Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's Official: No Debate October 16

An email from Brett O'Donnell has confirmed the cancellation of the debate October 16. He has conferred with Dr. Falwell and has written,
"Given that the two sides cannot agree on the terms of the debate in a spirit of compromise he [Dr. Falwell] concurs that the debate should not occur and therefore there will not be a debate on October 16 agreeing with the decision that was announced on Friday by Dr. White."
Of course, that is not the reason that this debate will not happen. The two sides had an agreement that had been worked out in the spirit of compromise. We have written documentation of that fact. Until last Wednesday, each side was preparing for the debate based on the negotiated terms of that agreement. The reason this debate is not happening is because one side was unwilling to have the negotiated, agreed-upon terms arbitrarily set aside at the last minute. Those are the facts. I find them very sad, but they are undeniably true.

I will try to fill in some of the details on all of this in the days ahead.


art rogers said...

I find it hard to understand how people how style themselves as the epitome of integrity and virtue in our society can allow themselves to be found in such a compromising position.

This entire situation speaks very poorly for some who are guilty of unwise behavior, but it also speaks poorly about a good many kind and generous people at Liberty. I speak of those mentioned on Friday's "Dividing Line" program. They are represented by Drs. Caner, O'Donnell and Falwell, and they have not been represented well, in my estimation.

David Wilson said...

That's discouraging, Tom. Those of us who aren't quite reformed were looking forward to hearing a real debate. There's far too much heat and not enough light when the SBC discusses calvinism.

vox reformata said...

Sad. How can Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, JW's agree to debate rules and not Christians? Dr. White said so, and its all documented. Dr. White said the truth would speak, and it practically screams!


Scott said...


I just stoped listening to Dr. Jerry Vines preach on Calvinism at FBC Woodstock. Dr. Johnny Hunt( Pastor) asked him to do so. I"m teared up at the " Flat Out Lies" he has told so far concerning our history and he does not believe man is dead from the fall of Adam. He said it plain and clear.This is a former SBC president. This is not funny because of the people in the crowd that will be soaking this in.
If Dr. Vines is allowed to speak again at Southern or Southeastern Seminary then we might as well throw out the Abstract of Principles. Just throw them out!I also will not agree that even the President of the SBC should be alllowed to speak at Southern. The Abstarcts are supposed to protect the schools! Even his comments by Calvin were wrong.Let me be clear that I'm not suprised that he said what he has. I didn't even continue listening after a while and just turned it off.
The sad thing about this is there will be some Calvinists at Southern and Southeastern that will say " You can't expect Mohler or Akin not to invite the president of the SBC". Yes, I expect for the Presidents to protect the schools from " Wrong" teaching. Yes, I do !


Samuel J Bell III said...

Well I would hate to tell anyone how the Cow ate the Cabbage but....... I think Falwell Just did not want the debate to happen. It would do to much to hurt his ever growing Ego. Plus all who are aginst the truth of the light want to hide it or snuff it out.
As for Vox reformata's question. I think the reson Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, JW's Ect. Will agree on debate terms is because they are utterly convinced that they are right and have the truth. But with a contraditing belief system like Caner and company you tend to get toung tied and confused. Believe me after talking with some of my Independant Fundemantal Baptist In-Laws on this subject the most comonly heard statement is this " I Agree with you on everything your saying but God chose me because he knew I would choose Him. It was my choice that why God saved me." "And Jesus died for everyone."
This is what unsualy happens when you get into other aspects of the reformed faith; a refusal to let go of traditional belifs(thats the way I was always taught) In stead of serching the text and studing deligently to get the truth.
So I think that is the reson they did not want to look foolish running around in cirles to prove what they believe.

James White said...


I have posted on the preceding thread a URL to my blog on this topic, and a word I would like to share with the students at LU who have posted here.

Also, I forgot to mention: I have seen a few complaints regarding those who had arranged to travel to Lynchburg for this debate. As you all know, I strongly and repeatedly urged you not to do so. I said we could not guarantee you access even if the debate took place, and yes, in the back of my mind, there was always the recognition that wise folks had predicted an "October surprise," quite literally. I have been told, by reliable sources, that there is general relief by many in positions of authority in Lynchburg that this has happened, mainly because of concerns over whether Ergun Caner could keep himself in a suitable behavioral condition during the course of such a debate. In any case, Dr. Caner has been placed in a position of leadership and authority at LU and he continues to attack the doctrines of grace under the inaccurate name "hyper-Calvinism," and hence a response needs to be made to him. I have repeated, even in my closing e-mails to himself and Emir Caner, the challenge that I first placed before him in February of a one-on-one moderated public debate, this time, on neutral territory.

In any case, I ask for your prayers for the upcoming debate on baptism. Join with me in praying that this debate will provide the strongest of all possible contrasts to the situation just concluded with the Caner brothers. Likewise, please pray for my debate against John Shelby Spong, that a strong witness to God's truth concerning His right to determine the bounds of human sexuality will be given.

James White

TJL said...

Please hear me out before casting stones. I have grown very frustrated lately with followers of Christ who feel that "debating" important doctrinal truths is their "calling" in life. I respect the ministries of both Ascol and White but I must admit here that I'm not quite sure why those within Reformed circles are always on the defensive instead of just speaking about the things that are true and biblical. The amount of time spent on blog entries and "rants" because a debate fell through is such a waste of time. Just get back to the main thing (JESUS) and push forward onto something else. Love God, love the kingdom.

James White said...


Have you read Galatians recently?


1 John?

Put them in context, my friend. They all have one thing in common: apologetics. Defense of the faith.

Look over Acts 20 and Paul's words to the Ephesians elders, then 2 Timothy, and tell me each generation is not called to the same battlefront.

I hope you will think about it.


MarieP said...

tjl said:

"Please hear me out before casting stones."

Wow, you come with such preconceived notions...

"I have grown very frustrated lately with followers of Christ who feel that 'debating' important doctrinal truths is their 'calling' in life."

Ok, at least you say they are important issues. What is wrong with debating? What is your Scriptural basis?

"I respect the ministries of both Ascol and White but I must admit here that I'm not quite sure why those within Reformed circles are always on the defensive instead of just speaking about the things that are true and biblical."

What do you mean by the defensive? Dr. White has done debates where he's taken the affirmative, if that is what you mean. Who says they are not talking about things that are true and Biblical?

Titus 1:9- "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to REFUTE THOSE WHO CONTRADICT." (emphases mine)

"The amount of time spent on blog entries and 'rants' because a debate fell through is such a waste of time."

So...why are you defeating your own statement and posting a rant here? And this is just that: a rant. You don't back up your statements with Scripture, and you aren't giving those who I'd assume you'd call brethren the benefit of the doubt as to their motives.

"Just get back to the main thing (JESUS) and push forward onto something else."

Which Jesus do you mean ;) The Mormons have their "Jesus"; The Jesus Seminar has their "Jesus"; Evem Arminians have their less-than-Biblical view of Jesus.

"Love God, love the kingdom."

And love delights with what? The truth! (1 Cor. 13:6)

Bill Formella said...

O.K. TJL, I've heard you out. Now hear me. What if Martin Luther had just said "Let's just all love God and build the Kingdom." What if he just sat back and waited for someone else to confront error. We'd all still be in slavery to the Roman church.

TJL, if we don't speak up for the truth the SBC and the church in general will continue to claim allegiance to the inerrant scriptures while abandoning it as the rule of practice in the church. Lack of church discipline, moralistic preaching and pragmatism will continue spreading like a cancer within our congregations. Abusing the Word of God to manipulate the people into building bigger and better castles as shrines unto the Pastor will continue as egomaniacs jockey for position within the SBC.

