The Hunt/White Debate
Denied Chapter 12: GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY AND MAN'S WILL
by Dave Hunt
The Calvinistic definition of sovereignty, as noted many times, is what drives it to the logical conclusion that God must be the ultimate author of sin, regardless of their attempts to break all the rules of logic to avoid it. This is a terrible slur upon the honor of God and the concepts of love and justice. It also raises many unanswerable questions for Calvinism concerning many passages of scripture as well as our own experiences.
Hunt then spends the bulk of this chapter listing all the scriptural references that speak of the will of man, all of which is rendered meaningless or a cruel hoax if there is no such thing or it is redefined to turn "not free" into "free" simply by declaring it to be so. Then Hunt discusses the power of God and how this is not violated by man’s free will any more than sovereignty is.
On the matter of punishment and reward, Hunt argues against Augustine’s claim that "when the reward shall come, God shall crown his own gifts, not your merits". But I am surprised he did not mention passages such as Mt. 6 which mentions rewards half a dozen times, or 1 Cor. 3:8 and 14, Eph. 6:8, Heb. 11:6, or 2 John 1:8 among others.
Response, by James White
Seeing White’s response, filled once again with name-calling and bitterness, I am reluctant to even read through anything else he may have to say. Hunt has been more than gracious in spite of it, but there comes a point when one must walk away from an uncivil and mean-spirited opponent. However, Hunt is obligated to complete the debate, especially since he is the only participant who remembers the title.
Defense, by Dave Hunt
Hunt continues on in spite of everything, addressing once again the arguments White keeps repeating and the teachings of Calvin. This system, Hunt explains, reduces God to one that cannot endure the freedom of His creatures, is too small to live by His own standards, and cannot be loved without forcing them to love Him. This is a very strange sovereignty indeed.
Then Hunt notes White’s claim of accepting "everything the Bible says about man’s will" while he brushes off all the ones Hunt listed as being "irrelevant". And by example he shows that White confuses Hunt’s rebuttals to his claims with Hunt saying it’s what White argued. And Hunt is justified in responding to White’s claim about God hardening hearts, "If they were ’dead’ and ’unable to respond positively to God’, He wouldn’t need to harden them, would He?"
Final Remarks, by James White
I made myself read White’s response, but couldn’t find where he actually address what he was supposed to respond to, at least nothing he hasn’t already said more than once. Did he not read what Hunt said about "hardening hearts"? Or did he not comprehend it? But rather than actually face Hunt’s arguments White prefers to introduce an extreme philosophical view that free will is completely impossible. But this view is in the same class as things like theoretical physics, which are completely based upon mathematics and nothing on reality. I’ve studied this elsewhere and it leads to the absurd conclusion that not even God has a free will, which White should have known would contradict his many claims to the contrary.
Final Remarks, by Dave Hunt
Hunt agrees with my assessment of White’s mere repetition of prior claims and failure to offer anything new.