Wednesday, June 13, 2018

See no evil

Part I: The story so far

As many people are aware, there's been a debate between James White vs. David Wood, Vocab Malone, and Jon McCray over the latters' "Islamicize Me" videos. On the offchance someone isn't aware, here's the story so far, at least the major bits, as objectively as I know how to put it.

The debate began when White took issue with some of the "Islamicize Me" videos. White believes the videos are not only in poor taste but violate Christian ethical standards (e.g. Eph 5:3-4, 11-12). White then posted a comment on Facebook which asked for Wood to look at verses and passages in the Bible that White thought relevant to the debate; also White broached the topic of whether Wood was "accountable" to his local church elders. Wood, Malone, and McCray disagreed with White's original video and explained their reasoning in a nearly three hour long video response. White replied in a 40 or so minute video which primarily seemed to focus on whether Wood, Malone, and McCray were accountable to local church authorities. And White wrote a Facebook post where White alleged Wood, Malone, and McCray were "disconnected from the direct work of the local body and not seeing the importance of having mature leadership". There have been some other things especially tweets from White and Wood, but I think this should cover the salient points.

Throughout this, Steve Hays and Peter Pike (and many others in our comboxes and on other social media) have posted their own thoughts on the matter. Thus far the Triablogue post are (in chronological order from earliest to latest):

  1. "Muslim mockumentaries" (Steve)
  2. "Islamicize Me!" (Steve)
  3. "My Take on White v. Wood" (Peter)
  4. "Excusing Muhammad" (Steve)
  5. "What Constitutes 'Crude Joking'?" (Peter)
  6. "The Westboro cult and Acts17" (Steve)
  7. "An Unanswered Question" (Peter)
  8. "Robert Spencer on the 'Islamicize Me' controversy" (Steve)
  9. "'Obey your leaders'" (Steve)

Update: The following Triablogue posts have been added since my post (in chronological order from earliest to latest):

  1. "I Want Consistency Too" (Peter)
  2. "Bullitt reboot" (Steve)
  3. "Wrapping Up A Few Things" (Peter)
  4. "Got milk?" (Steve)
  5. "You distinguish 'gutter humor' by what faculty?" (Patrick)

Part II: My background

Now, I'd like to add my thoughts as well, but first I think it'd be good to provide some background information about myself.

I became a Calvinist in large part thanks to White's ministry. It started when a good friend gave me White's book Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views, where I thought White handily won the argument from Scripture, and which persuaded me to investigate Calvinism further. After being persuaded of Calvinism by White and others, I prayerfully and financially supported White's ministry for some time, though I forget precisely how long. I bought and learned from many of his debates. And I even attended some of his debates as well as his sermons where I thanked White in person (though I doubt White would remember me since I'm not a memorable person!). I've amicably moved on from following White and A&O Ministries since then due to other priorities. But I still have a lot of respect for White and the ministry he has built from the ground up.

For better or worse, I have no history with Wood, Malone, or McCray. I believe I've only ever seen Wood once in person in a live debate while seated far away. I have seen plenty of his YouTube videos and have learned a lot from him. I differ with Wood theologically in significant ways; I'm a lot closer if not nearly identical to White in that respect. I've never followed Malone or McCray until recently.

All this to say, while I believe I'm coming at this with a lot of respect and appreciation for both White and Wood as apologists, and while I have a growing respect and appreciation for Malone and McCray, if anything, I'm likely more biased in favor of White for personal and theological reasons.

Apologies for the long background. I just wanted to explain where I'm coming from.

Part III: Thoughts and concerns

I'd like to make several points:

  1. An allegation against the "Islamicize Me" videos is that they depict "crude" content (e.g. urination, breastfeeding). Of course, both sides debate whether the content is "crude". It's still being debated, but my perspective is it seems White keeps assuming the "Islamicize Me" videos are "crude" based on...I'm not sure what? His personal distaste? But if the videos are "crude", then that needs to be shown based on biblical standards, not personal distaste.

    Here's something I find analogous to watching the "Islamicize Me" videos: God revealed prophecies to prophets in dreams and visions. The prophets were "watching" what God visually revealed to them. Some of these dreams and visions arguably contain "crude" images (e.g. blood and guts). Was it wrong for prophets to see these "crude" images in their dreams and visions? Since that's what God explicitly showed them, then it seems to me the answer would have to be no.

    Some might retort that textual imagery is fine but visual imagery is wrong. But I think it's simplistic and perhaps a false dichotomy to say it's licit if it's textual but illicit if it's visual. After all, God revealed prophecies in visual media like dreams and visions which were later transcribed and recorded on parchment. After all, the prophets really saw and experienced many of the things that later "were written down for our instruction".

  2. White brought up the issue of being accountable to one's local church (e.g. Heb 13:17). Here White alleges that Wood, Malone, and McCray aren't connected to a local church. Moreover White implicitly alleges Wood, Malone, and McCray are immature and disobedient. Strong language, harsh words, but true or false?

    At best, it sounds like an argument from silence, because to my knowledge Wood, Malone, and McCray haven't explicitly said one way or the other whether they are or aren't. If so, then it would've been more fair and prudent for White to have withheld judgment until it's clearer rather than to condemn them without evidence.

  3. At the same time, if one should be accountable to a local church while doing apologetics, then this would apply to White too. However, if it's true White made a less than fair or imprudent judgment, then that doesn't reflect well on his judgment. Furthermore, again if true, this raises the question of what to think of an apologist who makes a less than fair or imprudent judgment as public and as significant as one such as this? What will White and White's elders do about it if this is the case?
  4. It seems to me even at the level of common sense the accuser should be held accountable for their accusations as much as the accused is held responsible for the accusations against them, at least in some cases. If a woman accuses a man of raping her, and if it's true, then the man should be punished. However, if a woman accuses a man of raping her, but it's false, then the woman should be punished for making false accusations.
  5. I'd like to turn to Heb 13:17 which White brought up against Wood, Malone, and McCray. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but here's my thinking as I read Heb 13:17:

    First, I would think believers ought to "obey" and "submit" to leaders who are good leaders, which means the text isn't solely about believers, but likewise about leaders. The text cuts both ways, so to speak, toward believers as well as toward leaders. It wouldn't make sense to have to "obey" and "submit" to bad leaders. Such as leaders who issue unbiblical commands. That might be a recipe for following a cult leader!

    Next, I think we need to recall Heb 13:7: "Remember your leaders". Not to mention the "heroes of faith" gallery in Heb 11 to the beginning verses of Heb 12 with Jesus as the consummate "hero of heroes". I think what's in view is that Christians ought to imitate those leaders who have genuinely proven themselves leaders in the past and present. Leaders who have truly set a godly example in their lives, by their lives, and even with their lives, for many died martyrs. Those are the ones we ought to be inspired by, look to, and imitate.

    Practically speaking, then, for leaders, the question becomes: are you such a leader that believers ought to imitate you inasmuch as you imitate our Lord, "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame"? Are you the type of leader who is willing to humbly take up your cross daily for God's flock? Who is willing to die for God's flock?

    This kind of leadership isn't solely one that can be demanded and expected purely by virtue of one's title, degrees, or the like. Rather it's leadership that (among other things) is recognized by other believers as one lives a biblically "heroic" life which is a life that's exemplified in the heroes of faith in Heb 11 and ultimately in our Lord Jesus' life. In short, biblical leadership in Hebrews isn't primarily leadership that touts itself but rather primarily leadership that others tout (and that touts others). Faithful believers following faithful leaders.

    Thus, just as White asks Wood, Malone, and McCray whether they're "obedient" and "submitted" to local leaders in the vein of Hebrews, so might Wood, Malone, and McCray ask White if he's the type of leader that's exemplified in Hebrews.

  6. Of course, some people including leaders act like they are willing to die for others. Some act like they're being persecuted. Some act like they're martyrs to a greater good. But it's one thing to shout at the top of one's lungs that you're under fire while standing for the truth, but it's another thing to actually stand for the truth while being under fire.
  7. Sorry to say but I'm afraid White's latest Facebook post comes across as condescending and sanctimonious. It's as if White is sitting on a high horse and acting like he's morally superior to Wood, Malone, and McCray, and talking down to Wood, Malone, and McCray. The stereotypical holier-than-thou attitude. Unfortunately, White doesn't address the substantive issues over whether the "Islamicize Me" videos have crossed the line. Rather, White seems to assume they have crossed the line, then reprimands Wood, Malone, and McCray for it.
  8. White likewise asks rhetorical questions like: "How can one consistently call members of a false religious group to repentance if that person is himself in rebellion against these words of God [i.e. Heb 13:17]".

    Actually, as far as this goes, why couldn't someone in sin still call another person in sin to repentance? Isn't that what one of the thieves on the cross did to the other? Luke 23:39-41:

    One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."

    Of course, the real issue is that White assumes without evidence that Wood, Malone, and McCray are "in rebellion" against God's words.

    Alternatively, perhaps White assumes the evidence that Wood, Malone, and McCray are "in rebellion" against God's words is their behavior in the "Islamicize Me" videos and/or their responses in social media. However, the problem with this is that it's the very point of contention whether their behavior in the "Islamicize Me" videos and/or their responses in social media is sinful in the first place.

    And if it's fine to call people out on their online behavior, then that would include White's online behavior too. Just as it's possible Wood is sinning, so too is it possible White is sinning.

  9. Here's the latest tweet from White:

    I'm not sure I understand. One doesn't necessarily have to "sully" the other. Why couldn't White have had "wonderful, gospel-centered, missions-rich discussions" at the same time as respond to Wood, Malone, and McCray as well as others like Steve and Peter's points in a God-honoring and biblically faithful way? These aren't mutually exclusive.

131 comments:

  1. White has a new DL episode where he responds to IM again. He spends a lot of time trying to make himself out to be the clear-headed and rational one, whereas his opponents are immature, unreasonable, angry, violent, snipers, people who spit on him, etc. That's just not true, not of everyone. He might not agree with Triablogue but responses here have mostly been reasonable.

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    1. I was concerned for a moment that he might have thought we were the snipers spitting at him, but I checked the post labels for everything we've written about James White over the years. Aside from this week, only Steve has written any articles disagreeing with White. Jason, John, Patrick, Evan and even Steve have even written posts promoting him and disagreeing with some of his opponents.

      Thankfully, we can thus be assured that he wasn't referring to Triablogue by that comment.

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    2. I'm disappointed that I didn't make the cut. Assassins are cool. I was hoping to star in a remake of Bullitt. Hoping to play the driver of that muscle car (the green 1968 Dodge Charger).

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  2. There are two matters in question here: one involves arguments about the moral issues surrounding the video series, the other about the spiritual disposition of the ones doing the arguing. If there's a serious blockage with regard to the second, then there won't be the hoped for resolution with all parties to the first.

    Even if (arguendo) James White's criticism of Dave Wood's video series is *correct*. White's ongoing and tiresome habit of defensively holding his assumed superior knowledge over other Christians, his mischaracterization of those who disagree with him, and his irrelevant whinging about accountability to church authority is guaranteed to raise the *other* person's defensiveness. Which only undermines the goal that White should be trying to achieve in the first place. That is, if the actual scriptural goal is to win a brother with the truth, and not about James White getting his supposed proper amount of deference and "respect".

    He would be far more effective if he'd just drop that routine--with everyone. And Wood, "a brash, typecast New Yorker" who "lacks empathy, due to his personality disorder" (as Steve puts it) isn't going to be impressed by White's posturing in any case.

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    1. I dont mean to attack his person, but I genuinely think White is self-obsessed. He wouldn't be the first expert to be so. His knowledge of scripture (technical and pastoral), his accomplishments in the apologetics arena, etc. seem to have enhanced his self-image. I have seen this happen with physicists who think that just because they have Ph.D or work in the scientific fields their voice has significantly more weight than those who dont have those credentials.

      White wants to be respected by his peers to the extend of them adopting his views (or it comes across that way), and when they dont, he goes after them. He has been doing this to Dr. Craig and Licona for years.

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    2. I agree with you guys too.

      Over a year ago White said he was going to do a PhD in NT textual criticism because he gets to study under one of Bruce Metzger's former students.

      I'm not sure why White keeps wanting to get more degrees. He’s got a bunch of degrees already (BA, MA, ThM, ThD, DMin, now going for a PhD). My guess is he cares a lot about being academically respected.

      I'm not sure there's any advantage to studying under a former student of Metzger’s either just because he's a former Metzger student. Ehrman was Metzger’s student, but I’m not sure I’d want him as my doctoral advisor. Also, aren't there other former Metzger students closer to home? Better yet, why doesn't White study with a leading NT expert like Larry Hurtado instead (though to be fair it's probably difficult to get to have Hurtado as your doctoral advisor)? Maybe White wants to study with a former Metzger student because it gives him more academic "respect".

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    3. There is too much judging of motives and psycho-analyzing Dr. White - IMO, too harsh.

