Tuesday, October 13, 2009

James White Is Projecting Again

I pay attention to James White only occasionally these days and I noticed something that's probably been happening forever that didn't pop out at me like it has been doing recently. James White may be the best example of someone that is projecting that I know of.

In his debate with Barker there was a lot about how atheists will do whatever it takes to discredit the Bible. They'll latch on to crazy views and adhere to bad scholarship to sustain their atheism and justify their God-hating ways.

This is true for me, says James White. When I explained to him that he was misrepresenting Dan Barker's claims (and I explained more fully here) he ultimately hung up on me and finished with words to the effect that some people just can't see, etc. Well, he's right about that, but isn't it him rather than me? Later he writes about how I throw consistency to the wind just so I can suppress knowledge of God.

Now there is a scholar in Europe that thinks Genesis 1:1 has been mistranslated all these years. Rather than saying "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" it should read "In the beginning God separated the heaven and the earth." So it's not a creation out of nothing but an ordering of pre-existing material. That's not too far from what I've long understood was an exegetical option (see under exegetical points here), but I'm not qualified to say who's right.

For James White this is "Stunningly Silly". Bunch of hubris. She lacks humility and balance.

Unlike James White?

James White is a young earth creationist. Why would anybody be a young earth creationist except because they are desperate to sustain their Christianity? How's the scholarship on that? Who's latching on to crazy arguments to sustain their beliefs? All of these scientists are wrong? When he rejects the scientific consensus, does that demonstrate hubris or lack of consistency?

James White is a Calvinist who believes Christ's atoning sacrifice paid only for the sins of the elect. 2 Peter 2:1 reads "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves." Somehow that doesn't mean that Christ's atoning sacrifice paid for the sins of the reprobate. How is that possible you ask? In the end it doesn't matter. James White has a prior commitment to limited atonement. That's all you really need to know.

I John 2:1-2 reads "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world"

Well, that just means Christians all over the world, says James White in The Potter's Freedom. Really? Is that what he means with "world"? Because in the same chapter of the same book he uses the same word again. "15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world."

James White spins away at these problems further in TPF. He skips 2 Pet 2:1, though you know he'd resolve it somehow. He approaches the text with the idea of "How can I man handle the bible to make it say what I need it to say to sustain my Calvinism, which is clearly taught at Romans 9."

My point is this. Is it really atheists that approach texts with pre-determined conclusions? Note my approach to the question of Genesis 1:1. I don't know. If it's true that it has been mistranslated over these years, then this is another strike against evangelical Christianity. So if all I cared about was suppressing knowledge of God and denying the truth of the Bible I suppose I'd start by assuming that this scholar is right. Why don't I do that? Because I have no prior commitment to either conclusion. So I am free to consider the question on the merits. James White's conclusion is already known before the evidence has even been evaluated. We don't need to see him exegete 2 Pet 2:1. We know where he will end up no matter what a text says about universal atonement.

Notice that the same was true regarding the point I brought up with Josephus. James White was obviously ignorant of the matter, but this makes no difference. He already knew there was nothing to it before even evaluating it. An open minded person would say "That's interesting. Never heard of it. I'll look into it and see what the evidence shows." Not James White. There's no need to look into it. He's got that prior commitment. And yet he would have us believe it is atheists that are blinded by their prior commitments. It's really quite the opposite.

1 comment:

Paul Kenny said...

Excellent points. James white a fraud.