Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
How Many Roman Catholics Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?
02/26/2005 - James WhiteOS_X in channel wrote this one and said I inspired it, so I could used it:
Answer: Seven PLUS one Protestant. One Protestant to nail a sign to the door of the monastery in Latin, explain 95 reasons why the light is burned out, THEN, one Catholic to call Rome and ask if it's okay to change the bulb, one to hold the ladder for the other one to climb and change it, one to hide the ladder and deny the bulb ever burned out, two to convene a council to declare any view that the bulb EVER burned out as heretical and one to cut and paste responses from Catholic Answers to show Protestants that the bulb really didn't change, it DEVELOPED.
Why Amazon Should Dump Stupid Reviews
02/25/2005 - James WhiteA while back in my response to Mark Bonocore's errors regarding Irenaeus and a few other matters, I noted his association with Dr. Art Sippo, a medical doctor and Roman Catholic "apologist" of sorts (if angry ad-hominem and blustering denunciation can be equated with doing apologetics). I first encountered Sippo in Toledo, Ohio in 1991. It does not look like his behavior has improved a lot since then. This afternoon as I was continuing the wonderful process of re-installing dozens and dozens of programs (and flirting with disaster as I hunted down every reference to "Norton" in my registry) someone in channel mentioned that Sippo had posted a "review" of my book, Scripture Alone, at amazon.com. Now, for years I have rolled my eyes as my opponents have posted nasty reviews on Amazon. It is so utterly childish, so infantile, to pretend these screeds are "reviews." The review function at Amazon, in these cases, does nothing but provide an opportunity for folks to vent, or more often, spew their hatred of myself, or more importantly, for the gospel and the truth. So, I went over and read Sippo's "review." It was so absurd, so poorly written, that I decided I would not even bring it to Amazon's attention. Anyone who has read the book cannot help but realize Sippo hasn't, or, if he has, he is desperately dishonest. In either case, of course, it is not his intention to impact those who have read it: he is seeking to keep others from doing so. So, here's Sippo's review. Just remember to close your mouth when you are done.
In this book Mr. White merely asserts his private opinion about the nature of the Bible but fails to give a single complelling (sic) reason for accepting his views other than theolgical (sic) preference. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. White provides none of this.
he (sic) whole book acan (sic) be summmed (sic) up as follows: "If you want to beleive (sic) my theological conclusions, then you have to accept my premises." Using this he tries to confirm people in their prejudices and does not allow for any disageement within the house of faith.
Mr. White assumes a lot about the Bible without any grounding or proof. There is a good reason for this. In typical Protestant fashion, he has divorced himself from historic Christianity and its witness to the Scritures (sic). Consequently, he cannot with integrity appeal to the authroity (sic) of tradition in support of his views. He makes some mention of the authority of the Bible in the pre-Deformation Church but fails to give the corresponding evidence that Tradition and the "Regula Fidei" were also held to be norms of faith by the very people he quotes.
A far better treatment of this topic is an appendix on 'sola scriptura' in the book "Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism: A Primer for Suspicious Protestants" by Dr. Daniel H. Williams. Dr. Williams is an acknowledged international expert on the Arian Controversy and has a REAL doctorate from an accredited university. His short appendix totally undermines the idea that 'sola scriptura' ever represented sound Christian teaching.
02/24/2005 - James WhiteWell, I try to look at it positively. My system had been upgraded from Win98 to Win2k and then WinXP. The body of data encompassed in the system registry was OLD. We found stuff in there from programs I had last used when I had hair! So when we just couldn't find out why the new motherboard was not working, we decided to commit Windowcide and start all over. So yes, I'm installing, resetting, installing, resetting, tweaking font sizes, finding registration numbers, installing, and resetting. Hence, no blogs for the past 48 hours. My apologies, but as they say, when you live by technology, you die by technology. P.S. Mac cult members, and Unix snobs, please close the e-mail you just started. I'M NOT INTERESTED.
Quick Thought on a Busy Day
02/17/2005 - James White'Here is a timely warning when you find your soul adrift in a heavy fog of tribulation... God can chart a straight course in the worst storm. He can be righteous when He uses wicked instruments, and gracious when He dispenses harsh providences. Do not overreact to changes in your temporal (circumstances). Christ told us to expect rough sailing before we reach heaven's shore... Behind the travail of every affliction is a blessing waiting to be born.' - William Gurnall, Daily Readings - Christian In Complete Armour (Feb 15)
02/17/2005 - James WhiteSunday night at PRBC we had a hymn sing, and our new deacon asked that we sing hymn #399, but to a different tune, one that we all knew, and so we did. And we all really liked it. The words were awesome. So here they are, from the ol' Trinity Hymnal:
By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless;
My soul, believe and doubt it not.
Why stagger at this word of promise?
Hath Scripture ever falsehood taught?
Nay; then this word must true remain:
By grace thou, too, shalt heav'n obtain.
By grace! None dare lay claim to merit;
Our works and conduct have no worth.
God in his love sent our Redeemer,
Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth;
His death did for our sins atone,
And we are saved by grace alone.
By grace! O, mark this word of promise
When thou art by thy sins oppressed,
When Satan plagues thy troubled conscience,
And when thy heart is seeking rest.
What reason cannot comprehend
God by his grace to thee doth send.
By grace! This ground of faith is certain;
So long as God is true, it stands.
What saints have penned by inspiration,
What in his Word our God commands,
What our whole faith must rest upon,
Is grace alone, grace in his Son.
Why No Comments?
02/08/2005 - James WhiteI've seen a number of comments today about how this blog doesn't have comments. That is quite true. Part of the reason is that up until December of 2004 this blog was about as old-fashioned as it could be: it was a straightforward html text file, nothing more. No RSS. Nothing. So, obviously, comments were not even an option. However, we could certainly activate that function now, as our base program can handle it. And I have thought about putting comments on a small number of blog entries just to give some folks a chance to "speak."
But the fact of the matter is, the breadth of topics we cover through this ministry is so wide that I have, over the years, collected quite a rogue's gallery of opponents (that's the nice word). All you have to do is go to amazon.com and look at the wild-eyed, utterly worthless ravings of so many who use amazon as their sole means of lashing out in defense of their positions to know what kind of constant "clean up" we'd be doing in a comments section. I personally feel our readers would rather have me spending my time writing than policing a cyber-version of Romper Room (wow, that dated me just a bit). Further, a comments section would be the equivalent of the main street of an old western town: everytime I'd sit down to get some serious work done, I'd hear some new young gun calling me out, ready to try his hand. When I was young, that would have been attractive. It lost its attraction a long time ago.
I suppose, if I did not do a live webcast twice a week with a toll-free phone number, and if we didn't have an online community where one can respectfully ask questions and interact, and if I hid away from public settings and never did debates or appear on call-in radio programs, one might think providing a comments section would be required to allow for "the other side." But the fact is that I am probably one of the most accessible folks around. Hence, the time investment of policing a comments section is simply not worth it.
People's Choice / Best Overall Evangelical Blog
02/08/2005 - James WhiteMuch to the chagrin of at least one fellow, our little effort here at aomin.org to bless the saints with apologetics and theological information via Pros Apologian has been awarded both the "Best Overall Evangelical Blog" award and the "People's Choice" award for 2005 by the kind folks at evangelicalunderground.com. We do seek to make this a ministry and one of the prime means by which we help to equip the saints, so we are thankful to everyone who takes the time to stop by and read. Many thanks to ENielsen, AOMin, and Shamgar, for handling the technical aspects of things. :-)