I wrote earlier about the "debate" this summer on Calvinism between Southern Seminary president Al Mohler and Southwestern Seminary president Paige Patterson. Even though these two are theological heavyweights in the SBC, it appears the gloves will stay off. This will not be a debate. Instead, they are saying that the event, which takes place in Greensboro during the national SBC convention, is more of a "discussion."
Now, we hear of a true debate between four very capable individuals. On Monday, October 16, 2006, Dr. Ergun Caner (Dean of Liberty Theological Seminary) and Dr. Emir Caner (Professor at Southwestern) will debate Dr. Tom Ascol of Founders' Ministry (adjunct professor for New Orleans Seminary) and Dr. James White of "Alpha & Omega Ministry" (adjunct professor for Golden Gate Seminary). The debate will take place at New Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. The debate is free and will begin at 7:00 PM. If you can't make it, the debate will be recorded via audio and video and all parties will make the recordings available to their audience.
The seeds of this debate were sown on Dr. Ascol's blog when he posted about the likelihood of Johnny Hunt becoming the next SBC president at this summer's Greensboro meetings. That simple post (which was originally about the process of electing SBC presidents and not about Hunt) exploded over the next several days and Drs. Caner both weighed in with some vitriol I haven't seen in a while. It was almost BAPTIST FIRE level argumentation, with Ergun Caner calling Calvinism a "virus" and admitting that five point Calvinism is the exact same thing as hyper-Calvinism. (That statement made left my jaw agape.)
I weighed in on the conflagration here!
Dr. White was in England but sent emails challenging the Caners to debate on the issue. At first, they both declined but now it appears the challenge has been taken on in full. Caner the Elder's webpage mentions repeatedly that he ministers and teaches "without fear, without fail, without fliching." It's good to see he's a man of his word.
This will be a remarkable evening and I am already looking forward to it.