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Dec 30, 2013

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Caddiechaplain

obviously your bigoted opinion.

peter lumpkins

Well, no, not my "bigoted opinion" I'm afraid. The onus is upon you and Calvinists like you to justify following an unrepentent conniving murderer as a theological hero.

Andrew Barker

The lack of repentance is the most significant factor in this sorry saga. It shows a complete lack of personal accountability. What worries me, is that I see pretty much the same attitude in some of his adherents today.

Tim Rogers

Peter,

I am shocked and dismayed--NOT!!! Certainly having been the brunt of the attacks I can see Servetus going to the church for that Sunday AM to confront Calvin. Something I am looking for is the ones you mentioned defending Calvin in his decision to put Servetus to death. If I were a betting man, I would bet you a dime to a donut hole that one of the Calvinistas will come on here and try to defend Calvin's position to put Servetus to death. Oh, wait I believe http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/?itemid=3452>James White already has done that.

Tim Rogers

Peter that first link only takes you to the Alpha & Omega blog. http://thomastwitchell.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/serving-up-servetus-rick-patrick-is-in-good-company/>This link has a 9 minute YouTube presentation of White defending and even stating that Servetus broke the Law in Geneva thus implying he deserved death.

Steven

Bro. Peter:

First, let me say that you have been doing some much better research lately in your blog posts and I appreciate it. In this post (other than your footnote 1 documenting the financial performance of Dr. White's ministry, which really detracts from the force of the post, in my opinion) your citations are very good. Well done.

Considering the substance of the post, I agree that Calvinist should condemn Calvin's condemnation and actions to further Servetus' death. I believe that most Calvinists do condemn such actions. Nonetheless, for the Calvinist, Calvin's sin in this regard does not make his theological positions less compelling. Nor should they.

Similarly, Dr. Caner's actions in making "misstatements" (as he calls them) or "lies" (as Dr. White calls them) do not make Dr. Caner's theological convictions less compelling for those that share his theological positions. Nor should they.

Theological truth is not based on the person proclaiming such truth. That is why Paul said that "Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice." Phil. 1:18. Nonetheless, as you rightly point out with regard to Calvin, his actions do impact how others perceived (and continue to perceive) him. But that perception is of the man, not of the theology. If Calvin had come out eight years after Servetus' death and said "I am sorry that Servetus got hurt" people would still condemn him for being less than honest about his actions. Servetus was not merely hurt, he was dead!

Similarly, what many are saying about Dr. Caner is that his actions are impacting how others perceive him as a person. His apology for misstatements does not appear to many to account for the full impact of his previous testimony. It appears that he embellished his history to take obtain financial advantage and popular opinion. Dr. White and others are condemning him for being less than honest about his actions.

Dr. Caner does not owe Dr. White, you, me, or anyone else an apology. However, for his own reputation and for the sake of the watching world, it might be beneficial if he would simply acknowledge his past actions and express remorse for them. His doubling down on them, trying to claim copyright and suing fellow believers is not helping his case.

Just one man's humble opinion.

Steven

Dan staifer

If memory serves me, I remember silence on the issue until Caner started suing SBC pastor in good standing Jason Smathers this summer and the disappearance of audio from Caner of any kind from YouTube or Vimeo of full sermons from pro Caner churches (they brought him in to speak).

Plus, if I'm a Lutheran, will you accuse me of hating Jews? Since you are a southern baptist, I'm sure many of your theological hero endorsed Slavery (though the 2012 conversion repent of this). Either way, you are being anachronistic and imposing the 20th century on the 16th. C.s. Lewis (not a Calvinist) said the following (found here http://lexloiz.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/cs-lewis-john-calvin-and-michael-servetus/):

‘We must…take care not to assume that a sixteenth-century man who lived through these changes had necessarily felt himself, at any stage, confronted with the clear issue which would face a modern in the same circumstances.

A modern, ordered to profess or recant a religious belief under pain of death, knows that he is being tempted and that the government which so tempts him is a government of villains. But this background was lacking when the period of religious revolution began. No man claimed for himself or allowed to another the right of believing as he chose. All parties inherited from the Middle Ages the assumption that Christian man could live only in a theocratic polity which had both the right and the duty of enforcing true religion by persecution.

Those who resisted its authority did so not because they thought it had no right to impose doctrines but because they thought it was imposing the wrong ones. Those who were burned as heretics were often (and, on their premises, logically) eager to burn others on the same charge. When Calvin led the attack on Servetus which ended in his being burnt at Geneva, he was acting on accepted medieval principles.’

Differ with his theological views but be charitable as an historian.

Max

Andrew writes "... I see pretty much the same attitude in some of his adherents today."

It's not an "attitude" Andrew ... it's a spirit. Much of the current debate in SBC ranks today is actually a spiritual battle... something that Southern Baptists at large don't get - if they did, they would be praying right now.

Nate

Peter,

While I think it is appropriate to remind all believers of how easily power corrupts (Calvin and Servetus), I don't think the insinuation (implied or real) that only "Calvinists" are attacking Dr. Caner is wholly accurate. James White is certainly an example of a "Calvinist" doing so, but there are many Baptists, who, for lack of a better term, have a Calvinistic theology, that see the attacks as fruitless and un-Christian, myself included. And I'm sure there are "Traditionlists" that think Caner is guilty and didn't want Georgia to hire him.

Southern Baptists, it seems to me, are displaying the attitudes of the Republican party. Instead of showing solidarity publicly and discussing our differences privately, we want to stab, kick, and scream at each other while our opponent(s) never do so. This only gives our opponents ammunition to charge ahead. In the end, it will be to our own destruction, considering our differences are minimal (in my opinion).

I do not deny that there are factions on the fringes of SBC politics that may desire the other's demise, but I also think that each fringe should and could look at the other with more brotherly affection. The way to do this would be to call out one's own fringe for continuing to incite the other fringe and reach across the aisle (so to speak) with a willingness to work together.

Peter, I am not saying that you are a fringe-element, nor am I saying that you are inciting the fringe on the other side of the aisle.

However, I do think that one of your favorite words is "Calvinist" when you are speaking againt someone. Statements such as "Calvinists like James White" allow you to say that you aren't lumping all Calvinists into the same pile, but I don't know how charitable that statement sounds towards the other "Calvinists" who don't agree with White. In other words, I think you could have called out White without drawing a connection to Calvin and Servetus.

SVMuschany

It is my hope that in the rush to use Servetus as an anchor around the neck of John Calvin, we remember that it regardless how you view the soteriological teachings of Calvin, it was, in the end, Servetus who was indeed a heretic not John Calvin. We must remember that Servetus was not killed for his beliefs on baptism, and he should not EVER be used in Baptist circles as a early martyr for our cause. Indeed, if a man believing Servetus were to walk into a Baptist Church today, I would hope that all good baptists would rightly condemn his beliefs without a second thought. Or did you forget that Servetus clearly and expressly denied the trinity. A cornerstone of true Christianity that all protestants, indeed even Catholics, can actually agree on.

Second I would warn you to be careful about passing judgment on people of a different time and era using the moral system you hold to be true today. I sit daily struggling with liberal historical revisionists at the public university I attend. They particularly love to insert socialist dogmas of Marx into historical situations that occurred decades and centuries before Karl ever was born. They use their beliefs and morals that they hold today to judge and interpret the past. I shutter to think how a historian from 400 years in our future would judge us today based on our actions. Should we not be judged based on the standards of our actions in our current contexts? Would it be right for us to be judged based on the standards that are not even established yet? So too must we show the same respect for those who have gone before us. Indeed it should be noted that Calvin actually wanted Servetus to be executed by beheading as a traitor, NOT burnt at a stake as a heretic. Calvin's wish was overruled by the Genevan Council. Further, William Farel actually criticized Calvin both privately and publicly for being too leinent to Servetus. Is that truly the actions of someone to be labeled a murder?

Max

"... I would warn you to be careful about passing judgment on people of a different time and era using the moral system you hold to be true today."

SVMuschany - Regardless of time and era, there are moral absolutes which professed believers in Christ should live by. To allow time and era, current context, or cultural relevance to drive moral law is to drift into antinomianism, a concern about New Calvinism which many of us have.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Interesting that those who don't want us to judge Calvin through the lens of history from our modern era. I thought God condemned murder when Cain killed his brother Abel. I also seem to see it condemned in Exodus in the the Law handed down to Moses and throughout Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. I believe all of which was quite sometime before Calvin.

So please explain how we're looking at it incorrectly through a moral system we hold true today, which is through the lens of Scripture, which existed long before Calvin murdered Servetus?

Blessings,

Ron P.

Lydia

The absolute worst thing for Calvinists is when people start researching John Calvin. How can they separate the tyranny, premeditated murder, banishments, imprisonments, etc for simply disagreeing with him FROM his "doctrine"? Wouldn't his behavior be a direct result of his "doctrine"? The man was a despot and I suspect seriously sociopathic/narcissistic.

As we see many try to stay away from the name with clever usage such as Reformed or Sovereign Grace. (Too bad Mahaney made that one about protecting child molesters). But Calvin's determinist god becomes obvious through the authoritarian behavior of those who follow his ST in the SBC.

Calvin's treatment of Castillio is also instructive as to his horrible character and lack of integrity. Remember, Calvin refused to visit plague victims because "he was too important to the church in Geneva to risk infection". Sounds like some Neo Cals today who think they are too good to visit the sick because their only job is "preaching" and "leading". I seem to recall one of our high paid employees at Lifeway who is also a "church planter" making that same declaration.

Such important men for the kingdom! (sarcasm of course)

Lydia

Guys, It would have been totally appropriate for Calvin to banish Servetus from Geneva and warn not to come back according to the laws at the time. He did not have to try and burn him. Calvin WANTED to do it. And some of it was also based on a letter Calvin wrote a while before after Servetus wrote margin notes in some of Calvin's writings and sent them to him. Calvin was furious and wrote a friend that if Servetus ever showed up in Geneva he would not leave alive. PREMEDITATED murder. Your guru.

Servetus was NOT a citizen of Geneva. The laws did not apply to him. He was not evangelizing there. He attended church. He was passing through. I doubt he ever believed Calvin was that cruel.

I should think a guy like Greg Boyd is thrilled burning heretics at the stake is illegal for Calvinists to do today. I have no doubt some would they are so into their "authority" and doctrine. Arguing "man of his time" is moot. There is evidence there were some who knew better.

dr. james willingham

Peter: It is sad that the theology of Sovereign Grace should necessarily be linked to one person, especially, as people were dying for their belief in predestination, election, etc., before John Calvin was born. Cf. John Foxe's Acts and Monuments for instances. As a believer in such teachings and preferring the term Sovereign Grace, I have ever, since I first learned of Calvin's role in the death of Servetus, condemned his actions. I also look with question at Ergun Caner's claim to terrorist fame, and no amount of explaining away will remove that blot except repentance. The folks writing in his defense are not doing him or themselves any favor, Many, no doubt, have downloaded the materials.

While Calvin deserves censure for what he did, so does Caner. Repentance demands that other believers must forgive and forget. That, it seems clear, is what has been absent from the whole revamping of Caner's public persona, an egregious error, to say the least. Who really cares? Let him repent and get on with the work of being president of the college in Georgia like his brother is president of Truet-McConnell.

