to eternity.

shick said...

Tom, James,
God be praised for your work and how you have handled this whole situation! I disagree with how some have commented that your actions have hurt the kingdom and hindered fellowship among brethren. It is obvious (and I think many here would agree with me) that this discussion, with the work of the Holy Spirit, will or has opened the eyes of some to see some important truths. This eye opening experience to the truth will give growth to the kingdom and has encouraged fellowship among brethren.
I pray that the biblically warranted exposure of the Drs. Caner behaviour will humble them, make them desire God's forgiveness, seek to be 'always reformed' by the Holy Spirit, seek forgiveness from those whom they have misrepresented, and seek to deal with the doctrines of grace more respectably even if they don't agree with it.

I must say this about Dr. Ergun Caner. At least a year ago I watched a wonderful video that had Dr. Caner on it. I learned much about the so-called 'Christian Crusades' and how muslim men, women and children were slaughtered unjustly all in the name of Christ. I thank God for his work in this regard. It must have been an enormous hurdle for him as a muslim to embrace christianity with this thougt. I would like to suggest to Dr. Caner that the doctrines of grace are no less a difficult hurdle and no less important.

One final thought: The concern of the disclosure of correspondence reminds me of the Clinton sex scandal. Whoa! That's a leap you may say. I'll explain. Clinton's supporters were arguing that there was a difference between a private and a public/professional life. This excuse served only one purpose: to prevent the accused from being held responsible for his actions. God does not distinguish between private and public. He sees all and holds us accountable for everything we do. And he even uses His church to keep us accountable.

volfan007 said...

the caner brothers are wonderful christian men who are very intelligent. they are wonderful preachers too. its just like hyper calvinists to attack such men of God. i went thru this at seminary with a group of calvinists who attacked everyone who didnt believe exactly like they did. viscious attacks.

Stephen A Morse said...

WOW! the shells are still hitting the ground following that last 'drive-by'!

Um... really had nothing to say either except to Dr. White:

Dr. White, I can see that you personally read this and since I would love to have you come to our church for a conference next year... could you get in touch with me? I really appreciate it!
my email is: pastorsteve@throwtheword.com

I thank you bloggers for allowing me that point or personal privilege. I don't feel as though I interuppted anything too important that hasn't already been said...resaid... and then said again.

Elias said...

Volfan007, I'm concerned by the comments brothers like yourself are saying about this blog. I'm not sure how many of the comments you’ve read thus far. If you've read anything I've written you'd know that I firmly stand behind what Dr. White did in bringing to light the dialogue he, the Caner's and Dr. Ascol have had in trying to put this debate together. I don't know if you've read the email exchanges between these men, if not, I suggest you do because it will change the way you perceive, the Caner’s (especially Dr. Ergun Caner) to be. As a brother in Christ concerned for your view of Calvinists, would you please give examples of how those who claim to be Christians have treated you? Also, what do you know about the Caners; are they good people? And finally, which seminary did you attend?

Thank you.

Jon Unyan said...

Good afternoon everyone,

Volfan007, may I ask what seminary you went to? We're not hyper-calvinists, by the way, and Christians don't "viciously attack" anyone. That is, unless you consider pointing out the errors of your position as a "vicious attack". If, in fact, someone who holds to the doctrines of grace known as "Calvinism" acted in a manner inconsistent with a Christian profession, that only speaks to that person's sin, not to whether or not "Calvinism" is biblical. If you would like to post a comment, please extend to us the courtesy you expect to receive, and not lump us in with a few bad apples you may have come across at seminary. As to whether or not the Caners are "wonderful Christian men", that will be known by their fruits. So far, I'm unconvinced.

Dr. White,

Greetings, brother. I would be interested in your response to Tony Byrne's question (once again, now located a few rows back). Dr Ascol kindly answered, but would you agree? I believe our position as Calvinists is that Christ's death is sufficient for all (i.e. the whole world), but the limitation of the atonement comes as to the Holy Spirit's regenerating the unbeliever and the giving of the gift of faith. Thanks for your time......

--Jon Unyan

johnMark said...

Jon Unyan:

You may find your answer to your question to James White in this link:
http://aomin.org/Was%20Anyone%20Saved.html

volfan007 said...

where i went to seminary, we had a group of people who felt that they had arrived spiritually. they felt that they were spiritually and intellectually superior to the rest of the christian world. they were always degrading people who were not 5 pointers. they were very harsh and mean in thier judgements. and, this has been true of every five pointer that i have come across. very few exceptions, and i meet a lot of them. in fact, it seems that five pointers are not only prideful, but they tear up every church that they sneak into.

Sam Hughey said...

Volfan007,

From the outset I want you to understand I am not attacking you but neither is it a personal attack simply because someone disagrees with what the Caners believe or by revealing their false accusations which you have also done.

Perhaps you really don't understand what hyper-Cavlinism is and are just merely placing everything into the same basket and repeat the same falsehoods others promote, which in and of itself is very bad and un-Biblical reasoning. You also seem to not understand that accusing us (personally) of something that is not true IS a personal attack on our character and honesty as well as showing a lack of love for the Christ who saved you. After all, He did command you to show your love for Him by obeying His commands and His command is to speak the truth everyone with his neighbor, isn't it?

Calling us hyper-Calvinists is NOT the truth and is the same misrepresentation the same wonderful christian men who are very intelligent are doing.

Sam Hughey

Sam Hughey said...

volfan007,

You stated, it seems that five pointers are not only prideful, but they tear up every church that they sneak into. Have you ever heard of BaptistFire.com?

Sam Hughey

johnMark said...

volfan007:

where i went to seminary, we had a group of people who felt that they had arrived spiritually. they felt that they were spiritually and intellectually superior to the rest of the christian world. they were always degrading people who were not 5 pointers.

I’m sorry you had this experience. Tell me, did they degrade non-Calvinists any more than you are degrading Calvinists? Where do you feel you are spiritually and intellectually and how is this measured?

they were very harsh and mean in thier judgements.

You seem very harsh in your judgments as evidenced by this post. Do you have an example for us please?

and, this has been true of every five pointer that i have come across. very few exceptions, and i meet a lot of them.

I’m amazed you’ve met so many. I don’t find many, especially Baptist, here in the Bible Belt. There is a whole slew of Calvinists posting here so could you give us an example of us being any more harsh in our judgments than any non-calvinist?

in fact, it seems that five pointers are not only prideful, but they tear up every church that they sneak into.

This is an amazing statement given the fact that Calvinists have been some of the greatest evangelists and missionaries. How many churches has this been and what examples do have to prove it was the “Calvinists’” fault?

Just curious,
Mark

Ps. Baptistfire.com as Sam has mentioned shows the non-calvinists unbiblical attacks against Calvinism.

Byroniac said...

volfan007:

Sir, I do not doubt your sincerity. I regret that you have encountered such mean-spirited and ill-natured Calvinists such as those you have described. Such disposition is deplorable, and not fitting for Christian character (and I confess my own past guilt in this matter, for which I bear responsibility for before God and man, and for which I am ashamed).

Now, I do not know if those you encountered were hyper-Calvinists or not. However, as far as I know, even though we have several dogmatic five-pointers here (including myself), none of us would qualify as being hyper-calvinist. I refer you to this excellent article which though long should help to set the matter straight.

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/hypercal.htm

Please do not automatically brand everyone of a five-point "persuasion" as automatically being hyper-calvinist (such can be an inaccurate classification in many places, especially here) or mean-spirited and morally defective. However, I do understand and sympathize with you in your "once bitten, twice shy" attitude towards Calvinists. When I first became a Calvinist, if someone had literally locked me up in a jail and fed me with a strict diet of bread and water, until I learned some humility and grace in dealings and interactions with people, he or she would have performed considerable service to me and everyone I eventually came in contact with.

Now, I want to ask you very directly a question that has been burning on my mind for some time now, as I consider the several posts made by certain people (who, unlike Dr. Reynolds, usually prefer the comfortable cloak of anonymity). I do not mean this question disrespectfully, sir, nor is it a question that you must answer. But I feel that it will reflect positively upon you for answering it fully and truthfully.

Are you one of the author(s) of BaptistFire.com?

And to certain other posters (who have revealed as little about themselves as possible, and who probably know who they are in my reference to them here):

Will the visiting author(s) of BaptistFire.com (if any) please identify themselves? And retreat from anonymity?

And let this conversation be conducted in a civilized and respectable manner as should be case between Christian gentlemen and ladies.

Jon Unyan said...

Johnmark--

Thanks for the reference.

Volfan007,

I sincerely apologize if some Calvinists you know have acted in the way you described above. Let me say that we are not intellectually or spiritually superior to anyone, for we have nothing that we have not received from above. No Calvinist should be arrogant or prideful, that is not the fruit of someone who truly understands the doctrines of grace. If you have been treated in the way you related in your above post, I must conclude that a.) those people were not really Christians, or b.) they were young,immature Christians that had not yet mortified their pride. Don't make sweeping generalizations about all Calvinists, that is ungracious and simply not true. I am a member of a Calvinistic church that is filled with humble, gracious people who only want to see the work of the Lord prosper. I guess I'm isolated, but I've never personally met a Calvinist like you've described (except on the Internet). I have met some brash Arminians though, but I don't characterize all Arminians that way. Withdraw your sword, brother! By the way, what seminary was this again?

--Jon Unyan

YnottonY said...

Hi Jon and all,

I am fairly sure that Dr. White would affirm the formula Sufficient for all, efficient for the elect, but probably in the Owenic sense (as opposed to the classical sense). However, my question is more specific, as Dr. Ascol discerned. I am asking if they think God wills/wants/desires/ the salvation of the non-elect. Dr. Ascol carefully and wisely worded his reply, and it was in the affirmative (yes), according to the revealed will of God as distinguished from his secret/decretal will.

I have yet to hear whether or not Dr. White thinks God wills or desires the salvation of the non-elect. Once again, I am talking about "salvation" in the evangelical/gospel sense, just in case anyone is tempted to equivocate ;-) I am not sure if Dr. White would say yes to this, but I want to be sure.

I am not asking the question to debate the point in this comment area. If Dr. White would concur with Dr. Ascol's answer, then I would be content. If Dr. White answered "no, God does not will/want/desire the salvation of the non-elect" to my specific question, then that would necessitate a different sort of reply to the Caners. Any scripture brought up to suggest the idea that God does want all to be saved (including the non-elect) would have to be explained another way, i.e. in a decretal way.

Byroniac said...

Well, I apologize. My post is not as polite and respectful as it probably should be. I am being rather blunt. And for that, I apologize.

I just can't help but wonder who the real identities are behind the (currently defunct) baptistfire.com site, and if they are possibly lurking here, or even posting from mostly anonymous accounts?

It has been bothering my conscience for some time now, that I was slightly rude to Bro. Dale Hudson in the thread concerning Fire Engine baptistries and all that. At the very least, I am wrong for attempting to converse with him on the level of equality. He and I are not equals. He is my elder brother in the faith (whereas I am merely a student) and deserves the appropriate respect. I still disagree with his positions on effective ministry, however. But my postings there (on that thread) reveal to me that I can be too blunt in my communication at the very least. And I have no way of getting in contact with him, so I want to make a public apology here. And how that relates to the current subject matter is this: I will try my best to agree or disagree respectfully. I am human, however, and it is difficult at times to refrain from getting "worked up" or excited over certain subject matter.

Aaron L. Turner said...

Volfan007

I am sorry that you have met some very mean spirited five point calvinists.

But I must say that I some of the most gracious men that I have ever met, have been 5 point calvinists.

These men are not tearing up churches, but are preaching the word, and edifying the saints by doing so.

I have also met some very kind and gracious men who would not consider themselves Calvinists.

I have also met some very ungracious men in both camps, and have been very ungracious myself. I do not believe that one's theology, neccessarily predisposes him to arrogance, as much as his indwelling sin.

It seems that there is a tendancy to blame every shortcoming of a five point calvinist on his theology. Any problems in his church are because of his theology. If he has any family problems it is that "damndable calvinism" If he has problems with pride, it is because he is a calvinist.

Volfan007 may I say that all men, whether they are 0 Point calvinists, or 15 point calvinists, have indwelling sin, and because of that will from time to time be arrogant, condescending, and unneccesarily divisive.

I do not know James White, but having listened to him interact with theological opponents, I have been impressed with the grace with which he handles himself, as well as the precision, with which he handles the issues.

I do know Tom Ascol, and if you were to ask my wife and children who their father/husband believes is the one of the most gracious men on the planet, his name would no doubt be one of the first to be uttered by them.

