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2013.12.30

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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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