This past weekend, Dr. Ergun Caner of Liberty University preached a sermon titled, "Why I'm Predestined Not To Be A Hyper-Calvinist". Now, this is the same Ergun Caner that showed up at the Founder's Blog recently and "kicked the hornet's nest" so to speak, and this has led to the upcoming October 16 debate between Dr. Caner and Dr. James R. White. The reformed community has been buzzing with anticipation ever since the announcement for the debate was made. I commented previously about Dr. Caner's behavior over at the Founder's blog and how this would make the upcoming debate interesting to say the least. Caner's sermon also gives the outlook of an interesting debate as well. Caner launched immediately into the old straw-man argument of equating historic Calvinism as Hyper-Calvinism and hammers away on 1 Timothy 2:4 as if no Calvinist has ever discussed this passage before and the sermon only gets worse from there.
One thing in particuliar that caused my jaw to drop was Dr. Caner's statement that God did not hate Esau from before the foundation of the world but that God's hatred was based on Esau's works. Dr. Caner was of course refering to Romans 9 and I only need quote that particuliar section to show how badly tradition can blind a man to how a text actually reads:
for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED BUT ESAU I HATED". Romans 9:11-13 NASB
May October 16 come swiftly!
James White responded to Ergun Caner's sermon here. Anyone who has listened to Caner's sermon is incouraged to hear Dr. White's rebuttal. Also, when I first listened to Dr. Caner's sermon I stopped just short of Jerry Falwell's closing prayer. I wish I had kept on listening because Falwell proved Charles Haddon Spurgeon correct when he noted that Arminians do not pray in accordance with their own theology. After stating that God "will not force you against your will to come to the cross", Falwell trips over his own tongue and prays this:
Do not let one person say ‘no’ to your precious will. Save the lost, reclaim the wayward.
Obviously, the question is raised," how is this statement consistent with the theory of libertarian free-will?" (I think Calvinists everywhere already know the answer to that one ;-)