Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Debater's Potter - Part 20 - Chapter 14 & Appendices

In this article we, all of you reading and myself, will finally make it to the end of Dr. James R. White's book The Potter's Freedom(TPF) which is his attempt at "a defense of the Reformation and the rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free." Now Chosen But Free(CBF) by Dr. Norman Geisler is a book which establishes a view of God's sovereignty based on a great deal of Scripture and then builds a largely philosophical case for how the saved Believer in Christ could both be chosen, and free.

In this series of articles I am responding to and interacting with TPF in near real time as I am reading it. The articles have been exceedingly long because I have not wanted to skip over even a single argument made by Dr. White. He often complains in TPF, and in his videos, that people don't interact with the things he says when they question the veracity of his theology as he presents it. So I chose to get into every single argument he brings to the table. That being true, it had been my intention to only read and interact with the actual book and not his Appendices. This changed when I started reading Chapter 14 and found myself in shock at what I was reading. It was late at night and I knew if I didn't get all the way to the end of the book I would never open it again. So, since I read the entire thing, I will interact with the entire thing here.

Again I would like to ask my readers to purchase both Dr. White's book, and Dr. Geisler's. My interaction with either is no substitute for reading them. I would also remind readers to begin a the Introduction to this series.

So let's get to the last chapter of the book!

The Potter's Freedom Defended
"There are few truths more precious to the Reformed believer than the doctrines of grace. These are not issues of mere debate. They are the very essences of the meaning of grace. God's freedom, His proper right of kingship, His unchanging nature, and eternal decree, are precious. In a world where men fancy themselves demigods the Calvinist says, 'God reigns, and I gladly serve Him."
When a simple Believer in Christ wants to know what Grace means they might study the Scriptures to find that it means unmerited favour, or undeserved favour. But, apparently, when a "Reformed believer" wants to know what Grace means they turn to TULIP, or the so-called Doctrines of Grace.

As we have seen Dr. White's definition of "God's Freedom" is in error, as it does not match the God of the Scriptures. God doesn't just have the "right of kingship" He is King of the Universe. His nature is unchanging, this secures our reliance on His grace but doesn't define it. There are no instances of the Calvinist "eternal decree" in the Scripture; not stated, implied or required. The Eternal Decrees of God that the Calvinist uses to explain Determinism simply do not exist, they never happened, and further God does not govern the Universe by Determinism.

The last sentence is most telling however. Perhaps knowing the weakness of his assertion Dr. White resorts to a straw-man to knock down. Perhaps there are people in the world who fancy themselves demigods, but this is not at all the position that Dr. Geisler presents. 

It is interesting that Dr. White's theology cannot remain consistent when it comes to practice.
"I know the depth of sin and depravity that yet remains in my heart, and knowing it, realize my utter impotence to break its chains outside of grace." 
While I can honestly say these very same words myself, when I say them they do not violate the theology that I espouse like they do when Dr. White writes them. See he has been arguing that God gives the sinner a new heart with God's Law's written on them. That He removes that heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. See Dr. White quotes Ezk 36:26 as though it is what God does to sinners to make them able to believe. See they were apparently dead in sin and unable to believe, so God gave them a new divine gift of a heart with a righteous nature that can believe. Let's read some of the passage and see if Dr. White, by his very own confession, has indeed actually experienced this blessing of God or not.

Ezk 36:22-32
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”
Interesting. First we find that this is a promise to the House of Israel... let's say that Christians are the new Israel and God has replaced His Elect Nation with Elect Believers in Christ (I don't believe that for a second, but it is what is required for Dr. White's use of the passage to be even remotely true). Next, let's see that the old heart will be removed, and that He will cleanse them from ALL UNCLEANNESS. Frankly, by Dr. White's confession he has NOT had this happen to him. I'm sorry to report that if you still have depravity in your heart you have not had your heart replaced by God.

Of course this passage has nothing to do with saving sinners in this age. It has nothing to do with Christians. It is a promise to the House of Israel which they will enjoy after they say "Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the LORD!"

He outright abandons his theology again when he states:
"If we realize that all things are meant to result in His glory, and that we are but vessels of mercy, made of honor and glory, we will live our lives so as to reflect the glory of the divine and majestic Creator who made us and sustains us."
What do you mean "if"? Does God "try and try" to use a "vessel of mercy" for His glory "and fail and fail" if they don't "realize" this? If all things are meant to result in His Glory does God fail with those that don't? Is the Potter's freedom to use His pots as He chooses in subjection to the will of the pots, so that He can only use them "IF" they realize...?

Discussing a chapter in CBF called "What Difference Does It Make?" were Dr. Geisler writes "Belief affects behaviour, and so ideas have consequences." Dr. White offers:
"In this he is quite correct. And since, the vast majority of the argumentation in CBF is directed at Calvinism and is written in support of Arminianism, it is obvious that he believes the practical implications of Calvinism are important indeed, in a strongly negative sense."
Dr. Geisler does not support Arminianism in CBF. As for the practical implications of Calvinism being important indeed, in a strongly negative sense... Well it is Dr. White who noting how HORRIBLE new Calvinists often act,  had to write a book about the famous "Cage Stage."

Dr. White chooses his last chapter to address some of what Geisler calles "practical consequences of extreme Calvinism."
"In concluding our refutation of CBF we would like to note these alleged concerns."
I think we'll see by the end of this article that the author of TPF is in no way even sincere in his attempt at rebutting CBF, let alone successful in it. Here are some of the "concerns" that Dr. White chooses to respond to however.

Concern: "Failing to take personal responsibility for our actions"
"This is false. Calvinism has historically been in the forefront of every meaningful revival, such as the Great Awakening, that included as part of its fabric personal behavior and a concern for holiness."
Yay for Calvinism. However, the fact is that Calvinism states that God decrees every action. The sinner nor the saved Believer actually decides what to do. That is the context of Geisler's "concern." White's Lordship Salvation comes out here:
"The greatest impetus that exists for personal holiness and godly behavior is a recognition of one's creatureliness, the sovereignty of God, His glory, and our debt to grace." 
The saved believer is in debt, according to Dr. White and he doesn't address Dr. Geisler's actual concern at all.

