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I think James White should have pulled out his trump card and simply said...

"You, sir, are a liar," and walked off the stage to a standing ovation.


I think the warning we should take from this is do not get into a debate about textual criticism when you know very little about the subject. I am not sure why Mr. White's lack of knowledge about T.C. should be a wake up call to our seminaries about "neo-calvinism."

I have had classes on T.C. at two of our seminaries (NOBTS, SBTS) and learned enough to know that it is a specialized field and would want to have many years of study to try and debate a man like Ehrman. White seemed ill-prepared but I am not sure that his lack of preparedness was a direct result of his neo-calvinism.


You can hear White squirm like a cornered rodent because he's out classed by a scholarly feline.

"Dr." White is, and more than likely always will be, nothing more than a 'professional debater' with a side of 'hack scholar'. If/when he finds humility and earns a real doctorate he will not be so flippant with subjects outside of his expertise.

Debbie Kaufman

So in order for something to be true, you have to be able to debate it perfectly? Come on Pete. Your slipping up on this and I think you know it. Your vengeance is really getting old. Let's pull up some of your arguments that sunk like the Titanic. They are numerous.

Debbie Kaufman

BTW I think James White did it well. In fact Dr. White caught Ehrman in a few stretchings of the truth. As in "these arguments surprise me." White held his argument very well.

John Fariss

I don't really have a dog in this fight (I am no Calvinist BTW), but having listened, I would have to disagree somewhat with your assertion that "Ehrman walks away looking like an accomplished scholar. On the other hand, White crawls away like a whipped mongrel." I would say Ehrman walks away more like a district attorney pleased with the cleverness of his cross examination, and White like a witness who is frustrated by not being allowed to answer fully. Pardon my ignorance, but what was the setting of this exchange?


Mark McCullagh

Dear Peter

That debate looks interesting. How might someone get hold of it so that it can be heard it in its entirety?



Debbie, based on some of your other posts, one must wonder how objective you are about Mr. White. Inasmuch, is there any exchange that he could have with others where you would think he did, in fact, not "win?"

Mr. White believes he's an expert on everything, even when he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. One such example is his "Arabic." He made a video criticizing Caner's Arabic, but White himself has atrocious Arabic and can't even pronounce simple words, such as "Muhammad," correctly. Yet, of course, this doesn't stop him from making a video for the purpose of making fun of someone else about the same thing. You have to wonder how "teachable" he is when his own Arabic teacher apparently does not feel comfortable pointing out his language errors that even a child would not make.

I think we need to really start being honest about all of this, starting with not referring to James White as "Dr." White. This is a constant source of fodder among his critics, and those who look at him objectively. He IS not a Dr as he DOES NOT have an accredited doctorate. He is not living above reproach in that this is a constant source of allegations of dishonesty toward him, yet he refuses to repent and reconcile this.

I agree with you partially. I think what it does show is that when Mr. White is outside of his element in terms of the rules for how a debate is conducted, he has a much more difficult time prevailing or even sounding like he knows what he's talking about.

Richard Pierce

kidcudder11's posting of that is a violation of American Vision and Alpha and Omega Ministry's copyrights of it. We have made attempts to persuade him to take it down on his own and are about to take action against him with YouTube via their DCMA policy. I don't believe that you may have been aware of that when you posted this but thought that you would like to know. I expect that you will do the right thing and direct folks to the proper avenues where they can acquire the recording in its entirety. http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=868

Richard C. Pierce
Alpha and Omega Ministries


Mr. Lumpkins, I am failing to see how your 'analysis' is at all connected to the video you posted.

Did you listen to the whole debate? Most of it? Part of it? Did you even listen to this clip you posted?

Dr. Ehrman came off ok, in this exchange.
Dr. White came of ok, in this exchange.

This was one short 9 minute exchange in a multi-hour debate.

The only one in this exchange who comes of 'unscholarly' is yourself for insulting Dr. White pointlessly and demonstrating a rather rabid bias against the man.

Also, Dr. White is not a 'neo-Calvinist'. Mark Driscoll may be considered a 'neo-Calvinist'.

Dr. White is a Reformed Baptist, hailing from a 400 year old tradition of Reformed Christians originating in London. Hardly 'neo-' Calvinism.

peter lumpkins


My deepest apologies.  I'll take the link down. For those interested in a non-pirated copy of the entire debate, you may purchase a copy for six bucks here.

With that, I am...



First off, why are you complaining about someone who embeds a youtube clip on their site? It's an embed, take it up ONLY with the person who actually hosts it.

Secondly, I can't help but wonder now, given your comments, if there's something to the fact that part of the reason you guys pulled out of the debate with Caner is because he wanted to stream it live and you couldn't sell it/make money off of it. Is the reason Mr. White does debates to further the cause of Christ, or profit from it and "prostitute" the Gospel?


Why are you still referring to Mr. White as "Dr." White? He's as much a Dr. as "Dr. J." the basketball player was.

peter lumpkins


No, I never listen to tracks before I post them or read materials I critique. Am I supposed to?

