Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Some Fun Stuff at the End of 2006
12/30/2006 - James White
12/27/2006 - James WhiteI just learned that the insanely low costs for the October cruise on the Mercury will go up on 1/1/07, but, still, you can sign up with nothing more than a $50 fully refundable deposit before then! It's time to move! I have talked to literally dozens of folks who have expressed interest in coming with us for The Cross: Historicity and Theology, but I fear the fact that October 2007 sounds like it is a long way away keeps folks from acting now, not only when it is most affordable, but when we can make the best arrangements for the trip as well. I.e., the more folks we have in our group, the more we can do in so many ways. So now is the time to move! If you've been putting it off, make it your New Year's resolution to jump on it now!
Odds and Ends
12/27/2006 - James WhiteI just ordered a copy of J.R. Miller's Come Ye Apart from Solid Ground. They are having a year end sale and this devotional in hard-back was only $7.50. Check out what they have available.
Last, last, last chance to be a part of the apologetics class at Golden Gate in the Phoenix area starting next Tuesday evening.
Also, for those up Massachusetts way, I'm teaching a Bibliology class for the Bible Institute at Bethlehem Bible Church, starting January 18th. I will be in Massachusetts in March for the lecture portion of the class. Follow the link for registration information.
January 19-21 I'll be at Trinity Fellowship Church in Toms River, New Jersey.
Some Christmas Thoughts
12/24/2006 - James WhiteA number of times I have had students and staff from Liberty ask me a question something along the lines of, "So, why worry about this Calvinism stuff? Does it really matter?" Aside from the issues we addressed in our gift to the students at Liberty (found here), there is another example to be offered in answer to the question.
Here you find an audio recording of the Sunday morning service at McGregor Baptist Church December 10th, 2006. The speaker is Ergun Caner. The title of the "sermon" is "Dealing with Morons." It ends with "Merry Christmas." It received a lot of applause and laughter. It is not Reformed. In any sense. Any way.
Here you will find my Christmas Eve sermons from the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. The morning sermon (streaming/save) is about the Incarnation from Matthew 1, Isaiah 7, 9, and 11. The evening sermon (streaming/save) was from Isaiah 53.
I would like to concede a number of points to Dr. Caner. He got a lot of laughs. He got a lot of applause. He even admitted that he preached once while so blasted on some liquid in a mason jar that he doesn't even remember what he said. I can't compete with any of that. And that's the point, actually.
Next, I happened to notice this article over on the Crossed the Tiber blog:
We celebrate Jesus coming into the world as Lord and Savior. We prepare him room in our hearts during Advent with prayers, fasting and giving. As Catholics, we continue to receive him, soul, body and divinity through the gift of the Eucharist as often as we take the Blessed Sacrament. That miracle that occurred 2000 years ago continues to occur on altars throughout the world as Christ gives us His flesh in an ongoing re-presentation of his sacrifice once for all.
We have the opportunity to receive Jesus today in Mass as well as tomorrow or tonite in Midnight vigil Mass. Not an obligation, a holy privilege!
I am so thankful that I have a finished sacrifice that does not need to be "re-presented" on an altar. I am so thankful that the death of Christ perfects. What a tragedy that so many will be going to Mass, thinking they are approaching a "re-presentation" of the Cross, but will go away once again imperfect, without lasting peace, for they have no finished work, no imputed righteousness, upon which to stand. May God be pleased to continue to free men and women from slavery to such a treadmill of sacramentalism and bring them into the glorious truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Finally, this morning when I read the Scriptures in our services, I decided to do something unusual. I strung together four texts that speak of the pre-incarnate Son, to help provide a bit of a balance to the normally chosen texts. I share them with you all with wishes that you will have a blessed celebration of the coming of the Lord of Glory!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
You must have the same mindset among yourselves that was in Christ Jesus,
Who, although He eternally existed in the very form of God,
Did not consider that equality He had with God the Father something to be held on to at all costs,
But instead He made Himself nothing,
By taking on the very form of a slave,
By being made in human likeness.