Concern: "Calvinism blames God for evil."
"This is false. Calvinism's God is so great, so powerful, and so free, that He can answer the 'big questions" without being stripped of His freedom and His ability to positively decree whatsoever comes to pass."
So if God decrees whatsoever comes to pass then that includes sin. Thus God is blamed for evil. But Dr. White doesn't stop there. He offers a discussion that I suggest everyone investigating Calvinism ought to read. If this philosophical argument doesn't show you the depravity of Calvinism I don't know what will.
"Dr. Geisler, in this section, speaks of a speaker at a conference that recognized that God had been involved in the death of his son, and CBF, sadly, provides a surface level response that shows no interest in entering into the depths of this topic."
I am about to quote what Dr. Geisler shared in CBF, and I want you to consider Dr. White's words "...that God had been involved in the death of his son..." I think we'll see that Dr. White attempts to soften the discussion by exchanging the idea of being "involved" in the death of the son for what the Calvinist actually said. Dr. White doesn't offer the whole quotation but I will. 

I'll start with the part Dr. White did NOT quote from CBF:
"The second example is also tragic. A well-known conference speaker was explaining how he was unable to come to grips with the tragic death of his son. Leaning on his strong Calvinistic background, he gradually came to the conclusion: "God killed my son!" He triumphantly informed us that "then, and only then, did I get peace about the matter." A sovereign God killed his son, and therein he found ground for a great spiritual victory, he assured us."
Here is where Dr. White chose to start his quotation.
"I thought to myself, "I wonder what he would say if his daughter had been raped?" Would he not be able to come to grips with the matter until he concluded victoriously that "God raped my daughter!" God forbid! Perish the thought! Some views do not need to be refuted; they simply need to be stated."
Dr. White responds:
"...I can only say that such responses betray a tremendous lack of familiarity with the great Reformed writers of the past who have spoken to the matter of suffering with such power and depth that we all can benefit greatly from listening to their words."
As always his first concern is his historic theology.
"You simply cannot honestly look at someone and say, 'God has a purpose in your life' when you have to say on the other hand 'God had nothing to do with the death of your loved one.' The greatest joy in death, the greatest comfort in sorrow, is knowing that there is nothing that is purposeless, nothing that is mere chance. 
Arminianism simply cannot provide this kind of comfort."
I'm telling you right now, I wanted to vomit when I read this. So, it is supposed to be comforting when someone says "God killed your son!" or "God raped your daughter!" and then "Don't worry, He had a purpose in doing it!"

He writes:
"Calvinists affirm the biblical truth:" 
And then quotes Psa 135:6 as though it says that God kills sons, and rapes daughters. Then he goes on about the verse:
"Sadly, the Arminian reads this as 'Man does whatever he pleases, and God handles the rest, as long as it does not impinge upon the ultimate freedom of the creature." 
Really? Is that what's at issue here? Can Dr. White provide a quote of ANYONE (let alone Dr. Geisler) translating or interpreting this verse this way or is this simply a completely false accusation made to inflame the reader of TPF into missing the fact that he is failing to answer the "concern" Dr. Geisler raised? Then he writes:
"God works all things after the counsel of His will, including those things that involve the creature, man. As the Bible testifies:"
Then he quotes Ps 33:10-11 as though it supports the idea that God kills sons and rapes daughters. Neither Psalm supports Determinism where "God decrees whatsoever comes to pass" they say that God does what He wills, and man cannot stop Him. There is a HUGE difference, that only the reader blinded by Calvinistic indoctrination could ignore.

Does the reader feel I'm being too agressive with Dr. White here?
"God's purpose is always just, holy, and good. All things resound to His glory, even when we cannot see how this will be. Even the greatest atrocities in history the Calvinist knows were not purposeless not senseless. Even if we cannot see the purpose, we have the promise of God that a purpose did, and does, exist. God is still on His throne."
START SARCASM: So when God kills a son, or rapes a daughter His purpose is always just, holy and good. In fact when He kills a son or rapes a daughter is resounds to His glory, even if we can't see how. Even the greatest atrocities of history were done by God with purpose. He is still on His throne. END SARCASM

I could hardly contain myself when I read this passage while laying in bed Tuesday night last week. Even now I want to vomit. This is vile, evil, blasphemous, dreadful, and wholly unacceptable! God uses all things, He works all things to the glory of Himself. That is when a sinner means it for evil God means it for good. He uses all things, He does not decree all things.


God does kill people who have violated His will in specific instances. Moses is an example. He does not personally kill everyone who dies. He kills those who would interfere with His plans if He does not. God is not the author of sin. I challenge any Calvinist to prove otherwise. Be forewarned I will treat you as the blasphemous false teacher that you are if you should attempt to do so.

The keen reader will note that while Dr. White began his interaction with "this is false" he never once even attempts to show that God does NOT cause evil, which is what the concern Dr. Geisler brought up was. He simply tries to justify God causing evil with the idea that He would have some unknown holy purpose...

Dr. White fails to give the next concern any context at all, but I'll give it as it is stated:

Concern: "When the same logic (as the God killed my son, rapped my daughter speech) is applied to why people go to hell, the tragedy is even more evident."

Dr. White says it is sad to read the following:
"Actually, there is no real difference on this point between extreme Calvinists and fatalistic Islam in which Allah says, in the holy book (the Qur'an), "If We [majestic plural] had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance; but the Word from Me Will come true. 'I will fill Hell with jinn and men all together'" (Sura 32:13).
Dr. Geisler continues, but Dr. White only quotes the final sentence:
"Lest the reader think this is an unfair caricature of extreme Calvinism in Muslim terms, listen to the ords of the famous Puritan Calvinist William Ames: "[Predestination] depends upon no cause, reason, or outward condition, but proceeds purely from the will of him [God] who predestines." Further, "there are two kinds of predestination, election and rejection or reprobation... the first act of election is to will the glory of his grace in the salvation of some men..." Likewise, "Reprobation is the predestination of certain men so that the glory of God's justices may be shown them."
All he responds with is:
"It is clearly Dr. Geisler's purpose to say that these two statements are parallel. Yet, to make such a statement shows tremendous disregard for simple accuracy, let alone respect for Ames or any who believe as he. Allah does not redeem rebel sinners out of grace and mercy. Allah does not give His Son for utterly undeserving men and women. Allah does not do these things to bring glory to his grace! To ignore this fundamental, definitional difference is to engate in the rankest sort of adhominem argumentation that is far below the kind of material we would expect to come from Dr. Geisler's pen"
So what is to be said of someone who does not answer the concerns or the "big questions" that are obviously right to raise? Is it not parallel to say that both theological systems have their deity deciding to fill Hell with men and there's nothing men can do about it? That one of them saves a few out of the Calvinist's view of grace hardly changes Dr. Geisler's point, which is that Calvinism has God behaving like Allah by intentionally sending people to hell simply because He wants to.

