Vs. James White #7: My Refutations of Calvinism & His Non-Replies

Vs. James White #7: My Refutations of Calvinism & His Non-Replies November 12, 2019

Reformed Baptist anti-Catholic apologist Bishop “Dr.” [???] James White opined in his article, “Roman Unity: If it Promotes Mother Rome, It’s All Good” (1-6-10, complete):

My first moderated, public debate was on the subject of Roman Catholicism. It took place in August of 1990. Since I have a few decades of experience now, I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at one particular fact over and over again: Rome’s apologists just don’t seem driven to work hard in their field. Further, they clearly observe the “throw everything including the kitchen sink in defense of Rome, no matter how objectively bad it is on a scholarly level.”

Illustration: today Patrick Madrid took a shot at “Calvinists” in general on his blog. For someone who has yet, to my knowledge, to engage a Calvinist on the relevant subjects (of course I would, Patrick, let’s set it up!) in debate, I find his surface-level retorts somewhat amusing. But what is amazing are the three links he provides for, what he calls, “quite able” refutations of Calvinism. Two are ancient articles Jimmy Akin wrote years and years ago, neither of which provide much in the way of substance. And the third is to Dave Armstrong’s series on Calvin! Now, with all due respect to ol’ Dave Armstrong, he is one of the clearest examples of why past canon law prohibited laymen from engaging in public disputation in defense of Rome. Serious readers in the field realize that while Dave may stumble over a thoughtful argument once in a while, it is always to be found somewhere else. He simply does not produce original argumentation of any kind, and clearly does not understand the responses that have been offered to him over and over again. So, we find Madrid once again pulling out of mothballs surface-level materials that are nearly two decades old, and promoting Dave Armstrong as “quite able” refutations of Reformed theology. One is truly left wondering if these men really think this kind of material has real weight and meaning, or if they are just too bored to do serious work in the field. I will leave it to the reader to decide.

And I’ll be happy to let readers decide who has written many refutations of Calvinism and who has utterly ignored this in-depth examination. First of all, there is my point-by-point reply to almost all of Book IV of John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, in my 388-page book, Biblical Catholic Answers for John Calvin. It was published two months after White wrote his post.

What Pat Madrid linked to was an even more extensive series of direct, exhaustive replies to Calvin (a literally complete reply to all of Book IV), which were recently revised and re-typeset, and appear in no less than 55 lengthy, “meaty” installments: listed on my extensive John Calvin: Catholic Appraisal web page. I had done those in 2009, in “honor” of Calvin’s 500th birthday.

Moreover, I also wrote the books A Biblical Critique of Calvinism and Biblical Catholic Salvation: “Faith Working Through Love”. The latter includes 115 pages (seven chapters) devoted specifically to a critique of Calvinism and “TULIP”.

Moreover, I have more arguments against Calvinism listed on my Calvinism and General Protestantism and Salvation and Justification web pages. Furthermore, several of my papers dealing with Calvinist soteriological error were directed specifically towards James White. For example:

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I just put another paper of this sort up yesterday (which will, of course, be ignored by White, as always. You can bet the farm on that):
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Needless to say (for anyone who has followed my interactions with Bishop White, which have taken place off-and-on since April 1995), he has utterly ignored all of these articles and books. He uses as his tired and ridiculous excuse for this complete forfeit of any serious dialogue, the claim that I supposedlysimply [do] not produce original argumentation of any kind, and clearly [do] not understand the responses that have been offered to [me] over and over again.” Right. No one buys this hogwash except his own rabid followers.
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It’s manifest that it is sophistical nonsense, by the fact that White challenged me to formal oral debate no less than three times: in 1995, 2001, and 2007 (apparently, these urges of his come around in six-year cycles). Each time, I carefully explained why I oppose oral debates. I do written debates (White does, too: just not with me). White has been running from those critiques from me (including an entire, almost 400-page book), literally for 24 1/2 years: since May 1995, when he fled in terror from our initial — and to this date, only, in-depth — debate. It takes up over a hundred pages in my book devoted to the good bishop.
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The portion from pages 76-117 document the final installment that I wrote on 15 May 1995 on an electric typewriter and mailed (“snail mail”) to White (it makes up about 40% of the entire volume of the debate, including both our contributions). He utterly ignored it, and sent me a letter almost six months later, stating, “I have never figured out how to answer letters that are filled with whining, crying, complaining, and general substanceless meandering.” Readers can see for themselves whether this last installment (read it online) is of the nature that White claims it to be. I’ve had the entire debate on my website for over 22 years (initially with his express permission). White has never linked to it or posted it on his page. What does that suggest as to who is most confident of his performance?
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The record is documented and quite clear (see my web page devoted to Bishop White). See, for example, our one and only live chat, about Mary, in December 2000, where he also split early, just as it was getting good and interesting. Some years later, I did an extensive analysis of his outrageous, intellectually dishonest methods of sophistry, with which he unsuccessfully tried to trap me in that exchange. Again, needless to say.
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White has never, for almost 19 years now, put up any part of that debate on his web page, either. But it’s been on mine all that time. And that was much closer to his favorite medium: the live oral debate. I had no notes or preparation because I didn’t know it was gonna happen. It was spontaneous, after an earlier Calvinist polemicist had forfeited and left a live planned debate that I had with him, in White’s chat room.
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Now, if White wants folks to believe that he chooses and challenges people to orally debate whom he regards as absolute imbeciles, ignoramuses, and idiots: incapable of forming even a single coherent theological sentence (if he thinks they are that stupid and gullible), then, feel free! If you believe that pitiful line, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. He ignores my refutations because he is unable to answer them, pure and simple. No amount of flatulent, desperate rhetoric and polemics and empty insults from him can change that obvious fact. And no other explanation adequately explains the public record, that is on my blog (and not on his) for all to see.
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Photo credit: Norman Rockwell’s No Swimming: used for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, published 4 June 1921 [Wikimedia Commons / public domain]
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