Jan 26, 2010

Scheduled Debates

November 8, 9, 11, 12, 2010

at Crossroads Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C.

"The scriptures teach that God chose, before the world began, a definite number of people to be saved, without respect to any act on their part as a condition."

Affirm: Stephen Garrett
Deny: Bruce Reeves

"The Scriptures teach that God's election to salvation is of a class of persons and not specific individuals."

Affirm: Bruce Reeves
Deny: Stephen Garrett

August, 2011 (exact dates to be announced) at the "Church of Christ" in Conway, Arkansas. See this link:

http://www.hwy65churchofchrist.org/

"The scriptures teach that it is impossible for the child of God, one born again, to sin so as to be eternally lost."

Affirm: Stephen Garrett
Deny: Bruce Reeves

"The scriptures teach that it is possible for the child of God, one born again, to sin so as to be eternally lost."

Affirm: Bruce Reeves
Deny: Stephen Garrett

I am also working on another debate for the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Details to be announced in the near future.

4 comments:

johnrgentry said...

Stephen,

I pray you are well! I just heard about these debates with Reeves. You orally agreed to debate the church issue and the subject of when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant began. Have you backed out of debating me again? I'm willing and ready to debate these subjects anytime.

Take care and God bless.

In Christian love,

John

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear John:

I never agreed to any other debates with you. We discussed the possibility, that is all. So, I must say that you are wrong to say that I have "backed out" of debating you, and certainly not "again."

I never agreed to debate the topic of when the New Covenant began. The issue was never when it officially began, but whether any person was ever saved by any covenant other than the new.

As to debating the issue of church origins, the proposition you suggested was too broad, as I told you.

I am open to other debates, but am in discussion with others about them and can only do so many, especially with my business situation being what it is. If we did have another debate, perhaps we could have a six hour debate on Saturday in Louisville again.

Perhaps the doctrine of original sin would be a better topic.

You told me a few months ago that you were going to put our debate on eternal security on the internet as you did with our baptism debate. What's up with that?

Blessings,

Stephen

johnrgentry said...

Dear Mr. Garrett,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I'm not going to quibble over whether you orally agreed to two other debates or we simply "discussed the possibility."

I can understand where my statement about you backing out could be confused. I was using the word "again" as an adverb in the prepositional phrase "of debating me again" to modify "debating." It was not intended to modify "backed out." You have not previously backed out of debating me. You have previously debated me, twice--"will you back out and not debate me again?" was the intended idea.

Regarding the issue of the covenants, during our QnA on Friday night of the baptism debate, Dr. Griffin clearly stated that we should debate "when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant began." We both orally agreed that would be a good subject to debate. Surely you don't have the idea that I don't know people were saved under the Old Covenant (or before)??? The issue is not "whether any person was ever saved by any covenant other than the new." The issue is what were/are the specific requirements of salvation under the Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant. Seeing this is the issue, it becomes necessary to ascertain when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant began. That was the point of our discussion during the QnA that prompted Dr. Griffin to suggest the above mentioned topic for debate to which we agreed.

The topic of the true church has not been debated very often, but the propositions I gave you on this subject are the same propositions that have worked well for previous debates on this subject. I will give them again here:

1) The church of Christ of which I am a member is scriptural in origin, doctrine, name and practice.
Affirm: John R. Gentry
Deny: Stephen Garrett

2) The Baptist church of which I am a member is scriptural in origin, doctrine, name and practice.
Affirm: Stephen Garrett
Deny: John R. Gentry

You say this is too broad, but this is exactly the issue. You have mentioned that people may not understand "church of Christ" or "Baptist church" and may think we are referring to two specific local congregations. I really believe everyone knows what is meant by the Baptist church and the church of Christ. But if not, then that's exactly what the first few seconds/minutes of the 1st affirmative speech is for--to define your terms. If you are truly interested in debating this subject, then let's agree on some propositions.

The idea of an all day Saturday debate is rather intriguing. I believe it would work fine, but I want to talk with the elders about it first.

Regarding a debate on "the doctrine of original sin," I would certainly be willing to debate this subject. I'll try to send you some propositions soon.

Regarding the debate on eternal security not being posted yet, that is strictly my fault. Some things came up and I got way behind in my work. I'm actually working on the eternal security debate right now. I'll let you know when it is posted.

Take care and God bless.

In Christian love,

John R. Gentry

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear John:

It is my view, and that of Dr. Griffin, that the New Covenant began when Jesus died and the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost. Both of us believe that the people saved during the Old Covenant, and even before the Old Covenant, were saved by faith and repentance, or on the basis of the New Covenant. We do disagree, however, concerning whether Old Testament believers were ever born again. Dr. Griffin takes the view that none were born again till Pentecost, a view that Scofield also held.

This would not be a good issue to debate, in my view.

The debate concerning which church is scriptural in origin, doctrine, and practice is too broad, as I said. Besides this, there are other topics of greater interest and concern. Besides, the issue of which church is right in doctrine, on eternal security, faith alone, etc., get to the heart of the question as to which church is scriptural.

This is why I introduced another major disagreement regarding original sin and total depravity.

We have a church in Knoxville that may be interested in hosting a debate, but again, my schedule may be an obstacle. This is why I suggested a one day debate in Louisville. The cost would be much less and we could do three sessions in one day, one before lunch, one after lunch, and one in the evening.

Blessings,

Stephen