Concern: "Next, Dr. Geisler alleges that Calvinism lays the ground for universalism." Dr. White does not provide a quote at all. Here is what Dr. Geisler actually says:
"The one million dollar question for the extreme Calvinists is this: If God can save anyone to whom He gives the desire to be saved, then why does He not give the desire to all people? The answer can only be that God does not really will that all be saved. It does not suffice to claim that God's justice rightly condemns those who do not believe, since even faith is a gift from God that He could give to all if He wanted to do so.... For if God can save all without violating their free choice, and if God is all-loving, then there is no reason why all will not be saved. After all, according to extreme Calvinists, God's love is irresistible. Hence, such love focused on all men would inevitably bring all to salvation."
Now obviously Dr. Geisler is bringing up a concern that Dr. White would take issue with because Dr. White says that while God is "all-loving" that is omnibenevolent that He is also somehow (inexplicably) selectively-loving. We saw last time how that just doesn't work, but Dr. White wants it to work. Instead of answering the concern he writes:
"This is false. Just the opposite is true. Arminianism has opened that door, not Calvinism. Universalists detest the concept of justice, holiness and glory that is part and parcel of Reformed theology. Universalists are the great proponents of free willism, not the freedom of God nor the glory of God."
Now his answer sounds great until you read what it is an attempted answer to. I think that Dr. Geisler's concern is ill-conceived, perhaps even contrived. It is not a concern that I would raise. However, Dr. White fails to answer the actual concern... again.

The next concern...

Concern: "It is then said that Calvinism undermines trust in the love of God." Again he fails to provide a quote from Dr. Geisler.

Predictably he responds with:
"This is false, and just the opposite is true. Calvinism presents a love that is powerful and effective, not a love that tries and tries and tries but fails because it is dependent upon the synergistic cooperation of the objects of that love."
This tries and tires and fails straw-man is exhausting. He never once is able to quote Dr. Geisler saying that, or teaching the concept... yet he ascribes it to him a MULTITUDE of times in TPF. He goes on:
"The love proclaimed by Scriptural Calvinism is a love that saves, a love that lasts, the love about which we sing, 'Oh love that will not let me go....'"
Unless you're God's Elect Nation called Israel... if you're the Elect Nation of Israel you can be replaced by a body of Elect Believers in Christ who will get all the blessings you were promised.... but not really only in so-called 'spiritual' ways. Further I don't know what "Scriptural Calvinism" is... so far I have yet to find Calvinism in any passage of Scripture.

START SARCASM: I wonder why God casting Israel aside and giving the blessings promised to it to another group of people would make people have trouble trusting God? END SARCASM.

But here is the concern as raised by Dr. Geisler, do you think that Dr. White answered it?
"The blunt and honest answer of extreme Calvinism to this dilemma, in the face of the unavoidable logic leading to universalism, is to deny that God is all loving. In short--redemptively at least--God loves only the elect. This fits with the extreme Calvinist's belief in limited atonement (see Chapter 5). For if God loves only the elect, then why should Christ have died for more than the elect?
But any diminution of God's love will sooner or later eat away at one's confidence in God's benevolence. And when it does it can have a devastating effect on one's life."
Dr. White doesn't bother to answer the actual concern, and even skips all of it to land on the next statement.
"Indeed, at this point a most strange and incomprehensible statement is made by Dr. Geisler. He says that extreme Calvinism has been the occasion for disbelief and even atheism for many." 
He picks up on a very odd footnote in CBF that really makes no sense...The footnote talks about how Hell was the reason for Darwin and Bertrand Russell used to not believe in God as though Hell is exclusive to extreme Calvinism. Instead of answering the actual concern Dr. White focuses on the footnote, quoting it instead of the actual concern.... answering it instead of answering the concern. Then after engaging the footnote he offers:
"We believe that a strong proclamation of the God of Scripture is the only basis upon which to answer atheists and their cavils against the Christian faith. Giving in to them and affirming the humanists doctrine of free will is not the way to win the battle. We believe there is nothing gained by hiding the Bible's plain teaching of the sovereignty of God simply to pacify the humanist who is in active rebellion against God's sovereign power in the first place. A God who would create and yet not maintain control over His creation is hardly a God worthy of defending against atheism."
Well that's an action packed response... one reading it without reading Geisler might think that Dr. White had schooled him. Here's what this rant was responding to though...
"A partially loving God is less than ultimately good. And what is less than ultimately good is not worthy of worship, since worship is attributing worth-ship to the object of worship. But if the extreme Calvinists' view of 'God' is not the Ultimate Good, then it does not represent God at all. The God of the Bible is infinitely loving, that is omnibenevolent. He wills the good of all creation (Acts 14:17; 17:25), and He desires the salvation of all souls (Ezek 18:23, 30-32; Hos 11:1-5, 8-9; John 3:16, 1Tim 2:4; 2Pet 3:9)"
One wonders if the Calvinist is concerned with presenting the God of the Scriptures he is not concerned with the passages or even the concern that Dr. Geisler brings up. Yet Geisler is not finished:
"At first, one is impressed with a God that supposedly loves him more than others and has elected him to eternal salvation. But upon further reflection, he cannot help but wonder why, if this God is so loving, He does not so love the world. When this though sets in, the "amazing love" at first experienced by the elect turns to "partial love," and finally to a recognition that God actually hates the non-elect. In the words of extreme Calvinist William Ames, God "is said to hate them [the non-elect] (Rom 9:13). This hatred is negative or privative, because it denies election. But it has a positive content, for God has willed that some should not have eternal life.'
This doubt is implicit in the confession of some of the most pious persons. Indeed, were it no for their deep piety, it is doubtful they could long maintain such a belief. Strong Calvinist Charles Spurgeon admitted, "We do not know why God has purposed to save some and not others... We cannot say why his love to all men is not the same as his love to the Elect." If one allows this to gnaw at his mind long enough, it can turn him from being a particularist into being a universalist--from one unfortunate belief to another."
So what are Dr. White's answers to these concerns? You've already read them... he has none.