The problem is that we cannot seem to seperate honest disagreement, and calling into account, from attack, and unkindness. It seems that many times correction is seen as being ungracious, unkind, and attacking.

When men make statements as Dr. Caner, has made, they need to be called into account about them. I am not judging his character, or his motives, but a man is judged by his words, and when he speaks, or writes, publicly or privately, he needs to be prepared to be challenged.

To make such a challenge, should not be seen as trying to make everyone a five point calvinist, or attacking one with a venemous furry.

I must confess that when I watched Ergun Caner preach his sermon, my heart ached for someone to challenge many of his statements.

My prayer is that if this debate does indeed take place, that it will be done is such a fair, and balanced way, that all sides will be able to clearly state their positions by endevouring to exegete the pertinant passages of Scripture.

brad reynolds said...

Tom Buck
There is a difference in becoming aware of problems within in a church via e-mail and sharing it with church for disciplinary reasons and sharing private conflicts between brothers with the world.

If you see no Biblical principle to refrain from the later then you and I will not conflict.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Tom
I do not want to bring my colleagues in on this, but they have read the e-mails now and say it should not have been posted.

This has been way to long and I have detracted you from far more important task, my apologies.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Volfan07
You are right, the Caners are great men, I know them personally, but they are men, they do err. However, I have done much worse than anything they have been accused of doing here (with some exceptions to the obvious hyperbole by some toward the Caners (this statement is not necessarily implicative of anyone here)).

I too have met some mean-spirited Calvinists who spend more time debating Calvinism then leading people to Christ and who also seem to get more excited about a Calvinist convert than a Christian convert. But I've also met some very gentle sweet-spirited ones who share Christ with others consistently. It is always good to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise. I feel many on this Blog fall into the latter category (some who have had some mean-spirited comments may have just had a bad day or may not communicate their thoughts as accurately as they wish).
BR

Byroniac said...

Dr. Reynolds:

I must respectfully continue to disagree with your position on the postings of the emails. Perhaps I am wrong. But I have been very impressed with the way you have conducted yourself here and with your gracious spirit. Drs. Caner are very fortunate to have you as a friend.

Elias said...

What's done is done.

Even though some brothers are not able to see how important it was for Dr. White to post the emails, their reasons for disagreeing should be respected as they in return should respect our reasons for disagreeing.

I think was happened on this blog was good and edifying to the body. I hope one day these four men are able to come to an agreement about the debate. My prayer will be that everyone involved in putting this thing together will be able to move past the events of the past and move towards the future so that hurt feelings do not turn into resentment and resentment into anger. May God be glorified in whatever that takes place from here on out!

Just my two cents.

Elias said...

Dr. Reynolds, you made a comment and asked a question to Tom Buck. Can I ask you a question (for clarification) on your comment?

You said:
"There is a difference in becoming aware of problems within in a church via e-mail and sharing it with church for disciplinary reasons and sharing private conflicts between brothers with the world."

Just for clarification, when you say "there is a difference" between bringing "problem" emails (and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming your refering to something sinful that took place in those emails) before the church, are you also saying you agree with doing that since it is possible to notice a "difference" but agree with neither?

If you do agree with the former, meaning you agree that it is okay to bring emails before the church for "disciplinary reasons," my question to you is; what if the person who sinned via email does not want his sin brought before the church? If that person were to come to you and say "The church has no right to know what I said in private" what would you say to that person?

Thank you.



are you saying you those "problems" within the church which you say

Elias said...

oops. sorry about that. Tom, if you'd like, you can remove that last sentence...

Byroniac said...

Sigh. I should have known better than to ask those questions, as I have no idea whether they will be answered or not. That old saying, "curiosity killed the cat" seems to apply here.

Originally I did not agree with the posting of the emails either. However, I have found the explanations given by Dr. Ascol and Dr. White and Mr. Gene Bridges to be more than satisfactory (at least to me). Not everyone agrees, obviously. But I suppose at this point the horse is past being beat to death. I think we're well past the embalming and funeral stages now, and into the forty days of mourning. :-)

I want to say that I like the Drs. Caner (and I mean that genuinely). My first exposure to them was listening to them on the John Ankerberg show concerning Islam and their conversion testimonies (I was listening on the way to class, so I did not hear the whole show). From what I heard, it was an excellent program. I believe God has already greatly used these men, and I pray that He will do so (and even more so) in the future.

Having said that, there is no possibility of fellowship (even on a level of Christian brotherhood) as long as Drs. Caner continue to hold their mistaken belief that Calvinism is heresy (effectively branding people like me and all those like me as heretics, apostate to the true church of God). Hyper-calvinism is, however, and must be distinguished as such. I am sincerely hoping and praying that the Drs. Caner will be corrected in their mistaken beliefs on this matter, and will be able to engage in fellowship with all Christians, and not just those that fall under traditional SBC approval. ;) (sorry, I couldn't resist).

That is why this debate is very important, at least to me. If it is handled correctly, and with the proper Christian spirit, I believe that many will be enlightened, and will see Reformed Theology for the blessing it truly is, and not the threat and danger it is often accused of being. Of course, this is my own opinion, and I willingly claim it. It is not because I want Drs. Caners to "lose," but because I genuinely feel that they are likeable and very intelligent men who will do great things for the body of Christ I hope, and that they (in my opinion) need correction on this issue. So, going into this, I admit I am not neutral, and I would not be classified as "open-minded" by the opposing side. Still, I wish the best for all in the debate, that Christ will be glorified, and that the truth will be made known, and that correction and enlightenment will take place for all sides if needed (perhaps I need correction too in some areas, so I plan to listen to the debate).

I probably have not said anything of importance, but I wanted to "get that off my chest" as it were.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Byroniac said...

Oh, I need to request clarification. Is it Dr. Gene Bridges?

fred said...

This horse is on its last leg, but before he goes down:)

Dr. Reynolds,
It might be that I believe that God is sovereign which leads me to this conclusion, but aren't you worrying a little too much what the world thinks?

You stated that the e-mails should not have been posted for the world to see. I suppose, by those remarks, that you are concerned that this will have some sort of adverse affect on them, possibly causing some to reject the living God. (If I've read your concern properly that is?)

Dr, Reynolds, I am sure that Dr. Ascol and Dr. White, though loved by many here, do not get much play in the world. And so, you should be relieved of any fears, for the world cares very little if at all about what is discussed among brothers on this, or Dr. White's blog. No offense intended Dr's

I believe that charity should be extended by you on this point because it was not Dr. White's intent to "air dirty laundry" to the world, but to Christian brothers on a Christian blog.

Finally, we can disagree,(we may not) about the affect this exchange may have on the "lost". My view is that God will not let the sins of His children, keep His elect from coming into the Kingdom. Nor will he allow the sins of His children be an excuse for those who willfully reject His grace. No, the best thing that can come out of this, as I had alluded to very early on, is that Dr's. Caner and others receive the correction needed, and the forgiveness of others who they have injured. Your brother by His grace!

Mopheos said...

Fellow Bloggers,

One of the most salient points in all that has been written in this thread thus far is this: Dr. Caner has lost the right to privacy because he has publicly made accusations and willfully misrepresented both other Christian brethren and the Word of God itself. This email correspondence which is now public record is a piece of a larger mosaic which Dr. Caner has been painting publicly for some time, much of it well before the email exchange began between the debaters.

Dr. Caner should have been taken to task by the leadership of the institution over which he presides for willfully standing in a national pulpit and maligning not only countless members of God's household who have, down through history, embraced the same grace and mercy to which he also claims an interest, but also for willfully (surely it cannot be ignorance from a seminary president, can it?) contradicting the very words of Scripture in Romans 9:10-12...from the pulpit!!

The substance of these emails does not represent a new development - they are merely one example out of many which reveal the lengths to which Dr. Caner will go to publish his hatred of, and opposition to, calvinism (as he defines it) - whether published in a college classroom or a national and international pulpit platform.

When there is ought against brothers in the body of Christ, the body of Christ mediates and resolves - at the pleasure and command of the Head - the issue at hand. When the will/and or ability of those in an immediate position to effect righteousness, truthfulness and charity fails, the circles of accountability simply expand until, for example, what is whispered in an email is finally shouted from a housetop.

I shudder to think of what is in store for the present church and the one to rise in the near future when a sermon such as was recently preached by Dr. Caner at TRBC is received with any measure of approbation, either from those who sat in the congregation, or the potential millions watching by TV. Can we be that ignorant of, or that cavalier with, the sacred text that amen's and applause are the hearty reply - from God's own people! - to such ear-tickling? God forbid!

No, the time for privacy is long past. May God shine his searching light on this whole affair, humble His own, and be pleased to vindicate His own Name and the power of His word among both those within and without His household. James, Tom and Drs. Caner, I hope and pray this debate will be much more light than heat.

SDG,
Timotheos Patterson

Elias said...

Dr. Reynolds, you made a comment and asked a question to Tom Buck. Can I ask you a question (for clarification) on your comment?

You said:
"There is a difference in becoming aware of problems within in a church via e-mail and sharing it with church for disciplinary reasons and sharing private conflicts between brothers with the world."

Just for clarification, when you say "there is a difference" between bringing "problem" emails (and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming your refering to something sinful that took place in those emails) before the church, are you also saying you agree in doing so since it is possible to notice a "difference" but agree with neither?

If you do agree with the former, meaning you agree that it is okay to bring emails before the church for "disciplinary reasons," my question to you is; what if the person who sinned via email does not want his sin brought before the church? If that person were to come to you and say "The church has no right to know what I said in private" what would you say to that person?

Thank you.

peter lumpkins said...

All,

I realized this thread is virtually over. However, I had just a few moments to annie up a bit of fantasy fiction perhaps (or perhaps not) applicable here...

Once upon a time there were two young men who lived in entirely different parts of the planet. Being born about the same year, as time passed on, both received a special new birth from Heaven with both embracing the Bible’s Christ with sheer delight! And were they excited! In fact, neither could get enough of Him, His teachings or His Church.

Nor did this excitement about The Bible’s Christ fail to take notice of the Church’s Leaders. Each man’s Church loved him, nurtured him and supported him. And, furthermore, as each man internally sensed that The Bible’s God was calling him to a specific function to the Bible’s Church, each man’s Church externally validated that inner call by visibly commissioning him to Church Leadership.


Of course, this leadership did not come without its due toil. Each man dedicated himself to a lifetime of study, scholarship and teaching. No mountains were too high to climb or valleys too wide to cross. The Bible’s Christ was much more significant than any obstacles he faced. Each spent much time preparing himself for what The Bible’s God had called him to do.

Time passed on; but though most of the truths each learned were the same, there were some differences that began to forge. Indeed the differences became more and more pronounced. So much so, that, even though the two had never met, they began to speak to each other about the differences. Both men felt a little awkward as they spoke to each other for they really had never had much communication between them. And, even though so much similarity existed in the views each had independently forged about the Bible’s God, their only point of communication was their differences.

So, they kept trying to build a relationship between themselves based on the only thing they knew: their differences. A series of conversations took place but they didn’t go so well. All they could seem to talk about were all they knew about each other: their differences. Emotions increased and finally any hope of meaningful relationship between the two young men rapidly slipped away. All that was left for them would be a public display of their differences and allow others to decide who they thought to be correct.

As a result, each of them went to his Church Leaders and spoke openly of the matter to the assembled wise men. As they listened, some began to note their concern that such an open display of such difference would not assist the Bible’s Kingdom in advancement. One wise man spoke “Should not brother be for brother and not against brother? What possible help will this display of difference bring to honor The Bible’s Christ as He prays ‘that they may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me’?”

Other Church Leaders joined with many questions. One wise leader said: “My dear son. So far you have traveled with us. Your abilities The Bible’s God bestows through grace is beyond all we have seen for many, many years. I have watched you grow and mature. No one could ever question your knowledge or your passion to The Bible’s Christ. But I must ask you, my dear soul: Are there not enough unbelievers to whom you may turn to cast down their arguments, pillage their arsenal and ravage their farms where they grow produce to destroy The Bible’s Truth? Is there not? I beg you, tell me plain. Why must you plow The Kingdom’s Field?

One Church Leader brought up a near universally known engagement between Whitehall and Williams—two of the Church’s greatest saints, each of which, the two young men respectively claimed as his greatest example. “Do you not recall”, the Wise leader asked the young man,” how Whitehall thrice begged Williams not to make the differences between them known and how much hurt it could cause the Bible’s Church?”

And, even though each man was respectful to listen to all the questions the Church Leaders posed, in the end both men insisted they air the differences publicly. They insisted on open debate.

