The mindset of fundamentalism (all of doctrine is definitional: there is no hierarchy of truth, no defining doctrines, and most importantly, no adiaphora) turns Reformed theology into a mirror image of Phariseeism, a graceless, loveless, hard, stony, cutting weapon fit only for online warfare but never for living life in the body of Christ. It repels, divides, and destroys. – James White, Facebook on October 29, 2019
A fundamentalist – if used as a pejorative rather than the classical sense – is someone who is unable to differentiate between theological matters of primary, secondary, and tertiary importance. Sadly, the Phoenix apologist and director of Alpha and Omega Ministries seems unable to avail himself from a fundamentalist mindset and unwilling to separate carefully between these category distinctions.
In response to the Text and Canon Conference, held on October 26-27 in Georgia by Reformed believers who are convinced that the Textus Receptus is the most accurate reflection of the Bible’s original manuscripts, James White recently likened their arguments to those put forward by Muslims and Atheists.
First, to my fellow apologists who do not buy into TROnlyism and who seek to give a defense of the NT against atheists, Muslims, etc., in the public square (something that to my knowledge the TR Only position has yet to attempt in any major way), you will need to tune into the arguments being put forward by the TR Only guys, because *they will be taken up and used against you by the atheists and Muslims.
Keep in mind, White said this about people who share his supposed Confession of Faith, but who have a different perspective on which is the most reliable Bible translation.
Technically, those presenting their views at the Text and Canon Conference are not “King James Only,” per se, but hold to the view that the Textus Receptus – an edition of the Greek texts from which the King James Version of the New Testament was derived – is superior to later editions which they feel are corrupted or counterfeit. This is a view held by Joel Beeke and many other fine brothers in the Christian faith.
White had previously said on a webcast that he could not debate a Muslim alongside a Textus Receptus advocate. Rather, he will debate Muslims alongside Michael Brown, whose view on continued revelation denies the Sufficiency of Scripture, leaving many to wonder if White has been overcome with an unhealthy kind of fundamentalism that cripples his ability to think through theology categorically and prioritize distinctions appropriately.
Sadly, White continues to slander Christians far more orthodox than his good friend and debating partner, Michael Brown, by claiming that Textus Receptus advocates will be used as co-belligerents against the Holy Bible by Muslims an atheists, which is a tall charge indeed. It’s a conspiratorial claim of the highest order and is a demonstration of fanatical fundamentalism.
Truelove, Riddle, and others taking part in the Text and Canon Conference (which was very much the “public square” that White says they are avoiding) do not hold to a KJV-Onlyism that denounces or anathematizes those who disagree on this issue. For them, it’s a matter of academic concern and the conference handled the matter of textual criticism in a scholarly fashion (and many of us disagree with their conclusion, but it was an honorable attempt, nonetheless). But for James White, his hatred of their position on the King James Bible seems to be one of blind and irrational rage and a foaming, frothing, irrational fundamentalism that is emotive rather than intellectual.
If you would like to meaningfully critique the arguments presented at the Text and Canon Conference, you can do so by listening to the positions presented here.
Pulpit & Pen would like to kindly admonish brethren to behave like brethren, and not so harshly treat one another in a way only fit for online warfare.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
[Editor’s Note: Pulpit & Pen does not hold to the Textus Receptus advocate position, and citations from Scripture used at this publication are from the English Standard Version]