Concern: Calvinism undermines the motive for evangelism.
"Despite the popularity of this accusation, it is false. Those who evangelize out of concern for man's free will rather than out of obedience to Christ and His command, do so for the wrong reasons, and will soon be disillusioned as men reject their message and bring persecution against them."
I've been engaged in personal evangelism actively since the spring of 2006. It may not be a long illustrious career but I have personally witnessed to thousands of people I've met on the streets of cities in Canada, to many thousands using tracts, and many thousands more through radio ministry. I have yet to be disillusioned... of course I don't do it "out of concern for man's free will" and I don't know anyone who does. I do it because I've been saved, and I know any who hear and believe the Gospel I preach will also be saved.

Dr. White goes on to say that this concern is most troubling to him personally because he and his group of people are often the only Christians witnessing at the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"We are the only group who is attendance at every single Conference."
"We have talked to Arminians who wonder why we bother, since "those are the hard cases anyway." Yes, they are the hard cases. And if I believed for a second that it was up to their "free will" and a grace that cannot change a heart, cannot renew a mind, I would never set foot outside that place again. But I do not believe in free will, nor do I believe in a grace that is a mere helping force and not a renewing power of God."
I don't know anyone who would ask "why bother?" No quote is offered, no connection to Dr. Geisler, it is nothing more than another straw-man that Dr. White apparently thinks he can knock down easily.

Yet Dr. Geisler does offer specific examples.
"Many years ago a young man went to his spiritual mentor and informed him that he would like to be a missionary to the heathen. His hyper-Calvinistic advisor told him that if God wanted to save the world, He could do it without him. Fortunately, the young man did not heed his mentor's advice. His name was William Carey, famous missionary to India.
God only knows for sure how many other extreme Calvinists feel the same. As a matter of fact, if their view is correct, then we need not get excited about missions for several reasons. First of all, God does not love the whole world in a redemptive sense, but only the elect. Second Christ only died for the elect, not the world. Third no one has the faith to believe unless God gives it to him. Fourth, God has willed to give faith only to a select few, "the frozen chosen." Fith, when God's power works on the hearts of the unbelievers He wants to save, there is absolutely nothing they can do to refuse it. God's power is irresistible (see Chapter 5). If all these were true--thank God they are not-- it would be understandably heart to muster up much enthusiasm for missions or evangelism."
Dr. White doesn't even bother to interact with the concern... but Dr. Geisler is not finished.
"Charles Spurgeon pointedly remarked of hyper-Calvinists in his day: "But there are some people so selfish that, provided they go to heaven, it is enough that they are in the covenant. They are dear enough people of God..." But "They say it is equal whether God ordains a man's life or death. They would sit still to hear men damned... They seem to have no feeling for anyone but themselves. They have dried the heart of of them by some cunning slight of hand." 
Dr. White's beloved Spurgeon, himself the most famous Calvinist, seemed to believe that Calvinism can in fact undermine the motives for Evangelism. Does Dr. White even mention this concern? Of course not... and Dr. Geisler isn't finished.
"John Gill, who according to some was the originator of hyper-Calvinism, is a practical example of the destructive influence on missions and evangelism. Spurgeon noted that "During the pastorate of my venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, this Church, instead of increasing, gradually decreased... But mark this, from the day when Fuller, Carey, Sutcliffe, and others, met together to send out missionaries to India, the sun began to dawn of a gracious revival which is not over yet." Of Gill, Spurgeon added bluntly: "The system of theology with which many identify his [Gill's] name has chilled many churches to their very soul, for it has led them to omit the free invitations of the gospel, and to deny that it is the duty of sinners to believe in Jesus."
Would Dr. White dare interact with this from Spurgeon? It is the duty of sinners to believe in Jesus? 'But this one thing they cannot do!' must be Dr. White's response to his beloved famous Calvinist! 

Dr. Geisler has still not finished this point even yet.
"Lain Murray adds, "In this connection it is noteworthy that just as renewed understanding of the free offer of the Gospel led to the age of overseas missions in England, so it did also--by different means--in Scotland." Robert Moffat, a result of that revival, wrote, "Much depends on us who have received the ministry of reconciliation, assured that God our Saviour willeth the salvation of all." The truth is, if it were to come down to one incorrect belief over another, the belief that God desires all to be saved is more consistent with universal atonement than with limited atonement.
Yet Dr. White interacts with NONE of the above. He simply says that the concern is personally troubling and that his group of people are faithful to witness at a semi-annual conference. Then he offers this lecture:
"Indeed, the decline in American evangelicalism that manifests itself in the substitution of programs, drama, coffee bars, and anemic preaching that avoids a call to repentance can be laid directly at the feet of Arminianism, not Calvinism."
Do you go to a Reformed church and... Do you have a cool youth pastor? 'nuff said. Do you have a cool rock band that plays Sunday morning? 'nuff said. Yet Dr. White continues:
"When you have to worry about "offending" the almighty creature you have to start using non-biblical methods of "evangelism," and inevitably it is the evangel that suffers. But it is the gospel that speaks to man's true need, and it is the gospel that saves and results in changed (not slightly modified) lives. And the gospel of Scripture is the gospel of the Reformation."
While this all sounds very impressive, it completely ignores what Dr. Geisler brought up. Is this his idea of a rebuttal? It is also a shame that the "gospel" that Dr. White preaches is Lordship Salvation instead of the Gospel of the Christ that the Apostle Paul declared. 1Cor 15:1-11