With that, I am...

Debbie Kaufman

Roy: You have your facts misconstrued. James White did not pull from the debate. Ergun and Emir Caner did and it wasn't for the reason of live streaming. The actual exchange to prove my point can be found either in the archive of Tom Ascol's blog or on Alpha Omega Site archives.

Second, James White has not claimed to be that which he is not, that is not true of Ergun Caner. The details can be found pretty much anywhere. Sorry, but I heard the snippet which as someone pointed out was 9 minutes of an hour debate and although I do admit partiality as I have been listening to James White for many years, saw him doing quite well and not being allowed to finish. I know the feeling. :)

Next; the point is made quite well that James White is not hyper Calvinist. He is in fact in line with Reformed doctrine in it's entirety that has been around for 400 years. To call him hyper is simply ad hominem and not based on fact. Ignorance of what the Reformed believe, but not fact.


You know, it is a bit strange that "Dr. J"s supporters compare him to Dr. MacArthur, yet MacArthur allows free access to all of his materials, and before this, gave them away free on his mailing list.

On the other hand, "Dr. J" seems to go after anyone who doesn't give them money for their material, making one wonder what kind of "ministry" it is, and also trying to get youtube to shut down other videos that cast them in a bad light.

For the younger ones among you, Dr. J was a famous basketball player. Obviously, he was not a medical, or any other, type of doctor. Coincidentally, James White is in this same boat. However, he DOES claim to be an actual doctor, but not only is he not, he also cannot dunk a basketball in a 10 foot goal.



But, James White can dunk...



Roy -

I can't believe I'm going to wade into this, but there are a few things I believe are worth noting here. While I am personally opposed to the very concept of copyright, it is the reality in our country, and the creator(s) of a work have the rights to its distribution.

Putting on these debates is not a cost-free exercise. Funding is required to obtain the venues, pay for the equipment, and for the costs of bringing the participants in the debate together. There are also costs associated with distribution - even online distribution. There is real work done in putting these debates on and making them available, and it is how Dr White and his associates make their living. I believe that Scripture pretty clearly indicates that people have a general right to make a living off of their efforts -- even if those efforts are in some way ministry related.

Further, Dr White does not, and has not ever, charged for the gospel. He makes all kinds of material available for free (his website, the Dividing Line program, etc). Further, when on the Dividing Line or online or in person interacting with people who are in need of the gospel and/or trapped in false religion Dr White frequently ships even these for-cost materials to them for free, in the hopes it will be a help to them.

Dr White has spent countless hours with people out on the street (particularly with Mormons), after debates, at conferences, etc trying to reach them with the gospel. When he still ate food he would give up his chance to eat to spend more time with those who were lost. He freely proclaims the Gospel all of the time. These debates are not the Gospel. The gospel is not proving the truth of Christianity or the bankruptcy of non-christian worldviews. The gospel is not intermural debates between Christians. The gospel is what God has done for us in Christ - and I am not aware of anywhere that Dr White has charged for this.

As for your absurd claims about doctorates, it is not accredited that grants the title of Dr, but rather the work that is done. I have never seen anyone who takes issue with his title do so while interacting directly with the work that was done - they just point to whether or not the school bothered to get accredited.

There are a significant number of people being homeschooled today. There are also a lot of students going to schools that are not "accredited". Historically the claim has been made that because they aren't going to "accredited" (or in common parlance, "approved of") schools, they will be stupid and not have a good education, and probably won't get into college.

Of course, I say historically, because just about the only people who say this any more are people who are either completely ignorant of the data or just plain foolish. To say such a thing now just reveals your ignorance. On average homeschooling students perform far better than students in "approved of" schools.

The same can be said of *some* unaccredited schools. If you want to compare schools, you can be lazy and use accreditation, which of course just tells you that they probably charge more money, and that they meet the bare minimum standard of the organization that granted the accreditation.

Or - you can actually do some real research and look at the work that is done and look at the results, and choose a school that will give you the *knowledge* that you want, and the *experience* that you need - probably with a greater level of work and a greater quality of result. Sure there will be those who stand in the corner and throw jibes at your degree because it's an easy mark.

But the real question is this, did you get the degree so that people would respect you because of it, and because the institution that granted it has accredited status, and therefore it confers some holy attestation of intelligence and scholarship (perhaps contrary to all available evidence)?

Or did you get that degree because of the product of it, and because you wanted to actually use it? If so, you really won't care what the naysayers have to say with their ill-informed opinions of the real work it takes to get a PhD the way you did.

To paraphrase Gump - scholarship is as scholarship does. If you want to disagree with Dr White fine - do so on the basis of what he does. If you want to take issue with his PhD, fine. Be a man and do it the right way, get his work, and interact with it. Don't stand in the corner and take pot-shots at people who are actually putting legs to their scholarship over whether or not their education came from somewhere you approve of.



Thanks for the response.