Dr. White, I can easily see truth behind your hearing that there is relief in the halls of LU. Long before I knew what Ergun Caner's position on grace was I heard him speak in the Atlanta area. He was unbelievable. He is a loose lipped out of control cannon who is very careless with his words. I had been starting to deal with my beautiful young daughter about modesty in dress when he very enthusiastically proclaimed, "Jesus could care less if our girls come to church in Daisy dukes, as long as they come." Pathetic.

Immediately upon leaving the church my wife said she felt like little or nothing had been said but the crowd was laughing the whole time. I felt like I had just heard a stand up comic, but not a preacher.

cslewisberkhof said...

Dear tjl

If you say we need to get back to the main thing, "Jesus...", how do you define "Jesus?" Don't you see that a Mormon will define Jesus in a completely different way than you may?

How do you determine what is true and biblical? If someone from the Church of Christ believes he has a sound biblical argument for baptismal regeneration, will you agree with him just because he puts forth a "biblical" argument?

As much as you may dislike debate, the truth must be fought for. Many have gone before us and debated these great truths and laid down their lives in their defense. We all defend the things we think are important. If you really believe truth is important it needs to be fought for.

These men,(Drs. White and Ascol) are contending for the truth. Unfortunately, there are those in power who when confronted with the truth will have to go back and completely rethink the way they've done things for the last 50 years or so. Some believe they are too old to change, even when it comes to believing the truth. Remember Nicodemus' comment to Jesus when Jesus told him unless you're born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God? He (Nicodemus) asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”

Yes, I agree, we should love God, love people and build the kingdom, but not at the expense of the truth. The gospel is worth fighing for. It's worth dying for.

TJL said...

Dr. White, I agree with your statements wholeheartedly. I usually always do. But I can't seem to grasp your statement: "Look over Acts 20 and Paul's words to the Ephesians elders, then 2 Timothy, and tell me each generation is not called to the same battlefront." I read those in context and it seems to me that those called of God to be undershepherders within the church (not academia) should be at the forefront in equipping those whom GOD has gathered so they can be scattered, protected, etc. It might also be an indictment on the church because we send our "future pastors" off to learn theory and the result is horrendous. Anyway, I just don't get the whole "debate ministry" thing. Now, please don't take offense with that last statement. I've learned great things from you, heard you in MA a few years back and even passed out your books to many closet Calvinists. It just seems that you take everyone to the mat who disagrees with you. And rightly so in SOME cases. It just seems to be a little aggressive as of late. Just my thoughts. Press on. I still think you're the best!!!

Bill Formella said...

TJL. I think I understand your concern a little better than I did at first. I do believe we need to confront error wherever it is found, especially when future pastors are being taught. It's obvious we get precious little time with Baptist Press and we certainly aren't going to get an honest shot at communicating this truth with the state newspapers. So a debate like this would have been a great opportunity.

However, if what you're suggesting is that this battle would be better fought in the streets with the people, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. I have been a member of three SBC mega churches in the Atlanta area and I can tell you that respect for leadership is generally very low and getting worse. The people are tired of the show and are hungry for authentic Christianity. Jesus focused his ministry on the "laymen" rather than the rulers of the day, Luther turned the world upside when his message was brought to the street even though it was rejected in Rome, and I think our efforts need to be the same. When the rank and file Christian is better educated, they will demand better leaders.

Timmy said...

So here we go with the Liberty spin, eh? The whole saga is made public, thanks to the work of Mr. White. Falwell can't spin the truth like he does politics. The facts are out there, and regardless of attempts at manipulations, contortions, underhanded tactics, and now coverups, people will have no question regarding what really took place (or didn't). Can we for once, in all of this, get an intellectually honest answer from the Liberty bunch? If not, the intellectual bulldogs will have taken a big bite of out of Christian integrity.

Aaron K. said...

You mean that they didn't hold to their word?

What were they so convinced of that they had to back out at the last minute? This would have been a great opportunity for all interested.

Holiness, Righteousness ought to be the mark of our lives. Integrity and truthfulness is encompassed in the above.

Jlbrightbill said...

Bill hit on something that those who haven't had Dr. Caner for classes or heard him speak on a regular basis would not be familiar with, and that is the careless words. I can't recall the exact quote, but in one of our Wednesday services when talking about the disciples casting their nets out of the boat, he mentioned them dumping them out faster than Scott Peterson. Appropriate joke in any context? Not to me. Neither is using the phrase "Paris Hilton (was) riding first class on Caner airlines" in your Theology class. Offensive humor should not be excused for the sake of alleged relevancy.

J441 said...


I don't want to speak for Mr. Ascol and White, but I think that neither of them find debating to be their primary ministry.

Mr. Ascol is a pastor and Dr. White is a teaching elder and professor. Both seem to be very mission minded (e.g., Dr. White leads a mission to Utah each year). So I think it's mistaken to say that they aren't trying to put Jesus, loving God, and loving others at the forefront of their ministry, simply because they engage in debates - the two aren't mutually exclusive. Since Dr. White's blog is apologetic minded, we don't see the entirety of his life and ministry.

Your frustration against people who are needlessly argumentative is shared by myself (and I think all the posters here). There is certainly a difference between such a person and Paul, who urges us to contend for the faith (Jude 3). I simply think that Dr. White and (especially) Mr. Ascol are examples of the latter, not the former.

Likewise, I think much of your complaints are against your experience of reformed peoples in general (e.g., a lack of emphasis on orthopraxy). This is fair. But these things do not (in my estimation) apply to Dr. White and Mr. Ascol.

M and M said...

I sure hate the way things turned out for the debate. I have sensed for sometime the growing hostility towards Calvinism in the SBC. People critisize Calvinists for having an agenda, however, I believe there is a mounting movement to stamp out all those who hold Reformed views within our Convention.

TJL said...

J441 said..."I don't want to speak for Mr. Ascol and White, but I think that neither of them find debating to be their primary ministry."

That might be best. =)

Anyway, I want to make myself clear here in that it's my understanding that the NT books that Dr. White rattled off to me in his response are written to those in the church in their dealing with unbelievers in general; maybe with the exception being Acts 20. It's also my understanding that our battle (read=debate) "is not against flesh and blood..." Correct?

To simply throw verses out there as "proof" for an apologetics ministry seems to be an argument from silence. Yes? No? =)

J441 said...

At the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, we see believers contending with each other. Obviously some things are trivial while others aren't, but there is scriptural warrant for believers to engage in debate (the NASB translation uses that very word).

Concerning your use of Romans 6:12, I think we all agree that ultimately, our enemy is Satan and his minions. However, it seems fair to me that one of his weapons is bad thought, since bad thought breeds bad action. In terms of fighting the spiritual forces of wickedness, we are called to "gird your loins with truth" and take up "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Finally, I'm not sure about your statement that verses supporting apologetics are "arguments from ignorance." The 1 Peter 3:15 verse saus to be ready to make a defense to "everyone", and the Jude 3 verse makes no specifications. It seems to me that prima facie, these commands are not limited to non-believers. The council of Jerusalem seems to further this idea. Likewise, Galatians 2:11-14 describes Paul rebuking Peter's doctrine, reasoning from the Scriptures.

It seems to me that Galatians and Colossians are both writen to combat heresies within the church (Judaizers in Galatia and Gnostics in Colossae). Could you explain why these books deal with unbelievers as opposed to believers?

Larry said...

How sad that a seminary professor, a nationally recognized university debate team coach and a high profile pastor of national reputation see no need to honor their word.

Sadder still that they seem to feel unable to defend the theology they teach in the face of straightforward debate. That should cause all who see how this has unfolded to think twice about what they teach.

Chessmann said...

Over the last few years, I have learned (and therefore, learned to deal with) a tremendous amount about other views/faiths, and because of this, more about my own faith through the debates Dr. White has done.

