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Jan 10, 2014

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Mark

My only issue with your previous article was;

1. Does a universal truth stand on its own merit despite the person proclaiming it?

2. If yes, should a claim that a philosophy, or point, is a universal truth be invalidated due to the person making the proclamation.

Your article seemed to indicate: Calvin is a Murderer, thus all possible truth proclaimed by Calvin is False.

My point is, all claims of truth should be tested by scripture for validity. Scripture should be the standard by which an argument against a truth claim should be built and made.

When we say, "consider the source" about any argumentation as a way to dismiss the points being made, we dishonor an opportunity to uphold truth. Thanks for an interesting article.

peter lumpkins

Mark,

You're conclusion my article indicated "Calvin is a Murderer, thus all possible truth proclaimed by Calvin is False" hardly follows. I answered it both contrary and straightforward in several of the comments on the original thread. Thus I'd point you back to the thread.

Even so, given the way you've framed the conclusion makes my position into a glaring absurdity. Consider: if what you suggest my post indicated is true, then the conclusion below follows:

If Calvin is a Murderer, then all possible truth proclaimed by Calvin is False.

Calvin is a Murderer, thus all possible truth proclaimed by Calvin is False.

Calvin is a Murderer but Calvin proclaims 2 + 2 = 4.

Since Calvin is a Murderer, thus all possible truth proclaimed by Calvin is False

Then it follows 2 + 2 = 4 is false.

Sorry. I don't think my post can be reduced to such absurd levels.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mark

Pete,

There are a couple of different "Mark's" floating around in this thread.

I've been having a civilized disussion with a 5 Pointer and he convinced God hated Esau.

I argued that God in fact love Esau. What is your take?

Tim Rogers

Peter,

If we read things based on Mark #1 we would not listen to Paul. At no place has anyone even come close to saying that we throw all things out just because Calvin did what he did to Servetus. But what has been said is that we need to look at his biased and hateful approach and deal with it.

Lydia

I have never been able to get through an entire JW broadcast because he is so bombastic. Snark for Jesus?

If I want to see a debate with Muslims I look to Jay Smith in London. He is on youtube. He really IS a Christian Islamic scholar.

Greg Ward

Where did you get that quote of James White speaking to Nadir? Your footnote (footnote number 2) doesn't indicate where you found it. Thanks, Greg

DrJamesAch

Wasn't John Calvin a lawyer! I guess White was right, you can't trust lawyers.

And, let me get this straight, according to White, a church historian knows more about how to evaluate the evidence and laws than substantiate the facts of a murder case than a lawyer does? Makes sense to me.

I can see it now if James White ever got arrested for something.

"..you have the right to an attorney, if you can not afford one ..."

[White interrupts] "That will not be necessary officer, I have a church historian on speed dial".

When one learns to go beyond all the initial fallacies that White employs in his rhetoric designed to intimidate gullible listeners, and dissect that little bit of actual content that he leaves, there's very little substance, and a very shallow theology.

For example, in the book "Debating Calvinism", White says, "Christ’s substitutionary death in behalf of His people is a real and finished work: It is not dependent upon the human act of faith for failure or success" (pg 191). I would simply tell White to take out a concordance and look at all of the imperatives that require faith in Christ as necessary for "failure or success". "If ye *believe not* that I am he ye shall die in your sins" John 8:24. And Paul calls it obedience; "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that OBEY NOT the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" 2 Thess 1:8. This fact is such a rudimentary and simple element of Christianity only an egotistical Calvinist could miss it. But, that's what happens when you spend a lifetime reading Reformed books ABOUT the Bible, and begin with creedal presuppositions.

