Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Regarding Theological Dialogues
12/29/2004 - James WhiteIn the "olden days" theological dialogues took time. You might receive an article, or a book, from someone who lives far away, addressing your own views/publications. No one would expect you to respond the day you received it. In fact, everyone would expect that time would pass before a response would be offered. It was not only expected, it was fully understood, given the technology of the day.
I'm not sure technology has helped us in this area. Fast theology is not always good theology. Take the current discussion between myself and Eric Svendsen. I purposefully did not respond to the initial discussion regarding the extent of the atonement (even though specific statements were made that contradict my own published position). I waited. People would ask, "So, are you going to respond?" I would say, "Yes, in time." And you could just tell, "What, in time? What's wrong, White? He must have refuted you! You must be struggling to come up with a reply! You are in trouble!" Etc. and etc. Now, I know in a live debate, as we saw in the Presidential debates last month, that long pauses are not good. In reality, long pauses should mean nothing. But we all know they do, in a live debate, especially when the majority of those viewing it are not judging on the basis of substance, but on the basis of appearance. You have to be able to think on your feet and speak with clarity and speed. But in a written discussion of something as sacred, as weighty, as vital (and as little discussed) as the atoning work of Jesus Christ, speed is not of the essence. Clarity, accuracy, and above all, fidelity to the Word, is what matters. Indeed, my own reason for engaging the discussion is the edification of the people of God who read and appreciate what both Eric and I produce. And I do not see that speed is helpful or good in this situation. I think taking our time will make the conversation considerably more useful to all concerned. Such may well be best for almost all such conversations. Quality over quantity and haste.
Listening to Great Hymns
12/26/2004 - James WhiteWell, another Lord's Day passed, always hope God's people were edified by my meager efforts. I'm sitting here listening to Stuart Neill sing Hymns of The Church Triumphant from Ligonier Ministries. A Christmas gift from the Jancas (thanks!). Nice to know someone else sings the same hymns we sing at PRBC. Wonderful arrangements! Just gorgeous.
I've been thinking of an "end of the year review." But how do you summarize a year like this? Sorta reminded of the 30-second movie summaries performed by bunnies at angryalien.com (they are very funny). The Passion, rCist melt-down, Seifrid Saga at Southern...all rate up there toward the top of the list for 2004. I'll have to think some about that as my son and I take dominion over the earth again tomorrow morning.
The frailty of life and the power of creation has been demonstrated yet once again today in Asia. How awesome is the power of God's creation, and how quickly all our possessions, and our lives, can be taken away. I am reminded by such things of how fleeting is life, and how eternally worthless are all the things we surround ourselves with. Yet, if we see them as tools, means of God's blessing, and means by which we can accomplish eternal things, we can be thankful for them. It is all a matter of priorities.
12/22/2004 - James WhiteIf you do not own a PDA, and have no intention of ever owning one (though I know some who have been worn down over time and have joined the group), you can skip this one. But for the rest of us, I wanted to note (though I'm probably way behind the time) that PalmBible+ (here's the website) has upgraded to version 3.03, and my what an improvement in look and performance! I use two Bible programs on my PDA (a PalmOne Tungsten T3 as pictured; I've looked at the T5 and do not intend to upgrade. I like the smaller profile of the T3, and so far it has done everything I've needed it to do), the PalmBible+ program, and OliveTree's BibleReader (website). Each has nice features and some advantages over the other. The new version of PalmBible+ has a better navigation system, which had always been its drawback as far as I was concerned. OliveTree's offering is very fast to navigate, but is not nearly as fast loading the files. However, I have Gramcord on OliveTree, something that, to my knowledge, PalmBible+ does not offer. However, the Greek text on PalmBible+ is very readable.
With just my Palm I have access to about ten English translations, multiple Greek texts, the Hebrew text, even the LXX. I also carry all of my books on my Palm, a wide variety of Edwards, Spurgeon, etc., and by using AvantGo, I keep up with weather, news, etc. Of course, I use it for all of my scheduling as well, and I carry nearly 150 pictures (get to show off my family in full, glorious color that never gets ruined by being carried around in a wallet) and a few very interesting videos as well. Of course, I have four different chess games, Battleship, and my favorite, Bejeweled 2 (sometimes waiting at the gate at the airport gets downright boring!). It is quite the handy unit. Of course, who will ever forget Peter Stravinskas calling one of my earlier versions my "gizmo" in the debate on purgatory? Anyway, just wanted to thank [Pete] the wonderful and crazy Nova Scotian for keeping me up to date on the PalmBible+ program (he turned me on to it). And btw, if you enjoy the DL, remember to thank Pete. Without him, it wouldn't happen. Here's his website, and his blog.