They are a tremendous learning tool.


Gordan said...

Dr. White,

Having just read the latest on your blog about this, I cannot amen your final sentiment heartily enough!

This time has NOT been wasted. God indeed has had a purpose in it, and I frankly believe you have nailed it on the head, Sir.

By the way: (Off topic) Thank you very much for your writing ministry. Your book on the KJV Only movement was an immense help to me, and I have just recently, and thoroughly, enjoyed your "The Roman Catholic Controversy."


Calvinist Gadfly said...

Lest we forget, consider the following words by Ergun Caner in April near the beginning of this saga in his notorious sermon at Thomas Road Baptist Church:

""I honestly believe that there is no question in Christendom that the church should walk away from, run away from, or hide away from; and I think there are times that we need to confront issues that are frontline issues [Calvinism]."

Then immediatetly after he said that he continued to indicate that the number one issue affecting churches today is "Calvinism."

Truly these statements from Caner are ironic given that it is he who is doing the running and hiding from what he considers to be the most important issue facing the church today, "Calvinism."


The Sinner said...

From Ergun Caner's website as of 9:23 A.M. this morning: "Calvinist Debate Cancelled by Hyper-calvinist
James White backs out of the debate. Refused to submit to moderator rules. Details will follow tonight."

Bartimaeus said...

Why is anyone suprised about this behavior from Pope Fawell. He Is the one who calls the shots at Liberty. Brett and Ergun must bow and kiss his ring if they want to further their careers at Liberty or any place else withinn the SBC. Pope Falwell has shown how much intergrity he has by allowing such outrageous bullying by O'Donnell and the Caners. Pope Falwells may work well in the political arena but it will not work between men of integrity.

Wade Burleson said...


I believe the issue at hand involves a lack of integrity, but that is not the source of the problem.

There is in the human heart a natural predispostion for control. Every person desires to be the master of his own destiny, the god of his own little world, the final authority in matters of life and relationships.

And it is very difficult to give this up. Like Abraham, we cry "O that Ishmael may live before thee!"

In an institutional environment control is maintained by the establishment of arbitrary rules that protect the status quo. The rulemakers wish to exclude any threat to either their control or perceived authority. To successfully reveal faulty rationale, logic, or in a Christian forum -- Biblical understanding -- of those in authority is the ultimate threat to one's power.

Therefore, rules are changed to exclude those who are a threat.

Once the rules are changed, and an uproar occurs over the illogic of that action, the only recourse left is to attack the character of those who are the percieved threat to one's grip on the institution.

Be prepared Drs. Ascol and White. The character assassination is only just beginning.

May everyone else see through it for what it is.


Uncialman said...


Calvinist Debate Cancelled by Hyper-calvinist
James White backs out of the debate. Refused to submit to moderator rules. Details will follow tonight.

Posted: October 9th, 2006 under Debate.
Comments: none

Daniel Cassady said...

I am so disappointed that this debate will not take place. I was looking forward to having my big bowl of popcorn and cold drink at my computer desk to watch the webcast. :-( I had already told my wife to expect me to be completely unavailable that evening.

I think James should go ahead and publish the final email conversation because as we can see in "the sinner"'s comments, Ergun Caner is already starting his campaign to down James. What a down right misrepresentation. :-(

I am so grieved over the fact that men are so stubborn and refuse to deal with the text of scripture when it comes to measuring their beliefs.

I was once a defender of the Calvary Chapel "Arminian" view, but after hours and hours of discussion with friends of mine on the subject and measuring my beliefs by scriptures I had to accept the Doctrines of Grace as being true. Now all of scripture harmonizes instead of contradicting itself.

We should be praying for Liberty and those involved on that side. They have not only brought shame on themselves for all the behaviour we have witnessed, but they have brought shame to the name of Christ because they claim to be His followers yet act the way they do. And they refuse to deal fairly with the text of the New Testament on this subject. :-(

Timmy said...

Well, well. So the this is the first word spoken from the mouth of Ergun Caner during this past week of dictatorial changes. It looks like someone has the intellectual bulldogs on a leash. I guess a disclosure of correspondence from White is now in order.

Notice that he did not mention Tom in the statement and couldn't resist using the word "hypercalvinist" again.

The sad thing about this is Ergun answers to one person - Dr. Falwell, who, in the midst of this, has been cheering Caner on. What is so sad to me is, if I were in Caner's situation, I would give anything to have some loving accountability and admonishment to speak truth to my mind and heart. Is this not a most dangerous place to be?

irreverend fox said...

what a lie. plain and simple, that statement about what happened is a simple lie.

The truth is documented Tom.

irreverend fox said...


since Dr. White feels free to comment here on this blog wouldn't it be nice if he opened up HIS blog to comments? ;^)

I read his stuff every day and would love the chance to interact with him and all the moonbats that would be sounding off in the comments section as well.

scripturesearcher said...

As I have predicted from the very start, the debate on October 16 in the Falwell synagogue in Lynchburg has been lost due to the lack of Christian character, honesty and integrity of the powers that be in Lynchburg.

When they saw that White and Ascol were not going to be intimidated and call the encounter off, they had no choice but to pull this stunt.

Men without Christian character, honesty and integrity do this sort of thing all the time.

Bartimaeus said...

I Saw Ergun Caners claim of victory on his blog. How the “Hyper Calvinist”backed out of the debate.

Nothing that Ergun Caner says or does should surprise any of us. He and Pope Falwell never had any intention of such a debate ever taking place. After all it would never do for Jerry’s golden boy to get thumped and thumped badly on his own turf. This whole farce from the very beginning was purposely designed to make it impossible a meaningful debate to ever take place. The only purpose was for Ergun to feed his colossal ego. But by this behaviour Ergun Caner has proven that the “intellectual pit-bull” is nothing more than toothless rat terrier with a mighty bark. By changing the ground rules after the game has started Ergun has shown who is the one who backed out of the debate.. Now Ergun can claim a very hollow victory and show how he and he alone has the Calvinist on the run. After all being a Calvinist is a career limiting move. All it has ever been with these people is large mega churches with as many baptisms as possible.

I am sure that Ergun reads these blogs. His ego will compel him to do so. So I to will to step up to the plate and accept the standing invitation to debate Dr White one on one, three hours, meaningful cross examination with a neutral moderator and in a neutral setting. But quite frankly Ergun I don’t think you have the courage and I know that after listening to how you spin why God hated Esau you do not have the exegetical ability. In fact Ergun you cannot even define the term “hyper-Calvinist” and who they were historically. What you have demonstrated is your total lack of honesty.

Stephen Atkins
Toronto, Ontario

XB6 said...

Saddest of all is the simple fact that Dr. Caner can do what he just did and there is no one in authority at TRBC who will hold him accountable for it. What is more, there is most likely no Biblical protocol in place at TRBC to handle such a dishonest proclamation he has made on his website. No, the problem in the SBC is not Calvinism rather it is failure to adhere to Biblical church discipline in all areas from meaningful membership to accountability in leadership. We are seeing a glaring example of this with the debate debacle. It's okay i guess to basically be dishonest in how you represent a Christian brother, but God forbid you teach/believe that God is sovereign in salvation.

Gregory said...

While I share the disappointment both in the cancelation of the debate and in the actions of those responsible for the cancelation, those of us on this side of the debate (Reformed) should be very careful not to come off in a less than Christ-like manner. Referring to Dr. Falwell, regardless of our disagreements with him, as "Pope Falwell," or to Thomas Road Baptist Church as the "Falwell synagogue in Lynchburg" is dangerous and only serves to add fuel to the fire.

Let us imitate Christ, regardless of the level of disappointment.

sparrowhawk said...