The latter raises an interesting issue, showing that none of this is as simple Peter as you think. After all, Dr. George W. Truett was the main speaker at the Spurgeon Centennial in 1934 in London, where he was introduced by the Prime Minister of the British Empire. Truett spoke favorably of Spurgeon's Calvinism, and he paid that theology the highest of compliments, when he asserted that Calvinism presses down on the brow of man the crown of responsibility. Peter, you might find the address interesting. Cf., his The Inspiration of Ideals. Amazing what research reveals. They called America a "Calvinistic Republic" in the early American Histories, and that theology, like it or not, was the theology of the First and Second Great Awakenings from 1740-1820 and of the launching of the Great Century of Missions or the modern missionary movement as it is called. Just consider Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Fuller, William Carey, and Luther Rice, to name a few, with reference to the launching. Peter, you err like the fellow you criticize, because an immense amount of research is needed to really get an understanding of what is going on. God bless you, dear brother, as you try to get a handle on what this whole affair is all about.

peter lumpkins

Steven,

Thanks for the contribution. First, while I might offer my original rationale, I concede your judgment that my footnote containing A&O ministry info added no real help to the post but instead detracted from the force of it. Hence, I took it down. Thank you for your insight.

Second, as you can see from some of the comments, it’s hard to accept prima facie your claim that like you “most Calvinists do condemn such actions” as Calvin murdering Servetus. Rather my experience is, many if not most of strict Calvinists I engage either ignore on one hand Calvin’s devious behavior or, on the other, rationalize it. Some even outright agree with it. James White appears to be one of them.

Nor is it acceptable from my perspective to frame what Calvin did to Servetus as merely “Calvin's sin in this regard.” Calvin’s sin? Murder is no mere sin either in Scripture or society but a breach so morally deplorable it solicits capital punishment. Nor was it just killing Servetus that’s in view here as if that’s not bad enough in itself. Rather by killing Servetus, Calvin betrayed the Protestant principal still in effect at the time in Geneva; namely, contra the Catholic Inquisition, heretics were to banished not burned. Thus, I think you’re framing Calvin’s action much too lightly.

Nor will I walk down the path very far with you in suggesting “Theological truth is not based on the person proclaiming such truth.” While one might use this a a measure in some sense, to suggest either a murderer on one hand or a serial liar on the other might be detached from the theology he or she embraces appears to embrace some sort of antinomian gauge. Hypocrites standing in the pulpit of God’s church do matter it seems to me. More problematic, you appear to be implying the Christian faith is a sterile, propositional philosophy rather than the embodiment of Christ-life. Thus, I’m not so sure I want to absolutize “Theological truth is not based on the person proclaiming such truth” so quickly. Nor does Paul’s statement (Phil 1) seem refer to preachers who were living immoral lives.

You are correct if Calvin later said “I’m sorry Servetus got hurt” people might still condemn him. Nonetheless, to observe Calvin defending his extermination of Servetus as a model to exterminate the Anabaptists years later is supposed to make us feel warm and fuzzy about Calvin in what way precisely?

As for your judgment that Caner embellished his history to take obtain financial advantage, you have absolutely no actual proof whatsoever to concoct such a theory and actually you should be ashamed for even writing it. We rightly criticize celebritism when we see it. But we have no moral right to publicly charge another brother with godless profiteering—or non-brother for that matter--when all that is driving the charge is unnecessary inferences from questionable evidence.

Finally, Steven, for the 1000th time (not to you personally but overall), Dr. Caner did apologize and express remorse for the embellishments, misstatements, and confusion his conflicting words caused. While you and others may not like the words he used and suggest he did not “go far enough” or was much “too vague,” or wasn’t “remorseful enough” you really need to stop implying Dr. Caner needs to apologize when, in fact, he already has. He humbly conceded errors in sermons scoured over several years first by Muslim hate-sites and then later by James White and crew. While you might have wanted more, so what? You just asserted he owes nothing. Hence, can’t we drop this nonsensical “he needs to apologize” line?

But here is the bottom line: James White and his crew are not looking for an apology for misstatements, conflicts on places, dates, or wrong names. What they are looking for and which Ergun Caner will never give them—and rightly so I might add—is this: Dr. Caner intentionally fabricated his past life as a Sunni Muslim to deceptively dupe the American public and catapult his Christian persona and public career. In short, White, et al demands Caner confess himself to be a deceptive fraud, a theological huckster, a phony, his whole life a bonafide fake. This he will never do. This he should never do. Nor will those of us support him ever concede such a jaded, unfair, even ungodly assessment of the man Caner. These particular critics want Caner’s ministerial head on a platter. And, they appear to embrace the proverbial scorched-earth policy to obtain it.

Finally, nor is it fair, Steven, to suggest Caner is “doubling down on them” by “trying to claim copyright and suing fellow believers.” First, only one (perhaps two?) is named in the legal action over copyright. Hence, he’s not doubling down on “them.” White is not named in the legal filings (so far as I know) yet White and his hacking crew Caner’s biggest flamers and harassers.

Second, to suggest what Caner is doing is “suing fellow believers” is sheer over simplification. The point of contention is property rights. Who owns the rights to the property in question? After getting no satisfaction from Smathers, Caner exercised his legal right to contest. Is this necessarily contra I Cor. 6?  It’s hard to think it is for three reasons primarily. A) The OT clearly established laws concerning property rights. Therefore, we need very good reason before concluding Paul meant to abrogate property right law. B) The contextual factors Paul gave to Corinth definitively assumed local church authority dealing with the matter. However, how does one propose local church authority proceed in the legal contest filed by Caner? C) Paul seems to suggest not only is the context for his counsel local church turf, but between two or more believers within the same local church. Here’s where it gets a bit humorous even if it is tragic.Caner’s critics have made it clear Caner is hardly their brother. How is it then that they complain and whine when he proceeds as if they are not his brothers? What a Georgia hoot!  Moreover, to illustrate the hypocrisy of James White on this issue, check out the comment left by Rich Pierce, White’s ministry administrator for A&O Ministries when I posted a piece from White’s website on Youtube they found objectionable a while back. Why they protested I haven’t a clue. That they protested is very telling.

Thanks again for the contribution.

Lord bless.

With that, I am…

Peter               

Lydia

"If memory serves me, I remember silence on the issue until Caner started suing SBC pastor in good standing Jason Smathers this summer and the disappearance of audio from Caner of any kind from YouTube or Vimeo of full sermons from pro Caner churches (they brought him in to speak)."

It might be instructive to go over to the leading SBC blog, SBCVoices and use the search function to search for Caner posts. Then use the same function to search for CJ Mahaney/SGM lawsuit/protecting child molesters in the name of Jesus and see what you come up with. Perhaps they are afraid of offending Mohler? All I know is that on many blogs the SBC NEo Cal wing is quick to bring up Caner but eerily silent on Mahaney and his shepherding cult some SBC leaders are still protecting and promoting.

I am NO fan of Caner's (for many reasons including his crude remarks about women) and won't defend him but I know political strategy when I see it.

cb scott

Peter,

This may be one of the best posts you have ever written. I may be making such a statement because I took this same argument to a comment thread a couple of years back when someone tried to absolve Calvin of any guilt in the death of Michael Servetus. I remember one fellow named Rick (I think) stated that Servetus "got what he deserved."

You are also correct in your assessment of the narcissistic antagonist, paper-mill doctor, James White.

He, in my opinion, carries a strong resemblance of a fellow that John spoke of in one of his epistles, Diotrephes, who had a great love to "be first" also.

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Peter,

It is interesting to me that repeated untruth that Caner never apologized. I have accepted his apology, just as I have accepted Cracker Barrel's apology for offending Christians like me who hold to a biblical view of sexual morals. Another great example of forgiveness is Sarah Palin accepting the apology of Martin Bashir and even more recently the apology of Melissa Harris-Perry for her comments towards Mitt Romney's adopted grandchild, which I bet the Romney's will accept.

We could parse every one of these apologies and find fault with any and all of them. But it's not up to me to judge the intention of their heart and sincerity of their repentance. That is reserved for God alone. I can however judge their actions to see if their subsequent actions match their apology.

The problem is not with Ergun Caner being repentant enough. The problem now is the unwillingness to forgive a brother who has apologized and repented (unless someone can show he has continued to embellish or be unthruthful). It seems clear he has changed his conduct and thus meets the biblical definition of repentance (metanoeo). Thus it seems to me that the sin no longer lies at the feet of Ergun Caner, but at the feet of those unwilling to be gracious to a brother in Christ because of the hardness of their heart and the desire to take someone down with whom they disagree with theologically regarding Calvinism.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Steven

Bro. Peter:

Wow! A two page response! Good stuff!

I will try to reply in the order of your response. First, I think that we will have to agree to disagree with regard to whether most Calvinists condemn Calvin's murder of (more on that in a minute) Servetus. I would not call your commenting audience the mainstream of Calvinistic thought. Whether you realize it or not, you are a bit of a polarizing figure and as such, I think, attract strong passions at either end of the spectrum rather than in the middle, at least on these hot-button issues.

You are correct that what Calvin did was murder Servetus. My point was that any unrepentant sin is a serious issue. Nonetheless, you are correct that especially a sin of violence such as murder is especially serious.

Next, I agree that our theology should impact our lifestyle and our actions. If not, then our theology is not properly understood. But my point is that even when we fail to live appropriately, it should not and cannot dilute the meaning of the truths that we confess. If I hit my thumb with a hammer and make an obscene statement on account of the pain, my conviction that no unwholesome talk should come out of my mouth is not nullified. Rather, the truth remains and it is my responsibility, through the Holy Spirit working in me to convict me, to thereafter adjust my behavior. Hopefully I will make the necessary adjustments. I am not an antinomian, but I know that you were not suggesting that I am.

Thank you for your correction with regard to my statement concerning Dr. Caner's intention with regard to his misstatements. I should not have opined as to his intentions. I should have said that on account of his misstatements (I mean this in the logical sense -cause/effect - not intention/result) Dr. Caner did obtain a certain degree of notoriety, and was thereby likely able to obtain a decree of financial benefit which he might not have otherwise been able to obtain. I went back and looked at Dr. Caner's webpage, and there is a section that discusses that he does/did charge for his speaking appearances. I do not consider this to be profiteering.

With regard to the substance of Dr. Caner's misstatements, I believe that you are correct. I do not believe that he intentionally fabricated his past life to dupe the public or catapult his Christian persona. However, I do think that was the effect (again - cause/effect). He is not and was not a phony, a huckster or a fake. He was as he has acknowledged, wrong to make such misstatements.

We cannot judge his intentions, but only reflect on his actions. What I think many of Dr. Caner's detractors see in his actions is what troubles them the most: the number of times he made the same misstatements concerning things a person should know concerning their own personal history; "scrubbing" the internet of the misstatements, even resorting to legal process; the occasional statement that he did not do anything wrong. These are troubling to many people and to those people such actions and may show an inconsistency with Dr. Caner's apology.

Finally, while stating that Dr. Caner is suing fellow believers is indeed a very simple way of putting the situation, the fact is that he is the plaintiff and his brothers in Christ are the defendants in a legal action pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. I agree that this situation is not covered by 1 Cor. 6, as this passage deals with those within the local congregation. (Maybe we should become Presbyterian in our ecclesiology to deal with such situations. I expect you to make that motion next year at the SBC!) However, do you think that we can agree that such is not a good testimony to the watching world (but then again, neither is all of the unnecessary name-calling and accusing going from both camps)? You are further correct to point out that some of the "Contra-Canerists" claim that he is not a brother in Christ but state that he should act in accordance with their view of the scriptures. However, equally paradoxical is the claim by some "Pro-Canerists" that some of the recordings of Dr. Caner are fraudulent but that he has protection of this intellectual property. The nonsense is being thrown both ways.

Thanks again for your sober reflections and interaction with my comments. We don’t always agree on all of the issues, but we both believe the gospel. That makes you my brother in Christ. I want only God’s best for you in the New Year (and I don't mean that the way that Calvin would have said it to Servetus!).