I'm sort of in shock that you even wrote this:

"Second, James White has not claimed to be that which he is not, that is not true of Ergun Caner."

Have you missed the whole "doctor/doctorate" thing that has been an issue with white and many others for the last decade or more? He specifically DOES claim to be something he is not.... a doctor. It has been the source of constant fodder, and a reason that many point to him as incredible and dishonest. He is not living above reproach, and continues to proclaim that he has a qualified doctorate, while belittling others' education.

If James White does not meet the definition of hyper calvinism, I have no idea who would. But, of course, I will say that, like you did here, it seems that anyone who disagrees with calvinism doesn't understand it. Because, of course, if they understood it, they would believe in it. The circle continues...


Richard Pierce, will you apologize for your unchristlike behavior making fun of the looks of mormon and russian women? I don't see how you can justify that, honestly.



again and again I see the pattern in defending white's fake doctorate.

why do you and White covet the very thing you despise (accredited doctorates)?

if you think accredited doctorates are lazy and expensive why not just make up a degree rather than take a title that means something?

I will take you to task and agree on unaccredited home-schools and private schools performing better. but here is the key; places have testing to measure how you actually did compared to accredited public school.

doctorates have the same thing with dissertations and boards and peer review, something that fake doctorates like white never had to go through.

btw, why doesnt white's publisher ever print him having a doctorate? are they not convinced?


Shamgar, let me make sure I understand what you are saying here:

1. Regarding debates and expenses, surely you are aware that many of the places that host Mr. White's debates do so for free, or PAY him to come, right? His debates that take places inside churches, for instance, you are saying all of these churches require him to rent them and he is not compensated at all, for his travel expenses, etc? Seriously?

2. I do agree that these debates are not the Gospel. However, his vicious treatment of those who disagree with him, such as Mormons, is not the Gospel either. For instance, his recent attacks on Mormon women, making fun of their looks, is not the Gospel(at least, I'm pretty sure it is not). He ridicules people he disagrees with. To try to paint him as secretly compassionate toward these people is living in denial.

3. It's rather the work done, really? Is this the tired old justification that self-study is sufficient to bestow a degree on ones' self? I have an idea, I will start calling myself a medical doctor because I've looked at a bunch of dead bodies and read tons of medical books. In fact, I've written some books about my medical discoveries. I certainly don't need a university to tell me I am sufficiently educated, nor do I need a state medical board to license me. It's about the work done! I'm sure no one I operate on will mind the fact that I did not go to medical school, nor am I licensed, etc. After all, it's about the work done. How does the “reason” you got your degree determine whether or not it's credible? Can I go apply for a job, claim I have an accredited degree or doctorate if I do not, but tell them it shouldn't matter because of the “reason” I did it? Who is going to take me seriously?

4. Do you not know much about homeschools or homeschooling? Surely you are aware that they are generally accredited and licensed by the states, in terms of curriculum, right? Surely you are aware that their students are subject to standardized testing as well, right? What accreditation body signed off on Mr. White's CES?

5. Mr. White's continued claims that he has a doctorate is an insult to those who do, such as Dr. MacArthur, who has an ACCREDITED Doctorate. You're blindness on this issue is obvious, you cannot see that Mr. White's claims are constant fodder for those, such as Mormons(who you claim he has such great respect and rapport with). Your only option seems to be to denigrate the doctorates of others who actually do the work and get an accredited doctorate. Seriously, you are trying to justify Mr. White's dishonesty by saying people are “being lazy” by using accreditation as a means of determining standards? Why not get rid of all standards, while we are at it? You are so willing to defend anything he does, no matter how sub-standard, that you tear others down in order to justify not holding him to account. That's sad.

6. It seems Mr. White DID try to get the degree to get the respect of people from it, because he constantly berates others' education and touts his own questionable education. He even made a video making fun of Caner's Arabic skills when his own are awful. He cannot even pronounce the most popular name in the world, Muhammad, close to correctly(he says Mukkkhamed). Of course, he is so unapproachable about correction that his Arabic teacher doesn't even feel comfortable letting him know that he sounds ridiculous to Muslims who know Arabic who he claims to be trying to convince of Christianity. After all, though, why would Mr. White refer to himself, constantly, as “Dr.” White, and require others address him as such, if he didn't do it for the respect? What else is the point of not having an authentic doctorate but requiring people address you as though you did? As his “doctorate” is constantly a source of contention, if he's not doing it for the respect of others, why doesn't he just stop calling himself Dr. White, and put the issue to rest? Why does he refuse to live above reproach?

This isn't nay-sayers' ill-informed opinions. Many of the detractors of Mr. White's doctorate are those who HAVE gotten doctorates themselves from accredited institutions, and find what he is doing insulting and degrading. For you to compartmentalize everyone who reasonably has an objection to someone claiming that he has academic credentials that he clearly does not, as being petty, immature and simply taking cheap shots, is just dishonest and indicative of either a gross misunderstanding or gross denial on your part. You also don't seem to realize that a large part of the reason that this keeps coming up is because he constantly berates the education of others while touting his own. We call this “hypocrisy.”