After the Church Leaders of each man had met in closed session, they came back to them and conceded the debate. They said: “Thus you have requested and thus we agree. Let the debate take place as you have sought. But, know our dear son, we must also place what we believe must be requisite for the debate to happen. Do you so submit?”

With that, each young man felt glee within. Now finally the truth would be known! The differences would prevail! And, each cared little what the requisite would be for both were willing to submit to torture…to persecution…even to death for the differences to prevail

So, upon agreeing to submit, the Church Leaders gave the debate requisite to each of the young men:

“We believe that it would be best not to openly debate your brother about whatever differences you have. But we also agree to allow you such freedom and bless you as you go. In turn, you have agreed to submit to our requisite which we state to you now: Since you are openly debating your brother, we require you--based upon The Bible’s clear call to love your brother, make peace with your brother and live in true brotherly fellowship and keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace—to make amends with him, putting aside all ill-wills against him…counting him worthy of the calling with which he is called and counting him better than yourself. We require you to, before any open engagement takes place, make sure you stand right as brothers with one another so that the debate is seen as between friends for whom The Bible’s Christ died and not enemies of The Bible’s God. It will be then and only then that we bless you in your desire to debate your brother.”

Upon hearing that, both young men walked away from his meeting contemplating in his heart what he would do...

Byroniac said...

Peterfrank:

Sir, that is an interesting parable. And I'm sure it has a kernel of truth in it. However, doctrine does matter. Galatians 1:6-7 speaks of "another gospel" which is not a gospel at all, that was a "difference" between Paul and the Judaizers. And also, Paul met with Peter and "withstood him to the face" (Galatians 2:11). Now, before someone says, that your parable does not apply to this situation, my question is, how do we know? How do we determine the significance of "differences" as pertaining to fellowship and orthodoxy? This is clearly a doctrinal determination. However, it is certainly possible to have gun-barrel straight theology and still suffer from spirituality cold and dead as a corpse. The only solution I know of is to saturate ourselves with Scripture and prayer for the Spirit's guidance.

volfan007 said...

first of all, i have never heard of baptistfire.com. thus, i am not a member. secondly, i would like to say that calvinism and arminianism are young men's religions. dont sell God short. thirdly, please dont try to convert me to calvinism. i have already dealt with this subject extensively. i dont believe in your system, nor do i beleive in the arminians system.

volfan007 said...

peter frank,

thats just like a calvinist. ask them a simple question, and they will write a book. i bet you will write a book to answer this post. ha ha

Byroniac said...

volfan007:

first of all, i have never heard of baptistfire.com.

Consider yourself blessed.

thus, i am not a member. secondly, i would like to say that calvinism and arminianism are young men's religions.

What do you mean by "young men's religions?" That doesn't make sense to me, sir. From what I am reading, I see very mature theologians continue to debate these issues extensively. Besides that, your statement is logically flawed. Does Universalism count as a mark of spiritual maturity, then? Some would argue that's the only option left. And even if it isn't, the only way to know what good and correct Baptist theology is by the study of scripture and research into the work of theologians in the past. Such study produces many opinions in its students, including but not limited to the Arminian and Calvinist systems.

dont sell God short.

No, sir, I don't, at least, not intentionally. And I hope no one else does, either.

thirdly, please dont try to convert me to calvinism.

Who is trying to convert you to Calvinism? Have I? Are you requesting that I not say anything at all?

i have already dealt with this subject extensively.

I have no idea. But sir, in your very first post, you either confused us as hypercalvinist, or outright accused us as being such. And I say that respectfully.

i dont believe in your system, nor do i beleive in the arminians system.

Sir, with all due respect, according to the definition of the terms, you must then be a Universalist?

Sir, so far, I've been accused of being hypercalvinist, immature, and ignorant, all by one person, which is yourself. I do confess much ignorance of these issues, sir. I am trying to learn, myself. But I had to ask such pointed questions, because I was curious, and perhaps my curiosity was ill-advised.

Byroniac said...

volfan007:

I must say, you have been for the most part disrespectful and unfriendly in your posts here. What are you trying to accomplish?

peter lumpkins said...

volfan007:

Greetings, my Brother. Let me relieve you quickly: no books. Promise. Well, maybe just a little, bidy one...:-)

I have read your comments with interest and do understand your frustration in sometimes getting lots of words with little substance. I too have given much and taken much in that area.

In addition, I too fail to sometimes appreciate fully the "I am calvinist"/"he is non-calvinist" labeling system. It would be good if we could go back to NT terminology about say, sheep vs. goat, lost vs. found, believer vs. unbeliever, no-condemnation vs. condemned already, in Christ vs. having no hope, etc, etc. Yet, even if we did, we would still be stuck with defining exactly what characterizes this one vs. that one, do you not agree? So, unfortunately, we are probably going to be stuck with defining the terms no matter if they come directly from Scripture or, like "Trinity", are used as collective terms that summarize nicely our positions we hold.

One thing I have learned in my few theological engagements with others, volfan007, is this (and I trust I am not presumptuous in offering it): I have found I get a heck of a lot further down the path of understanding one another if I avoid, at all costs, guerrilla warfare tactics. In military, the guerrilla may be defined as "member of an irregular... unit operating in small bands in occupied territory to harass and undermine the enemy, as by surprise raids." Now, while those tactics work in military strategies quite well sometimes, they virtually always fail in God's Kingdom in promoting better theological understanding, compassion and brotherly kindness when disagreeing with each other and assisting us in humbly and prayerfully bowing before our Savior God together.

I hope you have a great evening. May grace abound in your ministry. With that, I am...

Peter

Sam Hughey said...

volfan007 stated,

first of all, i have never heard of baptistfire.com. thus, i am not a member. secondly, i would like to say that calvinism and arminianism are young men's religions. dont sell God short. thirdly, please dont try to convert me to calvinism. i have already dealt with this subject extensively. i dont believe in your system, nor do i beleive in the arminians system.

First of all, the comment about BaptistFire.com was made because of the uncanny similarity between your statements and theirs.

Secondly, Calvinism and Arminianism are most definately NOT young men's religions and if you've met a lot of them, as you stated, you would know Calvinism (actually neither) is not limited to young men.

Thirdly, I would be interested in knowing your reasoning why you think Calvinism sells God short when it is the anti-Calvinist (such as yourself) who dictates to God who He can save and who He cannot while the Calvinist merely supports the Biblical view of God's absolute sovereignty without adding to a text (or deleting from it) to make one's Soteriology work.

Fourthly, if you truly have dealt with Calvinism extensively, upon what premise did you begin your extensive investigation?

Sam Hughey

Byroniac said...

Peter Frank:

I see that I have misunderstood your parable. I believe you clarified it for me in the last post you wrote, which I think was excellent. Thank you for what you said.

Volfan007:

I don't mean to be rude. And perhaps I was taking some of your comments personally. But the attitude expressed in your last post does not indicate any sort of willingness or openness for discussion, in my perception, at least. Thank you at least for answering my question.

North Georgia Pastor said...

UNBELIEVABLE SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE!!!


Dear Brother Tom,

As you know I have been out of pocket for a few days. On my most recent trip to Dallas, I called Dr. Emir Caner and requested a meeting at Starbucks. Dr. Caner not only met me at Starbucks, but he and his family took me to dinner at Charleston’s in Fort Worth. Both Dr. Caner and his family were so friendly and fun to be around that I nearly forget to ask him my piercing questions. However, I did speak with him frankly on two different days at two different Starbucks.

I found Dr. Emir Caner to be a straightforward man of high intellect and quick wit. His thought processes are well developed and logical. His understanding of and commitment to God’s Word is amazing. And yet, even though I find him superior (certainly to myself) and most theologians, apologists, and academicians, I find Dr. Caner to be one of the most humble men I have ever met. He is truly a man of God.

I left Dallas/Fort Worth with a high respect and admiration for this man and his family.

With that said, I have a couple of questions:

1. Is it possible that the severe words used on this website to describe the Caners are wrong?
2. Is it possible that there is jealously among us over how God is using the Caners?

3. Are we speaking evil of God’s anointed?


And to Dr. James White, you might do well to leave well enough alone. Perhaps, you would not fair so well in a debate against the Caner boys. After all, if the lesser Caner is this sharp, I can only image how his older brother “the Pitbull” must be!

If the debate never takes place, at least you can claim a hollow victory. If it does take place, I want to be there!

NorthGeorgiaPastor

ServinginRussia said...

NGP - I don't consider myself a "drive by" blogger (clever descriptive, by the way). I really only enjoy reading comments with a very seldom comment mixed in. I'm just a missionary and I can't keep up with these folks here. I have learned much.

Having said that, I'll answer the questions since I think you and I are the only ones left here anyway. If I am out of turn here, please forgive me.

We are all sure the Caners are a sweet family. No doubt he is smart and witty. It also sounds like he should buy stock in Starbucks. (Are they public? I don't drink coffee. Mountain Dew is my downfall. Can you beleive they have Mountain Dew in Russia!!!)

I think his answers would be as follows:

1. No
2. No
3. No

Also, as we used to say in Nacogdoches Texas, I'm sure Dr. White is "skeerd". We will probably never hear from him again. After all, I wouldn't want to debate against an intelluctual /theologian who is on record as saying God hated Esau because of what he did. I wouldn't even want to debate the brother of someone who said this. I would be afraid he was sandbagging and he was just setting me up for the kill.

Run James Run!!!

volfan007 said...

the statement i made about calvinism and arminianism being young men's religions means that they are for the spiritually immature. most extreme thoughts are for the immature. and, i am not talking about age here. i am talking about spiritual maturity. if i have come across offensive and harsh, i apologize. sometimes i do that, and i dont mean to. but, i really take exception to any tangent of theology that persuades people to go off the deep end and tear up churches. it upsets me. and, i have known of many churches that have been hurt and even split over some 5 pointer coming into the church and trying to convert the church to five pointism...notice that i did not say hyper calvinism. and yes, i have read calvin, spurgeon, piper, and many others....many others. i have had friends at seminary who tried to convert me to calvinism. but, i just couldnt get by certain scriptures to believe calvinism. besides, i have trouble with any system that you have to learn outside of the bible in order to know it. like, the charismatics teaching people how to speak in tongues. i am not a universalist. i am not an arminian. i am a biblicist. i am a christian. i believe in predestination and the sovereignty of God, and i believe in the freewill of man. please dont go into a diatribe about freewill...thanks. i believe both. and, as spurgeon used to say, where the sovereignty of God and the responsibility and choice of man come together is a mystery. only God knows. its like two sides of a mountain whose peak is in the clouds. both sides of the mountain are true. and, where the two sides come together is unknown to man. and, the arminians dont really know the answer, and the calvinist dont know either. i dont hate yall. i am not trying to fight yall. i am trying to help you all come out of the extreme and see the light. God bless yall. being a calvinist is better than being an arminian in my humble opinion.

ServinginRussia said...

I can't BELEIVE I misspelled beleive!!! Sorry.

Tom said...

North Georgia Pastor:

Thanks for your report of your dinner with Dr. Emir Caner. He sure seems like a gracious, godly and intelligent man. I have never had the opportunity to meet him, but I look forward to doing so.

Byroniac said...

volfan007:

That is the best post you have posted so far. Believe it or not, I can respect that. I do not agree with you, but I respect your beliefs, and we (meaning not just us, but everyone here) can begin with that. I have some friends who would probably have said exactly what you said, for the most part. We don't agree either, but we are still friends.

Jon Unyan said...

Good afternoon,

Volfan007,

So we're not going to get the name of that seminary out of you, eh? (I've asked twice). Could it be Liberty, I wonder? That aside, please re-read your comments on this posting and think about "spiritual maturity". thanks....

--Jon Unyan

Byroniac said...

Volfan007:

i am not a universalist. i am not an arminian. i am a biblicist. i am a christian.

Well, replace "universalist" with "calvinist" and you have the standard disclaimer I've heard several times when speaking with my fellow Baptist brothers. The term "biblicist" is not the most helpful of terms to use in this context. Assuming our mutual sincerity, we both can claim to be Biblicists, i.e., we both claim to believe and defend the Bible. And that is commendable. However, using the same Bible, we have come to different conclusions concerning what it teaches. The term "biblicist" is easily resolved if one of us is insincere (which we are accused of being by some, fortunately not most that I know of). It is almost as easily resolved if we assume the Bible is contradictory and not inerrant. It is not easily resolved at all if both of us hold to the inerrancy of the scriptures and the sincerity of our positions. Cerain things we claim are mutually exclusive, and therefore, at least one of us is wrong. In reality, there are no Biblicists on the face of the Earth, because no one fully possesses all the wisdom and understanding needed to defend the entire Bible, unless you modify the term to allow for less than perfection. However, each Christian does understand and seeks to defend the Bible to the best of his or her knowledge, and in that sense, he or she is a Biblicist. But the term itself is not helpful in any sense of explanation, because it is more a statement of motives than that of correctness. And I don't want to fall into postmodern relativism here; I just want to say that humility is needed. Most of this precious book I cannot begin to fully understand. But I agree with you if you say that it is inerrant and that it should be believed and defended to the best of our wisdom and understanding granted us by the sovereign hand of God.

