Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Svendsen Replies to Sungenis
11/26/2003 - James White
Just a quick note to let you know that Eric Svendsen has rebutted Sungenis' article. It seems Sungenis didn't learn much from the Mr. X debacle. :-) Click here.
Point of Personal Privilege!
11/26/2003 - James White
As you consider the holidays, how about supporting a wonderful Christian lady who makes outrageously wonderful shortbread cookie creations? Amy is one of our channel regulars, and you can see her handiwork at www.amylooz.com! Tell her DrOakley sent you! Won't do anything, but she'll laugh anyway.
Here Comes the Big Debate/the Cruise/BAM
11/25/2003 - James White
This will probably be the last blog entry I make for a few weeks. [Actually, I had to sneak something else in...see right after this]. I suppose I could install a program on my laptop, but believe me, satellite costs at sea are prohibitive! :-) For those who join with us here at A&O in loving, passionately, the truth of Christ's full and undiminished deity, the debate on Friday, December 5th in Tampa will be tremendously important. Please pray for me as I seek to establish the truth and refute error. In fact, if you will covenant to be praying in the days before, and on that evening, please drop us a line letting us know. It would be very encouraging.
The next day what is left of me, and about 170 other folks, will be heading out on the MS Zaandam for a week of apologetic study and Christian fellowship. The amount of work that goes into putting on such a cruise is simply beyond measure, it truly is. The number of details, and problems, are legion. Mike and Sau O'Fallon have poured themselves into this trip yet once again, so not only should we thank them profusely for all their effort, but please pray for them during the cruise as well. "Issues" always arise even when on the boat.
But I do not come home right after the cruise. Instead, I fly to California for the "Calvinism Debate" on The Bible Answer Man broadcast, 12/16-17. I will be "debating" George Bryson in studio, taking calls and hopefully getting the message across that Arminianism is sub-biblical, John 6 cannot be consistently interpreted by synergists, Chatty Cathy dolls get crushed by Genesis 50:20, Isaiah 10, and Acts 4:27-28, and resurrection power is not divine rape.
A Positive Statement from the Anglicans
11/25/2003 - James White
In the midst of apostasy, it's nice to see someone standing for truth. Click here for a positive statement from the Anglicans.
A Question for JW's
11/20/2003 - James White
So you think Jesus is a mighty angelic creature, the greatest of God's creations, and is hence "a god"? And that all the passages that refer to him as qeovj, theos, "god," are simply referring to him as one in a class of mighty angelic creatures? Well, if that is so, pray tell us all: if a creature, no matter how exalted, can be said to be worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing and dominion (Rev. 5:9-13), be lauded as the one for whom creation itself was made and in whom it has existence (Col. 1:16-17), and be the one to whom every knee bows in confession of His lordship (Phil. 2:10-11), then how on earth could we ever distinguish the worship and honor that is due only to the one true God from that which is given to "lesser creatures" as you believe Jesus to be? Doesn't your position in essence deprive us of any meaningful way of differentiating between the one true God and any lesser "deity"?
AAPCism and NPism Continue to Melt Together
11/20/2003 - James White
I have been severely criticized by some for noting the similarity of conclusions drawn by some in the Auburn Avenue movement and those found in New Perspectivism. Yet, as I am monitoring both sides, I cannot help but seeing a confluence of perspectives, despite the very different backgrounds and sources of the two movements. A good friend of mine, who I terribly mistreat in channel as a deep sign of my true love for him (actually, everyone in channel does the same thing), keeps me up to date on the ruminations of one AAPC devotee who has begun openly promoting NP concepts and conclusions. And when you see John Armstrong (a strong advocate of NPism) putting together a conference including Norman Shepherd (AAPCism), you can't help wondering what the future will bring. Stay vigilant!
Bob Sungenis Roots for the Cardinals
11/19/2003 - James White
The Arizona Cardinals stink. Let's face it. They got clocked 44-6 this past weekend, and they are headed for another one of their regular 4-12 type seasons. I have often said I'd be happy to volunteer to pack them up and ship them off to any city willing to take them. They are just bad from top to bottom. So why would I say Sungenis roots for the Cardinals? Well, late last night, a few hours after the Dividing Line featuring Gerry Matatics, Sungenis posted a review on his website. Well, no, not a review. I don't know what to call it. If you have listened to that edition of the Dividing Line and want some of the clearest evidence ever offered that some folks suffer from massively selective hearing, check it out. It is almost humorous, if it didn't involve obvious spiritual blindness. (BTW, Sungenis should really leave the cheesey titles to Scott Hahn. Though Hahn's define the term "cheese," at least, considered singularly, they normally carry a small amount of humor. Sungenis' article is titled, "Ding, Dong, The Witch is Dead." Excuse me?) Outside of the expected egregious misrepresentations, the whole thing is focused on a single issue. To summarize, "Hey, hey, don't listen to all those questions that didn't get an answer, just think of one thing: we have a single exception to Dr. Svendsen's thesis in a non-biblical source outside of the time parameters he examined! Wahoo! We have an exception to a rule of grammar! We win! We win! WE ARE #1!" And that's why I say Bob Sungenis roots for the Cardinals. See, it's one thing to say, "Hey, I'm a Cardinals fan, whether they win, or lose...and lose...and lose." I admire that kind of die-hard fan. But that is very different from standing there in the 4th quarter as the Cards are down by 30+ points screaming, "Yeah man, we are the BEST! We ROCK!" That's simple self-deception. And that's Bob Sungenis. He can listen to Matatics self-destruct on the level of not even being able to read a lexical entry properly and that doesn't even create a blip on his radar screen. Why? "Cuz Rome rules! WE ARE #1!" Just as the Cardinals will only get to the Super Bowl by purchasing tickets to it in 2008 (here in Phoenix), Rome will only get you the consolation prize of deception now, and destruction at the final judgment.
