Friday, June 29, 2007

Exegesis Challenge - Calvinism vs. Non-Calvinism

This challenge goes out to any and all non-Calvinists.

1. Pick five passages that you believe support your view on soteriology, and I will do the same.

2. Write a thorough, detailed exegesis of those five passages (no limit on how long it can be ... make it as long as you need), and I will do the same.

3. Then I will critique and/or provide an alternative exegesis for each of the exegeses you provided, and you will have the responsibility to do the same for mine.

4. Write a rebuttal to each of the critique/alternative exegeses I present, and I will do the same for your critiques/alternative exegeses.

5. Provide comments back and forth in the footnotes of the rebuttals (both yours and mine) until all the arguments have been made.

If you are interested, you can either post a comment here, or you can send me an email. A link to my email address is available through my Blogger profile, which (at present) you can get by clicking on the "About me" information on the left side of this blog.

My preference would be initially to do the papers by email, and then we are both satisfied, to post the final collection as a whole to this blog or another internet site.

Negotation/variation of the proposal is certainly welcome.

Any takers?



GeneMBridges said...

I'd point out that Frank Turk has a "debate blog" that you might be able to use if he's not using it. You may want to see if he'll let you do that.

Mind if I post this @ Triablogue for you too? I'm sure "Henry" might be up for it. I'd even be willing to issue the challenge publicly specifically mentioning him if you'd like.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Brother Bridges,

I've enjoyed Frank's debate blog in the past, though only as an honored guest. I'm not sure he'd be pleased by the proposed format, but if he gave his blessing, I'd be happy to use that forum. Or we could simply imitate his concept on a blog to be generated - or we could create a more general purpose web page ... . I'm not too picky about the forum.

As for reposting the challenge, please feel free - in fact, thanks in advance, if you do! I don't know who Henry is, but you may name him if you think he'd be interested in discussing the Scripture.


GeneMBridges said...

I'll pop a post up on Monday (since readership is down on the weekends). If I forget, email me on Tuesday to remind me.

"Henry" is one of our resident combox participants. Every so often he likes to do a drive by shooting on the doctrines of grace. He's the classic example of the man who writes down "Whosoever will" (weak point-shout here) in his sermons against Calvinism.

Kepha said...


This is a good idea. I wish I knew more about the particular kind of exegesis that you're interested in (i.e., historical-grammatical) so that I would participate. At any rate, I'll post your challenge on my blog.

mlculwell said...

TF,I will take that challenge only if you will have an informal discussion with me on the Oneness Versus Trinity? what do you say? You must understand I might be a little slow getting started as My Bro. and his wife are visiting and I will not have time untill next week.

Turretinfan said...

Thanks, Kepha! An historical-grammatical exegesis (or something close) would be preferred. I'm mostly interested in avoiding the following frequent phenomena:

1) Advocate assumes passage means X, therefore Advocate simply asserts that the passage means X.

2) Advocate assumes passage means X, therefore Advocate simply states (or shouts) the passage itself.

3) Advocate thinks that X is true, and states the passage is consistent with X.

4) Advocate thinks X is true because of some source of information external to the passage, and does not particularly care whether the passage means that.

5) Advocate denies that Scripture has the same meaning today as it did 1900 years ago.

I don't know if that's helpful, but maybe it can provide some kind of guidance.


Iohannes said...


Sorry to be off topic, but you might like this webpage:

mlculwell said...

please let me know if you are interested TF?

Turretinfan said...


No thank you. I'm not interested in dicussing the so-called "Oneness" view of God.

Other authors have already provided excellent explanations and/or debates.

By way of example: Example Paper and Another Example Paper.


Turretinfan said...


How did you guess? :)

Thanks for the link!

Finally an easily accessible way to check the popular English translation, for those of us who can read Latin.


mlculwell said...

I have not seen any the so called "excellent explainations or debates for your side by any of your Apologists only what they and you think are excellent and definitive TF. you are missing a Golden oppurtunity.

