#Molinists4JamesWhite

By Matthew Smith

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July 2, 2017

Recently, there has been a great disturbance within the “Christian community.” Dr. James R. White has recently been attacked by many “Christians.” I will try to present these attacks in an honest and courteous manner. In fact, although I disagree with White on several issues, I would like to set a tone of support for Dr. White and thank him for his services to the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

For those who are unaware, James White is part of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ. He is an elder and a Christian apologist who has a passion for truth and a desire to share and defend truth. He has debated many Christians and non- Christians on varies topics. He is a theologian who has written over 20 books, including a book regarding Islam called “What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an.”

FreeThinking Ministries shares White’s passion and desire to know, share, and defend truth. Be that as it may, Tim Stratton and company respectfully disagree with White’s theological views regarding Calvinism. In fact, White once devoted around 20 minutes of one of his podcasts denouncing Stratton’s well-known article, “The Petals Drop: Why Calvinism is Impossible.” Needless to say, many might think that Molinists and James White are mortal enemies. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Dr. White recently came under attack for taking part in an interfaith dialogue with a Muslim, Dr. Yasir Qadhi. The dialogue took place in two different venues. The first venue was at a Christian church. (Note: This was during the weekday and required a ticket to view the debate.) The following night these two held another debate. This time at an Islamic mosque. The two debates were regarding: Jesus, the Redemption, the Trinity and Hell.

After these two debates a fellow Christian named Brannon Howse decided to attack Dr. White’s credentials and character. He stated

“Dr. White has proven he is not an expert on Islam but has a very hard time teaching the Bible in context.”

He also states that the dialogue,

“was a travesty that was permeated with the spirit of the antichrist.”

This was followed up by an article written by James Simpson in American Thinker called “When Evangelicals Become Useful Idiots for Islamism.”

The attacks continued from Truth Defender’s Kelly K. Klein (White shared this on his Facebook page). Klein stated:

“I’ve been dealing with filthy Muslims for 19 years, how about you? I was there when George got you started in ministry to Muslims.”

Dr. James White responded to these relentless attacks. He tweeted,

“Please note: I’ve been running errands all morning. Did that slow down the controversy or the attacks? Not in the slightest!”

Many people have come out in support of White. For example, Dr. Michael Brown and even the Muslim whom White debated, Yasir Qadhi came to his support. What might be the most surprising is to see the Molinist community come out in support of White! As noted above, If James White and “Molinism” are included in the same sentence, it is safe to say that the words “argument” or “debate” are included as well. However, after White came under attack, the founder of the official Molinism Facebook page (and regular contributor here at FreeThinking Ministries), Jonathan Thompson, posted this:

Hi everyone, James White appears to be unjustly under attack. This is the result of an allegedly Christian ministry tweeting him hateful things about Muslims (e.g. that they are filthy). This has given people the perception that James White agrees with these tweets. Because of this, James White has had to do damage control. This would be an excellent opportunity to show our support towards White as a brother in Christ despite the fact that he hasn’t been all that charitable to Molinists.

Tim Stratton immediately responded on the thread:

I’m willing to help anyway I can! If someone wants to write an article on behalf of all us Molinists I would gladly publish it on the FreeThinking Ministries website.

I accepted Stratton’s invitation! Other Molinists reached out to White over Twitter. Tyler Hood tweeted:

Thankyou @DrOakley1689 for your passion for interfaith dialogue. We’re behind you? #Molinists4White

White respectfully (and humorously) responded to Hood’s tweet:

Might there have been a possible world where people actually told the truth about others? #MolinistHumor

Dr. Tyler McNabb, a philosophy professor at Houston Baptist University and a Molinist joined the conversation:

Indeed, but perhaps not feasible!

I find this playful banter between Christians who passionately disagree on some smaller issues, yet are able to show love and respect to the other regarding the much bigger picture, to be quite encouraging! What is disheartening is the lack of respect some Christians have shown towards White. I am a Molinist and Dr. White does not agree with my view. However, just because someone does not agree with your line of thought on human free will and God’s middle knowledge (or other peripheral issues to the Gospel) does not mean that Christians ought to engage in petty bickering. Christians should support White’s dialogue between Muslims and other non-believers. We are free to disagree on certain points — WE DO DISAGREE — but we ought to show the world how disagreements should be handled; with love and respect for the one who disagrees with you.

After researching these attacks and praying for Dr. White, I have reached the conclusion that no matter where you stand regarding White’s ministry, or some of his peripheral theological beliefs, he is trying hard to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims and other non-believers. He needs our support and prayers (even if we disagree with his 5-point Calvinism)! We can have respectful — yet lively — disagreements with each other regarding Molinism and Calvinism, but at the end of the day we ought to recognize each other as brothers in Christ and stand side by side in unity! We need to actually love each other!

Moreover, when we do not treat a fellow Christian with love, why would anyone in the outside world (whom we are called to love also) want to come join the Christian community? Why would anyone even consider gracing the doors of the church if we treat fellow churchgoers like this in the public square? These attacks are quite harmful in advancing the Gospel to non-believers. (2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:15; James 3:14, 4:1-3 and Philippians 2:3-4)

To those who attack James White: Do you believe these attacks will advance the Gospel to Muslims or any non-believer? If you were in the position of a Muslim listening to the Gospel, and then they witnessed your behavior to the one sharing the Gospel, do you believe your behavior would be “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:5) for them to want know more about our Savior?

These are the questions I ask myself daily. I hope that my life — the way I speak and act — is be the biggest apologetic evidence for my faith! This should be the heart’s desire of every Christian!


Notes

1) Dr. Michael Brown article “Why the Hysterical Attack on James White for His Interfaith Dialogue?”
https://askdrbrown.org/library/why-hysterical-attack-james-white-his-interfaith-dialogue

2) James White Facebook Page and Twitter account
https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian


About the Author:

Matt Smith is an up and coming Christian Apologist from North Carolina. He holds an MBA in accounting from Strayer University and is a financial analyst at a major hospital. He is beginning a Master’s of Divinity program at Liberty University and is looking forward to be actively engaged in apologetics-based ministry. Matt is a single dad with two beautiful children (ages 5 and 7).

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By Matthew Smith