And having entered into human existence,
He humbled Himself
By becoming obedient to the point of death,
Even the death one dies on a cross!
Because of this, God the Father exalted Him to the highest place,
And bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
So that at the mention of the exalted name of Jesus
Everyone who is in heaven, on earth, and under the earth,
Bows the knee,
And every tongue confesses:
"Jesus Christ is Lord!"
All to the glory of God the Father!
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? 6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." 7 Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire." 8 But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions." 10 And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end." 13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Another Quick Note
12/22/2006 - James WhiteWhat a wintery day here in Phoenix! A storm snuck up on us (the weather forecasters were talking about sunshine and a high of 61 right up to when the storm hit!). It's a drizzly 44! But I love it.
Anyway, two quick notes. First, there is a religion forum co-hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek, and here you can read the thoughts of Zaid Shakir, an Islamic scholar. And what will you encounter immediately? The very problem I spoke of at the beginning of my debate seven years ago now with Hamza Abdul Malik: the Islamic insistence upon anachronistically reading errant Qur'anic understandings into the Christian Scriptures and the Christian faith. Note his words:
Jesus is Not the Son of God"Taking a son." That is not, of course, what Christians believe today, nor is it what Christians believed in the first decades of the seventh century when Mohammed encountered second-hand Christianity during his travels. If you listen to The Dividing Line you have heard men like Ahmed Deedat repeatedly misrepresent the Christian faith on this point, thinking that "Son of God" is to be taken in human terms, rather than recognizing the eternal relationship that has existed between the Father and the Son. Here you have a leading Islamic scholar repeating this error rather than dealing with the reality of what Christians believe, but, again, we must realize why. The Qur'an is their final authority, therefore, if it misrepresents the Christian faith, the Muslim will follow the error rather than believing our own testimonies!
Muslims do not view Jesus as the “Son of God.” We feel that God’s taking a son would be unbecoming His incomparable nature and grandeur. The Qur’an states, There is nothing like unto Him (42:11); and, He begets not, nor was he begotten (112:3).
Secondly, very quickly a response---no, not a response, that is being far too kind to it---a retort of sorts to the article on Acts 2 and Patrick Madrid's argument regarding infant baptism appeared on the oxymoronic website. You will note that no attempt is made to deal with what I actually said; nothing exegetical is offered in response to my simple observation that the text in Acts 2 is clear and plain in its teaching, and, if it is definitional of the objects of baptism (which I did not bother to attempt to argue at that point), then those who follow sola scriptura will find its teachings highly relevant and important. Nor is there any recognition that I am dealing with a horrifically flawed argument, where Madrid draws a completely invalid parallel to Paul's words to the Thessalonians about busybodies who were unwilling to work. Instead, as is the case with the folks at the oxymoronic website, it is sufficient to dismiss such argumentation with the wave of the Hand O' Tradition, along with the ever-popular "Anabaptist Blast." The fact that our author is clueless about Particular Baptist history is a given, but it does make his Anabaptist argument humorous. But unlike this author, I will gladly interact, and even publicly disagree with, the great John Calvin and his comments. The only folks who will be surprised are those who have never read the LBCF or who believe that if you follow Calvin on one point, you must follow him slavishly on all. Such is not the case. Let's look at the citation from the Institutes offered:
They now come down to the custom and practice of the apostolic age, alleging that there is no instance of any one having been admitted to baptism without a previous profession of faith and repentance. For when Peter is asked by his hearers, who were pricked in their heart, “What shall we do?” his advise is, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37, 38). In like manner, when Philip was asked by the eunuch to baptise him, he answered, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Hence they think they can make out that baptism cannot be lawfully given to any one without previous faith and repentance. If we yield to this argument, the former passage, in which there is no mention of faith, will prove that repentance alone is sufficient, and the latter, which makes no requirement of repentance, that there is need only of faith. They will object, I presume, that the one passage helps the other, and that both, therefore, are to be connected. I, in my turn, maintain that these two must be compared with other passages which contribute somewhat to the solution of this difficulty. There are many passages of Scripture whose meaning depends on their peculiar position. Of this we have an example in the present instance. Those to whom these things are said by Peter and Philip are of an age fit to aim at repentance, and receive faith. We strenuously insist that such men are not to be baptised unless their conversion and faith are discerned, at least in as far as human judgment can ascertain it. But it is perfectly clear that infants must be placed in a different class. [Institutes, vol. 4, ch. 16, paragraph 23]First, in light of the textual variant, I will leave the reference to Acts 8:37 out of the discussion. The argument, from a Reformed Baptist perspective, is simple: the ordinances of the church require direct establishment in Scripture. Just as the Reformers argued against the multiplicity of Rome's sacraments by claiming such would require clear biblical basis, so we apply the same standard here. When we see the first instance of distinctly Christian baptism, the text reveals that, in this instance, those baptized were able to hear and receive the message preached. There truly is no question of this, is there? The issue truly is not what this text says, but the basis upon which Christian baptism is to be practiced in the first place.