Sorry, Time In Fast Forward Today
12/17/2004 - James WhiteOK, so what am I behind on now...wanted to have an article up on the sources I've discovered that must lie behind the "redacted Hebrew text prophecied by the Dead Sea Scrolls" defense offered by Dave Hunt (turns out the editor on this self-published edition is big into the "Hebrew originals underlying the Synoptics and part of Acts" theory, and that explains where this wild little paragraph came from) by now, but time has gone into hyper-drive of late. Yes, I want to continue the textual critical discussion from back in October, as well, and I need to offer some brotherly dialogue in reference to Eric Svendsen's comments on being a 4.5 pt. Calvinist as well. Also, read today with great sadness about the continued persecution of Christians in Western nations under the guise of secular "tolerance" and "hate-speech laws," with the conviction of two Christian ministers in Australia for having spoken the truth about Islam in their own church! Do not be deceived, folks: secularism is just as inherently religious in nature as any theistic religion; and it is just as dedicated to the destruction of the light as any other false religion. Counting the cost is not far in the future for us all. Have you thanked God today for your freedom of speech? You better, since you may not have that freedom in the not too distant future. Last two "yeah, I know" items: yes, I want to get to the very shallow defense offered by some recently of Richard Mouw's comments in Salt Lake City, and I will try to remember to review the comments Jimmy Akin made on yesterday's edition of Catholic Answers, both with reference to the use of gnostic gospels (which I found interesting), his promotion of Tacelli's attempted response to Svendsen, and then his assertion that I do not "give the benefit of the doubt" to Catholic writers (eh?). No, no details were given, of course. Then he attempted to promote his own self-taught expertise in the biblical languages as well (at my expense). We'll respond on the DL next week.
For Those Thinking About Alaska '05
12/09/2004 - James WhiteI don't know how we will be able to top our Alaska trip this summer. The itinerary is simply out of this world. Last year I had the chance to visit Glacier Bay while writing Scripture Alone. It is, quite simply, the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Here is a teaser. I took this from the front of the ship as we glided into the bay.
And Like the Shadow, Angelz Slips Into View....
12/07/2004 - James WhiteWhenever I see Angelz appear in channel, I know something is headed my way. It has been a while since my Puerto Rican brother has been able to find the time to draw for us. I got to meet Angel over the Reformation weekend up in Peoria, Illinois (he bought me a Quarter Pounder!). What I love about Angel is that his drawings capture the essence of a debate, or of a situation such as the current one in reviewing Dave Hunt's book. I guess he read over the recent blogs on Dave Hunt, and...well....here it is. Click here for a larger version.
Overheard in ProsApologian
12/07/2004 - Rich PierceOur chat channel, #prosapologian, is the busiest channel in the Starlink-IRC network. You've heard a lot about it on The Dividing Line. I thought I'd share some comments that go scrolling by the screen with those of you who are not channel rats. This morning, for example...
- [08:07] [DrOakley] I think as postmodernism and its gaggle of children spread ever farther across the evangelical landscape we will often have to ask ourselves, "What would these folks think of Paul or John?" And if they think the same of us, then we are doing OK. :-)
We had been discussing some comments made by Tony Campolo regarding the Emergent Church movement. But, we had also been discussing the cruise, getting a date for the Fluffy One, and that outrageously hilarious European commercial for Ford that cat lovers hate. Just a normal morning in #prosapologian.
Yes, A Real Blog!
12/06/2004 - James WhiteFor those of you who are net savvy, or have a real browser like FireFox, you will note that we now have a real blog, RSS compliant and all that stuff. Most of you will not really see any difference, but it will be a lot easier on me (especially when I travel) to keep current. No, Dave, I'm not asking my folks to set up a comments forum. There are more than enough web boards out there for those who like to argue to the wee small hours of the morning. Many thanks to SN, who allowed EN to set this whole thing up. Plaid rules. Don't ask, it's an inside joke. :-)
If I Misrepresented Dr. Seifrid, then....
12/03/2004 - James WhiteWhy do we find the following?
Mark A. Seifrid, Christ, Our Righteousness (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000). Contrary to the title, Seifrid denies the traditional Protestant doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ in justification. (Fred Malone in the Reformed Baptist Theological Review I:1, 109).
Seifrid will disappoint the confessional Protestant in at least two of his positions: (1) that faith is not exclusively receptive in the act of justification, and (2) his doubts concerning the adequacy of the language of imputation in regards to justification. (Guy Waters, Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response [P&R, 2004], p. 234.
Yeah, that apologist guy doesn't get it, but Guy Waters studied under E.P. Sanders and is a Duke Ph.D., so how did they come to the same conclusions? The irony is, the book's first recommendation on the back is from the President of Southern Seminary. Please, don't ask, I really, really don't understand either. For those who have forgotten, here's the material.
When A Society Loses All Biblical Grounding
12/02/2004 - James WhiteWhen men no longer acknowledge their created status, the result is this. The imago Dei is more than a theological phrase. It impacts life.
TexPresby's Citation of Archibald Alexander is well worth a read.
Don't Forget the Viewpoint Show Today on the Subject of Debating Calvinism with Dave Hunt
12/01/2004 - James WhiteThe program is live streamed, so listen in here.