Steven

Paul Owen

I haven't said much about this whole debacle, but I think some important points are being overlooked. I've listened to all the alleged evidence. First of all, a lot of Caner's "lies" are a simple matter of story-telling generalizations, conflations, and topical chronology. The very sort of thing one finds repeatedly in the gospel narratives. Second, sometimes his grammar and sentence structure gets garbled when speaking extemporaneously. For example he speaks of debating particular figures when he is really referring to his critique of their positions. Sometimes Caner appears to have gotten confused while speaking, and rather than have the audience listen to the sound of crickets as he gathers his thoughts he just keeps talking. Sometimes there are real misstatements of fact involved in the process. Third, sometimes he puts rhetorical flourishes on his stories, precisely the sort that one commonly finds when people are attempting to entertain and keep the attention of an audience. The biblical narratives are full of lies if judged by the same standard. And finally, even if Caner were a blatant fraud and charlatan (which I really don't think he is) the treatment he has received at the hands of his obsessed critics for several years now has been shocking to say the least. The ugly, insulting language the Baptist paparazzi use as they stalk him all over the internet speaks for itself. They do not for one second want to see his repentance and restoration (as they so piously claim). They clearly want to destroy and ruin him. And they plainly do not have the slightest bit of Christian charity towards a Georgia Baptist college that is working hard to regain its footing and continue its mission to students. The last thing Brewton-Parker College needs right now is to have the crazed hounds of hell baying for Caner's blood at the gate. That agenda is NOT inspired by God's Spirit, but another spirit entirely.

Bill Mac

It's not an "attitude" Andrew ... it's a spirit. Much of the current debate in SBC ranks today is actually a spiritual battle..

Max: Could you expand on this a little? I want to know if you are saying what I think you are saying.

peter lumpkins

Steven et al

Promise I'll get back. Much good interaction. Lots better than the tweeter feeding frenzies. Struggling to keep it together presently. I have the worse cold I've ever known.

Lord bless...

P.S. Sorry Steven for the "two pages." Maybe that's what tipped me over the edge! :^)

timbushong

"First of all, a lot of Caner's "lies" are a simple matter of story-telling generalizations, conflations, and topical chronology. The very sort of thing one finds repeatedly in the gospel narratives."

One of the most egregious examples of equivocation I have ever heard...

Diana Penn

Love what Paul Owen said above.

To that point.... some might wonder why James White has stalked and persecuted Caner all of these years. I have a theory about this, and it's based on experience and long term recovery courses in co-dependency.

James White's obsession with Caner is not about Caner - anyone can see that; and your average Joe would ask the same question - "dude, why do you keep after this guy?" After so many years, why the continued discussion?

James White's persistence in persecution has everything to do with James White, and the relationship he has with sister over their pastor father.

Here it is simply:

Why does the molestation of James Whites' sister matter in the Caner / White fight? James White's molesting father was a pastor - a lying one. Make the connection...it's not a stretch.

James White's *obsession* with Ergun Caner is because White is still trying to persecute his father over the lying life he lived. It's deep seeded in him. He knows his sister is telling the truth. He knows his father was a liar, and continued to lead a "false prophet" type of life behind a pulpit - all the while committing the most vile of sins at home. Trust me, what is known at home and what is shown to the public is observed by the children in those homes. It leaves deep impressions and lasting scars. Those kids grow up with internal "rules" that they've made for themselves.

They create a personal rule that they'll never allow this or that - usually some behavior they observed that was in direct conflict with truth. In James case - you can see - clearly - his internal rule is that he will never allow a 'pastor' (evangelist, apologist, etc) remain in the pulpit if he's told a single lie. In fact, James is *so* obsessed with the truth, he has picked debating via apologetics as his main vocation. This is clear co-dependent behavior, that has long been unchecked, un-analyzed.

Dear James White - Caner cannot apologize for what your father did, or how he lived; no one can. Caner is not your father. Caner's "apology" or "repentance" will not satisfy White - ever.

James White needs to take an honest inventory of himself. If he did this, he would be so much more effective for the kingdom; because perhaps, he'd stop chasing after the liars and crying FOUL! FOUL! FOUL!; and start proclaiming what really matters - the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Now, James White, and his followers are going to think I'm being "vile" and "hateful" - but that's not true here. I know I have come across hate-filled before, and it was misplaced. I get that, and I apologize for that...really; but what I am saying here, I say in absolute truth....

James White needs to take a personal inventory - please consider it. I mean this in the most humble of manner you can perceive.

SVMuschany

Lydia,

In regards to your posts at 2:30 and 2:36.

First, as it relates to Calvin (and others) whom did not/do not minister to the sick. Please consider this. In Acts 6 we see that the Apostles chose to call seven men to serve, in this case, the poor Hellenistic jewish widows. They did this so they could "...devote [themselves] to prayer and to the ministry of the word." - Acts 6:4. Now I fully agree that this verse should not be used whole sale for elders/pastors/ministers/ect to forego ministering to their congregations and communities. That said, we must consider that as churches get larger, it is harder for pastors to minister and visit with the entire congregation. That is, indeed the whole point of a church calling other men and women from within the congregation to serve in various ministries. The senior pastors cannot do it all. Please consider, that regardless of how you feel about John Calvin, he was a city wide religious leader, and would preach on average "at least" one sermon a day, every day, for months at a time. Using his reluctance to visit with this group or that group cannot and should not be used to reflect on his actual ministry. Otherwise, the same standard must be applied to the Apostles themselves, and to large church pastors today, who simply cannot meet with every individual/group that demand their time.

My second comment is in regards to your implication that John Calvin wanted Servetus to be burnt at the stake. This is not true. Calvin tried to insist that Servetus be executed by beheading. This resulted in some people in Geneva, including William Farel, accusing Calvin of being too lenient. Now this does not take away from the core argument that Peter is presenting here, execution is execution. But to claim Calvin wanted Servetus to burn (literally) is a historical error, and needs to be avoided.

James

The Calvinists are doing the exact same to brother Caner that Calvin did to brother Servetus.

David

Peter, you are so sick in your sin. Repent and do something Christlike for the Kingdom.

Andrew Barker

SVMuschany

Should we not be judged based on the standards of our actions in our current contexts? Would it be right for us to be judged based on the standards that are not even established yet? So too must we show the same respect for those who have gone before us.

Your problem, one of many, in taking this line is that Calvin was demonstrably guilty of changing the rules to get the desired result ie Servetus was not going to walk away from this situation!

Ron Philips: Thanks for your comments. It set me to thinking that those who cannot forgive, perhaps have never really understood true forgiveness themselves. If you compile a list of Bible murderers, a good number seek and find forgiveness. It's the likes of Judas who don't understand it and it didn't end well for him!

Tim Rogers

SVMuchany,

I am not Lydia but from a Pastor's perspective I would like to respond to your response to her. Your first argument, while a valid point, is like the three leg stool. When you remove one supporting leg the entire stool falls. The leg that is easily removed is Calvin's activities. You are dismissing Calvin's lack of visiting with a group to a time factor. Truly we all only have 24 hours in a day. However, Calvin took time to write letters to Servetus and argue, privately, the finer points of theology. If he had this kind of time he had time to visit a group of sick people.

Your second point is one that, in reality, mystifies me. You seem to make Calvin to be a descent person because he argued against burning Servetus. Calvin actually argued it would be more humane to sever his head. According to J.T.McNeil, http://sbctoday.com/2013/01/18/incineration-vs-decapitation-what-to-do-with-servetus/>as explained by Rick Patrick, Calvin was arguing for decapitation as a traitor, not burning as a heretic. Thus, your point concerning the "historical error" is well taken but really is a mute one. Calvin's position for decapitation would have meant he would not need to re-write former writings for burning heretics.

Tim Rogers

@timbushong

Yea, that is the way to enter a debate. Find the most educated among the group, who is an accomplished academic, and just give your opinion his thoughts are "egregious". Yea, we are going to accept your one time comment as fact given you interacted so thoroughly with the argument--NOT!!!

Tim Rogers

Ron P,

The problem now is the unwillingness to forgive a brother who has apologized and repented (unless someone can show he has continued to embellish or be unthruthful). It seems clear he has changed his conduct and thus meets the biblical definition of repentance (metanoeo). Thus it seems to me that the sin no longer lies at the feet of Ergun Caner, but at the feet of those unwilling to be gracious to a brother in Christ because of the hardness of their heart and the desire to take someone down with whom they disagree with theologically regarding Calvinism.

One of the best summary statements I have seen in a long time.

Andrew Barker

cb scott: He, in my opinion, carries a strong resemblance of a fellow that John spoke of in one of his epistles, Diotrephes, who had a great love to "be first" also.

I've not had any personal interaction with James White so I don't know him as well as many of the contributors to this blog. I did manage to sit through most of White's latest video on Ergun Caner. It is rather poorly produced actually but at around 53mins in he uses a video insert as 'evidence'. It shows the Caner brothers being introduced as The evangelical worlds' most foremost authorities on Islam! White then goes on to say that HE is doing what Ergun Caner falsely claims to do! He never actually says it, but the implications are clear who White thinks should be seen as the foremost authority on Islam. His nose has definitely been pushed out of joint!

White appears to have no ability to distinguish between hyperbole when a speaker is introduced and a claim which to my knowledge has never been made by either of the Caner brothers.

White claims that HIS ministry is being damaged by Caner. Well, to be frank those of us who do not hold with Calvinist theology have an equal if not stronger claim to be somewhat affronted by what some of our 'brothers' put forward as the Gospel truth!


SVMuschany

Bro T. Rogers,

Perhaps I was not clear, if that is the case than I apologize. However I think I was, thus it is your post that "mystifies" me. At least in regards to your response to my second point. While I disagree with Peter's, and obviously your interpretation of events surrounding the Calvin/Servetus issue, no where in my post to Lydia did I state or imply that beheading was better than burning, or use that in any way to justify Calvin's actions. Indeed, if you go back and read what I said, I said very clearly that what I was saying "does not take away from the core argument that Peter is presenting here, execution is execution." Those are my exact words, I know I just copy and pasted them. My whole point is that in her 12/31 2:36pm post, Lydia implied that Calvin wanted Servetus to burn. That is what I wanted to correct. It may seem minor to you, but historical integrity is an important deal to me.

Now in regards to your first point, may I ask, what kind of ministry opportunities could you do in leu of participating in forums like this? Again, if Calvin's action or inaction in regards to who and how he ministers are enough to convict him in your mind, then we have to (that is if we wish to be intellectually honest) apply those same rules evenly to every minister/pastor/leader in the church. How many things do you do Bro Rogers that an outside observer might say is "wasted time" and condemn you for doing it when there are many poor sick masses whom you are not ministering too? Do you truly wish to be judged in the same manner you are judging John Calvin?

jesse

James White is one of those aging men who thinks he is intimidating, when point of fact he is unimpressive. I recently heard him boast that he approached some critic at a debate and the fellow ' nearly wet himself ' at the mere presence of White. Caner ought to just pound the *********** and flush him out to sea.

T. V.

Arminians are so amusing, it's priceless. Degrading a theological system because of errors made by fallible man.

Bill Mac

Happy new year everyone!

Honest question: Suppose you are right and Calvin did a monstrous thing by murdering Servetus (and I see no reason to doubt it). Suppose you are also right that we honor this man by calling ourselves Calvinists and it brings some kind of disrepute on ourselves. OK so far. But suppose also that we believe the doctrines normally associated with Calvinism. If we take your point and decide to call ourselves something else, will we not then open ourselves to the accusation of hiding our Calvinism?

peter lumpkins

Dan,

Your memory is playing tricks on you. White, et al has relentlessly harassed Caner since White backed out of the debate at LU. That’s actually the origin of this whole fiasco the way I see it. And as for the alleged “lawsuit” see my comment to Steven.

