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 weâ€™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 someoneâ€¦anyone, might â€œselectâ€ 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 doesnâ€™t secure or bestow anything except an â€œopportunityâ€ 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.