James White Vs. George Bryson

A long while back I posted a link to the following videos. Now that I figured out how to post the actual videos on my blog (I am not tech-savvy), I decided to post the following two. They are both from the same debate that was held at Anaheim Vineyard (I think). You'll quickly discern that the debate is about Calvinism and Arminianism with James White (Alpha & Omega Ministries) espousing the former and George Bryson (Calvary Chapel Theology) the latter. In the first video White cross-examines Bryson regarding John 6:44. I think it's fair to say that this is a very good example of when one's presuppositions that are brought to the biblical text do not, in fact, cannot, withstand the scrutiny of it and yet the subject (i.e., the one holding to his presuppositions) persistently does all that he can to make sense out of his no longer sustainable preconceived ideas. After all, admitting to it would necessitate radical ramifications for one's view of God, man, and the Bible, especially when it comes to the good ol' Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. I do not think it's necessarily fair to say that Bryson wasn't trying to honor God, however. That much I think we should give him credit for.

Note: The title of this video, "Why George Bryson Won't Debate Anymore," is inaccurate and unfair as Mr. Bryson is willing to debate James White again. Here is what Mr. Bryson wrote me, "I have also offered to debate White on the question 'Does Calvinism teach that God is the author is sin?' He has declined so far which is his right to do." It'll be nice to verify this with James White.

Note2: Here is what James White wrote me recently: "I recently devoted some time on the DL to taking apart some of his most recent attempts to get around John 6, for example. We have tried to get him to commit to debate, but he has one caveat: no cross examination. Well, that's where a debate takes place, of course. He also does not want to debate a biblical topic, but only something where he has nothing to defend and can only attack."

The second video is James White's closing statement. Simply biblical and quite powerful!

Credit: Dr. Oakley 1689


George said...

Dear No Mo

I do not have a problem with you finding disagreement with me on your web site. It actually helps me sell my books. I do not mind hearing that you cannot understand what I am saying-because it confirms my theory that many Calvinist cannot understand what they do not agree with or are committed to.

I am troubled by the myth that you and others are perpetuating-perhaps the result of innocent ignorance or convienient deception. The myth is that I am not willing to debate James White. I have actually enjoyed my debates with Mr. White (three hours on nation wide radio-in front of a live audience of mostly devoted Calvinists, and in two widely circulated published articles.

I have also offered to debate White on the question "Does Calvinism teach that God is the author is sin"? He has declined so far which is his right to do.

If you care about the truth, and as of now I will assume you do, you will remove that childish nonsense from this site. I do not know you and have nothing personal against you-but I would appreciate it if you would remove that "lie". If you are sure your source is accurate-please let me know who that is and I will take it up with him or her or them. Thanks for your kind attention to this matter. In Christ, George L. Bryson

George said...

Not every Calvinist will admit (or can even see) the implications of sin relative to God and the Reformed view of an all encompassing divine decree. Some will admit more than others.

For example, while trying to figure out what a particular group of Calvinists actually believed I proposed (to them) the following view of God relative to sin:

“Every murder, every rape, every child molestation, every immoral act, every depraved sin of every kind, every evil a man can think of and act out is as much a result of the all encompassing decree of God as is every good deed, every kind act, every loving gesture…


To rob God of His right to do whatever He chooses to do (which is everything that has ever been done or will ever be done) is to deny that God is sovereign over all. It is to reduce the infinite God (in the fallen imagination of a godless man) to the level of wicked men…


Most professing Christians will say that God has the right to do as He pleases. I will go further and say that whatever God does is right. If God does it-that makes it right and the day will come when those who deny that God has the right to do anything and every thing (and He has and always will exercise that right) will learn how wrong they have been!”

I deliberately stated this (i.e., God is the author of sin) view as strongly, as clearly, and as unapologetically as I could.

I gave those I was talking with an opportunity to deny, modify, or qualify their acceptance or rejection of this view.

