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Two New Systematics (Sproul & Kelly)

One reason many of you enjoy Alpha and Omega Ministries is because of the clarity of the message. Whether through blog posts, audio, video or books the gospel is clearly proclaimed. As much as possible, theological issues are addressed to the common reader. Or, as one apologist used to say “We need to get the hay out of the loft and put it down on the barn floor where the cows can eat it” (actually, I believe this originated with Donald Gray Barnhouse).

In Reformed circles (and beyond) it goes without saying that R. C. Sproul puts the hay on the floor for us common folk. His new systematic theology titled Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology is no different. This book is currently on sale for $15.20 (20% off) right here. If you purchase 5 or more, they will cost you $9.50 each. A sample of this book is located here. It is worth purchasing. Chapters are short and too the point, easy to outline with memorable definitions. Perhaps a glossary after each chapter would have been helpful, but without one, it simply forces you to do some work.

Speaking of Sproul, it was announced last month that Stephen Nichols will become the second president of Reformation Bible College beginning July 1. Nichols is an able, and very articulate spokesman for the reformed faith. Someone recently told me that Nichols is so clear, she could listen to him read the phone book. Anyway, here is a sampling of Dr. Nichols on the topic of “Why the Reformation Matters”. Nichols also spoke at this year’s Ligonier’s conference on (who else, but) Jonanthan Edwards. Watch the lecture here.

Some of you will remember way back in 2004, both James and Steve spoke at an apologetics conference together. Here is the audio from that conference.

Need I even say that Dr. Nichols would certainly appreciate you praying for his future ministry at RBC.

I have not had a chance to read Doug Kelly’s 2nd Volume Systematic Theology (Vol. 2): The Beauty of Christ – A Trinitarian Vision, but if it is anything like the first, this will not be an easy read. Which simply means you’ll have to spend more time digesting this one in comparison to Sproul’s work. Looking at the Table of Contents, it seems it will be a very relevant work. This systematic is on sale for 40% off through this link. Or, you can purchase both here for $40 (50% off). A sample of this book is located here.

“Many Wives” or “Other Wives” vs. “Two Wives” – Norman Geisler’s Indefensible Defense of Caner

In his so-called apology, Ergun Caner claimed “I have never intentionally misled anyone.”  I don’t see how to reconcile that claim with the many times (not just one or two times) that Caner has described his father as having “many wives” or “other wives.”  How was that not intended to mislead the listeners?

Recall that Norman Geisler attempted to defend Ergun Caner in this way (link to defense):

7. Ergun claimed his father had many wives and two half-brothers and two half-sisters, but there is no evidence for the half-brothers.

Response: Ergun’s father did have two wives, having divorced the first one.  He had three sons by his first wife (Ergun and his two brothers).  So, Ergun has two full brothers and two step-sisters (from his father’s second wife).  While speaking quickly on one occasion, he mistakenly called his brothers his “half” brothers.  This is hardly evidence of an attempt to embellish or deceive.  After all, he had the right number of each sibling, and he didn’t claim to have ten brothers or sisters!

Ergun’s father did have two wives – one after the other –  not many wives.  Yet Ergun repeatedly claimed his father had “other wives” besides Ergun’s mother.  “Two wives” does not support that claim, even if it could somehow be used to support the “many wives” claim.  Ergun also claimed that his father immigrated with “wives.”  That also does not match the two serial marriages story.

Furthermore, Ergun did not use the “half-brothers” claim only once.  He used it at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge and in two different messages at Ashburn Baptist Church.

And Ergun was not referring to his brothers when he said it.  At Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, Ergun said “I have half-brothers and sisters who don’t know Jesus.”  Likewise, at Ashburn Baptist on June 3 Ergun said, “And so in 1978, my father, my mother, my two brothers, my father’s other wives, and my half-brothers and sisters came to this country.”  And then again at Ashburn Baptist on June 5 Ergun said “I have half-brothers and half-sisters in Chicago, in New York, and in Turkey, who live here, who are still lost as geese” and again a few second later “How dare I give up! My half-brothers, my uncles, my aunts, How dare I give up!”

In short, while part of what Geisler wrote in defense of Ergun on this point is true (“two wives” and two half-sisters) much is untrue: it was not just once that he referred to “half-brothers” and he was not referring to his own brothers when he did so.  Even the true part falls short of defending the “other wives” claim or – bluntly speaking – even the “many wives” claim.

This and a number of other serious problems with Caner’s autobiographical claims are documented in the Caner Affair article (link), which is mostly an index to other posts that document a lot of what Ergun Caner has said.  Currently, the list of source posts is around 54 or so (and growing), but some of those source posts deal with more than one speaking occasion.  For example, Dr. Caner has spoken multiple times at some churches, and generally those messages are grouped together in a single source post.


Update on the HD Camera Project

I am pleased to announce that the camera project has been fully funded as of this morning. I would like to thank all of those who donated toward this project. It is my sincere hope that in 2014 we will be able to use this equipment to produce a number of high quality teaching videos that we can put up on YouTube as well as on discs that we can mail out to churches around the world.

Thank you again for your generosity and we promise to be good stewards of your investment in the kingdom.


An Update on the New Camera Project

Update 12/10/2013 92% of the goal. Starting to contact dealers now.

Update 12/5/2013 As of today we are 2/3rds the way toward what we need to purchase these cameras. Please keep this project in mind when you consider your year end gifts.

A little over a month ago I blogged the post below. Well, today I thought that I would give an update on the project. First, I have been re-digitizing every video that I can get my hands on out of storage. Wow, do we have alot of videos, (I hope YouTube can handle it all), but I am feverishly working toward getting all of this footage up on our new YouTube channel. In the meantime the need for the equipment below still continues and we are almost halfway to the goal. If you haven’t read my first post please take a moment and familiarize yourself with the goal.


From 10/9/2013
As I type this I am in the process of uploading the video of the very first ‘Great Debate’ on Long Island from 1996 to YouTube.  The numerous ‘issues’ with the recording from that debate would eventually lead to our purchasing cameras of our own and sending volunteers out to Long Island in order to record future ones. As we expand the Dividing Lines to YouTube, so too I hope to expand the number of videos that we offer up there. Which brings me to my reason for writing today. In the early days of this ministry James would do seminars on various foundational topics in apologetics. It has long been my hope that one day we could go back to the classroom and re-record those presentations on video. With the advent of YouTube, HD Video and HD graphics that hope has turned into something that I never could have imagined years ago. So here is the vision, I am asking for special donations to upgrade our video cameras to HD. We already have the wireless microphones, the expensive tripods for the cameras, as well as the computers and the software to merge and process the footage and graphics together. However, our cameras just don’t measure up anymore. Further, as James does future debates it is my hope to once again use this equipment to properly record these events as I used to be able to do years ago. I have setup a special donations page because these cameras are not cheap. However, they are worth every bit of their cost with the quality product that they can deliver.

Here are the cameras that I am wanting to purchase for the ministry and here is the link to the donation page where you can help us get them.

More Debates Posted – I Have Been Busy This Week

Is The Bible True? James White vs Robert Price 5/6/2010

The Witnessing to Mormons Seminar 1994

Who Controls Salvation? James White vs George Bryson 4/2/2002

Great Debate VII – Veneration of Saints and Images James White vs Patrick Madrid 2002

The Predestination Debate James White vs Michael Brown 2/14/2013

Freedom of the Will (Arminianism) vs. Bondage of the Will (Calvinism) James White vs Steve Blakemore