I just recently found this comment which was posted to this blog way back in October. For whatever reason, I didn't get the usual email notification for newly posted comments which is why I'm just now responding.
Bryan Brammer said:
I must say that for this debate on Calvinism it is oging to be interesting. If James White is representing the Calvinistic side of things, then you are in trouble.
What Bryan is referring to here is the now defunct planned debate between James White and Tom Ascol versus Ergun and Emir Caner. Apparantly, Bryan thinks that James White would have been unable to provide an adequate case for Calvinism. Speaking for myself however, I firmly believe that James would have wiped the floor with both Caner brothers with or without Tom Ascol's help. I also believe that the Caners themselves believed the same thing which is why they made it so difficult to set up the debate to begin with and is also the reason why the Caners (along with their moderator) torpedoed the debate in the end.
I have read his books and the reasoning and Biblical application is so false I wonder what Bible he is reading.
Of course, Bryan doesn't provide us with James' supposed false reasoning and application so there is no reason to accept his pronouncements on James White's work.
Second, It is unfair to mention that just because someone is not a Calvinist does not automatically make him an Arminian. Take about jumping the gun.
But I did not state, nor is it my opinion that all non-Calvinists are Arminians. However, Jerry Falwell's soteriology was more in line with Arminianism than anything else thus, Falwell can be referred to as an Arminian in light of soteriological considerations. Also, consider the words of Arminian scholar Jack Cottrell:
Arminianism as such, in its broadest sense, is simply non-Augustinianism or non-Calvinism. It has many variations, "from the evangelical views of Arminius himself to left-wing liberalism." What holds them all together is the rejection of the Augustinian concept of true total depravity (bondage of the will), and a belief in significant free will, at least in relation to the ability to accept or reject the gospel offer of salvation. Perspectives On Election Five Views, pg. 70
So much for the charge that I was being unfair to Falwell.
The entire theme of the Bible is Christ's redemptive work for mankind not particular individuals. Take that context and apply the verses.
What Bryan is basically saying here is that I should adopt the Arminian presupposition of general atonement and undiscriminate love and interpret the text of scripture thru that grid. But why should I (or anyone for that matter) do any such thing? To adopt someone else's presuppositions is to abandon your own. Is Bryan himself willing to do this? Is he for instance willing to presuppose God's limited but actual atonement and discriminating love for mankind and thereby interpret holy writ accordingly? If not, why not?
If a calvinist were to live consistenly with his philosophy then there would be no need for witnessing. (since we can niether add or take away from God those he has taken by our works)
But a Calvinist does in fact live consistently with his doctrines whenever he witnesses to the lost seeing as how God has ordained the ends along with the means to those ends. In other words, evangelism is God's ordained means by which He brings His people unto Himself. Bryan's statement about consistency is based either on a misunderstanding of the Reformed view or an intentional misrepresentation.
How can those that believe in this system of thought (which is unbibilical) ever be assured of their own salvation. You may have security but no assurrance for you will not know if you are truly elect until you are judged at the end of your life.
Given libertarian free-will, how can Bryan ever have assurance of his salvation? If libertarianism is true, then Bryan can choose at anytime before his death to reject Christ and be lost forever no matter how strong his inclination to saving faith is. Indeed, how can anyone ever have assurance when they could just wake up one day and decide that they want nothing else to do with Christ?
What a futile system to put your faith in. All Calvinists (as well as srtong Arminians) need to get off their intellectual soap boxes and see the hurting needs of the people. Love the sinner as Christ did, not the mind.
I know of no Calvinist who professes love for the mind. Rather, we profess our love for truth. And it is this love for truth that we thereby show our love to the sinner. The system that has no love for truth is the system that has no love for the sinner.