And let's not forget the statements that John Calvin made before and after Servetus was killed:

BEFORE-“If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight”, written by John Calvin in a letter to Farel Feb. 13, 1546

DURING-“We have now new business in hand with Servetus. He intended perhaps passing through this city; for it is not yet known with what design he came. But after he had been recognized, I thought that he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge. … I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed upon him”-Calvin’s letter to Farel, Aug 20th 1553

AFTER-"Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.” John Calvin to Marquis Paet, High Chamberlain to the King of Navarre, 1561

And just like White says of Caner's videos "they are his words", these words are CALVIN'S, not some revised story about Calvin, or some biased historian or lawyer's history book, but the actual documented letters from the hand of John Calvin himself.

White made a response to this article, and one of the things he mentions is that Lumpkins edited the videos. I about spit my coffee out when I read that. The biggest Caner critic just "Canerized" his own videos. Or perhaps he was using "WHITE out" :)

DrJamesAch

Oh by the way, I left some deliberate spelling and grammatical errors in my post so the Spell-Checker Onlyists can play "Find Waldos Gerunds". Since they won't be able to critique the content of the post prima facie, I figured I'd give them something to complain about.

peter lumpkins

Greg,

The quote is sourced above. The link is connected to "received." Know my practice is to always to properly cite, if at all possible, from whence I gather information so readers might draw their own conclusions....

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

DrA,

Well, I question whether one might characterize White's "response" to this piece as a "response." I think he gives readers yet more evidence to substantiate my assertion above:

I've never, in my sixty years on this earth, encountered another human being so coldly, consistently, and belligerently set on verbally and morally assaulting other people as liars, deceivers, frauds, imbeciles, idiots, and overall nincompoops as James White.

Now we may safely add "deranged" to the catalog list above.

Nor will his extra rant against me personally deter my resolve in showing White's historical accuracy reduces to so much historical hooey at least when it comes to his defense of Calvin's murdering Servetus.

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

Dr.JamesAch,

Great comment! And thanks for sourcing Calvin's own words.

cb scott

"I have never been able to get through an entire JW broadcast because he is so bombastic. Snark for Jesus?"

Lydia,

You are a highly intelligent person. However, I must challenge the above statement made by you. It is in absolute, diametric opposition to the truth. It is so blatantly wrong that if not challenged and corrected, the earth may spin out of its orbit and burn to a crisp.

Lydia, you are wrong. James White is not a "Snark for Jesus." No, No, No! That is incorrect.

James White is a snark alright, but not for Jesus.

James White is a snark for James White.

Lydia, I hope you see the light on this and confess the error of your ways. I think you will.

Now, the problem is to convince James White that you are wrong. Why? Because being the narcissistic antagonistic that he is, it will be hard to convince him that Jesus and James White are not synonymous terms to be used interchangeably.

cb scott

Peter,

I just read the response from James White, Narcissistic Antagonist At-Large for all the Evangelical World. (self appointed, of course)

He, as is his normal fashion, responded with attacks, rather than true rebuttal of the content to which he is in reference.

He does attack you and then he attacks the Islamist. However he does not address the true issue, that of your identifying his self-centered, narcissistic personality.

Never does he, anywhere in his rant, address his obvious sin of making the following statement:

"‘You see Nadir, you are not up to par with me, for I am superior, Because you are not up to par with me, you are just like a regular Joe Shmoe . . . "

There, in that specific self-revelation do we see (or at least we should see) the true problem with James White and the entirety of what he calls a "ministry."

He really does think he is "superior" to others. Is there any need for me to reference how often the Scripture, the revelation of God of Himself to humanity, rejects such a prideful, self-elevating personality? No, I think not.

peter lumpkins

CB,

As I said in the "update," White only makes himself appear precisely as I described him in the post. Rather than address the issues I raised, he pours more emotively-driven language onto a linguistic flesh wound like so much dry salt. No wonder White prefers verbal exchanges. It's hard to imagine a more ineffective way of engagement than James White offers via the written word. He comes across as impossibly bellicose.

