I love to listen to James White. For those who do not know, James White studies and teaches Christian theology and Calvinism. For the most part, James supports orthodox Christianity. While I do not agree with him on numerous points, I enjoy how carefully he works his arguments, and respect how he approaches others in a loving, Christ Like manner. He has a podcast/show called “The Dividing Line,” where he dives deep into a multitude of theologies, carefully calling out those public figures (and Christian speakers) whom he does not agree with, utilizing carefully worded arguments.
Shawn McCraney, on the other hand represents the opposite. First, Shawn holds unorthodox viewpoint on numerous, fundamental Christian theologies (such as the concept of the Trinity). While somewhat relatable and charismatic, Shawn does not bring the ability to debate and clearly express and support opinions on the fly. More often than not, Shawn lacks grace and love when criticizing other Christian leaders on points he does not agree with.
Shawn’s viewpoints have earned him the ire of many Christian leaders in the state of Utah, as well as other parts of the United States. He has an open inventation for others to come on his show to discuss their contrasting viewpoints on scirpture and theology. To my surprise, James White has agreed to do just that. Next month, they will do a three hour show to air out their differences.
In discussing this upcoming event on his show, Shawn had a little advertisement sign up that stated “Shawn vs. James White. Is There Really a Dividing Line?” I really like this byline.
Having watched plenty of both shows, I free pretty confident in predicting that neither will change their mind on the major issues of theology such as Calvinism, the Trinity, Sola Scriptura, etc. However, I could see Shawn asking James, at the end of the show, “Would you still accept me as a brother, knowing that I differ with you on these points?”
As I mentioned before, I have had a pastor make it clear to me that he could not consider me a brother in Christ because I did not attend a traditional church. I questioned numerous brothers, “If someone did not believe in the concept of the Trinity as we understand it today, would they still go to heaven?” and many said, “No.”
Yet, as I have pointed out before, God does not issue us a theology test to enter Heaven. He will simply look to see if we have been “Born Again.” For that, we simply have to repent of our sin and put our full faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Whether or not we had the right idea about the make up of God, went to a particular church, got baptized, or had the right answers to a theology test will not make a difference.
Because of this simple fact, we should learn to embrace others as siblings in faith who approach us “in the name of the Lord.” Is there a dividing line? Of course. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom. However, that line is not drawn on teachings and theologies made by man, but, rather, the truth taught in the Gospel. We must repent of our sins, acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and be born again. These other topics are important, and we should discuss them. However, we should not draw a dividing line over them.
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