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Aaron vs. Kwaku: The Debate Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2020 8:14 pm

Aaron vs. Kwaku: The Debate Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 31, 2020 8:14 pm

MRM’s Aaron Shafovaloff talks with MRM founder Bill McKeever about his debate with LDS apologist Kwaku El and provides some commentary. To watch the debate, go to


Viewpoint is mainly to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism are. Thanks for a band for that musical introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Erin shuffle all of my colleague at MRM. Welcome back Aaron.

I'm really enjoying this discussion that were having regarding the debate that you had with a latter-day St. man by the name of Quaker L was held on March 6, 2020 at the Utah Valley University. There was easily about 300 people there. They were putting more chairs out, and I think it's a pertinent topic and something that interests a lot of people I was reading some of the comments on Facebook after the debate was over he received a lot of kudos, especially from some former Mormons who I think really needed to hear what you had to say and yet from some active Mormons yeah will let them and that's great. And so, but let's again go back what were the topics of the debate three topics where is salvation by faith alone and beforehand I was very clear with quick you that my salvation here.

I'm taking the position that this is receiving eternal life adoption seen in the Holy Spirit getting here inheritance.

Secondly, was there a great apostasy. Thirdly, our families forever, which has as its focus in the definition of family there in the nuclear family. Now, as I mentioned in an earlier show you and I had a speaking engagement north of Salt Lake City where we were to be there for a Q&A session and you were discussing some of the things that you plan to bring up during this debate. So I was pretty familiar with your game plan your strategy.

I've got to tell you. Aaron, one of the things that really bothered me was almost immediately Quaker who launches off into a lot of logical fallacies which I found to be very troubling. But he also went off topic. I don't think people realize just how ugly this was to set it up.

We had a sponsor for the debate which was paying eight at their own cost is substantial sum to help rent the facility. We had teams of evangelical Christians helping advertise the debate and we had a lot of people just helping spread the word and show up under the assumption that we were going to debate the actual topics as advertised. Now when Quaker night decided on the topics getting a moderator so we were looking for moderator and I thought it was just use the sponsor of of the event to help moderate. His name is also Aaron and I thought you were knocking need a strong moderator and we talked about it and the idea was, you know we can trust each other to play by the ground rules of the debate.

That's part of what makes it a beta debate as you have a structure a set of topics and you stay relatively within your lane and you have a focused conversation on this topic so you had about 300 people there waiting in this auditorium and Quaker shows up 30 minutes late, while 300 people are waiting and he gets up for his portion of the debate, and he almost immediately goes way off the topic instead of talking about is salvation by faith alone, which has a pretty standard set at a domain of points of interest and texts that are treated. He almost immediately starts talking about predestination and Calvinism and basically spent much of his time in topic one topic two talking about Luther and Calvin and arguing about how he thought they were so awful and how Christians essentially were a hop skip and a jump away from being as to sound silly saying this out loud, but he argued that we were hop skip and a jump from basically being supporting mass murder and the brought that up throughout the debate it should be mentioned throwing it out there is a little dig here and there that Protestantism is a roundabout contribution to the Holocaust and to American slavery, as that is the op that has idea was, not that just cultural Protestantism can be linked to it, but that the theology of believing that the Bible is sufficient and what we believe what the Bible says is itself gives way to mass murder.

This is not about salvation by faith alone would be stuck in by her decision about justification or adoption or sanctification. This this is about the texts that were dealing with and this is just being a smear a bunch of historical overstatements, even.

But it very ugly I'm good. I know I cannot use this word loosely values it a hateful display of contempt for Protestant Christians and with a smile on his face all the while mocking me for having evangelical fervor higher volume and assertive preaching, but a kind of sweet, soft hate in his voice for Protestant Christians in a debate reshipped 30 minutes late with people that had spent time and money helping advertise the debate Quaker came under false pretenses and he violated the social contract of the debate to stay relatively within the lane of the agreed-upon topics and he showed himself to be an untrustworthy debate partner. So I tried to roll with it.