      To be more fair to him; it (working on this Phd in NT textual critical issues) seems to me to have more to do with his connections to churches in South Africa, and that he travels there a lot and has good connections to good Biblical Churches there; and does lots of debates with Muslims there over the past few years; and he just seems to have found a professor in his area of interest that he got connected to.

      People accuse his other Doctorates of being "diploma mill" degrees and not true doctorates and so, (But explained that at his web-site years ago; it was a matter of moving, money, uprooting family, etc.) it just seemed like in the providence of God that all the other factors came together (travel, church connects, finding a professor who would take him in that field of interest; vs. the money and uprooting, etc. that it takes here in the USA - because of the different systems of education that USA requirements have vs. European / South African system. USA Doctorates require one move to the campus and live there for one or two years, etc. ( I am pretty sure of that, unless the rules have changed.)

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    4. USA Doctorates in technical fields (Except for D. Min.s) require one move to the campus and live there for one or two years. (They also usually require having to learn one or two other languages, in addition to Greek and/ or Hebrew; such as German, Latin, Dutch, French - in order to read stuff of commentaries and theology that has not been translated into English yet. ) (most of the requirement of German and Dutch and French is to be able to read all the liberal higher critical stuff that has been produced for the last 300-400 years.

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    5. Thanks Ken Temple. What you say is very fair. Though it is also consistent with the fact that White is too concerned about academic respect or is over ambitious. Why not be content with all he has already achieved (not only other degrees)? Why not spend more time with his family as a Biblical priority and at his older age, or use that time to strengthen local churches and ministries, than having to spend many very long hours writing papers and dissertations pursuing a third doctorate?

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    6. >>>There is too much judging of motives and psycho-analyzing Dr. White - IMO, too harsh.

      There has to be some rational explanation that makes sense of the fact that White is the only Christian apologist I know who goes after his peers with the same fervor and intensity (and regularity) as he goes after his opponents.

      To the contrary of what you said, I think there is too little or no questioning of the psychological "whys?" of White's action. Perhaps White is above such public assessment. Why is it that even with his expertise in the field, to give one example, he is by his own admission not invited to the "big apologetic conferences"? Why is it that his peers, to give another example, whom he critiques dont even bother to answer him? Critiquing each others position is an integral part of the academic life - yet Dr. Craig and Dr. Licona - the two gentlemen at the forefront of apologetics that I know White has criticised alot dont even bother with him. When White last went after Turek, I brought it up with my then-FB friends - among them Nick's (who is Licona's S-I-L) comment was, "Oh, so now he is after Turek!"

      Why is it that he is so blunt with Catholic apologists, but not with his Muslim pals? Even as a Catholic it was clear to me that White was an anti-Catholic based on his animosity with most apologists, and that opinion has not changed. His fans would argue, that White reflected his opponents attitude - but why did not White employ the principles of 1 Peter 3:15 and Eph 5 when dealing with them JUST AS HE IS SUGGESTING Wood does with Muslims? Why do Muslims get this special treatment? According to White both groups are not Christians (His explanation for going after Craig and the others was that since they are Christians they have a higher accountability to be correct). Why?

      I owe a lot to White - even me coming out of the heretical "Catholic" Church - so I recognise the good he has done (even personally) - but to say that therefore there is no problem with him and all his actions must be forcibly interpreted in the positive light seems not only intellectually dishonest, but delusional to me. Delusional because facts are ignored. I mean, do people think White is perfect?

      Worst of all, White is just not open to correction. He simply finds nothing valuable in the criticism of those who disagree with me, even lay people - to the extent I can tell - a behavior he objected to when Ehrman treated him that way.

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    7. correction: He simply finds nothing valuable in the criticism of those who disagree with HIM, even lay people.

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  3. Thanks for the fair assessment.

    Just this one thing so that White is not misrepresented. I am not sure if you have watched his replies on DL, because he has addressed the following: Unfortunately, White doesn't address the substantive issues over whether the "Islamicize Me" videos have crossed the line. Rather, White seems to assume they have crossed the line, then reprimands Wood, Malone, and McCray for it.

    According to him, they have. He mentioned a few acts where they did, and slapped us with his interpretation of scripture that makes Peter contradict of his own words (in 2 Peter) in 1 Peter 3:15 (not to mention making many important Biblical figures sinners). I dont buy that interpretation but he did address it. He may not have mentioned it in that post, but he must has assumed others who watched the DL knew about it.

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  4. In the new DL, White's problem is the "portrayal" of sinful action (@52 mins) which he says cannot be tied back together. But Wood did not tie it to a gospel presentation, nor did the examples of mockery in the Bible Wood cited exhort people to come to faith at the time they were mocked in the normal fashion as any of the other gospel presentations in the Bible (eg. Acts 2:14-24). Further, from this it follows seeing someone (or oneself) urinate is a sin (those who take care of kids, or the injured, or who accidentally see it - sin), seeing someone puke is a sin, seeing someone's underwear is a sin... etc. And White apparently gets all of this from the Bible. Perhaps the Bible reads differently in the original languages.

    Second, I think he changed the point of contention - first he was of the view that harsh language could not be spoken of per 1 Peter 3:15 and Eph 5 - now he is saying harsh language can be used, and he himself used it, but in some context.

    White seems to be very unclear on what EXACTLY turned him off. His shifting statements to me give no reason to think otherwise.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUUDEZz0yiY

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    1. correction: White's problem is the "portrayal" of sinful action (@52 mins) which he says cannot be tied back together "with the gospel."

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  5. Unfortunately, there are a lot of comments that are mixed with substance and facts but mixed in with reading motives and judging and even psycho-analyzing Dr. White too much / too harshly, IMO.

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  6. Have you commented on White's judgmentalism and psycho-analyzation of his interlocutors? Have you called White himself to account?

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    1. How about Rich Pierce's behavior - the President at AO Ministries? Reading his replies does not give the impression that he respects those whom he disagrees with much, or at all.

      But these two are off limits, and it would be supposedly "harsh" to critique them.

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    2. I agree about Rich Pierce's behavior. Not exactly a paragon of virtue!

      Knowing White's personality though, it's really hard to see how someone could become White's right-hand man without either being similar in personality or being a yes-man.

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    3. >>>Knowing White's personality though, it's really hard to see how someone could become White's right-hand man without either being similar in personality or being a yes-man.

      You dont think he is a yes-man? Yet? (lol) In their twitter war yesterday, Pierce accused Spencer of selling fear. Spencer confronted him and asked to justify it by quoting one place where Spencer misrepresented Islam in his 19-20 books. Pierce's reply: "that's my opinion, and you have done nothing here to change it." (Mentioning from memory here) Here is my understanding of what plausibly happened: Pierce heard White distrusting Spencer either on the DL or in casual talks - did not bother to check why White feel so (else he would have had answers), and regurgitated that perspective on Spencer. The thing with Spencer is, he will immediately ask you to justify your accusations.

      :D

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    4. Lol, you're probably right! :)

      Also, reading Pierce is like reading White lite. Pierce parrots a lot of what White says. I guess Pierce sincerely believes what he is saying, but it'd be better to get it straight from White instead of watered-down and mediated through Pierce.

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    5. Pierce is, IMO, White lite (in terms of deficient argumentation), but he is also White coarse (lack of polish), and White flat (soda without CO2).

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  7. White says at the 38:20 about Robert Spencer: “Aside from just the constant snide attacks and just utilization of language—you know, I said to Rich, don’t even bother, because there’s no one better at Twitter warfare in controlling the conversation—not truthfully, but through language. Through, ‘Oh you’re implying this’ or ‘You’re attacking me this way’.”

    Also White at 36:26 about Sam Shamoun’s articles: “[The articles were] attacking me, digging up stuff from the past, and recycling all sorts of stuff that’s been refuted and dealt with in years gone by.”

    Also White at 56:20: “I’m assuming that Sam Shamoun will continue to post things and continue his attacks—they’re vicious personal attacks, and very few people take them seriously.”

    And 56:44—“There are some others who are writing on the issue who have a long history of being snipers. In other words, the only time I ever hear anything about them is when a controversy starts over here and I get involved with it and they’ll run out and spit at me. Other than that I never even think about them, I don’t read their stuff. They have a long history of being incredibly biased and prejudiced in regards to anything that I have to say, and then all of a sudden they’re touted as these great experts when they all of a sudden, ‘Oh, cool! Another controversy. I can come out and spit at James White.’”

    But that’s okay, because White is VERY CONCERNED about consistency. He said so.

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    1. How would White's victim (of unfair/unnecessary criticism) describe him? White himself provides the answer:

      White's Victim: “There is someone who has made this an issue who has a long history of being a sniper. In other words, the only time I ever hear anything about this man is when he starts a controversy over what I speak and tries to get me involved with it and he’ll run out and spit at me. Other than that I never even think about him, I don’t read his stuff. He has a long history of being incredibly biased and prejudiced in regards to anything that I have to say, and then all of a sudden he is touted as a great expert when he is all of a sudden, ‘Oh, cool! Another potential controversy. Another way to criticize this man (i.e. the victim). I can come out and spit at him (i.e. the victim).’”

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    2. Yes, nearly all of the criticisms that White levels against other people are descriptions of what he is doing to others. And we're not the only people who notice that either.

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    3. I have to admit I'm not sure where you were going with this comment Peter. I don't see any 9bvious hypocrisy here.

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    4. For example, White accuses people of being "immature". But given White's own behavior, he's acting quite immaturely too, though he claims to be the mature and rational adult.

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    5. WittenbergsDoor,
      You don't see White complaining that Robert Spencer reduces all arguments to "Oh, you're implying this" or "You're attacking me" and then he complains that Sam Shamoun is attacking him and implying that there are "assassins" out there saying, "Oh, cool! Another controversy. I can come out and spit at James White"?

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    6. Mayne White has a persecution complex?

      At least he is very thin-skinned despite being an apologist.

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  8. Sam Shamoun is a different case. I agree with Dr. White about him. ( I have also confronted Sam several times over the years and he won't listen and I started privately by email (trying to abide by Matthew 18 principles), and he would not listen. In fact, he always turns it around and just attacks with lots of bellicose and sinful anger and ad hominem and bombast and insults. I had to confront him publicly in the com-boxes that I am involved with and he is, in my opinion, completely recalcitrant in his attitude toward correction.) Sam has a lot of good material; and I told him many times; even recently; and he still had to turn on me with some kind of personal insult and sinful snark; when he sticks to the material, or logic or reason, or the texts, he is good and helpful; but when he comes into com boxes to debate with Muslims, he always has sinful anger, hominem type argumentation, name-calling, bellicose and sinful snarkiness and bombast style. He ruins it for the rest of us who are sincerely trying to explain things in a calm manner to Muslims.

    I have confronted him (Sam S.) first privately, (because in my opinion, he was (and still is) a bad witness for Christ, and he did not show patience or love to Muslims at all, justified it by saying he was a prophet (same kind of justification going on here, etc. but even much much stronger) and ruined a lot of my earlier com box debating with Muslims by his methods).

    See my article here and also the video of Dr. White, which in my opinion, was very good; he humbled himself and admitted some things about his attitude from previous debates and ministry that was refreshing. (was he thinking about some of his Roman Catholic and Arminian opponents? probably) The video was put up by a Muslim, which was from one or several of his dividing Line programs, but that cut out the other subjects he was addressing.

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/dr-whites-rebuke-of-sam-shamoun-and-his-sinful-anger-and-being-a-bad-and-negative-witness-to-muslims/

    David Wood & Vocab or Jon M. are not like that, that I can see. They are not like Sam Sh.

    Continued

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    1. >>>I have confronted him (Sam S.) first privately, (because in my opinion, he was (and still is) a bad witness for Christ, and he did not show patience or love to Muslims at all, justified it by saying he was a prophet (same kind of justification going on here, etc. but even much much stronger) and (b)ruined a lot of my earlier com box debating with Muslims by his methods(/b)).

      and

      >>>The video was put up by a Muslim, which was from one or several of his dividing Line programs, but that cut out the other subjects he was addressing.

      Response:

      This is not the only video that a Muslim has made where White goes after a Christian. Leave Sam aside (he is easy pickings for people who defend White!), Muslims have used White's videos of directly critiquing Craig's/Licona's philosophical/evidential methodology. It almost appears White obliges his Muslim pals to make their criticism for them. White knows they will use it, but that does not make the man stop. He is too self-righteous, apparently, for that!

      A lot of people, including me, consider that a problem in the same way you felt your work was "ruined" by someone else. White tries his best to ruin the work other apologists labour hard for.

      For example, Licona's primary defense of the gospel is the historicity of the resurrection. Licona's stance is that even if the Bible contains errors (which every non-Christian critic asserts - in case you are wondering the relevance of that), it does not change the fact that the resurrection of Jesus is historically very credible and therefore Jesus is who he said he is. White attacked that position. Attacked! On his DL - and surprise, surprise, the following days you find Yahya Snows and Muslimsbychoices of the Muslim world using it. "Temptations will come, but woe to him through whom it comes."

