Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
What An Edit Job is This?
12/06/2004 - James WhiteThis past weekend I was again at the Covenant of Grace Church in St. Charles, Missouri (I give all that info so that if any of Dave Hunt's folks want to get the tapes, they can order them!). Friday night and all day Saturday I spoke on the topic of Debating Calvinism. I used the recording of the Chuck Crismier show from 12/1 as my outline (see the link below). I played it, and then stopped it and commented on aspects of what was said by Mr. Hunt, but also by Mr. Crismier. The folks seemed to enjoy the format.
During the presentation I mentioned something about Hunt's book with Loyal Publishing, What Love is This? In case you haven't kept up with things, Loyal was purchased by Multnomah, and Multnomah did not re-print What Love is This? Hunt indicated they were looking for a secular publisher to print the book so that they could not be "intimidated by Calvinists." Well, now the Berean Call itself is putting out a new, second edition of What Love is This? I had not yet seen the new edition, and thankfully, one of those in attendance had a copy with him that he gave to me (I traded him a copy of Scripture Alone and Letters to a Mormon Elder for it!). As portions of the radio discussion would play, I thumbed through the new edition, checking particular passages that I had criticized, areas where I had documented direct and clear error on Hunt's part. One of the first was in reference to 1 John 5:1. On page 315 of the original edition (please note that the new edition has been nicely re-typeset, is much more readable, is in hardback, and has one of the nicest slip covers I've ever seen: kudos to whoever did the design work: too bad it is used on such material, to be honest) Hunt provided the following:
That this dogma is not produced by biblical exegesis but is necessitated by the other points in TULIP is clear. Nowhere does the Bible state that regeneration (i.e.,the new birth,being born again, given eternal life, salvation) precedes faith, but there are scores of scriptures that tell us that faith comes first:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....(Mark 16:16)
To them gave he power to become [through the new birth ] the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. (John 1:12)
He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.(John 6:47)
...he that believeth in me,though he were dead,yet shall he live....(John 11:25)
…that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,and thou shalt be saved....(Acts 16:31)
...and many of the Corinthians hearing believed,and were baptized. (Acts 18:8)
...the gospel of Christ...is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth....(Romans 1:16)
That if thou shalt...believe in thine heart...thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)
It pleased God...to save them that believe.(1 Corinthians 1:21)
...them that believe to the saving of the soul.(Hebrews 10:39)
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is [as a result of believing] born of God....(1 John 5:1)
Now, there is much that is wrong with Hunt's argumentation here. I have before documented Hunt's inability (or, more likely, unwillingness) to use standard theological terminology. Here he confuses regeneration with all of salvation (which is what allows him to charge those who do use theological terminology consistently with contradicting themselves). To any semi-knowledgable Calvinist, none of the passages cited are even slightly relevant to the issue. But Hunt refuses to address Calvinism; he has made up his mind what Calvinism must be, and he is intent upon spending his last days on God's earth warning others about it.
But far more significant is the final citation in the original work, that of 1 John 5:1. I will not go back over what I have written, but in Debating Calvinism I documented how Hunt's insertion of the paraphrastic "as a result of believing" flies in the face of the grammar and syntax of the passage (DC, pp. 198-199) and how the consistent application of Hunt's insertion would lead us inevitably to believing we are born again by doing works of righteousness. Hunt obviously has no response to this information. All he managed in DC was to assert, without a shred of evidence, that the verse can be taken "either way." This is one of the main reasons Hunt continues to duck a live debate: he knows I will ask him, directly, to answer this kind of question, and given the changes he has made in his book, he knows he cannot answer.
So, when I got my hands on the new edition of What Love is This? (btw, it is even available in e-text!) I immediately looked for 1 John 5:1. Surely, having been refuted on the passage in DC Hunt would try to offer some explanation. But upon looking in the Scripture index, I found no references at all! So I looked for Hebrews 10:39, which was cited immediately above 1 John 5:1 on page 315 of the original book, and this led me to page 400 of the new book. There you will find the exact same material, and the exact same list of verses (more nicely typeset with bullet marks this time): but now the list ends with Hebrews 10:39: 1 John 5:1 and Hunt's heretical paraphrastic insertion has simply been deleted without a single word of explanation, apology, or defense. I could not believe my eyes.
But this is not the only "new" item in the new edition of WLIT? I will be pointing out some more errors and changes, and considering what these mean, in the near future.