Another Response to a Disenchanted Calvinist

I occasionally visit the blog site of Pastor Rogers (and even, where he frequently writes) because he has made it his recent mission to adamantly oppose Calvinism and any critique of his book.  Well, some of them…

Recently he reposted the comment he left on my site in response to my review of his book, found here: Response To a Critique of my Book

I’ve already responded to his “response,” here: Response to a Pastor Whose Book I Reviewed.

But I have a few further thoughts based on this recent post.

(PR: White; Me: Gray)

Pastor Rogers: I have refrained from responding to some Calvinist’s misrepresentations of my book, Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist because I do not have the time, they do not actually pose a serious challenge to my position, and their demeanor affords little evidence that it would be fruitful.

Me: My personal opinion is that Pastor Rogers has refrained from responding to any meaningful critique of his book.  All I have seen are responses to random comments on SBC Today; none from any acclaimed proponent of Calvinism (a good critique by James White was summarily dismissed, and a response to White from the infamous/stubborn/unthinking Peter Lumpkins was provided in lieu of his own), and none from those who have spent a great deal of time reading his book (more than the majority of his congregants) and listening to his sermons in person (i.e. me).

The content of most “responses” to Calvinists are usually devoid of scripture, and appeal strongly to the emotions and traditionalism of many Southern Baptists who already buy his presuppositions.  But notice how most opposition to his book are nothing but “misrepresentations.”  Is it possible they get it right, and he is wrong?  Pastor Rogers does not show that to be a possibility.

The latter part of the above sentence is probably most troublesome.  Why do they not pose a serious challenge?  I mean no disrespect, but it is the height of hubris to think that no one can quit touch the depth of thought, skill of rhetoric, or logical ability that you possess (especially when your own writing about the subject is exceedingly repetitive, shoddily edited, and missing any meaningful, scriptural response to the opposition; an example? Any treatment of compatibilism dodges the actual scriptures that speak to it (Isa 10? Acts 2&4? Gen 50?)).

How does he know it would not be fruitful?  Has he tried?  I know that I spent many hours reading and reviewing his book, and his response is somehow to be regarded as serious or honestly trying to interact with decent critiques of his book (no matter how inadequate or below him he may deem it to be).  Apply that type of thinking to speaking to unbelievers…or weaker Christians…

“Well, I would correct this person, or address their concerns…but it’s kind of a waste of my time and effort…and I doubt it would be fruitful.”  (Only if one believed it was through his reasoning that people came to a proper understanding of the faith–rather than the Spirit’s work–would that make sense; but I suppose that is the issue at hand).

Pastor Rogers: On one occasion I did, below is the response that I wrote to a young Calvinist who offered a critique of my book. Unfortunately, he believed he understood substantially more about Calvinism proper, and my engagement of it than he did.

Me: I refuse to consider his comment a response.  A response actually deals with what has been said in some meaningful fashion.  I am not expecting 8 blog posts in response, nor am expecting a response at all; but to write a belittling, dismissive comment is hardly a “response,” and to consider it worthy of anyone’s time is insulting to the reader.  Like I said in my previous response, this type of response means nothing to me.  I wouldn’t accept it from a Roman Catholic, Atheist, or Mormon…I would probably just write a quick blog post about how “sophomoric” it is to write an empty comment and consider it a valid response, then post it as a separate blog entry to show others how easily actual responses to his book can be dismissed.

In the past I have had a high regard for Pastor Rogers; I have enjoyed his sermons; I have respected how he has handled several difficult matters.  I suppose that is why it is so difficult for me to see him treat opposition to his book with such pompousness, to dismiss those who try, and to associate with characters like Lumpkins, Caner, and Tim Rogers.

Here’s to hoping that a more “fruitful” conversation about these topics can take place.




~ by JN on August 1, 2014.

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