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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Calvinism Debate Imminent

It appears that while everyone is staying hush-hush right now, Dr. Ergun Caner, Dean of Liberty Theological Seminary on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries are talking about holding a debate on Calvinism. This is a far cry from what most bloggers assumed would happen, especially after the email discourse between the two seemed to suggest that Dr. Caner was completely unwilling to take Dr. White's challenge. However, Dr. White today on his radio program, "The Dividing Line" hinted that this would be the case. Here is what he said so that you can decide for yourself (approx. 17:50 into it):
I, actually am holding back today on some really big news about a future debate. I'm really holding back because I want to be able to give everything at once, but there could be something coming in the pretty near future like before June-ish I would say that's, uh, going to get a lot of attention. Let's put it that way. So . . . . just thought I'd mention that.
When the caller to whom he was speaking said that he needed to make sure it was in Southern California, Dr. White had this response:
Ah, no, in fact, I am going to give one hint, because people in my chat channel already know what it is, but . . . I'll give one hint it would be in Virginia. That should be enough to tell everybody actually what's possibly going to be happening . . . I'll leave it at that. All you gotta do is think about what's in Virginia and what cities are in Virginia and you can figure it out from there. . . Not everything is completely in place yet, so that's why I'm not saying anything more about that.
So there you have it. It seems apparent that a debate with Ergun Caner is imminently upon us. James White is correct when he says that it is going to get a lot of attention. The Patterson/Mohler breakout session coming up at the SBC Pastor's Conference that was first thought to be a debate fizzled when it was revealed that it would be more of a discussion. But you can bet that this will not fizzle. It will be an old-fashioned theological throwdown. And it is likely to make history. Stay tuned for more.

HT: The Sinner at Kudzu Gully


Check out this site for more clues on where the debate may be held and who else might be involved. But, beware, you might have to swallow the blue pill in order to get the info.

Glad I read it here first!

Thanks for the update man. I will want to tune in.

Here are some hints to some more info about the potential debate. http://reformatabaptista.blogspot.com

This would be a great debate.

Glad the info is hitting the blogs outside of us channel rats.


Wow! I guess I need to pack my bags and find a place to stay in Virginia! I don't want to miss this!

Yikes. Thanks for the info. Linked at MBB.

Well that's very interesting indeed. I hope they webcast it or something as I don't see me getting to Lynchburg or Ft Worth.

As you know...I live in VA. As a matter of fact...just 90 minutes from Lynchburg (which is where Liberty is). We have stations there...

anyhow.....I'd predict that the debate would be in Lynchburg or Roanoke. (Either place...I'll be there.)

Let me say a few things:
1. I'm a huge fan of James White. He's incredible and love his writing.

2. Ergun Caner is a DYNAMIC speaker. I've heard him two or three times and was very impressed. One of the times I heard him - he made a few slams against Calvinism.

If you go to this debate, look for Caner to win on being "dynamic", "relateable", and "charismatic". The guy is incredible with crowds. The students at Liberty love him.

I'll go to the debate just to hear James White.

But beware...Caner is no fool.

Also - do we think this debate will actually settle anything? (I'm inviting hate mail with that statement.)

I'm outta here. I need to order a bunch of foam fingers that say "White #1".

Da' Bishop

Brian, you started off real well talking about how close you lived to Lynchburg and how you would make it to the debate, but you finished bad when you forgot to invite me to come stay with you when it takes place. Man, bummer. Maybe your radio stations could cover it for us over the internet like Alex suggested. Oh, well, I guess I will just have to buy the DVD *insert pitifully sad face here*.

I certainly hope I am able to attend the debate if and when.

It would also be nice to meet some of the blogging brothers.



Of course you can stay with us....

email me: bsanders@spiritfm.com

Da' Bishop

Brian, of course I was messing with you, but I would love to have an excuse to hang out with you. I do want to email you about the RC Sproul, Jr. thing, which I just heard about tonight from Kelly. I want to know what your take is and what you have heard from the PCA folks. There are too many weblogs that seem to be bashing the guy. I would like to hear some actual facts. Kelly seems to think that Sproul, Jr. is really messed up, and while I trust his opinion I figured you knew something more. Anyway, I will email you later.

