Contend Earnestly: James White...Really? Frontlines?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

James White...Really? Frontlines?

I found out what happens when you question theology with someone who has their own radio show and following last year when I brought up some concerns with James White's theological convictions on the desire and will of God. What ensued was a belittling on his radio show, the normal thrashing at my character and yet another debate challenge on the subject. Which I find very interesting. I am not writing this to point to our differences in some of our theological convictions, but I am writing based simply on his arrogance of his ministry. I have had to delete and re-write this a couple of times, because I don't want my anger over this post to show it's ugly head.

I am not sure who this post is written to, but I find it disheartening with his opening paragraphs. Here is what he writes: (click here for the entire article)

Those who have not been on the frontlines find it amenable to sit in their comfy computer chairs and opine away at the keyboard. They know they will never be called upon to present a consistent defense of the faith, especially in the face of competing world religions. So they have little concern about the use of words like "tension" and "mystery," which are so often used to do little more than cover over contradiction and irrationality. Some actually think they are giving a meaningful apologetic when they openly confess the contradictions in their proclamation.

I wonder what White thinks the frontlines are? Does this only mean those that are on radio programs, debating, etc.? It seems like with White, if you aren't willing to debate him, you are a wuss and aren't allowed to bring complaints. I find that a tad bit odd. When I write posts, many in my congregation reads them, many of my friends read them and then others that pick it up from time to time around the world read them. But, this isn't all that I do. I don't just sit in my "comfy chair and opine away at my keyboard" hoping to stir up trouble and then get on with my life. My posts are simply to aid my small body of Christ that I influence for the sake of the gospel.

I find what White does in the public eye one form of ministry, but I also find those who administer a flock of God in the local church as the frontlines as well. I will be honest, I have been a pastor's kid my entire life, and my father (was a pastor) and pastors are on the frontlines far greater than one who makes these kind of absurd comments from his comfy couch with a camera for his youtube audience and online chat room.

I just get tired of these guys who believe that they are the only ones on the front lines because they have written a book or been in the public eye. The front lines don't have to do with what people see you doing Mr. White, the frontlines are what you do for the glory of God. I know I am just some "young man" to you who has no right to question your authority or what you say, but in my estimation it would in your best interest to stop with these ideas that you are the only one on the frontlines who defends the faith.

That is garbage. The correct understanding is that, yes, you are on the frontlines, but so are a lot of other people who question some of your theological convictions. The frontlines of Christ are a lot different than you seem to understand, or at least put forth in this latest post on the subject. I have seen you do this over and over in the past with people who challenge you. I am not sure why you feel like you need to degrade people who challenge your convictions. We might as well start telling "your momma" jokes...at least they're funny.

I wonder how far your followers (I use this loosely, not degrading here) will allow you to go with your arrogance before they recognize that if they use the same logic that use against us, that they are also being called out on this. They are also, not on the frontlines.

Personally I come into contact with struggling teens with their faith, struggling parents, struggling atheists, etc. all face to face. I see their pain, I see their struggles. I am asked about my faith and have to give a complete defense of it all the time. I am questioned constantly on who Christ is and how I can believe in a God that is all sovereign and still allows people to go to hell. Have I ever written a book? No. Have I ever had a recorded debate? No. Have I ever spoken at a conference? No. Am I on the frontlines? As much as you are Mr. White. There is nothing comfy about the couch that God has placed me on, it is just different than yours and I can see how God can work through different people in different ways, where you seem to think he only works through audio/visual equipment and published books.

Do I get questioned as much as you do as far as volume? No, but I do get questioned as much as you probably do in sincerity. I can't imagine how much it must suck to write a book or have a debate and have people always questioning you. That must really suck. But, please don't forget the little guys and put forth that all we do is sit anonymously behind a computer screen and never have to present a consistent defense of the faith. Far from it.

Have I enjoyed watching some of your debates in the past? Yes. Have I enjoyed reading your books in the past? Yes. Have they aided me in understanding different subjects? Yes. Will I continue to? Not if you believe that you are on the frontlines while the rest of us are just watching the show.

I hope this post of yours was just a rant and not your actual beliefs. Because they came off very condescending to those of us who fight the fight every day, just like you.




5 comments:

29dinosaur said...

Frankly Seth I think you are being a bit 'special' digging this muck up. We have a saying in Australia when a ball is not worth playing in cricket we let it 'go through to the keeper'. There are better issues to contend earnestly about - getting into broadsweeping debates might only earn you a snick, and out or maybe one run. The gospel is worthy greater attention than the ramblings of men. Cheers.

RazorsKiss said...

Because, even is the post was about Troy Brooks - it's still all about you.

RazorsKiss said...

oops. *if.

Seth McBee said...

Razorskiss...

If you notice the article it wasn't all about Tony Brooks...notice that he went from the general to the specific.

Becaus White talks about the "squeemish Calvinists" and the "hyper Arminians"...from what I see...yet I don't know Tony Brooks...looks like he is the hyper Arminian type.

So, you might want to make the post all about Tony Brooks, but it wasn't...and that was clear from the onset. White even says that he was going to focus only on the squeamish Calvinists, but then a friend pointed him to Tony Brooks.

So, both were in view in this article. And, because I have been called out by White, and so have some of my other buddies...it was obvious he had some of us in mind.

But, again...go ahead...defend your boy...that's cool.

But to say the post was only about Brooks, I believe that White would even say that was untrue.

Good try.

Seth McBee said...

oops...sorry...Troy..not Tony...

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