It has become pretty evident that Paul McCain does not possess the ability to 1) understand what he reads, 2) retain what he reads, and 3) represent fairly what he reads. Furthermore, his lack of ability to receive the slightest amount of criticism on his own blog without deleting it shows that he is not to be taken seriously. We have one particular example, where McCain chose to further his efforts of ad hominem attacks upon James White. When a few commenters criticize him for posting such empty rhetoric, he simply deletes their comments. “Double standard” is the word that should be used, for he keeps those comments that are far more lacking than those which he deleted. The only difference is that the ones which are kept are in his favor. So when your tactic in debate is to plug your ears and chant, “Nanny, Nanny, Boo-Boo; I can’t hear you,” it is quite evident that truth is not one of your main objectives. Having this perspective, let’s look at something McCain has posted recently. Steve Hays has already commented about the first half, but since this quote was about me in particular I would like to respond to it in full:
I’m enjoying my ongoing/running debates with Calvinist bloggers. They’ve illustrated classic Calvinist errors in Christology quite well. I had a conversation about Christ’s post-Resurrection appearances. A Calvinist has tried to argue these were in fact Theophanies. They really just have no use for the Personal Union, and can’t deal with the human nature of Christ after his death. Here is how one Calvinist explains the “appearance” of Jesus among his disciples on that first Easter…one possibility? Why, Jesus had a key to the room! So desperate are they to avoid the possibility that the human nature of Christ has communicated attributes from the divine nature they really seriously suggest such a thing. It would be rather funny, were it not such serious Christological error.
The amount of assertions in this one paragraph is simply amazing. Before I respond to the thing as I whole, I’d like us to stand back and count.
1. They’ve illustrated classic Calvinist errors in Christology quite well. No matter how many times McCain makes this assertion, it doesn’t justify itself. What error? Why? McCain has yet, in his many times asserting this argument ad nauseam to 1) give a definition of the particular error, and 2) show that Calvinism affirms such an error. McCain’s method of a “response” is to quote a piece of a post and then stand back and say something like, “See! They illustrate classic errors!” and then that is it. Assertions do not justify themselves, Mr. McCain.
2. A Calvinist has tried to argue these were in fact Theophanies. No where was such a thing argued. Rather, what was argued was that McCain’s usage of these examples did not prove his position. Retention is the key, Mr. McCain.
3. They really just have no use for the Personal Union, and can’t deal with the human nature of Christ after his death. How so?
4. Why, Jesus had a key to the room! So desperate are they to avoid the possibility that the human nature of Christ has communicated attributes from the divine nature they really seriously suggest such a thing. What’s wrong, exegetically, with suggesting such a thing? Better yet, justify your particular assertions about the passage. In addition, justify your assumption that a communication of attributes leads to a divination of the human nature, to the extent that it can be either illocal or omnipresent.
5. It would be rather funny, were it not such serious Christological error. How is this a Christological error? Define the error and show that it indeed represents our position.
Now that we have noted the assumptions and assertions that McCain has yet to justify, we can respond to his comment as a whole. First of all, McCain has not even attempted to make an exegetical case for his position. He simply alludes to these appearances, but he doesn’t even give us a Scriptural reference! Furthermore, he gives these examples and assumes that the reader agrees that they naturally lead to his position, but he fails to make such a connection.
In any case, it is obvious that McCain completely missed the point of my last response to him. That, or he read it while wearing his normal “Nanny, Nanny, Boo-B00; I can’t hear you” blinders. Let’s read my statement in context:
The term appear in these texts (e.g. Mark 16:9) does not necessitate that Jesus was, before the appearance, invisible, and it especially does not necessitate that his human nature was either illocal or omnipresent. Consider the possibilities. For instance, there is the example of Jesus meeting with the disciples behind a locked door: “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” (John 20:26). But let’s not put things into the text that can’t be derived from the text. Jesus could have simply opened the door after performing a miracle that caused the door to be unlocked. Or he could have created a key. There are many possibilities. But let’s assume that Jesus actually “appeared” before them, in the sense that he was once invisible and then visible. Does this argue for an illocal or omnipresent human nature? Could not Jesus have simply caused their eyes to not be able to see him, and then “opened their eyes”? To make the silent argument that Mr. McCain makes from these appearances simply exceeds the actual texts.
Suffice to say, I did not assert that Jesus “had a key.” My point was that for me to assert such a thing would be equally plausible, and there is no difference than my asserting such a thing and the assumptions that McCain is eisegeting into this passage. McCain has not offered the slightest exegesis concerning the matter, and if he chooses to continue to make assertions based upon these texts, I could just as easily (using the same standard) respond with, “Jesus had a key.”
But where McCain takes this is hilarious. He states, “It would be rather funny, were it not such serious Christological error.” But what is so wrong with saying that Jesus had a key? How is this a Christological error? If I stated that Jesus ate turkey sandwiches, would this be a Christological error? If I stated that Jesus didn’t particularly like chocolate, would this be a Christological error? Obviously, the fact that Jesus would have a key would destroy McCain’s wishful thinking concerning these examples. And to him, it would be a Christological error. To us, it would simply be another person’s assumptions being labeled as unjustified. Let’s be honest.