Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
BaptistFire Is All Wet
07/30/2005 - James WhiteIn November of 2002 I wrote the following e-mail to the editor of the BaptistFire website:
My name is James White. I am an elder at the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and an author. I wrote a full rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free titled The Potter's Freedom, am currently writing a point/counter-point debate book with Dave Hunt (www.aomin.org/DHOpenLetter.html for my initial rebuttal of Hunt's horrific work), and I debated George Bryson on this topic at the Anaheim Vineyard last April (#494, bottom of the list at: http://aomin.org/mp3/list.html). I have also exposed fully the horrific errors of exegesis committed by Adrian Rogers in his attempts to deal with Calvinism (http://www.straitgate.com/jw082902.ram and http://www.straitgate.com/jw091402.ram). Hence, I have either engaged those you recommend in writing, or in debate. Indeed, Dr. Geisler has turned down every opportunity to defend his position in public dialogue, and we are having quite the time getting Mr. Hunt to schedule anything, either.
Your website says that the Reformed position has no exegetical basis. I know that is untrue. Your website repeats John 3:16 and 1 Timothy 2:4 like a mantra. Yet I have found nothing on your website responding to the discussions of these passages offered in Reformed works (see my open letter to Hunt for a discussion of the relevant issues surrounding John 3:16, and The Potter's Freedom for an exegetical disussion of Matthew 23:37, 1 Timothy 2:4, and 2 Peter 3:9).
I would like to invite anyone from your organization, or anyone you would like to contact, to debate these issues. My first choice would be a full public debate, audio and video recorded, of sufficient length to at least cover the central issues. I would be happy to face one or more individuals, if that was desired. The debate would involve presentation of exegetical information as well as cross-examination (the key to all meaningful debate).
I have engaged in forty-four moderated, public debates thus far, and each would demonstrate that they can be done in a proper, God-honoring fashion.
Failing this, I would invite your representative(s) to join me on our webcast, which has a very wide listening audience, The Dividing Line. We could do one or more programs. We could even focus very narrowly on such issues as "Does John 3:16 Contradict Divine Election?" or "Does 1 Timothy 2:4 Deny Calvinism?" Equal time would be given to both sides to present their position, interaction would take place, and then phone calls would be taken.
Given the fervor with which your site presents its views, I'm sure you will want to take advantage of this opportunity. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Seven months later, I wrote again:
I have in the past invited folks from your organization to join us on our webcast, _The Dividing Line_, to discuss your claims regarding "Calvinism." (That invitation remains open, by the way). In reading the following article:
I came away wondering where, on your website, I can find responses to the rebuttals of your very surface-level claims. Specifically, I included an entire chapter on Matthew 23:37, I Timothy 2:4, and 2 Peter 3:9, in my rebuttal of Norman Geisler's _Chosen But Free_ titled _The Potter's Freedom_. (And since you make reference to Dave Hunt's far worse book _What Love is This?_ in that article, please be advised that not only is there an open letter documenting many horrendous errors of fact, citation, and argumentation in that book [including the use of the NWT's rendering at Acts 13:48] at www.aomin.org/DHOpenLetter.html, but my co-authored debate with Mr. Hunt will be published by Multnomah no later than February of 2004). Where might I find your exegetical rebuttal of the Reformed presentation on Matthew 23:37, 1 Timothy 2:4, or 2 Peter 3:9? Also, given the following exegesis:
....do you provide an exegetical reply to this as well? If so, where might I find this information? I'm sure you have honestly dealt with these issues somewhere, for how could you possibly be so strident in your denunciation of Reformed theology unless you have done so?
You also promote George Bryson. Have you listened to the debate that took place in April of 2002 with Mr. Bryson? We know of a number of former Calvary Chapel folks who are now Reformed Baptists as a result of that encounter. You might listen to it. Here's the mp3 list:
https://aomin.org/mp3/shop.html?shop=list3 (#494, bottom of the list)
Finally, I noted you push Adrian Rogers' sermons on "Calvinism." Many folks enjoyed the following rebuttals of those sermons, as they demonstrated that the good Dr. Rogers has no idea what Reformed theology is about, despite his tremendous skills as a communicator. Another straw man beaten!
I wish Dr. Geisler and Mr. Hunt would debate these issues publicly, but sadly, both have turned down repeated overtures to do so. If you all would like to have someone come on our program to discuss these things, again, we would be happy to do so. And if you would like to co-host a written debate on both of our websites that would be exegetically oriented, that would be wonderful as well.
I have not been able to find any responses to these e-mails. So, though we have refuted each of the resources they offer either fully, or at least in passing, it sure says a lot that they continue promoting these materials and yet refuse to defend their assertions openly in Bible-based debate. The list of those who will speak publicly against Reformed theology, but who refuse to debate the issue honestly and openly on the basis of Scripture, continues to grow.