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The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal To Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free Kindle Edition
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|Length: 358 pages|
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I bought Chosen But Free (by Norman Geisler) hoping to find a good rebuttal to Calvinist doctrine so I could continue holding to my free will theology. Boy was I disappointed! Not only is his terminology offputting, but his clear hatred of the Reformed tradition shines through. On top of that, his arguments left much to be desired. I struggled through what part I could read, and couldn't finish it. He'd cite a verse to support his conclusion, and I'd look the verse up only to find it didn't say anything close to what he claimed. It was frustrating to say the least.
After that I decided to read "The Potter's Freedom." This is an excellent book even if you have never picked up "Chosen But Free". It answered many of the questions I have had, and did so in a way that didn't want to make me run away screaming. I know some Calvinsts who's presentation of the very same facts make me want to scream, or simply tune them out.
Dr. White is NOT like that. He presents his arguments based on the Biblical texts, but does so in a way that attracts you instead of repels you. I found myself getting a whole new perspective on God and His mercy that just made me so thrilled with what I was learning that I wanted to run out and share it with everyone. I can no longer hold to Arminian theology after reading this.
I don't usually give a book 5 stars, but this book earns every one of them. It's also spurred me to look into the topic more deeply and I'm deciding what to read next.
In Potters Freedom, White repeated all the well-known biblical statements that affirm election but didn't at all try to deal with those that clearly show human freedom (for example, he loves most of John chapter 6 but doesn't employ his "exegesis" skills on or EVEN MENTION verse 64, a very interesting omission indeed!). It is a difficult issue that can best be solved by letting the Bible speak for itself instead of creating dogma. If that leaves the answer unclear, so be it. It's God's book. God might have been more precise if our little brains could have handled it. We know what he wants us to know and what we're ready for.
White seems to think he's more pious for repeatedly screaming "Sovereignty!" But his approach is completely illogical because it holds God ultimately responsible for every evil thing that's ever happened. White denies that but can't make his denial make sense. He wants to have it both ways: God works all things according to the counsel of His own will, but when it comes to evil White won't say that God did it. Which one is it?! Did God decide that Eve would eat forbidden fruit? Did He preordain Adam's failure; how about Satan's? Is God arguing both sides of this debate with Himself through our mouths right now? Does God guide the hands of the child rapist and murderer? On page 300 White refers to the "utter" sovereignty of God. He answers yes to these questions but WON'T SAY IT! I say NO! God created freedom, not confusion. The Holy Spirit is grieved at sin and is not the author of it. He does not want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. I'm not saying that the issue is simple. It's not. I'm just ok with it being beyond my grasp. Let's preach Christ and Him crucified. Let's preach all the doctrines in scripture, including election, but only take it as far as scripture does.
White's book IS PATHETIC because he refuses to acknowledge the difficulty of his doctrine and speaks as if he is so much more faithful and intelligent than Geisler. Until Mr. White steps up and at least tries to give an anwer to how I can be held responsible for God's decisions I will not have any respect for his position. White avoids every opportunity to give his bottom line argument. On page 332 White didn't have the guts to say, "Yes, God raped your daughter! But isn't it such a comfort to know God has everything under control. I'd hate to think she got raped without his Sovereign Hand guiding every moment of it!" Yet, that is exactly what he believes. What a nut! White's god is the only Being in the universe that could actually deserve hell under White's theology!