Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by darinhouston » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:30 pm

Calvinist Apologist James White will be on UK Radio show "Unbelievable" hosted by Justin Bryerley along with Arminian Roger Forster (co-author of God's Strategy in Human History) and Open Theist Greg Boyd. They will be taping a second show also with Forster and White focused on conditional immortality.

This should be really interesting.

I'm not sure when they will air, but I think Unbelievable is broadcast on Saturday afternoons. They do have a podcast, so you could just subscribe for a few weeks and get it when it comes. I believe the taping will be Tuesday, so expect White to tape it and air and comment on parts of it (unless they embargo it prior to broadcast). He'll no doubt comment on his show regardless of whether he can play snippets.

Unbelievable
http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

James White
http://www.aomin.org

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:08 am

Apparently Boyd didn't show up -- the show won't be broadcast until a later Saturday in July. White thinks he did a great job with the Calvinism hour and a half (thinks Forster couldn't deal with John 6) and, though he was admittedly a bit "out of his element" on the conditional immortality show, he thinks he came up with impromptu questions that really stymied Forster and created a good discussion.

If I get the chance, I'll post some of the summary questions White posed to him on eternal security which he thought were things not normally considered -- I think I had off-hand responses to them, so it'll be interesting to see how Forster handled them, and I'd love to hear Steve's responses since he's working on his book in this regard.

More to come...

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:37 am

Home with sick family, and they're all sleeping right now so here's how he summarized the "debate" in July 7th "Dividing Line" podcast ...

Calvinism
"I just take people to John 6 and watch them come apart. They cannot walk through John 6 -- I've never ever found anyone who can without coming to the conclusion of the freedom of God in salvation -- it's just not possible -- the text means what the text means - -it's right there... you have to run from the text, create interpretive grids to filter things out of the text, but if you just listen to the text and let the text define its own terms it's straightforward. And -- Roger Forster jumped to verse 45 as Norman Geisler did, and says well those who "hear" those who "learn" -- you know, those are the ones.. and I point out -- actually that's a description of those who are "drawn," and it's actually God who's doing these things -- hearing and learning are passive things -- it's God who has spoken and taught, and it's descriptive of the elect that they're the ones who are experiencing this drawing, so again... it was just one of those situations where you go into the text, and it's clear what it's saying...."

Conditional Immortality/Everlasting Punishment
Not an area of expertise -- much apologies about his ignorance, but since it's in the confession of faith, then he felt if they could find no one else in London to take the position, he'd give it a shot...

Started with London Baptist Confession of Faith -- took them to Matt 25:46, 2 Thess 1:6-9, and some of Revelation, etc. Somehow in the conversation some "questions came to him" and saw things he hadn't seen before. When Forster's only response was "well, the secret things belong to God..." that's normally indicative of having asked a question that's not normally on the table. So...

(1) In regards to your position, if you believe that people will eventually be annihilated, if some people receive more punishment than others (such as Tyre, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc), then at what point in time does the wrath of God become exhausted against them? And, if the wrath of God becomes fulfilled against an individual, then why does that individual not get to go to heaven since the wrath of God no longer abides upon them? [he posits a possible answer which might not fit their theology -- wrath of God against their "sins" is exhausted but they don't possess a positive "righteousness" which would then highlight the Reformed Baptist (and other Reformed) belief that we need to have the "whole" righteosness (which includes His perfect life) imputed to us to have a proper standing before God.] So, back to them, there comes a point in time that the wrath of God is exhausted, was that because this was a fulfillment of what God's law prescrivbed for the cumulative total of their sins? If so, then once that's gone, then why would they be annihilated?

(2) Upon what basis do you assume that once people die, they cease sinning? Because that would be the only way this would work - for some provisional sanctification or something -- that's the only way they could "catch up" to their debt load is that they weren't constantly adding to their debt load... So, where do you get from scripture that they quit sinning after death?