Now, I have often said, when working through the Institutes in various contexts, that I see a difference in form and argumentation in sections of book IV than in the previous portions. I do not believe Calvin's argument in this instance has much merit to it. There is no question, of course, that the Bible as a whole addresses the issue of the relationship of faith and repentance. How is that relevant to asking the question, "Do the Scriptures give us clear and compelling evidence as to the nature of baptism and those who are to receive it?" If there were other texts that directly speak of infant baptism, then a parallel would exist. But, of course, there are not. So the parallel does not, in fact, exist. Now, again, Calvin is responding to Anabaptists who, in general, due to their persecution by both Catholic and Protestant, hardly had the time to develop the kind of material you would read in the introduction to the London Baptist Confession. So he may not have been responding to the most articulate form or argumentation, so, that means those who follow him on this topic must formulate a sound biblical response to a more accurate, consistent, articulate presentation. Which, of course, is why we continue to discuss this issue today. That is why you can find tremendous articles closely examining these topics, including Calvin's works, in such sources as The Reformed Baptist Theological Review, for example. It is likewise why I engaged Pastor Bill Shishko in debate on this very topic only a matter of weeks ago.
So while our erstwhile theologian is content to dismiss the discussion with the disdain of assigning yours truly to the "Flat Earth Credobaptist Society," serious minded individuals might look past their traditional glasses and consider the issue in light of their profession of the sufficiency of Scripture. Of course, we realize, those at the oxymoronic website abandoned that belief a very long time ago which, of course, explains why they are driven about by every wind of doctrine.
Odd Odds and Ends
12/20/2006 - James WhiteDon't take your Bible to Saudi Arabia, noted by Tim Challies.
Great post by TQuid on the always popular, but highly doubtful, "Council of Rome" claim.
While you can't take the Bible to Saudi Arabia, whatever you do, don't talk about Mohammed in Pakistan. They'll ban your book.
I check out the ID weblog of Dembski etc. fairly regularly, and his current post once again gives an interesting insight into the mindset of the world's most fundamentalist atheist scholar, Richard Dawkins.
Here is a wild one, not for the faint of heart. So nice to know Rome doesn't condone this. Like anyone would ever bother to ask a Reformed Baptist if they condoned such behavior.
Muslim Cleric Ill | Theological Accuracy Would Be Nice | Islamic Apologists
12/18/2006 - James WhiteOmar Abdel-Rahman, the "blind Sheik," imprisoned years ago for his role in a plot to blow up New York City landmarks, has left instructions to "extract the most violent revenge" should he die in prison. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Quaida's second in command, has said, "I call on every Muslim to make use of every opportunity afforded him to take revenge on America for its imprisonment of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman." Abdel-Rahman's health is failing fast, so another example of the nature of militant Islam will undoubtedly be headed our direction in the not too distant future.
