The Hunt/White Debate
Denied Chapter 11: TURNING THE BIBLE INTO A CHARADE
by Dave Hunt
No one would dispute that scripture is filled with commands for us to spread the gospel, and that the gospel is to accept Jesus as Savior because he died for our sins and rose again. But according to Calvinism, most of the people who will ever have heard the gospel were reprobate, making them unable to respond. And since God saves by His own eternal decree, then of what purpose is repentance and faith? Of what purpose is hearing the gospel? Of what purpose is all the Bible says about choosing? If Calvinism is true, then most of the Bible really is a charade.
The quotes from Calvin and others prove beyond doubt that Calvinism believes God ordained the fall of man. But as Hunt rightly asks, how does this not make God the author of sin? If White wants to assign guilt by association, he should realize that this teaching is identical to that of Mormonism. And the standard rebuttal from Calvinism, that God can violate the very principles He gave mankind about justice and mercy, is exactly like the Islamic principle of "abrogation", where Allah can be as nonsensical, fickle, and incomprehensible as he pleases while holding his creatures to much higher and stricter standards. But it was Jesus Himself who said, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Mt. 7:11). So here we have explicit scriptural backing for the principle of using our own sense of mercy, evil though it may be, to show that God’s must be higher and greater.
The narrative Hunt gives about this is exactly what I have heard for years from atheists who testify to the reason they hate and reject God. But they have heard the Calvinist teaching and rejected it, not the Biblical gospel. It is only Calvinism which paints this picture of a God who would create sinners and then condemn them for being what He made them to be. So it is only Calvinism which can be held responsible for so maligning the character of God as to harden the hearts of many. Calvinists claim that it is only "the offense of the cross" that does this, but in my experience I have only heard these lost souls speak of the particular view of God given by Calvinism.
Response, by James White
White immediately launches into a diatribe against his opponent, seemingly oblivious to all that he himself has said about such fallacious tactics. He would not, as I have stated several times, tolerate such behavior from Hunt. Again White seems to think this debate is entitled something like "Why Dave Hunt is a Heretic" instead of "Debating Calvinism", demanding that Hunt turn from the real topic and put himself on the witness stand. And he has the gall to accuse Hunt of "harsh rhetoric"! White offers no new arguments but simply rehashes his earlier assertions about how various verses are to be interpreted. He continues to chide Hunt for not veering from the topic of what Calvinism teaches and acts as though Hunt has never addressed any points he’s made, even while claiming he misunderstands and twists them.
After many words White finally settles down enough to respond to Hunt’s point about Calvinism turning the Bible into a charade. But his response is merely to state what Hunt has already shown to be a non-answer: God can decree that which is in violation of all we know about His nature. In all the paragraphs following he never even discusses why he believes this is not a cruel joke by God against the reprobate.
Defense, by Dave Hunt
Hunt addresses White’s wild accusations and emotional outbursts with calmness, and reminds him that he has in fact discussed those passages White accuses him of ignoring. That Hunt disagrees with the Calvinist interpretation does not amount to ignoring or misunderstanding anything. He goes on to describe the Calvinist concept of "free will", which turns out to be much like the statement in Orwell’s book Animal Farm: "Some animals are more equal than others". In Calvinism, some wills are more free than others. And in that same vein, Hunt calls such contradictions "double-talk".
Later he notes that what White says about how God saves— that God "uses the preaching of the gospel to bring His elect unto salvation"— is an admission that regeneration isn’t what precedes faith. Finally, Hunt states a pivotal truth: that "Calvinism puts the blame on God instead of on Christ-rejecting men." Either man has no choice but to sin and thus no responsibility for sin, or man does have this choice and thus not this responsibility.
Final Remarks, by James White
I was unable to find any new or pertinent point to comment on in this section.
Final Remarks, by Dave Hunt
Hunt simply observes as I did that White has not addressed the point of this chapter at all.