In summary, it is unfortunate, but it seems that you would prefer, rather than hold Mr. White to any sort of standard, to tear down all standards. Mr. White will continue to be regarded as dishonest about his education and a joke among many. Unfortunately for other believers, we will continue to be associated with these things because he also claims to be one of us. To belittle those who believe in standards and principles as “standing in a corner, taking potshots” is just being dishonest. Your argument wouldn't fly with an entry level job(“I know the position requires a degree in mechanical engineering, which I don't have, but I did read some books about it!”), and it certainly won't fly in the world of academia and among others who actually have done the work.

Jonathan Dupree

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Correction to Richard C. Pierce
Alpha and Omega Ministries on the 'copy right' of the debate. Ehrman has no such agreement with White or any of the people he debates.

1) Pierce would first have to furnish a document with Ehrman signature that such material is copy write either with American Vision or Alpha and Omega.

2) Even if Pierce and American Vision made their own quality productions of the debate that they want to make a quick a quick buck with again anyone else who made their own quality recording is under no obligation from Ehrman.

I suggest to you Peter that the next time Pierce makes such statements having the documents suggested above would go along way in making his case!

By the way excellent post!

I think James White should have pulled out his trump card and simply said...

"You, sir, are a liar," and walked off the stage to a standing ovation.

Posted by: Roy

Jonathan Dupree

btw....James White is not a DR.

It's up to Peter if he wants this to be published but here is a link in which I basically penned down the questions that fellow Christians had for James White.


It boils down to their same tired argument which does more to damage White and his fallacious claim of being a "DR"
than anything. The argument goes like this

“If I were Dr. White I would not bother with these allegations beyond this article either. They are just merely poisoning the well, to keep people from listening to him on the basis of something that has nothing to do with his actual work. Never mind the fact that his books have been endorsed by D.A. Carson, Gleason Archer, Daniel B. Wallace, John MacAurthur, R.C. Sproul Jr., Kenneth Gentry, Normon Geisler, etc, people from all kinds of different theological perspectives. If you actually want to say that he is not qualified, then show it from his work. There are many fine Christian schools that are unaccredited, and are better than some schools that are accredited! The real key is the product they produce. Until you are willing to address the actual product, this will be nothing more than poisoning the well.”

The point being is I may have done all kinds of things that I feel deserve recognition. Heck James White is the kind of personality that feels that every km he rides on his bicycle should be logged and told to the whole world!

The point is the questions are not answered. I think all rational and sane people can agree that none of us here would allow a man who claims to be a doctor of endocrinology from an unaccredited college operate on us.

If we do not allow people with unaccredited degrees operate upon our physical bodies why would we allow them to operate on our spiritual ones?

I think the real problem that White's followers have is a real inability to critique the man. They really do lack balance.


You're right. Rich Pierce's comparison of the attractiveness of some of Brigham Young's wives to the looks of Russian women was totally uncalled for. Rich should apologize to Russian women everywhere. There is no room for humor on the Internet.

Paul Owen

I would just like to point out a few things relative to this thread.

1. Why are White's defenders not pointing out how un-Christlike it is to refer to another Christian as Alexander the Coppersmith? Is that kind of absurd name-calling appropriate? He always pulls this label out of the hat when dealing with people who strike close to the core of his rather thin ego.

2. White has made a habit of debating scholars who work in fields of real expertise, and presuming with a bit of self-study that he is up to the task. Taking on Bart Ehrman on textual criticism is a perfect example of this. Having done my Ph.D. work under Larry Hurtado (one of the top text-critics in the world), I know enough to appreciate what a specialized discipline this is. White does not work in this specialized field, and has published nothing in the scholarly arena (his KJV Only work does not count) relevant to the study of the text of the NT. He does not present his research in scholarly forums and conferences dealing with text-criticism, nor does he work directly with ancient manuscripts (looking at a few artifacts for an hour or so while touring Ireland on a apologetics trip does not count).

3. White's doctorate certainly is an issue. I was one of the first people to confront him about this, back in 1997, when I learned that he was taking this route. Getting a doctorate from a school like Columbia Evangelical Seminary is misleading, because people who don't know better will presume that his work would match up to what is required in genuine, accredited programs. It obviously does not. The Forgotten Trinity would most certainly NOT be accepted by any stretch of the imagination at any accredited doctoral program. It reflects a very unsophisticated approach to the subject, and a complete and utter lack of familiarity with, well, basically all of the primary and secondary texts that are relevant to this area of Christian doctrine. Nowhere will one find Plantinga, Torrance, Barth, Boff, Rahner, Volf, Moltmann, Zizioulas, etc. etc. in White's research. His topic is far too broad to qualify for doctoral work, and is light years away from real credible scholarship. A thesis like that would be laughed out of the room, not only at places like the University of Edinburg where I studied, but any evangelical doctoral program in America. It's time that White and his followers start being honest about his lack of genuine acaemic credentials, since his doctorate would not be viewed as a legitimate theological credential were he being considered for hiring, rank or tenure at any accredited school in this country.