(3) Upon what basis do you assume that their suffering would be somehow expiatory or propitiatory, because what you're in essence saying is that that's what's happening - receiving propitiation through their own suffering -- it's supposed to have a purpose (I guess) in taking away this wrath but not leading to salvation but to extermination -- (he didn't think they liked that perspective very much).

(4) Then, the real question is this -- why did it take the infinite god-man to propitiate the sins of a finite number of people (the number of the elect) when a finite period of suffering will be sufficient for the damned for them to propitiate God's wrath and then be annihilated -- even they would have to agree that it's a finite number of people even if they don't agree to the "elect."

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3340
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by steve » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:03 am

Calvinism
"I just take people to John 6 and watch them come apart. They cannot walk through John 6 -- I've never ever found anyone who can without coming to the conclusion of the freedom of God in salvation -- it's just not possible -- the text means what the text means - -it's right there... you have to run from the text, create interpretive grids to filter things out of the text, but if you just listen to the text and let the text define its own terms it's straightforward. And -- Roger Forster jumped to verse 45 as Norman Geisler did, and says well those who "hear" those who "learn" -- you know, those are the ones.. and I point out -- actually that's a description of those who are "drawn," and it's actually God who's doing these things -- hearing and learning are passive things -- it's God who has spoken and taught, and it's descriptive of the elect that they're the ones who are experiencing this drawing, so again... it was just one of those situations where you go into the text, and it's clear what it's saying...."
My answer:
I just take people to John 15 and watch them come apart. They cannot walk through John 15:1-6 -- I've never ever found anyone who can without coming to the conclusion of the freedom of man to fall away -- it's just not possible -- the text means what the text means - -it's right there... you have to run from the text, create interpretive grids to filter things out of the text, but if you just listen to the text and let the text define its own terms it's straightforward.

(1) In regards to your position, if you believe that people will eventually be annihilated, if some people receive more punishment than others (such as Tyre, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc), then at what point in time does the wrath of God become exhausted against them? And, if the wrath of God becomes fulfilled against an individual, then why does that individual not get to go to heaven since the wrath of God no longer abides upon them?
If I were an advocate of conditional immortality, I would respond that the wages of sin is death. Thus death, which would best be described as the cessation of "life" (conscious existence), is that wherein the wrath of God consists. Once that wrath has taken its course against such a man, there is nothing left of him to send to heaven.
(2) Upon what basis do you assume that once people die, they cease sinning?
I would. Wouldn't you?
(3) Upon what basis do you assume that their suffering would be somehow expiatory or propitiatory, because what you're in essence saying is that that's what's happening - receiving propitiation through their own suffering -- it's supposed to have a purpose (I guess) in taking away this wrath but not leading to salvation but to extermination -- (he didn't think they liked that perspective very much).
I don't like this perspective very much. It is nonsense. Annihilation does not propitiate nor expiate—it eliminates. Propitiation or expiation would remove any occasion for annihilation. They are opposite alternatives to it. The criminal who goes to the electric chair has not been pardoned—though his suffering is not perpetual. White is assuming that what every sinner deserves is eternal conscious punishment, and, short of receiving such, there must have been a pardon. Annihilation would be an alternative to, not a means of propitiation.
(4) Then, the real question is this -- why did it take the infinite god-man to propitiate the sins of a finite number of people (the number of the elect) when a finite period of suffering will be sufficient for the damned for them to propitiate God's wrath and then be annihilated -- even they would have to agree that it's a finite number of people even if they don't agree to the "elect."
Where in scripture are we told that it took an "infinite god-man to propitiate the sins"? That Jesus was all of that I accept without difficulty. But to say that it was His infiniteness that qualified Him to save, in that He had to atone for an infinite number of human sins, would seem to be adding to scripture. As near as I can draw from the teaching of scripture, Christ's sinlessness, rather than His infiniteness, was what qualified Him to atone for sins (e.g.,1 Peter 1:18-19). If I accept the premise that one man could not adequately atone for the sins of billions of people without being more than a mere man, then I would say that Christ's infiniteness more-than-qualifies Him to do this, though His infiniteness does not create a corresponding requirement that the number of sins for which He atones must also be infinite.