They unequivocally agreed that what I represented (as stated above) as the most extreme view of Calvinism that I could imagine, was indeed what they believed to be true of authentic Calvinism and by extension of orthodox and biblical Christianity.

For these Calvinists (who consider themselves consistent-supralapsarian- Calvinists) in the mainstream of historic Calvinism, I decided to quote relevant portions of a paper written to explain and defend the God is the author of sin thesis.

The author of the God is the author of sin paper I quoted (and will include what I quoted for your careful consideration) not only understands Calvinism in general but the various representations (as well as the arguments put forward on their behalf) of Calvinism as well.

While I emphatically disagree with the author’s thesis that Scripturally Speaking God is or even could be the author of sin, I agree with him that this is at least the clear implications of a consistent Reformed theology.

Here are some relevant portions of some of what he wrote and I included for the Calvinists I was conversing with:

“When Reformed Christians are questioned on whether God is the “author of sin,” they are too quick to say, “No, God is not the author of sin.” And then they twist and turn and writhe on the floor, trying to give man some power of “self-determination,” and some kind of freedom that in their minds would render man culpable, and yet still leave God with total sovereignty.

Again, I asked these particular Calvinists if this paper reflected their view and got an enthusiastic “yes” it does.

With all of this in mind I would like to issue a respectful challenge to James White to either state his disagreement with these Calvinists and deny that Calvinism teaches that God is the author of sin-and debate me-allowing me the opportunity to prove that a consistent Calvinist does teach that God is the author of sin.

Of course, if Mr. White believes that Calvinism does actually teach that God is the author of sin, the debate would be "Does the Bible teach that God is the author of sin", in which I would argue "no" and Mr. White could argue "yes".

Waiting for a reply from Mr. White

Mo' said...

Having watched the video again, I actually do understand what you are saying, but disagree with you. I am of the thought that those whom God draws (or enables) will surely come (behold the son and believe in Him, [Jn 6:40]) and be raised at the last day whereas your position is that those whom God draws (or enables) may or may not come and therefore, may or may not be raised in the last day (you said, “making you able to come does not make you come… if he is drawn and doesn’t come to him, then in fact he will not be raised up in the last day”). We can have a long discussion on this topic, which I assume you’ve had with many Calvinist, but I do want you to see that I, as a Calvinists, do not agree with your interpretation though I do understand it. I’m sure you’ll accuse me now of disagreeing with your interpretation because of my Calvinistic commitment.

I do hope that you not reserve your theory only for the Calvinists (paragraph 1), but also for Arminians, atheists, Buddhists, etc. That is, I hope your theory is balanced and goes both ways.

I will be fair and take off the comment below the video so as to not misrepresent you (initially, it just sounded confusing) and also any personal references made to the title of the video, “Why George Bryson Won’t Debate Anymore,” within my post. I will even add a note stating that the title of the video is inaccurate as you are actually willing to debate James White again (I will even provide evidence by quoting your comment in my blog). I will not take off the video, however. I hope this shows you that I have no intention of perpetuating a lie concerning you.

I am actually surprised that you do not know the source of the video. I got it from James White’s Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/DrOakley1689). You can take it up with him.

Thanks for reminding me to be a careful student of the Bible. May God continue to bless you!


Mo' said...

Thanks for your second comment. You obviously have some unfinished business with James White. But I don't think it'll do any good to post your respectful challenge to White on my blog. I doubt that he'll ever read it being that I really am a nobody and my blog has a really low readership. May be I'll try to forward it to him. Should the debate ever take place please invite me as I'd love to hear you men debate live and in person. May be I'll even say "hi" to you. May God bless you!


ajax3955 said...

Mo, also see www.defendthefaith.org and contact Jeff Durbin, who has been teaching us on the Doctrines of Grace at Apologia Church in Tempe, AZ. Jeff knows Dr. White very well and has had Dr. White on his radio show on KPXQ 1360-AM here in Phoenix. I would say that Jeff would like to have you on as a guest as well.