As to the Mormons, since I work in this area directly, I can definitely attest that White is not taken seriously by them, for many reasons, not least of which being his claim to have a legitimate doctoral degree, which flies in the face of all objective evidence. There are many scholars at BYU who have earned their theological degrees at Harvard, Duke, Brown, UCLA, etc., and they certainly know the difference between a genuine academic credential and a correspondence school diploma.


I don't understand why, if White is as dignified and mature as his sycophants claim, he doesn't drop "Dr." from his title and the issue would go away. As it is, it is a constant source of discredit for him among apparently everyone else but he and his followers.


I'm sure you're quite proud of your defense or "Dr. J"(I hope you get the humor in that, by now, as Mr. White is as qualified to be a doctor as Doctor J the basketball player), but it shows that White and his defenders are exactly what we fear them to be... people with little if any concern for the people they are debating/"witnessing" to who have no problem insulting, belittling, and deriding them.

White and his sycophants see non-hyper calvinists, muslims, mormons, catholics, etc, as "weirdos" or "curiosities" and have no problem dealing with them on an impersonal basis, and, as you can see her, making fun of them in the most brash and crude of ways. To write that all off as "humor" when Mr. White will not tolerate, and in fact, seems to go into a rage, when anyone doesn't take him seriously, is a bit hard to swallow.

It is not Christlike to demean and insult others, period. Mr. White regularly does this to anyone he disagrees with, being willing to go after them personally with no concern as to their feelings or emotions.

For what it's worth, it was a reformed, calvinist woman who first raised a flag in relation to the disgusting comments White and Pierce and others made about mormon women. But seriously, if we want to go there, is James White really wanting to start criticizing the looks of others? Pot, meet kettle? I wouldn't be surprised, though. He criticizes Caner's Arabic skills when his own are laughable.

I say we keep such personal and hurtful insults out of it, and deal with the substance. The substance is that Mr. White is very unchristlike in the way he treats people. Is there a point in which you guys will stop defending that?


I did want to point out one thing to Shamgar and the other White sheep...

If you are content in Mr. White's scholarship standing on it's own, in terms of what he's done, why don't you let it? You surely don't need the title "Dr." for that. Drop the "Dr" and we can judge the product on the contents. Of course, many will still have a difficult time getting past his vicious and unchristlike behavior, but I suppose we can work on that next.


Speaking of Bart Ehrman, if one wants to see his weak assessment of the NT evidence of Christ's resurrection demolished by William Lane Craig, you can see it FOR FREE here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjOSNj97_gk



There's not really anything here worth the time to respond to, I said what I came to say. For example - I'm not sure why anyone would take your word for how debates are managed or what it takes to put one on (which is a lot more than just whether or not you have to rent the facility - which wasn't even my point).

I do however want to respond to this little gem:
4. Do you not know much about homeschools or homeschooling? Surely you are aware that they are generally accredited and licensed by the states, in terms of curriculum, right? Surely you are aware that their students are subject to standardized testing as well, right?

Well, as a homeschooling father of four students for over nine years now, with my oldest being a Junior in high school, yes, I do know. And I also know that no, they are not generally accredited or licensed by the states. It sounds like you live in one of those backwards states like California that basically tries to turn home schools into public schools.

Those of us who still live in free parts of america know no such nonsense, and in testing students in those parts do better on average than students in schools with state oversight and accreditation.

But you go on believing that I'm the one who doesn't know anything about homeschooling.

That said, I'll just say again, if you want to publish something to interact with Dr White's work, and deal with its scholarship then do it. The rest of this is just silliness. Paul Owen's comment is the closest anyone has come to actually dealing with his work, but even it is still just more restating of the same old opinions, without actually interacting with the material at all. (Not that I expect anyone to take up this blog post comment section to do that mind you - but that's what publishing is for.)


Speaking of William Lane Craig, I just watched this video with him and Christopher Hitchens.

It is amazing the contrast between he and James White in terms of how he deals with opponents.


One does not have to watch that and argue that, contrary to his actions, he IS In fact caring and loving and christlike in his presentation, because he is christlike IN his presentation.

With Dr. J/James White, one must argue, CONTRARY, to his actions and presentation, he is all of these things.



Is this the debate from 2 years ago?

Before I saw that debate I was a secular agnostic on the verge of atheism. After that debate I read the Bible, started attending a Church, and am currently growing in my faith. Listen to the whole debate, even the audience questions, and listen to it twice. Ehrman’s argument is relativism.

Why do you bite one another so viciously? Do you not know you will end up consuming one another?


-It IS fair for James White to charge for the debates. This is his job, and the worker is worth his wages. Comparing him to pastors like John Macarthur or William Lane Craig is not fair. They both will recieve a wage, from their church (John Macarthur) or their University (WLC). This is his job, it does cost money to support yourself(!). I think James White does a good job too. I have found much of his material useful and worthwhile to support.