      If you had a problem with Sam, you should also have a problem with White who is also an impediment to the gospel! Let me repeat that: JAMES WHITE IS AN IMPEDIMENT TO THE GOSPEL! He is NOT one when HE is preaching, but when the others are - HE IS! FACTUALLY! This much is undeniable.

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    2. I've listened to White's critiques of Licona and Craig. (frankly search for "Licona" in the search on the top left and you'll see articles criticle of Licona) He goes after Craig's evidentialist approach but he has been respectful of Craig.

      Read what you've written. "White attacked that position. Attacked!" Yeah, so?

      And then some Muslims used his critiques. OK. So what? When Licona says things like events in Matthew didn't happen, do you think Muslims aren't going to use this against the faith? Which do you think is more damaging?

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    3. >>>And then some Muslims used his critiques. OK. So what? When Licona says things like events in Matthew didn't happen, do you think Muslims aren't going to use this against the faith? Which do you think is more damaging?

      Which is more damaging? Attacking historicity of the resurrection account is not damaging or less damaging? C'mon.

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    4. >>>And then some Muslims used his critiques. OK. So what? When Licona says things like events in Matthew didn't happen, do you think Muslims aren't going to use this against the faith? Which do you think is more damaging?

      So what if Matthew gets the non-essentials wrong? I dont believe he does, but what if the scripture is infallible only in faith and morals. Let alone that, what if we only consider the evidence for the biggest historical takeaway from the gospels - and that is still defensible using secular historical methods .... that is what Licona is going for. That is why his arguments are unique.

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    5. Licona's methodology involves using secular arguments and still prove Christianity right. If you fail to appreciate how helpful that is Geoff, nothing else I say will persuade you.

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    6. The Resurrection's meaning is grounded in Scripture. You undermine Scripture you are undermining the Resurrection and its significance.

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    7. >>>The Resurrection's meaning is grounded in Scripture. You undermine Scripture you are undermining the Resurrection and its significance.

      There you go, coming at me with your theology again when we are discussing historicity of the resurrection event. Can you show me how the historicity of the resurrection is tied to the inerrancy of scripture?

      (In case you dont understand what undertaking that would entail, it would entail you showing me objectively that the inspiration of scripture exists in a demonstrable way, and that it affects the historical questions on Jesus. That is Licona's expertise. You cannot critique Licona's position without considering the milieu of his position.)

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    8. When you undermine Scripture, you destroy the foundation. The foundation that actually undergirds the significance of the Resurrection. Arguing for the Resurrection on the basis of what opponents will concede is one thing. If you don't push further or if you give up inerrancy you will undermine the purpose of establishing the historicity of the Resurrection.

      That deserves to be critiqued. If critiquing that methodology gets picked up by Muslims, why would it matter? I'm not sure why we shouldn't critique a methodology we view as flawed because a Muslim might quote it. That doesn't make sense.

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    9. I already mentioned the tall task you had if you wanted to objectively justify your point. You deflected that, as I figured you would. Your position is weak because you claim too much without being able to justify it. You claimed that "the Resurrection's meaning is grounded in Scripture. You undermine Scripture you are undermining the Resurrection and its significance," so the burden of proof lies on you.

      You may personally believe anything you want. In intellectual discussions what matters is what you can demonstrate. You may personally believe the world to be flat even (not saying you do, but if one wishes one can) - but that is irrelevant to a discussion of this nature.

      (Perhaps its not so easy to convince skeptics of your position, huh?)

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    10. Actually, Licona pays lip service to the inerrancy of Scripture, but it's just that - lip service. As Steve Hays has pointed out: "Licona is erecting a false dichotomy between divine words and divine works". It's a kind of "inerrancy" that's either fundamentally not anchored or poorly anchored to historicity.

      This is a problem from an apologetics perspective, but since it's taking us away from the topic of the thread, I'll disincline to say more. People can read posts on Triablogue by Steve Hays or search online about Licona as there are several Christian apologists who have taken issue with Licona's "inerrancy".

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    11. This comes later, but is worth repeating at the beginning: I want to clarify that Licona is not the point of contention in this thread - he was an example. Ken felt his ministry was hindered by Sam's behavior in a discussion - and I was trying to show how White, in a different context, hinders others.
      _______________

      Geoff made a bizarre claim that if the scriptures are not viewed as inerrant (like a secular historian would not view it as such), the historicity of the resurrection event crumbles. The flow of the argument seems to be as follows:

      P1: Only inerrant books can be historically accurate and reliable
      P2: Licona suggests that the Bible is not inerrant
      C1: Therefore the Bible cannot be historically reliable

      Even if P2 is taken to be true, P1 is false - else, there is nothing prior to your birth that you havent experienced that you can know to be accurate or reliable or worse, you can know nothing to be true because even your experiences are not inerrant - and that would be a ridiculous position to take. Conversely, here is another form of that argument if one wants to grant P1, for arguments sake:

      P1: Only inerrant books can be historically accurate and reliable
      P2: I will BELIEVE the scripture to be inerrant
      C1:Therefore scripture is historically accurate and reliable

      In the above illustration, P2 introduces circular argumentation. One can believe any book to be true, insert it in P2 and conclude what one was trying to prove. The only way out of it would be to demonstrate P2: to be objectively true - hence my demand of such a proof. (Even after the proof, Geoff would have to deal with P1 or clarify his premise by which he connects the historicity of an event in the Bible with inerrancy.)

      I also want to clarify that Licona is not the point of contention in this thread - he was an example. Ken felt his ministry was hindered by Sam's behavior in a discussion - and I was trying to show how White, in a different context, hinders others. One of Wood's tweets read: To give credit where it's due, no Christian apologist has ever been more loved by Muslim apologists than James White. https://twitter.com/Acts17/status/1007286547203452930

      One may disagree with Wood and me, but THAT is the point of contention here - not Licona.

      In summary: I dont care if Licona's view of inerrancy matches anyone's here. That is a separate discussion. I dont care if his positions are critiqued here or elsewhere. I care about the hand-waved dismissal of the field of historiography by Geoff (because that is Licona's methodology) to excuse White's criticism. Again, I have repeated here and elsewhere, Licona is not above criticism - his interpretations of Biblical texts can be challenged (scholars challenge each others positions all the time) - but if you are going after him because he tries to apply a particular historical method on the Bible which does not fit with your presup methodology as if there is something wrong with the method itself - you should be able to prove why you should be taken seriously.

      This brings to notice another important problem: If White's reasoning is anywhere remotely similar to Geoff's, and unless Geoff can justify his bizarre stance - it would be fair to conclude that White misrepresents other apologists in his criticism which his Muslim fans use against the other apologists. If this view is true (and David seems to be making a video to provide evidence so we have to wait and watch) White's misrepresented criticism are problematic on any platform he uses: DL or something else.


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    12. P.S. Licona's lipservice, if that is what it is, maybe because he is struggling to reconcile what he is finding in his study with his beliefs. The Catholic theologians, like their liberal Protestant counterparts long ago, reduced inerrancy to "faith and morals." Maybe Licona is just not able to make that leap - who knows. This is just some perspective.

      P.P.S: I personally draw a line between what I believe to be true (take on faith) and what I can objectively know to be true (i.e. what I can hope to demonstrate based on evidence). The inerrancy concept is a one which I believe to be true - but I havent pontificated as to what that belief would entail (absolute inerrancy, or just in faith and morals or something else). I assume the scriptural text are inerrant, but I am not dogmatic about it, personally.

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    13. Finally - just so I am not misconstrued:

      >>>The Resurrection's meaning is grounded in Scripture. You undermine Scripture you are undermining the Resurrection and its significance.

      The meaning of the resurrection event rests on other historical attestations of what Jesus said would happen to him, and what his disciples proclaimed. This is all historical stuff, and will remain to be considered historical stuff whether or not scripture is believed to be inerrant - therefore your argument is reduced to the mentioned logical premises even if you restrict yourself to the meaning of the resurrection event.

      Delete
  9. Part 2

    The big things that are objective with Dr. White's criticism of the "Islamicize Me" series are:
    1. Questions of local church accountability, etc. - I can understand him and Rich asking about that, but I also agree with David and his group that they don't need to say who or what church they go to; given security issues. They could all solve a lot by just meeting together privately in a friendly meeting of discussion and reconciliation.
    2. Questions of what is acceptable mocking, etc. At first I agreed totally with Dr. White, but after discussing things here; thinking more about it, etc. - I changed my mind on some of that (that I already wrote out here several times) - So now I see it as a Romans 14 and 1 Cor. 8 weaker brother principle, except I still don't agree with urination scenes and the adult breastfeeding and other similar type stuff; but I can understand the point that you guys have overall have made me pull back on condemning the whole approach. That is there method and if some Muslims leave Islam, that is a good thing - if they leave violence, Jihadism, wanting to conquer the world and subjugate and do Dhimmi-ism again, IMO, that is a good thing for this world. It is not the best or ideal thing (Dr. White's emphasis on the gospel and theology is better); but I have always believed that there is such a thing as pre-evangelism, evangelism, and friendship evangelism, and that it is a process. (Regeneration is not a process; but evangelism and people wrestling with the issues is a process.) but people have to hear and understand the message first in the mind, etc. - Romans 10:13-15 "how shall they hear? etc.

    I also thought Dr. White was too harsh with some Roman Catholics in the past and with William Lane Craig, (but at the time, I did not know enough to really be able to put forth anything with substance); but if you take the time to watch the video above, you see a lot of humility and apology for some of his attitudes toward others in the past.

    Honestly, I thought Steve Hays was too harsh, in the past, with Roman Catholics also; but that is my opinion.

    The thing about Dr. White and his criticism of William Lane Craig and other Arminians that he disagrees with; he has NEVER "assigned them to the flames of hell" like other Calvinists have done. I would have preferred he make it more clear on the positive contributions of WLC, etc. but his analysis of the Molinism of WLC and "Mere Christianity Method" (Not the book per se, by C.S. Lewis, but an over-all methodology that does use that book as a template) has been very helpful for me to understand the problems with those 2 things. WLC is the one who said he thought Calvinism was heretical ( I am going by memory here) and I guess that also bothered Dr. White. He is human; and I have seen him grow in sanctification in the way he treats people.

    He was very strong with Mike Licona (and I agreed with that) on several things, because it did honestly seem to me that Licona says he affirms inerrancy, but in some of his writings and lectures, etc.; it does not seem like he really does. When someone says "Mark made a mistake", that is not compatible with the doctrine of inerrancy. (right ?)

    He was strong against Leighton Flowers in debate and on DL shows; but if you take the time to listen to his debate with him on Romans 9, I did not see any problem. He was tough on him in DL programs, but Flowers made so many hour long responses that I lost track and also sometimes stopped listening to the DL programs devoted to Flower's argumentation. (some of it was because I was out of town; and was never able to catch back up.)

    Several years ago, I was personally in the audience at a question and answer time session live with Dr. White at a church outside of Atlanta (east of Atlanta) and some hot head / unbalanced Calvinists asked whether Arminians were even Christians and worshiped a false god; and Dr. White rebuked them on that. I was happy at his balance.

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    1. >>>I also thought Dr. White was too harsh with some Roman Catholics in the past and with William Lane Craig, (but at the time, I did not know enough to really be able to put forth anything with substance); but if you take the time to watch the video above, you see a lot of humility and apology for some of his attitudes toward others in the past.

      You bet he will say that he was wrong before in his approach. People have been pointing his hypocrisy for years. You think I am the first one to mention the troubling inconsistency of his behavior with Muslim and Catholic apologists?

      Whether he is truly humble or not is neither your business nor mine - it is the Lord's - but we are within the right to point his double standards nonetheless. If Paul confronted Peter, one of the three pillars - I am sure we can do the same for White, especially when he interferes with other people's ministries and sneers at those who disagree with him.

      >>>I would have preferred he make it more clear on the positive contributions of WLC, etc. but his analysis of the Molinism of WLC and "Mere Christianity Method" (Not the book per se, by C.S. Lewis, but an over-all methodology that does use that book as a template) has been very helpful for me to understand the problems with those 2 things.

      He attacks Christian methodologies on a platform watched by Muslims, knowing fully well they will use it. Not misuse it, but use it. I am glad you are personally helped by it, but I dont think - for a minute - the ministry to Muslims is helped by it, and you must understand some of us find that infuriating. Not to mention insufferable.

      Disagreements within the house should be sorted within the house - not voiced at roof tops.

      >>>When someone says "Mark made a mistake", that is not compatible with the doctrine of inerrancy. (right ?)

      Ok, here is how it sounds to me: to safeguard a BELIEF in the doctrine of inerrancy one can then go and attack the HISTORICAL arguments that Licona offers for the resurrection (which all critics, esp. Muslims deny)?(because that is what White ended up doing, even attacking Licona's thesis of the gospel being in the genre of other ancient biographies).