Lord bless. Hope things are well at BPC. Perhaps we'll soon have some chat about your future role

With that, I am...
Peter

brighton barrett

Perhaps this will be of interest to a reader or two. My research is somewhat brief, so I only have one quote tracked down: "I have exterminated Michael Servetus" (to the Chamberlain, M. du Poet)

In somewhat of an unusual circumstance, this letter of Calvin's did not surface for 200 years, and, was only first quoted by a certain Voltaire. But since consideration of the source, even one known for satire, fiction, embellishment, as a total enemy to Christianity altogether, etc, does not qualify the material to be called into question, perhaps another unusual detail:

The 1561 letter was written to "Monseigneur du Poet, Grand Chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of the town of Montelimart, at Crest" -- LoC, v.IV, but he didn't get that title until 1584. Which turns Calvin into a time-traveler. Or perhaps Calvin was a prophet, or perhaps he faked his own death in 1564. I'm sure a creative soul can reconcile that better than I.

What, exactly, is our basis for determining whether something is true? If I produce a letter signed "President Barak Obama", from the personal archives of David Letterman, and it is dated 1986, is it legitimate?

So, too, in a similar vein, I find it disingenuous when I find the quote about Dr. White's "superiority" is repeated as authentic, whose source might be suspect, but also when the quote itself is full of several errors the likes of which are not observed in his blog. Comma, laden, run, on, sentences, however, are very much in the style of one Nadir Ahmed.

Lydia

"Now, the problem is to convince James White that you are wrong. Why? Because being the narcissistic antagonistic that he is, it will be hard to convince him that Jesus and James White are not synonymous terms to be used interchangeably."

Hee Hee.

Oh yes, I have been duly corrected and never again to utter or write such inane words. Thank you, my brother.

Lydia

Brighton Barret,

You have a very Ivy League name. I picture brandy and cigars in the study. :o)

What about the letters to Farel? Are those authentic or a time travel situation? What about Calvin's own words in Defensio? Can we not glean from them?

Lydia

Brighton, One more thing, a better approach to Nadir is to tell the truth about Islam while loving Muslims. That is why I think Jay Smith is so much more effective. He does not insult them.

peter lumpkins

Hi Brighton,

Personally I find absolutely no "similar vein" as do you. Nor is it as simple as attempting to discern from the quote itself compared to White's written record on his site, especially focusing only on grammatical dissimilarities. One could just as seriously argue since the content of the alleged words the Muslim apologist duplicated seems to nicely jive with so much of the other strident, arrogant rhetoric White displays, it hardly seems reasonable to assume the Muslim apologist was making up the words.

Even so, not sure at all what your point is even if well taken.

By the way, is Monseigneur du Poet, Grand Chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of the town of Montelimart, at Crest the same one to which Calvin allegedly wrote that’s dated “At Geneva, this 8th September, 1561”? If so, not sure your point merits what you appear to solicit. You claim without the least proof that “he didn't get that title until 1584.” Care to demonstrate your assertion, Brighton?

You also suggest that your “research is somewhat brief” and consequently you only “have one quote tracked down.” Interesting. That’s what this guy claimed on this website. Are you affiliated with him or are you just kinda chewing his cud, Brighton?

As for the literary theory that the letters of Calvin are forgeries, I think I’ll let others decide since nothing in my post is dependent upon the quote. For those who are interested in the recent theory proposed by Calvin’s defenders (those who simply will not allow their hero to be guilty of murder), check out Rives’ defense of using the quote in his book, Did Calvin Murder Servetus?

With that, I am…

Peter  

peter lumpkins

Lydia,

That's what so entirely unreasonable about White. He claims we need to witness to them but then he calls them the most horrible names. Consider the guy I quoted above. White refers to him as the looniest of the loons.

Eric

Mr. white says, on his website, that he didn't say what you quoted

peter lumpkins

Mr. White says lots of things on his website, Eric.

cb scott

"Mr. white says, on his website, that he didn't say what you quoted"

Ya think? That is some revelation. Thanks for the insight.

Eric

Are you saying he is telling a lie when he says the quote is not true?
And CB....you are welcome for the insight.

peter lumpkins

Eric,

Look. James White can claim what he wishes. I properly cited the quote. And, I have no reason to believe the man who wrote it made it up. Nor am I going to assume the Muslim apologist is the looniest of the loons because James White says it.