The Oct. Surprise theory is the most plausible yet. Likely, both Caners and Falwell had it planned when the July talks began. Ego's resurfacing today with his headline is part of the plan.

Caners, Falwell, et al. Unruly relatives invited to the SBC home that never left. Blame Vines, Ed Young, Charles Stanley, and any other number of supposed wise fathers for the invitation, done all the while they were giving their equally unruly, seeker sons the keys to the car without restraint.

Deep breath brothers. Now let's move on and remember Rome was not reformed despite noble efforts toward those who sought to see her as such.

Jeff Downs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stephen lee cavness said...


as dishonest and cowardly as this act by the caner's is, let us have integrity when we speak of it publicly and online, even on our own blogs. if/when we speak of this, let us avoid the vitriol and venom that does anything but display the attitude of christ.

we can, and should disagree. we can and should inform all of those within our sphere of influence about the attitudes and misleadings of those involved, but we must do so in love and concern for the truth and for those who may be mislead by its distortion.
if we simply react in order to defame , insult, or assassinate someones character, then no matter how right we may be, we lose.


Tom said...

I want to echo the exhortations offered by several here that we do not allow disappointment and frustration to justify sinful character assassination in the comments here. I have a very liberal policy about allowing comments here because I believe that, for good or ill, it is usually helpful to see not only what people think but how they think on the issues discussed. But remember, brethren, we are to love even our enemies, and the brothers invovled on the other side of this debate are not our enemies. Stop the name calling and assigning motives. Speak truth in love--plainly and graciously. The Lord will be honored by such, but dishonored when we violate His revealed will for our speech.

Douglas said...

The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9


irreverend fox said...

you can e-mail Ergan at



Matthew said...

^^^ Well said, Pastor Ascol - thanks for that.

Patrick Berryman said...

Has anyone tried to leave comments on Ergun's post? I click on the link but it doesn't lead me anywhere.

jbuchanan said...

"All things work together for good to those who love God, to those whos are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

All in all I will have to say that this is the best possible way for this saga to end. I belive that a hearty and robust debate on the Doctrines of Grace can be profitable and is even needful in the current enviroment of the SBC. However, in such a debate there must be mutual respect among the partiicpants and neither side of this debate has demonstrated this.

Chessmann said...

I did send Ergun an email, essentially letting him know (in case he hasn't already realized this) that there is simply too much evidence and documentation for the statement he posted today to carry any weight.

Too many people (including Liberty students) know exactly what has happened.


DexCisco said...

I get the feeling that the spin doctors are just getting warmed up. It would seem that the full disclosure of the e-mail record that Dr. White threatened to reveal is going to become necessary very soon. I would just like to issue a word of caution before that happens: Check with your lawyers. The truth can be documented, there is no question of that, but the mention of privacy statements on some of the e-mails makes me nervous. I smell a trap. I wouldn't put it past them that they might just be waiting for you to post something confidential so they have grounds for legal action. What better way to shut you up?

Bill Formella said...

Brothers, I agree with Tom. Don't be discouraged and don't let them bring you down to their level. I'm beginning to find this situation almost laughable. We have nothing to fear with these people.

Your going to hear me say this over and over on this board. I've been in 3 different Atlanta area mega churches over the last 15 years. The cattle are following their leaders and don't see where they are going. They love their King Saul's and will hoot and holler as they make their way on stage. But among them are many of the most faithful and they are discouraged, disillusioned and often wonder where the church is headed.

Read this quote from Sproul:

“I always called myself a battleground theologian. ...the name of the game as a Christian was to win the world to Christ. And I said we’ve lost it in the academic arena but there is something more important than the academic arena and that’s on the street. And we have to win the battle there and THE ACADEMIC WILL COME BEHIND IT. (emphasis mine) And the great theologians of history are one’s who were able to take their message into the culture, into the street. To simplify without distorting is the highest task of a scholar. ...So my models were Luther and Calvin. They mastered the material but they took the material to the people and that’s what I want to do.“

Guys, I wholeheartedly believe this. The battle is on the streets among the rank and file Christians. The Pharisees and Sadducees will continue their false charges against us. The Sanhedrin will charge us to stop speaking. Rome will threaten us. BUT WE DON'T NEED THEM! The rank and file christian isn't paying much attention to them anyway. We MUST take the message to the people.

The reason they are fighting so hard is because they're getting nervous. Why is that so many ladies in my area are going to Bible Study Fellowship and forgoing their own church lead bible studies? Why is it that when so many read someone like John Piper for the first time they are blown away? When the people get steak they long for more.

We need to find creative and provacative ways to get the true gospel into the hands of the people. Then the leadership will be forced to see what it is their people are looking into, yet the people will be too educated to be swayed by the lies.

I am NOT talking about going into churches and causing problems. We need to reach them where they live. I think Roy Hargrave has the right idea with his eternally "coming soon" booklet "An Idol Called Evangelism". Provoctive publications like that will get peoples attention.

By the way, this is not coming from a Pastor or seminarian. I'm just a simple layman whose ready to do whatever it takes.

Bill Formella said...

Whatever it long as it honors God and doesn't replace the prescribed means of God found in scripture.

sdp said...

I sent an email to Ergun Caner. I nicely explained to him how disappointed I was in his behavior and in the behavior of his people.
(I can provide my email if you want.)

I'm amazed the James White wasn't able to get a response from him in a timely manner. lol Because, for little nobody me, he responded within ten minutes.
Here is his response: (exact cut and paste from my inbox.)

>>>Deal with the truth, whether you like it or not. Just because JW has a
problem with authority, and would not submit to a moderator, we are not

He whined about the first thesis.
He whined about the second thesis.
He whined about the time.
He whined about having someone else (other than him) in charge.

Anyone who holds to predestination to hell is hyper-Calvinist. Even
Spurgeon said so. Deal with it.

Whosoever will:


Just wanted to share this with you all. Very Christianlike of him, don't you think?


irreverend fox said...

I hope that this is not “bad form” and does not prove that I am not a Christian gentlemean…. I was advised a long time ago to not e-mail anything you don’t want the world to read. I am sure that Dr. Caner will verify that this e-mail exchange has indeed happened. Other than that you’ll have to take my word that this is real. The first message is my e-mail to him, obviously the second is his response, to a small fry (not physically ;^) ) today:

Dr. Caner.
1. You have lied about James White. He did not back out of this debate and you know it. The rules suddenly changed, unilaterally, about two weeks prior to the debate which is unacceptable. The rules were agreed to and accepted by both sides a month ago. Your "side" torpedoed this debate and you know it.

2. You have mischaracterized him and his theology, once again. He is not a hyper-Calvinist and you know it.

Repent of your lies and mischaracterization about and of James White. You are a Christian sir. Stop this for the sake of Christ and His renown.

Gary Fox,
Southside Christian Fellowship (a NAMB church plant), Wadsworth, OH

I am standing right here.
I am ready for the debate.

Just because JW has a problem with authority, and cannot manipulate the
situation, he backs out.


Anyone who holds to predestination to hell, and the possibility of
infant damnation, even in theory, is a hyper Calvinist.

He is hyper Calvinist. Now everyone knows it.


Bill Formella said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bill Formella said...

On the previous thread, David Morrow had a great idea. He suggested having the debate anyway by taking what Ergun Caner has said about Calvinism and responding to it.

James and Tom, I would like to add to this by suggesting you also take what Adrian Rogers, Jack Graham and Johnny Hunt have said as well. (It's all the same anyway.) I would like to suggest that you take this and put it into a freely distributable PDF format so we can e-mail and make copies of it for mass distribution. It would also be nice to have access to whatever format (HTML) we can send that will have the appearance of an internet newsletter (like Town Hall does).

