The Saare-Turner Debate

Part One

Proposition: “The New Testament Scriptures teach that, for the penitent believer, water baptism is for, unto, or in order to the remission of sins.” Allan Turner affirms; Keith Saare denies.

Saare’s Addendum (posted 08/14/06):I am not one who desires to multiply words. Simply stated, I will make the conscience effort to meet the demands Mr. Turner stipulated for the rest of this debate.

I am, however, confused by his ideal for an “honorable debate.”  His assessments are rather subjective stated frankly, and I do believe I can make an objective defense against his accusations and condemnations for my mere differing approach. For example, in spite of Mr. Turner’s reproach for “introducing new material,” all the subjects I addressed in additional negatives were elaborations originally referenced in my first negative. What is his problem? Maybe it is another extension of his non-literal hermeneutics.

Undoubtedly it now appears to the readers, like it does to me, that Mr. Turner simply desires to change the rules in the middle of the game to make me a victim of his new strategy. If Mr. Turner shuts down this debate under the guise of “honorable debate,” he will reveal an inability to handle the issues at an exegetical level. His excuse will be otherwise, but so be it. (Who ever backs out of a debate courageously because of “broken” rules?) In this case, the words of a former mentor stand vindicated: “Error will always run from truth, but truth will never run from error.”

The Role of Translator vs. Interpreter

Mr. Turner will ever more have the propensity to blur the distinct roles between translator and interpreter. Such a pity.

“He [I, Keith Saare] has not produced one reputable Greek scholar—not one—who actually believes that eis in…Acts 2:38 should be translated ‘because of.’”

Did Mr. Turner even bother to read my third affirmative in which I addressed the principles pertaining to a philosophy of translation? By confusing the roles of translator and interpreter, Mr. Turner leads me to believe his expertise as translator and Greek student are really non-existent; it is all just a big sham so far. I suspect then he owes his hoopla of Greek to some good commentary from which he may plagiarize a few syntactical matters regarding the participles in Matthew 28:18-20. No competent grammarian would make such a reoccurring blunder to confuse the roles of translator and interpreter. Let us hope this suspicion is in error.

The reason I have not produced a Greek scholar thus far for Mr. Turner is because I deem it rather silly to play the “my scholar vs. your scholar” game. It reminds me of “my daddy can beat up your daddy!” The debater wins in this method by having the longest list of quotes to pull out of his pocket as Mr. Turner has shown.

If I do produce one reputable Greek scholar who believes eis in Acts 2:38 is causal, then what will his approach be? Will he say my scholar is not a really a “reputable” scholar after all?

This should be interesting.

Unto the remission of your sins (eis aphesin tôn hamartiôn hûmôn). This phrase is the subject of endless controversy as men look at it from the standpoint of sacramental or of evangelical theology. In themselves the words can express aim or purpose for that use of eis does exist as in 1Co 2:7 eis doxan hêmôn (for our glory). But then another usage exists which is just as good Greek as the use of eis for aim or purpose. It is seen in Mt 10:41 in three examples eis onoma prophêtou, dikaiou, mathêtou where it cannot be purpose or aim, but rather the basis or ground, on the basis of the name of prophet, righteous man, disciple, because one is, etc. It is seen again in Mt 12:41 about the preaching of Jonah (eis to kêrugma Iôna). They repented because of (or at) the preaching of Jonah. The illustrations of both usages are numerous in the N.T. and the Koine generally (Robertson, Grammar, p. 592). One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission. So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. III, 35-36).

I was reluctant to quote this because of my preference to speak from my own authority. I try to steer clear of Mr. Turner’s modus operandi of riding the coattails of other scholars. But it seemed to me that he was chomping at the bit, so I am granting him this request as a courtesy.

Well, it is time to put this proposition to rest once and for all where it belongs: in a grave six feet deep. Next it is my desire to demonstrate that salvation is wholly by grace, if Mr. Turner allows this debate to continue.

(As soon as Keith posts his First Affirmative of the second proposition a link with be posted here.—AT)

(Further Note: Keith Saare’s first affirmative is past due, but his first child, a son, was born the evening of August 29 by C-section. We rejoice with him. However, there were some complications (lungs not fully developed) and the child has been in ICU since birth. The mother hasn’t even been able to hold him, as of this posting on August 31. So, this is the reason for the delay, which I’m sure all will understand. Our prayers are for the Saare's new son and the whole Saare family at this critical time.—AT)

Go To Saare's First Affirmative In The Second Proposition

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Back To Saare’s Third Negative

Back To Turner’s Third Affirmative

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Back To Saare’s First Negative

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