Now if you've got something to ask concerning this post I'll gladly oblige. If not have a good evening.

With that, I am...
Peter

cb scott

Eric,

Why would you ask Peter if White is lying? Would it be to build a strawman?

Peter quoted the Islamist. He did not call the Islamist a liar, nor did he now call White a liar. Yet, you want to call Peter to task and demand him to do something to give you a false platform to take this thread in another direction.

Why don't you deal with the content of the post? Oh, right. You can't. You are like James White in that regard. He can't either.

Debbie Kaufman

"Lydia,

That's what so entirely unreasonable about White. He claims we need to witness to them but then he calls them the most horrible names. Consider the guy I quoted above. White refers to him as the looniest of the loons"

The hypocrisy in this statement astounds me Peter.

brighton barrett

If it is so easily demonstrable that White's written record on his own site is full of arrogant rhetoric, then we don't really need this particular quote at all. But that's the quote currently being singled out. Why does this quote have shock value? If what you say is true, it shouldn't ... it's just status quo. And it's not a matter of grammar simply, but style, vocabulary, voice -- even a peculiar cultural gaffe. That's a lot for one quote to bear. Is it a case of I see what I want to see (or you), are we are to simply take Ahmed's word over White's word (or vice versa)? Ahmed should have been easily able to produce the full correspondence, but his only reference (from your link) was a single blog post *as White's response* ("James white has responded: "), which clearly wasn't the same as the quote, unless White "doctored" the blog. Would you like me to contact Ahmed directly and ask him "did White say exactly that complete quote, verbatim, and can you document this clearly?" And, now that White has repudiated the statement, if Ahmed can indeed affirm it with certitude, we'd move past this he said/she said business, and we can pretty much put any White issue to rest because he would lose all credibility.

I'm not sure why you accuse me of "chewing" a particular third party's cud (disclosure: I have never seen or heard of the "Anchored" blogger before, so no affiliation other that we are both are possibly human with internet access), when Rives' own defense cited the very same details I mentioned, whose own source was volume 4 of the Letters of John Calvin. I'm not sure how Rives himself can produce the 1584 date at the same time I make the same assertion without *any* proof. Perhaps you don't mean that I'm making it up, but that you're unconvinced by the documentation? If so, I'd be curious where one might find a better biographical source for the Melchizedekean marquis (since Rives cannot find his Wikipedia entry, I guess: "the Internet has absolutely no data on this Poet" Do the freely available works of Voltaire, Benedict (also cited by Rives, with details on Poet), etc not count either? I am perplexed.)

But alas, the author *does* provide sources for this historical detail on Poet (contrary to what Rives implied: "The author cites nothing to prove [it]", yet there it is in the footnotes on pp. 435-6, a few pages removed from Rives' citation):
1) d'Aubigne, Hist. Univ. vol ii pp 455 et 1140, also confirmed by
2) Aubenas, Notice Historique 156-7


Lydia: you ask a good question about the letters to Farel. I do not know enough about the particular letters. It seems to have been the practice of the counter-reformation to invent documentation to discredit anyone falling outside the Roman Catholic church -- but on the other hand, there's a lot of scathing polemics penned by Luther, the Anabaptists, etc, so Calvin ought to fit right in. It is a bit out of accord with both the protestant liberty of conscience and Calvin's own record: "the Church does not have the right to punish ... the goal is a voluntary confession of repentance." (ICR 4.11) The letters themselves are condemnable, and I would hope you'd agree that burning at the stake for ecclesiastical reasons is morally reprehensible.

One other thing that's interesting is the attribution "It is criminal to put heretics to death", allegedly from the first edition of his Institutes. But the odd thing is that nobody provides a useful citation: Peter refers to Rives, who revers to Zweig, who refers to Castellio, who refers to Calvin ... but I couldn't find the actual quote in the 1536 (English) edition of the Institutes. I'll have to find the French Institutes. And all the useless Google searches only point to Rives. If someone else has the quote, let me know!

peter lumpkins

Debbie,

Thanks!