Sam Hughey said...

volfan007,

As byroniac stated, I also appreciate the change of tone in your latest comments. Likewise, I also disagree with almost everything you stated. Your remarks are vague, ambiguous and mostly generalized. Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm not attacking you or being like those mean Calvinists you've encountered. I'm just being honest. Simply stating Calvinism is for the spiritually immature doesn't explain anything but your lack of understanding of Calvinism. Your statements, i really take exception to any tangent of theology that persuades people to go off the deep end and tear up churches and i have known of many churches that have been hurt and even split over some 5 pointer coming into the church and trying to convert the church to five pointism...notice that i did not say hyper calvinism. and yes, i have read calvin, spurgeon, piper, and many others....many others are good examples. A spiritually mature Christian would not make these statements without adding provable examples and since you know of so many...many, one specific example shouldn't be so difficult to provide. I asked you about the premise of your 'extensive' investigation about Calvinism and your only answer is that you've read Calvin, Spurgeon, Piper and many others!!!

Your statement, i have trouble with any system that you have to learn outside of the bible in order to know it is another example of a statement a spiritually mature Christian doesn't make. Precisely 'what' does Calvinism require one to know 'outside the Bible' in order to know?

Just merely stating one believes in predestination and the sovereignty of God proves nothing. I have always believed these but have had contrary views in the past to what I now believe concerning these same doctrines. If I told you I believe in election what does that mean? Does it mean God elects those who choose to be saved or God elects those He chooses to be saved? Why do you believe fallen man has a spiritually 'free-will' to decide their own eternal salvation when the Bible states precisely the opposite? So, have you gone outside the Bible to learn something?

You can't help anyone to see the light of anything without actually showing what the light is volfan007. Vague and ambiguous responses do nothing but hide the light.

Sam Hughey

Byroniac said...

I want to state for the record that I do consider myself Reformed and I do believe in Calvinism as it is currently called (though I prefer the term "Sovereign Grace" or something similar, because I do not believe the system originated with Calvin or even Augustine). However, I for one, learned more of the "system" itself than I did the Scripture that serves as its foundation (which I am still in the process of learning, and which is far more important). At best, I am a weak Calvinist. I do not yet understand or know enough to call myself completely "Reformed." I think part of my problem is that I embraced the logic behind the system as it was presented to me faster than the Scripture which teaches it, which is really much more important.

James 1:19
So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;

I feel convicted by the verse above, so I will take a backseat here for these conversations and try to just listen. I will probably fail to restrain myself at times, though. ;)

brad reynolds said...

Just when I thought I was free…two more questions.

Fred says: Finally, we can disagree,(we may not) about the affect this exchange may have on the "lost". My view is that God will not let the sins of His children, keep His elect from coming into the Kingdom.

Fred,
Your faith in God is an inspiration to us all. Thank you my friend for reminding us of God’s Sovereignty. But, feuds among brothers made available to the public can have nothing but adverse effects on how they view Christianity.

Elias asks:
If you do agree with the former, meaning you agree that it is okay to bring emails before the church for "disciplinary reasons," my question to you is; what if the person who sinned via email does not want his sin brought before the church?

Elias,
We were speaking of private conversations made public for anyone in the viewing world to see. To apply the parameters of church discipline here is inappropriate. If you want me to give you my understanding of when and when not to apply church discipline to private matters you will be asking me to field another slew of questions, which I am disinclined to do.

Paul’s list of sins in 1 Corinthians wherein church discipline should be practiced is authoritative.
BR

Elias said...

Fair enough.

Mopheos said...

brad reynolds said...
Paul’s list of sins in 1 Corinthians wherein church discipline should be practiced is authoritative.

Dr. Reynolds, it seems in the New Testament that the process of Church discipline is carried out not so much on the basis of mere violation of any one of a particular list of sins, as much as on an unwillingness on the part of a believer to acknowledge and be corrected over any sin that could not be covered by love.

The public, widespread nature of Dr.Caner's misrepresentations, vilifications and - at least on one occasion - text manipulation in support of a falsehood, looks to fall in the latter category of unwillingness to hear, and that - more than abrogation of a particular list - seems to be the operative factor in Jesus' instructions to His disciples and hence to the church.

I'm not anxious to foster contention among brothers, but it seems to me that Dr. Caner is abusing a sacred trust at the very least, and he ought to be responsible, or be made responsible, for what he is publicly saying in and about God's household.

Timotheos

bristopoly said...

North Georgia Pastor (aka Dr. Ergun Caner). It's nice that you had a visit with your brother and he was hospitable to you by buying you dinner. My family usually buys me dinner too. :)

In all seriousness though, godliness and the evidence of the mind of Christ being dominant in a person is not judged by how they treat their friends, but by how they treat their enemies. I will be convinced of their maturity when they buy James and Tom dinner.

Secondly, whether one is truly being used by God in His work of salvation in the world is not judged by how nice someone is, but whether or not their theology is working toward the kingdom or against it. Once again, you will have to convince me of that one too in their case.

So I'm glad you had a nice visit, but your assessment that he is the second coming in term of his abilities and intellect (your comments are a bit overboard in their exaltation of a man), falls on deaf ears when the one evaluating him agrees with him already. There's a little too much bias there and not enough listening to the other side on your part. Maybe if you were not so enamoured with him, you would have seen his major errors in both theology and practice so as to love him and seek change in his life?

"He who rebukes a man will afterward find [more] favor Than he who flatters with the tongue." Prov 28:23

Elias said...

"North Georgia Pastor (aka Dr. Ergun Caner)."

This literally made me laugh out loud.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Instead of speaking with thick piousness and trying hard to sound well educated by books, writings and notions of man...I think I'll commend Dr. Caner for bringing the Bible with a fire that we have long lost. I love how the author of this blog wrote that the Caner's are like firemen racing to a dying fire with buckets of gasoline! HA! That is exactly what draws us to men that are not afraid to teach the simplicity of the Bible instead of acting like they have God figured out...oh, like Calvinists. BTW, why are you "Calvinists" instead of "Followers of Christ?" is it because you solely rely on the logic and conspiracy theories of man to find the hidden secrets of the bible? Are there truly secrets? shouldn't your theories be treated just like the DaVinci Code?

I pray that God will have mercy on your souls in the end when we stand before him and he says -- Why hahve you led so many astray? Was it THAT important to sound smart? Was it SO hard to just take the grace that I freely give, than to distort it with how it is possible for me to give it?

You have done the worst thing ever, you have made an idol of God with your own rules instead of what the Bible simply says.

Oh, do I have to learn latin to be a Calvinist too?

brad reynolds said...

Mopheos,

Thank you for your Christ-like spirit.

We have been down the road of the differences between this and a church addressing its members.

Please refer to the comments above (which are quickly becoming the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica).
BR

Jon Unyan said...

Dr. Ergun Caner,

If you would like to post a comment here, please simply identify yourself. "Ergun is my hero"? Come on now...
But seriously, these "drive-by" comments are getting juvenile. Could we have some serious interaction please? Just trying to get back in line.....thanks

--Jon Unyan

Andrew said...

ergunismyhero's profile says only this:
"Ok, so I am ready for the blasts to come from my post on the founder's blog. Bring it idiots! I am waiting to listen."

Brothers, this individual has already disclosed his motive for posting. It is not a good one. He is deliberately baiting other Christians to sin.

I submit to you that ergunismyhero's post does not deserve any response whatsoever. I see no good that can come of it.

Elias said...

Thank you for the tip, Andrew.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Jon Unyan said...

Dr. Ergun Caner,

If you would like to post a comment here, please simply identify yourself. "Ergun is my hero"? Come on now...
But seriously, these "drive-by" comments are getting juvenile. Could we have some serious interaction please? Just trying to get back in line.....thanks

--Jon Unyan

I just get a kick out of getting your blood boiling. I find it funny that this entry over one preacher in Lynchburg has gotten SOOOOOO long and monotonous. As for asking me if I am Caner...give me a break...he doesn't give a rip that you are talking nasty about him because he hurt your feelings telling the truth. Its the students and the alumni of Liberty that are truly offended at how you deceive and mangle the scriptures and continue to eat away at our youth. If I can be a thorn in your pious flesh...so be it. I enjoy it. You are a modern day Pharisee. Your words are smooth and full of grace...but your message sends a horrible message to the unbelievers...that there is only a chance that they will go to heaven...no matter what they have professed in Christ - If not elect, well sorry bud, keep Satan company. You can hide behind your long words and latin phrases...bt all it comes down to is a talk fest. You are all probably sitting around drinking your Sherry and smoking your pipes thinking somehow you've solved world piece and salvation is a country club membership for thhe elect. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR BEING DECEIVED!

Byroniac said...

James 1:19-20 (WEB)
19 So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.

Jon Unyan said...

Whoah,

I quite agree with you Andrew...

--Jon Unyan

farmboy said...

My previous comment in this thread was about 225 comments ago, but I'm jumping in one last time.

Whether Arminian or Reformed in their understanding of the doctrine of salvation, biblically literate Christians are under no illusions that there will be peace (or is that "piece"?)in this world anytime before the second coming. Scripture tells us otherwise. Comments like those provided by "ergunismyhero" however leave me to wonder whether there can be peace in and unity toward a common cause in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Are there important differences between the Arminian and Reformed understandings of the doctrine of salvation? Yes! Is there much more about Christian doctrine that Arminian and Reformed Christians hold in common? Yes! Is this common ground sufficient for uniting to carry out the great commission? I believe - or want to believe - that the answer is "yes."

(Arminian and Reformed Christians can equally embrace the content of the BF&M 2000. While others may see this as a negative about the document, I see it as a positive.)

Cooperation within the SBC will be enhanced when the Arminian and Reformed positions are accurately and respectfully presented by those who hold both positions. To the extent that the upcoming debate contributes to accurate and respectful presentations and understandings of the Arminian and Reformed positions it will be helpful.

At least biblically literate Arminan and Reformed Christians care enough about their faith to have studied, thought-out positions on the doctrine of justification. However, my suspicion is that the vast majority of members of SBC churches don't have studied, thought-out positions on the doctrine of justification (or any other important doctrine for that matter). From where I stand, that's a bigger problem, a problem that serious, biblically literate Arminian and Reformed Christians can address together.

Note here that I am not making any evaluation of the salvation of biblically illiterate Christians. That's not my call. Still, that being said, the lack of biblical literacy among professing Christians reveals much about the importance of that profession. For example, what would it say to my wife about the genuineness and importance of my love for her if I have not invested the time, thought and effort to get to know her as well as I possibly can?

Elias said...

"A good hyper Calvinist will immediately go to Romans chapter 9, and if you have that text you can look it up yourself later, but you know that Romans nine teaches 'just as I have said Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated, what shall we say then is there no justice with God' (verse 14) 'is there? May there never be.' So, there the proof is they say, God loves some, God hates others and that’s the proof. Ladies and Gentlemen please hear me… Ask yourself this simple question, did God hate Esau from the foundation of the world? Did God hate Esau just 'cause he was Esau or did God hate Esau because of what Esau did?"

- Dr. Ergun Caner (April 9, 2005)


"As for asking me if I am Caner...give me a break...he doesn't give a rip that you are talking nasty about him because he hurt your feelings telling the truth. Its the students and the alumni of Liberty that are truly offended at how you deceive and mangle the scriptures and continue to eat away at our youth."

- The influenced: "ErgunIsMyHero" (May 22, 2006)


"And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, 'THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.' Just as it is written, 'JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.'"

- The Word of God




This is why this debate is so important.

Elias said...

Correction: Dr. Caner's quote was taken from the sermon he preached at Thomas Road Baptist Road on April 9th 2006 NOT 2005.

Sam Hughey said...

ErgunIsMyHero,

You stated, Its the students and the alumni of Liberty that are truly offended at how you deceive and mangle the scriptures and continue to eat away at our youth. If I can be a thorn in your pious flesh...so be it. I enjoy it.

I think you are a very smart person. In fact, I think you are so smart that if I asked you to produce just one single statement from one of us that clearly shows how we deceive and mangle the scriptures you could and would do that in a moment. However, I won't ask because we both know you are smart enough to avoid such a confrontation, which is why you haven't already produced the evidence to support your accusation.

