Thursday, August 06, 2015

More James White on the Version Issue: Either He Doesn't Know What He's Talking About or He's Lying -- Pt. 4

For everyone's information, James White yesterday dedicated the final third of his Dividing Line program to this series.  He covered three paragraphs, but he says he's going to be dealing with everything.  I highly doubt that, but we'll see.  He titles it "KJVO Deceitfulness."  OK.  He starts at 40:30 here until the end, and promises to keep going on his Friday program.  I haven't kept up with James White, but I got involved because someone emailed me about his ecclesiastical text video and thought I should watch it.  Then he did the July 28 program on the statement of Thomas Ross on the Logos forum.

White uses 19 minutes and he says perhaps one thing new, that is, he really does believe in preservation of scripture, and acted angry that anyone could say he didn't.  By that he means that all the words of scripture exist in manuscripts in the world somewhere, so anyone saying he doesn't believe in preservation is a lying deceiver.  Just let that sink in.  Besides that, he said nothing new.  He categorized me with two Ruckmanites, Sam Gipp and Steven Anderson.  He called me a reformed KJVOist.  He called the first post in this series, "this horrifically dishonest and deceitful article by KJV Onlyist Kent Brandenburg."  I'll be dealing with what he says in his new videos about me.

Some of you may wonder why I might not call in to his program, figure out the timing of it and try to get a phone call.  If you call into his show, you'll just be a tool for him.  What I would be glad to do is debate him with a real moderator.  I would do that with him.  He would be defeated.

I want you all to know that I'm not backing down with White.  It should be obvious to any thinking and especially godly person that he isn't telling the truth.  I'm not judging why.   He just isn't.  I'll leave the why to him.

At 1:14:41, White asks sarcastically concerning Erasmus, "Are you going to tell me he was inspired?"  This is the "benefit" of White sitting and talking to himself.  This is a stupid question. He doesn't say that in a moderated debate, because it is foolish.  He's intimating that those who wrote the confessions (you know which ones I'm talking about, but there were several that taught the same thing over many years), believed in some kind of double inspiration.  White is smearing their trust in providential preservation, that God assured them of the text of scripture through the testimony of the Holy Spirit, with this type of question.  He doesn't provide a theological alternative and he doesn't have one, so he mocks and ridicules at one of the highest extents of anyone out there.

White asks then, "Are you going to tell me that Erasmus is the final authority on these things?"  What person do you know that believes that position on planet earth?  Who believes that?  What's the point of that question except to slander?  James White is now calling me a liar and deceitful.  I am straight shooting this.  I guarantee you that.  Only the doctrine itself is at stake for me.  White doesn't affect my church one bit or really anyone else that I know.  I say that White either doesn't know what he's talking about or he is lying.  I thought of a third alternative, but it could be under the first, that is, he is just deceived.  I also think that is possible.  These questions and statements are on a level of ridiculousness that say something is wrong with him.

Just after 1:15, White says that there was no counsel that said TR versus Alexandrian versus Western, etc., because they didn't know about "these things."  These things.  What things?  They didn't know what they believed about preservation of scripture, how it was done?  Of course they did.  It's all over the place in their writings.  White just doesn't like what they wrote.  He doesn't report what they wrote. He could.  He doesn't.

White refers to citing their authority (the LBC authors) about something they never even contemplated or had an opportunity to deal with.   He says that is an abuse of their confession.   It's actually representing what they believed. Using it to attack him is an abuse, he says.  He doesn't believe what they believed, and it is complete legitimate to point that out.  Believing that the manuscripts exist somewhere is not preservation.  Believing that you have them in your possession is preservation.  The latter is what they believed.  This is the spin of White and others like him.

White continues, saying it is all indefensible., because the parallel to this is "take whatever Uthman(?) says."  He's equating it to Muslims.  It isn't the same argument by a long shot, but I've already answered it in earlier posts in the last three weeks.  Scripture is self attesting, and the Holy Spirit testifies to it.  He doesn't do that with the Koran.  This is how White insults.  Someone could do the same tit for tat, but what does that accomplish?  It would be crazed on the same level as White.

White condescends and insults people who believe the 1689 position, shortly before 1:17, saying that the people who take it are just on facebook impressing one another.  The guy he's talking to does more evangelism in a week than White does in a year, I would suspect.  He's one of the most evangelistic men I know.  He's one of the best Christians I know.  He's never had a facebook page.  White likes calling people a liar, but it's very easy for him to be loose with the truth.  Debating one "scholar" in a mosque is not categorically better than evangelizing all the Muslims in your community during the year.  The pride of White about his exploits is disgusting to me here.  I would be happy if he just did it, but the fact that he acts like it is more significant than what everyone else does is sick.

White charges after 1:17 that these men are like this because it isn't evangelistic with them.  Oh my. It's just a head wag here.  I know Thomas well.  This is so wrong -- so, so wrong.  It's a worthless, less than worthless shot to take.  He does this kind of thing over and over, but it's just a self-aggrandizing personal assault.

Just before the 1:18 mark, White connects what Thomas commented to being more and more "cooly reformed."  Thomas is trying to be the coolest reformed guy.  This is one of those, if I had just sipped a beverage, it would have spewed on the keyboard.  One, Thomas isn't reformed.  Two, he is one of the least cool people you ever met.  He is the anti-cool.  He makes James White look like James Dean.  A guy that memorizes verses while he brushes his teeth.  That's not cool.  Then White says he's "sick and tired of Calvinists."  Laugh.  Thomas is not a Calvinist.  Maybe White can make a video now criticizing Thomas for not being a Calvinist.

White next says, "Facebook is not the church!"  Who is he talking to?  I'm quite sure that Thomas does not have a facebook account.  He's one of the most diligent and vigilant Christians I know.  Then he says, "The local pub is not the church!"  Hahahahaha.  Thomas is a total prohibitionist.  I'm quite sure he doesn't even look at alcohol.  Who is White talking to?

