Christian radio host Dr. Michael Brown recently did a debate with Dr. James White. The debate lasted two days, and took place on Brown’s call in show: The Line of Fire. Brown argued from a Non-Calvinist position, and White came from the Calvinist position. The questions included: Does God love everyone? Does God give everyone a genuine opportunity to be saved? What did Christ’s atonement accomplish? Are the number of elect fixed? Does God reprobate specific individuals? Does Calvinism result in pride for its adherents?
Here are the link to Brown’s blog (where you can also comment), and the direct mp3 links.
January 26, 2010 (mp3) – Brown and White discuss Calvinism – part #1
January 27, 2010 (mp3) – Brown and White discuss Calvinism – part #2
January 28, 2010 (mp3) – Calvinists call into Brown’s show and ask him questions.
Both theologians clearly had respect for each other and accepted each other as believers. Brown went out of his way to point out that Arminians and Calvinists agree on 99%, and that we are all brothers in Christ.
James White is an excellent debater, and I was afraid that he would clobber Brown. However, Brown did quite well. It no doubt helped that he was hosting the show, chose the format, and was the one asking the questions.
White depended very heavily on the “Two wills of God” theory – This is the Calvinist theory that God has a hidden decretive will that overrides and contradicts his revealed will. Thus God says that he doesn’t want us to sin, and commands us not to sin, but he has secretly decreed that we will sin, and then damns us for doing what he has decreed (so goes the theory). I think the scriptural support for this theory is non-existent, and I would have like to have seen Brown point this out in stronger terms.
I would also have liked to see Brown better develop the concept of Prevenient Grace. PG largly mitigates many of the complaints that Calvinists often have about Arminian theology (that we believe we save ourselves, etc). Brown did develop this a little more on day two.