Nor would I accuse you personally of hating Jews if you were Lutheran any more than I would accuse Calvinists of being literal murderers. Where have I so much as implied such a thing?  I will, as a Baptist, always remain curious why anyone would want to have their theological tradition tied to a person (i.e. Luther or Calvin).

Nor is your point well taken concerning anachronism. For heaven’s sake, it’s not anachronistic to suggest murder is a capital offense now or in any past era, and we do so on solid biblical-moral grounds. Committing murder is one of God’s top ten no-nos recall.

Nor is C.S. Lewis necessarily the best light to shine on this issue. I love Lewis. Who doesn’t? But Lewis was not a Reformation scholar particularly but a Classics scholar generally. Thus, Lewis’ claim that Calvin “was acting on accepted medieval principles” when putting Servetus to death should be taken generally.

Lewis is correct to assume death to heretics was a Medieval principle—a Roman Catholic Church principle in fact. But Geneva did not embrace the Roman Catholic Church principle. Geneva at the time was thoroughly Protestant and embraced the Protestant principle of not burning heretics but banishing heretics. Calvin himself assisted Geneva in establishing this principle—until Servetus, of course. Because of Calvin’s determination to kill Servetus, Servetus became the first convicted heretic to die in Protestant Geneva. Many more would follow Servetus including a bloodbath on Anabaptists.

John Calvin betrayed the Protestant Reformation when he murdered Servetus. Luther’s 95 Theses was opposed in principle to death for heretics (cp. #90). And, one early historian on the matter, Benjamin Hodges, could write in 1724—“the Lutheran countries can glory in their not having shed the blood of any one heretic” (An impartial history of Michael Servetus: burnt alive at Geneva for heresie, p.24). So, appealing to Lewis as much as Lewis is one of our literary heroes just remains unpersuasive, Dan. Better to appeal to experts in the field like Naphy and Ozment as did I.

Nor is this about theological differences with Calvin. Calvin apparently was someone a wise person should not trust. He purposely turned over evidence to convict Servetus of heresy knowing full well the Catholic inquisitors would burn him at the stake and had the sheer gall to state in the evidence he did not personally think heretics ought to die for their doctrinal crimes. Calvin betrayed Servetus into the hands of their common enemy. What would we have thought of Servetus had he tricked Calvin into coming into France, sent the French Inquisition all of Calvin’s documents he’d written to Servetus under Calvin’s assumed name, Charles D' Espeville, staged a meeting place for the two where Calvin would have been arrested by authorities instead while Servetus escaped safely into the night? I know exactly what we’d thought of Servetus. He would be seen as indirectly guilty of murdering Calvin through an awful betrayal of Calvin’s trust. Hence, for my part Calvin was not the type of person I’d want as a close friend. But hey, each to his own..

Thanks.

With that, I am…

Peter

Lydia

"James White's persistence in persecution has everything to do with James White, and the relationship he has with sister over their pastor father."

Dianna, Thanks for having the nerve to write that. I was stunned to read his sisters side and how he has totally written her off as a wacko.

Lydia

"That said, we must consider that as churches get larger, it is harder for pastors to minister and visit with the entire congregation. That is, indeed the whole point of a church calling other men and women from within the congregation to serve in various ministries."

SMV

You are a real hoot. Are you serious with that reply? Is that really how shallow our seminaries are and what they are turning out as "thinking"?

So let me get this straight....If the church is big, the pastor should NOT make an appearance where many are sick/dying because he is too important? He should have men who do that dirty/nasty work. Like Calvin did even though the dying people were asking after him, wondering why he was not coming to pray over them?

Sounds like you are looking forward to that day when you don't have to deal with sick/dying people and rationalizing it by suggesting indirectly that since the Apostles appointed people to "wait tables" this meant they did not have to deal with sick or dying. I think you are stretching things to rationalize. But then one of the Lifeway guru (a church planter) is teaching this thinking to young pastor's skulls full of mush so why should I be surprised?

So very sad what is coming out of our seminaries and into our churches.

Lydia

"Your second point is one that, in reality, mystifies me. You seem to make Calvin to be a descent person because he argued against burning Servetus. Calvin actually argued it would be more humane to sever his head."

This one is interesting and shows how confusing/deceptive living in a church state structure can be. Calvin wanted a beheading mainly because that was the corporal punishment for civil crimes. Burning was for heretics. However, the civil crime would carry with it more cover for Calvin. That request was refused. (this was all going on/being debated while Servetus was in prison)

So the choices came down to burning, letting him go, or stay in prison forever. The one thing Calvin could not afford was for Servetus to be in good enough mental/emotional shape to mount a decent defense for himself. The whole trial was staged.

In the end, according to Verduin, Calvin ordered green wood so he would burn slower.

eric

The problem now is the unwillingness to forgive a brother who has apologized and repented (unless someone can show he has continued to embellish or be untruthful).

Unwillingness to forgive a brother who has apologized and repented is a sin as well. If you want to know if Caner is truly repentant.....we will have to wait and see over time.
I'm sure we will agree that until then, we need to give a person the benefit of the doubt.

I read Peters post that linked Caners apology, but in fairness, he didn't repent of the lies he told about himself.

Am I incorrect in understanding Biblical repentance when I say it requires addressing the specific sin I'm repenting of.


Lydia

Now in regards to your first point, may I ask, what kind of ministry opportunities could you do in leu of participating in forums like this? Again, if Calvin's action or inaction in regards to who and how he ministers are enough to convict him in your mind, then we have to (that is if we wish to be intellectually honest) apply those same rules evenly to every minister/pastor/leader in the church. How many things do you do Bro Rogers that an outside observer might say is "wasted time" and condemn you for doing it when there are many poor sick masses whom you are not ministering too? Do you truly wish to be judged in the same manner you are judging John Calvin? "

It is all these guys can do: Ad hominem. So since you do other things besides pastoring, then it was normal for Calvin to ignore the sick and dying of his MANDATORY church in Geneva. See Tim, you are just as guilty so therefore cannot judge Calvin.

This is the non thinking that is becoming the norm in the SBC.

Anything to prop up their gurus.

Lydia

"Arminians are so amusing, it's priceless. Degrading a theological system because of errors made by fallible man."

I am not an Arminian but I am amused you are admitting it is the ST (theological system) of a fallible man.

Lydia

"Should we not be judged based on the standards of our actions in our current contexts? Would it be right for us to be judged based on the standards that are not even established yet? So too must we show the same respect for those who have gone before us."

SVM,

This is better known as the Nuremburg Defense.

Can you spot the problem with your thinking? You imply certain ethical/moral standards did not exist so we cannot judge. Are you sure you want to prop up that thought?

Do you realize what you are really arguing for? This is such dangerous thinking it makes my spin tingle. It is the root thinking of every single blind follower of every despot out there from throughout history.

Lydia

"Honest question: Suppose you are right and Calvin did a monstrous thing by murdering Servetus (and I see no reason to doubt it). Suppose you are also right that we honor this man by calling ourselves Calvinists and it brings some kind of disrepute on ourselves. OK so far. But suppose also that we believe the doctrines normally associated with Calvinism. If we take your point and decide to call ourselves something else, will we not then open ourselves to the accusation of hiding our Calvinism?"

Bill Mac, How come it does not cause you to question his ST instead renaming it? Wouldn't living out his own ST have made him a more gentle, generous loving man? No? Guess it was the times. That is the excuse SMV gives him. Nevermind there were some at the time who were not "men of their time" and paid for it with their lives (banishment, prison, etc) for going against him.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Willingham,

I'll tell you what I told Steven: stop the perpetuation of a falsehood that Dr. Caner did not apologize and repent ("repent" *is* mentioned in the statement by the way). He most certainly did. But only for those actual times he 'screwed it up' so to speak (by the way, *all* of us without exception as public communicators 'screw it up'). What Caner will not do--and neither ought to do--is confess and repent of fabricating a past life, concede his testimony a fake, and confess his Muslim upbringing was intentionally staged all to deliberately deceive the American public. If you are holding out for that, don't hold your breath. He's not going to do it because it's not true. Caner has been very forthright in clearing up much of the hoopla to those who sincerely query him. But he's rightly been obtuse and resistant to reveal anything to men like James White, Jason Smathers, Mohammed Khan, et al for the simple reason they desire to hurt him. Do you honestly think these guys want clarity? Accountability? To the contrary, they want blood. White’s continued crusade demonstrates this.

The fact is, Ergun Caner was and is held accountable. He and his wife and kids tortuously endured an exhaustive background investigation performed by an independent private investigation firm hired by LU in 2010. People like James White perpetuate the falsehood that LU formed an in-house committee of "good ole boys" who were a priori going to white-wash the whole thing. Not so. James White doesn't know his nose from a hole in the ground what LU did. He only speculates and others take his word for it, and continue the myth.

What the professional investigation firm found was precisely what LU stated, and very similar to what Dr. Paul Owen concluded above in his personal survey of the evidence. While there were verbal discrepancies of names, places, dates, etc. nothing existed the investigators could find in Caner’s past or present to indicate he fabricated his testimony in any way. Again, what they found were verbal discrepancies concerning details like names, places, dates, etc. This excruciating discovery process LU did is what led to the supposed paradox (or, “contradiction” by some) that even though factual discrepancies were present, the investigators nonetheless concluded  "We never once found that he lied." There is no "contradiction." Discrepancy does not equate to actual contradiction either linguistically or morally. Dr. Owen was correct to cite the multitudes of instances in Scripture where discrepancy is present. Biblical skeptics continually harp about all the "contradictions" in the Bible. What do we do? We spend time writing page after page of explanations defending the rightful position of no actual biblical contradiction exists. Nor does discrepancy in one's personal testimony equate to intentional deception. This is Ethics 101. Why is this so thoroughly overlooked?

In my view, Ergun Caner has been thoroughly scandalized as a fraud by internet thugs mostly led by extreme Calvinists teaming with Muslim hate-sites when the very investigation—serious investigation--for which they themselves demanded concluded  "We never once found that he lied," a line even secular news media adopts contra the swarming internet thugs led by Calvinists like White and Muslims like Mohammed Khan.

In addition, trustees from two schools afterward—one not a Southern Baptist and the other a Southern Baptist in my own state with some trustees I personally know and will publicly state they are not naïve fools who are/were star-gazed with evangelical celebrities and hold the same reservations I have with a pattern of star-gazing taking place in the SBC right now; and consequently would not purposely overlook deception or flaws in moral integrity of a candidate they were considering—had the same evidence before them as you have before you; I have before me; and James White and Mohammed Khan have before them. Yet both sets of trustees, independent of one another, definitively concluded Ergun Caner has been scandalized by errant men and hence, whatever verbal discrepancies existed, his answers to their queries, coupled with what they examined on their own, sealed it for them that Dr. Caner is not and never has been a fraud.

It’s high time to ignore the poisonous rhetorical venom of those like James White, Mohammed Khan, and others who demand and even try to force us to judge Dr. Caner by their vindictive but unnecessary inferences they deduce from selective sound bites.

It’s time to stop it.

With that, I am…

Peter   

Andrew Barker

T,V, given that this is day one of 2014 I am mystified as to why you want so quickly to display your ignorance. For your information (and possible education) ..
1. the world does not revolve around Calvinists
2. those who do not hold to Calvin's theology/philosophy are not all Arminians.
3. Calvin was an unrepentant murderer, so yes, I do tend to view most of what he said with a great deal of suspicion. All actions stem from the heart of a person so his actions do provide some insight as to the type of man he was.

Happy New Year :-)

Albert

So let's suppose James White is a scumbag and evil incarnate. Even if that be trute, Ergun Caner still went around for years telling people he was raised as jihaddist, posed as someone who could give our servicemen and women a real understanding of the Islamic mindset from an inside perspective, said his father was a polygamist, and generally built his career and rep on a story that was about as real as the ones the wrestlers he idolizes conjure up on a regular basis. No one has to like White or ally themselves with Islam to see that Caner is a con artist selling his ever changing story to the highest bidder. So blast White if you like but please don't try to sell us on the used car salesman from Liberty U. If White can prove his point merely by playing video and audio of Caner, then that battle is over.

