Do Christian Apologists Care About Theology?
Many in the inter-faith dialogue community would be surprised to know that most Christian apologists and polemicists do not care about theology. In fact, most of them ban, delete and criticize Christians who try to discuss inter-Christian theological matters. For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to Protestant Christians, since they tend to be the ones engaging most with Muslims. Theology necessarily deals with the doctrines about God, the nature of God, what salvation is, who is saved, and how one should use scripture. These are topics that a necessary for every faithful and devout Christian to have studied. Yet, most Christian apologists and polemicists are agnostic when it comes to declaring their beliefs. Most Protestant Christians fall under Arminian or Calvinist beliefs. The differences between being one or the other are vast, how one is saved, predestination, freewill, redemption, atonement and grace are all disputed between these two doctrines. Believing one or the other, often leads to accusations of apostasy and heresy. So where do Christian polemicists like Sam Shamoun and David Wood fall on these important beliefs?
Sam doesn’t care whether his explanation of scripture goes against important creeds and doctrines based on the Bible. To him, important doctrines do not matter. So what if an explanation he gives contradicts an important Biblical creed? In his words, so be it!
David gets really angry when Christians try to discuss important and necessary topics about Christian beliefs about salvation, he does not identify with either Arminian theology or Calvinist theology, he flutters somewhere in between and is an agnostic when it comes to his theology. During one discussion about the nature of God’s love, he expressed his rage inducing anger on fellow Christians, reacting rabidly towards them:
Another devout Christian was shocked at David’s disregard for an honest and heartfelt discussion between fellow Christians on the nature of God’s love in Christianity:
What were the topics David did not want Christians discussing with him? Christian theology, election (how you are saved by God, is it predetermined or not), the perfection of God…..
What was David’s response to all of this?
Distract them with Islam! You can only speak to David about Islam! Don’t you dare try to discuss Christian theology, especially salvation and the nature of God, you can only discuss Islam! According to David, his theology concerning the nature of God, salvation, scripture, is all determined by, “the only side I take on this issue is the opposite of whoever is trying to disrupt a conversation…“. So just like Sam Shamoun, David doesn’t care about Christian theology, he flip flops between essential creeds that determine the nature of God and how you are saved, based on whoever he’s arguing with. He doesn’t care about Christian theology, he just prefers distracting Christians with Islam.
Matt Slick, Anthony Rogers, Sam Shamoun and Tony Costa
Recently Anthony went bobbing for apples and drowned in three inches of water. He decided to criticize some of the arguments I used in my debate with Tony Costa. Unfortunately for him, he ended up declaring the beliefs of Shamoun and Slick to be heretical. Regarding my arguments, he realised my arguments were based upon the Christology (what a Christian believes about the nature of Jesus) of his friends, and not on his own personal Christology. This led to the revelation that the beliefs of his Christian apologist friends were heretical. Anthony proclaimed:
However, Tony Costa does not believe in this doctrine of the “communicatio idiomatum” (nota bene: the Latin word is ‘idiomatum,’ not ‘idiomatium’), and that doctrine is not taught in but rather is contradicted by the orthodox definition of the incarnation authoritatively set down in the Chalcedonian Creed (q.v. “inconfusedly,” and “the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH NATURE BEING PRESERVED…”).
What’s that? The doctrine of ‘communicatio idiomatum’ is a contradiction of orthodoxy? That makes it heretical to believe in. Yet guess who believes in and defends Christianity using a doctrine that Anthony considers to be…..”contradicting orthodoxy”? His very friends, Sam Shamoun and Matt Slick!
Sam Shamoun uses the doctrine to defend the dual nature of Christ against Muslim objections: Click this link.
Matt Slick who operates CARM and is often featured alongside Sam and Wood on ABN/ Trinity TV also promotes and believes in this doctrine: Click this link.
What did Anthony do when he realised my arguments in the debate with Tony Costa was based on the Christology of his friends? He decided to correct a typo in one of my sentences by dedicating three paragraphs and two comments on YouTube about it. Yet, I persisted, he had made an error. He had wrongly criticized me, and at the same time had claimed that the beliefs of Sam and Matt contradicted orthodoxy, thus declaring them heretics. As expected, realising his error, he quickly left the conversation. The entirety of which can be read here.
Anthony was kind enough to post the conversation for me. Here’s the link to the images. For some reason he edited out the last two comments of the conversation, and chose not to link directly to the source as I did. As can be noted, when caught out, he resulted to arguing about a single typo. Such is the level of polemics he chooses to engage in, and of which I will not lower myself to.
He’s considered to be one of the leading Calvinist apologists today. Debating Catholics, Jehovas Witnesses, Arminians and more. Yet, when it comes to his very own Christian friends like Sam and Wood, he fails to correct them. Fails to teach them. He’d readily criticize a Muslim for speaking incorrectly about Christian theology, yet he abjectly fails when it comes to educating fellow Christian apologists about central creeds and beliefs necessary for their salvation. It would be interesting to see if White would be consistent this time around. Here we have Shamoun and Wood openly disregarding Calvinist theology. These are statements made in the public domain.
Surely then, White, as a staunch defender of Calvinist theology would not stand for this. Given that he can condemn literally almost every other Christian sect that disagrees with Calvinist theology, it should be expected that he would also in like, publicly reprimand Shamoun and Wood for their gross misconduct regarding core theological beliefs. However, this is unlikely. White would not dare criticize the theology of Shamoun or Wood, regardless of how critical they are of Calvinist theology. If a Muslim had criticized Calvinist theology, we could have expected a 2 hour long Dividing Line episode on their lack of consistency. Such is the standard that White holds himself and his faith up to.
So where does this leave us? These polemicists do not care about Christianity. Studying and defending Christian theology is not important to them. Believing in heretical beliefs is of no importance. They go to extreme odds to prevent discussion about inter-Christian theological differences. The next time a Christian interacts with Sam, Wood, Rogers and Slick, ask them, do you care about your theology? Do they care that none of their Christologies are compatible, that they each differ about the very nature of God and the means of salvation in Christianity? Do they care? The answer is an unequivocal, no.
and God knows best.