Like I said, the battle is on the street, not with the Sanhedrin.

Rev. S. Michael Huffman said...


I am not suprised by Lynchburg doing this, but I am disappointed. I wanted an opportunity to see the Grace of God displayed against pelagianism.

Cary Loughman said...

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God..."
(Matt 5:9)
"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."(Rom. 12:17-18)

It is tempting to write Dr. Caner an email at the address provided, but I am interested to hear what he has to say later as he indicates in his post and compelled by the above to let his own words condemn him and let God handle the discipline of His child.

What appears to have been revealed, apart from all of this debate posturing, is the very thing Paul warns about when selecting leadership:

1Ti 3:6 "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil."
Christian maturity has certainly been lacking in the Caner approach. From referring to himself as "the intellectual pit bull..." to the infamous sermon "Why I am predestined not to be a Calvinist" to the exchange in planning for the debate. I will pray to that end.

Rev. S. Michael Huffman said...


I wanted to comment about one thing that you mentioned regarding the books that Dr. White gave you as being, "dealing with unbelievers in general", I beg to differ, my friend.

I am currently preaching through the books of Timothy, which Dr. White made reference to, and Paul is certainly (esp. in 1 Tim. 1) dealing with Timothy on how to handle false prophets, by confronting them. Pelagianism is not the true Gospel of Christ and must be confronted.

farmboy said...

In his posts tjl makes a distinction between the church and the academy. Given that the academic institutions in question are church affiliated and/or sponsored, is this distinction helpful or meaningful?

Specifically, tjl observes as follows: "I have grown very frustrated lately with followers of Christ who feel that 'debating' important doctrinal truths is their 'calling' in life. I respect the ministries of both Ascol and White but I must admit here that I'm not quite sure why those within Reformed circles are always on the defensive instead of just speaking about the things that are true and biblical."

Doesn't right practice follow from right teaching (i.e. doctrine)? Aren't debates effective means for teaching important doctrines? Doesn't it then follow that debates are effective in advancing the Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:20 ESV) How is defending "the things that are true and biblical" different from "speaking about the things that are true and biblical"? To the extent they are capable of doing so, aren't all Christians called to defend "the things that are true and biblical"?

Continuing, tjl observes as follows: "I read those in context and it seems to me that those called of God to be undershepherders within the church (not academia) should be at the forefront in equipping those whom GOD has gathered so they can be scattered, protected, etc. It might also be an indictment on the church because we send our 'future pastors' off to learn theory and the result is horrendous. Anyway, I just don't get the whole 'debate ministry' thing."

Where do the undershepherders find the sheep they are called of God to shepherd? Is a Christian student at Liberty University one of these sheep? Is a Christian attending one of Mr. White's debates one of these sheep? Continuing the metaphor, where does an undershepherd go to get the necessary training in animal husbandry? Wouldn't he go to an academic institution that is church affiliated and/or sponsored? If by "theory" one means the teachings and doctrines that God left in Scripture, wouldn't it be an indictment of the church if it didn't require "future pastors" to be grounded in theory before they begin to practice? Now, if right doctrine leads to right practice, it follows that wrong doctrine leads to wrong practice. To the extent that church affiliated and/or sponsored academic institutions teach wrong doctrine, then that will lead to an outcome where "the result is horrendous."

Based on the above there is much merit in "the whole 'debate ministry' thing."

Samuel J Bell III said...

I have also sent a email to Dr. Caner but as of yet he has not resopnded. I guess just because I dont matter. I am only a member of a local body. I quess my voice dosent count. well any ways here is the email.
Dr. Caner,
Sir I want to say that I come to you in Christian love
and concern for your soul. I humbly acknowledge your education and experience in the ministry. So in that spirit I come to you as a brother in Christ to tell you that the way you handled the Debate issue with White/Ascol is appalling and doesn't show the true spirit of Christ. I am referring to your post on yourwebsite.
Calvinist Debate Canceled by Hyper-CalvinistJames White backs out of the debate. Refused to submit to moderator rules. Details will follow tonight.

I have been following this debate since the start of this drama from the first email till now. You have not been accurate with your description of James or Tom. You have misused terms and redefined words. You havehidden behind your privacy within the confines of the
ministry which you rightfully gave up when you enteredthe ministry. You as a Sheppard of Christ are supposedto be above reproof. You should be willing if you are a Pastor of the flock to have no secrets before man.
1Ti 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in
love, in faith, in purity.

Tts 2:8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

I assume you have read the qualifications of minister in 1 Tim. and Titus. So when I hear and read you falsely describing a Brother, I loose all respect for you as an Elder. Dr. Caner I am a five point Calvinist not a Hyper-Calvinist. If you are still confused on the difference let me give you a list of the errors of
hyper-Calvinism that are rejected by Calvinists:

God is the author of sin and of evil
Men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect
The number of the elect at any time may be known by men
It is wrong to evangelize
Assurance of election must be sought prior to repentance and faith
That the children of unbelievers dying in infancy are certainly damned
That God does not command everyone to repent
That the grace of God does not work for the betterment of all men
That saving faith is equivalent to belief in the doctrine of predestination
That only Calvinists are Christians

You should see the difference. If James and Tom Where Hyper-Calvinst the would not even accept you as a
saved Brother in Christ. Also they would have never have challenge you to a Christian debate because they wouldhave no reason to.
Due to that, hyper's think Men have
no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect. Also they, hyper's feel It is wrong to

Brother Caner I will ask you to please study on
Biblical Calvinism and not the errors of Hyper-Calvinism. By the way the truth will come out and it would show much grace if you would be the one to humble yourself and be honest and truthful with this.

Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Pro 29:23 A man's pride will bring him low, But a
humble spirit will obtain honor.

All and All Dr. Caner I pray that God humbles you and convicts you to tell the people the truth. I pray that you will do this. On another note I was considering attending LU's online courses but due to this incident and your attitude and lack of composer I will not even consider it. Thank you for allowing God to help me make that decision since you think it takes man to
tell God what is going to happen on this world. Ileave you with a quote for a man that you admire so
much Jerry Falwell.
The church in Geneva: John Calvin. In the sixteenth century, John Calvin attempted to create a model
Christian city in Geneva and a model Christian church in contrast to the corrupt church and city of Rome at that period in history. While I am not a five-point
Calvinist, I salute the great impact that Calvin made on the world. With Calvin’s high view of the sovereignty of God, his great commitment to word-for-word inerrancy of Scripture, his understanding of the total depravity of man, and his unashamed support for the blood atonement of JesusChrist; Calvin’s anointed scholarship produced men who went around the world teaching the Reformed view of theology that has become the foundation of Presbyterianism and traditional evangelical Christianity. Truly, the Geneva church was a church that influenced the world theologically. I want Thomas Road Baptist Church to influence the world, both theologically and experientially through education. This is the rationale for the existence of all our schools and Liberty University.
Jerry Falwell(In a sermon preachedat Thomas Road Baptist Church in July 2001) here is the link if you dont believe me

In Him who works out all for the good for those who
love Him,
Sam J Bell
PS. I would like at lest an acknowledgment that you
received this email

All scripture Quotes are from the New American
Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation and The Holy
Bible, English Standard Version © 2001 Crossway Bibles

eric said...

Howdy Guys,
I'm Disgusted with those leaders at Liberty. Do they not know that Liars will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do they not fear God? I can go on and on voicing disgust for Jerry Falwell and the Caner boys. You can feel the irritation in my words.
I have a good friend in missions overseas. If I were to have a conversation with him concerning this it would go something like this.
Can you believe the lies (so on and so forth) that those Elders at liberty are saying..... my friend would stop me and say something to the effect, Eric God will deal with that situation, what you need to deal with is not what they did or didn’t do, rather what is God wanting to teach you through this.
No..No..did you hear what they did?
He would say yes, but that’s not your problem. you need to deal with your heart because this situation might be used to exposed sin in your own heart.
With that said, how do I not keep disgust for Falwell and Caner in my heart?