As of today, the caption on one of the pictures of Lee Strobel here says, "Christmas celebrates the birth of God, not a man." Excuse me? Now, I really hope Mr. Strobel did not say that, or, if he did, it was only in the context of "Jesus is not just a man," but the fact remains that the statement is simply sloppy and misleading. Jesus was the God-man, fully God, fully man. Sadly, many Christmas stories present more of a gnostic view of Jesus than a biblical one, and comments like this do not help much. I'm sure Lee Strobel believes Jesus was the God-man. So let's try watching our statements and applying a certain level of care to them! (ht: TC).
Finally, David Wood recently bashed his head forcibly against a stone wall; that is, he engaged in debate with Nadir Ahmed, the Peter Ruckman of Islamic apologists. Here you can read his comments on Islamic apologists, and hear his encounter with Nadir. I found the following paragraph most interesting:
Amazingly, throughout his career, Shabir’s methodology has raised few concerns. Only recently, in his debate with James White, has Shabir’s inconsistency been fully addressed. White challenged Shabir to provide a consistent method whereby Muslims may reject the New Testament (i.e. an argument against the New Testament that wouldn’t also refute the Qur’an), yet Shabir failed to provide such a method. It seems, then, that the Achilles Heel of Muslim apologetics has been found, and that a new age of Muslim debate must soon emerge.
A Few Quick Odds and Ends
12/15/2006 - James WhiteFirst, I know you all have already gotten this book, and I apologize for it taking so long for us to finally start carrying it, but I would recommend to your reading Reinventing Jesus by Komoszewski, Sawyer, and Wallace. You may even disagree with a few perspectives taken in the book, but will benefit greatly nonetheless simply because the authors tackle so many extremely difficult (and common) questions. In other words, they really make you think about things, and that helps when you are attempting to communicate those thoughts to others. We now carry it in our bookstore.
I could not help but notice this paragraph from Jimmy Akin about the Pope praying at the Sultan Ahmed Mosque:
But it wasn't something that I thought totally out of character for him. He has articulated principles in the past that would allow him to do something like this, and I could see him saying to himself, "Like Jews and Christians, Muslims do worship God, and in view of the grave world crisis we are presently in and my own obligation as the Vicar of Christ not to inflame it, I should go as far as I possibly can to settle the situation down."Personally, it is almost painful to watch Roman Catholic apologists struggling with modern Rome, and especially what has come out of Vatican II regarding Islam. But, they are stuck with it, so let the spin continue! Let's remember, the Allah of Islam is far removed from His creation, could never enter into His creation, and is unitarian in nature. One has to wonder if, on the basis of consistency, we will be told that Jehovah's Witnesses worship God as well? In any case, we should hardly be surprised at the current Pope's actions in light of this infamous picture of his predecessor. I've heard every excuse under the sun for what JPII did here, including the idea he thought it was a Bible. I suppose that's possible, though, it's painfully obvious to anyone who knows anything at all about Islam that it is the Qur'an. My Arabic Qur'an has the same embossed symbol, as seen here. Let's remember what this book says:
They surely disbelieve who say : Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said : O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evildoers there will be no helpers. They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (Surah 5:72-75).Kiss a book like that? I'll let you decide.
Finally, I got a response, sort of, from the fellow who wrote to me about the "professor of a major Catholic university" and how he was tearing my book apart, etc. I am completely lost as to what it means, but here it is:
So scared aren't you.Finally, a quick reminder to those in the Phoenix area: time is almost here for the apologetics class through GGBTS starting 1/2/07. If you have any interest in participating, you need to get hold of Dottie at the Arizona Regional Campus soon!
You call yourself a Christian? ..... I'm not.... It's people like you that turn me off from religion in general, especially you superficial Protestants. You failed my test, and sunk to my level... Pathetic.