SVMuschany

Lydia,

In regards to your post at 10:50, in a way, you are right. I am not looking forward to ministering to the "sick and dying" but not for the reasons you think. You see, despite my relatively short life (I'm only 30), I have seen more than my fair share of death and dying. The loss of very close family members, the continued suffering of my own father who likely will never get to see grandchildren. Quite frankly I hate hospitals, I hate nursing homes, I hate funeral homes. I hate these places due to the experiences I have had. What is interesting is that it is these very experiences that will aid me when I reach out to my congregation and my community in the future in whatever manner God calls me to serve. I would kindly ask you to refrain from making assumptions about my life and ministry seeing as you do not know anything about what you are trying to talk about.

In regards to your post at 11:01. Please forgive me as my training in rhetoric was nearly 8 years ago, but I do not see how asking a question of a person is an ad hominem attack. Indeed, referring to every source I have as to the definition of the ad hominem fallacy, I struggle to see how that can even remotely be applied to the post you accuse it to be. I simply asked that if we are to hold John Calvin to a certain standard, we must hold ourselves to the very same standard. Bro Rogers (as we all are) do and are spending a lot of time on boards like this debating issues and situations and controversies. That in as of itself is not necessarily wrong. But if we are using our time unwisely, and forgoing the opportunities to minister in our communities, that is where we begin to fall into error. If we hold Calvin to a standard of certain priorities in ministry, then we must hold ourselves to the same standard. Asking Bro Rogers about his use of time is not ad hominem because I hold myself to the same standard. Indeed I would hope we all hold ourselves to that standard, questioning daily if we are using our time to the best of our abilities to the ministry and glorification of our Lord and Savior.

peter lumpkins

Steven,

Your response is, I do not exaggerate, one of the most pleasant responses I've experienced whether concerning this provocative topic or any topic for that matter. I sense deep reflection on your part and an intuitive ability to offer gracious benefit-of-doubt in circumstances where you still retain reasonable suspicion, based on your own consideration of the evidences provided, toward another's interpretive conclusion. Thank you, brother. One could only hope Southern Baptists--or all believers for that matter--could take pointers from you and Dr. Owen in formulating gracious responses and perhaps only tentative but sober conclusions in public exchange.

You are correct. I am a polemical figure. No debate. My wife rightly calls me a rhetorical 'spark plug'. Know my personal presence is hardly as hot. Ask my Calvinist buds, one of whom I fellowship at least weekly (yep, full 5 pointer!). Still, it is not my experience that Calvinists in general--especially strict Calvinists--to overtly condemn Calvin's putting Servetus to death. I think if you pick up histories written especially by classically Reformed authors, you'll find them squirming about Calvin & Servetus and end up, like Dan above who cited Lewis, justifying Servetus' execution. I remain open to empirical correction, however.

Lord bless, Steven. Love to have coffee sometime...

With that, I am...
Peter

Bill Mac

Lydia: I don't excuse Calvin at all, no matter what time he lived in.

Your point would be good if we assumed that Calvin invented the doctrines associated with him ex nihilo. Some of us don't think that, but rather that he articulated what we think is found in scripture. Shouldn't Baptist doctrine have made them disinclined to own slaves?

We've seen the recent attempts at coming up with a moniker other than non-Calvinist (traditionalist, savabilist, ???). Calvinists could do something like that but I think that it would be viewed with suspicion rather than welcomed.

peter lumpkins

Hi Albert,

If you'd like to contribute to the discussion, be my guest. But if you want to flame, try twitter. It works well there with 140 characters.  Your comment is rhetorical spew. That's all. It's a personal opinion based on selected sound bites. And, for the record, White's videos may convince you or a thousand guys like you. But they convince few who've taken the time to peel back the veneer.

Take one of your sloppy accusations:


"Ergun Caner still went around for years telling people he was raised as jihaddist..."

I suppose you think you've got the Turk where you want him, ah? Yep, he's a liar alright.

Hold on. Not so fast.

Consider.

Most people, I fail to doubt, who heard a form of that claim (or a similar one Ergun Caner might have actually used) imagined in their mind's eye, bombed-out desert buildings in the middle of a secret training camp somewhere outside Istanbul where young Turks were issued machine guns and were being literally trained for specific terrorist missions to storm buildings and kidnap important people. After all, that's what we're fed constantly on the television when we normally are told about jihad training. However, must Caner's statement have to be so woodenly interpreted?

For example, contra much of the bloated gossip on the internet, gossip which you are now perpetuating by the way, Ergun Caner consistently affirmed he was raised in an Islamic madrassa, an Islamic school tied to a mosque. That was his and his brothers’ upbringing. They hardly missed--ever--until their parents divorced, and then only missed a little more occasionally. Back to the issue of jihad. According to an explicit teaching of Islam, jihad is the sixth foundation of Islam and the Islamic duty. All Muslims know this; all Muslims are taught this; and most Muslims sympathize with jihad and perhaps even finance jihad even if they never personally take up arms and literally pursue jihad.

Hence, Ergun Caner was taught jihad from his birth. Wherever he or his brothers were—New York, Ohio, Sweden, Turkey—when they attended madrassa, they were taught jihad. (by the way, I have a copy of a personal picture of Ergun Caner in full Islamic dress when he passed from boyhood to manhood. If I can get approval I’ll post it here. You won’t find this pic in any of the supposed evidences the critics offer; rather they routinely post pics of Caner not in Islamic dress).

To suggest, therefore,  Ergun Caner was lying because he might not have attended the type of terrorist training we conjure up in our minds is undiluted absurdity. And, it is a moral breach when you and others like you hastily conclude and consequently condemn Dr. Caner based upon your unnecessary inferences from incomplete evidence.

In the end, Albert, your statement is nothing more than an imaginative over-reading of Dr. Caner's claim which, all things being equal, might not be harmful in and of itself. After all, we all over-read or illegitimately deduce wrong inferences from statements made. However, the tragedy is, you've morally judged and publicly condemned based upon a lopsided subjective reading of the facts, and Ergun Caner and his family unnecessarily suffer because of uninformed guys like you, James White, JD Hall, Mohammed Khan and a host of others.

I remain hopeful there is a God in heaven Who shall never judge erroneously and condemn unjustly as you and others are doing to Ergun Caner. He has his faults as do we all. But he is neither charlatan nor fraud and you and others ought to drop this shameless crusade to persuade people he is.

With that, I am…

Peter         
  

Paul Owen

Regarding Servetus, I have a friend at Notre Dame who has studied him in depth, and I trust his judgement. It is quite likely that Servetus, while intelligent in his own way, was mentally ill. His theological writings are full of confused and bizarre ramblings. He seems to have thought he was Michael the Archangel. Showing up in Geneva was almost a suicidal act. And he basically stalked Calvin, to his own peril. The authorities in Geneva should have had enough discernment to know they were dealing with a harmless madman, which makes his execution all the more heartless and inexcusable. Some heretics among us need to be shown tolerance and a bit of Christian charity. Servetus was no razor-sharp scholasticically adept Socinus, and should have been offered a bit more sympathy. The whole affair was sad, and personally (like Schaff) I have no doubt we will meet the well-meaning lunatic in heaven.

peter lumpkins

SVMuschany

Thanks. Forgive me if others have already contended with your contribution and you’ve responded. Since I’ve been sorta under par with a cold, I’ve only particularly taken interest in those who’ve pretty much addressed me.

Anyways, allow me. First you caution us to remember it was Servetus not Calvin who was the heretic, and “Servetus was not killed for his beliefs on baptism” and consequently we should never employ Servetus as an “a early martyr for our cause.”  In response, this post is not about Calvin’s orthodoxy albeit it does connect in significant ways to orthodoxy if we follow the logic that correct behavior presupposes correct belief.

More importantly, you err in suggesting Servetus was not put to death for his anti-paedobaptistic views. While anti-infant baptism wasn’t the only charge or even the chief charge against Servetus, his anti-paedobaptism remained both a part of the beginning charges against Servetus as well as cited in the court’s official verdict of guilt against Servetus whereby he was sentenced to burn at the stake. Charge XXXIV that Calvin’s servant brought against Servetus reads “Item, that the baptism of little children is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsehood tending to the destruction of all Christianity”--Period of the later reformation in Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, 6 vols.,(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania History Department, 1898-1912), vol. 3, no. 3, pp. Furthermore, when Servetus’ conviction was publicly read, it said it part, “He calls infant baptism an invention of the devil and sorcery.” Hence, to suggest Servetus was was not killed for his beliefs on baptism is just not true to all the facts, SVMuschany.

What is more, you wrongly conclude Servetus should by no means be made “a early martyr for our cause.” To the contrary, albeit his unorthodox conclusions on the Trinity, Michael Servetus stands as a beam of light in a waste land of Medieval darkness. He courageously stood for what every blood-bought Baptist should stand for. Some call it freedom of conscience; others call it religious freedom; Mullins called soul competency; Radical Reformers and even Reformers called it priesthood of all believers. Hence, for you to suggest Servetus cannot be marshaled as a worthy example of free religious dissent without fear of state-church aggression, I’m lost for words. Whatever Servetus was, he was neither criminal nor spiritual anarchist. Rather he died for what he believed rightly or wrongly. And he died needlessly, unjustly, and without merit to the church nor the state. Calvin betrayed the Reformation when he killed Servetus. Servetus stood fro what Baptists have always stood for—a free church in a free state.

Second, I’ve already addressed your caution about about passing judgment on people of a different time and era using the moral system you hold to be true today. Yes, and what is it about the nature of betrayal and murder that is so awful now but so widely accepted then? For my part, I hear a hint of cultural relativity being peddled. Could you explain how murder now is not murder then?

Nor is it acceptable to claim the Medieval world passed on in Geneva in 1553. The Medieval world was the Catholic World and the Catholic Inquisition with principles of burning heretics. But Geneva was thoroughly Protestant and thrived under Protestant law which chose to banish heretics not burn them. If Calvin’s Geneva was so thoroughly Medieval and embraced the Medieval worldview of burning heretics, could you please list for us the names of heretics that Geneva put to death prior to Servetus? I think that list will speak volumes for it will be empty. Servetus was the first heretic Geneva burned rather than banished. I stand to be corrected at this point. Indeed I invite correction.

With that, I am…

Peter   

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

I certainly share your sympathy. And, some of the beliefs I've read attributed to Servetus surely appear like they would have come from a person in a padded cell. Even so, I've read some pretty screwy affirmations from persons embracing Mormonism as I presume you'd agree since you've expertise in that field. But to suggest mental disorder for Servetus seems no more likely than suggesting mental disorder because of garbled belief of new agers, mormons, or other sectarian belief systems we might cite. In short, it doesn't seem to fit what we know of Servetus.

Not to challenge your friend's scholarly abilities in any way, how would he explain Servetus' well-ordered medical expertise if he were mentally disabled? How could Servetus live among the common crowds in France incognito as Michael Villaneuve and remain undetected for 13 years if mentally ill? This doesn't seem to make sense to me.

In the book I cited above--Did Calvin Murder Servetus?--Stanford Rives suggests Servetus showed up in Geneva so soon because a) it was only a short distance; b) Servetus knew Calvin was the one who betrayed him to the Inquisition; c) and, consequently wanted to confront his accuser; d) had no fear he'd be put to death because Geneva didn't burn heretics but, if convicted, he'd only be banished.

Of course this is theory but it does seem to square better than the supposition that Servetus was mentally ill.

