Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Dr. Michael Brown vs. Dr. James White

Here is the debate between Dr. Michael Brown (Arminian) and Dr. James White (Calvinist) at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/01/2013 at 12:05 PM

10 Responses

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  1. Is Michael Brown “arminian”?
    Why the need for labels if the REAL gospel is being promoted. Why the need to identify with any long dead theologian and his theology instead of with Jesus and HIS gospel.

    Calvin and Arminius are dead.
    Jesus is alive.

    Onesimus

    05/01/2013 at 6:18 PM

    • Brown is Arminian. We can promote the gospel while disagreeing over nonessentials. I do this often with my Calvinist brothers.

      Whether you or I like it or not, we are children of a theologian. No doubt Jesus alone saves and we must follow Him (none would disagree with you) but the fact remains that we disagree over nonessentials and can debate these issues. The Church has done this for 2000 years. Important doctrines have been established because we have disagreed and champions of the gospel have been born out of debates (Athanasius of Alexander for example). You and I are children of the Reformation which includes men such as Luther, Calvin, and Arminius. Yet not one of those men fully agree with each other.

      There is nothing wrong with theological debates so long as we do so in love and respect. This is where we often err.

  2. “…some have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: one of you says, ‘ I am Arminian; another, ‘I follow Calvinism…’

    Is Christ divided? Was Arminius crucified for you? Were you baptised in the name of Calvin?

    Onesimus

    05/01/2013 at 10:33 PM

    • Of course not. Again, no one is disputing this. You forgot to point out that Paul says in the same text “I follow Christ.” It is spiritual to say, “I only follow Christ and no man” but the fact is that you learned Christ from a man or a woman who in turn learned it from a man or a woman. Do you agree 100% with every Christian ever?

      Our focus must be on Christ. He is our salvation. How can you read my blog and believe that I advocate following Arminius or Wesley or Paul above Christ? Yet we learn from our debates. We grow from reading great men and women of God. Paul said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1) and this must be our cry as well. Do you not learn from others?

      • Its not about “agreeing with every Christian ever” – it is about who we identify ourselves with and how we label ourselves and where our allegiances APPEAR to lie because of those labels.

        But, as we take our eyes off men and their theologies and start to GENUINELY keep them on Jesus and God’s Word – surely areas of disagreement are more likley to decrease.

        Onesimus

        05/01/2013 at 10:51 PM

      • I would pray they would. We should be united in Christ. I have had great relationships with Calvinists as did great men of God such as Wesley and Whitefield. We are united in Christ and this should be our focus. However, we don’t have to sweep our disagreements under the rug and pretend they are not there. We can disagree and yet still love each other (Acts 15:36-41).

        This is true even in marriage. My wife and I don’t agree 100% on all issues but we love each other and resolve to work together. I am thankful that she doesn’t just agree with me on all things for this allows me to see my own sins, pride, failings, and wisdom that she can offer me.

  3. “but the fact is that you learned Christ from a man or a woman”.

    I initially learned ABOUT Jesus from both men and women – but later found I had to cast aside a lot of what I had learned as I got to know HIm for myself through relationship with Him and His word.

    And it was surprising how much that I had initially learned turned out to be wrong when I really turned to scripture myself instead of relying on teachings based on parts of scripture.

    Onesimus

    05/01/2013 at 11:00 PM

  4. Yes, fellowship and interaction is essential – but we feed from Him and His Word not from each other. Our fellowship should be more of a safeguard, a source of confirmation and/or correction and not the source of our “food”

    It is dangerous to be part of a corrupt food chain – learning from others who learned from others before them; or as you put it earlier “you learned Christ from a man or a woman who in turn learned it from a man or a woman”.

    That kind of approach leads to people being taught men’s tradition and men’s theology. We are taught what others have been taught, often according to denominational dcotrines instead of genuinely from scripture and we start to identitfy ourselves with a theological tradition (with labels like Arminian/Calvinist etc).

    Years ago I could quote countless scriptures to support my beliefs – but they were verses learned from recorded sermons and I understood them according to the context I’d been given in the sermons rather than their INTENDED biblical context. I was feeding myself regurgitated and corrupted food from others. I thank God for showing me the way out of that.

    Onesimus

    05/01/2013 at 11:30 PM

    • A source of confirmation and correction. Indeed. This is what we do in our Bible discussions or even disagreements. We need Bible teachers (Ephesians 4:11). Bible teachers, all of us included, form our theology hopefully from sound exegesis but this does not escape that we read the Bible the way that we do. We all read the Bible with our culture in mind, our church background in mind, our even our social-economic viewpoint in mind. Therefore, we differ when we read say baptism passages or passages about election or predestination. We differ when we read about church government or about end times views. We do this, not because we are necessarily blindly following men, but because we all read the Bible differently and approach the Scriptures differently. While the Bible must remain the infallible truth of God, our problem is how do we obey the Bible faithfully.

      I don’t agree with Arminius on all issues so I am no disciple of Arminius. He and I would disagree over the issue of baptism and probably the church-state relationship. I would disagree with Luther over his views of the Jews or again, the church-state. I would disagree with Calvin over many issues. I would disagree with Wesley over infant baptism and over the Church of England. My point is that you are right, our faith must be in Jesus not these men and our beliefs must flow from God’s Word. While I believe we can learn much from godly men and women of the faith, our faith must ultimately be in Jesus alone and in His Word alone (John 8:31-32).


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