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

It is very disturbing to me to see someone who openly criticizes their brothers in Christ as a president of a Seminary. For someone who promotes unity among Southern Baptist, why try to divide them? There have been comments by others who argue this same way that Calvinism will split the SBC. I am very sorry to say, but making false accusations about others within the SBC and lowering the standard of integrity will be the split of the SBC. May we in the grace and love of God not stoop to this level. And may God be honored by our speech and our response in these situations

Aaron L. Turner said...

lmegehAs I write this, I am waiting for the on demand video get to the sermon that was preached by Jerry Vines last night at FBC of Woodstock. I have watched as very small children were baptized, having made a profession of faith in Christ. I have observed as they conducted their business conference. I have listened to their announcments, about all of the animals, cotton candy, ferris wheel, at their soon to come fall festival.

As I have listened to this webcast, I have taken time to look at Ergun's announcment of the cancellation of the debate.

As I have observed all of this, this thought has come to my mind: These guys are doing very well, and don't seem to care about something as insignificant as the truth about what the Bible actually says about salvation.

They have a very large platform from which to speak, and those of us who believe in the doctrines of grace aren't going to gain access to it, no matter what we do or say. Ergun Caner can call James White a hypercalvinist after beeing sufficiently corrected, and doesn't really care because his platform is unaffected by our voices.

I believe the only thing that we can do, is to use the platform that God has given to us, to continue to speak the truth, and correct the errors, and leave the rest in God's capable and sovereign hands.

I thank God that for this blog, and for the fact that with the internet, our platform has been enlarged. May He continue to give us the grace and wisdom to use it wisely.

GeneMBridges said...

tjl said:

I have grown very frustrated lately with followers of Christ who feel that "debating" important doctrinal truths is their "calling" in life. I respect the ministries of both Ascol and White but I must admit here that I'm not quite sure why those within Reformed circles are always on the defensive instead of just speaking about the things that are true and biblical. The amount of time spent on blog entries and "rants" because a debate fell through is such a waste of time. Just get back to the main thing (JESUS) and push forward onto something else. Love God, love the kingdom.

We, of course, have gotten tired of the attacks from the other side of the aisle. The reason that this debate was to take place was because of such an attack. What's more, Scripture is literred with debates. Remember Stephen in the synagogue? Paul on Mars Hill?

Further, let's not forget that Baptists have a long history of debating. There were over 100 from 1644 to 1701 alone. So, to deny the validity of debating is to deny biblical example and historical witness.

Dr. Caner said:

Just because JW has a problem with authority, and cannot manipulate the
situation, he backs out.

Unable to manipulate Dr. White directly, Dr. Caner appears to be willing to manipulate him indirectly in order to get Dr. White to back out.

Dr. Caner said:

He whined about the first thesis.
He whined about the second thesis.
He whined about the time.
He whined about having someone else (other than him) in charge.

Come now, Dr. Caner, can you not keep the agreements you and your brother make? The only "whining" I've seen has been from you. In fact, from my perspective, your above words constitute a "whine."

Dr. Caner said:

Anyone who holds to predestination to hell, and the possibility of infant damnation, even in theory, is a hyper Calvinist.

Really? Please find this in a historical theology textbook or journal article, Dr. Caner. What theologian of note has ever stated successfully that the sine qua non of hyper-Calvinism is "infant damnation?" It's nice to see, however, that you deny the imputation of Adam's guilt. Does this mean you deny original corruption as well? Are we to presume you also deny the imputation of Christ's righteousness? We all see the implication of the words "infant damnation" for what it really is, an argument by outrage, an appeal to the emotions, not a substantive argument. Apparently, in your world, ad homineum invective is considered a substitute for reasoned argument.

What's really sad here is that Dr. Caner has chosen to frame this, yet again, without any consideration for the truth, biblical or otherwise. I must conclude that his anti-Calvinism isn't exegetical or philosophical, it is personal, and I must further conclude, from what I have thus far witnessed that when I see him behaving in public this is more of a sham than genuine. He should be treated as the factious man of Titus 3, since his peers at LU and TRBC are unwilling or unable to discipline him.

Dr. Caner, Calvinism has never heard of you before, and if its advocates ever think of you hereafter it will never be in a connection flattering to your vanity. The fact that you can violate the 9th commandment so very freely is disturbing to say the least. FYI, this follows the standard recipe in the SBC: If you can't win by force of argument, invent your own history; impute blame to your opponent; have a third party do your dirty work for you; mix well. Serves 16.4 million, well 7 million on a good Sunday. For somebody whose church and institution is relatively knew to the Convention, I must say they have adapted well already.

For Wade Burleson:

As always, wise words, and among the most insightful comments here. IMO, you are quite correct, this is only the beginning.

For Patrick Berryman:

It is my understanding that Dr. Caner closed comments on his blog awhile back. Go figure.

Bill Formella said...

Aaron, I believe you are looking at outward appearance only. At times it does appear that they are very confident and have no reason to even mention the existence of Calvinism, yet they do and are doing so with greater passion and are becoming increasingly outragious.

I believe the reason they are doing this is because, somewhere deep inside, they know they are sitting inside a house of cards. Many of these mega churches are in a very tenuous financial situation at best. If the growth projections fail to pan out they're in serious trouble. They see the way Calvinism is growing and they know another ten years of this could put them in an awful position. If they were honest, rather than saying Calvinism is going to destroy the church they would say they fear it's "going to destroy MY kingdom."

You are right about using the platform God gives us. We should rest and be content in that. However, I think there are platforms available to us that we are not yet using. We SBC'ers need to take a page from Desiring God's success and begin producing more materials that can be copied and distributed free of charge. Again I'll recommend three articles from Desiring God that our church is looking at putting into booklet form for distribution:

Are there two wills in God?

Is God less glorious for ordaining that evil be?

How does a sovereign God love?

What we believe about the five points of Calvinism?

Bill Formella said...

Uh..I guess that was four. At least five out four people told me that!

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


I understand by the reading of this blog that many of you are upset that the proposed debate, for whatever reasons, is not taking place.

In the interests of those who have desired to see this debate take place, I have offered both Dr. White and Caner the opportunity to debate the thesis "Is Calvnism Biblical" on November 2nd, 2006 at The Hotel Royal Plaza in Walt Disney World.

The proposed debate would take place on a night that Dr. White and Dr. Ascol were to speak at the 2006 Alpha and Omega National Conference. I have a 1,200 seat ballroom at our disposal for the event. Even though this debate would take place the night prior to Dr. White's debate with the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong DD on "Is Homosexuality Compatible With Authentic, Biblical Christianity?", Dr. White has already returned my proposal to both parties with an affirming "yes".

Please know that if Dr. Caner does kindly agree to the debate and format, the event and the debaters will be contracted to appear and debate. The proposed format for the debate is as follows:

30 Minute opening statements
25 Minute rebuttals
15 Minutes Affirmative Cross Examination
15 Minutes Negative Cross Examination
15 Minutes Affirmative Cross Examination
15 Minutes Negative Cross Examination
20 Minute Closing Statements
30 Minutes of Moderated Audience Questions

If Dr. Caner is unable to clear his schedule for this debate, I have proposed October 13th or 14th, 2007 in Seattle Washington as an alternate time and location. This being said and in the interests of those parties who have sacrificed for the sake of the original event, pray that Dr. Caner will be able to find time in his busy schedule to debate on November 2nd.