Roy

I have been waiting for years for a Calvinist to just apologize for the murder of Servetus. They have yet to do so. Instead, Calvinists will go out of their way to protect and even defend the actions of Calvin. He is upheld as a godly man, a godly example that we should follow in his steps. Calvin's murder of Servetus is said to be a State issue and not related his faith in Christ.

I am of the belief that some Calvinists (not all of course) would desire to do what Calvin did to many non-Calvinists. I have been told that I am not saved because I am not a Calvinist, that I am missing the grace of God, that I am a heretic, and that I am going to be judged by God for rejecting His gospel as found in Calvinism. I think they would like to kill me though they know they can't admit that.

Paul Owen

Good points Peter. But some crazy people can be brilliant on one level. And my friend's judgment about Servetus is based mostly on the rambling, bizarre content and nature of his writing style, not so much the oddity of his doctrines. Though if it's true that he thought he was Michael the Archangel, I'd say he definitely had at least one screw loose!

peter lumpkins

Agreed Dr. Owen!

Lord bless...

peter lumpkins

All,

James White wasted little time before apparently posting a critique of this piece. http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2013/12/31/notlosingheart2014/

I suppose he'l follow up on a tweet he sent wherein he accused me of "biased" sources. Nice.

We'll see if his sources can stand up to his initial evaluation of mine...

Bill Mac

I have been waiting for years for a Calvinist to just apologize for the murder of Servetus. They have yet to do so.

Apologize to who? And why? How are people who hold to the doctrines of grace (or whatever you want to call it) culpable in the death of Servetus?

Should Lutherans apologize to the Jews?

I don't think Calvinists should defend Calvin's actions against Servetus, but apologize?

peter lumpkins

Bill Mac,

You're completely missing the point. Forget the apology for the moment. It's not that Calvin got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Rather it's that overwhelmingly, Calvinists defend Calvin's taking the cookie!

peter lumpkins

Bill mac,

Looking at my former comment again, I should not have directed it so specifically to you but rather broader to the thread. My deepest apologies.

I do think the crux of the issue lies in far too many defending Calvin in his raw act against Servetus.

Similarly, if Lutherans defend Luther's view on ethnicity to the degree Calvinists defend Calvin on Servetus, we have similar reasons to raise questions for Lutheranism. I have no earthly idea if they do. Same for traditional Baptist Calvinists wedding themselves too tightly with Boyce, et al since the despicable practice of slavery was thoroughly embraced among the "founders."

Bill Mac

Peter: I was responding to Roy's point. I agree, as I've said, that Calvinists should not defend Calvin's actions against Servetus.

Derek

I can believe that Calvinism best represents the cumulative Biblical data and hate Calvin. The theology continued to developed after the guy died. Not to mention that the actual historical issues appear to be more complex:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081026204025/http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/john-calvin-unopposed-dictator/">http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/john-calvin-unopposed-dictator/">https://web.archive.org/web/20081026204025/http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/john-calvin-unopposed-dictator/

http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/calvin-killed-a-man/

"What Caner defenders have consistently advocated is, whatever discrepancies exist in some recorded words of Dr. Caner, words selectively compiled by Caner's enemies"

What then? Did these guys hire an actor? A voice actor? Caner is a liar. Why is that so hard to admit?

"5documentation for the Calvin-Servetus event comes from Did Calvin Murder Servetus? by Stanford Rives, one of the most interesting, informative books I've read in a while. Though I haven't made my way completely through it, as a practicing attorney, Rives thoroughly documents his treatise with both primary and secondary sources, sources I'll be sure to explore as time permits"

You haven't thoroughly investigated this layman's use of the literature and your already endorsing it? Sloppy.

peter lumpkins

Note my comment above. Once again, my apologies...

peter lumpkins

Derek.

Thanks.

First, who questions whether the history surrounding Calvin and Servetus is complex? Not I. In fact, the way I see it, it's the defenders of Calvin killing Servetus who plead simplistic solutions (i.e. "it's the Medieval era stupid!").

Second, you quote me and then ask, "What then? Did these guys hire an actor? A voice actor? Caner is a liar. Why is that so hard to admit?" I'll give you a shiny new nickel for every time you can cite where I explicitly stated or necessarily implied any words spoken on tapes, etc were doctored over with fake voices. Either put up or shut up. In addition, your judgmental opinion that "Caner is a liar" is just that. A judgmental opinion. An opinion nonetheless that has been debunked by careful investigation, not internet junkyard dogs who love to pop around all over the internet barking, "you, sir, are a liar." You, know. Kinda like you just did. Here's the deal, Derek: If you do not get that inferring necessary contradiction from simple discrepancy remains non sequitur I'd loath the day if I ever had to leave my fate in your hands. Nuf said.

Third, excuse me. And, where did I actually commend the book I cited? I said it's one of the most interesting and informative books I've read. I spoke my initial evaluation. What's wrong with that, Derek? Especially since I didn't suggest any one go out and buy it as well. Good heavens, man. And, as for what I read thus far and used of Rives book, the footnotes for the sources were very helpful, sources which I checked before I cited above in the original post. So you're welcome to call that "sloppy" if you wish. Be my guest. But I shall continue on present course just the same thank you very much.

With that, I am...
Peter

Ron Phillips, Sr.

In contrast to Calvin, note two murderers in scripture and their repentance. King David was repentant and broken. Paul, though he did not throw the stones that killed Stephen (and other believers) he was responsible for the martyrdom of early saints. Both men were repentant for their actions. Calvin to his dying breath was unrepentant for his betrayal and murder of Servetus. Quite a difference. Plus I don't see any of followers of David or Paul going around defending or trying to justify their murders.

Come to think of it, isn't it strange that we have these two great and godly men of the bible and history (David and Paul) who don't have the rabid following that Calvin has? I'd follow David and Paul over Calvin every day of the week and twice on Sunday! Don't misunderstand, I do appreciate Calvin's part in Protestant History and breaking from the Catholic church. But Peter is right, he betrayed the Reformation and Protestantism by his unrepentant murder of Servetus.

Blessings,

Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Well said, Ron. In both men contrition because they knew it wrong. No justification. On the other hand, the degree of defense Calvin receives remains staggering. I have a clip of James White in excitedly rhetorical flourish defending Calvin against those who'd question his putting Servetus to death. I'm thinking about doing a line by line critique like he love to do with SB preachers and see if his Reformation scholarship can stand up to what Reformation scholars actually say in their works.

Lydia

" I would kindly ask you to refrain from making assumptions about my life and ministry seeing as you do not know anything about what you are trying to talk about."

SMV

I am sorry about making "assumptions". However, your responses here concerning Calvin/Servetus is to deflect and reframe the facts using ad hominem arguments. I find that curious. And it concerns me from those who wish to minister in the SBC.

I am not interested in a oneupmanship on dealing with suffering. Given my age and background starting with a terminally ill father diagnosed when I was 11 and the fact that in those days one died at home and not in a nursing home, I suspect I would win.

"I simply asked that if we are to hold John Calvin to a certain standard, we must hold ourselves to the very same standard. "

This makes no sense because you have been basically arguing that Calvin had different standards for his time and we should not judge him for that. You have been arguing for the Nuremburg defense concerning Calvin. I find that scary but pretty common today.

Lydia

"Shouldn't Baptist doctrine have made them disinclined to own slaves?"

They were mostly Calvinistic which does not help your point. And one reason I find talk about "returning to our roots" by the Founders and Mohler repugnant.

Lydia

"Not to challenge your friend's scholarly abilities in any way, how would he explain Servetus' well-ordered medical expertise if he were mentally disabled? How could Servetus live among the common crowds in France incognito as Michael Villaneuve and remain undetected for 13 years if mentally ill? This doesn't seem to make sense to me."

I have read just about everything I can get my hands on about Servetus which I admit is not everything out there. I picture him as a sort of brilliant iconoclast of his time. Yes, there was medical brilliance (was it the circulatory system he theorized on? I cannot remember)but he had the nasty habit of thinking out loud on paper about his doctrinal views. A big no no in that church/state world. How dare him question Calvin? You think he thought Calvin would be more open to dissent since Calvin was persecuted by the Catholics when he dared to mark up some of Calvin's writings and send them to him?

As an iconoclast he could not operate openly and became a fraud in most of his endeavors living under assumed names. He was hated by both Catholic and Protestant leaders. Today, would we would find him interesting and buy his books?

I agree he never dreamed Calvin see him burned in Geneva and would most likely be banished at the worst.

It was reported that at his burning he cried out to his Savior, Jesus Christ.

cb scott

"If you'd like to contribute to the discussion, be my guest. But if you want to flame, try twitter. It works well there with 140 characters. Your comment is rhetorical spew. That's all. It's a personal opinion based on selected sound bites. And, for the record, White's videos may convince you or a thousand guys like you. But they convince few who've taken the time to peel back the veneer."

Peter, you are dead on target here. It is herein that those who attack Ergun Caner resemble the most those of a past century who thirsted after the blood of Servetus and other contemporaries who disagreed with their theological predispositions. In the case of this current lot of little man burners, they base their rationale for their actions on the venomous spew of a narcissistic antagonist and the theological predisposition that anyone who would dare to speak of Calvinism as anything other than absolute fact is a heretic deserving any vile abuse imaginable.

DrJamesAch

My brother in law has written a short critique of those who defend the Calvin/Servetus on our website which offers somewhat of a legal opinion against the excuses used by the Calvinist defenders of the Servetus ordeal. http://dorightchristians.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/calvinists-defense-of-john-calvin-in-the-michael-servetus-ordeal/

What is concerning to me are also "Tweets" like these:

Fred Butler, "@PulpitAndPen Anyone who invokes Serevetus or Luther and the Jews during a debate has pretty much lost the debate."

On what grounds have they "lost the debate"? Paul and John advised believers to separate from others for far less than what Calvin did to Servetus. Even if the Servetus incident were an isolated incident (and it certainly was not, Servetus is the most notorious incident, not the only one), should that matter as far as critiquing Calvin's theology?

Paul thought so when he told Timothy, "But continue in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, KNOWING OF WHOM THOU HAST LEARNED THEM" (2 Tim 3:14). And in Philippians 3:17 Paul told us to mark godly persons as an example. So how a professing believer lived their lives IS partly important to the credibility of their doctrine. But since neither Fred Butler, James White, JD Hall begin with those kind of Biblical presuppositions (unless it benefits a defense of their actions to attack someones character)it is no surprise that factoring those axioms into their oft public critiques of such men in their own ranks is consistently absent.

John made it clear that a person that professes to be a believer and hates his brother (and not that does mean "elect") is a MURDERER, and "we know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" 1 John 3:15. A person with a heart that believes it is justifiable to kill another professing believer, thinking that "he doeth God's service" (John 16:2), is not a person that one can not possible affirm is a saved man, and as such, can not be considered as a credible source for doctrine. "But what about David?...Paul?"-neither of whom committed such acts after their repentance.

White is obviously somewhat aware of this (or not?), so therefore his defense MUST be to revise the history of this event, because Calvinists know if the commonly accepted and provable historical evidence against Calvin on the Servetus ordeal is true, as even reported by those who had no axe to grind against Calvin (Philip Schaff for example), then the Calvinists know they have an uphill battle trying to make their doctrines palatable. Therefore Calvinists MUST create a new caricature of the paradigm and defend the revisions, and manipulate others into believing that the burden of proof is on historians to show that the events surrounding the Servetus ordeal are a legitimate or merely alternative record, instead of being the FACTS of real history with the burden being on them to prove contrawise.