      I dont mind White confronting Licona, but the DL is not a platform to do that when 1. Licona does not watch the DL and 2. Licona's ministry is used by other Christians to bear witness for Christ. 3. Muslims watch the DL to find ways in which to attack Christian arguments

      Jesus was clear, he who is not with me is against me. White's only-my-methodology-is-acceptable approach pits him against the rest of the team.

      >>> WLC is the one who said he thought Calvinism was heretical ( I am going by memory here) and I guess that also bothered Dr. White.

      So what? I was a heretic according to White as a Catholic, or worse, I belonged to a different religion altogether. I still would have not tried to attack White's ministry to Muslims! His position on science are laughable. LAUGHABLE. Does it mean I should share that information on channels frequented by Muslim apologists? The criticism would be fair, but would it be the right place?

      "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." That is my problem with White. He is a divisive character. And that is why he is largely ignored by prominent names in the apologetic world. Wood is unable to avoid him as Wood's ministry is primarily to Muslims. The other apologists - they dont even care about him, because the scope of their ministry is too large for White's DL to affect that. The same is NOT the case with apologetic ministries to Islam which are fewer and far between.

      If you still dont understand why some of us have strong reactions to White despite all of the things I have written to you here or elsewhere - there wouldnt be any point pursuing further anyway.

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    2. //He attacks Christian methodologies on a platform watched by Muslims, knowing fully well they will use it. Not misuse it, but use it. I am glad you are personally helped by it, but I dont think - for a minute - the ministry to Muslims is helped by it, and you must understand some of us find that infuriating. Not to mention insufferable. //

      But what if Licona's (especially) and WLC's methodoliges are indeed problematic? Should someone not point that out because Muslims will use it?

      You seem to have a bone to pick with White over this. I have no objection to this because he is not attacking people but their methodologies.

      Again, go search on "Licona" on this blog. When you undermine Scripture, you are undermining everything. The Resurrection doesn't have meaning apart from Scripture telling us what that meaning is. The apostles wanted their message authenticated by Scripture. So that's good enough reason to go after Licona's methodology.

      I would go after it ten ways this side of Sunday and I wouldn't really care if Muslims used my attack on Licona's methodologies. Because Licona is wrong.

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    3. >>>You seem to have a bone to pick with White over this.

      You may disagree with my reasons, but to smear my objections as if to suggest I have a bone to pick with White is ridiculous. I have not even met the man. I have said in this very page how positive White's influence is on my life. And most of my objections, if not all, are justified by examples. Your assumptions are baseless.

      >>>Again, go search on "Licona" on this blog.

      I dont have to. Licona is not above criticism - I just think White has an axe to grind by sharing it where he does. You may disagree with me, but I dont see how you weaken my position. Here is what I said above: "I dont mind White confronting Licona, but the DL is not a platform to do that when 1. Licona does not watch the DL and 2. Licona's ministry is used by other Christians to bear witness for Christ. 3. Muslims watch the DL to find ways in which to attack Christian arguments."

      This blog satisfies, to my knowledge, only 1 out of those 3 conditions that make me conclude what I do. So the blog example wont work. Sorry. Apparently you ignored that. Now it appears you have an axe to grind with me for ignoring my direct contextual objections - No?

      >>>When you undermine Scripture, you are undermining everything.

      The one who makes the claims bears the burden of proof - so go proof it. Try demonstrating that. I mentioned what that would entail above. Here it is FYI:

      >>>The Resurrection doesn't have meaning apart from Scripture telling us what that meaning is.

      Nonsense. We have extraBiblical documents that verify to the historicity of the Christian faith. And btw, no one is discounting the historical weight of the scripture just by allowing the possibility that it is not inerrant in the absolute sense. I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the field of historiography since you are an "apologist".

      >>>The apostles wanted their message authenticated by Scripture

      You mean the 66 books? Or the 27 NT books? Or the 4 gospels? You are reading later theology into history. This sort of discussion is not worth discussing in the context Licona is arguing.

      >>>So that's good enough reason to go after Licona's methodology.

      No, you miss the point completely. Licona's ministry is to a SPECIFIC audience. I personally dont believe that there is one-size-fits-all apologetics methodology out there. Licona is not infallible or inerrant. His views, whatever they are, can be critiqued - but if you are going to tell me that Triablogue (since you mentioned them) are entirely critical of Licona because they are totally dismissive of the methods of histeriography itself (unless for scholarly reasons) - this blog would indeed be problematic. But even that does not automatically mean my problem's with White are unjustified. Refer my 3 points of contention above.

      Btw - how old do you think the earth/universe is, Geoff? Just out of curiosity.

      >>>I would go after it ten ways this side of Sunday and I wouldn't really care if Muslims used my attack on Licona's methodologies. Because Licona is wrong.

      I would personally not care if YOU went after it 10 ways - I dont mean to offend you but you (or I) dont have popularly known ministries to Muslims (at least I am unaware of you) - We dont have a Muslim following to misunderstand our Western nuances and appreciate our finer Christian disagreements. I care that White does on his DL because White has that audience. That context changes things for me. It may not for you, for me it does. You dont even seem to appreciate the significance of it. That, to me, is bizarre for an apologist.




      I take you for your word. From what you just expressed, it seems you dont even understand, forget appreciate, the perspective Licona is coming from.

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    4. >>>When you undermine Scripture, you are undermining everything.

      The one who makes the claims bears the burden of proof - so go proof it. Try demonstrating that. I mentioned what that would entail above. Here it is FYI:

      "There you go, coming at me with your theology again when we are discussing historicity of the resurrection event. Can you show me how the historicity of the resurrection is tied to the inerrancy of scripture?

      (In case you dont understand what undertaking that would entail, it would entail you showing me objectively that the inspiration of scripture exists in a demonstrable way, and that it affects the historical questions on Jesus. That is Licona's PERSPECTIVE. That is Licona's expertise. You cannot critique Licona's position without considering the milieu of his position.)"

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    5. //You may disagree with my reasons, but to smear my objections as if to suggest I have a bone to pick with White is ridiculous.//

      Fair enough. My apologies.

      //I just think White has an axe to grind by sharing it where he does. You may disagree with me, but I dont see how you weaken my position. Here is what I said above: "I dont mind White confronting Licona, but the DL is not a platform to do that when 1. Licona does not watch the DL and 2. Licona's ministry is used by other Christians to bear witness for Christ. 3. Muslims watch the DL to find ways in which to attack Christian arguments."
      //

      I just don't see how any of the points you raise means anyone shouldn't confront problems with Licona. Number 2 would make it a much worthwhile endeavor.

      //Btw - how old do you think the earth/universe is, Geoff? Just out of curiosity.//

      I'm an Old Earth Creationist.

      //I would personally not care if YOU went after it 10 ways - I dont mean to offend you but you (or I) dont have popularly known ministries to Muslims (at least I am unaware of you) - We dont have a Muslim following to misunderstand our Western nuances and appreciate our finer Christian disagreements. I care that White does on his DL because White has that audience. That context changes things for me. It may not for you, for me it does. You dont even seem to appreciate the significance of it. That, to me, is bizarre for an apologist.//

      It just seems bad we can't be honest and truthful because Muslims are watching. Let them misrepresent what they want. It won't change good arguments against Islam and good arguments for Christianity.

      //"There you go, coming at me with your theology again when we are discussing historicity of the resurrection event. Can you show me how the historicity of the resurrection is tied to the inerrancy of scripture?//

      A minimal facts presentation can show that the Resurrection is historical probable. It cannot establish anything about Jesus. You can argue that the New Testament is generally historically reliable, and it is. But since the New Testament clearly affirms Scripture in general being the very words of God, the theology and not the history of the New Testament clarifying the meaning of the Resurrection, and the authority of the Old Testament verifying the Resurrection... if you undermine Scripture you've cracked the foundation. Kind of like how Islam vouches for New Testament and contradicts the New Testament.

      The Resurrection itself can't vouch for anything. It's just a historical event that doesn't have meaning unless you can bring something to it. Scripture, which preserves the apostolic witness, provides that meaning. So if the New Testament preserves the apostolic message and it vouches for Scripture and gives us the meaning of the Resurrection, if you say that Scripture has errors you have a similar problem as the Muslims do on your hands.

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    6. >>>Let them misrepresent what they want. It won't change good arguments against Islam and good arguments for Christianity.

      By that logic White should not have a problem with Islamicise Me! Wood could be misrepresenting the gospel, but good arguments for Christianity would remain and White should - in that sense - have no problem. (But he did have a problem, and it was not just limited to Wood's conduct).

      >>>The Resurrection itself can't vouch for anything. It's just a historical event that doesn't have meaning unless you can bring something to it. Scripture, which preserves the apostolic witness, provides that meaning.

      It provides the meaning because it is situated in history. And it has a deeper meaning for us Christians because the Spirit bears witness to it in our hearts - not because we have randomnly convinced ourself of the belief that scripture is inerrant.

      >>>So if the New Testament preserves the apostolic message and it vouches for Scripture and gives us the meaning of the Resurrection, if you say that Scripture has errors you have a similar problem as the Muslims do on your hands

      To imply that since some parts of scripture contain error, therefore all of it contains errors is the fallacy of composition. The same historical methods that raise problems on some (not so important) part of scripture, can also be used to defend doctrinally central argument for Christianity. I am not suggesting at all that the historical method should be the last method - but that it is one of the methods an apologist can employ "to answer a fool according to his folly". While history cannot show that Jesus is the Son of God, it can show that there are good reasons to believe that Jesus thought he was, and He indeed rose from the dead. Rest is a matter of faith, which is the matter of Spirit changing our hearts.

      I also elaborated on the exact reasons why I am unable to understand your position.

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    7. Good luck being able to tease out which sections have theological errors and which ones don't, since it can have errors.

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    8. Nice dodge, Geoff! It appears you dont seem to appreciate the historical method at all. The historical method does not deal with theology. Just as theology can be abused, this method can also be abused to challenge Christianity - but the method itself is neutral and Christians can, and have, used it to witness for Christ.

      >>>Good luck being able to tease out which sections have theological errors and which ones don't, since it can have errors.

      There are ways to achieve this - but just as in theology - there are plenty of disagreements.

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  10. Thanks Ken. Part of this is that I don't know the background between him and Sam, and White doesn't explain any of it either. He just assumes that we'll agree with him. So when he accuses Sam of vicious personal attacks, I'm left with, "Okay, White believes that to be the case. But were they? I don't know."

    My own view is that if you're going to accuse a brother of something sinful, then bare minimum is you should actually demonstrate it. Just accusing does no good anywhere.

    I'm curious if White just expects everyone to know what is posted to his Facebook or something. Which is weird, because I know people who've been blocked and can't see it. And also I find it weird that anyone would expect anyone else to keep track on them in that manner. It's something that struck me odd about White's response to Wood, Malone, and McCray's response video. White said of Jon: "Jon says he doesn't know who I am, doesn't follow me, so...obviously not Reformed so I wouldn't expect him to." Is there a way to hear that in any other manner than that if you're Reformed White expects you to follow him? Maybe that's why he says what he does about Sam without providing evidence, because he just assumes we would already know what the evidence is.

    But I don't know what that evidence is, and it would be uncharitable to assume that Sam is being viciously personal to White without it. When someone accuses another of sin, it's incumbent upon them to provide the evidence, otherwise I have no warrant to agree.

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    1. The evidence is all over the place in previous interaction; and some of my own experience in the links I have given - most of it was around the Yasir Qadhi dialogue.

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    2. Evidence of what Sam tagged White in on White's Facebook is all over the place? Or you mean establishing the history of their interactions?

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    3. Incidentally, historical interactions can definitely be uses to lead credence to current claims. One can legitimately conclude, "Given past interactions, it's likely that current interactions are of a similar vein." I'm assuming that's what you're doing now, in fact, but correctly me if I'm wrong.

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    4. mean establishing the history of their interactions

      Yes

      You need to watch the video I put up of Dr. White explaining his history with Sam Shamoun.

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    5. "You need to watch the video I put up of Dr. White explaining his history with Sam Shamoun." <-- That will need to wait until this evening, but I will endeavor to do so.

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    6. Lets not paint Sam to be the demon here. Yes, Sam is very reacts fast and he was super vocal about his opinion on White - but a lot of his questions were honest. Qadhi practically lied and maligned Robert Spencer. White could have clarified on his DL that Qadhi lied (because Spencer contacted him) - OR shared why he did not believe Spencer when Spencer contacted him - but White did not.

      White actually let a lot of things (read lies) slide. While it is apparent that White and Qadhi had an understanding to not be confrontational, there were many places where White could have politely asked him to clarify (esp. on the topic of Jihad).