Until then, grace and peace!

Michael O'Fallon
President and Director of Sales
Sovereign Cruises LLC
877-768-2784 ext. 3

J.D. Rector said...

Brothers and Sisters: It is quite distressing to see integrity lacking among leaders. The Word tells us to "let your yes, be yes and your no, be no." Tom, thank you for admonition to remember who the "enemies" really are. Futhermore, to the dear saint who prayed for "God to humble" another person... watch out. God may just humble you. The scripture admonishes us to humble ourselves as well as "God humbles the proud".
May we all be men and women of integrity and humility while "striving for the faith once delivered to the saints."
J.D. Rector

johnMark said...


"October 16th Baptists and Calvinism Debate Has Been Cancelled

From: Ergun Caner

Re: Cancelled Debate

10/9/06 at 3:43pm

A Statement from Ergun Caner regarding the Baptists and Calvinism Debate:

The definition of revisionist history is often as simple as someone wanting it to be true.

As I have the entire Reformed community up in arms over my statement concerning the debate, I would simply like to put an end to the speculation. On Friday as I was flying to a speaking engagement I was informed by my office that Drs. White and Ascol (either one or both of them) objected to the rules established by the moderator, Brett O’Donnell. My answer then is the same as my answer now. Whatever the moderator stipulated I would agree to. As I was between flights to my final destination I discovered that Dr. White had dictated a deadline of 5:00pm. When I landed at my final destination, they had cancelled the debate. They had refused to come. I am disappointed but not surprised.

Dr. White didn’t like the original thesis. He complained.

He didn’t like the length of the debate. He complained.

He didn’t like the format. He complained.

We agreed to the new thesis. And he complained again.

We created a promotion piece. They even complained about the poster.

Now, in attempting to manipulate the proceedings, he actually wanted to tell the moderator how to moderate the debate.

I am not surprised when James White attacks me or my brother. I am disappointed when he attacks the character of Brett O’Donnell. Brett O’Donnell has won almost 20 National Debate Championships, defeating Harvard, Yale, etc. As an expert in debate, and more importantly, as a Christian gentleman, he did not deserve this type of abuse by James White.

So . . . it’s cancelled. They quit. Either Dr. White or Dr. Ascol, or both decided they didn’t want to debate under those rules. It’s as simple as that. I am unsure if James White has a problem with authority or simply doesn’t like to debate unless he can manipulate the proceedings to his advantage. The rules established by Brett O’Donnell would have been limiting to my brother and myself as well; the difference is, we didn’t whine and we didn’t quit.

This sad chapter is behind us, and I go back to being the President of a Seminary that stands firmly on the side of general atonement, like 90-95% of the Southern Baptist Convention. Let the Calvinists and the Hyper-Calvinists fight over the remaining 5-10%.

Incidentally, this Sunday night at 6:00pm Dr. Emir Caner will be preaching at Thomas Road Baptist Church, and he will address this topic. I will be there. Whosoever will, may come.

Ergun Caner

p.s. – If you have the desire to send me 30-page long emails, please don’t. My answer to you will be the same as it has been in this letter. We are ready, Emir and I are there, we weren’t the ones who quit."

Cary Loughman said...

The sermon by Vines is now up at

As for the content, I found it standard fare for an anti-Calvinistic sermon with the usual strawmen and misrepresentations, such as:

Calvinism is taking certain concepts to their logical extreme

Calvinism kills churches

It is adopted through influential teachers (not because someone read the Bible and arrived at certain conclusions about what it teaches)

Calvinists hate babies that die

Some secretly infiltrate churches without revealing they are Calvinists. Shame, shame, shame.

I find the timing of this sermon very suspect in light of Caner's blog post today.

Cary Loughman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cary Loughman said...

"The definition of revisionist history is often as simple as someone wanting it to be true."

Indeed, Dr. Caner. The problem is that there is recorded history and there are still literate people who can think for themselves and will examine both sides.

Daniel Cassady said...

RABBLE RABBLE!! I can't believe that statement posted by Ergun.

"Please Lord, keep me from wrath like I feel when politicians spin the truth."

Truth: Ergun and Emir made an agreement. O'Donnell broke the agreemnt and the Caners agreed. White and Ascol canceled because of the breach of trust.

jdlongmire said...

The fact that the moderator is an employee of LU certainly has no bearing on this turn of events.

So transparent, so disingenuous!


Samuel J Bell III said...

What arogance and lack of honesty,
It is appalling and disharting. By the way i never got a responce from
Dr. Ergun Caner. Oh well!

Ransom said...

Apparently, in Caner-speak, quit means "thanks to the unilateral actions of the moderator, the previously agreed-to debate has ceased to exist."

Chessmann said...

Wait a minute. After almost 2 days of trying to contact Ergun, Emir and Brett, Dr. Caner only found out about this while he was on a flight on Friday afternoon?

That sounds very odd.


Bartimaeus said...

Just a parting thought for this evening "The Intellectual Pit-bull of the evangelical world has morphed into the "Cowardly Lion" at Liberty U. And oh yes don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtian.

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

As the date came closer, I began to think the powers at LU might actually let this happen. (Confession... even started planning a tailgate party)

Without attempting to judge motives, imagine what a fair debate format might have produced! LU dodged a bullet (a truth bullet).

I know Dr. White has a lot of "on the street" ministry experience as well as airline tickets/travel accomodations to Lynchburg that it would be a shame to waste... any potential there?

Also--I will contribute towards Ergun's airfare and accomodations to/in Orlando. Anyone want to set up an account?

Be Strong and Courageous,


Micah said...

Referring to Liberty as the No. 1 team and one of the nation's great collegiate debate programs is a bit "like calling the best Division III basketball team the NCAA champion." (

Some interesting stats on Liberty's debate team:

Liberty hasn’t made it to the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament since 1997.

Liberty’s best varsity duo only ranks ~ 65th in the country by winning percentage.

"Essentially Liberty is doing what debaters call “spreading,” where you try to put out so many arguments your competitor can’t respond to them all. They’re flooding weak tournaments with junior squads and raking in the points."

"... O'Donnell's debate theory. "The trick is to persuade the audience," he explained to me. "It's psychological, and it rests in Aristotle's theory of enthymeme. Aristotle saw that pure logic can't carry a public argument. You need to make the audience go along with you. You do that by leaving out a premise the audience will add itself..."

"...There is a tactical logic to speed-talking. Arguments — even nonsensical or irrelevant arguments — must be rebutted. Those left unanswered count against you. The faster you talk, the more arguments you can make, and the better your chance to rack up points. Debaters carry their ammunition, files of every possible argument and rebuttal, in 14-gallon plastic tubs..."

Joseph Botwinick said...

I have an idea. Since Ergun is being so above board in his character assasinations and lies, why doesn't he publish the e-mail that he says is confidential and let the truth be known? Let's see if he is willing to do so.

Deb Jones said...

Wow I'm so upset about this...I was looking forward to this debate so much. Sigh. :( Will you come to LU anyway?? :)

Q. A. Jones said...

I wonder in all this...whatever happened to the truth?

Not just integrity in discussing the issues behind the cancellation, but the concern for the truth and pressing on with the debate irregardless and getting beyond the idiodicy. If everyone believes the Calvinism debate is so important why aren't we doing our best to create the most ammenable circumstances - or one side just taking the hit like Christ did before the Sanhedrin and letting God be God in upholding their honor?

Don't know if anyone has suggested - but why not scratch the Lynchburg/LU hosting and have a third party set up the location, rules, etc. Or even do an online debate - a set amount of words a piece each arguement for 4 - 5 rounds? I don't know - just thinking out loud...anything to encourage brethren to "reason together" (while one side is more about rhetoric than reason, it's still the goal!).

