Christianity or Controversy 101?

In a recent post, Bruxy Cavey comments:

Jesus-following is our identity as disciples of Christ. We are Christ-ians, not Bible-ians (Acts 11:26). This aligns with what Jesus himself said – “follow me” (Matthew 4:19). It seems to me that this should be Christianity 101 and not at all a controversial idea. [1]

Can this really be Christianity 101? Continue reading

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How Not to Align with Inerrancy

In a recent post on his blog (see here), Bruxy Cavey has affirmed this proposition:

INERRANT: “the Bible is ‘the authoritative written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, inerrant in all that it teaches’.” [1]

INERRANT, he remarks, is “a statement I have been happy to align with.” If align means “affirm to be true,” we can happily agree. Continue reading

The Apologetics of CS Lewis

This Fall (2018) for the first time, Tyndale Philosophy will be offering a course devoted entirely to the apologetic system of C.S. Lewis. This is one of the required courses for our new BA Philosophy with a Concentration in Christian Apologetics. Topics to be explored include: Lewis’ career as an apologist, the Moral Argument, the famous Trilemma: Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?, as well as Lewis’ views on evil, evolution, pain and suffering, hell, inclusivism, and the Bible.

Here are the course objectives:

Continue reading

‘Whoever’ (of the Elect) Believes: A Reply to Bignon and Gibson

Consider

3:16 (a) God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that (b) whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

On his Dividing Line podcast of March 27, 2018, James White, Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, suggested that my Calvinist renderings of the underlined expressions in 3:16 engender such “fundamental errors” that there was no need for him to examine (the details of) the actual dilemma I posed in “Calvinism’s Gospel Tautology.” Here I am indebted to my friend Guillaume Bignon and to James Gibson (hereafter, B&G) for having descended into those details (see here). I think they push the discussion forward admirably. Continue reading

James White and John 3:16: Rhetoric and Red Herrings

In “Calvinism’s Gospel Tautology,” I argued that there are two possible Calvinist renderings of Jesus’ words in John 3:16. The first puts these words in Jesus’ mouth: “whoever (of those who cannot believe) does believe: those persons won’t perish but have eternal life.” This dictum is no less pointless than it is absurd. To impute it to our Saviour is perfectly unseemly.

On the second reading, Jesus’ words to Nicodemus amount to a vacuous tautology: that the elect–i.e., those who (by definition) believe in Jesus and consequently have eternal life and won’t perish: these persons have eternal life and won’t perish. Well, of course. But there’s no more reason to come into the world to tell us that than there is for God the Son to become incarnate to break the news that bachelors are unmarried. As I said, if that’s what John 3:16 comes to, it isn’t good news. It can’t be; for it isn’t news at all.

On March 27, 2018, James White, Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, devoted his entire Dividing Line podcast to reading and commenting on my post. In what follows, I make some brief observations about White’s questionable polemics. In a second post, I turn to more substantial matters. Shorn of the fallacious rhetoric (there’s no shortage of that), I think White has two minor points that merit a brief comment. Continue reading