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"...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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  • « Contending with the Puritan John Goodwin on John 3:16 | Main | Comfort in the Precious Promises of God »

    Dr. Norman Geisler's "Parable of the Farmer" - Refuted

    Some years ago I read Dr. Norman Geisler's book "Chosen but Free" and followed it up with Dr. James' White's response in a book called "The Potter's Freedom." It became clear to me that one side wanted to exegete the texts of Scripture in detail, giving them the necessary respect, and quite honestly, one side seemingly did not. This whole process brought me from semi-confusion on some of these issues to becoming a convinced 5 point Calvinist. I am aware of others who have taken the very same journey as myself through reading the two books mentioned above. Even though James has Scottish blood running in his veins and I have Welsh and Irish (and grew up in England), in the course of time, Dr. White became a good friend of mine, and I am very grateful for the very positive impact he has, and continues to have in my life and ministry.

    The reason I say all this is because it was fascinating for me today to watch a 28 minute video by Dr. White on youtube, responding once again to Dr. Geisler's "Parable of the Farmer." On this video you will hear Dr. Geisler in his own words, as well as Dr. White's response.

    In spite of James wearing a very strange bright orange hat, which most sane people would never dream of wearing outside, let alone inside (James - how did you keep a straight face while wearing a hat like this??), I feel that anyone with an open mind will see the clarity of the biblical position. - Rev. John Samson

    Posted by John Samson on July 30, 2008 07:22 PM

    Comments

    Is it possible for someone to post Christian videos on godtube.com for those of us who filter out youtube?

    This is a technical question that I would assume is more for your internet provider than for this forum.

    Kevin,

    I assume the filter you are referring to is one on your own computer? Why not just uncensor youtube? Sure there is a lot of junk on there. But there is also much good content. External restraints sometimes help in the Christian walk. But the battle is won and lost in the sinful and righteous desires, which are ultimately controlled by the mind. That is why we are to set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:2), to renew our mind (Romans 12:2), and take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5) The more we meditate on the Scriptures, the more we will desire God and his righteousness. Then and only then will we have the desire to put down the old desires and submit to the desires that come from our new nature in Christ.

    So, all that to say, if you still feel too weak to allow your self to surf the net without a filter, then keep the filter. But you can get to a place where you don't need the filter anymore.

    Last, you might contact James White's ministry and see if he has ever thought of posting simultaneously to youtube and godtube for his ministry videos.

    Here is his website,

    http://www.aomin.org/

    Blessings to you Kevin as you seek to serve God in your thoughts and actions,

    Alan


    His hat didn't have quite the mesmerizing effect on me that the lava lamp in the background did. I couldn't stop watching it!

    Thank you for this. I picked up "Chosen But Free" in the clearance section of a bookstore, knowing I wouldn't agree with it, but wanting to be informed. I think you just saved me some time and effort.

    as Mr White expresses a desire to exegete the relevant passages of Calvinism with someone, could I volunteer,James Bertram

    Kevin,
    I find it very honorable and muture for you to request a video on Godtube because your filter won't allow it. I know so many men who struggle with the internet and rightfully they block their acess to not make previsions for the flesh. The passage in which Jesus talks about cutting off your arm if it makes you sin is fleshed out in our day by limiting ourselves on the internet if that is needed.
    Alan, I wouldn't assume that you would tell a Christian who used to drink to go out and buy a 12 pack and keep it in his refrigarator and tell him to just over come the issue. Rather, I would suspect and hope that you would tell him to not buy the beer. There is time when the flesh is weak. Would you even be alone ith another woman besides your wife (if your married). I would hope not... you wouldn't be al one with a women because you would not even allow the flesh to wonder. This is the same thing that Kevin is doing. So many Christians presumme pornography is just a small issue and if you slip then don't worry about it but it is completely BIG and we must recognize this and fight against it!

    White begns his rebuttal of "The Parable of the Farmer", not by denying the significance Geislar gave to the parable but by denying the symbolic presentations themselves within the parable. For example, he claims Geislar's first "flaw" was that he used a "creature, a mere man to represent a holy God."

    It's a story, a parable. It need not repesent in every detail what it symbolizes. The purpose of parable is not exact representation but the conveyance of a particular truth through normal life settings. Jesus did the same thing. Does White have an exegetical response correcting his flawed use of a "creature, a mere man" - the father - "to represent a holy God" in the parable of the prodigal?

    Stein explains that a parable "covers a broad range of meanings in the Bible." However, they are all fundamentally "a comparison of two dissimilar" - not similar - "things". He further states, "Ultimately any comparison will break down when pressed" but "the purpose of an analogy is to convey a basic point of comparison between the picture and the reality to which it corresponds" ("A Basic Guide to interpreting the Bible", p.140-141)

    I cannot believe that James White, an influential apologist and (self-assured) exegete of his educational stature , would make, or at least start (since I've only been able to listen up to 14:24 of the video so far) such a weak, grade school rebuttal! I'm very disappointed because I expected so much more from Dr. White.

    Nelson,

    I am sure Dr. White knows both the definition and purpose of a parable - the point he is making is valid, held up to biblical scutiny, Geisler's parable simply does not work. I would hope you would watch the rest of the video to hear how a more biblical parable would sound.

    I did begin to hear some of his rendition of a "biblical" parable. However, respectfully, I think - and I am by no means a scholar - his argument is grasping at straws and my objection is valid.

    Again, would White rewrite Jesus' parable of the prodigal, maybe making the father a king, also. If Geisler's parable "does not work", then Jesus' parable does not work either because they both used "a creature,a mere man to represent a holy God."

    A proper rebuttal would have been an exegetical correction of the message conveyed by the parable and not the parable itself. However, White's weak response conveyed to me that Geisler's parable properly and effectively presented the clear implications of Reformed doctrine in a negative light.

    The fact that I also am sure he knows what a parable is makes his response to Geislar all the more startling to me.

    Nelson,

    I respectfully but completely disagree. There is no comparison between Dr Geisler's parable and the one Dr. White. White's is the more biblically accurate concept of God. I dont think anyone could dispute this as simple fact. I would ask you to watch the whole thing.

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