But, for the sake of the truth brothers (Ascol/White) - I urge you to go on to Lynchburg and let God be your "honor and salvation." I think this is a historical issue not only in the SBC (which I will be soon entering) but even in the whole realm of evangelicalism. We can't let the truth be strong armed. if it was me, I'd take the high road and say, "Ok, I'll go along with your rules...this is too important of an issue. Do what you want, the truth will prevail." And plus, you don't want your opponents to do what they are doing now...saying you "quit".

I remember distincly the first time I believed God was calling me to the ministry. It was when I read this passage:

"As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm."

Contend for the faith brothers...please...I urge you.

For the Truth,

Uncialman said...

Greetings Q!

If you will scroll up the page you will be able to see that I (a third party) have in fact made the opportunity for Dr. Caner and Dr. White to debate the heart of the controversy in the thesis "Is Calvinism Biblical?" November 2nd, 2006 in Orlando FL.

Thus far I have received a "yes" from Dr. White. I am still waiting for a reply from Dr. Caner.

If I receive an affirmative from Dr. Caner I will have my attorneys draw up a legally binding contract for both sides to adehere to.

With great ease, peace, and mutual cooperation, Sovereign Cruises and Events LLC has been able to sponsor and hold theological debates for seven years running. I pray that we will have the opportunity to host Dr. Caner and his family here in Walt Disney World for the weekend of November 2nd.

Regardless of Dr. Caner's decision, I will still be sponsoring the debate with Dr. White and Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong DD on Friday night, November 3rd.

Please pray for a mutually edifying situation to be worked out between all concerned parties.

WorshipLeader said...

Does anyone else find it ironic that, on caner's blog, two posts prior to the debate notices is a large post where Caner is frustrated that he was misquoted and misrepresented in the media? He acuses the Palm Beach County newspaper of lying! He acuses someone of misrepresenting him as LYING! And he's "whining" about it on a BLOG.

He asks if truth matters anymore!

Bob Showalter said...

Perhaps in retrospect, it wasn't such a good idea for Dr. White to have suggested Brett O'Donnell as moderator :)

Anyway, it's time to shake the dust off our feet and move on. Ergun Caner by his behavior has revealed himself to be simply a fool.

Dr. White has a long track record of faithfully and respectfully defending Calvinism against all comers. Caner has... what?

Good riddance.

Joshua said...

I just graduated from Liberty, I studied music and theater, and happen to know there was much interest in this upcoming debate even among students outside of just the School of Religion or the Seminary. I haven’t been on campus over the weekend to hear the buzz about the cancellation announcement, but everyone I’ve talked with so far seems rather down about it. There are many (students) at the university who hold to Reformed theology, but it is seldom mentioned by the Faculty except in cursory discussions in theology classes. Otherwise it is only discussed at length amongst groups of students. So, having an evening of discussion formally devoted to the topic was highly anticipated.

My hope is that this event could be planned again and rescheduled. Not to patronize the opposing sides, but to do it for those thousands who were planning their attendance. Whatever logistical issues that arose this time could be rectified with another try I would hope - because there are some in Lynchburg who do appreciate scholarly discussion over mere stage presence and showmanship.


Robert Owen said...

Can someone tell me why does anyone from Liberty not have a blog for people to discuss this issue? I would like to read what they are saying. I sent Ergun two emails but he has not responded to me. I thing it's funny that he has a blog but does not allow anyone to respond. This may be judgemental, but I think that is just cowardly.

Robert Owen said...

I started a blog for general Baptist doctrinal discussions. I hope some of you will start some good discussions there.

LUCalvinist2010 said...

there are some blogs on facebook actually...the group w/in Liberty called Liberty Calvinists has some comments from a few students on this controversy.
this is my first year here, and I gotta be honest when I say as a person who's benefited very much from John Piper's ministry, its a little nerve-wracking to be a 5 point Calvinist on this campus especially after realizing how passionately Ergun Caner is against Calvinism. I always thought that having a passion for God's sovereignty and Christ's supremacy would cause one to be MORE compelled to do world missions work and evangelism since its a command straight from God, right? Im stunned at how many students have never read/heard anything from John Piper, much less, know anything about him (even some professors)! I want Ergun Caner to debate John Piper SO bad.
My church in southwest Ohio is growing rapidly and has home-churches throughout the community and our 34 yr old pastor is a 'fireball' for Christ and he has quoted many a quote from Piper. I can guarantee you that calvinistic principles do not result in the death of churches! It is disunity with or without calvinists or 'middle ground' folk...someone please tell me this is obvious to them. The Liberty Calvinists really need some support here. help... :-/

Bill Formella said...

2010: Be strong brother. You're on the right track. Even though many Baptists are ready to throw stones at Piper for the proposed move to accept paedo-baptists (or paedo-bapitized?) into membership, he is still one of the best, most compassionate communicators in the Reformed camp. I've mentioned these works on several other posts but I'll mention it again. Four documents from that you need to copy, make pdf files for e-mailing, etc., and distribute to all your friends are as follows:

Are There Two Wills in God?

Is God Less Glorious Because He Ordained that Evil Be?

How Does a Sovereign God Love?

What we Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism

Any while you're at it, take a look at Ten Effects of Believing in The Five Points of Calvinism

If you can't afford or need help doing this, maybe we could set up some kind of fund to help you. Desiring God will let you make all the copies you want, but I realize there is still some money involved. Especially for a college student living off of cafeteria mac n' cheese. :)

brad reynolds said...

To All

I noticed the comment by Scott referencing Dr. Vines. I listened and I never heard him even quote Calvin I could be wrong. But instead of calling him a liar perhaps we should just say...Everyone go listen to the message and draw your own conclusions. I am especially careful about calling people names, especially men of God.

Sorry I can't stay and play but more work to do:)

Ian Kyle said...

As a student in Liberty Theological Seminary, and a friend of Bill's (who is a great classmate and student)I feel that I have to say something.

I agree totally that we are to defend the faith against heresy. Apologetics are my passion. However, in your statements you make anyone who is not a 5 point Calvinist a heretic.

I am not a Calvinist, but I certainly would not consider those who are Calvinists heretics; that is unless they flat out deny a Scriptural truth. Indeed is that what you all are saying? Am I a heretic because I don't agree with your position?

I am a premillennialist, but I don't call a Postmillennialst a heretic, even though I disagree with him. Contrary to popular belief, Calvinism is not a fundamental of the faith, as is the Trinity, the eschaton, the death, burial and resurrection, etc.

Mind you that Calvinism does affirm some of the fundamentals, such as the fallen nature of humanity, but so do we non-Calvinists. Yes, I know what you're thinking; Jerry Falwell did call Calvinists heretics. Was he right?

There are most assuredly some Calvinists who are, if they place their convictions on a higher shelf than the words of Scripture. However, the same is true on he other side as well.

So, you agree with Beza's 5 points; ok, lets get on to talking about other things, like the deity of Christ, or the dangers of full preterism, etc. Paul told Timothy that a pastor should be balanced; I beleive the biblical word is one who is not an extremist. I believe that there are those on both sides of the fence that are guilty of violating that requirement.

This thing is turning into a hobby horse, almost like an idol. At the very least it's a preoccupation, with something that really isn't that big of an issue. Also, don't be so critical of Dr. Caner. You are attacking him as a person instead of his arguments. The debate didn't happen, so what; lets live life. You complain about being called heretics, when you are doing the same thing to us, just not in so many words. Meanwhile, there are Hindus, Wiccans, Mormons, JW's, and a whole slew of other world religions and cults who are all on their way to hell. Both sides agree on that.

And no, I am not a person who just tries to be a peace-maker. I love debate. But, this is a rant, not a debate.