      Coming back to Sam: one of Sam's valid objections was that there was no precedent of apostles inviting heretics among a Christian gathering and not rebutting their heresies. I felt exactly the same without even reading Sam's objection, and I have repeated that point many times here also. NOW Given that in the Wood/White controversy, White demanded that they produce an apostolic precedent for what they did - dont you think White failed to follow his own standard?

      Ken, I asked this before elsewhere and you did not reply. I AM ASKING THIS AGAIN: there was no precedent of apostles inviting heretics among a Christian gathering without refuting their heresies. NOW Given that in the Wood/White controversy, White demanded that they produce an apostolic precedent for what they did - dont you think White failed to follow his own standard?

      Question 2: in the light of answer to the above question, if White himself chose to follow a course for which there was not any apostolic precedent, isnt he being hypocritical when he considers Wood of being guilty of the same, despite not acknowledging his own guilt in the Qadhi dialogue?

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    7. Read all of my articles at apologetics and agape on my defense of the apologetic dialogue with Dr. Qadhi.

      My answer to a lot of your stuff is a my articles (long).

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/dr-white-has-been-judged-unfairly/

      Look at the bottom for other articles related to the issue.

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    8. I think I need to add my 2 cents here regarding Shamoun. I had a completely horrible interaction with him. I mean really bad.

      //Ken, I asked this before elsewhere and you did not reply. I AM ASKING THIS AGAIN: there was no precedent of apostles inviting heretics among a Christian gathering without refuting their heresies. NOW Given that in the Wood/White controversy, White demanded that they produce an apostolic precedent for what they did - dont you think White failed to follow his own standard?//

      And this is what my interaction with Shamoun was over. The difference was over whether the meeting, which wasn't a church service but held in a church building, falls under the conditions of 2 John. I can understand different people disagreeing. But the attacks on White went way overboard.

      Btw, Muslims aren't heretics. Catholics would be considered heretics. And I just need to mention that Richard Spencer, who Wood, Shamoun, etc are working with on this series, is a Catholic. Muslims aren't fake Christians. They just aren't Christians.

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    9. >>>And this is what my interaction with Shamoun was over. The difference was over whether the meeting, which wasn't a church service but held in a church building, falls under the conditions of 2 John. I can understand different people disagreeing. But the attacks on White went way overboard.

      I did not object to the White-Qadhi interaction. I simply asked above if White was consistent.

      >>>Btw, Muslims aren't heretics.

      Their view of Jesus is heretical, and that is what I was going for. John of Damascus said as much. I'm sorry, I should have been clearer.

      >>>And I just need to mention that Richard Spencer, who Wood, Shamoun, etc are working with on this series, is a Catholic. Muslims aren't fake Christians. They just aren't Christians.

      Relevance? I have never heard Spencer spread his "heresies" on Wood/Shamoun's platform.

      Delete
    10. >>>Read all of my articles at apologetics and agape on my defense of the apologetic dialogue with Dr. Qadhi. My answer to a lot of your stuff is a my articles (long).

      Fine. Tomorrow.

      Delete
    11. You have a point that Spencer doesn't propound Catholic doctrines. He doesn't do anything besides attack Islam.

      Delete
    12. >>>You have a point that Spencer doesn't propound Catholic doctrines. He doesn't do anything besides attack Islam.

      You have a problem he is focused on Islam? Shouldn't ideologies be attacked?

      Delete
    13. Corrected reply:

      Btw Ken, let me observe this:

      I asked you two questions, and at least one of those questions (question no 1.) could have been answered in a yes/no fashion. Its a straight-forward question - White either failed to follow his own standard or he did not. The answer is binary.

      The second question is where logical inference would be needed, which I personally can imagine to be short as well - but lets say you have a long answer, and your posts address it.

      In summary, I find it very odd that you deflect me to your rather long posts even to get the first one answered. I will read your posts, but I find this to be odd. Just wanted you to know.

      Delete
    14. //You have a problem he is focused on Islam? Shouldn't ideologies be attacked?//

      I have no problem with him for the limited purpose of learning a little bit about Islam, but I would treat him like a Mormon who is in the Intelligent Design movement.

      As a Christian apologist, I would seriously consider how I interact with him. Interacting with him is a much bigger concern when working with him in relation to the gospel, than White interacting with a imam who isn't claiming the name of Christ. How you interact with Spencer can much more easily give the wrong impression regarding the gospel, when working with him on the same side in an explicitly Christian ministerial context.

      Delete
    15. geoffrobinson

      "As a Christian apologist, I would seriously consider how I interact with [Spencer]. Interacting with him is a much bigger concern when working with him in relation to the gospel, than White interacting with a imam who isn't claiming the name of Christ. How you interact with Spencer can much more easily give the wrong impression regarding the gospel, when working with him on the same side in an explicitly Christian ministerial context."

      Well, that's just obvious for most of us here who are Christians (I assume most here are at least conservative evangelicals)! :) Obviously we wouldn't want to work together with Spencer if what we're working together is about the gospel!

      However Wood's videos aren't about presenting the gospel. They're about criticizing Islam. They're about criticizing Muhammad. They're preparation for the gospel, as Wood has stated.

      So when it comes to Spencer appearing in their videos, I don't find it objectionable, since his presence is about criticizing Islam as Spencer is a well-known crusader against Islam.

      Spencer doesn't present any of his theological beliefs in the videos. He mostly just acts like he's a jinn. Either a jinn or a Sith lord! So I don't object to that.

      However if Wood had videos featuring Spencer giving a presentation about why people should join his church, then I'd have a big problem with that.

      Delete
    16. As I mentioned in an example before, I would have my own issues working with a Catholic in an explicitly Christian ministry. I'm not sure if that would be a hard and fast rule, and I'm not saying I would make my position mandatory on everyone.

      In my example of a Mormon ID proponent comes to mind. I'd be hesitant to partner with him in a Christian ministry. In a group devoted to ID theory? Sure. An interview or something like that? Sure.

      Delete
    17. Ken,

      I read the following articles because the link you gave did not answer me, and you werent clear in which other posts you had answered the questions I was asking. AndI still did not find the answer to my original questions:

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/answering-sam-shamouns-questions-on-1-john-2-john-regarding-the-whiteqadhi-dialogue/

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/dr-whites-report-on-recent-ministry-with-analysis-of-the-attacks-on-dr-white-and-his-dialogue-with-dr-yasir-qadhi/

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/does-2-john-19-11-forbid-hospitality-outreach-in-our-homes/

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/2-john-9-11-roundup/

      Here are my original questions again. I have added some comments to further clarify what I am asking.

      Question 1 I AM ASKING THIS AGAIN: there was no precedent of apostles inviting heretics among a Christian gathering without refuting their heresies. NOW Given that in the Wood/White controversy, White demanded that they produce an apostolic precedent for what they did - dont you think White failed to follow his own standard? (Notice: I have not mentioned nor am I making an argument out of 2 John 9. The question I am asking has to do with an example of the apostles doing something similar to the White-Qadhi interaction. Also notice that I am not against that encounter . While I think the first encounter was less than perfect, I think the second one compensated for it)

      Question 2 in the light of answer to the above question, if White himself chose to follow a course for which there was not any apostolic precedent, isnt he being hypocritical when he considers Wood of being guilty of the same, despite not acknowledging his own guilt in the Qadhi dialogue? (Notice: here the emphasis is on White's hypocrisy in asking Wood to produce an apostolic precedent for what he does, when White's own action (however well intended) dont align with the standard he is holding Wood to.)

      If I have missed finding your answer in the above links, or elsewhere, which is possible as I do make mistakes - I would request you to copy paste that answer here.

      In your material, youu main argument for White's defense seems to have been: These verses (2Jn 9-11) cannot mean “don’t ever do hospitality outreach and invite unbelievers into your home” – that contradicts so many other passages on evangelism and mission – having people into our home and visiting them in their homes over a meal and talking to them about Jesus and the truths of Scripture is one of the MAIN ways to reach Muslims – a proper application of 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; the principle of ethne (nation, culture, ethnicity) – “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19; Revelation 5:9), the passages in the gospels that speak about Jesus eating with sinners and tax-collectors (Matthew 9, Luke 5), the way Jesus interacted with the Samaritan woman in John 4; and the passages in Acts where Paul engaged people with dialogue, reasoning, back and forth, listening to the other side so as to accurately understand what you are going to refute (Greek: διαλεγομαι) – Acts 17:2-4; Acts 17:11; Acts 17:17; Acts 18:4, 18:19; 19:8.

      Relevant as it must have been to what Sam was discussing, it is irrelevant to the question I asked.

      So, for the last time - can we agree that while you think the Qadhi dialogue was great, White did not strictly stick to his own standard of having apostolic precedence, making him a hypocrite? Or, if you have already answered that elsewhere and I may have missed it - please copypaste it here. Because I really don't want to go on another wild goose chase to skim through you material which don't address this question. It isnt fair to expect me to sweep through every single thing you have written in defense of White on the web.

      If, on the other hand, you dont want to answer it at all - just be charitable and let me know so that we can both stop wasting each other's time.

      Delete
    18. Question 1 I AM ASKING THIS AGAIN: there was no precedent of apostles inviting heretics among a Christian gathering without refuting their heresies.

      I don’t think that accurately describes what Dr. White did.

      Muslims are not heretics, they are a completely different world religion that has gone basically unreached for 14 centuries.
      It was not a “Christian gathering”. (more below)
      Dr. White refuted the theological falsehoods by the second meeting, explaining gospel issues (the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, salvation by grace through faith in Christ, the atonement of Christ, original sin, etc.)
      He did what a missionary has to do - be respectful and also overlook the Jihad type stuff in order to get to the real spiritual issues of this life.

      Muslims are not heretics, even though John of Damascus called them that; (as you pointed out in an earlier discussion).

      It was not a Christian gathering. It was in a church building. It was on a Tuesday evening. Since that particular church with its elders made the decision and saw it as an outreach / evangelistic opportunity, and they equipped their people to understand the process; then that church has the ecclesiastical authority to do such outreach, given the plan of continuing the next evening. It was a relationship building even to then also be able to go to the Mosque the next day and Dr. White explained the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, the atonement and resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, etc. - it was a great opportunity of evangelism and Missions (it broke down walls that conservative Muslims are able to set up to keep their people insulated from proper interaction with good Biblical Christians and explanations - that was frankly, “historic” - IMO, in terms of missionary outreach.

      So, 1. they were not heretics and 2. it was not a Christian gathering (not a Sunday or Wed. evening worship service, etc.) and 3. The second meeting in the Mosque was missions opportunity to both explain to Muslims what the gospel and Christianity is and also there was relational aspects that broke down barriers.

      continued

      Delete
    19. I will continue later; but I have other appointments, but to be continued

      Delete
    20. be respectful and also overlook the Jihad type stuff (temporarily; it is certainly valid to bring up later, IMO) in order to get to the real spiritual issues of this life.

      In the context of relationship / relational outreach, I fully understand that.

      Delete
    21. Part 2 -

      The complaint that people have (like Steve Camp, Sam Shamoun, Brannon Howse and the whole World View Weekend people, Janet Mefford, etc. ) is that Dr. White did not immediately push back or challenge Dr. Qadhi on Jihad type issues. (we can get to the White vs. Spencer issues later. Steve and I discussed that stuff a lot here before.)

      My next opinion is my own take - I would have tried to ask Dr. Qadhi for another meeting to ask about those issues, since Dr. White had built a good friendship with him. (But the over-reaction by the "patriotic conservative Christians" ruined that, IMO) Sometimes in an evangelistic opportunity, it is wise to let some things go for the sake of getting to the real gospel / truth / theology issues. Robert Spencer had had some history with Qadhi and had lots of details that I did not know about at that time. The whole vast area of “stealth Jihad” and what conferences that Qadhi spoke at (that other characters also spoke at) and what groups like CAIR do and Muslim Brother Associations in the USA - that involves knowing a lot of things that the FBI and law enforcement should know and be doing. (and that I confess is hard to have the time to investigate all that all the time without being a detective or Robert Spencer type of guy.) The problem is complicated by left wing politics and political correctness and the way Muslims are able to hide behind Leftist political strategies (CAIR has been doing that for years) -accusing the other side of racism, bigotry, etc.- and shutting down conversation.

      What Dr. White did is have the guts and strength to push through to the truth of the gospel and break down the Muslims’ combinations of their separation in our culture and taking advantage of our democratic freedoms to get to share the gospel and true Christianity in a mosque. As a missionary myself, I highly respect what he did; despite the fallout between other conservative patriotic Christians who seem to me to put right wing politics before gospel and missionary issues.