I think probably the best criticisms I received was that I took the bait and I went down rabbit holes and I think if I had to do it ever again. I would've addressed it head on to show that I'm not hedging on the issues on the bold and unapologetic and affirm what the Bible says about these topics, but I ought not have gone so far. Deep down the hole and fate. What was strange about this is the last debate we did. We had a whole sub topic on predestination and so it's not that were afraid to talk about it is not that I would shy away from having even a debate about it and talking about it, it's that that wasn't this debate and he violated the the trust of and the social contract inherent to the debate most certainly did night and I think he only enforced an idea that I've had for a long time when talking with Mormons one on one, because I've had them bring that up else it will what about Calvinism. Here's my answer now I know you probably need to address at least some point in the debate context, but the reason why I usually don't in the common line that I've use with Latter Day Saints is look the Calvin Arminian debate is an in-house debate and you're not in the house and it's clear by the way Quaker who was describing it as if that is evangelical Christianity only prove my point. They're not ready for that discussion. And so usually on the streets. Typically, a layperson in the church is not ready for that discussion. Either they just have stereotypes of what they think it is. And rather than waste a lot of time on that. I would much rather get to where they are native turned the way he presents. It is also deceptive because he's not attacking Calvinism for Calvinism he's attacking Calvinism for being an expression of classic theism is what I mean by that. When I discussed this issue with Quaker in the past. It's become clear that any theistic model, which has God is the ultimate primary cause and God is the foundation of all being in God is the one who knows the definite future.

Any classical theistic model where God has that certain future for he knows what will come to pass, and he decides to go with it anyway.

That would include the Arminian position. The Calvinistic position.

The Mullen's position that all violates the sensibilities that he has for what would constitute a just and fair God, so that brought up in the debate later was licked his complaints against this are not particularly Calvinism. He has elsewhere expressed favor for the view of what's called open theism, open theism is the view that God does not know the definite future that he knows the possible outcomes, but he does not know the definite outcomes with respect to human decision-making for a lot of Mormon philosophers and those who dabble in Mormon philosophy that is the only choice they see is a viable for rescuing themselves, as it were rescuing God if they could from the problem of evil so Quaker you while he might look like he's taking a snipe at Calvinism. He's actually with respect to his actual complaints. He's firing a shotgun against all of classical theism, and I would even include classic Morgan theism because classic Mormonism affirms God's foreknowledge at some point a lot of latter-day St. leaders have talked very frankly about God knowing the definite future. They know what we will do.

They've had a view of simple foreknowledge, so he ends up throwing his own leaders under the bus by favoring open theism stuck about that expression under the bus because you use that expression in the debate when he kept using examples from Luther in his later life. Specifically, some of his comments regarding the Jews, and he also brought up Calvin and the issue with Servetus and I don't know if a lot of people understood the history behind both those events in both of those issues, but you made the comment that you would have no problem throwing a Luther or Kelvin under the proverbial bus for those expressions and deeds that were troubling and certainly antithetical to our Christian if needed I will throw all of Calvin and all of Luther under the bus wherever they contradict the Bible or Christian ethics, so I'm not beholden to them. Like I am my prophets and apostles and what I told him was I would not want to be a part of a religion that has to throw its apostles and prophets under the bus. I'm I'm not ashamed of Paul in the debate Quaker actually went after Paul.

He basically called Paul in a roundabout way called in a sexist. He said that Paul had sexist views and later another Mormon apologist. The Q&A got up and said that Paul essentially was a racist and quick.

You seem to be favorable toward that too so he threw Paul under the bus and winning it telling Craig in the debate was I'm happy to treat Calvin and Luther like you treat that let you treat Brigham Young youth are Brigham Young under the bus so fast when you don't agree with him.

Well you know what that's how I treat let Martin Luther and Calvin whenever they don't align with the Bible and happy to quote them with a great and happy to disagree with him whether not great but if you have a prophet or apostle. You have to treat them with a higher standard of accountability and they don't.

They seem to just go well they don't take them that seriously, that's what is very frustrating sometimes when having this discussion with Latter Day Saints.

They want to revere these men as being chosen by God to guide the church and they do give this error of infallibility, though they would never go that far and say it like that but like even what we're hearing right now, and in a lot of Mormons praising how they have Russell M Nelson on you know that had the president of their church guiding them in this crisis that are countries going through and really what he's saying is nothing any different that I could find on most websites when it comes to preparedness, mostly donating the CDC recommendations absolutely is. It's just very frustrating but I I agree with you totally. I think when it comes to bad behavior or even bad ideas that counter what we understand the New Testament to be teaching.

We should be quick to refute those kind of statements and those kind of actions but yet unfortunately he kept giving the impression that that was really the result of what we believe regarding this idea of salvation by grace through faith and that Jesus was enough for him to continue this conversation with Erin in the debate that he had with Quaker UL on March 6, 2020 at Utah Valley University. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Amicus research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.

We hope you'll join us again as we look at another viewpoint is prepared to engage Mormon missionaries when they knock on your door. Perhaps the book Mormonism 101 Wilhelm Mormonism 101. Published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore

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