James White vs. Robert Sungenis

I was going through my e-mail drafts folders and found the following (I don’t know which day was “today’s” Dividing Line, nor do I remember if I ever posted this to the OTC list before; new comments by me are between brackets):

When I was a lost Calvinist I attended a debate at the University of Utah between James White and Robert Sungenis. The debate was:  “Is the Roman Catholic Mass a propitiatory sacrifice?” Anyway, on today’s “Dividing Line” James White played a brief clip of this debate:

Robert Sungenis:  “…apparently another factor exists which retards the atoning work of the cross. According to Scripture that factor is faithless disobedience.”

James White:  “Did you catch that? What retards the work of the cross? The very thing the cross takes away. What’s faithful [sic –CD] disobedience? That’s called sin. So the very thing that Christ was manifested to take away, is able to diminish and retard the work of the cross. There you go. There is man-centered religion. The very act whereby the Triune God glorifies Himself — the very center of history itself — and it is retarded by what? By what man does.”

[I think the above comment by Sungenis is the only part of the debate.  I think the above and the following here below, was White’s running commentary on the brief audio clip of the aforementioned debate:]

“… consider Hebrews 7:24 through 25 again, where it is said that Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those who draw nigh unto God through Him, seeing He always lives to make intercession for them. See what happens when you read that text from an anthropocentric perspective. The description of the people who are saved by Jesus — those who draw nigh unto God by Him — becomes the very limitation on the power of Christ; it is their continuing to come, it is their continuing to draw nigh that becomes the basis of the entirety of the work of Christ. And would not that destroy the very argument of the writer of Hebrews of the supremacy of Christ? Because I would argue that was the same thing in the old covenant. You see, once you identify the context of these passages, you can see that what were talking about here is a perfect work and if you add in the works of men you destroy the argument of the writer to the Hebrews.”

[These are excellent comments by White. But alas, like a good little tolerant Calvinist he will NOT take his own comments seriously. The necessary implication of universal atonement is that it “add[s] in the works of men” and thus “you destroy the argument of the writer to the Hebrews.” The blasphemous implications belched up from the universal atonement abyss are more than legion. One implication is a denial of divine omnipotence: sin, man, hell, death, and the devil are more powerful than the Sovereign Redeemer.]