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Puritan Board Freshman
There is a debate on the topic of: Are Roman Catholics Members of the New Covenant? between DOUG WILSON and JAMES WHITE.

what do you guys know about these two debaters and what are your thoughts about the topic? Not what side are you on so much as what is the debate going to be about?



Puritan Board Freshman
As far as church affiliation goes James White is Reformed Baptist and Douglas Wilson is Presbyterian (Reformed Presbyterian Church I believe).

Both men claim adherence to most aspects of Reformed doctrine and both have authored many outstanding books.

Dr. White has basically made a second career out of publicly debating controversial topics. I am not sure how many formal debates Mr. Wilson has participated in, but he is an experienced speaker.

The controversy here is over the extent of the New Covenant and who are properly called its members. Doug Wilson has adopted one of several new forms of what might be called hyper-covenantalism. In oversimplified terms, the position he espouses is that nearly anyone who receives trinitarian baptism is a member of the New Covenant. Therefore Roman Catholics would qualify (and so would members of the SDA, Cambellite churches and certain Armstrongian groups.). James White argues against this position, countering that baptism in the absence of the proclamation of the gospel is meaningless and as such cannot in and of itself identify someone as being under the New Covenant. There are other related areas of controversy in Douglas Wilson's recent writings, not the least of which is his theological handshaking with N. T. Wright.

My own position would lie somewhere away from either of these gentlemen. I believe Douglas Wilson is promoting heresy here, subtle though it may be. However, James White is baptistic so I do not agree with his idea of who is and is not a Covenant member. As such I do not think Dr. White is the best man for the job as far as correcting Wilson goes. He carries baptistic baggage into the debate leaving room for Wilson to characterize him as Anabaptist or Donatist or otherwise misinformed about the true nature of the reformed covenant perspective. I expect some time in this debate will be spent in argument over these non-central points.

Do a serch on objectivity of the new covenant and you will get both sides on this. Lots of bandwidth has been used up on a number of folks' blogs over this issue.

Hope this helps a bit,


Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:99edc3daf6][i:99edc3daf6]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:99edc3daf6]
James White is a very good debater (as far as points and style go).

I have only listened to one of Wilson's debates (against an atheist) and it was, bluntly, poor.

-Paul [/quote:99edc3daf6]

Interesting. What was poor about it Paul?
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