I also think think you are so smart that if I asked you to show an actual (real) example of how we are eating away at our (your?) youth you would have no problem doing so. However, I won't ask becuase we both know you are smart enough to avoid actually proving what you state is true. Oh, by the way, if your youth are being taught truth and truth frees a person from deception and since your youth have all this 'free-will' taught at Liberty University, how can they be deceived? But, we know you are smart enough not to engage in such a question, that is, an honest, sincere and Biblical engagement.

You also stated, If I can be a thorn in your pious flesh...so be it. You give yourself far too much credit. Satan and demonic authority can be a thorn in our flesh and unless you are attempting to equate yourself with Satan then your comments only make you look foolish with your unGodly character. But then, just maybe you are not as smart as you think you are.

I'm curious, since you seem to be representing Liberty University, its students and Alumni, is there a reason no other Liberty University students or Alumni are here agreeing with you?

Sam Hughey

Scott said...

Brad,

Why did you not call Tom(Dr. Ascol)? Are you trying to disrespect him ? Actually I don't believe you were because that is his name. When I email Tom I never address him as Dr. Ascol . When I have introduced him to others there have been times I say Dr. Ascol and there are times I say Tom. So, I meant no disrespect to Dr. Patterson or Dr. Akin by calling them by their first names. Yes, I have manners !
When I read that I was being accused of showing disrespect to these men by not calling them Dr. I honestly " Laughed". This is the junk I saw at the mega churches that I served. We are all just " Plain Men"!

PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF I OFFENDED YOU WITH CALLING THESE MEN BY THEIR NAMES AND NOT PUTTING DR. IN FRONT OF THEM ! SERIOUS ! I EMAIL MAJORITY OF PEOPLE I KNOW BY THEIR FIRST NAME EXAMPLE DR. ROY HARGRAVE ( I USUALLY EMAIL HIM ROY OR PASTOR ROY) I HONESTLY DON'T THINK ABOUT IT A WHOLE LOT.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Dearest Sam Hughey,

I have worked in various youth groups over the years and there has always been one issue that has torn our groups apart...Calvinism. I also travelled on ministry teams with guys who would ultimately end up getting us a stern talking to by our leaders because they ended up confusing a youth group somewhere in thhe continental US and the Youth pastor and parents would have to fix the mess after we left.

I am tired of sitting around and not saying anything. When you confront one (Calvinist)...it always turns into a slugfest over scripture...which, they usually can out do you because they are ready to give a twisted answer to something that was meant to be so simple. God's love is a FREE thing...anything added to that, whether it be works or the fact that you have to explain exactly how God's grace works...well, is heresy.

I am just tired of hearing all of them. I have some friends who have like a million kids (almost sounds like being a mormon) and each one recites these "facts" about God that are triggered by their parents question....it's like brainwashing the kids.

My kids...I live my life in front of them daily and pray with them daily and talk about God with them daily so that they will ask the right questions, so that they will see that their daddy loves them, so that they can draw their own conclusions of God! I help them along in their journey. I don't give them the answers to be recited when necessary.

Tell me, whose faith will be real in the end? The one's who have come to God out of their own realization that they can no longer live their life without him, or the the one who is constantly afraid that they could not be elect...and yet have all the answers?

I am very disappointed, too, that this very argument does split churches.

I know of a church in my home town that was thriving! Suddenly there was a split over this issue. Soon enough, within the year, the parking lot only held a few cars. So, all of a sudden I start hearing of these "house churches" where a few of my old college buddies are pastors of. If that doesn't sound like an underground movement...I don't know what does.

Why do we need a movement? Why isn't our focus revival? Can you be a Calvinist and believe in revival? I am not sure that you can. Unless you only believe that revival is a staged process for God to get the "elect" to realize that they need to "get on board."

I totally believe that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. The bible is very clear that God sent his Son to die for ALL men, not just the ones that he decided were going to heaven. The scriptures are also very clear in the ORDER of how grace works so that we wouldn't get caught in the stupidity of Calvinism. Romans 8 says -- " 28And we know that [c]God causes (BG)all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are (BH)called according to His purpose.

29For those whom He (BI) foreknew, He also (BJ)predestined to become (BK)conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the (BL)firstborn among many brethren;

30and these whom He (BM)predestined, He also (BN)called; and these whom He called, He also (BO)justified; and these whom He justified, He also (BP)glorified."

Did you hear that -- there's an order! God in his infinite knowledge of past and future, because he lives outside of the realm of time, already knew that you and I were going to be idiot sinners who would eventually find Him! So after KNOWING, he then said, ok you are predestined...meaning, Hey I knew that you were going to do this before time even started, so you will be destined to be saved! So then he calls us and then justifies us! Now, how hard was that? How could you screw up theology as easy as that?

As for being an alum of Liberty, I don't speak for all of us. There are those there who are still trying to convert the SBCers to the saving knowledge that we really don't have a free will.

So, yes, I am a little bitter...but it has been building for years. And I am tired of cleaning up the mess when the Calvinists come thru. It is almost like a season of "Invasion", but there is a WHOLE lot more diologue than action.

Oh, and no...I am not very smart...IF YOU COULD ONLY HAVE SEEN MY GRADES IN COLLEGE! But, I do understand the love of God and His desire that ALL men would know him and know that special love.

And so, I finish with the only latin I know, so as not to be totally written off of the Founders.org blog:

Imago Dei,
ErgunIsStillMyHero

Curt Treece said...

Brad requests consistency from our brothers White and Ascol by having them post other personal emails. I will get the ball rolling by posting the most recent email from my wife in its entirety:

Hey Honey,

Are you coming home for lunch?

-KT

Scott said...

Sam,

The statements from Ergunismyhero is real sad. I'm not making fun of him at all but this is another reason why we need to see our whole convention reformed. When one does not understand the attributes of God and what the scriptures say about man then anything goes.When I read his post my heart really broke !
When we hear of professors and presidents of the SBC signing the Abstract of Principles but don't live out what they sign ( Example Brad Reynolds supporting the Caners over White and Ascol, Dr. Patterson openly blasting the doctrine of Election which I have on tape that goes against what he signed at Southeastern, the avg SBC member does not know what Southern Baptist believe, high rate of highschool seniors leaving the church after graduation, high divorce rate in the SBC, majority of our churches don't have a regenerate church membership, most churches don't practice church discipline, ............. and most Southern Baptist don't share the gospel and this is why my heart breaks for ergunismyhero because he is another product of the SBC.
We should want our denomination to embrace the 1689 and have a Calvinist President. Have we not seen enough damage where the doctrines of grace have not been taught. It does effect how we view God, Man, Church, Family, Evangelism, and how to raise our children!

DR. CANER I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR STANDING AGAINST WHAT YOU TEACH. ALSO, I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE IN SAYING THAT SBC MEN THAT HOLD TO YOUR BELIEFS IN MANY AREAS HAVE CAUSED GREAT DAMAGE TO OUR YOUTH GROUPS, HOMES, EVANGELISM, AND MANY OTHER THINGS. MYSELF AND MANY OTHERS WILL NO LONGER JUST SIT BACK AND WATCH THE SBC DIE AND LET YOU AND OTHERS CREATE A LOW VIEW OF GOD AND A HIGH VIEW OF MAN !


IF OTHER CALVINISTS WANT TO RUN AROUND WITH YOU AND SUPPORT SBC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES THAT DON'T HOLD TO WHAT SOUTHERN BAPTIST AT ONE TIME UPHELD THEN LET THEM DO SO. WE NEED SOME MEN TO STAND !

Andrew said...

Brothers, because I love you I must warn you…

This man, by his own admission, has posted on this blog for the express purpose of causing the Calvinist readers of this blog to commit SIN. He does not come here to seek truth or any godly pursuit. He has earnestly expressed his strong desire to stir up anger and vengeance in the hearts of believers. In this regard, the enemy of men’s’ souls and ErgunIsMyHero share a common end: they both work hard to see the children of God stumble. They both tempt and slander Christians. They both admit to rejoicing at the thought of causing Christians to sin.

Please be reminded of what the Scripture says concerning such a person.

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." Titus 3:10-11

I ask all of you – shall we obey the command given here?? “Have nothing more to do with him”

Brothers, I feel very strongly that this man should be avoided and completely ignored. Please continue posting in this thread on other topics (or let them die) as if his blogger account does not exist. There is nothing good that can com from a dialogue with a man who only wants to see you fall.

If am wrong about what Scripture says about such people then please say so. I am ready to be corrected.

Andrew said...

Also - if Proverbs 26:4 does not apply to ErgunIsMyHero, then I confess that I do not have the foggiest idea what that verse means.

To anyone who believes that Prov 26:4 does not apply to these posts: please provide me an example of where this verse could ever be applied. It would certainly abound to my edification.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Dear Mr. Mega Church,

If I have to hear you say "mega church" one more time...

volfan007 said...

well, i dont like giving personal info on the net, but i will tell you that i graduated from mid america baptist seminary in memphis, tn. i sat under dr. tom nettles for the history of christianity, or should i say "the history of who was a calvinist and who wasnt, and those that werent five pointers were dirty dogs" class.
also, the bible does not teach the fatalistic theology of calvinists. and, i can be a biblicist. the very fact that you say that i cant be just shows how deep into the extreme tangent you are. i beleive the bible. i accept the teachings of the inerrant word of God. calvin was not God. neither was augustine. neither was spurgeon. you have to learn calvinism by the way. you dont get that just by reading the bible. it's a taught system. just as tongue speaking is taught by the charismatics.
i have read calvin, spurgeon, luther, augustine, nettles, sproul, piper, and many, many others. what else do you want? i have studied calvinism extensively and i find it lacking. i also find arminianism very lacking. the answer is higher up. i just pray that the Lord will help you all that are caught up into this extreme theology to get out of it and will lead you higher. as i said, if someone is going to settle for less, i had rather yall be calvinist than arminian, if you will continue to witness and do missions. and, not go into churches trying to convert the church to calvinism and causing church splits. for example, rossville baptist, germantown baptist, bartlett baptist, etc. in memphis area.
God bless you fellas. i love ya.

Calvinism & Arminianism said...

Volfan007 and ErgunIsStillMyHero, how about going over to calvinismandarminianism.blogspot.com and comment on my encounter with Pastor Chuck Smith at my school and leave these guys alone.

Byroniac said...

Andrew:

I have really appreciated your comments, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Sam Hughey said...

All,

I apologize for the lengthiness of this comment but I felt the attention was needed so please forgive me Tom (and all else) for taking up so much space. I promise to refrain from this in the future.


ErgunIsMyHero,

Thank you for your response and for the more (somewhat) polite attitude. It does make communication more profitable. Please understand something from the outset that I am not making a personal attack on you when I question your comments. I do so only because the comment is so vague and/or ambiguous that it really doesn't explain anything and could be taken in a way you did not intend. Clarity in these matters is extremely important and I always tell people to define your terms to avoid misunderstandings. I think much of what occurs between the Calvinist and the anti-Calvinist is that there is almost always a failure to properly define what one intends to be understood, thereby leading to misunderstandings and eventually misrepresentations of one's beliefs, such as what you and the Caners (among many others) do.

Your statement about Calvinism tearing groups apart doesn't really tell me anything specifically. What specifically tore apart the groups? Was it that someone could not defend their belief against what a Calvinist was stating or that 'some' were against what a Calvinist was teaching in spite of what the Bible states? Your statements are so vague that they could be seen as though they are being created with the deliberate intent to make the Calvinist look guilty of doing something evil and contrary to Scripture when no fact of such guilt has been presented. Surely YOU would not want to be wrongfully judged in such a manner so why wrongfully represent Calvinism in a bad light based merely on a vague and ambiguous example?

A slugfest over scripture? Well, if that means defending what Scripture states then that is a command from God to do so. Perhaps (both sides) sometimes go too far and even present their case in a less than God-honoring way but that hardly makes defending Scripture unnecessary. In fact, in the process of defending Scripture, one often does become confused when they begin to see things in the light of Scripture as opposed to what they have 'traditionally' been taught. Accusing a Calvinist of giving a 'twisted' answer is a false accusation if you cannot prove it is twisted. You don't even bother to present an example and act as though we are supposed to accept anything you state as absolute fact. So far, all you've presented are accusations and no evidence of anything. I can do the same thing. Does that make me right and you wrong? I agree God's love is a FREE thing but how does that prove the Calvinist is wrong? Calvinism clearly teaches God's FREE love and God's FREE grace. Do you not know this?

