Monday, November 15, 2010

FacePalm of the Day # 28 - Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Infallible Salvation: James White Stumped On Dividing Line

Thegrandverbalizer does not really like James White. Not even a little bit. On the blog written by  thegrandverbalizer, there is post written against last Thursday's Dividing Line. I am really amazed that thegrandverbalizer saw the program so differently. I'm going to focus only on two problems I've had with this post: The first one is as follows:
At the request of a fellow Muslim who wanted me to hear James White not admit that he made a terrible blunder in picking up a low level polemic directed against the Qur'an I tuned it to listen to the dividing line (division and lies). Sure enough James White in his infinite knowledge of Arabic (sarcasm aside)
Now the person who called in to the dividing line (Johnny) -May Allah open his heart if he is not already a Muslim to the obfuscation of James White asked the good 'Dr' a very good question.
thegrandverbalizer makes it sounds like Johnny only asks one question. This isn't true. Dr White spent ten minutes on a precursor question before the one thegrandverbalizer brings up. I urge everyone to listen to the who program toi see see how badly Dr. white was being represented.
He asked James White are you aware of any differences of interpretation by Muslims on this particular passage.
What does James White say in response? "I wouldn't...uh I'm not aware of what Ibn Kathir said versus somebody else in this particular one so....ALREADY MAN WERE OUT OF TIME ....
There you have it folks! I am not aware of what Ibn Kathir said! Who cares! Who cares when he has the 'Assyrian Encyclopedia'. Indeed James!
Dr. White ran out of time on the program. Johnny came on about 50 minutes into an hour long show.  He spent considerable amount of time answering Johnny about Surah 2:37 and if God repents. I think that Dr White answered this very well. Johnny's second question was what Dr. White knew about alternate Muslim interpretations? He said that he didn't know without doing further research. How is this being stumped or dishonest?
So that's the dividing line (the one I am always hounded to call in to get clarification from James about issues). Get real! The dividing line is like 20-30 minutes of James White talking, with some promos about his books, or the latest gadget his people helped him to buy. He goes on and on boring people about his latest bike rides (that's great he likes to be in shape).
I'm amazed by thegrandverbalizer's characterizations of what goes on during the show. I like tech gadgets and hearing others experience in using them. Might bore some people but not me. I don't care about bike riding but it does help me to remember Dr. James White is just like us...just a person and not a talking head.  I can tell thegrandverbalizer does not really listen. Because not only did White answer Johnny's first question but he also stated why he ignores people like thegrandverbalizer and does not respond to them.  Then the grandverbalizer posted this blog post I'm discussing, proving Dr. White correct.
But wouldn't you expect a program to actually be dedicated to taking calls?
I obviously listen to the Dividing Line more than thegrandverbalizer does. If he did he would know that there are times where the whole program is spent answering questions from the phone and from skype.
My second problem is the grandverbalizer's comments regarding Gerald's (from Australia) call  regarding infant baptism. I agreed with what Dr. White said: it makes no sense to give a child baptism or the Lord's Supper unless they have demonstrated the evidences for having been saved. In my own life, my parents didn't just baptize me until I was olkd enough to make that decision for myself. Thegrandverbalizer wrote regarding John 15: 1-8:
Personally this is very gnostic language and I find it hard to attribute these words to Esau ibn Maryam what the Christians call Jesus the son of Mary. I do not challenge it on textual grounds. I simply challenge the text because anyone who knows anything basic about botany can find lots of problematic issues regarding the analogy that Jesus is supposed to be giving here.
 I come from a long line of farmers and I know that if you want a tree or vine to produce fine crop you must prune it. Thegrandverbalizer offers no proof that the passage has scientific problems only he doesn't like it..
Hence Christians had to backtrack statements like 'good trees bear good fruit and bad trees bear bad fruit' because most people who think deeply about statements like that find them problematic.
In the context here Jesus is not talking about multiple trees. There is only one vine - Himself.  I'm not sure what the point is here or what scripture is being referenced regarding good trees and bad trees.  What is the problem being discussed?
Any way the question would be do I remain in Christ (by my own volition and will) or do I remain in Christ because of Christ? After all if I am able to do all these works because I abide in Christ (and I do not do them of my own accord) why would Christ allow for me to become spoiled?
Here is the disconnect!  We don't remain in Christ by our own will....and it's not against our will. God changes us so that we want to remain and can remain in Christ.  The spoiled branches are apostates. They are not really part in the first place. They are castaways! We are in Christ because of His grace not because of us. No wonder thegrandverbalizer did not understand this point.
That's the Christian relationship with God a very uncertain roller coaster! A ride that could end up in eternal heaven or in an eternal furnace.
 If you think the way thegranverbalizer thinks about what we mean by salvation then of course you would come to this conclusion. Go back and listen to the broadcast. Dr.White was saying that ewe can't be 100% certain about anyone else's salvation because we can;t see their heart. We don't know if another person truly believes aside from what they say and do. We can however be sure and certain about our individual self. I am personally and blessedly assured of my own salvation. The Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God (Romans 8:16). To Thegrandverbalizer: are you sure?

Here is thegrandverbalizer's post:
Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Infallible Salvation: James White Stumped On Dividing Line

Here is the Dividing Line he was referring to:
Today on the Dividing Line: Mark 1:41 and Hebrews 2:9 in the SBLGNT Plus Calls
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