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Christianity And… An Apologetics Podcast, etc.

Dear friends (Jeff Downs here) I want to inform you of some things that I’ve been involved in. First, and foremost is a new podcast called Christianity And…. An Apologetics Podcast.  We recorded our first episode a few weeks ago (hope to work out the sound issues).  Lord willing, future episodes will include a discussion on confutation in the pulpit, as well as working through Machen’s book Christianity and Liberalism.
Please like our FB page:
Podcast #1 is located here:

In connection with the podcast, we’re also putting together some T-shirts with various quotations, etc.  Check out and like the FB page here:

Finally (James will love this one), our family has been roasting coffee since 2005. We’ve decided that we’re going to roast and sell. If you’re interested, please check out and like our FB page:

Some of may be wondering about a journal I announced with a similar name as the podcast.  That is not going to happen.  Sorry.

2017 Bible Reading Plan — Read the Gospels Every Day

It is about that time of the year when we are introduced to creative ways to read our Bible for the next calendar year. Did you do it this year?

This is my ninth year encouraging others to take each day of the year to read and reflect on a single unit in the Gospels. Did you know there are about 365 units in the Gospels?

In the past, I cited five good reasons to own a Gospel Synopsis. The fifth reason is:

Read a synopsis in one year by reading one pericope [a gospel unit] every day. By coincidence, the synopsis contains 367 pericopes. That is, all four Gospels combined contain 367 units.

Get the following edition soon before the first of year so you are ready to go: Synopsis of the Four Gospels

Major Ministry Project Needs

About a decade ago we started the Ministry Resource List.  At first it was just an Amazon Wishlist, but eventually, to make sure Caesar was happy, we had to go a different way so as to cross all the demanded t’s and dot all the demanded i’s.  In any case, the MRL has been a vital part of my research and work, and, I’ll be honest, a massive source of encouragement.  Some folks just like to be able to do something “tangible” in assisting with projects and ministry outreaches.  We have found that often those who give through the MRL do not give otherwise.

For a while the MRL has been a hit-and-miss project due to the things I have been working on, debates I have been doing, etc.  Back when I first started studying Islam the MRL was vital in building the library that has allowed me to pursue that work for a decade now.


P45 at Acts 13:48

Today we are placing nine resources on the MRL, all associated with my new project in the field of textual criticism.  I have not been able to be nearly as specific in discussing the project as I would like, but it involves the in-depth study of one particular early papyri manuscript, 𝔓45.

[At this point I learned something to take to heart: never, ever, ever write in the WordPress edit window.  Write in a text program, then insert and edit as needed.  I wrote this entire article, hit “publish,” and from this point onward, since I had gotten all nice and fancy and had inserted the proper Fraktur “𝔓” for the papyri symbol, and super-scripted the number 45, WordPress deleted everything from that point onward—totally unrecoverable.  So I am trying to pretend that I am thankful to once again learn this rather obvious lesson for the 4,000th time!]  𝔓45 is an early third century manuscript containing fragmentary portions from the Gospels and Acts.  What is very important is that the sources from which the scribe drew differ in portions of the manuscript.  This opens a window into the available text types around the year AD 220.

I well know that the materials we are placing on the MRL are quite expensive.  Most are not available in libraries in the Phoenix area.  I could, of course, obtain their use for brief periods of time through other means, but this raises the issue we are facing: I do not believe I have the freedom to materially curtail the work Alpha and Omega is doing through the DL and conferences and debates and the like.  I need to keep the DL going, need to keep addressing a wide variety of issues, and so I need to have these resources at hand so that, when I can invest time in the project, they are there, ready to go.  Further, even once the project is completed, these resources will be vital for the continued work in defending the veracity of the NT against both secular and religious opposition.

I can only promise to seek under God’s guidance to be a good steward of these resources.  Given how the list is set up now, you can give even a small amount toward the cost of these materials, and every bit truly helps.  Thank you for considering being a part of this ministry in a very material and tangible fashion!

New Books on Apologetics

Three new apologetic books (there are probably many others) are now available for you:

1. The Absurdity of Unbelief: A Worldview Apologetic of the Christian Faith, by Jeffrey D. Johnson. This one has an endorsement from James White, “In The Absurdity of Unbelief, Jeffrey Johnson provides a clear and compelling case for the Christian faith, readable and usable for believer and unbeliever alike.”

Here is a short description:
Because all non-Christian worldviews are indefensible, it is not sufficient for skeptics to attack Christianity without also defending the foundation for their own unbelief. Everyone has a worldview, even atheists and skeptics, but only the Christian worldview is not self-contradictory. The Absurdity of Unbelief demonstrates why every possible reason for unbelief is irrational and ultimately meaningless by exposing the various self-refuting systems of thought in which these objections are rooted.

2. In Defense of the Eschaton: Essays in Reformed Apologetics, by William Dennison. Of this work Lane Tipton states, “The essays in this volume are not mere restatements of Vos or Van Til. Rather, you will find here creative and constructive applications of their basic insights to topics that advance Reformed theology and apologetics. Dr. Dennison’s work as a whole represents a high-level synthesis of the methodologies of Vos and Van Til. He seeks to apply a radically non-speculative, revelationally regulated methodology to a host of issues that neither Vos nor Van Til had opportunity to address. I enthusiastically commend to the reader the work of Dr. Dennison. His insights are penetrating, and his interests are wide-ranging. He has taken up the mantle of Vos and Van Til in both the polemical defense and constructive extension of the Reformed faith. I pray this volume finds a wide and appreciative readership.” Click here to read a sample.

3. Christian Theistic Evidences (2nd Edition), by Van Til, Edited by K. Scott Oliphint. William Edgar says, “Christian Theistic Evidences represents Cornelius Van Til’s first, revolutionary statement of presuppositional (or covenantal) apologetics. It contains all his major statements against the pretended neutrality of fact, of reason, and of foundations. Dr. Oliphint’s masterful annotations clarify and enhance the beauty of the text. His introduction is pure gold. This is must reading for anyone who wishes apologetic method to be consistent with sound theology.” Click here to read a sample. Scott Oliphint was recently interviewed on the Reformed Forum podcast discussing this latest edition. Click here to listen.

On another note: “We should trust our salvation on Jesus Christ, not only on Him who alone can save and who is able to save perfectly, but on Him who has more good will to save than we can have willingness to be saved by Him.” Robert Traill