Can you explain what you mean by these facts about God that are triggered by their parents question? I think you are referring to Catechisms and if so how could you possibly have a problem with teaching children about God! You stated Calvinists tell the children what the answers are but you allow your children to draw their 'own' conclusions to show them how much their Daddy loves them. Do you think it wise to allow children to draw their 'own' conclusions about God when they could be drawing the wrong conclusion? Is that how a Daddy shows his love for his children? If this is the correct way to learn about God, why do you bother to go to church when you can draw your own conclusions about God? Does not God already give us the answers He wants us to know about Himself and ourselves which are found in Scripture?

Church splits are not always a bad thing and the example you've presented is designed to paint Calvinism in the light YOU want it to be seen. Why not allow people to 'draw their own conclusions' and stop attempting to interfere with their 'free-will' so they make their own decisions? Get rid of the double-standard!

Your statement, Tell me, whose faith will be real in the end? The one's who have come to God out of their own realization that they can no longer live their life without him, or the the one who is constantly afraid that they could not be elect...and yet have all the answers is the typical caricature of Calvinism. It is designed to present Calvinism in the worst possible light YOU want it to be seen. This is pure dishonesty, deliberate misrepresentation and proves you know absolutely nothing about Calvinism and further shows why the Caners are your hero. The Caners do exactly the same thing which is what prompted the need for a public debate to expose their false accusations, among other problems they have with Scripture. Anytime a person has no credible defense against Calvinism they will always resort to such immoral behavior. Now, what kind of faith or love for God does that person have?

You stated, I totally believe that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. The bible is very clear that God sent his Son to die for ALL men, not just the ones that he decided were going to heaven. The scriptures are also very clear in the ORDER of how grace works so that we wouldn't get caught in the stupidity of Calvinism. Romans 8 says -- " 28And we know that [c]God causes (BG)all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are (BH)called according to His purpose. Well, Calvinism also teaches Jesus came to seek and save the lost and that Jesus died for ALL. True, the Scriptures are very clear but it depends upon which Scriptures one uses and which are ignored that results in a true or false Biblical view of Soteriology. If you truly believe Romans 8:28 disproves the Calvinistic view of Soteriology you are greatly mistaken and in dire need of studying both Scripture and Calvinism before you quote either again. What you seem to have not noticed (or ignored) is the fact that God calls us to receive salvation according to HIS purpose. Did you miss that? Read also Eph. 1:4,5. Again, God calls and saves and predetermined our salvation from before creation according to HIS own purpose and pleasure. Do you see any mention of the ungodly being saved according to THIER own 'will'? You might also want to study Isa. 55:11 very closely and very carefully and while you are studying Scripture, read again what John 1:12,13 says according to what we do NOT receive salvation.

If you would lose the arrogant attitude toward a Biblical theology you only vaguely understand (Calvinism) it would help me take you more seriously.

Sam Hughey

brad reynolds said...

Scott,

I believe your comments would be better addressed to North Georgia Pastor since he is the one who confronted you on this.

My address to Tom was in reference to how he posts…it is easier for readers to follow the Blog if we address those that post by their post name.

However, Dr. Ascoll has earned a doctoral degree and deserves the respect for such. Were, I to ever introduce him or meet him, I would certainly honor his labor by giving him the respect due.

You and I shall disagree on this, and your emphasis on the equality of men at the foot of the cross is a good reminder for us all…but allow me to encourage you. If you ever meet the President you may want to address him as Mr. President rather than George even though he is just a man.
BR

brad reynolds said...

KT
Thanks for your selectivity...hope your wife doesn't mind you posting that.

If she does, well me brother you are worse off then any on this Blog...cause if momma ain't happy...
:)
BR

ErgunIsMyHero said...

I am a VOL FAN now! Amen and Amen.

First, to Andrew:

Please be reminded of what the Scripture says concerning such a person.

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." Titus 3:10-11

Since you have not listened but only to what you wanted to hear. I shall remain on this site and ask the hard questions. Again, from you I only hear, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. When tempted by your "brothers" I made a very good argument to which no one made any decent responses to, other than to do MORE TALKING in love. :) As for the verse you quoted, it has nothing to do with me...as you have not warned me in the least bit...but have challenged me. Your "brothers" live for the debate...do they not? Again, another sign of the Pharisee.

As for Proverbs 26:4 -- maybe that is sound advice for me. I have entered your realm to debate and you shun me? How dare you?

Here's the problem (thanks VOLFAN for the idea):

Your whole view of the Bible and grace was learned thru readings or audios of Sproul, Piper, Calvin, MacArthur...and the list goes on.

Do you have much ground to stand on without the backings of your "mentors?" is this some secret doctrine(s) that the Bible warns us about?

I timothy 6 say:

3If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Ok -- hold on, let me say one thing before you start saying we need to look at the context of the passage which was talking about money...that if you take money out of it...is it ok to do the rest?

Still having a hard time with this one. Waiting for someone to be able to plainly explain to me my errors without using huge words that never showed up the in the Bible, like "Omnibenevolence" or making funny Calvinist Country Club jokes like, "Perhaps the inability to grasp the meaning of the word “private” explains the inability to grasp the meaning of "Omni-benevolent." Do you all put your pinky to the side of your mouth and give the Jeeves laugh too?

Back to Andrew - I did say that I would be a thorn in your flesh if I had to be...but I did not know that referenced Satan and Demons. If I talk about perfume in any way - will you make me out to be Mary Magdalene, too?

Eric said...

ErgunIsMyHero...

It pains me to see that you have been so hurt. It pains me to see that you are willing to hurt others.

I have a sincere question. I am a pastor, and I am convinced that the Doctrines of Grace are an accurate expression of what the Scripture teaches. My greatest fear is that as I teach these truths to a largely biblically illiterate congregation, that many will be hurt as you have been hurt. (I am not saying that you are biblically illiterate or that the conclusions you have drawn are based on a lack of Bible knowledge...)

How would you suggest that I teach what I am convinced that the Bible teaches and what the LORD has laid on my heart in such a way so that if you were hearing me teach them you would be open to discussion and not made to feel attacked, or belittled, etc.?

This is truly a sincere question, and I am glad that you have joined the conversation.

Eric

bristopoly said...

OK, Dr. Caner, here you go:

36 "But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." 41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven." 42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, `I have come down out of heaven'?" 43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

Please explain what Christ came to do and how the Father aids Him to accomplish His mission in this passage.

Does the text teach that He loses any He purposes to save or that He doesn't?

Does the text say that anyone can come to Him or only those who the Father draws?

What happens to those exact people that the Father draws? Are any lost?

If the Father draws everyone who comes to Christ and everyone who comes to Christ is saved, why is everyone not saved since in your view the Father should equally draw everyone?

Thanks. I await your well thought out and Biblicist answer (i.e., nothing put into the text that is not there, nor any re-arranging of the text to fit a preconceived, extra-biblical idea that you hold).

farmboy said...

"ergunismyhero" provides the following consecutive paragraphs in one of his comments:

"Did you hear that -- there's an order! God in his infinite knowledge of past and future, because he lives outside of the realm of time, already knew that you and I were going to be idiot sinners who would eventually find Him! So after KNOWING, he then said, ok you are predestined...meaning, Hey I knew that you were going to do this before time even started, so you will be destined to be saved! So then he calls us and then justifies us! Now, how hard was that? How could you screw up theology as easy as that?

As for being an alum of Liberty, I don't speak for all of us. There are those there who are still trying to convert the SBCers to the saving knowledge that we really don't have a free will."

In the first paragraph one finds the argument that God predestines based on His foreknowledge. This is a standard Arminian understanding of the text. Yet in the second paragraph one finds the argument that God gives human beings free will (in a libertarian sense provided that one is following the standard Arminian understanding of the nature of human freedom.)

This is one area where the Open Theists highlight the instability of the Arminian position. An action is free if and only if the acting agent could have chosen the opposite action. Yet, if God knows in advance what a human being is going to do, the human being cannot possibly choose the opposite of what God foreknows.

If God predestines based on His foreknowledge, then God does not give human beings free will in a libertarian sense. So, if human beings do not have free will in a libertarian sense, then how does one define the nature of human free will?

Going further, what of the one point Calvinist – an Arminian on all points except the eternal security of the believer? Human beings have free will (in a libertarian sense) when it comes to accepting or rejecting God’s offer of salvation. But, for those who accept God’s offer of salvation, they are not free to at some time in the future decide that they no longer want to accept this offer? So, in this important context, after accepting God’s offer of salvation one no longer has free will (in a libertarian sense)?

These are fair, reasonable, respectfully asked questions, questions that should give one pause before embracing the Arminian or one point Calvinist understandings of the doctrine of salvation. To the extent that questions such as these are troublesome, it’s the questions that are troublesome, not the person asking the questions. Asked or not, the questions are still there.

fred said...

Hi Dr. Ascol,

I just wanted to be the one to post #300

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott said...

Brad,

We don't disagree in honoring men. When I have introduced men at conferences or events I always call them Dr. Doe because I'm showing respect. However, I was not trying to be disrespectful to Dr. Patterson or Dr. Akin. I have had a few lunches and dinners with these men over the years and there were times I have called them by their first names and times I have called them Dr. Akin or Patterson.
However, I have been around a few Drs that have asked me not to call them Dr.... and have actually said I would perfer for you to just call me Tom, Fred or whatever.

I HAVE A QUESTION THOUGH:

SINCE YOU TEACH AT SEBTS DO YOU THINK THAT ALL CHAPEL SPEAKERS SHOULD LINE UP WITH THE ABSTRACT OF PRINCIPLES ? I'M NOT SAYING IT'S WRONG TO HOST A DEBATE BETWEEN SOMEONE WHO HOLDS TO THE ABSTRACT AND ONE THAT DOES NOT BUT SHOULD CHAPEL SPEAKERS LINE UP WITH THE ABSTRACT IN ALL POINTS TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK AT SEBTS ? WOULD A SEMINARY PROFESSOR BE CALLED DOWN IF HE OPENLY TAUGHT AGAINST THE DEFINITION OF ELECTION BASED ON THE ABSTRACT IN CHAPEL?

SHOULD DR. JOHNNY HUNT BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK AT CHAPEL SINCE HE OPENLY SPEAKS AGAINST THE DEFINITION ON ELECTION BASED ON THE ABSTRACT. ALSO, FBC WOODSTOCK DOES NOT HOLD TO TOTAL DEPRAVITY AND THEY HAVE THEIR SS TEACHERS SIGN A DOCUMENT CALLED TRUTHS WE HOLD DEAR AND THEIR DEFINITION ON HUMAN BEINGS SAYS THAT MANKIND WAS " MARRED" AFTER THE FALL. THE WORD MARRED MEANS EFFECTED BADLY, VERY SICK, IN BAD SHAPE. WE BOTH KNOW THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WE ARE DEAD BEFORE REGENERATION AND NOT MARRED. SHOULD SEBTS ACCEPT MONEY FROM A SBC CHURCH THAT OPENLY TEACHES AGAINST THE ABSTRACT DEFINITION OF ELECTION, REGENERATION,PROVIDENCE( BASED ON DR. HUNTS SERMONS HE WOULD NOT AGREE THAT GOD DECREES THE SALVATION OF MEN),AND THE FALL OF MAN. THAT'S FOUR THINGS THAT DR. HUNT AND HIS CHURCH WOULD DISAGREE WITH BASED ON CHURCH DOCUMENTS AND SERMONS HE HAS PREACHED. I WOULD GUESS DR.CANER IS PRETTY CLOSE OR MAYBE THE SAME. DO YOU THINK BY HAVING THESE MEN SPEAK AT SEBTS SUPPORTS THE SCHOOL'S CONFESSION? WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?

WHAT I MEANT BY ACCEPTING MONEY IS THAT SHOULD THE SCHOOL ACCEPT DIRECT MONEY THAT IS NOT FUNNELED THROUGH THE CP TO NAME BUILDINGS AFTER HIM IF HE OPPOSES AT LEAST FOUR OF THE ABSTRACTS ?

ErgunIsMyHero said...

well, I must say that i am honored that you all think that I really am Caner. funny...because I think he would answer your questions a whole heck of a lot better than me.

I still am confused. I ask questions and my answers come back in the form of questions. Confused...no, frustrated. However...I do realize that I lashed out at first because of pent up emotion...but these new questions have made me decide to really take a look at these questions and find the answers to them. Sorry that you won't have anyone to shoot down for a while...but this is me signing off. It truly wasn't worth the hassle of standing up for what I believe.

volfan007 said...

ergunismyhero:

i am glad that you are a volfan now. ha ha by the way, you are correct by saying that calvinists love to argue and debate. its what they live for. there's another group that loves to debate and argue. they are called campbellites, or the church of christ. do you know of this group?

brad reynolds said...

