A friend drew my attention to Peter Lumpkins’ hit-piece attacking James White.
1.Hovering in the background of the immediate dustup is the future of the SBC. Lumpkins is a diehard who views the Reformed resurgence in the SBC as a hostile takeover. If he laid his cards on the table, that’s his ulterior agenda.
2.Apropos (1), although I’m not at liberty to disclose my sources, I do have insider information regarding the Machiavellian tactics that anti-Calvinists in the SBC engage in. And I’m not using “Machiavellian” hyperbolically. They really are that ruthless, unscrupulous, and cutthroat.
So I’m afraid I can’t buy into the victimology of the anti-Calvinists.
3.The charge of cowardice is ridiculous on the face of it. White engages in formal, public debates with notable representatives of the opposing position. He also has a call-in radio show. Those are not the tactics of a coward.
Indeed, as far as cowardice goes, why doesn’t Lumpkins level his allegations in the live, public forum of the DL? He’s very brave as long as he’s talking about White, but when it comes to talking to White, with others overhearing the exchange, his valor deserts him.
4.White also has to contend with fraggers, of which Lumpkins is just another case in point.
While White is out on the frontlines, arguing down various enemies of the faith, you have professing Christians who shoot him in the back.
And, of course, enemies of the faith use this as additional ammo to attack White. They quote this stuff.
The unprovoked fragging of a Christian apologist, where someone in the camp tries to cut him down in plain view of the enemy, is mutinous to the cause of Christ.
I suppose Lumpkins would say that White is guilty of the same thing in reverse, but to my knowledge, White is responding to these attacks, not initiating the attacks.
Fraggers like Lumpkins never defend the faith themselves, yet they attack those who do. Lumpkins is just a fifth-column anklebiter who does nothing useful in his own right, but make every effort to sabotage the fine work of others.
5.As for the ethics of posting private email, if a man says one thing in public, but another thing in private–then it’s sometimes necessary to set the record straight.
Confidentially is not absolute, especially when confidentially is misused as a shield to conceal unethical behavior–like the relationship between the Don and his consigliere.
6.The issue of Caner is the issue of resume inflation. Did he pad his resume with bogus achievements? Did he get his job under false pretenses?
I’m not going to volunteer an opinion on that since I haven’t bothered to study the question in depth. But there’s nothing wrong with raising the question if there’s prima facie evidence of resume inflation.
Does Lumpkins think that Christians should engage in a cover-up? That’s the attitude of the Catholic church, which has been stonewalling the authorities for years on the priestly abuse scandal.
Is that Lumpkins’ position, to? The code of silence? The SBC version of the Mafia omertà?
7.His response is to turn the tables and accuse White of resume inflation. But even if, for the sake of argument, that were true, how does that exonerate Caner?
To my knowledge, White has never falsified his record. He never padded his resume with bogus degrees or awards he never received.
8.As to having degrees from unaccredited institutions, there are various reasons why some people attend unaccredited institutions.
i) It some cases the reason is financial. Not everyone was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Most folks don’t come from money. Their parents can’t bankroll an Ivy League education.
And since, historically, the SBC has been a working class/middle class denomination, I don’t know why Lumpkins would look down on unaccredited institutions. He sounds like a stuffy, snobby Episcopalian.
ii) Another problem is the lack of a Baptist equivalent to Westminster. Where is a Reformed Baptist supposed to study?
He can study at a seminary like WSC which is Reformed, but hostile to Baptists (i.e. Scott Clark)–or he can study at a seminary which is Baptist, but hostile to Reformed theology.
The closest thing we have to it nowadays is SBTS under Albert Mohler. But that wasn’t an option when White began his studies.
iii) Some seminaries also opt out of the accreditation system to avoid the censorship of accreditation agencies.
That has its tradeoffs, but it’s a respectable rationale.
iv) Some people do so for convenience. The programs may be more flexible, or closer to home. Or have a distance education option.
From what I’ve heard, James White did his academic work at CES because it was never his ambitious to be a college prof. or seminary prof. He wasn’t pursuing a tenure-track career. Instead, he prefers the local church as his base of operations.