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Response/Notes from Debate Between Scott Windsor and James White

Debate Date: January 13, 2001
Debate can be heard at: www.straitgate.com/jw011301.ram using Real Audio.

"James White Has Been Proven Wrong So Many Times, It Isn't Funny"

A little preface. In my chat channel, #CathApol which now resides on StarLink-IRC, (we're still on Undernet too), I made a comment to someone that "James White has been proven wrong so many times, it isn't funny." Well, this got back to James, and he came into #CathApol to ask me about it. One thing led to another and he challenged me to a debate. Below are some notes from the debate, it is not a complete transcript, though most of our comments are contained herein.

The live format is James' "home" (that and books) email and the web are mine. I have taken the liberty of responding to the debate offline and then posting it to this webpage. Points I have made in the non-live setting will be indicated by being enclosed in [brackets].

Since the issue that brought James into this was based on how many times I felt he has been proven wrong, I will be adding a "Wrong Count" after each "wrong" comment from this discussion. I will put the "Wrong Count" as a number in brackets, like this: [WC=01], using this font and color. I will add, many of the places that I have labelled him as "wrong" are rooted in our differences in theology and authority - but a few of them he's outright wrong, no matter what the authority is. (In the list below, items in bold are outright wrong).

For ease of referencing this response, I am numbering the paragraphs.


1. James:

2. Scott: 3. James: 4. Scott: 5. James: 6. Scott: 7. James: 8. Scott: 9. James: 10. Scott: 11. James: 12. Scott: 13. James: 14. Scott: 15. James: 16. Scott: 17. James: 18. Scott: 19. James: 20. Scott: [Time into debate: 28:30]

21. James:

22. Scott: 23. [Quoting Robert Sungenis from his book, Not By Faith Alone, pgs 428-429
The tension between the plan of God and the free will of man is evident in John 1:12-13. John writes, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God - children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." As used in the Greek, both "received" and "believed" denote one who is acting on his own volition to accept God. (footnote: Both are in the Greek active voice denoting the personal decision of the individual, as opposed to the passive voice which would mean that they were made to receive and believe). Yet John is also indicating that those who do receive and believe in his name do so because they are born from God's spiritual power, not by man's earthly means.

John's Gospel states again the tension between God's predestination and man's free will as Jesus confronts the Jews. In John 6:39-40 Jesus says:

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's wil is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Here John reiterates the same theme noted in Romans 8:28-30. God has calculated his whole plan with such care that he knows the very number of those whom he will give to Jesus to be saved. In John 17:12 Jesus adds, "While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled." Here Jesus tells us that Judas' betrayal and perdition were foreknown to God and recorded in Scripture. This does not mean, however, that Judas or anyone else who does not come to God did not have a free will to choose for God or that God did not give them the power to respond positively to God. As Jesus says, it is the Father's will that all who believe (choose to believe) will be raised on the last day.

John reiterates these themes in John 6:37, 44-45:

All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will not drive away... No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
Again, Jesus clearly states that it is the Father who initiates the salvation process. The Father must draw to Jesus those whom he desires to save. At the same time, however, Jesus specifies that each person has the chose to "listen" to the "teaching of God." Wehn they "listen" and "learn" they will come to Jesus. Yet Jesus is clear in John 5:40 that it is man who decides not to come to God: "These are Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
]

24. James:

25. Scott: <31 minutes into the debate, time for a break. Lasts till 35 minutes into the time.>

26. James:

27. Scott: 28. James: 29. Scott: 30. James: 31. Scott: 32. James: 33. Scott: 34. Caller Mike: 35. Scott: 36. Mike: 37. Scott: 38. Caller Johnny: 39. Scott: 40. James: 41. Scott: 42. Johnny: 43. Scott: 44. James: 45. Scott: 46. James: 47. Scott: 48. James: 49. Scott: 50. James: 51. Scott: 52. James: 53. Scott: 54. James: 55. Scott: 56. James: 57. Scott: 58. James: 59. Scott: 60. Johnny: 61. Scott: 62. James: 63. Scott: 64. New Caller, John 65. Scott: 66. James: 67. Scott: 68. James: 69. Scott: 70. James: 71. Scott: 72. James: 73. Scott: 74. James: 75. Scott: 76. James: 77. Scott: 78. James: 79. Scott: 80. James: 81. Scott: 82. James: 83. Scott: 84. James: 85. Scott: 86. James: 87. Scott: 88. James: 89. Scott: 90. James: 91. Scott: 92. James: 93. Scott: 94. James: 95. Scott: 96. James: 97. Scott: 98. James: 99. Scott: 100. James: 101. Scott: 102. James: Time runs out in the program. Had I been able to give "the parting shot" I may have said something like this:

103. Scott:


Reader Responses:

From Margaret:
Scott,

just some thoughts on being "dead in his sins". Johnny's/ James argument regarding dead cadavers does not take into account the spiritual nature of our souls. They have overlooked completely the effect of sin on our souls. The argument, as it is presented is totally in the temporal sense, rather than in the spiritual sense. If anything this line of argument appears to be a denial of the existence of the soul, as well as a denial of how God's grace works within a soul.

I found Archbishop Fulton Sheen's "Lift up your hearts", an excellent resource on the issue of sin - the effect of sin on the soul, and how God works even when the soul is completely black from sin. It is a concept called Black Grace, and Sheen explains that this particular grace works to awaken a person from their sin, but the person must still respond to this grace. (I am probably not being very clear here).

The parable of the Prodigal Son supports the point that I am making. That there comes a time, when a person is leading a hedonistic lifestyle recognises that he/she cannot continue to live in that style. It is at this point, when the wake up call comes that the person is responding to God's grace. Only then does the hedonist repent and seek forgiveness of his sins and attempts to change his/her lifestyle habits through reformation, and returns to God, who is waiting to welcome the sinner with open arms.

Also it seems to me that James White has missed the whole point of John Chapter 12 and the Greeks seeking out Jesus. He mentions that the Greeks sought out Jesus, and then he skips the most important verse:

"And Jesus answered them: The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified". (RSV)

(The KJV states: "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified" - again this is not a positive statement, rather it indicates uncertainty into the words of Jesus. It is not stating that it will happen but that it should happen).

The point to be made here is that the Jews had failed in their mission to bring the word of God to the other nations, and it was a part of the mission of Jesus that he would draw the other nations so that all men will be saved in accordance with the will of God.

"and I have other sheep, that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock , one shepherd." John 10: 16

Therefore, when the Greeks came seeking Jesus, he knew that his mission of drawing "other sheep" to himself had been accomplished.

Margaret


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