Friday, September 16, 2011

Debate Announcement

Lord willing, in October, I will be engaged in a debate with a self-styled "Evangelical Universalist." (Here's the announcement.) It is important to distinguish the "Evangelical" Universalists from other kinds, despite the fact that it is not usual to think of Universalists as evangelical. At the announcement link you will find a place where you can, in advance of the debate, leave an "audience" for either my esteemed opponent or myself. Please pray that the debate will edify the people of God and promote the truth. -TurretinFan


Matt Burke said...

Thanks TF, I look forward to hearing it. I will be praying for you as you prepare.

Natamllc said...

Col 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Col 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Lord Jesus, as the Apostle prayed so we learn to pray in the same fashion. I pray for TF that you would manifest your power through him according to Your glorious might so that those who hear this debate will hear that through You alone we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He certainly has been qualified to share in the inheritance. Fill him with Your Light, Your Wisdom, Your Knowledge, Your Understanding anointing him with Your Spirit. You are the human image of Our Heavenly Father and You manifested the Word of the Holy Spirit when you confounded the wise and understanding in the temple, in the house, in the countryside and on the ship on the Galilean Sea. Use TF to confound this man through the exchanges in the debate and by Your Grace and Mercy in the demonstration by the power of the Holy Spirit deconstruct his reason so he is left with the Truth alone, unrefuted. This man, regardless or not that he is one of the Elect, he is created by you for Your Eternal Purpose. This man, regardless of his understanding of the Gospel or the Kingdom should not be allowed to confound the Righteous in this debate. You are Our Head, You are Our beginning, You are the firstborn from the dead while Satan is the firstborn of the dead. Establish the Truth and that You have the preeminence by using TF in this battle of ideas, ideas that conflict with Truth. Let the wisdom of Job come forth in the debate as it was recorded of him: Job 9:1 Then Job answered and said:
Job 9:2 "Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God?
Job 9:3 If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
Job 9:4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength --who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?--
Job 9:5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger,
Job 9:6 who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;
Job 9:7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars;
Job 9:8 who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea;
Job 9:9 who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
Job 9:10 who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number.

Fred Butler said...

Now if we can just arrange a debate between you and the host of that site who has been budding up to the annihilationists over the last few months...

Theopologetics said...

Hi, Fred. What would you propose as the topic of the debate? As someone who is not yet convinced of annihilationism, I can't imagine what you think we should debate. What's more, can you explain what you mean by "budding up?" I interviewed Edward Fudge because, formerly (and not long ago) a traditionalist, I began to find the biblical case for annihilationism compelling, and I wanted to take the position seriously rather than dismissing it outright. And it's not as if I've only reached out to Fudge. Since that interview, I have emailed Robert Peterson, Christopher Morgan, Douglas Moo, Steve Wellum, Phil Johnson and Larry Dixon, asking them if they would be willing to respond to annihilationism on my show, and only Dixon accepted my invitation, an interview scheduled for a week from today. I even emailed Grace To You. Please, by all means, help me secure an interview with a traditionalist on my show. In fact, would YOU like to do it? How about MacArthur? I'd be thrilled to have either of you on.

Fred, I understand that you are not a fan of me and my show, and I'm OK with that. Frankly, I'm surprised anybody appreciates my show. But I'm being honest when I say that I do NOT want to be an annihilationist. I desire one day to be in full-time ministry, and I can only imagine how many doors will close if I embrace the position. I've already received a scathing email from one of the people I respect most, Dr. James White, and perhaps his email was justified. But as a Protestant, as a Christian, shouldn't I be trying to let the Bible be my rule of faith, and not tradition (even though tradition should inform me)? And even if I'm wrong, if I find the biblical support claimed for a position compelling, shouldn't I at least take the discussion seriously?

Anyway, hopefully Dixon will be able to answer the challenges I'll be posing to him, since as of yet no other traditionalist to whom I've reached out has accepted my invitation.

Theopologetics said...

By the way, in case you haven't seen, TFan is schedule to debate an annihilationist on my show in a few weeks.

Jonathan D. Green said...

Fred: I wouldn't call what Chris does, "budding up". Perhaps this was an unintentional poor choice of words on your part.

To simply present a viewpoint, does not imply endorsement of the idea presented. Chris always,and I mean always, plays the "devil's adocate" role in the interviews he presents. It's always good to listen to a podcast, anyones podcast for that matter, all the way through so as to get a full picture of the interview subject's position, and in Chris' case his personal viewpoint or opinion on a subject as well. As far as I can tell, he usually presents either in the opening monologue or at the end of a podcast his opinion or whether or not he's sold on the idea presented, on the fence, etc. He may be leaning towards an idea becuase he finds merit in the arguments presented from Scripture and history. As far as I can ascertain, there is nothing wrong, sinful or antithetical to the Scripture in his doing so.

Theopologetics said...

Thanks so much, Jonathan, for your support. I don't know that I *always* play the devil's advocate, but I often do. I did with Edward Fudge on annihilation, challenging him with typical traditionalist objections; I did with Glenn Peoples on physicalism, challenging him with typical dualist objections; I did it with Mike Felker on the Jehovah's Witnesses' two-class theology, challenging him with typical JW arguments; I did it with Steve Atkerson on the house church movement; I did it with David Jeroslow on a dispensational view of Israel, challenging him with typical covenantal arguments that the Church is Israel; I did it with Matt Slick on the inappropriateness of women pastors and elders, challenging him with typical arguments in favor of women in leadership; I believe I did it with Jamin Hübner on inerrancy, challenging him with some arguments from errantists (I even challenged him with one of Fred's objections to Jamin); I did it with Dr. James White on Catholicism and biblical authority, challenging him with some typical Catholic arguments; I did it with Scott Klusendorf on the pro-life cause, challenging him with typical pro-abortion arguments; I did it with Mike Abendroth on tongues being human languages, challenging him with typical charismatic objections; I did it with Dee Dee Warren on preterism, challenging her with some typical dispensational objections; and I did it with Gene Cook on the invalidity of baptismal regeneration, challenging him with some typical Church of Christ arguments.

