Monday, April 7, 2008

Audio Link: Steve Gregg / James White debate

Gregg and White are doing a 5 day simulcast debate on the issue of Calvinism. I haven't listened to any of the series yet. I don't particularly care for White's "strawman" style of debating, but the series should be interesting anyway. If nothing else, it's good to see Gregg get a little more exposure.

Dates of the debate are April 3,4,7,8,9 2008. The audio is available on both of their web sites:

Steve Gregg: The Narrow Path
James White: Alpha and Omega Ministries

9 comments:

Jnorm888 said...

Is gregg pretty good?




JNORM888

Pizza Man said...

I enjoy his stuff. He seems to be a humble guy, knowledgeable, very detailed and not threatened by criticism. He is self trained, coming from a non-denominational lay-person perspective. I read somewhere that he has read through the Bible more than 25 times.

If I have a complaint, it might be that he's a little too detailed. :)

Tony-Allen said...

I'll get to it later (I'm at work)

I was wondering if you had done anything on James White on this blog yet, and came across this post. What do you mean by his straw man tactic? I've listened to his debates before, and I was just curious if there was a specific pattern you had noticed.

Pizza Man said...

Hi Tony, thanks for stopping by. Nice blog BTW. Wesleyans and Orthodox have a lot in common.

Re: James White. I haven't done any specific posts on him. By "strawman tactics" I mean that he often assumes a caricature of his opponent's views, and makes little effort to honestly understand or interact with what they are saying. He is a bit too much of a pit bull for my tastes. If you listen to the Gregg debate you'll notice this.

Here is link you might enjoy from the Pristine Faith Restoration Society, interacting with White's views on John 6: PFRS

Tony-Allen said...

Thanks for the compliment. I became a big fan of John Wesley a long time ago (he loved the Church Fathers, not many non-Catholic/Orthodox denominational founders who did!), and I started studying on the Doctrines of Grace and both sides of the argument therein. Actually I found your blog through JNORM888's Ancient Christian Defender blog, and it seemed to fit both interests nicely ;)

I do respect James White to a large degree. I've watched his debates with Muslims and watched his defense against Mormons, other Muslims and generally those who distort the word of God. I admire him for trying to outline the Trinity in a simple, clear, concise manner, which few religious leaders are doing today.

That being said, I do criticize him for at times being very smug or condescending of his opponents. As you've said, he often turns their argument into a caricature. I've turned off videos on his YouTube account because he'll start laughing at a person's belief and treating them like a five-year old. Even if a person presents a ridiculous argument, it's better to maintain and simply prove that it's ridiculous through truth rather than smugness. Don't get me wrong, I've seen him keep his cool when debating "punks" like Nadir Ahmed, or responding to distortions with a calm demeanor, but sometimes, especially dealing with Calvinism, he can be a bit condescending to the other side. In fact, Calvinism seems to be his touchiest subject.

Another thing I criticize him for is his staunch anti-Catholicism. He crosses the line from sincere apologists to stereotype evangelical. Being an Orthodox Christian, it upsets me when I hear him make comments like, "Protestants are the only ones who can appreciate the Church Fathers" or when he responds to Catholic beliefs regarding the veneration of Mary or the priesthood by essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Any way, sorry for the minor rant there. I was just wondering if any one else had noticed all this, that's why I asked ;)

Tony-Allen said...

Oh additionally (I apologize for the extra post) thanks for the link to PFRS.

Pizza Man said...

Hi Tony,

I wondered if you followed Jnorm's blog. He's a good guy (I don't know him personally, just from blogging). You make some excellent points on James White, both his strengths and "flaws". And no need to apologize for posting twice. I'm glad to get any comments. :)

Tony-Allen said...

I have his blog subscribed to my Google account, so when my iGoogle page comes up he's among the list of blogs I can see updates for (along with yours, you might be happy to know). I found his blog because he found mine and linked to one of my apologetics pieces (the one on Paul Negrut).

Pizza Man said...

I'm honored! :)