As I watched White riff through the end of his monologue, there was some great irony.  He was defining sovereignty for us -- "you don't get to run your life."  I'm quite sure that Thomas Ross is as submitted to his church and faithful in his church as anyone I know.  Nothing defines "running your life" like your deciding what the Bible is.  Instead of the Bible being a settled text, dependent on the sovereignty of God, no, it's an ongoing process up to us.  That is James White running the Bible, and others like him.

I'm going to keep going with this series, answering White's recent videos, where he talks about what we've written here.


James Bronsveld said...

"White uses 19 minutes and he says perhaps one thing new, that is, he really does believe in preservation of scripture, and acted angry that anyone could say he didn't. By that he means that all the words of scripture exist in manuscripts in the world somewhere, so anyone saying he doesn't believe in preservation is a lying deceiver."

Preservation - meaning, what? Scripture - meaning, what? So will he honestly and directly answer the question: If he really believes what he is projecting there, that all the words exist in manuscripts in the world somewhere, will textual critics and scholars be able to perfectly reconstruct the text from all those preserved words? He will not answer a definitive "yes" to it, because the scholarship he so idolizes will not be so bold as to say that. In fact, unless I'm unaware of a change in position on that, they all concede they do not believe they will ever be able to completely reconstruct the text, but only make it more certain (another purposefully vague assurance), because they don't believe they have the original to which they can compare their reconstruction. That brings us right back to his own pseudo-preservation position which is not of the essence of "kept pure in all ages." This is pure neo-orthodoxy.

Second, the idea that the writers of the LBCF did not "know the issues" or "know about the text types and can't be used as an authority" is ridiculous and he knows it. The tampering with the transmission of Scriptures is cited right in the inspired record of the New Testament, attested by Patristics, described by Reformation-era writers, and easily researched today. Whether they used the same terms or not is immaterial. The confessions, on their face are crystal clear. Further to that, I don't believe some of Bro. Ross's initial comments were ever dealt with in the context of the LBCF, namely, their testimony to the received text by their use of I John 5:7, etc.

Finally, I went searching for Bro. Ross's facebook page in an effort to impress him and to be impressed by him there. Couldn't find one. However, I did find one full of self-aggrandizing posts and loyal "attaboys" for "AOMin." My, my, my.

Dr James Ach said...

White merely reaffirmed the very accusation he claimed to be refuting. After about 500 pejoratives and 15 minutes of insults and condescending rhetoric, his argument boiled down to "what I said was those early churches didn't have and know what we know today about textual criticism and manuscript evidence".

The problems with that are no different than those raised against him the first time.

*Was it a requirement for Peter, Paul, John and their followers to understand textual criticism to the extent critical text theory was developed in the 19th century before they could endorse OT manuscripts they quoted from? At what point will "scholars" concede that the early custodians of Scripture were pretty simple people (like fishermen and tax collectors)? There is nothing in the Testament that warranted deferring to the "scholar", in fact, in Colossians, Paul was pretty confident that the readers would be able to recognize a copy of the Letter to the Laodiceans without having to scrutinize it with scientific criticism. The common folk had a pretty good grasp on knowing what was written by Paul and what was a blatant corruption without ever having read James White, DA Carson, Bruce Metzger or Daniel Wallace.

*If early church "fathers" were not as well-versed in matters of interpretation and textual criticism, then how are we supposed to trust that the church accurately transmitted a reliable rendition of the Scriptures IN ANY VERSION (any Vulgate, Byzantine [regardless of your view on Byzantine texts], Greek, etc..)throughout church history until Greisbach, Westcott, Hort, Semler, et al, all showed up?

White's argument amounts to more of the same. His contention leads to the conclusion that we know more today about the science of preservation and textual transmission and therefore can offer a better opinion than those before us about the Bibles that we-AND THEY-have/had. It's no different than the evolutionist's position that we can never really be sure about the origins of creation while we are still discovering new finds that may or may not prove a big bang and a primordial slime pit.

And of course, this leads to my rebuttal against White and all other "where was the word of God before 1611" advocates: when they won't (can't) answer the same question: where was the word of God before 1881? Apparently, nobody had it because we couldn't even BEGIN to know for sure until higher criticism was developed, and a brand new Greek New Testament supplanted the Majority and Received Text.

White simply moved the goal posts another 10 yards, but did nothing to clarify his argument, or refute any of the KJVOs that maintain his logic results in the church being without a reliable Bible for 1800 years.

Kent Brandenburg said...


James and Dr. Ach,

Both excellent comments. I read both word for word and agree totally. You've nailed it. Both of you understand the position, understand what he said, and know what's going on. Thank you.


I read your other comment and enjoyed it too, but I didn't comment at the time. Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with it. Well said.

Ken Lengel said...


On a side note, I see a very disturbing trend with conservative evangelicals and young fundamentalists in how they address these issues. For some reason, they believe that if they treat someone like a 10 year old bully treats another 10 year old by making them feel dumb for believing as they do, that this is somehow proof there position is right. What happened to his scientific method there?

In addition, these types seem to believe that if they tell people in words that they strenously object to allegations of error (like not believing biblical preservation as been historically proclaimed) that this PROVES they have the right position on the matter. I could passionate declare that the sky is purple, and make funny faces at people who think otherwise, but it doesn't make it so.


Kent Brandenburg said...


I agree that he thinks that he is antics make what he says to be true. It's a postmodern relationship as well. There is some kind of authenticity, and therefore, beauty, in the quirkiness or advante garde behavior. They don't even know it, because they're around even crazier, and they are being reaffirmed constantly by those who think the same. The trajectory is sloping downward.