In the case of physicalism and annihilationism, these are two views which I don't currently affirm, but as you say, Jonathan, I gave Fudge and Peoples the opportunity to present their viewpoints. I certainly didn't endorse them, although I did admit that I've found little reason to remain a dualist or a traditionalist. And I think I did a pretty decent job of at least introducing the most typical objections to their views. And in both cases, I've reached out to people who hold the more common view for interviews before coming down off the fence. As I mentioned, only Dixon has accepted my invitation to argue for traditionalism, and the only Christian dualist who has agreed to come on the show is Scott Smith at Biola University, and we're still working out the details on that one.

Anyway, I've gone on for a long time. I'll just wrap up by admitting that while I do not feel I'm "budding up" to annihilationists, I am leaning in their direction, but I honestly feel as though I've given and am giving traditionalists as much an opportunity as possible to defend their view. As I said, I do NOT want to be an annihilationist--unless it's what the Bible teaches.

Fred Butler said...

Chris did a fairly good job of explaining what I meant. BTW, it think I meant to say "buddying up." My bad.

Theopologetics said...

It may prove to have been wiser to take my friend Jim Wallace's advice, and not empower hostile Christians interested only in hurting one another. However, I think it's important that people reading these see the risk of levelling criticisms before doing one's research.

I have clearly defended the physical resurrection of the dead (ep. 1 & 25); defended faith alone from baptismal regenerationists (ep. 2, 4 and 10); defended the deity of Jesus Christ (ep. 5 & 33); defended a dispensational view of Israel (ep. 6 & 43); defended the inerrancy and authority of Scripture (ep. 7 & 36); defended the Bible from alleged contradictions therein (ep. 8 & 35); defended Christianity from the Jehovah's Witnesses (ep. 9, 50 & 51); defended Christianity from the Oneness heresy (ep. 11, 41 and 42); defended 5-point Calvinism from Arminians and other non-Calvinists (ep. 14 and 31); defended preterism from futurists (ep. 17, 18, 19 & 39); defended Christianity from the Word of Faith movement (ep. 20); defended Christianity from Mormonism (ep. 21 & 22); defended Young Earth Creationism (ep. 27); defended the reliability of the gospels (ep. 28); defended the position that the gift of tongues was human languages (ep. 29); defended the pro-life position (ep. 30); defended Christianity from Catholicism (ep. 34); defended the biblical view of male authority (ep. 40); and defended the biblical view of sexuality (ep. 48 & 49). And that's just a sample of my podcast, let alone my blog.

What's more, my statement of faith ( clearly states where I stand on a variety of issues, explicitly stating the direction I'm leaning atop the fence between competing views, including physicalism vs. dualism, annihilationism vs. traditionalism, and presuppositionalism vs. evidentialism.

Anybody who spends a few minutes perusing my podcast feed or my blog will know that I am unsure of my position on a maximum of perhaps 3 or 4 issues: physicalism, annihilationism, presuppositionalism and, arguably, house churches. And interviewing folks who hold those positions could only be described as "accomodating of error" if I did not challenge them, but in each case I did, quite thoroughly. And in each case I clearly stated where I stand on the matter, which I've likewise done on my blog and in responses to listener emails.

Having cleared that up, I'll reiterate my invitation to have you on my show. If it would help, I'll happily ask a number of my previous guests to email you, telling you how fair and respectful I am, even to those with whom I disagree. Though I don't agree with your characterization that I am accomodating error, if you feel that's the case, why not discuss annihilationism with me on my show? For my listeners if not for me, personally? I send my guests 100% of the questions I intend to ask them before the interview is scheduled, so you won't have any surprises.

Awakeningaletheia said...

Ooo why did you stop at verse 18 of Colossians 1? The next two are just so good!

Col 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
Col 1: 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Yeah I love those verses, especially the part talking about God reconciling all things, on earth and in heaven, by Christ's blood. I think the reason you stopped is because the sad truth is that if someone thinks he knows something as he ought then he does not know it. You Reformed people think you know everything as it is, but Paul spoke wisdom beyond your clear cut doctrines,

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I do not pray that Jason(the Evangelical Universalist) or that Francis Turretin is right, I pray that the Truth is revealed. Many times we think we are correct, but find our light to really be darkness. The wisdom of God is spiritual and foolishness to the natural man and I have yet to meet a Reformed man who is not fleshly as can be. Learn to walk in the Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. Stop shoving God into your carnal understanding. The scriptures are spiritual, they are not a text book on Systematic theology. God is bigger than theology, get over it. Learn to delight in the mystery that God is, all know about God and Jesus are revealed by the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit gives life, but the letter kills.

I believe Jesus will save all people, and I believe it with all my heart, but one day I may find myself to be wrong. I hope I am not, but it is quite possible, yet I will continue to live in the truth which God has shown me in his living word, Jesus. So I ask you Natamllc please never pray for someone to be wrong, just pray that Jesus always has the last say as to what is true. I am open to being wrong, are you?