Now in response to Butler, I think it should be worth noting that when a person must resort to the most vitriolic methods of personal attacks in a debate, they have lost the debate. Butler attacks me because I don't post my education credentials. Would that matter? I care not for them because it's a distraction on the content of the arguments [Yes, I use my ThD in my signature-it gets me into hospitals and jails easier! :)). If you are a lowly fisherman or tax collector, I will give audience if the content of your argument has merit and value. And yes, I am KJVO, but according to Butler and White, that renders me "utterly incompetent" to give a valid opinion on ANYTHING, and they would rather compare me to Riplinger (whom I do NOT consider a valid source for KJVO arguments)then to actually address the content of anything I have written. I do not stoop so low as to use the "how knoweth this man letters having never learned (John 7:15) tactics of the Pharisees. And I would carefully state that perhaps that is not even a fair accusation against White for those who employ it. He DID do the work albeit the quality of its questionable; but that's not the point, and it distracts from valid arguments against him (although I do think it can be valid in rebuttals against him when he employs the tactic first).

That has been the consistent method of ad hominem debate tactics employed by the likes of White, Butler, Hall, et al. But I do rather enjoy watching them squirm over my somewhat anonymous personal history because it reveals their clear motives and strategums of using ad hominem manipulations as a requisite debate tactic, so much so that James White has placed me on his Index Liborum Prohibitorum.

Interestingly, White has never talked about the complicity of Albert Mohler, his fellow Calvinist, whom JD Hall confessed was present during one of Caner's presentations. Now I will respectfully disagree with Peter here and many others defending Caner as I have done my own independent research apart from what White has presented, but will refrain from clogging up his blog with my opinions on the matter, because I see a much bigger threat to the churches and the reputation of Christianity in the manner in which White has pursued his vendetta and neglected or ignored the creaking bones from the skeletons in his own closet as well as the selectiveness he has utilized in who he attacks, and the effect that it has caused on his follows which I have thoroughly documented and explained here http://wp.me/p2K6Yn-mk

Thank you for your time,

Dr. James Ach
Just a Lowly Nobody for Christ
Eph 3:19


Roy

As an Arminian, I am happy to report that Arminius never did such actions. Had he done so, I would not defend his immorality. I would admit that Arminius was wrong and in sin if in fact he murdered another human being regardless of the circumstances or the culture. This is what I am saying when I am dumbfounded why Calvinists would defend the actions of Calvin by appealing to culture or to the State-Church. While this may be true, he still was wrong according to Scripture for asking for Servetus to be killed.

Just my two cents worth. Thanks Peter for the post.

Mark

I have a very basic question if I may. Paul was complicit in the death of many, many Christians. He then went on to author a large part of the New Testament. Why are his actions, and the actions of all those who would study his writings as well as the theological principals espoused by him, not dismissed in the same fashion? The murderer Calvin, verses the murderer Paul, verses the murderer you and I, all are guilty and yet capable of having God's truth revealed to us. Should not the merit of any argument stand or fall on its own truthfulness and not the character of any one man of all of sinful mankind who would present it? Surely truth is more transcendent and robust than it seems.

peter lumpkins

CB,

Thanks brother. Blogs are actually the balancing act to the flaming on twitter. There these guys get away with their clever little barbs, perpetuation of outright falsehoods, ceaseless insults, and non-stop harassment. Twitter platform is a perfect medium for their garbage. But they cannot get away with their 140 character drive-by insults in a blog platform which won't allow them to escape the idiocy of their clever claims. JD Hall tried for several months to set us straight on this sight. I actually didn't have to do a thing. Mary and Lydia paddled his tail all the way back to Montana. Few hang around here long who're expecting to get away without questions being tossed toward their position, especially flamers like Hall...

Lord bless...

cb scott

Peter,

I have been reading some of the comments on the "I hate the Caners, Lumpkins, and Rogers the Most" blogs.

Something that I have noted is that, for the most part, the ones who leave the most slimy and despicable comments do so under the cowardly dog cover of an anonymous commenter.

I see the same over at SBC Voices where I place the greater number of my comments about all things Baptist. They comment under the cover of an anonymous moniker and made vile, unfounded comments and then become indignant when I challenge their cowardly behavior.

A great deal of pure, theo-dwarf ignorance also comes into play in those guys' comments, but that would constitute the writing of a book, so I will leave that for another day.

Lydia

"Paul was complicit in the death of many, many Christians. He then went on to author a large part of the New Testament. Why are his actions, and the actions of all those who would study his writings as well as the theological principals espoused by him, not dismissed in the same fashion? "

Mark, I think the reason is that Paul got SAVED. I am not aware of him continuing to be an accomplice in the death of Christians after he was saved? Are you?

Conversely, Calvin claims to have been saved and a great expositor of scripture WHILE he also believed in burning, imprisoning and banishing those who disagreed with his doctrine. He actually promoted these things IN THE NAME OF JESUS.

Sort of a big difference, dontcha think?

DrJamesAch

By Dr. James Ach,

JAMES WHITE'S HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST LOGIC

James White has posted a recent article slandering this article in particular, but of course, he does not direct his readers to the url for this article. http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2014/01/01/truly-strange-bedfellows/

James begins by identifying Peter Lumpkins, Timothy Rogers, Diana Penn, Paul Owen and myself as "strange bed fellows" who hate him. This sounds all too familiar coming from Calvinists. I can't count how many times I have heard that I "HATE the doctrines of grace", or as Dr. Bob on the Baptist Board accused me, "you HATE the sovereignty of God".

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? but coming from another community? It should, because it is the favorite buzzword of homosexual activist groups like GLADD and BJUnity. They call it "hate speech" whenever a Christian disagrees with them about anything. And ironically, White labelled several of us males together as "BED fellows". One of White's followers created a fake Twitter account called "Fake Timothy Rogers" and Tweeted, "Dreamt of Peter Lumpkins in chaps last night" https://twitter.com/FakeTimRogers/status/417646852792524800

Some of White's followers have also made parody videos of his sister and Steve Ray. One video has Patty being compared to a string of bikini clad "Bonds" girls dancing erotically. We documented the other ones on our recent article about the JD Hall Radio Show and James White Cover Up.

Such is the kind of "fruit" that White produces. No pun intended.

Interestingly enough, White did not quote anything that I said on this article, he just threw me in the mix as a Caner defender, which if he's read this article (and obviously he has since he responded to it), he would know what my position is on the Caner ordeal. So why then did he remain silent about that in his article?

*White has also used additional homosexual community logic with the following quote:

" But when you can manage to draw together two people as utterly different as Paul Owen and Timothy Rogers, you’ve accomplished something!"

When the people in the United States of all different denominations of whom are "utterly different" stood together against GLADD and A&E over Phil Robertson's treatment, does James White's logic prove that GLADD won that battle? I mean, if people so "utterly different" are prima facie evidence that you've accomplished something, what does that say about GLADD?

In my recent article about the JD Hall Radio Show, I stated in no uncertain terms that I love James White and JD Hall, and I mean that. And any Christian worth their salt should reflect that sentiment and is a hypocrite if they do not. But I asked James White if he could say the same about me?

This is where White's Calvinism mixed with his pride and pedantic ego would prevent him from saying so. Since the god of Calvinism does not love everybody, should we expect Calvinists to love any more or less? One can only love someone else to the extent that he believes that God loves others. I can love James White regardless of how much I despise the theology he promotes. Why? Because God loves me, and is the "propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" 1 John 2:2. Since every Calvinist theologian wrests that Scripture from its common and plain reading (as well as other clear passages on universal atonement [not to be confused with universalISM]), it is no wonder they can not express love to anyone else, and define those who disagree with them as "hateful" and use the exact same tactics as GLADD by calling our disagreements "hate speech".

Would John Calvin have caused the death of Servetus and countless others if he had truly loved Servetus? And let's not pretend that this was "a civil issue" and compare it with capital punishment under Romans 13. John Calvin made it a personal premeditated goal to have Servetus killed. Would he and COULD he have plotted such a heinous crime if he really loved Michael Servetus?

And thus we see what Dr. Jerry Walls describes as the core problem of Calvinism: their elevation of the "sovereignty of God" over the love of God. When I have asked Calvinists to explain, what was God sovereign over before He created anything? compared to, was God loving Someone before He created anything? the answers to that have been nothing short of mind-numbing equivocations. If Calvinism can not offer a reasonable explanation about the character of God, how can they be expected to reflect the love of God to anyone else?

This conundrum is so painfully obvious in the manner in which James White and his ilk have vilified their detractors. John told us that Jesus Christ came "in GRACE and TRUTH" (John 1:17). Yes, we are to "buy the truth and sell it not" (Prov 23:23), and must worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24)-truth matters; where as White's moniker is "theology matters"-but without love we are as clanging cymbals. White has no balance of grace and truth (which is no concession that some of the things he espouses to are even truth at all), is dishonest in his rhetoric, and hypocritical in his pursuit of his opponents. But since the god of Calvinism does not love his enemies, then neither can White love those he considers to be his (even though, ironically, the Bible commands us to do something that God himself doesn't practice [Matt 5:44], according to the Calvinist view of God).

Dr. White, since your friend JD Hall included Albert Mohler in his exposition about those "covering up" for Ergun Caner, I fully expect to see you put him on the list of "Jihadists Against Christianity" right next to Dr. Norman Geisler and John Ankenberg.

Now stick that in your inbox and blog it-I DARE YOU!

Fredericka

Peter wrote, "Especially since I didn't suggest any one go out and buy it as well."
Oops, I went out and bought it. Very interesting and informative. However some here are drawing extravagant and excessive conclusions. Who would say that believer's baptism must be wrong because the Munster Communards killed people. They certainly did kill people, including some for resisting polygamy. The leaders, men like John of Leiden, Jan Matthys and Bernhard Rothmann, were little tyrants who confiscated everyone's property and then lived like kings. But while they were wrong about polygamy and compulsory communism and killing dissenters, they were right about believer's baptism. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Andrew Barker

Mark, if I may say so, you are being rather selective in the way you are telling Paul's story. There was the small matter of a conversion in between the murderous activity and the writing of his letters to the churches. It has left us with the phrase a Damascene Conversion!

On the other hand Calvin's conversion experience is not well documented. His best known writings were done early on, probably in the space of a year or so. He later revised some of them so as not to make his actions conflict with his earlier comments. He also fought to get his writings protected status so that he could not be criticized.

Paul on the other hand says that even if HE were to come preaching another Gospel, he should be rejected!! Gal 1:8

If you want to know where a person's heart is, you look for where they store their treasure. Paul was willing to die for his own people. Calvin was willing to put people to death for the sake of his own reputation!

The two men are about as different as you could care to get. One was used by God to bring us much of our New Testament writings. The other used God for his own ends and brought pain misery and death to many of God's children.

peter lumpkins

@Fredericka

Glad you bought the book. I'll tell you, however, like I tell all: check the documentation. Read the footnotes. As for Munster, I don't know why you think it's relevant since no one in Christendom so far as I can tell defended the Munster debacle...

Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Dr. Ach

Thanks. I'm not sure if you've followed James White through the years. I was a frequent listener at one time as I mentioned in the OP. A decade or more ago, White seemed fair in many respects. But I finally grew disturbed with what I perceived as an increasingly narcissistic pattern of complaint, whining, and to honest, unbecoming goofiness in his presentations criticizing others (i.e. giggling, mumbling under his breath, inside jokes between him and his sidekick, Rich Pierce, in which they would belly-roll about things they obviously had spoken about off the air or "in channel" but to which others were oblivious; making fun of those they critiqued, etc etc etc). His words just weren't connecting with me any longer.

White has since increasingly become obsessed with the personal destruction of people not notions. He embarrassed his trade (apologetics) by ceaselessly goading one of the most respected evangelical apologists of our time, Norman Geisler, gnawing away as a caged rat at Geisler's position concluding Geisler was thoroughly "Arminian" and eventually making Geisler out to be a...what? You guessed it. A liar, a dishonest man. For White, if he can't beat you at chess, he'll batter you to death with the pawns...and if not the pawns, the rooks.