E-Mail Odds and Ends
12/14/2006 - James WhiteSteve Hays forwarded me an argument from an Orthodox apologist charging Thomism (and by extension, all of Romanism) with monothelitism (monenergism). I see it suffers from the same kind of "make a conclusion in this field of theology, transport it over here and use it as a club to beat someone over the head" fallacy as Prejean's does, but it is ironic to see his own falsehoods being turned against his own position. Sophists just never learn. In case you missed it, after I addressed the Envoy Magazine forum issues a few days ago, Prejean posted this long diatribe of next-to-unintelligible drivel that evidently only he could possibly follow or find compelling, but ol' Art Sippo, clearly just as completely lost about what on earth Prejean was pretending to say as anyone else, had to give a cheer for the home team. He opined, "It seems that He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named has deigned to regale us with his ravings from his little Mecca in Phoenix. He barks and toots like the braying of the Little Horn form Revelation. Crimson has skewered his hash nicely and there is no need to go over the same ground twice." Ah, isn't the consistency of the ever insulting Dr. Sippo refreshing? In a world where change is the norm, his constancy is comforting! Ironically, Sippo has started another thread where he is discussing...Van Til, of all things. I read his first installment, and then could not help but find a couple of the comments that followed humorous, especially our old friend Jerry-Jet, who added,
No presuppositions = RETARDEDNESS!Well, that just blessed my socks off.
Hate for presuppositions because man is depraved ends up in fiascos such as Sola Scriptura--in other words since man is so bad he has to be programmed by a sovereign and providential God.
That is why Calvinism is a pure crock!
Man isn't as DEPRAVED as what they say and God can also infuse us with transformative saving grace WITHOUT beating us down with it.
Moving on to other equally---odd things, I was forwarded a lengthy quote from David Cloud today where he is doing the "Attack Calvin by hoping your audience is completely ignorant of history and bigoted enough to believe what you have to say without considering the anachronisms you are introducing to the topic" thing (just like Dave Hunt). Evidently, the belief is that if you can attack Calvin, and someone is dull enough to think that "Calvinism" is more than a historical artifact (as if the discussion began with Calvin) and that Calvin and Calvinism stand or fall together, you can "win" the argument without actually engaging the biblical text at the level of exegesis. When are these folks going to realize that their surface-level argumentation and historical chicanery is hurting, not helping, them? Sure they will keep the one who is not concerned about consistency and is happy with a "what I've got is good enough" attitude from looking any further, but are those the ones who would be looking and considering anyway? The more they demonstrate that they have nothing of substance to say the more they will lose their next generation of leaders. It's truly amazing. ...
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By Way of Introduction...Colin Smith
12/13/2006 - Colin SmithI would like to introduce a fine brother in the Lord and co-laborer in the work, Colin Smith, to the readers of this blog. I have asked Colin to join me in the work of making this waypoint in cyber-space useful and beneficial to the people of God. You may find some of Colin's materials linked elsewhere on our site. I am honored he has agreed to join in blessing the people of God here on Pros Apologian. ---JRW
I am one of those upon whom James has bestowed the honor of contributing to Pros Apologian, so this brief blog is by way of introduction. I am formerly a citizen of the UK, and have a bachelor's degree in Theology from the University of Hull, England. I am (and have been for some years now) a student of Dr. White's as part of a Master of Theology (Th.M.) program through CES (Columbia Evangelical Seminary). I have already written some papers for Dr. White that he has seen fit to include on this site, and I have also contributed a couple of blog articles. I am Reformed Baptist in my theology and attend a Reformed Baptist church. My main theological interest is Biblical Exegesis, though I dabble frequently in other areas according to the term paper I am currently working on, or where curiosity leads. I hope the contributions I make to this site have been, and will continue to be, of benefit to the saints, and most of all glorifying to the Lord.
More Monday Odds and Ends
12/04/2006 - James WhiteBefore heading back into the cold of St. Charles I looked back at the archives from last year, and had to chuckle to note that I had written an article while waiting for the return flight and had noted that they needed new carpet at gate A-16. Well, this time out, we sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes waiting to get into gate A-16, and then, once we got there, another 25 waiting for a gate agent to swing the jetway out to us! And no, the carpet is worse now than it was last year.
