Monday, October 10, 2011

James White vs. my former colleague Lee Carter

Here are the complaints of Christian theologian James White against my former GCC colleague Lee Carter. I don't approve at all of what Carter has said, but I think I would even keep this case out of the courtroom. But if you think that someone can make a case against Gangadean but not against Carter, then I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona, from my front porch you can see the sea.


shiningwhiffle said...

I'm a university instructor myself. I would never say the sorts of things he said, but I agree with you: this isn't a 1st amendment violation. It's rude, it's unprofessional, and it's unintelligent, but those don't present constitutional problems.

The high school case you cited previously could be a little different, considering minors are involved, though it's for the courts to decide.

Gregory said...

I think the tendency to accuse others---whoever those "others" happen to be---is, in fact, a case of nailing Christ to the Cross.

However, I will say this now after careful consideration:

God will restore all things; including humankind (Acts 3:19-26).

I think I can now provide a cogent and convincing apologetic for the "apocatastasis" doctrine.

But, here's an interesting upshot to apocatastasis:

1) The debate over freewill-predestination would be, logically speaking, irrelevant (i.e. contra "Doctor" White's abrasive Calvinist doctrines). I suspect that social abrasion is the real driving force behind Calvinism.

2) It is much easier to actually love someone as a peer and equal if you really believe they are equal. In other words, you can love them no more and no less than yourself if you believe that everyone has the same Divine inheritance rights as you do.....and I'm not talking about the conferring of hypothetical benefits, but of actual benefits.

3) Lastly, Christians can be at ease with themselves and with others, knowing that Christ will redeem all of us.

So, if another "universalism" post should turn up, then I will be more than happy to give the philosophical/theological and exegetical "reasons" why this much despised view is both rationally and spiritually commendable....that is, if I'm not too busy.

Anonymous said...

Gregory, do you host a blog someplace?

Victor Reppert said...

SW: I agree that the presence of minors does make the establishment case a little different. College students are supposed to be old enough to think critically about what they hear in class, from anybody.

Anonymous said...

College students are supposed to be old enough to think critically about what they hear in class, from anybody.


Oh wait, you were serious. Let me laugh even harder!



Victor Reppert said...

They are supposed to be old enough. There are people who are old enough to drive a car, or drink responsibly, who, well, don't.

mattghg said...

Was Carter this unhinged when you were working with him, Victor?

Victor Reppert said...

He had a pretty virulent opposition to George W. Bush, but I was pretty sympathetic with that part. (Saying that WMDs matter profoundly when you're trying to get authorization to fight a war, and then treating them as if they don't matter the minute boots are on the ground, strikes me as not the sort of thing Jesus would do, at least in my opinion). I knew he was opposed to evangelical Christianity, but I didn't get very much into that with him, but I never heard anything quite as strong as what was quoted by White.

mattghg said...

He never called you 'regligiously insane', then?

I'm not surprised. It's one thing to bully undergraduates like this, quite another to talk in the same way to one's peers.

Victor Reppert said...

If I had been a Bush Republican as well as a Christian, we would not have gotten along.

Gregory said...

Anonymous asks:

I might host a blog someplace. However, I haven't officially written anything on the doctrine of "restitution". Part of me thinks that it is so subversive to the mindset of those who focus on theological fear-mongering---or are victims, themselves, of such fear-mongering---that it will quickly fall on deaf ears.

But if there were some interest in the subject, then I would address whatever theological concerns were raised.

Unfortunately, Christians have a morbid addiction to the concept of hell....of which our present life may rightly be called.

However, consider that apocatastasis virtually eliminates the so-called "problem of evil". In fact, many of our pseudo-theological/philosophical debates would simply vanish were it not for the doctrine of hell and/or Divine partiality.

If you want to believe that God plays favorites, then, by all means, feel free to torment yourself with the darkest fears of everlasting punishment or flatter yourself with the vainglory arrogance of being "chosen by God" really doesn't matter!!!

I will say this on behalf of universalism:

If Christ became man by taking within His Person all things that are rightly defined as "human", then how can we not say that in the Incarnation Christ had truly redeemed all of humanity....meaning that Christ has forever abolished the wall of separation between God and man. So why think that anyone would go to hell in the first place?

I suspect that all Christians who affirm hell don't really understand the Lord's words:

"Judge not, lest ye be judged".

Furthermore, the sin of Adam and Eve (i.e. eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), underscores my point. Hell is a man-made invention which God, in His great wisdom, decided to use as a means of drawing some men/women to Himself. That is, hell is used for the purpose of waking us up from our spiritual slumber so that we can all enjoy the adventure God has waiting for us in this present life. We can also neglect God to the point where we physically get ill and die rather young. However, we still enter the Kingdom of Heaven no matter which side of the spiritual fence we happen to be sitting on.

Read very carefully what St. Paul is telling us all in 1 Cor. 3:5-17. Notice how every builder, good or bad, receives recompense and, therefore, is saved; but "only as one passing through fire". The "fire" mentioned here is simply death/dying process. This is very important. Also, I think you will come to understand it's meaning when the cloud surrounding your mind and heart disappears....even if that inevitably happens at death.

Gregory said...

When St. Paul says

"No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, not idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, not sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God."

(1 Cor. 6:8-10)

St. Paul can't mean this literally because, in that case, no one would ever inherit the Kingdom of God!!!

So, is Paul now thought to be a teacher of universal damnation?

What St. Paul means to say is twofold:

1) that you ought to treat people like those of whom you will spend eternity with....because you, in fact, will spend eternity with them.

2) Everyone will be in heaven...but will be there without the hindrances of their former vices. Hence the meaning of the phrase "do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?"

toddes said...


You're missing a very important part to Paul's teaching which is 1 Cor 6:11:

"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

Those he is speaking to have been cleansed of the vices he names. They are no longer guilty of those sins and he is warning them to take care in not returning to their old vices.

Jason S said...

Lee Carter is the best professor I ever had, and I finished coursework for a PhD in philosophy at ASU.

Professor Jeffrey Murphy was next in line but extremely impressive for other reasons.