-He should stop using the title Dr. You can be a scholar and not had a PhD, just purporting you have scholarly works doesn't mean you can give yourself the title! Take one of the most prolific of respected Christian academics of the past century F. F. Bruce. He NEVER had a PhD. He was offered a lecturing job before he completed his doctorate at Vienna. Though he did receive honorary ones later in life, he never had a PhD. So I don't really understand James's position. In the end though I'm not sure that it really matters.

Johnnie Harrison

Roy, are you a fan of the late Jerry Falwell? How about Ken Hamm from answers in genesis?


@Shamgar "That said, I'll just say again, if you want to publish something to interact with Dr White's work, and deal with its scholarship then do it"

Why would anyone want to do this? it just legitimises White (at least in his followers minds) and brings attention to his business of selling six dollar debates. this is why I applaud DOCTOR Geisler in removing any reference to white's work in his new edition of 'chosen but free'.

btw, Paul Owen hit the nail on the head. and no he is not just restating the same old opinions, higher academia needs standards, period.
according to your logic any joe-six-pack who writes a book that sells a few hundred should be handed a doctorate. no sir.

Doug Hardy

Wow! What a post! From the Title of the article by Peter, through Roy's comments, I have not felt like I was on a Middle School playground in a long long time. Your words reveal your hearts..sad.


Since I am currently studying the works of Dr. Ehrman, the infamous "google" led me to this post. As a Christian, I am very interested in understanding the arguments of Dr. Ehrman for at least two reasons: First and most importantly, epistemology is important to me. And secondly, Dr. Ehrman has become the adopted spokesman for any anti-Christian apologetic concerning the reliability of Scripture. Like you, Peter, I know very little about textual criticism, but I am trying to learn more as I see it being the perceived "achilles heel" of Christianity. Therefore, I have invested money and time to try to grow in this area. In fact, I just purchased the mp3 download from Dr. White's site that you listed.

Even though I have tried to read Dr. Ehrman's work objectively (and I do believe that it contains some very good information), I realize that it is hard to overcome my own personal biases and presuppositions. Likewise, I see the same in Dr. Ehrman's work, particularly when it comes to portraying the Biblical Jesus. Though he claims to have been "born again", his own written testimony leaves much doubt in my own mind about his conversion. It seems to me his testimony is centered around him rather than his love for Christ and the Gospel (Just my humble opinion). All this to say, we all have biases and presuppositions that we look through and we must be very careful not to be blinded by them in a manner that renders us unteachable.

I find it troubling that you would direct a post to a very small part of a debate pertaining to an area that you describe yourself as "knowing little to nothing about..." (BTW, I do appreciated your honesty.) In an age of spin and sound bite, I detest the manipulation of media to either undermine or distort a situation regardless of the source. I am not saying that this was your intention for I know neither you nor Dr. White nor Dr. Ehrman. But it does give me the appearance of some underlying tensions that I am assuming relate to "neo-Calvinism" (whatever that is).

I am assuming that you listened to the whole debate and felt that this was a fair representation of the whole. If so, that would have been helpful for you to have specifically addressed areas within the debate that you feel Dr. White really missed it rather than appealing for people just to listen to a 10 minute section. Honestly your assessment of Dr. White "crawling away like a whipped mongrel" leaves me with one of two impressions. Either Dr. White breaks down in the debate and pleads "mercy" or you have a personal vendetta against him.

I do look forward to listening to it myself in whole and in context. I do agree that believers, especially high visibility ones, have a responsibility to speak Truth and not try to "weasel" (my words) through public forum by clever tactics and empty rhetoric. However, I am thankful for those who will step into the arena to speak the truth of God's Kingdom in the face of those who hate Christ and His church.



Let’s look at the laws and regulations for, say, a conservative state like Ohio:


My, oh, my, the state even regulates absences for home schooling, and the requirements for teachers in terms of their education!

How about Oklahoma?

Wow, it would seem, in fact, that the states DO have requirements on home schools, and their teachers. Of course, everyone knows otherwise it people could make up their own curriculum, refuse to teach certain subjects like math and English, have silly attendance policies, etc. But let’s not forget, these things are important because if these people want to go to college, the college must know their diploma is legitimate. And let’s not forget standardized testing.

Your argument, of course, is that a “home school” that had people making up their own attendance policies, graduation requirements, curriculum, and no type of community or peer review is no different. Are you intentionally being dishonest? Are you going to tell us you do not have requirements as far as the curriculum for your children’s’ home schooling, and they are exempt from ACT/SATs? Are you saying that colleges would not care about such things? Seriously?

But you don’t stop there, you say we should not worry about trivial things like whether or not White’s doctorate is legitimate, just look at the product. Would anyone in their right mind allow a doctor to operate on them who didn’t have a state license and a medical degree, but argues that the proof is in the pudding? How far are you willing to go to defend the indefensible? By the way, being condescending won’t make your argument any more strong, but it does sound like Mr. White.