      And I have never totally agreed with that wooden way of arguing about evangelism anyway. Is there an example of the apostles learning another language in order to reach another culture in the way we have to do that today? (the way most Evangelical missions do - admittedly few Reformed folks do it compared to the more Arminian theological camps of churches) Not really, the context of the book of Acts is the Greco-Roman mediterranean world, and they communicated in Greek. There are a few examples of translation from Latin into Hebrew - but overall, the context of the book of Acts is totally different that someone wanting to go the Muslim World or a Tribal group or China or India to share the gospel. You have to build relationships, love the people, learn their language, eat their food, build trust, in order to be able to get the point to discuss the gospel and truth issues with people. There are principles in the NT that lay the foundation for missions, but there is no concrete example in the NT of missionary work in Acts, etc. and so I don't agree with the assumption that conservative USA Christians start with (both Reformed folks who are also "fighting fundies" and non-Reformed Christians who emphasize American conservative politics, right wing issues, etc. (which I almost always agree with, except in this case) - that one has to find a specific example of such and such that the apostles did in order to then also do it.

      Delete
    22. Part 3

      The question of whether Islam a heresy or is it a separate world religion? -
      There is a sense of yes and no to the heresy question.

      and that issue is very complicated for in a sense they are heretics, but in another sense, they are not, because they have become a totally different world religion that has used violence and war to conquer everyone around them, until they were stopped; and Islamic culture / society / politics, etc. has allowed them to keep the gospel away from their people for the most part until recently. (as never before, because of the world we live in now in the past 40 years - the combination of Islamic terror, the 1979 Revolution in Iran, 9-11-2001 and the internet and travel, and global economy, etc. - Islamic governments can no longer keep the people from finding out about the gospel, if they want to.

      Islam claims they are the 3rd revelation of Monotheism and that the OT and NT (the Injeel - the Gospel of Jesus) were the Word of God. (But at the time, Muhammad did not realize the contradictions) But it was only later that Muslims realized what the NT was, and had to come up with the idea / doctrine that the original Torah and Gospel got corrupted and that the apostle Paul’s writings (and John and Hebrews and whatever is in the synoptics that does not agree with their understanding, etc.) are not even Scripture at all. (and they view everything else that agrees with the apostle Paul’s atonement theology (such as Mark 10:45 and the Last supper texts (Mark 14:24; Luke 22:19-20; Matthew 26:28) as latter additions and they reject the gospel of John as historical, but yet, at the same time, try to claim that Muhammad was prophesied in John 14 and 16.

      NOW Given that in the Wood/White controversy, White demanded that they produce an apostolic precedent for what they did - dont you think White failed to follow his own standard? (Notice: I have not mentioned nor am I making an argument out of 2 John 9. The question I am asking has to do with an example of the apostles doing something similar to the White-Qadhi interaction. Also notice that I am not against that encounter . While I think the first encounter was less than perfect, I think the second one compensated for it)

      If you think the second meeting with Qadhi compensated for it; then no, Dr. White did not fail to follow his own standard.

      Which is why I have a different take on all of this - 1. there is a process in evangelism and missions. 2. the issues between David Wood and James White are issues having to do with brothers being able to disagree (Romans 14 ; 1 Cor. 8 type issues) and I am hoping and praying that they will work those issues out personally by private meetings and reconciliation. Personally, I don’t like some of those videos or crude tactics; but some of them are very good and very funny. Wood and the discussion here with all of you "forced" me to think more about this; and made me change my mind on them (the videos and method) to some degree. I can see that they are useful for some Muslims; to get them to question Islam and leave Jihadism, etc.. Because I believe in process and human relations, etc. and God’s sovereignty, God can certainly overcome things in a person’s heart later.

      Delete
    23. I should have written it this way. Forgive me for not being fast with qualifiers.

      It was not a “Christian gathering” [in the way that the fighting fundamentalists/ patriotic Christians are assuming that it should be]. (more below)

      Delete
    24. and since I agree theologically, etc. with his (Dr. White) criticisms of WLC, Mike Licona, Leighton Flowers, I don't see an inconsistency. I would personally say more about the positive other aspects of WLC, and Licona, even why disagreeing with their methodology.

      Dr. White never assigned them to the flames of hell, as other "hot-headed" / fighting fundys / Reformed folks seem to do.

      Delete
    25. even why disagreeing with their methodology.

      typo
      should have been

      even with disagreeing with their methodology.

      Delete
    26. Ken,

      I have gone through your replies and there seems to be a big chasm between what I have been saying, and what you are interpreting it to mean. Your reply doesnt address my objections to White. It addresses Sam's and Daktok's objection to White - but I am not Sam.

      Here is what I am asking in a logical construct.

      P1. To have "Double standards" is defined as: a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.

      P2. White asserts that it is important to have apostolic example to validate one's approach - This is White's standard. He does not qualify this to be only in the case of evangelising, but makes a universal appeal to it, including to the field of apologetics.

      P3. White's Qadhi exchange does not have an apostolic witness parallel, in other words White's dialogue, no matter how noble, did not have an apostolic precedent.

      P4. The standards White sets are applicable to him also

      P5. It is fair to judge White by his standards (related to P4, and P2.)

      P6. According to P2, P3, P4, P5, White failed to live by his standard

      P7. White accuses Wood of engaging in a behavior (making the IM series) that does not have an apostolic precedent.

      C1. Based on P1 through P7 - White is a hypocrite because he applies double standards to the same question: Christians should emulate the apostles, and insist on apostolic witness/parallel to validate their approach. His dailogue with Qadhi fails P2. but he still insists on P2 with Wood.

      C2. C1 is based only on the preceding 7 premises, and not on other factors as clarified earlier and repeated below:

      The above is my argument. I already repeated and clarified above, that:

      1. My argument is not from 2 John 9-11.

      2. My argument is not about the rightness or wrongness of getting Qadhi in a Christian construction.

      3. My argument is not from Islam being heretical or Qadhi being heretical, as much as it is about Qadhi being a non-believer, and such people were not invited among Christians on any day of the week in scripture. Thus this fails P2. In fact for the purpose of this dialogue, if it helps, I am willing to forget 2 John 9 exists so you dont bring it up.

      4. My argument is not about whether or not White's methodology was right when it came to Qadhi was right. My argument is that P2 holds, despite the rightness or the wrongness of the methodology.

      >>> Dr. White refuted the theological falsehoods by the second meeting, explaining gospel issues (the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, salvation by grace through faith in Christ, the atonement of Christ, original sin, etc.)

      Irrelevant to the conclusions I have drawn. My argument depends on the preceding premises - let me know which of them is factually wrong or disagreeable to you, and we shall correct it or remove it and then again see if the conclusions still follow. Second, your argument is invalid because there is no precedent of any apostle first inviting an unbeliever to know his views unchallenged in a Christian setting, and then presenting the gospel in the unbeliever's setting later. What White did is new, and I dont mind it. But it is still new, something that the apostles did not do. The preceding statement is a fact. The effectiveness of that dialogue (or lack thereof) does not alter the fact. It alters your personal acceptability of the dialogue, but not the facts. Premises 2 through 6 still hold, or show me how they dont.

      Delete
    27. continued...

      >>> So, 1. they were not heretics and 2. it was not a Christian gathering (not a Sunday or Wed. evening worship service, etc.) and 3. The second meeting in the Mosque was missions opportunity to both explain to Muslims what the gospel and Christianity is and also there was relational aspects that broke down barriers.

      Red-herring. Irrelevant information. Those premises have nothing to do with my premises that lead me to conclude what I did. How in the world can you then expect me to reject the conclusions I came to.

      >>> be respectful and also overlook the Jihad type stuff (temporarily; it is certainly valid to bring up later, IMO) in order to get to the real spiritual issues of this life.

      I am not respectful? Give me a break! I am focusing on Jihad? Strawman.

      >>> The complaint that people have (like Steve Camp, Sam Shamoun, Brannon Howse and the whole World View Weekend people, Janet Mefford, etc. ) is that Dr. White did not immediately push back or challenge Dr. Qadhi on Jihad type issues. (we can get to the White vs. Spencer issues later. Steve and I discussed that stuff a lot here before.)

      Maybe that was their argument - but that is NOT my argument. You are putting forth an irrelevant thesis here: since White presented the gospel, my original conclusions are invalid. I am glad White presented the gospel in a calm way, but that has no bearing on my premises. By now I hope you can see it.

      >>> Sometimes in an evangelistic opportunity, it is wise to let some things go for the sake of getting to the real gospel / truth / theology issues.

      Irrelevant. (Btw I agree, but it is an irrelevant point.)

      >>> What Dr. White did is have the guts and strength to push through to the truth of the gospel and break down the Muslims’ combinations of their separation in our culture and taking advantage of our democratic freedoms to get to share the gospel and true Christianity in a mosque.

      What? Anyway, irrelevant.

      >>> And I have never totally agreed with that wooden way of arguing about evangelism anyway.

      Hmm, I agree but I know someone from AO Min would disagree. But in any case - irrelevant.

      >>> You have to build relationships, love the people, learn their language, eat their food, build trust, in order to be able to get the point to discuss the gospel and truth issues with people.

      I agree.

      >>>There are principles in the NT that lay the foundation for missions, but there is no concrete example in the NT of missionary work in Acts,

      Irrelevant as White's standard is to go with what we already have in scripture - that is the standard he is applying on Wood (P2).

      >>> The question of whether Islam a heresy or is it a separate world religion?
      It appears that this misstatement of my that Qadhi was a heretic or Islam a form of heresy - will follow me to mine grave. I already clarified what I meant.

      >>> If you think the second meeting with Qadhi compensated for it; then no, Dr. White did not fail to follow his own standard.

      Finally my objection attempted to be addressed. That statement that White compensated the first meeting with the second, therefore White is excused of the standard of holding to the apostolic precedent cuts both ways. Wood has also compensated for his Gospel presentation in his other series/videos - so according to the standard you applied to White (which again is not the one he applied to Wood (P2)) - Wood is excused also. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. But then, what is White's issue there? Your statement fails to account for that question in the context of what you said.

      Second, that statement of yours does not factually change P2 or any of the other premises. Therefore it is irrelevant.


      Delete
    28. continued...

      >>> I am hoping and praying that they will work those issues out personally by private meetings and reconciliation.

      If you would forgive my this satirical remark: you really know White, if thats your hope. :) But again, its a good hope to have.

      >>> I can see that they are useful for some Muslims; to get them to question Islam and leave Jihadism, etc.. Because I believe in process and human relations, etc. and God’s sovereignty, God can certainly overcome things in a person’s heart later.

      I am glad you appreciate Wood's work even if not fully agreeing with some of the content. But his approach has very little bearing on P2 - the foundation of my conclusion.

      >>> and since I agree theologically, etc. with his (Dr. White) criticisms of WLC, Mike Licona, Leighton Flowers, I don't see an inconsistency.

      I personally find him to be an impediment to the ministry to Muslims - an impediment when it comes to the ministries of some other Christians - but we can disagree. I dont want to start debating this and further muddle our conversation.
      Wood apparently is making a video on this. That may help you see Wood's perspective.

      In closing,

      If you want to continue discussing 2 John 9, or the Christian building, or White's other critics, or evangelical methodologies that have no bearing on my premises - we can stop right here.

      But if you feel my premises are untrue, or that my conclusions dont follow - we can discuss it.

      Delete
    29. James McCloud-
      Ok, I think we are getting somewhere, but I am slow and don't fully understand the mathematical and syllogistic way you argue; but I promise to come back later. after this one post later today.

      There is too much logic and steps - your argumentation is like a long Algebra problem. I hated Algebra !! (one time in 9th grade Algebra, I made a 0, then a 22, then an 11 (out of 100) during 3 in a row tests - I finally pulled out with a c.

      (By the way, which you probably know this - Algebra comes form Arabic -Al-Jabr = الجبر , which also means "force", "power" and where Islam gets it's idea of Allah as Al-Jabbar - الجبار - the irresistible one or enforcer - the one who forces you to do what He wants you to do. This word is used for Allah and also for cruel dictators in the Middle East.

      So, it is going to take me some time to even digest and understand what you wrote. You and Steve Hays are kind of similar in some ways - he is too logical and mathematical / syllogistic for me to grasp.

      Delete
    30. The verse that says Allah is Al-Jabbar, and is one of the 99 names of Allah, is Qur'an Surah 59:23, but most English translations hide the impact of the word by not giving those other nuances of it - tyrant, dictator, the irresistible one, enforcer

      I can image someone objecting with "that is what Calvinism seems like". That is why the Trinity is the true God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As the great missionary and apostle to Islam wrote: "Islam lacks the love of God, & the Fatherhood of God to balance out the decrees of Predestination" ( I am going from memory) - I would add: "Islam lacks the atonement, incarnation, the humility and condescension of Jesus, and the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit"

      Delete
    31. Steve hays seems to be a smart man. I take you comapring me to him as a compliment. Thanks.

      (I love math - hated it as a child because of various reasons, the biggest being that I was an idiot (lol) - and while math is not always congruent with reality - its far more easier to deal with it than "emotional disagreements".)

      Take your time, Ken, and rebut my premises. I dont think they are infallible, neither should anyone else. By sharing them with you, I consider this as a refining of my argument - rejecting the bad stuff (per proper critique) and keeping the good stuff. At least thats the working goal.

