I have had a standing debate invitation for David Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries for several years now. Recently, Reagan wrote a few blog articles critiquing prewrath. They were really bad and shallow. So I issued another challenge to him in the combox of one of his articles. Today, he wrote me via email stating why he refuses to debate:
“I do not participate in debates because I consider debating to be a carnal activity and a waste of time.” —Dr. David R. Reagan
This is shocking coming from a Christian who possesses such a low value on meaningful interaction about God’s truth.
Reagan could not be so wrong. And honestly, his “reason” is simply a cop-out.
First, so according to Reagan, having meaningful theological public exchanges with each other is a sin. By that logic Jesus is a sinner, and Paul, and believers all through church history, including all christian apologists today are “carnal.”
Of course Reagan never explains why he thinks it is a sin to participate in meaningful interaction on biblical topics. Chapter and verse please? I find it really absurd and bizarre on his part. Just the contrary, the Bible teaches that debate is commanded and it is an instrument God gave Christians to glorify Christ. There are many examples given in Scripture, but here is just two verses that debunk his claim. The following verses were originally intended to be expressed through speaking, not writing:
“The first to state his case seems right, until his opponent begins to cross–examine him.” (Proverbs 18:17)
“always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” (1 Pet 3:15)
Sure, not everyone is called to participate in formal debates, but the concept of believers sharpening each other and correcting each other in a public format is a good thing—not carnal.
Second, it is hypocritical of Reagan to claim that he does not believe in debating, since he does it all the time himself! How ironic that he has just written a series of articles attempting to critique prewrath (i.e. debating) and then following that up with he does not believe in debates.
So interacting behind a keyboard is good, but done vocally is carnal? That is the stupidest thing I have heard. I am glad people see through his nonsense reasoning.
Here is what Reagan really means: “I only want monologues, not dialogues. I want to make claims, but not be challenged by others on my claims. I want my followers to accept my word as Gospel, but I don’t want my arguments to be held accountable. I want to make shallow arguments and misrepresent prewrath behind a keyboard, but not have to defend my conclusions.”
Christians who love God’s truth, however, do not think in this isolated way. Meaningful interaction is a good thing and it is beneficial for God’s people, holding Christians accountable for their theological claims. It is glorifying to God.
Third, in the email to me he said that theological debates are a “waste of time.” Mr. Reagan needs to be careful with his words, since God has used debates as a way to proclaim his truth. Untold numbers of believers—and unbelievers—have benefited from debates.
In a prewrath vs pretrib debate, the audience would benefit from actual dialogues and not just monologues, since it often brings out more substantive discussions than behind a keyboard.
Debates are a God-glorifying medium of interaction for truth-lovers. Meaningful interaction is a good thing, holding Christians accountable for their errors and traditions (cf. Proverbs 18:17).
For the record, Mr. Reagan is turning down an opportunity for him to defend publicly his pretribulational beliefs. I am willing to put my prewrath claims under his cross-examination. But he is not willing to do the same with his.
That speaks volumes to people who follow this issue.
I honestly believe that Mr. Reagan is using this cop-out precisely because he knows he is unable to defend his assertions that he makes behind a keyboard. And many people do see through his pretext. (Pretrib excuses are getting more desperate every year.)
Debates are not “carnal” nor a “waste of time.” That is an irresponsible and ignorant statement. Debates are intended to be faith-building mediums of exchange for the people of God and for the glory of our Lord Christ.
I am confident that when the pretribulationist and prewrath views are presented side-by-side for others to evaluate, the prewrath position is seen to be the most viable, biblical position.
This is why since the development of the prewrath position in the past twenty-five years there has never—I repeat, never—been a formal moderated debate between a pretrib and prewrath exponent. Prewrath is willing. But not one pretrib teacher has ever taken up the challenge. This is one of the reasons why droves of ex-prettribbers are coming over to the prewrath side. Because they see who is able to defend their view biblically and who is not willing to defend their view.