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Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views [Paperback]

By Dave Hunt (Author) & James White (Author)
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Item description for Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views by Dave Hunt & James White...

In this thought-provoking, challenging book, two articulate debaters examine the subject of Calvinism from opposing viewpoints.

Publishers Description
A centuries-old belief system is put to the test as two prominent authors examine and debate the subject of Calvinism from opposing viewpoints. James White, author of The "Potter's Freedom," takes the Calvinist position. Dave Hunt, author of "What Love Is This," opposes him. The exchange is lively and at times intense as these two articulate men wrestle over what the Scriptures tell us about God's sovereignty and man's free will. This thought-provoking, challenging book provides potent responses to the most frequently asked questions about Calvinism.
Is God free to love anyone He wants?
Do you have any choice in your own salvation?
It's time to find out.
Calvinism has been a topic of intense discussion for centuries. In this lively debate, two passionate thinkers take opposing sides, providing valuable responses to the most frequently asked questions about Calvinism. Only you can decide where you stand on questions that determine how you think about your salvation.
Story Behind the Book
The subject of Calvinism has been hotly debated for many years, and now two prominent authors and researchers will debate this controversial topic in a book debate. This project came about when Mr. Hunt wrote "What Love is This- ""Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God. "Mr. Hunt was challenged by many on the Calvinist bench and he eventually agreed to do a debate in a book format. The books purpose is to get you to think and come to your own conclusions.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Multnomah Books
Pages   450
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 6" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 16, 2004
Publisher   Multnomah Books
ISBN  1590522737  
ISBN13  9781590522738  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dave Hunt & James White

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! DAVE HUNT books and resources have ministered to millions of believers worldwide for nearly forty years. As a best-selling author, international lecturer, and Bible teacher, his writings have been translated into at least 50 languages. More than four million copies of his books have been sold, which include: The Cult Explosion - The God Makers - The New Spirituality - The Seduction of Christianity - Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist - Occult Invasion - A Cup of Trembling - A Woman Rides the Beast, In Defense of the Faith - An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith - What Love Is This? - Seeking and Finding God - Judgment Day! - Psychology and the Church, and - Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny. For nearly a decade, Dave also co-hosted a weekly radio program, Search the Scriptures Daily, broadcast on over 400 stations in the U.S. and worldwide.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Calvinist

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Doctrines

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Reviews - What do customers think about Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views?

Heat: 4 stars; Light: 2 stars  Nov 26, 2008
The debate that takes place in this book consists of two professional apologists talking past each other.

Or, to be fair to James White, it consists of one apologist trying to have a constructive debate with another apologist who doesn't seem to be listening.

If you are hoping to be persuaded by the best arguments that each position (Calvinism/non-Calvinism) has to offer, you may want to keep looking.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a handy reference on what a poor debate looks like in print, by all means, rush out and buy the book. You will not be disappointed.
The debate continues!  Oct 23, 2008
This "old" controversy has re-emerged with a bang in recent years. For me, Dave Hunt wins the emotional argument and James White wins the intellectual argument. I was a strong Calvinist in my early Christian life, and never thought that this would be challenged. However, Dave Hunt is an author whom I greatly admire - and after taking his book, "What Love is This? Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God.", on holiday a couple of years back I was SERIOUSLY challenged!!! This book is a good read with both men arguing their position passionately (James White for Reformed Theology and Dave Hunt for what he perceives to be the very nature and character of God). Perhaps Charles Spurgeon had it right... although being clearly a Five-Point Calvinist, he would gladly contradict his "system" in his preaching; especially regarding Limited Atonement. That's a good place to be. Enjoy!
Good Introduction, But an Imbalanced Selection of Authors  Jul 18, 2008
Other solid reviews have been made of the ill-fated choice of Dave Hunt to represent the Arminian views on the so-called 'Five Points of Calvinism'. As another reviewer stated, I find James White a good selection here and, unlike his normal writings, he is well-controlled and even-handed in his presentation and dialogue with Hunt (for the most part). I think James White gives a clear exposition on consistent, Reformed Calvinism. For this alone the book is worth the buy.

White is consistent in his Reformed exposition of scripture, as well as his responses to Dave Hunt. Though I do not essentially agree with White, I find him clear in what he is saying as he is not putting up a smoke and mirrors routine. This is true, consistent Reformed teaching, not the so-called 'Moderate Calvinism' which then attempts to be played off as a true expression of Calvinism. Post-Reformation Calvinism was explained in clarity by the Westminster Divines and solidified in the Westminster Confession of Faith. This Confession would not agree with the 'Moderate Calvinism' of recent history for it essentially is not Calvinism. I applaud White for his clarity on this area.

