Words of a Fether

I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father except through me. ~Jesus

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Series: The Hunt/White Debate, Part Thirteen


No one would dispute that scripture is filled with commands for us to spread the gospel, and that the gospel is to accept Jesus as Savior because he died for our sins and rose again. But according to Calvinism, most of the people who will ever have heard the gospel were reprobate, making them unable to respond. And since God saves by His own eternal decree, then of what purpose is repentance and faith? Of what purpose is hearing the gospel? Of what purpose is all the Bible says about choosing? If Calvinism is true, then most of the Bible really is a charade.

The quotes from Calvin and others prove beyond doubt that Calvinism believes God ordained the fall of man. But as Hunt rightly asks, how does this not make God the author of sin? If White wants to assign guilt by association, he should realize that this teaching is identical to that of Mormonism. And the standard rebuttal from Calvinism, that God can violate the very principles He gave mankind about justice and mercy, is exactly like the Islamic principle of abrogation, where Allah can be as nonsensical, fickle, and incomprehensible as he pleases while holding his creatures to much higher and stricter standards. But it was Jesus Himself who said, If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Mt. 7:11). So here we have explicit scriptural backing for the principle of using our own sense of mercy, evil though it may be, to show that God’s must be higher and greater.

The narrative Hunt gives about this is exactly what I have heard for years from atheists who testify to the reason they hate and reject God. But they have heard the Calvinist teaching and rejected it, not the Biblical gospel. It is only Calvinism which paints this picture of a God who would create sinners and then condemn them for being what He made them to be. So it is only Calvinism which can be held responsible for so maligning the character of God as to harden the hearts of many. Calvinists claim that it is only the offense of the cross that does this, but in my experience I have only heard these lost souls speak of the particular view of God given by Calvinism.

Response, by James White

White immediately launches into a diatribe against his opponent, seemingly oblivious to all that he himself has said about such fallacious tactics. He would not, as I have stated several times, tolerate such behavior from Hunt. Again White seems to think this debate is entitled something like Why Dave Hunt is a Heretic instead of Debating Calvinism, demanding that Hunt turn from the real topic and put himself on the witness stand. And he has the gall to accuse Hunt of harsh rhetoric! White offers no new arguments but simply rehashes his earlier assertions about how various verses are to be interpreted. He continues to chide Hunt for not veering from the topic of what Calvinism teaches and acts as though Hunt has never addressed any points he’s made, even while claiming he misunderstands and twists them.

After many words White finally settles down enough to respond to Hunt’s point about Calvinism turning the Bible into a charade. But his response is merely to state what Hunt has already shown to be a non-answer: God can decree that which is in violation of all we know about His nature. In all the paragraphs following he never even discusses why he believes this is not a cruel joke by God against the reprobate.

Defense, by Dave Hunt

Hunt addresses White’s wild accusations and emotional outbursts with calmness, and reminds him that he has in fact discussed those passages White accuses him of ignoring. That Hunt disagrees with the Calvinist interpretation does not amount to ignoring or misunderstanding anything. He goes on to describe the Calvinist concept of free will, which turns out to be much like the statement in Orwell’s book Animal Farm: Some animals are more equal than others. In Calvinism, some wills are more free than others. And in that same vein, Hunt calls such contradictions double-talk.

Later he notes that what White says about how God saves— that God uses the preaching of the gospel to bring His elect unto salvation— is an admission that regeneration isn’t what precedes faith. Finally, Hunt states a pivotal truth: that Calvinism puts the blame on God instead of on Christ-rejecting men. Either man has no choice but to sin and thus no responsibility for sin, or man does have this choice and thus not this responsibility.

Final Remarks, by James White

I was unable to find any new or pertinent point to comment on in this section.

Final Remarks, by Dave Hunt

Hunt simply observes as I did that White has not addressed the point of this chapter at all.


The Calvinistic definition of sovereignty, as noted many times, is what drives it to the logical conclusion that God must be the ultimate author of sin, regardless of their attempts to break all the rules of logic to avoid it. This is a terrible slur upon the honor of God and the concepts of love and justice. It also raises many unanswerable questions for Calvinism concerning many passages of scripture as well as our own experiences.

Hunt then spends the bulk of this chapter listing all the scriptural references that speak of the will of man, all of which is rendered meaningless or a cruel hoax if there is no such thing or it is redefined to turn not free into free simply by declaring it to be so. Then Hunt discusses the power of God and how this is not violated by man’s free will any more than sovereignty is.

On the matter of punishment and reward, Hunt argues against Augustine’s claim that when the reward shall come, God shall crown his own gifts, not your merits. But I am surprised he did not mention passages such as Mt. 6 which mentions rewards half a dozen times, or 1 Cor. 3:8 and 14, Eph. 6:8, Heb. 11:6, or 2 John 1:8 among others.

Response, by James White

Seeing White’s response, filled once again with name-calling and bitterness, I am reluctant to even read through anything else he may have to say. Hunt has been more than gracious in spite of it, but there comes a point when one must walk away from an uncivil and mean-spirited opponent. However, Hunt is obligated to complete the debate, especially since he is the only participant who remembers the title.

Defense, by Dave Hunt

Hunt continues on in spite of everything, addressing once again the arguments White keeps repeating and the teachings of Calvin. This system, Hunt explains, reduces God to one that cannot endure the freedom of His creatures, is too small to live by His own standards, and cannot be loved without forcing them to love Him. This is a very strange sovereignty indeed.

Then Hunt notes White’s claim of accepting everything the Bible says about man’s will while he brushes off all the ones Hunt listed as being irrelevant. And by example he shows that White confuses Hunt’s rebuttals to his claims with Hunt saying it’s what White argued. And Hunt is justified in responding to White’s claim about God hardening hearts, If they were ’dead’ and ’unable to respond positively to God’, He wouldn’t need to harden them, would He?

Final Remarks, by James White

I made myself read White’s response, but couldn’t find where he actually address what he was supposed to respond to, at least nothing he hasn’t already said more than once. Did he not read what Hunt said about hardening hearts? Or did he not comprehend it? But rather than actually face Hunt’s arguments White prefers to introduce an extreme philosophical view that free will is completely impossible. But this view is in the same class as things like theoretical physics, which are completely based upon mathematics and nothing on reality. I’ve studied this elsewhere and it leads to the absurd conclusion that not even God has a free will, which White should have known would contradict his many claims to the contrary.

Final Remarks, by Dave Hunt

Hunt agrees with my assessment of White’s mere repetition of prior claims and failure to offer anything new.

Part Twelve ~ Part Fourteen

Posted 2009-07-10 under salvation, Calvinism, Calvinism, salvation, God, God, debate