Dr. James R. White is a Christian apologist and the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries. He has been a New Testament Professor in the past having taught NT Greek, Systematic Theology and Apologetics. Here is his Biography.
He has overviewed and given his thoughts on two debates:
In the previous post, I reviewed the first debate “Is the Bible Inerrant” between Dr. Michael R. Licona vs Dr. Richard G. Howe. I have also watched and reflected on the second debate above between Dr. Bart D. Ehrman vs Dr. Peter J. Williams on the question if the Gospels are historically reliable. I will not be reviewing this second debate myself on this blog. However, Dr. White gave his thoughts on both of these debates in the following video, which I will be reviewing here in this post:
You may also view a truncated version, but only on the Licona vs Howe debate, here.
Dr. James White speaks about ETS (Evangelical Theological Society), which he has not assisted since 1998 because he was discouraged by different theological and academic problems at ETS, such as Open Theism or Inerrancy (not Inspiration!). Inerrancy is pressured on scholars because it necessitates a concept of Scripture that it is not really allowed in the Academy. Having a high view of Scripture has meaning in individual texts, but there’s something in Scripture that transcends individual texts, so that the text reflects what God wanted and intended us to have in Scripture: The Faith. As a whole, the Bible is Inspired as a whole.
Are there mistakes in the Bible of any kind? Not whether God makes mistakes, but are there human mistakes in the Bible of any kind. For Ehrman, it does not seem to be possible that the Bible (a book) has human elements and still be a revelation from God.
A lot of people have the idea of divine dictation, but that is not a meaningful category. “Thus, says the Lord” is direct Revelation. That does not fit with most of the Gospels or the Pauline letters, or Apocalyptic literature. Mike Licona should have been able to distinguish divine dictation from Plenary Inspiration as represented in the Chicago Statement by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI).
At 43:00, Dr. White says “I certainly do not believe in a dictation theory.” But, then, “God is big enough to give us his Word and he is not be limited by us and by our choices and knowledge, and so on, and so forth.”
In the end, Dr. White did not really explain his views clearly in this YouTube video. It is evident that one must already be familiar with his teaching and all of his other videos to be able to understand why he makes the comments that he makes on these debates. Overall, Dr. White does not agree with Bart Ehrman. Ehrman was a believer in the 1970s/80s (?) and became “an apostate” as White says elsewhere in his speeches about the NT and Ehrman. White debated Ehrman in the past and he is familiar with his writings. White seems to have agreed with Peter Williams much more than Ehrman and he says that he would find himself somewhere in the middle between Licona and Howe. I will be reviewing Dr. White’s views on Inerrancy in another blog post.