Debating Calvinism| Posted March 17, 2010
A Bible College friend and I read together Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views by Dave Hunt and James White (Multinomah Publishers, 427 pgs.). We read a chapter a week and then discussed that chapter over the phone on Sunday evenings. The book is presented in a “point - counterpoint” format, each chapter containing 5 sections of back and forth over a contested theological position. The first half contains seven presentations by James White affirming the reformation doctrines. Those 7 points are then rebutted by Dave Hunt (who denies and opposes the reformed doctrines). The second half of the book is the opposite with Dave Hunt presenting a case which is then rebutted by James White.
Both my friend and I found ourselves frustrated with Dave Hunts inability or unwillingness (I'm not sure which it is) to understand the positions that he opposes. His constant us of irrelevant Scriptures, straw man arguments, and ad hominem attacks which have little bearing to the issues at hand was, in the end, exasperating. He would often avoid the central issues and spent time arguing with his straw men. Hunt constantly caricatured Calvinists in a fashion that bore no resemblance to any Calvinist I have ever met! Even when corrected by James White, Dave Hunt would blindly continue on with rambling, often incoherent, screeds which ignored the fact that he was missing the point entirely. It was worth the time to read, but I don't think that Dave Hunt was up to the task before him.