Other than my “Dr. J” joke, I don’t know what you can say is immature that we have done in terms of call Mr. White to account for his deceit about his doctorate and his vicious behavior. But, in fact, you make my point in that it is immature, as it is in fact a joke, regarding his doctorate. This issue is constantly joked about by others and it keeps people from taking James White seriously. So why not just encourage him to drop it and stop appearing like a clown?


As I have listened to the debate, I am wondering are we talking about the same debate "James White and Bart Ehrman in Florida?"

"Thank you James for that very energetic and intelligent opening statement. I appreciate it very much...I used to believe everything that he (Dr. White) just said. I use to agree 100% with the entire presentation. But I changed my mind." Bart Erhman in his first rebuttal. Please listen to the whole debate particular to get these comments in context.

"Crawling like a whimpering mongrel..." Come on!?!?!

Please listen to the whole debate to

peter lumpkins


My guess is, I would fit the profile of the large majority White's audiences in his debates so far as serious knowledge of textual criticism is concerned. If you recall, as I brought this up, though my knowledge may be skimpy on textual criticism, I mentioned I do know when someone may be heehawing around for answers when they really don't have one. That's precisely how White comes across in this cross-examination, a process he repeatedly informs his readers is the most important time of a debate.

Hence, my conclusion on this cross-examination: the agnostic leaves the dialog looking genuinely scholarly while White stutters time after time, "I'm surprised that you don't..." which, in itself, is a backdoor insult, by the way. Then again, from my observations of JW, insults are bread and butter.

Now whether or not you accept my evaluation is your business. But it *is* my evaluation.

Thanks for logging on.
With that, I am...


Great examples of home school laws in the states you cite. Your arguments are, however, not valid for all States. I live in Alabama. If you choose to homeschool in Alabama, you can do so under the umbrella of a "Church School." In which case, the State has no requirements regarding education of those teaching and there is no requirement for standardized testing.
Many parents choose to partner with a Church homeschool umbrella group precisely because it provides a loophole around laws that would ordinarily make it prohibitive for parents to home school their children.
In Alabama, for instance, not homeschooling user a Church umbrella means that the parent must have a degree in education and a current certfication from the State. This is actually more strict than what Alabama requires for public school substitute teachers.


Dear Peter,

Well, it is certainly true that you know “little to nothing about textual criticism,” which makes me wonder why you think you’re entitled to an “evaluation” of the White/Ehrman debate at all. Traditionally one should have an adequate knowledge of a given sphere before he puts forth an “evaluation” of it (at least in the public realm), that is presupposing that the evaluation is of any worth (which sadly, your’s isn’t).

Your’s is like someone who knows little to nothing about pugilism, watches an excerpt from the Ali/Foreman Rumble in the Jungle, and ‘evaluates” it saying, “Foreman walks away looking like an accomplished boxer. On the other hand, Ali crawls away like a whipped mongrel.” For anyone familiar with the sphere of boxing, and the entire encounter between Ali & Foreman (i.e. White & Erhman), not only is the evaluation erroneous it’s completely unwarranted.

Until you write a book which is used in seminaries as an introduction to textual criticism, and is endorsed by textual critics like Dr. Bruce Metzger, who say:

The King James Only Controversy is scholarly and accurate, and its evaluation of opposing viewpoints fair. Anyone troubled by criticisms of English translations will find White trustworthy. I hope his book will be widely circulated. It will do much good.

Not to mention endorsements of other evangelical scholars such as Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. J. I. Packer, Dr. D. A. Carson, yes, and even Dr. Norman Geisler

Not only is your evaluation offensive but it’s a mockery of the unity of Christian faith, of which the world is supposed to know we’re his disciples (Jn. 13:35).

Do Christ and Christianity a favor and repent of your evangelical myopia and banal evaluations.

For His Kingdom,



Just did a little more research.

Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-08 allows schools with truly held religious beliefs to be established without a charter from the State Board of Education. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (hslda.org,) " the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) appears to have ceased to object to the practice of parents forming single family schools to privately educate children in a home as long as there are 5 or fewer enrolled students"

Regarding Oklahoma, hslda.org's analysis concludes, "Oklahoma law does not require parents to use certified teachers or state-approved curricula, initiate contact with, register with or seek approval from state or local officials, test their students or permit public school officials to visit or inspect homes. If a parent is teaching his children the basic subjects for at least 180 days, the law requires nothing more."



Thanks for the reply. Are you saying, though, with that loophole, you can avoid truancy requirements, english/math/science requirements, etc, and still graduate and have your degree recognized by colleges, etc?



@Peter, Roy, Shamgar, Richard, et al.,

What I see in this thread is something that I've seen raise it's ugly head all too many times in circles where theological opponents address and criticize each other. Needless name-calling resulting retaliatory name-calling, accompanied by well-meaning friends of the two principal parties engaging in verbal attacks against each other.