Thanks for the info. This is going to be great. I am afraid the intellectual pitbull may be tamed. I would like to see Ascol and White do it.


Why doesn't Prescott refer to Sproul, Jr. in his anti-Dominionist propaganda? Is it because Sproul is a caricature of that theology? No, I don't think so. Apparently, RCJR is not on the radar, even for those who make it their mission to expose the absurdities of Dominionist thought (says the quasi-Dominionist).

And what's with this "Kelly-thinks-he's-messed-up" bweezness? True, I do. But I formed that opinion at Ponchartrain, not in the recent (and dare I say, preliminary) aftermath of his recent defrocking? There is simply no comparison between his supralapsarian, double-predestinarian Calvinism and Piper's supralapsarian, double-predestinarian Calvinism. As a seven-point Calvinist myself, let me affirm Piper's presentation and distance myself as far as possible from RCJR's. I don't think there is any essential disagreement in our positions. Don't put the onus or aegis or what-have-you on me. You agree, do you not?

Kelly, I honestly have no clue what you just said. Can you please kranslate that into English?

Kelly, your comments toward the end sounded like a George Carlin rant. That, of course, would be hilarious- for Carlin to refer to himself as a supralapsarian double-predestinarian middle-wing emerging-fundamentalist flying spaghetti monster-loving seven-point Calvinist.

Regarding RCJR...where do I begin?

For the most part - PCA folk aren't his biggest fans. Most of us...don't like his theology or his attitude.

It appears that the charges against Sproul Jr are legit. The most serious ones are the "IRS" charges regarding his tax ID number. That will get you in a lot of trouble.

Yet - it also appears that RCJR was very domineering over his people.

The presbytery is actually going to have a "trial" to consider the charges.

He was giving communion to babies which is something his own denomination told him not to do.

A particular family did not agree on every point of doctrine. RCJR and the session voted to discipline the family by informing the church to shun the family.

Simple Google "RC Sproul Jr defrocked" and you should find all the ACTUAL documents you need to form an opinion.

You guessed it. I am not a fan of RCJR. I don't like the man.

I think as a Calvinist - we are to be the most humble people on the planet. (A lesson that took me a few years to learn.) RCJR not only fled from humility but embraced arrogance.

During the conference at Pontchartrain, RCJR and I would argue almost every night at dinner. It was not a good situation.

RC Sproul Sr is a gem of a guy. He's classy and full of grace and humility.

As for Sproul Jr.....I won't comment.

One note: Sprol Jr was not PCA. PTL!!!!

Da' Bishop


Why I gotta be the bad guy when you think the same thing?

Yes, there will be a debate, on the campus of Liberty, with White, Caner 1 and 2, and a fourth (the word is it may be Ascol). Have fun.

D.R., Nice blog.

That would be very interesting to have this debate here in Virginia. I could rent out rooms in my house and charge bus fare to the Vines Center in Lynchburg, or wherever they choose to have it.

On a secondary note, R.C.Sproul,JR. started a church in Bristol, Virginia just a few years ago. They have another site in Mendota, VA. out in the country-side just a few miles from where I was raised. It's a beautiful place in the Appalachian Mountains. I was amazed at how someone as well-known from a major ministry would pick an area like ours to start a church. He also started The Highlands Study Center in Abingdon, VA. It has been rather mysterious to see how people have been drawn to this area because of his ministry. People will just pick up their families, sell their homes, and try to find a job in this area just to be a part of his church. But I have to say, I don't think this has anything to do with the Caner/White debate. So, excuse me for indulging.

don't worry DR, I haven't totally abandoned my post. I'll be stirring up the pot from time to time (splashing the pot?) writing when I feel its warranted or when I'm not feeling particularly lazy - hey, isn't that how you operate your blog?

I holler (whatever that means)


I especially noted that you thought that because it's much more authoritative if you think that way -- you know, you, with all your rationalization and stuff, amd me with all my jump the gun emotionalism and stuff.

I'm just messin' with you DL.

And it's "rationalism."

It seems that the theological debate is ideologically a maze with no good news is that salida.Lo always lend itself to debate.

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Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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