"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    Baptists and Calvinism Debate, October 16, 2006

    On October 16, 2006, Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and Pastor Dr. Tom Ascol, will be debating Dr. Emir Caner of Southwestern Seminary, and his brother, Dr. Ergun Caner of Liberty University, at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, on the topic of "Baptists and Calvinism."

    Concerning this debate, John Orlando writes, "The matters being discussed are central to Biblical Christianity. Some people refer to this as an in house debate, but I prefer to call it an in community debate. We are in the same community, in that we are united in Christ, believing that salvation is by faith alone in the finished work of Christ. But if we’re honest, these are two completely different houses built upon two totally different foundations. One house is built on the sure foundation of an omnipotent and absolutely sovereign, Triune and perfect God who brings about all of His perfect will without fail, and the blood of a perfect Savior who never fails to save those given to Him by the Father, and the mighty regenerating power and grace of the Holy Spirit of God, who never fails to bring those chosen from before the foundation of the world to saving faith by first removing their stony hearts and giving them hearts of flesh. The other house is built on the sand of human autonomy and vain human philosophy that ultimately places man as the captain of his own ship, and God as the innocent bystander who nervously paces the halls of heaven in hopes that someone…anyone, might “select” Him. One house can rightly say that salvation is by grace alone, because it is a grace that is truly amazing in that it secures, and bestows, all that is necessary for salvation, to include the ability to savingly believe the Gospel and repent from sin. The other house can only say that salvation is by grace, but that grace doesn’t secure or bestow anything except an “opportunity” for the person, in the power of his own flesh, to muster up the moral ability to comply with the command to repent and believe the Gospel."

    This quote is taken from an article John Orlando has written that highlights the issues foundational to the debate, found here. Though the article is a little lengthy, I am sure many of our readers will find the citations regarding the Arminian view of the atonement and inerrancy to be highly informative.

    Posted by John Samson on October 5, 2006 12:29 AM


    This debate should be interesting at the least. I sat under Emir Caner and can say he was a very gracious teacher towards me. I hope that there is some understanding reached so that Baptist's especially will become more reformed. May it be so!

    Emir is gracious and listens. Ergun, not so much. I had lunch with them about 5 years ago and Ergun asked me if I was "a Calvinist or a Baptist." I find such category confusions to be inemical to good discussion, and more fitting in a situation where one desires to win as opposed to come to the right knowledge of God.

    Ergun's ignorance of this subject is made manifest through his arrogance. May God break through his calloused presuppositions and bring him to an understanding of the truth as a result of this debate.

    Should this not be entitled an "Arminian and Calvinism" debate? There are many Baptist which would affirm the issues about which the Calvinist here agree.

    The debate on October 16th has been cancelled.

    Read the conclusion of this amazing story on James White's blog:

    I agree completely with David McCrory. There are many, many Baptists who are Reformed in their soteriology. Just think of Spurgeon, Mark Dever, John Piper, John MacArthur, and many others.


    No one was suggesting they weren't. James White and Tom Ascol, the gentlemen who were in the debate itself, are Reformed Baptists.

    Apparently this debate has been cancelled?

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