Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 11:04 AM
Subject: AN "ALLY" OF WHITE? [04/05/04]
WE WERE HIS "ALLY" [04/05/04]

In James White's latest "Blog" posted on his website on 04,/04/04, he refers to me and remarks, "Bob Ross of Pilgrim Publications, a man I thought was an 'ally' up until just a few days ago."

Permit be to "reflect" just a little bit concerning what James White says about my being an "ally."

We have known James for several years. Our good and longtime friend, Larry Wessels of Dayspring Fellowship in Austin, Texas, who has used me scores of hours on their Cablevision programs likewise, but on other occasions, used James White, and I think this is probably how I first became acquainted with his work, as far as I recall. We never worked with James on the same programs, but we were acquainted with James due to this common denominator in Austin.

We never had a single discouraging word to say about James during those years. Indeed, we viewed him as an "ally." At that time, however, we never heard him promote his "pre-faith regeneration" theory, so that was not part of our "allyship." Had he been promoting that theory back then, we probably would have brought it up for discussion with him.

But then there came a time in the 1990s when we providentially were placed in a position whereby we felt we should come out in defense of the Confessional view of the Eternal Sonship of Christ as opposed to the "incarnational sonship" view of Dr. John MacArthur, a man for whom we had great respect but with whom we did have a few doctrinal differences. (Thankfully, MacArthur later changed his view, and affirmed the Creedal or Confessional view of the Eternal Sonship of Christ).

John is a very prominent man in conservative, evangelical circles and his advocacy (at that time) of the "incarnational sonship" view was causing no small concern on the part of many, including several churches in the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA), with which John's church was affiliated. In fact, I was first made acquainted with the issue on Sonship via contact from a friend in Beaumont, Texas whose church at the time was being internally divided on the doctrine, some following the minister who was following MacArthur's views on "incarnational sonship."

Shortly after we entered the fray and started critiquing the "incarnational sonship" view of Dr. John MacArthur, who should come forth to rebuke us but our old "ally," JAMES WHITE! Our old buddy with whose work we had become acquainted thru our friends in Austin, roundly scolded us for "attacking" John MacArthur, and he was so up-in-the-air about it, he demanded to be removed from our email list! 

Since that time, our old "ally" has not so much as said "Hello" to us except for the one occasion when we dropped by the booth at the CBA Convention for just a matter of seconds where he was autographing one of his books for a line of people. If we had not went by that booth, we would not have even seen him, for as I recall he did not come by our booth -- at least not while I was there.

Here is a letter I wrote to our old "ally," in response to his rebuking us for opposing the "incarnational sonship" view as advocated that that time by John MacArthur. {But again please note, since this time MacArthur has retracted that former view and now advocates the normal Confessional view on Sonship. See Re-examining the Eternal Sonship of Christ,].

Here is an excerpt from the reply I wrote to James at that time {November 1997):

Dear James: 

It is clear, from all the writings of MacArthur, that he holds that the "Son" is a mere "title" of Christ, assumed at the incarnation.

Have you seen his new Bible [MacArhur Study Bible by Nelson]?  If you will examine the most striking uses of "Son" in biblical texts, and take note of the comments, you will find him evading the Son almost like a plague.

For example, the most striking of all statements on the Sonship of Christ (Matt. 16:16) is met with no comment (p. 1423).

The great Sonship context of 1 John 5:8-13, where "Son" is used eight times by the apostle John, is treated with one meager comment by MacArthur, and this is about the "internal subjective witness to the Son within the believer's heart" (p. 1973).

He also evades Hebrews 7:3 by opting for an alleged "more accurate translation," which does away with the typology of eternal Sonship via Melchizedek.

"Son of God" appears once in Revelation (2:18), and MacArthur has no comment.

These are only a few of the instances. . . I found it as difficult to find the truth on the Son in his notations as I found it difficult to find the Gospel in his book, "The Gospel According to Jesus." . . .

If we follow the teachings of John MacArthur, we will have to dump the historic creedal view of the Sonship of Christ and the Trinity. -- Bob L. Ross

Did our old "ally" James White take a stand with us? Of course not. Instead, he went out to Los Angeles and spoke at MacArthur's Master's Seminary. In effect, he "allied" himself with MacArthur's view by this association and by rebuking us for our stand.

When MacArthur renounced the "Incarnational Sonship" view and endorsed the Creedal or Confessional view, was our old l "ally" James White among the first to apologize for his past rebuke?  Not at all. We have never heard a word from him about the matter.

That is type of "allyship" we have had with James White since he rebuked me in 1997 for standing for the Eternal Sonship of Christ against the view of "incarnational sonship" as then taught by John MacArthur. -- Bob L. Ross

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