Concern: "Calvinism undermines the motivate for intercessory prayer" Once again Dr. White fails to quote Dr. Geisler but offers:
"This, too, is false. Indeed, we turn the accusation around on Arminianism: if the Holy Spirit is already convicting every man of sin as best He can, and if God is already "giving His all" to save a particular person, why in the world pray for that person? What good would it do?"
It is truly a shame on Dr. White that his "rebuttal" is so full of straw-man arguments to rebut. It is a shame on all those who have praised this book as well. Giving His all? Really? Find me a quote of Dr. Geisler anywhere anytime let alone in CBF of him saying ANYTHING of the kind. Dr. White continues with his ridiculous punching match with the straw-man for a while and then offers:
"Intercessory prayer is, by nature, Reformed. That is, it recognizes the sovereignty of God and His ability to change the hearts of men! Every such prayer is tacit recognition that the biblical doctrine is the reformed one."
Once again we find Dr. White abandoning his theology in order to defend it. If God has in His "Eternal Decrees of God" already decreed everything that will ever happen... everyone who will be saved... everyone who will go to Hell... every rape... scraped knee... breast cancer test result... in Eternity Past THEN GOD HIMSELF IS NOT FREE TO INTERCEDE SO ASKING HIM TO IS ABSURD. Not surprisingly Dr. White fails, yet again, to interact with the actual concern raised by Dr. Geisler.
"While prayer cannot change the nature of God (see Chapter 1), it can be used by God to implement His will to change people and things. Joshua prayed, and the sun stood still (Josh 10). Elijah prayed, and the heavens were shut up for three and a half years (1Kings 17-18; James 5:17). Moses prayed, and God's judgment on Israel was stayed (Num 14). While prayer is not a means to get our will done in heaven, it is a means by which God gets His will done on Earth. Things do change because we pray, for a sovereign God has ordained to use prayer as a means to the end of accomplishing these things."
I'll ask the same question I asked in Part 7. Does this sound like the person or theology that Dr. White has been "rebutting"? Dr. Geisler gets to the concern:
"But if we believe God will do these things even if we do not pray, then there is no need for prayer. What we believe about how God's sovereignty relates to our free will does make a difference in how--and how much--we pray." 
But Dr. White doesn't see fit to interact with the actual concern. Instead he just repeats his Calvinist mantra about God changing people so they can believe... Dr. Geisler doesn't limit intercessory prayer to just asking for people to be saved, but instead speaks of prayer for all things.

What Now?
"Chosen But Free presents what it calls a "balanced view" of divine election. We have seen that it does nothing of the sort. It presents Arminianism under the guise of "moderate Calvinism.""
Dr. White asks "What now?" and makes the above statement. I have a sincere question for anyone who has read TPF or even just this series of articles, and who has NOT read CBF. What is Dr. Geisler's view of Election? Can you even begin to explain what he says about it? I can't possibly see how you could. Why? Because Dr. White has failed in every way possible to interact with what CBF actually presents. While I vehemently disagree with Dr. White, anyone who has read this series of articles will not be surprised by the arguments and positions they find espoused in TPF when they read it. I have been honest with the man, his theology, and his arguments. I cannot say he has done likewise with Geisler, not by a long shot.
"But the single most important issue that we wish to communicate to the reader is this: CBF's attempts to defend Arminianism through the use of Scripture fail, consistently. On an exegetical basis CBF does not pass the most cursory examination, let alone an in-depth critique. The reader has seen examples of eisegesis in every single chapter of CBF. Surely the strength of Reformed theology is its biblical bais, and the weakness of Arminian theology is its philosophical basis. The reformed position begins with Scriptural truths. The Arminian position begins with philosophical necessities, and we have seen, over and over again, the result of forcing philosophical presuppositions into the text of Scripture."
Perhaps Dr. White is thinking of different books other than The Potter's Freedom and Chosen But Free. He does seem to reference CBF... but I cannot remember a single instance where Dr. White showed Dr. Geisler using eisegesis. I may simply not remember.. that is possible. However, since I read CBF and have a fairly good idea of the chapters it contains I know for a fact that Dr. White did not even mention most of the book let alone give examples from every chapter, whether showing esisgesis or not.. he simply ignored most of CBF.

Go ahead and look at my brief view of the first two chapters of Chosen But Free in Part 7 of this series. Did Dr. White interact with any of what he brought up in even just these two chapters? It it were not so dangerous for Believers who take TPF seriously, it would be laughable that it has "The Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free" in its title. Frankly, TPF interacts with very little of CBF and none of it's main points as they are made. Instead TPF takes the reader on wild goose chases against various theological systems...
"A person who believes in sola scriptura (Scripture alone is the final and only infallible rule of faith for the Church) and in tota Scriptura (one must believe all of Scripture, not just parts) must wrestle with the issues raised in this book. A person who cannot provide a contextually-based, fair and honest interpretation of such passages as John 6:37-45 Romans 8:28-9:23, or Eph 1:3-11, must face this fact and be willing to abandon long-held and maybe even cherished traditions."
As I have gone through all of these passages, and every single argument raised in TPF, I wonder if Dr. White would follow this "must"...

That concludes my interaction with the main text of TPF. I quoted from CBF a great deal this time because this final chapter was actually more about that book than the entire rest of TPF was. As is clearly demonstrated, and which must be without controversy, Dr. White simply ignores what CBF really says and offers answers to arguments he would apparently rather answer. I'll now move on to a brief look at the appendices and the final pages of the book.