Brighton,

A) You may conclude as you wish whether the need for the quote at all. But I conclude it's staying because it serves the very purpose I suggested in the footnote

B) Why ask me if I want you to contact anyone? Please. Do as you wish. Yes White did "repudiate" the quote. But that's not all White did. He also attacked the Muslim ('looniest of the loons' etc) which only proved further the first part of this post

C) I didn't 'accuse' you of squat, Brighton. I asked a question: "Are you affiliated with him or are you just kinda chewing his cud, Brighton?" I suggest if you want to dialog further, holster your pistols.

With that, I am...
Peter

Lydia

"Lydia: you ask a good question about the letters to Farel. I do not know enough about the particular letters. It seems to have been the practice of the counter-reformation to invent documentation to discredit anyone falling outside the Roman Catholic church -- but on the other hand, there's a lot of scathing polemics penned by Luther, the Anabaptists, etc, so Calvin ought to fit right in"

Brighton you are cracking me up. The "counter-reformation"? You mean the ones hiding in caves, running from hamlet to
town to town, losing their business, being drowned for believers baptism?

What little we have from them that they could write and circulate is pretty small compared to the Reformers. You forgot to mention the Munster debacle. Most Calvinists trot that one out to paint the Ana Baptist movement as monolithic and violent.

At least they put their money where their mouth was instead of cozying up with the state church for power and position.

But instead you trot out the "everyone was doing it" argument. Did that work with your mom? :o)

Ben Musclow

An interesting essay, citing multiple sources, found below, for anyone willing to explore the issue a little further...

https://www.academia.edu/3634823/Michael_Servetus_A_Case_Study_on_John_Calvins_Theology_of_Church_Discipline

peter lumpkins

Ben

Thanks for the link. Arsenal's transparency is exceptional and his argument well stated. I tend to think what we know supports more critical and moral concern that Calvin's role in the Servetus affair far too often gets brushed aside as so much Medieval dust with the unfortunate effect--if I may mix metaphors--of wallpapering over a huge crack in Calvin's wall.

Thanks again for the link to the good paper.

Lord bless

With that, I am...
Peter

brighton barrett

Lydia,

I think you have the Counter-Reformation confused with the Radical Reformation and misunderstand the point of my comment. I also cannot figure out how you see an "everyone was doing it" position in my assertion that certain things were "condemnable." Or why what I said was amusing. Nor was I attempting to trade fire. I said nothing to color the Anabaptists in an ill light, they were victims of the Counter-Reformation. The Counter Reformation was actively involved in falsifying evidence against all stripes of Reformers. The Jesuit de la Higuera was probably the more famous individual in that particular effort. I don't think Jesuits were hiding from anyone.

Greg Ward

Hello again! Peter- I read the link regarding the quote that is supposed to be from White. The way I read the post from that link is such that it would be Nadir's impression of what White said, not actually what White said. (The link from Nadir's page to White's page isn't working to see the actual post to which Nadir was responding.) Further, White responded to your post saying, in effect, that he didn't say these words and Nadir is making them up.
Regards,
Greg

Lydia

"The Counter Reformation was actively involved in falsifying evidence against all stripes of Reformers. The Jesuit de la Higuera was probably the more famous individual in that particular effort. I don't think Jesuits were hiding from anyone."

Oh I get it. A 16th Century Catholic conspiracy that lives today. How clever of them! Forging Calvin's letters to Farel. Did they forge the Institutes, too? The European church archives that researchers used were all Catholic forgeries?

Scott Shaver

These Calvinists sound like Barak Obama.

Like George Bush...."It's the evil Roman Catholic Church sect of Christianity that's the real villain ...forgeries and character assassination and all ...."

Give me a break already. Would actually prefer the Jesuit de la Higuera to today's SBC and its select illuminati.

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