Monday, April 03, 2006

The Story of the Debate 2: Winners and Losers

I want everyone here to know that I received two comments from a COC "evangelist" from Alameda, who actually did the video taping of the debate. He hosted last year's Ross/Hafley debate. I rejected his comments, but I'm considering allowing them from him in the future. I didn't want to argue with him about his comments and I didn't think either of them were true. The first comment was during the debate, and it dealt with my comments about their home court advantage. I said only that it was a home crowd, which encourages certain behavior from Hafley. I didn't say I was offended. His second comment was on Saturday, and he said that he differed in his opinion about the outcome of the debate. The more I think about what Hafley said in the debate, the more I believe what I wrote.

Let me give you some examples. I brought the argument that "born of God" in 1 John 5:1, 4 are perfect tense, so that a person could not be unborn. A person is born of God, so that birth is complete with the results ongoing. Spiritual birth is by nature permanent. This is indisputable. However, Mr. Hafley argued against it by saying that a person "born of the devil" can become "born of God," so being "unborn" is actually possible. If the actual tense of the verb says permanence, then it is permanent, unless somehwere else says someone can be unborn, and then those verses would contradict. The Bible doesn't contradict. I pointed out to Mr. Hafley that the Bible nowhere says that someone is "born of the devil." That didn't matter to Mr. Hafley. I also said that even if someone could show a verse that said that, it would still not prove that a person born of God can become unborn of God.

His other argument against this was that 1 John says that the person born of God is the one whoe believes (1 John 5:1), the one who loves (1 John 4:7) and the one who obeys (1 John 2:29). He kept saying that we are born of God because we believe, love, and obey. The text says that the one who believes, loves, and obeys IS born of God. They are already born of God. That they love, believe, and obey is how they KNOW they are born of God. I showed carefully that in grammar "is" doesn't mean "results in." I went to a seventh grade grammar book to show him that "is" means "equals," that the subject and the predicate are interchangeable. He didn't care. He had a point of view to protect and was willing to alter grammar and the meaning of words to do it. This is typical of everything that Mr. Hafley argued. Some of his arguments were much worse than this one.

So I'll let you decide. What do you think of the Hafley arguments there concerning 1 John 5:1, 4?


Guillermo Alvarez said...

Mr. Brandenburg,
I thank you for "considering" posting my comments. While you consider posting my comments and you write about how well you argued what you believe to be the truth, we ask that you “consider” signing the propositions that were given you during the debate, that way you can prove to us again how wrong we are. By the way, I am no longer preaching for the congregation that meets in Alameda, I now preach for a congregation in Oregon, I drove 11 hours to attend this debate, will you fly the 3 hours to go to Baytown Tx.?
Mr. Ross received a similar proposition for a written debate from me; please encourage him to "consider" signing those as well.
Mr. Ross mentioned about an oral debate in Spanish with one of the members of Bethel Baptist, I don't mind that, though I would prefer Mr. Ross would do the written one since the Spanish speaking member of Bethel Baptist did not offer me that himself.
For those who are interested in obtaining copies of the debate, you can do so by login on to, they are free of charge and judge for yourself is what Mr. Brandenburg said if true.

Josh said...

Isnt the burden of proof on the side of those that take the postition that you can lose your salvation and not the other way around? It seems to me that there are far more verses to substantiate that position. The whole postition that you can lose your salvation reeks of arrogance. For someone to believe that he can will himself out of the hands of God is just laughable.

David Halbrook said...

"So I'll let you decide. What do you think of the Hafley arguments. . ."
If your readers honestly are interested in "the Hafley arguements" they need to watch the debate. In my opinion, you don't do a good job in this blog of representing "the Hafley arguments." I can attribute that to lack of space. I'm not implying dishonesty on your part.
I simply appeal to all to be noble-minded. Instead of reaching a conclusion about Mr Hafley and the points he made simply based on your representation of them, I hope all will give a fair hearing to the debate and allow Mr Hafley to represent himself.
Copies should be available within a few weeks (