Appendix 1 "Dr. Geisler's Class Project Reviewed and Refuted"

Dr. White found out that Dr. Geisler added an appendix to CBF that discussed TPF. He has decided it must be a class project and not something that Dr. Geisler himself has written. I'm not going to bother with much of it because it truly is nothing more than foolishness... an argument about who said this or that... he takes issue with:
"The next thing I noted was the glaring presence of ad hominem argumentation, even in teh midst of accusing me of using it in The Potter's Freedom (hearafter TPF)...."Pf offers virtually unlimited opportunities for beginning theology students to identify logical fallacies" Later we are told, "the author takes great pride in his exegetical stills" even though we are not given any references or basis upon which this assertion is made. Further examples follow in the review. The appendix says TPF engages in name-calling, ad hominem argumentation, and poisoning the well, which, if true, would be serious charges."
I guess all I can respond to this with has already been provided in The Debatter's Potter series itself. If anyone thinks that Dr. Geisler's "class project" (poisoning the well... ad hominem.. name calling...) misses the mark then you have not read this series of articles, you have not read TPF or you are blinded by your admiration of Dr. White. I see no other possible explanation, but if you do please comment.

Dr. White takes issue with Dr. Geisler (or his class...) asking "Where's the Exegesis?" and he writes:
"TPF contains literally hundreds of pages of positive exegetical presentation"?
Again, all I need to respond with has already been provided here. Perhaps I missed these hundreds of pages while I was examining the book so closely?

He closes the Appendix with:
"Unless Dr. Geisler can explain how this kind of material has some relevance to the actual topic at hand, it should be pulled from circulation with apologies to all concerned, but especially to his own readers. There is no other course to follow."
One could suggest the exact same to Dr. White with regard to TPF, seeing as it largely ignores the book it is titled as a rebuttal of.

Appendix 2: Two Controversial Texts
"This work has been blessed of God over the past eight years. It has challenged, and enlightened, many who struggle to work through the issues surrounding God's kingly freedom and man's responsibility in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The initial range of discussion was fixed by the claims and arguments of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free, but that work opened the door to a full presentation of the doctrines of God's sovereign grace. It was the biblical nature of those doctrines that has been used to bring many to an understanding, appreciation, and love of those truths.
Two texts that were not discussed in the first edition of this book will be examined, albeit briefly, in this addition to the original text of The Potter's Freedom." 

I wonder if Joel Osteen believes his work has been "blessed of God" because "many" people have joined him in his stadium sized church (with some 38,000 people attending weekly)?

The first of the two "controversial texts" is 2Peter 2:1-3 which is mentioned in CBF but never addressed in TPF.
"The second text is never mentioned in CBF, so why include it here? Mainly because this work has come to have a role that I did not originally foresee: as an introduction to reformed theology, it would be useful to address the most common test I have heard cited to me that was not itself raised by Dr. Geisler, that being 1Tim 4:10"
If TPF has become an introduction to Reformed Theology, and is as has been demonstrated a vacuum of evidence and argumentation for the theology, one wonders why anyone is still becoming Reformed these days... I'm tempted to assume it is due to the biblical illiteracy of his audience, but I suspect there is much more going on than just that.

Of 1Tim 4:10 Dr. White offers:
"This particular section of Paul's epistle to Timothy contains a number of exhortations, and there is not a single, over-arching contextual argument being pursued. As such, each segment of the text has to be carefully examined and we must take care not to force the text into foreign context simply because it is possible to do so."
Look at this point, with all the experience I've now had with Dr. White, this is just plain laughable.
"The first observation to be offered is that unlike the texts we have examined before, where we have a specific discourse on a particular subject, this passage mentions the role of God as Savior "in passing". No explanation is provided, and the reader is to understand these words in light of a pre-existing, shared belief."
"In passing"? "the reader is to understanding these words in light of a pre-existing, shared belief"? Is this really exegesis?
"This statement is a brief comment, made in passing. As such, sound exegetical practice would require caution in pressing this text into service as a foundational prooftext for either side."
Do the readers remember what Dr. White called "the most obvious passages which show saving faith is a gift of God"? If any reader missed it, and therefore thinks we should take Dr. White's words of caution seriously please go back and read Part 18.

Before I become entirely too dismissive of Dr. White I must quote something where he comes close to making a sound argument. There is much truth in the basis for his argument, but as I'll show, it simply does not work with this passage.
"The Reformed interpreter recognizes that here, as in so many other places, reading "all people" extensively is far more indicative of modern Western thinking than it is New Testament thinking. Instead, recognizing the theme in Paul's epistles to Timothy that militates against the Jewish exclusivists (those who would limit God's blessings to those in the covenant, those bearing the covenant signs), they would argue that "all people" points us to Jews and Gentiles, or, to use more specific biblical language, "men from every tribe, tongue, people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Hences the comment is an assertion of God's Saviorhood of Jews and Gentiles, over against the Jewish exclusivists, and is not a commentary on the extent of the atonement, intention of the atonement, etc. and etc."
Yes Paul does deal with this the theme of God saving both Jews and Gentiles in many places. However, there is no grammatical reason to believe that is what he is doing here. There is merely the requirement to find some way to save Reformed Theology from an obvious assault on it from God's own Word.

BUT, let's just say (for the sake of giggles) that Dr. White is correct. Let's read this passage using something I taught Believers to do in my book Fail-Safe For Fallacy. Let's exchange Dr. White's explanation for the words of the Text he is explaining and see if the sentence still makes sense.

Here is the verse as it is translated in the NKJV.

1Tim 4:10
For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
Now here it is with Dr. White's explanation.
For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of both Jews and Gentiles, especially of those who believe.
Does it work? Here's the problem... "especially those who believe" tells us that Paul is saying that God is the Saviour of those that don't believe, and especially those who do. You can redefine "all men" using whatever Calvinistic justification you want but Paul's point still stands. He is the savior of all, and especially those who believe.

Dr. White literally goes on for pages and pages about the Greek of "all men"... but misses Paul's point. He is the Saviour of all, especially those who believe. White's theology simply cannot withstand this test.

Then he gets to what he calls:

2 Peter 2:1 and the False Teachers

UPDATE: I have revised this section because it was written poorly by myself late in the evening while I was rushing to finish. I should have just left it unfinished until I could do it correctly. My argument with Dr. White is unchanged, but hopefully it will make sense to everyone now. :)

He quotes simply the first verse, but I want to quote the first three to keep the passage intact.

2Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Dr. White introduces his argument with:
"Here the Apostle Peter harkens back to the story of Israel to draw a parallel between the people of God in those days and the primitive Christian church in his own.... Though they claim to be servants of God, bearing His authority, they betray the very position they claim to possess by teaching and preaching falsehoods."
Then he explains:
"Peter himself establishes the parallel to the people of Israel with the words, "but false prophets among the people."
This is the seed of one of the ways how Dr. White will explain the verse. He explains these false teachers Peter is warning about as some Jewish objectors to the Christian faith.
"It is appropriate then to seek Old Testament backgrounds to the concepts found in Peter's words, as he would expect his audience to be drawing upon their knowledge of the Old Testament people of God."
When I first read this I found it completely unreasonable, but there is some reason to expect that if he spoke of "the people" that it would bring to mind the issues that the "the people" had faced and gone through. I do think that stating what he think's Peter would have "expected" is over the top given that he cannot establish this assertion from the Text.
"To this point I have not raised any of the most problematic issues relating to the interpretation of this passage. I have done so on purpose. I wish to demonstrate that the text can be fairly and contextually read without even taking notice of all the areas of dispute and battle."
I've removed (from my first version of this article) his explanation of the verse with out the "problematic issues." It was in short, that this is some sort of transitional discussion talking about disobedience moving into judgment.  But anyway, so if you take out the troubling parts it makes perfect sense? If we decide that Peter is teaching about something else, and find a way to make that something else fit with the remaining words (after we remove those which are most troubling) we can show that the passage can possibly make sense without the troubling bits... He did this "on purpose" and admitted it? I think this is just some sort of distraction and it is a strange misstep for the debater to make, especially in the midst of such a debate worthy presentation.
"I believe the primary objection to be raised to the misuse of this text is a proof of universal atonement is to be found in the non-contextual nature of the assertion. That is, this text is not about the atonement. It is about false teachers and their coming judgment. To read the atonement into the text is to abuse its rightful meaning."
There are two ways he's going to explain the verse. One of them is going to be about what the word "bought" means.
"We have see how clear and compelling the argument is for the perfection of the atoning work of Christ from those texts that specifically address the topic (Hebrews, Romans). We dare not overthrow the plain and clear on the basis of what we think a text might be implying elsewhere."
Apparently before we get to what "bought" means we have to be reminded that to question Dr. White's theology is to question the "perfection" of Christ's Cross-work. Yes we did see just how "clear" his arguments are which he claims, using emotional blackmail, shows the "perfection" of Christ's work. Unfortunately for his argument, the clear passages on the Atonement agree with the fact that Christ did in fact die for these false teachers, along with everyone else. You can see that discussed in Part 15 and Part 16.
"The primary use of this text is by those who deny the perfection of the work of Christ in salvation."
See... emotional blackmail. How is this type of argumentation seen as valid at all? If you disagree with White apparently you're calling Christ's cross-work "imperfect." The man ought to be ashamed of such a practice yet he repeats it over and over.
"And they say "Look, it says Jesus died for them, so clearly, these are true believers who go astray and are then lost..." 
Yet another distraction is brought up. Dr. White begins to argue against the possibility of a Believer loosing their Salvation. In a debate it is very helpful to the one presenting an argument to get their audience to agree with them several times leading up to the big point. It's also a proven sales technique.  This is nothing more than a debate tool here.
"And does the text actually say that Jesus died for these men?...The assumption is made that "Master" is automatically Jesus as Savior, and that "bought" is to be read as synonymous with "died so as to save.""
So after agreeing with the man several times the audience is expected to follow this assertion. That reading "the Master who bought them" as redemption is just an assumption. Oh wait, Dr. White makes sure not to call it "redemption" but instead uses the awkward phrase "died so as to save." How do I know this is an intentional act? Because his argument will require to meanings for "bought" to be used here and one of them will be redemptive.      

To redeem someone or something is to buy them. If they have been redeemed they are "bought." These false teachers whose destruction does not slumber have been bought. But White's argument has hardly even started so let's not "assume" we have the answer just yet.

Dr. White talks about how there is a different term for Lord or Master here than is usually used for Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is the Greek word Despotes. He also notes that the term bought, or the Greek Agorazoare is mentioned without a price... a simple search of the NT shows that "bought" when it means purchase doesn't always require a price to be mentioned.

Dr. White says this terminology "...points us to an ownership issue, not a redemptive issue." He says "The Bible uses the same kind of language elsewhere." Then he quotes Deut 32:5-6 and offers:
"Here, Yahweh, the God of Israel, refers to having "bought" the people of Israel. But clearly this is an action of Sovereignty, not of redemption, for the perallel is "He has made you and established you." Here the Hebrew is translated in teh Greek Septuagint as ktaomai. Gary Long has rightly observed "The two words ktaomai and agorazoare are used interchangeably in the two Old Testament parallel accounts.... ktaomai is translated, respectively bought and buy in the NIV and acquired and obtain in the NASB. "
OK does anyone reading think that Exodus didn't happen? That God did not redeem, or purchase out of, Egypt the nation of Israel? Dr. White makes a long convoluted argument about how "bought" can really mean "own" in an intrinsic way... and finds what he thinks is an example of it in Deut 32:5-6. As complicated, long winded and full of smoke and mirrors as this argument is.. it is really is built on one simple assertion.

He asserts that in Deut 32:6 the phrases Is He not your Father, who bought you?
Has He not made you and established you? are parallel and thus mean the same thing.

Is that what Moses was indicating however? You'll have to read Exodus to find out. In short no, that's not what Moses meant. The Lord bought them out of Egypt and established them in the land. These two statements are two different things.

Dr. White continues.
"We must insist that the text does not say that the Master tries to purchase, makes purchase possible, etec..."
Again, his argument is so convoluted and weak that he must stack it against a Straw-Man instead of the actual challenges brought against his theology. He "must insist" that the Text doesn't say what no one says it says? Well that's good, me too! *smile*
"...but that as an accomplished fact, these false teachers had been "purchased" [that is Dr. White is saying owned intrinsically because God created them] by the despotes, the Despot, the sovereign Master. Their rebellion against him brings their destruction, a destruction that has been from "long ago"(2:3)."  
Does this even make sense in Peter's teaching? Is that what Peter would have "expected" his audience to understand? Dr. White then quotes Wayne Grudem, who notes the redemption of Israel that Dr. White forgot about when looking at Deut 32:5-6, and talks about how God bought them out of Egypt.

