Leighton Flowers’Hypocrisy Exposed by Dr. White ! Author: Dr. James White

Yes folks, for your daily accusation of “hypocrisy” today we do not have a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, an Arian, an atheist, a Unitarian, a Roman Catholic, a KJVO Cultist, or a Muslim! No, today we have a non-Arminian Traditionalist Synergistic Biblicist Southern Baptist allegedly former Reformed Baptist Youth leader—Dr. Leighton Flowers! Yes, Dr. Flowers has laid me bare in a Facebook post published just today.
Now the first thing I note is, I did not even know the Unbelievable program we did a few weeks ago, the “Grill James White” program, had appeared. But Leighton Flowers did. I must confess, I have so many things to be doing, so many projects to be working on, so much in my life, that I cannot conceive of taking the time to be hunting for ammo to use in pursuing a personal vendetta against someone. It speaks volumes to me, anyway.
So why am I charged with hypocrisy? Well, here’s the story. Justin Brierley lined up a few folks to call into the program to “ask questions.” OK, one of them seriously had a question, which I addressed. The other folks were looking for a chance to promote their personal agenda/theology (a lot like Flowers himself, I might note). One of them was an odd, one-off guy who denies the deity of Christ, and seems to base his entire argument upon a single book of Scripture, the book of Acts. His argument was that if the Apostles taught the deity of Christ, it should be the subject of, I guess, every sermon recorded in Acts.
Now, this was not a debate. It was a phone call that might have lasted ten—fifteen minutes? And my response to the caller was obvious: Acts is the second of two books (Luke/Acts). You do not isolate it from the Gospels, or from the epistles written by men like Paul, who are being quoted in the book itself! Hence, to define “Son of God” or “Lord” etc., as used in Acts, without reference to those other sources, is to create a complete mess of the New Testament as a whole, which was exactly what he was doing. For example, he insisted that “Son of God” was ONLY a Messianic title and has no relevance to the issue of the deity of Christ. Such a position is, of course, untenable in light of passages outside of the book of Acts.
So, how does this make me a hypocrite? Well, let’s let Dr. Flowers explain:
James White was on the Unbelievable? Podcast debating the divinity of Christ with an Unitarian. The Unitarian wanted to limit the discussion to the book of Acts alone and, with respect, I found White’s response quite hypocritical as it relates to his dealings with my hermeneutic.
White argued that our hermeneutic cannot be limited to just one section of the NT but that we must look at the entire context of scripture to establish our doctrines (sound familiar?). If you recall that in our debate Dr. White questioned my hermeneutic of going to the entire New Testament to establish the context (of Gods judicial hardening etc). He accused me of not doing exegesis properly because I appealed to passages outside of one single chapter (Romans 9). He even went so far as to argue that my approach would not work when defending the deity of Christ and other foundational doctrines, yet when he was debating this Unitarian he clearly had to go outside the one book the Unitarian wanted to limit the discussion to. I agreed with White in his debate against the Unitarian but his answers reveal exactly the point I was attempting to argue.
As you listen to White defend his hermeneutic against this Unitarian, I challenge you to apply his exact argument to our debate, I think the parallel will be astonishingly clear and White’s hypocrisy revealed.
There you go, folks! You know, when our debate ended, I felt sorry for Dr. Flowers. It was so obvious to everyone who had engaged the debate directly, who had presented the text, and who had consistently dealt with the debate thesis. The fact that Flowers was preaching rather than debating, that his statements were pre-written and he was simply reading them, even at the end of the debate, was not lost on the serious listener. Just last week I listened to a portion of the debate for the first time (since I was scheduled to do the same topic yesterday—a debate we will reschedule for either June or August, depending on how things go for me on the medical scheduling front), and heard Flowers admit that his presentation was not, in fact, consistent with how he would defend the deity of Christ, etc. I really don’t think Flowers knew then, and it is plainly clear that to this day he still doesn’t get it, that his answer concluded the debate. He is just so wedded to his task as the “Calvinist slayer” for a segment of the “Traditionalist” movement that he cannot understand the necessity of consistency, the necessity of using proper hermeneutics and exegesis. It also illustrates the danger that comes with mono-vision, a focus upon one topic, one theme, one issue. Flowers has, sadly, become a one-string banjo, and that one string is fraying (and out of tune).
As the fair-thinking person can see, the attempted parallel to our debate is—untenable. There was no debate on Unbelievable: it was a phone call with a clearly imbalanced unitarian who had a hobby-horse to ride that isn’t even representative of any serious scholarly position. We had not announced a debate on “The Deity of Christ in the Book of Acts.” A strong presentation could be made on that thesis, but that was not the case on the radio program. It is wide-eyed desperation to even attempt to parallel such a phone call with a specifically titled, moderated, public debate, wherein both sides had equal time to demonstrate the teaching of Romans 9. Dr. Flowers demonstrated then, and now, that his “synergistic traditionalism” or whatever he wishes to call it is a synthetic system of man’s traditions, not the result of serious, consistent biblical exegesis. He demonstrated that you cannot derive his position from Romans 9; you must begin elsewhere, cobble together passages, introduce external philosophical issues, and then apply the resultant theological goo liberally to the text to cover over the problems. And as long as he remains happily ignorant of how obvious his procedure is, he will continue to make more committed Calvinists, as his mentors at SWBTS have been doing for decades now.
Flowers wishes to now pretend that the debate parameters were, well, as wide as he wanted to make them. He knows he cannot walk through Romans 9 *in the presence of knowledgeable opposition* without first brewing up his a-contextual soup so as to provide the proper spin to the text. And this is the parallel he wishes to improperly assert (and use as a pretext of accusation of hypocrisy on my part): he wants to try to parallel the demand on a caller’s part to limit the data in the issue of the deity of Christ to the book of Acts to his expanding the parameters of a debate on Romans 9 to that of total inability or the entire NT’s teaching on this matter or that. And if that is the parallel he wants to attempt to use—I leave him to it. His recent desperation is only demonstrating he has a dangerously imbalanced view of the issue. I noted a few days ago that he sent an open letter in which he promised to contact all my future debate opponents to “warn them” about how they will be so badly mistreated! Combine that with this post alleging hypocrisy based upon a phone call with a Unitarian in London, and you really start to understand why I, and not a few others, are thinking the term “stalker” is becoming more and more appropriate in describing Dr. Flowers’ behavior.


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