      Delete
    32. Steve hays seems to be a smart man. I take you comapring me to him as a compliment. Thanks.

      Yes; he is very smart (I have to look up so many words in his articles that usually give up on the ones I cannot grasp) and your analysis and syllogistic type argumentation style is also hard for me to follow.

      You are welcome. It is obvious that you also are very smart.

      Delete
    33. Steve Hays has below average intelligence. He's an actor who was hired to read a script, to give the real brains behind the operation plausible deniability.

      Delete
  11. Here is another one where I interacted with Sam Shamoun's arguments on 1 John & 2 John and the Yasir Qadhi stuff; and also had to rebuke him in my article. You can find lots of my other public articles about the whole Yasir Qadhi Dialogue thing there; and Steve and I debated and discussed it here at Triablogue boxes also.

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/answering-sam-shamouns-questions-on-1-john-2-john-regarding-the-whiteqadhi-dialogue/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here is another one with many links of the whole Yasir Qadhi dialogue issue:

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/dr-white-has-been-judged-unfairly/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Replies
    1. Good post, although I would make clarifications for this one: The Christian apologist must not only be respectful towards but bend over backwards for Muslims.

      What actually White means is adorn the gospel with you speak to Muslims to over-accommodation of their feelings, but be highly critical of other Christians who dont follow's White's approach, because one doesnt have to adorn the gospel with Christians disagreeing with you - one has to use the gospel as a whip in his/her hand.

      Delete
    2. "bend over backwards" is your subjective judgment on what all is involved just to get an audience with Muslims as he did and does. It is valid to bring up the Jihad stuff; but (I explained all that earlier; and also Steve Hays and I had some good discussions on that here at Triablogue. I am trying to find the one where he finally wrote: "I like what you wrote better than what White wrote".

      "highly critical" - I agree with the criticisms of WLC, Licona, Leighton Flowers; but I would have also emphasized and added MORE that they are my brothers in Christ, which Dr. White did say; but maybe not enough to be heard to the extent that it needed to be.

      Some of the same kind of thing happened between Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. White, a few years earlier - Geisler was wrong, IMO. Dr. White praised him for his work on the resurrection and inerrancy, etc. but later, as they disagreed with other, and Geisler refused to respond much; people probably did know all the background on all that, unless you listened to all the Dividing Line shows from it's beginning until now. (when they started putting all the archived ones up)

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    3. people probably did NOTknow all the background on all that, unless you listened to all the Dividing Line shows from it's beginning until now.

      sorry, I guess I have some kind of Adult ADD or Dislexia or some other kind of weakness; I make these kinds of mistakes all the time. Forgive me.

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    4. Thanks James McCloud! I agree with what you said!

      Delete
    5. Ken Temple

      ""bend over backwards" is your subjective judgment on what all is involved just to get an audience with Muslims as he did and does."

      Actually the entire satirical piece is my "subjective judgment" about White! :) I mean it's obvious I see White differently than how you see White.

      You're a lot more sympathetic to how White behaves toward Muslims and (I say so respectfully even though it may not sound that way) I think at times you yourself "bend over backwards" to accommodate how White behaves towards Muslims (and Christians). I think that reflects the fact that you're a nice and good guy, Ken, whereas I'm sure I'm not! You're far more godly than me. However I think sometimes a person like me who isn't godly can detect things that the godly people might not see or overlook due to their godliness.

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    6. I have been a missionary to Muslims (if you count when I first started witnessing to Muslims in the USA while working toward being ordained and sent out - since 1983; formally from 1992 to today).
      Those who are called to witness to Muslims and learn language and culture, etc. - I guess all other Americans are going to view that as "bending over backwards" (learning their language and eating their food and putting up with their crazy cultural things that they got from Muhammad's traditions. I realized a fresh where a lot of cultural behavior comes from this morning as I watched the last episode - # 30 - it was excellent. The hadith about "if you vow something, and something later comes up that is better, it is ok to renounce your vow". Wow - the behavior of that is deep in everyday life in Muslim's cultures. Now I understand where that comes from. Thank you David Wood, and Dr. White for his part also in reading through all of Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, etc. , thank you to both of you, for all of us missionaries who started before you guys, but did not have the money or time to study all the other Islamic sources. We read the Qur'an in English and knew that; but did not know all this other stuff until you guys came along; along with internet access to find out for ourselves.

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    7. Ken

      I have no quarrel with your missionary work to Muslims. I have no quarrel with friendship evangelism to Muslims. I don't even have any quarrel with White as far as how he wants to do evangelism with Muslims, at least not in this current debate. Though this debate isn't strictly speaking only about evangelism, but about Christian ethics over apologetical methodology as well.

      My quarrel has been about White attacking Wood and others. My quarrel has been about White implicitly calling Wood immature and rebellious. My quarrel had been about White calling all those who defend Wood "snipers", "assassins", people "spitting on" White, etc.

      White is the one who initiated the attack against Wood et al. White is the one who's been instigating this entire affair. But White is acting like he's the victim. It's like he has a persecution complex. At the very least he's thin-skinned, which is ironic for an apologist.

      That's what I have a problem with: White is like an aggressor who acts like he's a victim. White has cast himself in the role of the mature and godly elder, while casting Wood et al in the roles of immature and rebellious children. White acts like he's a white knight in shining armor, but it seems to me his armor is quite tarnished by his own self-centeredness and hyperfocus on himself. White spends more time concerned about how people are allegdly mistreating him (woe is me!) than he does on the substantive issues. White constantly sidetracks issues about ethics, apologetics, and evangelism into a battle over personalities.

      I wouldn't have any problem with White if he had simply wished Wood et al well in how they do apologetics, because I don't see any problem with how Wood et al do apologetics.

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    8. I revised and expanded on my remarks in a new post:

      "Spitting at James White!"

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    9. Pardon my typos and the grammatical errors. I usually dont re-read my shorter replies, and thoughts come a lot faster to me than I can type - so while I am typing something, I have already moved on 4 sentences ahead in my mind.

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    10. >>>"highly critical" - I agree with the criticisms of WLC, Licona, Leighton Flowers;

      You agree, because you think there are better reasons to agree. But when White goes about it on his DL and in the way he does, his Muslim fans either dont appreciate those better reasons or feel justified to use White's rebuttal to the other apologists. White's DL serves two vastly different cultures that interpret information differently. Also, White more than just critiques people's positions - he goes after the very field they engage in. For example, White going after philosophy or historiography as disciplines. Again, he has the right to share his opinion, but does not the audience where you share your opinion matter? Or can one blurt out anything anywhere just because one thinks one is right? If that is so, why do you present the Bible as an inerrant word of God with the nice, peaceful teachings of Christ in your first few meeting with non-Christians without also mentioning the "weird stuff" or the violent stuff of the Bible in the same sentence? Yes, Jesus said to offer the other cheek, but Yahweh also authorised killings and massive displacement of people and destroy idols of other religions. Isn't the reason because the time and the place is not right for it? Isn't it because there is a time and a place for solid food, and for milk? Those are facts, but you just dont go blurting out those facts because they are facts, right?

      Just as you "accommodate" weird traditions of Muhammad for the sake of the gospel, cannot White accommodate the main arguments that defend the Christian faith of the other apologists on his DL? I would even appreciate White formally critiquing them in journals than doing it on DL, because he would be more restrained in his analysis. There is a difference between giving a popular-level critique and a formal critique. I dont want to dwell on this more - we can see how well Wood makes the case. He is in the field so he can better tell how White is used by the other side.

      Btw, this IM series is a darn good example of how White "honestly" critiques the position of other Christians - using ad hominem to justify his critique (Like Wood not being subjected to his elder. That was said to attack his credibility) - without offering them a chance to rebut - on the platform frequented by dishonest Muslim polemicists. Now probably you would want to put a spin on what he meant by his comment - but that term "Anti-Muslim" has a pejorative meaning.

      Merriam-Webster:
      Anti-Muslim: characterized by or expressing hostility or discrimination toward Muslims or the Islamic faith

      And as far as I can tell, many people use the term synonymously with Islamophobia.

      Do you even know why Wood bothered to reply White, while Licona and Craig can afford to ignore the man? Is White right, for example, for calling Wood an anti-Muslim? How will the Muslim camp use that idiotic description of White for Wood? Isn't White explicitly challenging Wood's credibility here? It was very disturbing to see White go so low. And somehow, White does not consider these sort of credibility shots as attacks.

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    11. It is so surprising that as someone who has spent decades witnessing to Muslims, you cannot see any of these problems. Of all the people you should have appreciated the qualms of Wood et. al.

      You are a nice, gentle person, Ken, but let me share my opinion from our interaction thus far: Your hagiographic respect for White makes you immune to most of his shortcomings. You either dismiss inconvenient facts about White, or overlook them (this directly flows from your refusal to admit White's hypocrisy - I know you are yet to offer your rebuttal, but until you do I am justified in thinking this way about the hypocrisy discussion).

      Only Lord knows how accurate that opinion is - and since I dont know you at all, it probably is a fleeting one, but that is how your treating of White episodes looks to me. The compliment I will pay you is that you are much more pleasant to discuss this compared to other White supporters.

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    12. >>>I revised and expanded on my remarks in a new post: "Spitting at James White!"

      Good stuff, man.

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    13. I am not nice, nor gentle. I know my own sinful heart and temptations to anger and jealousy and pride. But I sincerely try to crucify my sins in discussions and informal debating in writing on com boxes in order to be a good witness for Christ. I try to think before I type.

      It is difficult to comment further at this time. I am tired and thought that I answered you. the articles here are pouring out so fast, I don't see how any one will have time to digest it all.

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    14. Ken, I dont think further responses are needed. Either you will agree with some or much of what I said, or we are at an impasse. Either ways, I have said as much as I could. I cannot make you see things my way, nor can you make me see things your way.

      Perhaps I wrote that reply to defend why some of us think White is unduly critical of his peers as if he has an axe to grind with those whom he disagrees with - and to offer my 2 cents on why possibly we can be at an impasse. After going through your articles on your blog, and what you wrote here - it became crystal clear to me that you think of him very, very highly. (Not that he doesn't deserve credit and respect for his good work over the years). But since I get worked up at the thought of one Christian - HOWEVER RIGHTEOUS in his own eyes - bickering/correcting/critiquing/going after another in the fashion that that behavior results in affecting the ministry of the other Christian in bringing people to Christ because of the use of that material by the polemicists of that religion - you/Geoff and I will always be at an impasse. Many of White's criticism are not done is love. It is done to suggest how right he is.

      If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

      I am quite convinced myself, but God is a better judge, that Dr. White little respect for those critical of Islam - at least I cannot see any love for them in the way he treats them. If that is not true I pray God opens my eyes, but if that is true, I hope God opens White's.

      Otherwise we are at an impasse. And I think we should rest it at that. You probably disagree strongly - and thats fine too.

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    15. I said: But since I get worked up at the thought of one Christian - HOWEVER RIGHTEOUS in his own eyes - bickering/correcting/critiquing/going after another in the fashion that that behavior results in affecting the ministry of the other Christian in bringing people to Christ because of the use of that material by the polemicists of that religion.

      To only exception to that is if that other Christian has sinned. In that case, a brotherly rebuke is required, although ideally not from one's roof top.

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    16. Did you see what I wrote below? - 6-15-2018 5:46 pm ?
      I wrote it earlier, but it is farther down the thread, than the one I wrote this morning.

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    17. Thanks James McCloud! :) I appreciate all your contributions too! :)

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    18. >>>Did you see what I wrote below? - 6-15-2018 5:46 pm ?

      I didn't until few minutes ago. Replied.

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  14. Another post that also maybe help in this whole thing:

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/the-love-of-christ-compels-us-to-keep-you-at-arms-length/

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  15. James McCloud,
    The logical sequence is fine, but after getting down to the end and having to go back and rethink "what was premise 2 and consequence 5 and number a? my brain scrambles.

    Since I changed my mind on Wood's methods of the series (although I don't personally like the adult breastfeeding scene nor the urination scene, etc. But I also missed some, etc.

    I don't think the charge of hypocrisy is fair.

    Maybe a blind spot or not seeing something or being too rigid on that "how the apostles did evangelism" thing - that I can agree is the problem. Seems like the regulative principle of worship on steroids and applied to evangelism James White does not see the method (Wood's video series) as valid; and while I don't like the method; I have changed my mind on that, that I explained - I see the value of it for David Wood and his group. Dr. White has not seen it as a valid alternative as acceptable method and so, I agree that that is a matter of both / and not either/or.

    At first I was shocked by the videos; and I could not do that method; but if is stops people from being Jihadist Muslims and gets them to leave Islam, that is good for the world. I personally could not do that kind of a thing ; but I realize that some Muslims are going to benefit from the ridiculousness of all that stuff being exposed to the world.