Grudem connects these false teachers to false teachers in Israel after the Exodus who by their false teaching denied the Father who had bought them out of Egypt. The last sentence of the quote has Grudem writing of 2Pet 2:1 and saying "Christ's specific redemptive work on the cross is not in view in this verse."

While White's argument stands on a parallel equivalence that does not exist, Grudem's argument depends on these new false teachers actually being Jewish objectors to the Christian faith. Just like the Text doesn't show the parallel, the Text doesn't say these false teachers who will be among us are Jewish. It does however at least seem to show that the false teachers that will be (and today surely are) among us are denying the Lord, the Despotes who has the right to punish, in similar ways and they will seem to have a similar fate. It is a comparison of the two to show what will happen, not an equivalence of the two.

Having momentarily abandoned his intrinsic ownership argument Dr. White quotes Grudem explaining how these being Jewish false teachers who were, by being Jewish, bought out of Egypt. He needs the intrinsic argument to be understood because of the lack of evidence for these false teachers being Jewish objectors, but Grudem's quote is more helpful to him than his own argument. He writes:
"This view maintains the context and flows naturally into the judgment material that follows. There is no reason to read into the text all sorts of considerations that have no place in Peter's writings about false teachers."
OK here's the passage again. Give it a read and see if you see what Dr. White is talking bout.

2Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
This is talking about what these new false teachers will do, and how God will treat them. Not identifying them as Jewish. No matter that it is the only way to save Dr. White's theology here, Peter simply doesn't say it or imply it. But just as the old false teachers had been bought, these new ones also were bought. Just as they had been bought out of Egypt as a picture of what Christ would do, these new false teachers have been bought at the Cross of Calvary. The false teachers today are denying the doctrine of God's faithfulness that is at hand today, just as the false teachers after the Exodus were denying the doctrine of God's faithfulness that had been at hand then. Go read Exodus, all of it, and see how the people wanted to return to Egypt because they didn't trust God in the wilderness. Go see what happened to those false teachers. Their destruction didn't slumber either.

If we were to take the equivalence that Peter uses and apply it strictly, we could understand that these false teachers could be of the same sort that Paul deals with in Galatians and that the Letter to the Hebrews deals with. False teachers who are trying to return Jewish believers in Christ back into Judaism. If I were forced to come down on this issue that's where I would land, but I don't think Peter uses the equivalence that strictly. It seems to me Peter does not provide the details that we can force on the Text if we try because he's actually dealing with all false teachers, not just those who would see all become Jews or teach that the Church is the new "Spiritual Israel" or the "Israel of God" and the like...

There we have made it through the last argument in The Potter's Freedom. True to form, it required first the removal of some troubling concepts (that they were bought) and then the introduction of one of two concepts not found in the text, that they are actually Jewish false teachers, or that being "bought" actually means being intrinsically "owned."

Dr. White closes his book with the sentence:
"The fact that this is such a key text to many only demonstrates once again how non-Reformed exegetes are forced to major on minor texts while ignoring the plain, full discussions of key issues at stake."
What can I say? After seeing how Dr. White treats the Scriptures, and after having spent months exhaustively discussing the "key issues at stake" I simply can do nothing more than smirk at his final quip.

What follows after that final quip is 9 more pages (on my Kindle) of what is called "More Praise For The Potter's Freedom..." I'll save you the quotes...

It is my intention to have the conclusion to this series posted by this coming Friday. In it I will share my highlights from the series, high and low moments. Some thoughts on my emotional roller coaster throughout the last months of this intensive study.  How creepy it has been to read Dr. White refer  to himself as "we" from about halfway through the book on. Some changes I'm making as a result of having read TPF. Why I won't recommend Chosen But Free to believers seeking to investigate Calvinism any more. And a few other things that have been on my heart all these months.

Thank you all for reading these massive articles! Thank you for the encouragement I've received both publicly and privately. I'm not sure I ever had confidence that I would get this far in the series, it seemed like an impossible feat when I started. 


Kevl said...

My discussion of White & Grudem's explanation of the false teachers is confusing. I'm sorry for that, I sat down and wrote for 6 hours straight last night to get the article finished.

I'll be revising that section over the next couple of days.


Glenn said...

Hello Again Kevin,

I wanted to make another quick comment. The quotes of Dr. White defending God's freedom really caught my attention. I don't know if you remember but I made a comment in one of your early posts in this series where I said that the Calvinist understanding of the Divine Decrees not only stripped man of his freedom but also stripped God of His freedom as well. You correctly pointed out that many Calvinists understand that but it isn't a problem for them. Now I am wondering again where Dr. White comes down on this issue.

I am glad that the Apostle Paul told us that our God is not a God of confusion. I wish that theologians would take that to heart.


Kevl said...

Hi Glenn,

It seems to me that Dr. White plays both sides of this argument in his writing. In one place he writes of God decreeing everything thing that will ever happen, from all the way back before anything ever did happen.In another he says that intercessory prayer is Reformed by it's very nature....

Something I didn't consider when writing this - but I may well add in now that you have made me think of it - is that if Election is according to the will of God alone and is not at all related to the will of man - then intercessory prayer for the salvation is absolutely absurd as well.

If God chooses who He will save based solely on Himself without regard to men, then us asking God to work on and convict someone of their sin.. to draw them to Himself... to save them... is frankly not possible. He's not interested in those prayers.. He has already made up His mind who He will save and who He will not save. Nothing we pray or do will ever change that.

I think that in a few areas Dr. White lives out a different theology than he teaches.

I would however, like you, enjoy him explaining if he believes God is "free" right now or if He is "locked in" and waiting for History to play out.

I do remember you commenting about this early on. :)


Kevl said...

I've revised the section on 2Pet so that it isn't so hard to read.

I did not change my argument, but I did offer more commentary on the passage than had been there previously.

I also removed Dr. White's discussion of the verse being transitional, because it seems to be nothing more than distraction and not something he builds his argument on at all.