Manuel L Culwell

Turretinfan said...


Thanks for providing the opportunity to address the issue of Oneness Pentacostalism afresh. I'm not interested in addressing that topic right now. Unlike you, I'm satisfied by the existing discussions.


GeneMBridges said...

Jonathan Moorhead @ Head of the Moor has addressed Oneness Pentecostalism already. Mr. Culwell should ply his wares there. I believe Jonathan's email is located in his profile. A link can be found @ the Pyromaniacs blog, on the right hand side.

There's also a discussion board @ CARM.

He can also interact with James White's book on the Trinity. He can even call Dr. White's toll free number.

It's also not as if there isn't several centuries of exegetical material related to the Trinity that Mr. Culwell can't weed through first.

Brother Turretinfan, might I also suggest that an exegetical opponent also actually:

6. Interact with commentators from his own side who disagree with him. For example, Bauckum's own commentary on 2 Peter 3:9 largely agrees with Robert Reymond's exegesis of the text! There are also Arminians who agree with Calvinists about passages like those in 1 Tim. 2:4. As Steve Hays has remarked, "isn't it high time that Arminians actually pay attention to their own commentaries?"

7. Any interlocutor avoid the sense-reference/intention-extension fallacy. This is the single biggest problem with most internet Arminians (and most Arminian commentators). It's not enough to assume all = every without exception. They must make the case for it. Such words are universal class quantifiers. The intention is fixed, the extension is variable. Words like "all" vary in extension. "All" of what set?
"Each" what? Which "world?"

8. Actually provide a text that says that election is based on foreseen faith instead of begging the question by his reading of "foreknow/foreknowledge" and/or making a string of question-begging inferences to arrive at his conclusion.

9. Exegete John 6 without having to run to John 12 or providing a supporting argument for running to John 12 to interpret John 6:44,45 in particular.

10. Playing the "Calvin vs. the Calvinists" card on the atonement without interacting first with Roger Nicole, Paul Helm, Jonathan Rainbow, and, more broadly Richard Muller's After Calvin and Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics.

James Swan said...

I suggest first debating Frank Turk on the use of his blog.

johnMark said...


How about Keith Schooley or maybe Peter Lumpkins may be interested. They've both posted a fair amount on Calvinism.

Or maybe Bob Turkel/JP Holding would be interested.


orthodox said...

Who can resist a challenge? Not me. Where do I sign up?

Turretinfan said...


Thanks for the heads-up.


Thanks for your interest. I'm a little puzzled about why an Orthodox believer would want to be involved in (essentially) a doctrinal debate on something that is not part of the dogmatic definitions of the seven ecumenical councils.

Have you ever written any Scriptural exegeses before? One concern I would have, not having seen any such writing, or any writing on (presumably against) Calvinistic soteriology, is that you may not know what it is. I hope I can say that without offending you, since evidently I do not know you.

You can feel free to contact me directly at my hotmail address, where my handle is "Turretin"


Turretinfan said...

Orthodox wrote, in response to my comment regarding the seven ecumenical councils: "By that argument, since you recognize no ecumenical council's authority, you ought not be debating anything."

I did not mean it as an argument. It's puzzling to me when a church has an apparent policy of inclusivism, and yet its members/adherents are willing to be dogmatic in places that the whole church is not.


orthodox said...

>It's puzzling to me when a church has an apparent
>policy of inclusivism, and yet its members/adherents
>are willing to be dogmatic in places that the whole
>church is not.


* It is not only councils that make things dogmatic in Orthodoxy.

* Orthodox Christians can have opinions on non-dogmatic things too.

* What is this "policy of inclusivism" of which you speak? I'm curious what you are talking about.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Orthodox,

Perhaps I've just been touch with Orthodox folks who were slightly out of touch with the mainstream. What I presented was what I heard from what they said.

Just an opinion is one thing; "Thus saith the Scriptures," is quite another.