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by darinhouston » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:26 am

I think the view of annihilation he was responding to presupposed a conscious state of suffering prior to the annihilation.

leeweiland
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:12 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by leeweiland » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:35 pm

Hi Lee,

Welcome to this forum! We will be looking forward to reading more of your thoughts. I hope you will find this to be a good place of fellowship.

I don't think that the issues of Calvinism and Arminianism can be settled by an isolated appeal to John 15:1-6 any more than they can be resolved by an isolated appeal to John 6. My reason for matching John 15 to Dr. White's John 6, is that they are both found in the teaching of Jesus, and both in the same book. Frankly, I believe John 15 is more challenging to Calvinism (if they do not simply dodge it) than is John 6 to non-Calvinism. The teaching of Christ in the former clearly speaks of a person at one time alive and attached to the Vine, and later becoming disattached and no longer alive. This, in my opinion, cannot be harmonized with Calvinism, without either ignoring or doing violence to the wording of the passage.

John 6, on the other hand, seems rather easily handled, whether a person is taking the Calvinist or the Arminian approach. The Calvinist sees verses 37 and 44 as teaching irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints. The Arminian sees verse 37 (taken with 17:6) as a prediction that those who already belong to God (the believing remnant of Israel in Christ's day, will predictably come to Christ). They are already believers in Yahweh, and He will direct them to Christ, in accordance with their existing leanings. Verse 44 it only as a reference to the quite resistible drawing of God (mentioned often elsewhere, as in Prov.1:24/Isaiah 66:3/Matt.23:37; etc.), which is a necessary prerequisite for one to come to Christ.

Ephesians 1:11; 2:8 and Genesis 50:20 are all explained in situ, in my lectures, and in other threads of this forum. I do not have time to go over them again right now, because I have an appointment. I am sure others here can answer adequately, if they would like to post.

leeweiland
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:12 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by leeweiland » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:35 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I can now see why you simply went to John 15, just as Calvinists simply go to John 6. In John 6, Calvinists would stay there, isolating Jesus' discussion without going outside of John 6, whereas Arminians would go to John 17:6 for clarification. In John 15, Arminians can simply stay in those verses, while Calvinists have to jump all the way to Mark 4:5-6 and 1 John 2:9 to generate two distinct types of "abiding" in Christ.

In essence, it seems like the Calvinist says that there are two types of branches, those not bearing fruit, and those pruned/cleansed by the word and producing fruit. The unfruitful/unpruned/uncleansed are taken away. The fruitful are obviously Christians. But weren't both branches part of the same Vine? If so, then the Calvinist argument is meaningless and this passage is void of a promise for eternal security. This is what I referenced ( http://vintage.aomin.org/John15.html ).

I think that the Calvinist would object to bringing in John 17:6 because it is outside the scope of John 6.

What do you think?
Last edited by leeweiland on Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leeweiland
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:12 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by leeweiland » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:40 pm

James White goes round and round about how nobody can properly exegete John 6, etc. and that they therefore avoid dealing with them or set up straw men that they can tear down. At this point, I have not seen anybody deal with James White successfully in terms of any point of the TULIP. Does anyone think there is an individual who can properly exegete these passages contrary to what James White has decided they mean?

Jill
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:16 pm

Post by Jill » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:25 pm

.
Last edited by Jill on Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leeweiland
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:12 am

Re: Radio Show (James White, Roger Forster, Greg Boyd)

Post by leeweiland » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:37 pm

Daniel Gracley has a good book on Calvinism dealing with the major players and their argumentation.
You can view it at http://www.xcalvinist.com
Has anyone already read this?

Post Reply

Return to “Calvinism, Arminianism & Open Theism”