On The Dividing Line
11/18/2003 - James White
WOW. What a Dividing Line! For those who listened in (we set new records both for those listening live and the number of folks in the chat channel) on Tuesday evening when Eric Svendsen and I took on Gerry Matatics, it was quite the experience. The archive is up here, and the mp3 is available here at aomin.org. Despite a couple of woops's (we fried another channel on our sound board!), the 80-minute DL was one of the most amazing we have ever aired. I won't bother trying to explain it, since at times, you simply have to hear it to believe it. One of the more memorable points was when I pointed out that Gerry's arguments would invalidate the use of Granville Sharp's Rule. His response was classic obfuscation and tap-dancing. Don't miss this one!
Kudos to [Pete] the FurbyMaster
11/18/2003 - James White
For everyone who enjoys listening to the Dividing Line live, please render thanksgiving to Pete, the guy who makes it possible by providing the webcasting facilities. Check out his blog at: http://blog.peteweb.com/
Massachusetts Changes Name to Gomorrah
11/18/2003 - James White
Not that anyone is overly surprised. The decades of corruption of the judiciary (a fact openly acknowledged, at least by their actions, by one major political party) has led inevitably to the actions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court today. To quote Reuters:
In a 4-3 ruling that could make Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage, the Supreme Judicial Court said the state may not deny the rights conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.
Consider the contrast: Roy Moore is fired, the Ten Commandments are hidden in a closet, and Massachusetts grants the sacred status of marriage to homosexuals. Then again, is it really a contrast? Isn't Massachusetts just acting in harmony with those who could not bear to be reminded of God's law in Alabama? The same mindset that allows entire judicial panels to ignore the role of God in US history in Alabama leads them to redefine the entire structure of the society, and the nature of marriage in the process, in Massachusetts.
It truly makes one think through one's views on such issues as God's law and the basis of final judgment. I was watching one political leader over the weekend lying through his teeth, hiding the fact that he and his cohorts have decided that no man or woman who would ever, ever consider the facts about the murder of unborn children will ever sit upon a judicial bench again, and I thought to myself, "If such a man will not be judged for his actions in maintaining the Holocaust of the Unborn in this nation and around the world, then there is no justice at all."
How do we pray for nations like Australia, England, Canada, and now the United States---all of whom have heard God's truth with great clarity, and yet are intent, in the actions of their governments (and especially now in the actions of the New Priesthood of Rebellion, aka, the judiciary), upon throwing off all forms of restraint (while suppressing the proclamation of the gospel)? History says God normally deals with such nations with judgment that either brings repentance through difficulty and disaster, or through destruction itself. We cannot see the future, but we know this: we are to remain faithful no matter what the situation, no matter what the cost.
I Told You This Was Coming
11/17/2003 - James White
Hews Hou and RC Apologists
11/17/2003 - James White
For those who might wish to do some reading to be ready for the Svendsen/White vs. Matatics DL Tuesday night, here is an excellent article by Eric Svendsen in response to the article cited by Matatics in my debate with him in October in Salt Lake City, the article Matatics indicated "destroys" the hews hou argument. Click here for the article.
Are Mormons Trinitarians?
11/12/2003 - James White
Here is the article I referenced on the DL Tuesday evening:
Quick Thought: In preparing for the upcoming debate with Greg Stafford on the deity of Christ in Tampa (click here for info), a wonderful Christian brother expanded upon a concept I had written about in The Forgotten Trinity. Specifically, some who deny the deity of Christ cite John 5 as evidence that the Son is inferior to the Father because He does nothing "apart from" the Father. I have often pointed out that this is not due to an inferiority on the part of the Son, but due to the perfection of the unity that exists between the Father and the Son. This brother put this truth in the form of a question: why can't the Son do something that we can do (i.e., do something "apart from" the Father)? The reason makes the point: it is not due to something wrong with the Son, but do to with His essential nature as deity. That is, the Son cannot do anything separate from the Father because that would involve a disruption in the unity of the very nature of God, shared fully by both the Father and the Son. As we move toward that time of year when our thoughts are drawn to the Incarnation, think upon the glorious truth that Jesus Christ was, and is still, the God-Man, the "Lord of Glory" who was yet crucified (1 Corinthians 2:8).
