Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Bob Wilkin in Debate and in Exegesis (Part I)
04/25/2005 - James White
This picture sort of sums up the end of the debate: I'm listening to the moderator who is trying to make some serious closing remarks, and Wilkin is...well, I guess only he knows. At one point he was taking pictures of the audience. All I can say is that Dr. Wilkin evidently is not interested in convincing serious Calvinists of his position, for his presentation was fully intended to impress only the already convinced. That audience seems to be entertained by behavior that "my" audience would find not only distracting, but simply disrespectful.
I really do not know how we managed to set up a debate that had no cross-examination, but there was none in the debate against Robert Wilkin in Oklahoma City (my fault, I'm sure: I was simply too busy to give it my attention until too late to do anything about it). Given the way it went, that was probably providential, in that I am uncertain Dr. Wilkin would have been able to muster the necessary restraint for it to take place. In any case, I did not get to engage him in his assertion that I was guilty of eisegesis in reference to John 6:44. Now realize, this was after Wilkin had already done the classic "John 12:32" end-around anyway, but his specific assertion was that the one who is raised up on the last day is the one who comes, not the one who is drawn, in John 6:44.
The verbal elements of John 6:44 are: 1) du,natai evlqei/n (dunatai elthein); 2) o` pe,myaj (ho pempsas); 3) e`lku,sh| (helkuse), and 4) avnasth,sw (anasteso). Now, #2 (it is the description of the Father as the one who sent the Son) is not really directly relevant to our question, so we will focus upon the other elements. The last verb is "I will raise up" on the last day. This is the promise of Christ. He says He will raise "him" (auvto.n) up on the last day. Who is it that Jesus raises up? This is the big question. Is there a difference between the "him" who is raised up, and the "him" only three words earlier who is drawn? I say there is not, but the Arminian must insist that there is a major break here, and that the one who is drawn is not at all necessarily the same one who is raised up. Wilkin's assertion is that the one who is drawn is the one who comes, but that not all who are drawn come. Can this argument be substantiated by the text? [continued]