    And we can trust God to work in people's hearts later if He wants to.

    What David has been doing the past 2 or three sessions of the "Islami-cise Me" videos, putting Dr. White's videos in (Where Dr. White does critique the Hadith and shows it is backwards, goofy, ridiculous) and then showing that Dr. White's teaching helps in causing the Muslim characters to doubt Islam - that was brilliant.




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    1. Ken said:
      ---

      What David has been doing the past 2 or three sessions of the "Islami-cise Me" videos, putting Dr. White's videos in (Where Dr. White does critique the Hadith and shows it is backwards, goofy, ridiculous) and then showing that Dr. White's teaching helps in causing the Muslim characters to doubt Islam - that was brilliant.
      ---

      100% agree on that.

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    2. >>>The logical sequence is fine,

      If the premises are true, then you have to show how the conclusion (of White being a hypocrite) dont follow.

      >>>I don't think the charge of hypocrisy is fair.

      I am well aware you think that way, but you have to demonstrate that to be the case, and therefore you must prove that my conclusions (C1 in particular) are non-sequitur.

      If you cannot, you have no logical ground to assert that the conclusion of White being a hypocrite is unfair, unless you you are using the word fair/unfair in another way than it is generally used.

      Fair:
      treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination. or
      without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage.


      >>>James White does not see the method (Wood's video series) as valid; and while I don't like the method; I have changed my mind on that, that I explained

      I understand your stand. But I cannot allow the mental gymnastics you are doing to not call White a hypocrite, if you buy my premises and conclusion. You having changed your stance on the IM videos is completely irrelevant to the discussion, brother. It is as irrelevant as saying, "because I burped twice today, there was an earthquake in XYZ city. :)


      >>>At first I was shocked by the videos;

      Some of first impressions were me rolling in laughter. The breastfeeding video was my favorite video because it was full of satire. I would have actually have had a man bear the burka JUST TO AVOID this silliness Christians are claiming. White in fact sighed, "poor woman!" on his DL. Even as I was watching the video, and I felt uneasiness of what was being depicted (even though I knew it was fake), I thought to myself, maybe that is Sam Shamoun or some other man - because we saw nothing else to make an identification whether it was a man or a woman. In retrospection, putting a man there probably would have helped shut some unfair criticism, but that is a guess. But even as it stands, I dont have a problem.

      Later though, Spencer's first appearance (and maniacal laugh) became my favorite until it was displaced by the final video.

      >>>And we can trust God to work in people's hearts later if He wants to.

      That is ALL we can do, and a Calvinist should know this better.

      >>>What David has been doing the past 2 or three sessions of the "Islami-cise Me" videos, putting Dr. White's videos in (Where Dr. White does critique the Hadith and shows it is backwards, goofy, ridiculous) and then showing that Dr. White's teaching helps in causing the Muslim characters to doubt Islam - that was brilliant.

      I agree. But it was brilliant for two reasons. One, Wood has never doubted or discounted White's approach. He himself confesses that his approach is not for everyone. So of course White's approach can work. God is not limited to "our" feeble approaches.

      And two: because Wood is a satirist. White critiqued his "mockery" of Islam, and
      Wood used White's own permission to mock those stupid sayings. In doing so, Wood satirised more than Islam. Wood satirised White's misjudgment/inconsistency. It was a genius artistic stroke, if you ask me.

      A big smile ran through my face when on his last DL White assumed this to be an olive branch. It could have been that, but it was so much more. Babylon Bee would be proud.

      :)

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    3. Wood's main beef with White is White attacking other Christian methodologies and putting his methodology as THE methodology to go with.

      Only White's methodology wouldn't work, and that is the point of disagreement.

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    5. >>>It was a genius artistic stroke, if you ask me.

      Or to use a better phrasing, a stroke of artistic genius.

      How can Christians not appreciate such gifts (satirists like Wood) in the Church, is beyond me. But, one can only pray Our Triune God guides us all into better judgment. We are one family, after all.

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    6. Very good James McCloud;
      yes, Wood's using White's video was a stroke of artistic satirical genius.

      I agree that there is a blind-spot or weakness or imbalance in not seeing other methodologies and the process of pre-evangelism and longer term relationships as valid.

      It is a blind spot / weakness that I have noticed in most Calvinists, especially the more fundamentalist- separatistic types / regulative principle taken to extreme (the only valid methods are the apostles method thinking) (some of those types are also throwing Dr. White under the bus and they are even worse. (Pulpit and Pen, D. J. Hall; Seth Dunn; Steve Camp)

      James 3:13-18 is instructive for us all; and very deep and convicting.

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    7. >>>(the only valid methods are the apostles method thinking)

      Two valid questions pertaining that assumption can be:

      1. Did the apostles think so?
      2. Does God, through his scripture, commands us to do so?

      As a Christians, if any of those questions has an answer in a "yes", only then would it matter to me. And that has to be demonstrated. This is why I dont care what approach is used in service of the gospel - so long as the law of Christ is not breached, its all halal (pun intended).

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  16. As the great missionary and apostle to Islam, Samuel Zwemer wrote: "Islam lacks the love of God, & the Fatherhood of God to balance out the decrees of Predestination" ( I am going from memory) - I would add: "Islam lacks the atonement, incarnation, the humility and condescension of Jesus, and the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit"

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    1. Islam lacks the REAL God. I am completely convinced that if there was a spiritual force behind the Quranic revelation - it was the antithesis of the Christian God. I dont think there is anything in Islam that God inspired - not one thing.

      I am aware that Islam encourages many good, humanitarian things - and one may argue those are from God (for all things good are from God), but one could also argue that the Devil wanted to give some legitimacy to the religion, and borrowed the non-essential good stuff from the Judeo-Christian religion, but also balanced them out with evil stuff. On the one hand, Islam talks about feeding the poor and giving charity, on the other hands it commands to kill apostates, homosexuals, pagans, and subjugate the people of God. This has "SATAN" written all over it.

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    2. To think of it, the Quran arguably is more satanic than the Satanic Bible.

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  17. It took me a while, but I found what I was looking for in a com box of my discussion with Steve Hays about the Qadhi / Stealth Jihad vs. pre-Evangelistic ( my term) / apologetics dialogue with Dr. White issue.

    https://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/07/shilling-islamist-propaganda.html?showComment=1500661898871#c733252005687705278

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    1. I agree with every letter and punctuation of Steve's article.

      James has bought into the Muslim propaganda that because Islam is monolithic, it can be argued to be peaceful and only some Muslims are a problem. In his exchanges, that is his prime argument - that is, only certain percentage of Muslims want political Islamic dominance in the world, while others want to peacefully coexist. Or worse, every Christian would want the world to bow its knee to Christ, as if the parallel holds. Is Islam's lust for political and religious dominance of the same nature as a Christian's desire for complete/spiritual, voluntary allegiance to Christ?

      But even the monolithic argument does not resolve the threat we face from Islam, because of several reasons:

      1. The main threat of Islam are the political and cultural changes induced by its Sharia system. After a certain population strength is reached (I'd roughly guess at 5-10%), Muslims start demanding concessions on some laws and/or introduce or demand the legitimacy of some Islamic jurisprudence (like the sharia courts in UK). To my knowledge, there is no exception to this process. NONE. This only gets insidiously worsened by time, not better.

      2. The fact that Islam is not a monolithic religion does not change the fact that we still have to deal with those Muslims who believe in its violent teachings strongly even if they wont become violent (jihadi) themselves, and who number in tens or even hundreds of millions. White does not propose a way to differentiate the Islamists (who are not jihadists but approve of them, and who want sharia introduced) before the fact, or what to do with them post identification? Okay, preach the gospel - and their hearts are not changed - then do what? This is a political question that White foolishly ignores. When you have a bunch of people whose views are to overthrow your democracy in a gradual fashion - how are they to be dealt with? DO you launch specific educational programs to counter that (because the Islamists has their programs)? Different people will have different answers, but White even refuses to entertain that question.

      3. Spencer: Islam is not a religion of peace.
      White: Islam is not monolithic

      Me: So what? How does it change the fact that Islamists are not a minority group in Islam (anywhere from 20-30 % of their population based on pew poll). The numbers become even higher when you consider individual topics like penalty for apostasy, adultery, etc.

      4. Jihad is not the main threat of Islam, point no one is. Jihad is a strategy, not a goal unto itself. Islam is capable of inflicting domination without explicit violence. The whole dhimmi concept is that.

      5. Point 1 makes Islam extremely hostile to unbelievers.

      6. Just because Islam is not monolithic, does it follow that a judgment on whether or not it is hostile towards non-Muslims cannot be reached? Does one require a strictly homogeneous group to be able to conclude anything about them? If that is the case, we can never believe the Bible promotes peace - ever, because it have violence mentioned in some part, and therefore is not homogeneous in its teaching!

      7. In his debate with Spencer, White did not produce a single school of jurisprudence that did not teach jihad - therefore his argument that Islam is not monolithic in the context of Jihad is BS. The existence of moderate or disillusioned Muslims does not alter this fact.

      That is my take on the matter.

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    2. Did you read my reply to Steve's article in the com-boxes?

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    3. I made a comment in the middle of the comboxes and then at the end where Steve and I came very close to agreement.

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    4. *James has bought into the Muslim propaganda that because Islam isnt monolithic,

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    5. If you meant this: but the MAIN point is still Dr. White is not waiting until that day might happen 50 years from now after we are dead to try and do some kind of outreach to Muslims such as Qadhi and the other Muslims who attended and who were at the second night in the 2 part dialogue.

      My response: that is not the moot point for me. For some people it seems that just because Qadhi was invited in a church building or among Christians there was something wrong with that - alternatively - there are people who on the other side of the spectrum feel that since White clarified the gospel among Muslims the second evening all was fine. You belong in the latter group.

      I hold neither perspectives. My issue with White is not the initiation of the dialogue, but his obstinacy is calling into question the character and/or motive of those who are against militant / political Islam for no better reasons than his prejudices or his obtuseness.

      My issue with White is his blatant and foolish disregard for politics. The man is so drenched in theology that he has forgotten that there is a real world outside of academically studying scripture. If you have a problem with gay friendly laws, you HAVE to discuss politics. If you dont want your religious rights to be walked you, you HAVE to discuss politics. If you dont want your constitution to be misinterpreted and freedom of speech laws diluted, you HAVE to discuss politics. If you dont want sharia to slowly creep into your country, you HAVE to discuss politics. You may pontificate the theological depths of all these questions, but you will have to engage in politics if you have to actually deal with it. Likewise, if you want to confront the political aspects of Islam, you HAVE to discuss its politics, and not just how it theologically disagrees with the gospel.

      Fundamentally, I am educated in the sciences and in business. Both those domains are obsessed with practical consideration. White sees everything theologically, and is not a realist. I dont buy the nonsense that one have to abandon practicality and pit it against the gospel, like he does with Wood's methods. He does not consider the practical threats of Islam that the world is facing. White expects that theology can influence politics - but it is not always the case. We are not in 12th century Europe anymore. White is not a practical man when it comes to discussing Islam because he not only ignores but dismisses important questions concerning the Islamic threat. And if that wasn't worse, his over-friendliness with other Islamists, and his lack of consistency are further muddling the whole thing.

      My issue is with White interfering in political/practical discussions without either understanding them, or if he does, then being a total hypocrite about it. A good example is his ridiculous thesis in his debate with Spencer. My primary concern is White's denial of the threats of Islam and how they would related of any person who is not a Muslim, especially a Christian.

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    7. >>>overall, Dr. White avoided all that stuff to get to the essential spiritual issues)

      Avoided? He continues to avoid that stuff. Look, Ken, I am not a theologian, so I wont pretend to obsesses over theological matters as some of you guys. I am gospel oriented, but as a lay person.

      I understand that there are serious theological/spiritual issues at play here - but their manifestations are very real. I dont mind if White or anyone wants to address those deep spiritual roots - go ahead - but if he does only that, and then turns around and negatively label those wanting to deal with the physical manifestations of the evil of Islam on planet reality as anti-Muslims or in-it-for-money - that I take an issue with.

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    8. P.S. I also take an issue with his apologetics. I dont care how RIGHT you are in critiquing people - if the enemies of the Christian faith (Muslim polemicists because they interfere with Christian evangelising and per Matt 13:30 are against Christ) end up using much of your argumentation in a counter-argument to the missions of other Christian apologists, and if they disproportionately choose your arguments over any other Christians' - I sense a spiritual problem here, along with the practical one.

      Therefore, personally, I dont care how wrong Wood/others is/are (unless they sin) - if your ministry is such that you become an obstruction to the spreading of the faith in other missions - Wood/others is/are the least of our concern.

      P.P.S But I did not want to bring this point up again until Wood makes a case against White with respect to facts. Because without specific facts, we are just throwing opinions without grounding ourselves.


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    9. *the reference for the preceding post is Matt 12:30

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