The Revenge of the Gnostics, or, ABC = Always Bashing Christianity
11/03/2003 - James White
A few thoughts on Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and The Da Vinci Code.
No, I could not sit still while watching it. Who, with the slightest knowledge of the facts of the situation, could? But I still had to suffer through the ABC (yes, the same folks who brought you the Peter Jenning's Jesus Seminar commercial a few years ago) special on the fictional, absurd, yet raking-in-the-money book by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code. In fact, it has special meaning, since there was a small chance, for a couple of hours, that I was going to have a chance to respond to it on a nationally broadcast news program, but that did not happen (at least not yet anyway). In any case, for anyone familiar with
the love of gnosticism exemplified by the Jesus Seminar's elevation of the Gospel of Thomas to quasi-canonical status (click here for an article I wrote on this topic for CRI), and the constant popularity of Elaine Pagels and her ilk, this new work is hardly surprising, outside of its blatant, obvious reliance upon previously written (and refuted) works of the same genre. To call this an anti-Christian screed that is clearly fiction (but is being treated as if it has serious historical weight) is to engage in understatement. BE WARNED! The special doesn't even begin to give you a real taste for the depravity of the book, which likens medieval architecture to female genitalia in graphic language. They obviously realized that going to that level of detail would not fly on network television...at least not yet.
Tomorrow on the DL I will be addressing various aspects of the program, but in particular, its simply ridiculous presentation on the "gnostic gospels." Did you notice how they did not have the same scholars on during that section that they had on before? There's a reason for that. All they could do was interview the very folks who make money peddling the meandering silliness of the ancient gnostics (excuse me, but they call this journalism?). When you read the contents of Nag Hammadi and the like, you are struck by the utter incoherence (purposeful incoherence, given the system itself) that marks those writings, yet the gleefully uncritical acceptance of the value of these works by the media elite seems to know no bounds.
ABC has once again done its best to bash the Christian faith while enriching those who join them in their campaign. The ancient gnostics would be chuckling at the resurrection of their old writings, but in light of 2 Peter 2:9, I sorta doubt they are.
As Long As It is Opposed to God
11/01/2003 - James White
A friend just sent me this note:
Just thought it curious that at this moment the CNN home page has the following stories:
- Consecration of a gay bishop to the Episcopal church
- A study shows that teens get "good" safe sex advice from "Friends"
- The Supreme Court has refused to hear the Ten Commandments case
- ABC will, tonight, air a special report asking whether Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife, based at least partly on the book The DaVinci Code
Makes ya wonder how long... Maranatha!
It is truly surreal, is it not? These networks would not dare air such garbage about Islam, for example, since Islam has become the darling of the media left (though, they would be the first folks eliminated were Islamic law to become the law of the land). And to base it upon second-rate historical mythology, pure fiction...and then pretend it has some scholarly merit or basis! The hatred of the media elites for the Christian faith simply knows no bounds.
How long will we have the freedom to even mention these things? If the current legal case in Australia is any indication, not long. Seems a ministry named Catch the Fire held a seminar on Islam following the events of 9-11-2001. They dared to quote from the Quran and the Hadith (the collections of authoritative Muslim traditions). Well, post-modern Western civilization is not tolerant of such intolerance. I contacted the Australian Embassy and received the following information about the case:
The case is being heard under the State of Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 under which the Islamic Council of Victoria has made a complaint of religious vilification against Catch the Fire Ministries. The purpose of the Act is to promote racial and religious tolerance by prohibiting the vilification of persons on the ground of race or religious belief or activity, and to provide a means of redress for the victims of racial or religious vilification.
Vilification? The frightening part is that it is reported that the Christian ministry can not use as its defense that what they said is true. The whole point is not whether they spoke the truth, but whether the Muslims were "vilified" thereby! Such may strike you as absolutely insane, but such is the nature of the religion of post-modernism: "tolerance" can be very, very intolerant of truth. The response from the Australian Embassy had included this statement:
Equally, all Australians share the obligations of commitment to Australia and its democratic institutions and values, and respect for the right of others to express their culture and beliefs.
To which I replied:
Does this freedom include the right to truthfully represent the beliefs of a religious group that denies the validity of your own, and, along with this, expressing the central affirmation of your own religion that another religion is itself not speaking the truth regarding God and the way by which a person might come before Him? In other words, are Christians protected in your country so that they may believe *and proclaim* the words of the founder of their religion, Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." Or does the concept of "tolerance" in fact promote intolerance of such a belief?
We will see what kind of response comes back, if any at all. My friends, use your freedom to speak the truth while you have it. The cost of speaking the truth will escalate, sooner than most of us think.