You're experiencing the swarming of James White and his mighty men. I've had more than my fair share of it, I assure. At least a half dozen spoof sites have popped up over the last few years with me as the aim. "Lumpy Peter," "WiththatIam," "FakePeterLumpkins," "Sprouting Nonsense," among others. Only recently did a twitter account popup with my contact info on it as if I am the one who created it. On it were unbecoming things written that I would never write. Even one of White's followers said he didn't think it was really me! I complained to Twitter. It's gone now. But this kind of thing is par for James White's community. I'm sorry. That's just the way it is.

Hence, the latest post isn't surprising to me at all. Caner's a liar, you're a liar, Rogers' a liar, Penn's a liar, Owen's a liar, Owen's world readily accepts liars, and, of course, I'm a liar. White doesn't even see the literary tension in his title and the people who make up the supposed "Strange Bedfellows." What's so "amazing" about the mix of the group? Why are we "strange bedfellows"? After all, we're all liars!

I did find it somewhat humorous White said of Dr. Owen showing up in the thread "a true blast from the past, Alexander the Coppersmith himself, Dr. Paul Owen." Well, begging pardon, James. You're forgetting I'm Alexander the Coppersmith. Remember-- http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2010/06/alexander-the-coppersmith-strikes-again-a-brief-rejoinder-to-james-white-part-i-by-peter-lumpkins.html

Perhaps White could understand mixing it up better if he were not trapped in his self-absorbed bubble where the only ones who survive are people who must without dispute say what he says the way he says it when it's supposed to be said and that's that.

One final note. I find it interesting White now tries to make us say the Scriptures lie. That makes sense in White's world. Liars lie about everything else. Therefore, liars lie about Scripture. What's new?

Well, I'm afraid he'd be hard-pressed to make me out to be a denier of the doctrine of inerrancy. I've never believed nor taught anything else since my first sermon on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1978.

Lord bless...

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Owen

Peter, like yourself, I do affirm the trustworthiness and inerrancy of the Bible. My point was that there are technical discrepancies in Scripture, and everyone who has studied the Bible at any depth knows that. If one fails to give the benefit of the doubt to the biblical writers, harmonize where possible, allow for paraphrases, summaries and generalizations, recognize literary and editorial freedom in composing stories, relax on precision when it comes to numbers and chronology, and perhaps most importantly, allow for the possibility that there is more information involved than we presently have access to, then yes, one will find many errors in the Bible. I believe Dr. Geisler has made this same point with respect to the Caner situation. Is he now a liar too?

Eric

Peter,

I am a new believer in Christ and I am offended that Caner's many "misstatements" and "exaggerations" are being compared to the Gospel accounts on your blog. I only pray that no one defends my sins or shortcomings by falsely equating or comparing what I say or do to the Gospel.

Mark

Twitter is pretty impossible to follow! I was not trying to be selective in telling anyone's story, let alone Paul. I apologize. I was merely trying to beg the question. If all men commit egregious sin such as murder in our mere thoughts towards others, as God has indicated in His Word, then what merit do any of our claims to truth have prior to, or even after, our conversion? Do our sins nullify the ability for external, eternal truths of God to remain true? Even a broken clock tells the truth twice a day. I would not dismiss the thoughts and philosophies of anyone based on my judgement of their outward sin, and consequential blackened heart, but on the merit of the claim itself standing in juxtaposition to Gods revealed truth. I just wonder if it is wise to dismiss the thinking of anyone without considering their claims just because they are a sinner. We are ALL sinners. In an analogy, the famous inventor Edison was a completely documented, thieving, swindling and conniving, self centered jerk, but I do not reject the use or merit of the lightbulb or claim that it is a fabrication due to his odious personality. Thanks for taking the time to respond to these matters.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

I couldn't agree more. And your point about present discrepancies in Scripture cannot be more relevant in a discussion like this. For as you suggest, no one who's read the Bible in any degree of seriousness would deny problem texts. We call them "difficulties." One of the first volumes to be published post the Chicago inerrancy movement was The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer. Archer spent about 500 pages explaining why the discrepancies (i.e. difficulties) people find in the Bible are not real contradictions because, for example, we cannot impose principles of scientific accuracy upon the ancient text.

A more classical volume in the same genre is Halley's Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (1874) or R.A. Torrey's Difficulties in the Bible (1907). Some are even older. Conservatives have been publishing these types of defenses for centuries. Why? To demonstrate to observant Bible readers and skeptics alike--simple discrepancy does not reduce to sure contradiction. Thus, conflicting biblical passages cannot automatically be charged as literary contradiction on one hand or authorial dishonesty on the other. Or, in White's preferred terminology, the author cannot prima facie be charged with lying.

So, if James White wants to argue a superior paradigm of biblical inerrancy than conservatives like Norm Geisler and the Chicago council expressed almost a generation ago, we look forward to his proposal. As it is, he is only blowing smoke from the fire he lit right back in our face. The audaciousness of him playing the victim in this fiasco (i.e. 'they hate me') makes one's mouth drop out of the portrait. He unloads ceaselessly on radio and social media we're all liars, unsaved, unregenerate, psychopaths, etc etc, and then sheds crocodile tears pretending it's all because we hate him. Sheerly unbelievable...

By the way, I'm sorry you got caught up in this mess by posting here, my brother. Lord bless...

Eric

Can you guys cite particular or specific examples where Caner's "misstatements" compare to alleged discrepancies in the Gospel accounts? If it is a good argument it will survive examination. This argument makes me uneasy because you're essentially comparing everything Dr. Ergun Caner has said to the words and accounts of the Gospel. Therefore, if Caner is found in error(And indeed you guys claim he has repented for misstatements) then the Gospel itself is in error. Now, would it be unfair for me to say that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (if they were here today) should also apologize and repent, just as Dr. Caner allegedly did on February 25, 2010?

On his website, Dr. Geisler says that if we charge Caner with dishonesty we have to impugn the Bible as well. But I don't see a scenario where Matthew, Mark, Luke and John apologize for misstatements. The gospels are inspired from God.

peter lumpkins

Hi Eric,

Not sure why you would be offended Eric. Dr. Owen explained exactly how he was making a parallel. Nor was he meaning to make an exact parallel. Nor was he attempting to "defend someone's sins" as you put it by his parallel but to show quite the opposite. I too have explained above in the comments I logged concerning alleged discrepancies in Scriptures upon further investigation vanish into the night. Perhaps your being a new believer you've not encountered many of the alleged discrepancies in Scripture. You will, I assure. And, you will appreciate, upon further study, when more light upon the passages shows no discrepancy at all! A vindication if you will.

Lord bless, Eric...

Scott Shaver

SV Muschany wants us to be reminded that "Servetus denied the Trinity".

I see Neo-Calvinists doing that all the time, if not in word, in practice ....

Thanks for reminding us that their heresy is no better/worse than that of Servetus.

peter lumpkins

Eric,

Please go back and carefully consider Dr. Owen’s words in both his original comment and his concise follow up and helpful explanation. You’re attempting to squeeze from his analogy what’s not there. For example, you wrongly conclude “essentially comparing everything Dr. Ergun Caner has said to the words and accounts of the Gospel.” Who’s remotely suggested comparing everything Dr. Caner has said to the gospel? Further, you curiously infer if Caner’s guilty, then the gospels are guilty. Could you please demonstrate how that’s supposed to follow? You’ve locked the likenesses of a simple analogy—an analogy designed to illustrate not prove since analogies are never intended to prove but only illustrate –into a rigid connection so stiff that if one falls, they both fall. In short, if Dr. Caner is found guilty in even a single instance, inerrancy for the gospels is forfeited. Concluding such from a simple analogy offered for purposes of illustration seems visibly unreasonable to me. The fact is I’m afraid analogies don’t quite fit the hole into which you’re trying to pound. At least that’s my understanding of analogies.

Finally, of course the gospel writers aren’t summoned now to ‘apologize’; nor do I suspect they were summoned before God upon their death to ‘apologize’ for any participation in Scriptural process. But they like we will all stand and be judged by God for every word we utter. So, I’m quite sure every apostle had to account for every word he uttered outside his inscripturation participation.

Lord bless…      

Max

Scott Shaver "... wants us to be reminded that "Servetus denied the Trinity". I see Neo-Calvinists doing that all the time, if not in word, in practice ...."

Scott, I wouldn't go so far to say that New Calvinists deny the Trinity. However, I have noticed a primary emphasis on God, with little to say about Jesus, and hardly a mention of the Holy Spirit in area SBC reformed church plants I have been monitoring.

Max

Whoops, in my last comment I should have said "Scott Shaver writes" in reference to a quote from an another commenter.

Eric

I understand analogies fall short, and that I might have taken Dr. Geisler's and Dr. Owen's point too far. Point taken. And thanks for letting opposing opinions on your blog.

Let me try to explain my perspective on this issue. I am a former Baha'i (member of the Baha'i Faith). If a prominent Christian leader had repeatedly exaggerated and told misstatements regarding his former life and experience as a Baha'i, it would have naturally left a negative impression of that Christian leader. And as a fallible human, it would have cast dispersions on Christianity and the Bible itself. If Christians don't have a high regard for truth and integrity, I would argue, why should I become one? In this example, the Christian leader is hurting the ministry to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to Baha'is.

What if a prominent Baha'i leader got on the radio and proclaimed that he had debated Norman Geisler and sixty other top Christian apologists when there is no record of even one debate. What if this Baha'i leader said that he speaks Hebrew and Greek when he doesn't even know the basics? Christians would rightfully tear him to shreds.

I would accept Dr. Caner's apology and condemn anyone who attacks him if he didn't to this day claim that he has been completely vindicated; that he did no wrong and that the videos of his words are fake and doctored. On the one hand, you guys claim he has apologized yet on another claim that his misstatements and exaggerations have biblical precedent.

God bless, Peter.

peter lumpkins

All,

Sorry,

Be away for awhile. Return later...

Scott Shaver

Appreciate it Max. But my comment is still true from the perspective of personal experience. I have not met a neo-calvinist who does not, as a primary axiom of thought, discount or completely remove emphasis on the personal nature and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

They're too interested in establishing and maintaining systems of "collective" authority and theological agreement. A personal God interacting with individuals apart from the collective is more than they can handle.

Hence, neglect/deemphasis on the personal role of the Holy Spirit in both the edification and spiritual education of the beliver.

Anit-Trinitarian Servetus, Anti-Trinitarian Calvinists ... what's the difference if "heresy" is actually the primary concern of many?

Lydia

"In this example, the Christian leader is hurting the ministry to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to Baha'is. "

Would the same hold true for Mahaney's shepherding cult that protected child molesters and told victims not to call the authorities? I am trying to figure out why the YRR leaders and their many followers gives that a pass but dwells on Caner. Any ideas? Would the Bahai faith believe children are valuable and deserve justice?

Max

"A personal God interacting with individuals apart from the collective is more than they can handle."

Scott, I agree with your observation. While this may not be a defining characteristic of the whole of New Calvinism, I have found a mistrust of personal Christian experience among the young, restless and reformed in my vicinity. Their rigid doctrinal propositions appear to supersede a personal encounter with the living Christ. When I probe this matter with them, I get the raccoon caught in the headlights look. I fear that many in their ranks have substituted intellectual ascent for a direct experience of grace.

Tim Rogers

Eric,

What if this Baha'i leader said that he speaks Hebrew and Greek when he doesn't even know the basics Are you trying to say that Dr. Caner doesn't know the language of the Koran? You really need to reconsider your understanding or do better research into this issue. What you are not understanding is the Turkish upbringing that Dr. Caner lived in.

If a person claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, whether Christian or non-Christian someone should tear him/her to shreds.

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