Scott
I don't have a problem with someone who doesn't hold to the Abstact speaking in chapel or giving money to the seminary.

But I'm really not sure what I think matters, perhaps your question would be better asked of the administration.
BR

fred said...

ergunismyhero & volfan007,

When you go to prayer later, know that you have publicly offended (sinned against) many, including myself, with false accusations and have mis-represented much of what others believe so as to make your own case better. A case that has for the most part been one driven by pure emotion and not biblical evidence.

Even if, all of what you say about the DoG were true, the spirit in which you have entered into this debate has been, frankly, sinnful.

I'm asking each of you to publicly apologize to those you have offended, and to stop the mud-slinging so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Matthew 5:23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Tom Buck said...

Dear ergunismyhero:

You and others continually complain about these so-called Calvinists that come in and are mean spirited and tear things apart. Yet, it is you and your friends that are throwing the unsubstantiated and unbiblical accusations. There is obviously nothing wrong with your right to be opposed to Reformed Soteriology. But what you are doing is stooping to the same level of those whom you claim to have hurt you and other churches. Calling someone a "Pharisee" is a huge accusation. All of us on this website need to be soberly aware that we will all be held accountable for our idle words.

In His Grace,

Tom Buck

Scott said...

Brad,

Thanks for your response !

Sam Hughey said...

volfan007,

You stated, ...calvinists love to argue and debate. its what they live for. there's another group that loves to debate and argue. they are called campbellites, or the church of christ. do you know of this group? There is much truth in what you stated. However, perceived truth is usually designed in such a way as to create the desired affect one intends. In other words, if I want something to be true, I assume it is true and then I convince myself it is true, therefore it is true. This is the essence of a false accusation and is something that has become a seemingly God-honoring thing to do among anti-Calvinists. For some strange reason, the anti-Calvinist has no probelm with making such false allegations as you and the Caners have made and who apparently see no reason why they should be accountable for their actions while at the same time having a problem with the Calvinist who desires to have a Biblically reasoned defense for what one believes. I can only suppose why you view the Biblically reasoned defense of a Calvinist as merely argumenting and/or debating is because you (and the Caners) are more interested in your 'perceived' truths than Biblical truths. But I might be wrong if you can show from sound Biblical reasoning why defending one's belief is not to be considered a part of what a Christian lives for.

Sam Hughey

ErgunIsMyHero said...

To Fred and Tom Buck

I have no problem saying that I am sorry for the spirit in which I made my comments...because they are wrong. However, take time to read all the entries in this post. Don't cry SIN! when every post has little to do with just the facts. every post including your own has been an attack in some way on the Caners or myself or volfan or anyone else who disagrees with you. Its the nature of the "debate" to feel like the opposing side is wrong or sinning. GIVE US A BREAK!

Now, to touch on the Pharisee comment: I would ask that you take a look in the Bible and then compare the "teachers of the law" with how you have responded in this post. You make it very evident that you are more intellegent than everyone...one way by answering questions with questions.

Has anyone seen the musical Yentl? I am sure you stay away from it because it has Barbara Streisand in it(who is not a good actress, Christian or Republican for that matter) and has a woman who wants to have the same equality with man.
--now let me interject here because most of you probably are skimming and are now trying to think up a really smart answer for me right now or are offended that somehow I am insinuating that you don't believe in women's rights or thinking of a way to get "Mega Church" into the conversation. WHICH IS NOT TRUE. Listen carefully

The movie is about all these Jewish men who go to school and learn the torah so that they can debate each other across the table. It is obvious that they know that they are talking about and that they LOVE to argue! This is how you come across...whether you like it or not. And DO NOT try to tell me that you are posting on this site about the Caner's in LOVE! WOW! I think this is exactly why Jesus always beat the Pharisees to the punch by telling them what they were thinking and then doing something miraculous or saying something profound so they would just SHUT UP.

Now...with all that said - let me say to the author of this blog that I appreciate that you have been gracious in this blog to the Caners and to others who do not share your view. You are the one that will truly be heard over all of this intellectual rhetoric.

Now, seriously, I really do want to look for some answers and I have tried to leave...but you are making this easy to stay in.

Nathan White said...

Brad says: If you ever meet the President you may want to address him as Mr. President rather than George even though he is just a man.

That might be proper etiquette in this culture, but that does not make it right or wrong. Just more evidence that Brad continues to place the rules, ethics, and traditions of men above the standard set in scripture. Your statement, like most of what you have purported on this blog, has absolutely no biblical warrant to it. It is not a sin to address anyone by their first name. For goodness sake, Brad, we can come to almighty God crying ‘abba Father’!

Yes, I would call the President Mr. President. Yes, if I ran into Paige Patterson on the street I would probably call him ‘Mr.’ or ‘Dr.’. But if I didn’t, whether or not I sinned is between me and the Lord. You cannot determine whether I meant disrespect or not simply by my adhering to a title. You are plain and simply elevating the tradition of man above the commandment of God -once again. Like I said before, I haven’t heard you interact with Jesus in this matter…‘call no man teacher’.

SDG

Byroniac said...

Ergunismyhero:
every post including your own has been an attack in some way on the Caners or myself or volfan or anyone else who disagrees with you. Its the nature of the "debate" to feel like the opposing side is wrong or sinning. GIVE US A BREAK!

I am sorry, but you will have to clarify yourself here. How can someone disagree with a position and explicitly declare that disagreement without it being an "attack" of some sort, according to what you said above? It is probably man's nature to disagree over something or other (something famous among Baptists!). Disagreements are inevitable. It is how they are handled that is important. And, sometimes it must be understood that, for whatever reason, a mutual agreement cannot be accomplished in this life.

Elias said...

Ergunismyhero,

could you please ask your question a little more clearly? You seem desperate in seeking answers and its good that you aren't giving up but (I know for me) I'm having trouble finding out exactly what you are asking. For example, the only question I can find in your most recent post is: "Has anyone seen the musical Yentl?"

ServinginRussia said...

Ergun - A question for you.

At 10:28pm last night you said the following:

..."Sorry that you won't have anyone to shoot down for a while...but this is me signing off. It truly wasn't worth the hassle of standing up for what I believe."

In reference to your efforts here you said "...it truly wasn't worth the hassle...", and yet you return for more...only 15 hours later?

Are you signing off or not?

I'm beginning to think you like this attention, Ergun.

See you in a few hours.

brad reynolds said...

Nathan,
Your zeal is most admirable…However, sometimes our zealousness causes us to make assumptions that are not accurate. For instance, I don’t ever recall saying it was sin for you to refuse to address individuals with the courtesy their labors deserve. I did say we should show them such courtesy, though.

And then to use this inaccurate assumption to make the statement that “Brad continues to place the rules, ethics, and traditions of men above the standard set in scripture” reveals how pervasive the blindness of your zeal is.

Nevertheless, your zeal really is admirable…but allow me to caution you of ad-hominal statements; they are most unbecoming in legitimate debate, for they are the lowest form of true debate.
BR

Tom Buck said...

Dear Ergun

I have not attacked anyone in the way that you have attacked others on this site. If anything, I have addressed the substance of the argumentation and not thrown out character assassinations. I don't have a problem with somebody disagreeing with me but do have problems with tearing down the character of others. May I remind you that the argument regarding sin in this whole matter began with the charge that Drs. Ascol and White had sinned by posting the email correspondence (clarify that Tom only linked there).

So the first accusation of "sin" came from your side of the aisle, so to speak. That being said, below is an example of complete and total arrogance on your part:

"And DO NOT try to tell me that you are posting on this site about the Caner's in LOVE! WOW! I think this is exactly why Jesus always beat the Pharisees to the punch by telling them what they were thinking and then doing something miraculous or saying something profound so they would just SHUT UP."

First of all, your definition of a Pharisee being merely someone who likes to argue issues is quite a bit of a stretch. I think we both know that calling someone a Pharisee is to declare that person to be someone who claims to be a lover of God's Law but is an unregenerate rejector of Christ. That kind of argumentation has no place in a civil discussion. On the one hand, you claim to admit you had said things in a wrong spirit and then you immediately return to the same methodology.

Now you claim to be like Jesus in being able to know what someone is thinking and being able to "beat us to the punch????" My brother, you lay claims against arrogant Calvinists but you prove that arrogance knows no particular theological system (or lack thereof). Bottom line, there are arrogant Calvinists, arrogant Arminians and arrogant "Biblicists". And, of course, we all can express arrogance at different times for the heart is desperately wicked.

Here is my encouragement to you, my brother. Be willing to have a civil and biblical discussion about the matters. If you claim to be a "Biblicist" then be willing to discuss the biblical texts without throwing out names and accusations against people's character. And if you have read the correspondence of the Caners' and you can still say that they were not being just as arrogant and condescending as the claims you lay against others, then you are just as blind to their actions as you will obviously be to your own.

I, for one, am a brother who is willing to lay aside all attacks and discuss the issues. Will you be willing to do the same?

peter lumpkins said...

Wow, Guyz

Surely this thread stands as a frustrating reminder of just how many rabbits a single dog can chase! What started as serious commentary on the Caner/White debate, seems to have ended in obsession with ergunismyhero, who, in my guessed opinion is probably a man who's sincerely dedicated himself to Christian ministry, has been positively influenced by Dr. Caner yet whose youth has yet to forge his arguments without the display of raw emotion. He comes to his teacher's defense in the same way so many on this blog defend White/Ascol.


The problem for us here is that, while his youth can rescue his reputation, offering observers an understandable excuse for his emotive outbursts,our collective experience in dealing with non-calvinists offers us no such comfort, for we stand morally naked for our, shall we say, emotive outbursts.

With all the calls for public apology for the "offenses" of ergunismyhero, surely just as many may owe Dr. Ascol an apology for degrading serious discussion into cheap shots, not to mention fiddle-faddle about titles and whether or not one breaks Jesus' command if titles are used.

With that, I am...

Peter

Andrew said...

Would someone who has been responding to EIMH please teach me how/when to apply Proverbs 26:4 in my life? An illustration or example would be most helpful. Thanks!

bristopoly said...

Andrew, I would take it in context with Prov 26:5 and realize that the Hebrew's kaph probably means "in a similar manner" or "like" in vs. 4 and "according to" or "in a manner according to warrant" in vs. 5. So I would not answer a fool in a foolish manner, but instead answer him in a manner that would show the foolishness of his position ("so that he might not be wise in his own eyes").

I would also point out that I think EIMH has been burned by some he perceives as Calvinist, is hotheaded toward the issue, but is still redeemable since he indicates that he is trying to grapple with the questions. I have seen a lot of people like him, and if you are patient sometimes they start to talk honestly and a good, civil discussion may come forth.

Even if he were not, however, we see the Prov passages displayed in the way that Christ addresses the Pharisees. He does not go silent on them. He answers them to show the foolishness of their positions. He answers them Biblically and logically in order to both expose their foolishness and use their "debate" as an opportunity to teach others that may be listening.

I appreciate your dedication to live out the Scripture, but I think you have taken it out of context here by not including the next verse, not explained the different nuances that the Hebrew has and is being used, and subsequently misapplied it---thereby thinking we are in error for answering EIMH.

2 Tim 2:24 "The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses [and escape] from the snare of the devil , having been held captive by him to do his will."

fred said...

ergunismyhero,

You:
"To Fred & Tom Buck, I have no problem saying that I am sorry for the spirit in which I made my comments...because they are wrong. However, take time to read all the entries in this post. Don't cry SIN! when every post has little to do with just the facts. every post including your own has been an attack in some way on the Caners or myself or volfan or anyone else who disagrees with you.

Me:
Is this your apology?

You have falsely accused me of attacking you because I sought to hold you accountable to the word of God.

You make an excuse for your sin by saying, in effect, well everybody else is doing it. Is this how the "man of God" is to reply?

I am asking you for a public apology, not just for "the spirit" in which you have said some things, but also for the misrepresentation and false accusations made of myself and others. I say this because I do not want your prayers to be hindered.

Matthew 5:23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.


Peter Frank,
You are a man of wisdom, and I respect your comments. So, Please know that I seek an apology not because I am superior to anybody in anyway. But, because, none of us have the right to trample the truth, and speak in such a Christ-less way as has been done by some here. Men, I need not remind you, who are held to a much greater standard than the world. It is for that reason, that I have asked them to make things right with their brothers.

volfan007 said...

did yall hear the one about the calvinist who fell down the stairs? he said, thank God that's over.

i love yall. God bless you. my conscience is clear. halelujah!

