Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Tony Byrne show: Crusade against James White

Well, the charge of James White being a hyper-Calvinist doesn't seem to go away. The Neo-Amyraldian Tony Byrne and fellow Ponterites are intent on smearing both Dr. White and even Dr. Robert Reymond as being *gasps* Hyper-Calvinists!

This time around, however, Byrne's efforts may have backfired. He utilizes Phil R. Johnson's Primer on Hyper-Calvinism against Dr. James White, and Phil has responded to deny that David Allen and Tony Byrne have properly represented the teachings of his own article on this topic. Unlike the many saints of old who have passed on including John Calvin etc, Phil Johnson can respond to any misrepresentation of his position which he has indeed done. It would truly be interesting to see how this works out though, since Byrne is trying to force Phil's hand on this topic and Phil is not taking the bait. After all, IMO it is rather hard trying to defend both high Calvinism and Neo-Amyraldians such as John Murray and Iain Murray. As an example, go read the article by John Murray and Ned B. Stonehouse entitled the Free Offer of the Gospel here, and you will see why any balancing act is very tough, if possible at all.

Still further, it is necessary to point out that such "desire" on the part of God for the salvation of all must never be conceived of as desire to such an end apart from the means to that end. It is not desire of their salvation irrespective of repentance and faith. Such would be inconceivable. For it would mean, as Calvin says, "to renounce the difference between good and evil." If it is proper to say that God desires the salvation of the reprobate, then he desires such by their repentance. And so it amounts to the same thing to say "God desires their salvation" as to say "He desires their repentance." This is the same as saying that he desires them to comply with the indispensable conditions of salvation. It would be impossible to say the one without implying the other.


(3) Our Lord himself in the exercise of his messianic prerogative provides us with an example of the foregoing as it applies to the matter of salvation. He says expressly that he willed the bestowal of his saving and protecting grace upon those whom neither the Father nor he decreed thus to save and protect.

[John Murray and Ned B. Stonehouse, The Free Offer of the Gospel, n.d.. Bold added)

I honestly don't know how much spin you can put on those particular statements - I am not holding my breath for that to happen.

Dr. White has somewhat responded to the issue in his blog articles here and here. Interesting analogy here: Byrne and fellow Ponterites are "one-string banjo players who seem to have little else to do in life but to pluck their very limited number of notes".

Mark aka TartanArmy has commented on this issue also especially in light of his history with Tony Byrne and Gene Cook of Unchained Radio.

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