Dave Hunt, on the other hand, raises the common theological disagreements with Calvinistic theology and exegesis, and more importantly, the philosophical problems with Calvinism. However, I certainly wish Hunt would have spent more time on each area just mentioned, especially the philosophical dynamic. Hunt is not thorough enough in any of these areas. He engages more in the historical issues of the lives and legacies of Augustine and Calvin than essentially responding to White. Hunt spends too much time with emotional arguments that lack stronger substance. Though not a Calvinist, I feel these criticisms of Hunt are justified. Hunt lacks both depth and focus in his dialogue with James White. White calls him on this numerous times, yet Hunt consistently side-steps the issues and continues his polemics and ad hominem attacks on historical figures in Augustinian/Calvinistic traditions and misses key opportunities to convince his reader that an 'Arminian' stance on these issues can be well-supported biblically.

However, this is not to say I think scripture lacks support for these arguments, on the contrary, I feel it does support some of the historical disagreements. Areas such as the decree(s), election (though nuanced in my understanding), irresistible grace, and limited atonement. Unfortunately, Hunt wastes valuable space using guilt-by-association methods and other poor polemics when all he needed to do was be fair-minded, biblical, and exegete the passages convincingly. He loses a lot of ground because of his failure to do this well. I also essentially wanted to agree with White (who I don't care much for in the area of debate because of his attitudes and style of engagement) in the end because he was less combative and tried to show more exegesis and biblical thinking (albeit Reformed) to convince his audience of the 'Doctrines of Grace'. I feel he fell quite short to convince me, but he presented his convictions with a solid presentation.

Overall, I could only recommend this book as an introductory-level work for those seeking to understand a thoroughly well-versed Calvinist teach on the 'Doctrines of Grace'. I wish the publishers would have obtained a well-versed, highly respected Arminian theologian to dialogue with James White. Having an Arminian scholar like Jack Cottrell or Thomas Oden would have been extremely beneficial in this book and probably would have made this book outstanding. In the end, Hunt, though possessing passion for the Lord, is a solid apologist, but more for the Christian Worldview among the chaos of Pluralism, Relativism, and the non-Christian Cults. He is not a theologian, and someone from this mold is much-needed to dialogue with a theologian and scholar from the Reformed position on soteriology. I feel the publishers missed a special opportunity to expose many to solid and consistent Arminian views on the Doctrines of Grace. This was truly unfortunate.
Good topic, leaves reader frustrated  Jun 29, 2007
The topic is not new, and it's been written/spoken about numerous times. Does God foreordain salvation? Or is it something He merely has knowledge of man's free will choices? In this book, Dave Hunt--who admittedly just began his study of the topic in 2000--and James R. White go toe to toe to determine which view is more scriptural. The topics are varied, with the first half of the book starting with James White, and then the other person getting a turn, for a total of three turns per topic. Unfortunately, I think this book will leave readers frustrated for several reasons:

1) the two become quite contentious, especially in their rebuttals and rejoinders. Hunt seems especially testy and uses some strong loaded words and ad hominem attacks that were, IMHO, not necessary. White gets frustrated because Hunt so often misunderstands his points and creates straw men. (I especially got tired of him saying that Calvinists don't believe in evangelization because why do they need to--this is one tired argument that he kept up throughout the book. In fact, I know many more Calvinists who are active in evangelism compared to my Arminian friends whom I am always telling that, if they they really did believe that it is up to a person to decide for or against God, they should plan many more evangelistic outings than they currently do.)

2) the two debaters often seem to talk past each other. I'm wondering if this debate would have been better in person, though I'm thinking they may have ended up in fisticuffs by the end. But I wonder if they would have been "nicer" in a public forum. Were they really that angry as their written words sounded? As they say about the danger of e-mails, they can be read in a wrong way. I wonder if this wasn't the case here.

3) Hunt did not seem the best representative for the Arminian position since he admittedly is not an Arminian, though he holds to all the postions, including no "P," which is not always the case with Arminians. So often he ignored White's points made in the previous section and came up with very poor exegesis on some of the vital verses used by White.

What I do like about the book is that Christians should not be scared to disagree. They can vigorously dialogue about these important issues and still understand that the essentials are in place. The book is worth a read, though it really seemed to bog down for me in the final 100 pages. But Christians need to know both sides before making up their mind about such an important issue, and this could be a good place to find out what the two sides are saying.
Debating Calvinism by Dave Hunt and James White  Mar 9, 2007
This is a fascinating but exasperating book. Both authors go toe to toe, but their toes -- and fists -- never really get close to each other. They both seem to be making rebuttals to thin air, perhaps because both are somewhat uncomfortable with their respective positions? Hunt, the quasi-Arminian, does a slightly better job of attempting to address his opponent's points directly. White seems to spend more time on fewer points, trying to make a more solid case for them, but would have done better briefly making the case against more points. Thus, I think he barely loses on "points" (and I am on his side). Hunt, though, appeals more to human sentiment than to the stark reality of Scripture and the wisdom of God. His back never falls prostrate to the mat simply because White never takes the open knock-down opportunities given him. Perhaps the ground rules were too stifling in the creation of this written debate. Highly engaging and engrossing, this book leaves the reader longing for a real contest -- and the Calvinist reader for a due victory.

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