Peter's opinion regarding the White vs. Ehrman debate is, as he said above, *his* evaluation of the exchange. Where the line was crossed is when the comparison was drawn between White and a "whipped mongrel." Peter has to own those words. Words that were unnecessarily provocative.

And Provoke they did. James White has to own up to his words also. White, in his blog and in reply, referred to Peter Lumpkin
as "another Alexander the Coppersmith." Thus the War the Words was joined.

Are we not all Christians? If we have wronged one another, can't we seek forgiveness? If Christ can forgive us, then I'm sure we can. Not that we shouldn't earnestly contend for what we believe to be right doctrine, but that we should do so with civility. When we take up pen (or keyboard) to criticize those whom we oppose, we should be even more vigilant to make sure we don't make that criticism unnecessarily hostile. When we do, what might be valid criticism only falls on deaf ears.


I remember a few times during the debate where James White made a, "I'm surprised that you don't..." comment. In preparing for the debate, White reviewed a lot of Ehrman's material on his "Diving Line" webcast. In reviewing this material, White familiarized his regular listeners with much of Ehrman's standard answers to questions.
On at least one of the "I'm surprised that you don't..." instances, James White was referencing material where Ehrman had previously commented, but suddenly displayed "ignorance" during this debate. I think White was genuinely surprised. He had prepared material designed to address specific argumentation that Ehrman had made in the past. When Ehrman feigned ignorance on this matter, I think James White was derailed.
White made the mistake of expecting Ehrman to be consistent.

peter lumpkins


Look. I cannot recall not owning the words I write. And, while the evaluations I make about theological issues are colored with my own presuppositional crayons I fully admit, to suggest images of a whipped mongrel somehow "crossing the line" of fair literary analogy is, from my view, absurd. I wish to heavens employing provocative but innocuous images like a dog with his tail stuck between his legs were the boundaries of acceptable discussion. Instead, the "you-sir-are-a-liar" strategy rules JW supporter circles--at least those supporters with whom I've encountered myself (including JW).

With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


Your write, "Well, it is certainly true that you know “little to nothing about textual criticism,” which makes me wonder why you think you’re entitled to an “evaluation” of the White/Ehrman debate at all. Traditionally one should have an adequate knowledge of a given sphere before he puts forth an “evaluation” of it." I'm only going to say this but once again: I did *not* evaluate the debaters' knowledge of textual criticism, and I'll give you a shiny new nickel for every time you can point to my doing so in this thread or on the original post.

What's more, the absurd criteria for making judgments about debates implied in your statement is unbelievable. Must only those who're semi-experts/experts in the subject matter of a debate have a legitimate, honorable opinion concerning a debate? If so, about 9/10 people in the audience can have no legitimate statement about the debate they've just experienced. For my part, elitist attitudes like this must forever be resisted. Sorry.

With that, I am...


@Roy said, "Are you saying, though, with that loophole, you can avoid truancy requirements, english/math/science requirements, etc, and still graduate and have your degree recognized by colleges, etc?"

No. Colleges all have their own criteria for accepting students. While there may not be a State mandate for requiring home school students to take standardized tests or requiring a specific curriculum, colleges and universities are not bound by those laws when it comes to admitting students.

Failure to properly educate children in the home school environment could be disastrous toward their continuing education. I'm not taking issue with that argument, just the specifics of home school laws.

The issue is one of, "accreditation," right? That all depends on just how much you value accreditation. My children attend a Christian school that wasn't accredited for the first three years in which it was operating. My daughter enrolled in that first year of operation. It was a good school, without the accreditation. It couldn't even earn the accreditation without being in operation for enough years to become eligible for the accreditation.

I honestly don't know enough about the institution that bestowed James White with his doctorate to be able to tell you how much weight that title really carries. Lack of accreditation, or the existence of such accreditation is not the sum total of any institution. Someone who is willing to learn can achieve a first rate education with little more than the desire and a well-stocked library.


A question for Dr. Paul Owen. Sir, since you seem to place such a high value on academic credibility, and the fact that the institution which now employs you as an Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Montreat College, was denied reaffirmation of its accreditation and placed on Warning for twelve months following its comprehensive decennial review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges according to a statement issued on December 16, 2010 by SACS, and its status shall be re-evaluated during December 2011, will you maintain your teaching position at Montreat should it lose its accreditation?




I've read a reformed perspective on the debate and they more-or-less came to the same conclusion about white's impotence:

"... the arguments White put forth ... simply represent the standard Evangelical defense within academia for some years now."


Ehrman made good points on the issues of textual variants where White just rehashed tired arguments that won't hold weight any longer ("tenacity of the text"), especially as the microscopes on the manuscripts have gotten stronger. white brought nothing of his own work to the table, this debate was about Ehrman.

so yea, in regards to Ehrman calling out White on the collation of manuscripts rather than _printed text_ (Peter's original link to the cross examination contained the audio), it was more like Ali v. "Glass-Jaw" Willie.

btw, I'm surprised you'd bring Metzger in the discussion as he does not believe in inerrancy and would agree with Ehrman about many things in this debate.

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