Wednesday, September 1, 2010

James White debates Catholic, Robert Sungenis

In the youtube clip, Calvinist James White is debating with Catholic theologian, Robert Sungenis. Obviously there are things upon which we all agree, such as the Deity of Christ and the bodily resurrection, and we wouldn’t want to toss those theologies out, simply because they are held by Catholics as well. So we wouldn’t want to throw out the doctrine of an Unlimited Atonement, simply because it is also held by Catholics. What perplexes me is the fact that James White cites Revelation 5:9 in defense of his logic, which doesn’t seem to add up. Revelation 5:9 states: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” I suppose that a Calvinist would infer that the “men” purchased are the elect men, and the elect men are drawn from the base pool of the whole world, that is, people from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” It would seem that this is simply a euphemism for the whole world. Certainly the Calvinists do believe that the Calvinistically elect are indeed drawn from the base pool of the whole world. Well, at 1st John 2:1-2, it is precisely this world that has a propitiation. By James White’s reasoning, though, this would necessarily entail Universalism, because everyone who HAS a propitiation, must therefore BE propitiated. However, this is a forced conclusion, because if you consider the analogy of Numbers 21:6-9, should we infer that every snake victim was necessarily propitiated, simply by virtue of having the propitiation of the serpent on the standard? Of course, that is verifiably false, since God stated that the only ones who receive the benefits of the propitiation, are those who actually look upon the standard. Similarly, then, everyone in the world, that is, people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, HAVE a propitiation, but are not necessarily propitiated unless or until they actually look upon Christ in faith, and only then receive the benefits of the propitiation, which includes eternal life. This is fairly straight-forward, and it shows that both Revelation 5:9 and 1st John 2:1-2 are in agreement that the base pool of the whole world is what is in focus.

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