Byroniac said...

volfan007:

http://www.soundofgrace.com/v11/n5/ecc_jgr_115.htm

Link is here.

I'll quote the relevant part of it:

The story is told of a Primitive Baptist who fell down the stairs. He picked himself up and said, "Well, I am glad that is over." An Arminian would ask, "What did I do to deserve that?"

I thought it was quotable.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
peter lumpkins said...

My Brother Fred,

I do hear your heart. Nor do I sense you displayed yourself superior. Indeed we of all creatures God has made--no matter what any other person observes or how much we fail to show--know innately within how radically underserving we stand notwithstanding our Gracious God's Intervention for us through His Son plastered to a pole.

One distinction I try to employ while "under fire" whether friendly or unfriendly is to make a distinction between someone being mistaken about me--perhaps thru misunderstanding, stereotyping, false information they received, etc--and purposely using criticisms they KNOW to be false but use them nonetheless. For me, I attempt to reserve an "apology demand" for the latter--if at all--than for the former.

In short, I think a case may be made for "mistakenness" on the one hand and "diliberate libel" on the other. If I am correct, I think it follows that the latter is much worse, thus, calling for public retraction, etc.

His Grace overflow in your life. With that, I am...

Peter

Nathan White said...

Brad,

Please forgive me, I made a mistake in affirming that you were the one implying that it was a sin to refuse to use titles when addressing these men. I clearly was not paying attention and should not have attributed that you to.

However, I made no mistake when I highlighted the consistent lack of biblical support from most of what you have written on this thread -which is certainly most disturbing given the nature of your comments (correcting and instructing others). And it upsets me to see you superciliously dismiss that as ‘blind zeal’, for there have been many people on this thread that have pointed out the same thing to you. But I asked you to interact with the text I provided, and if you had done so then maybe we could have avoided the confusion of ‘sin’, ‘courtesy’, and now, your accusations of over-zealous ad-hominem.

But given your satirical advice, please understand how I now view your definition of a ‘true debate’: is it really a ‘debate’, as you say, when one side makes empty accusations based on no particular biblical truth, while relying on standards set by this world, refusing to answer the questions of the other side, and constantly regurgitating subtle low blows all while refusing to be corrected when one is clearly in error? Can I ask that, or will that come across as a weak, ad-hominem attack?

While I admit my faults in being slightly ‘ad-hominem’ and ‘over-zealous’ at times, I pray that you are not setting your behavior on this thread as a good example of avoiding these things. In addition, the men who you are seemingly defending, the Caners, are the walking, talking definition of ‘zeal without knowledge’, ‘ad-hominem’ type of debators –especially on this subject. I pray that you would give them the same satirically advice as you have extended to me.

SDG

brad reynolds said...

Nathan
If I have posted something wherein I have attacked a brothers person, then I was certainly in error. To address an action is different and not ad-hominal.

Concerning the rest of your comments, this thread is proof we have covered them ad-nauseam (see the 300+ comments above wherein I have addressed those questions).

May the Lord open my eyes to any blindness I have.

And may the Lord bless your service to and for Him
BR

Joshua Stewart said...

I have just recently read the emails posted by Dr. White and I am somewhat saddened by what I believe will be the outcome of this debate.

This issue is one that has recently caused tremendous problems in the SBC. I have even been a part of this problem in the local church where I served. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where I stand on this issue. If I had to stand in a corner it would be with Drs. White and Ascol.

The reason I am so disheartened is because of this being such a hot button issue I desire to see people know where they stand because of solid biblical exegesis. Yet, the Caner's seem to only be arrogant and throwing around 2 cent phrases and arguments.

I see the Drs. Caner's just being demolished in this debate. They have yet to show any scholarly ability.

Most Calvinist are usually charged with being arrogant. Yet in these exchanges Dr. White has simply sought to call the Caner's to be honest in their ability.

What upsets me is that I see the Caner's being made to look foolish and because of this many Baptists coming to the Calvinist side because the others (Caners) being shown to not have good arguments.

Because this is such a powerful problem in the SBC I simply wish the Caner's would bow out and allow someone with more ability to enter into this debate.

eklektos said...

I find it amazing all the whining, that's right - whining, by those who wish to keep the poor behavior of the Caners hidden. The fatuous arguments made to defend this position are hysterical. I handled classified materials for years, hardly the same thing. What could there possibly be in a discussion of debate arrangements that one could wish to keep hidden? Ah, one parties poor behavior. What trust was abused; none! Why then are these folks so adamant that they should remain hidden? Because they wish to keep the Caners demeaning and poorly thought out statements hidden. Well guess what; such behavior inevitably comes to light. What is the lesson in this? Ones public behavior should match their private. The secular ethics so blithely repeated in their whine are a wake up call. I see no difference in the behavior of some of our brethren and that of the worldly, and it's a sad thing to see. The godly man is upright in all his ways, and needs not hide his behavior in any circumstance. And when he errs he should repent, not snivel about his confidence being betrayed.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Does anyone else find humor in all the "latin" names. Hey, the XMen called and want all their superhero names back! :)

Rob Young said...

Brothers on both sides, Let's post on something which moves the gospel forward. Recall Eph. 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." and Philippians 4:7-8, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Obviously these posts are doing nothing to close the discussion at hand, and the tone of these posts would lead to nothing less than a fist-fight if we were all together in person. So, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Marv said...

It seems to me to be an elaboration of the traditional interpretation, e.g. eisegetical, of John 3:16.

Dave said...

And once again, somebody has made public the private correspondence between Dr. Caner and James White. Private conversation. Not meant to be made public. Especially after Dr. Caner asked Mr. White to not release them. As for Dr. Caner's very simple thesis statement that Calvinists seem to not be able to understand? God loves everyone and extended the offer of salvation to all.

Sola Gratia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sola Gratia said...

"Especially after Dr. Caner asked Mr. White not to realese it."
Well, then, what does that tell everyone?

"God loves everyone and extended the offer of salvation to all"
Dave, God does not love everyone like you think. You should try reading Psalms 5:5 sometime =p

Dave said...

OK, next time you try to correct me on something, why don't you actually read what I said. First of all, you "quoted" me, but the words you said were not the words I said. Those emails were meant to be private, and nothing you could say could justify that. And if you had actually read what I said, you would have noticed that what I said about God's love was a translation of Dr. Caner's thesis statement for the debate. So like I said: if you want to correct me on something, make sure there's something to correct first.

Dave said...

Also, the verse you gave me there could easily be used to say that God loves or hates us based on our works...

Putting this out there again:

It was stated at the beginning that if we could translate Dr. Caner's thesis statement for the debate. I have, and only 1 person has said anything, and he obviously didn't even read what I wrote before telling me I was wrong. TRANSLATION FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CANNOT DECIPHER DR. CANER'S RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLY WORDED THESIS STATEMENT:

GOD LOVES ALL OF US AND HE HAS EXTENDED THE EQUAL OFFER OF SALVATION TO ALL.

Sola Gratia said...

Dave I am very sorry for trying to correct you on that and I am sorry for not reading it correctly. But I find your behavior very disturbing. And as for your explanation on the verse, you said that it could be are works. Well of cource it is. You were missing my point. My point is that God does not love everyone, but he puts up with everyone. Once again, I am very sorry for my actions.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

"For God so loved the world, that..."...oh, sorry, I was reading the Bible...did you say something?

Steven Kuzins said...

I have read most of this blog> It stands to reason Dr. Caner has the center stage again. I regret ever being on a committee that actually voted to bring him to a church I attended in the 90's what a disaster that became. It's unforunate that 90% of the churches out there are preaching the same way and their flock is a classic representation of that. With statements like "For god so love the world oh I was reading my Bible" I am becoming sick of the surface ,watered down, lack of indepth study Christanity that I see everywhere. Gods word is precious. it's unchangeable , it's absolute truth, and it takes giving up all to know it. LORD Jesus bring revival to your Church

Sola Gratia said...

Psalm 5:5 "The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers."

Romans 9:11 "As it is written, Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated."

Parden me?

Steven,

I completeley agree with you. And thanks for siding with me =0)

Douglas said...

"For God so loved the world, that..."...oh, sorry, I was reading the Bible...did you say something?

"....he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

ErgunIsMyHero,

John 3:16 is not saying what one can do in and of themselves in their degenerate state slaves to sin in bondage dead in their trespasses and sins prior to the new birth but it is saying what one does do, who have been "born again" of the Holy Spirit of God. Even the demons believe (with the intellect) and tremble but that in no way saves them.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The belief mentioned in John chapter 3 is not a mere intellectual, head knowledge believing, but it is a child like trusting in, a security in, a hope in, a faith in the LORD Jesus Christ for our "security and hope", a "unique relationship to God through love and obedience as expressed in lives of discipleship and service." See Faith in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology or here. Mankind kind naturally loves the darkness and will not come to the light of their own accord lest their deeds be exposed, reproved. It takes a supernatural divine monergistic act of God alone to open mankind’s blind eyes to the truthful light of God's Word.

John 3:36"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you , so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:34-35

"Faith is a gift from God, so that no one may boast ... The last bastion of pride is the belief that we are the originators of our faith ... This teaching about faith being a gift of God raises many questions. God has answers for all of them, even if we don't. Let us seek to put the teaching into practical biblical use, namely the humbling of our pride and the stimulation of our prayers. In other words, let us pray daily: "O Lord, thank you for my faith. Sustain it, Strengthen it. Deepen it. Don't let it fail." ~ JOHN PIPER

Scott E said...

After reading the blog and all the comments my heart is deeply saddened. This whole thing is the picture child for the human condition. Now, let me just say, I have to put myself in with everyone else. I find myself critizing others that have differing views. God please forgive us. "They will know we are Chritians by our love one for another." And, the sad thing is, we as Christians, are becoming less and less loving towards each other. I am talking about true agape love. But, doesn't the New Testament talk about that in the last days love will run cold, and people will become lovers of self. I fear we are becoming more worldly than more Spirit filled.

Oh Father, have mercy on us, we need you more than ever. I am sure you look at this whole mess and are ashamed that we are called by "your name". Help us to humble ourselves to be taught by you and not by human wisdom. Let us return to you with the faith of children and be in awe of you and not our own intellect. Help us to spend our time boasting about you and not our opinions. Help us to use our energy to discover more and more of your wonder and not waste it on things that would divide us as your people. Please come, come and bring revival to your people. Bring us to repentance. Humble us Father. We need you.


If I were to fall over any fence of the issue at hand, I would probably fall over the calvanist fence. I was raised in a church that preached, "pray a prayer", and you are saved. This produced in me 20 years of misery believing I was saved but there was no fruit. I agree that modern evagelism has done more for false converts than disciples. I am a product of modern evangelism, before God saved me. But, it also seems that some of the content on this site, both Caner, the authors of this site, and some of the bloggers need a good dose of the Holy Spirit. Have we sunk to the point of turning on each other. It is so easy to critize and much harder to edify. And, I am just as guilty. This whole thing reminds me of the elections that have just passed. Sad!

We have to turn. Turn from our own intellect and return back to God. Five out of the seven churches in Revelation, Christ called to repentance. Are we any different? Or maybe we are worse. Remember your first love, remember the heights from which you have fallen and return to Christ. Is he your joy? Do you find yourself truly in love with Him? Is He your treasure? If yes, then proclaim Him from the roof tops. Let the whole world know how good He is. Serious, search yourself. Are you bitter about all of this. That bitter root will cause so much damage.....in you and others.

Oh how I pray that we would just come back to a place of being in love with Jesus.

Grace Writer said...

This comment is for Scott E. Scott, there is a difference between being bitter and being deeply burdened over the Arminians' refusal to deal with the real issues honestly and forthrightly. Thought it is true we must not become bitter, it is not true we should reject our own intellect. It is just that kind of approach that caused this mess in the first place. Intellect and logic are not bad things. Re: They will know us as Christians by our love, you might wish to read an article I wrote on that subject. You can find it at www.gracedocs.blogspot.com.

Philip said...

After reading about the since cancelled debate with the Caners, I must express my deep disappointment and disgust at the Caners and Liberty University as a whole. I am a graduate of LU, and had seriously thought of sending my oldest son to school there. No longer. I do not want him exposed to the type of Draconian dogma the Caners thrust at Drs. White and Ascol. I am personally embarassed. If Ergun Caner is an example of the Godly leadership now at LU, I will no longer support the school with financial gifts or expressions of support.

Ergun Caner: you and your brother have done more damage to the cause of Christian brotherhood and love than anyone else I can cite.

Philip, Redlands, CA

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