Sure was nice and cold back there! Snow all over, ice...I guess we Arizonans just aren't big on walking on ice, because it seemed everyone else could do it far better than I could. Of course, I probably walk in sand better than they do.
Once again had a great time with Van Lees and the folks at Covenant of Grace Church in St. Charles. Met lots of new folks too, and spoke on sola scriptura. It isn't official yet, but we have talked a bit about doing an Islam conference there next year. We'll let you know!
Continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by Muslims around the world. Note this article for an example.
I never got any time at all over the weekend to address the claims of "Tiber Jumper" regarding sola scriptura, the Qur'an, etc., posted on his blog. So I passed by there quickly this morning and ran into this article. And he did not even thank me for the massive spike in his traffic! What a shame! But let's note a few items in response to Mr. Tiber Jumper (shall I refer to him as Tiber? Or go with the last name of Jumper?)
First, Mr. Jumper needs to explain his prejudicial and bigoted use of the term "anti-Catholic." As often as this obvious ploy is used by Rome's apologists it still remains a glowing testimony to their willingness to use emotionally-laden terms to try to make up for the lack of substance in argumentation. Why am I an anti-Catholic but he is not an anti-Protestant? Given my work over the past few decades relating to Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, etc., does that make me an anti-Catholic/Mormon/Witness/Muslim/Secular atheist? Or am I simply a Reformed Baptist apologist who consistently gives responses to the challenges presented by a wide range of contradictory religious beliefs? I would ask Tiber Jumper and his compatriots to stop using the term "anti-Catholic" for anyone but those who define themselves in that fashion: that is, if you encounter someone who does nothing else in their life but oppose the Roman Catholic Church, then fine, identify them by that moniker. But applying it to someone such as myself, who not only opposes a wide variety of falsehoods, but on the other hand has produced positive defenses of my faith, am regularly involved in teaching ministry in the local church, etc., is so obviously a lame attempt to fog the issues with emotions that it is rather self-defeating, isn't it?
Next, Mr. Jumper needs to go a little deeper both in his knowledge of the Qur'an and Islamic concepts of inspiration and then he needs to join that clearer understanding with a less biased view of sola scriptura and the comments that I made therein. Scanning over his "conversion testimony" I see that he took the Bob Sungenis route: a wide variety of off-the-wall non-Catholic experiences, including word-faith stuff and some Harold Camping (or so it sounded), followed by a leap into the United Methodist Church before heading back across the Tiber (the real question is, did he ever cross the Tiber in the first place? I mean, if he had no knowledge of Rome's teachings the first time across, was he ever on either side of the river in any meaningful sense?). What is on his spiritual resume there does not lead one to expect an overly in-depth understanding of the position he now critiques. This could lead to the mis-cue in attempting to transfer a single portion of a discussion of the Bible's inherent authority due to its nature as qeo,pneustoj revelation to the Qur'an as if this provided a valid argument against sola scriptura as a doctrine. Mr. Jumper also needs to realize that the paragraph he quoted from me was not even a definition to begin with---to treat it as if it were offered as a definition is to ignore its original context and usage.
Next, Tiber Jumper noted he was identified as an apostate by yours truly, and that is quite true. Is there something about this that is in error? His entire name, Tiber Jumper, seems to proclaim something about his rejection of his former beliefs, yes? And what term do you use of someone who proclaims they professed faith A, and then denies faith A? An apostate from faith A, yes? So it seems. But given that Mr. Jumper then seems to seek to garner some element of sympathy from his audience, I have to wonder just what he meant by noting the term and putting it in bold face?
Now, we are then told that all sorts of mean, nasty anti-Catholics visited his blog and sent him nasty e-mails or, possibly, left nasty comments. Now, I looked at the comments section, and found nothing nasty. I found one Roman Catholic doing an impersonation of Karl Keating (i.e., "How do you know Matthew wrote Matthew?" which always make me chuckle, since 1) the authorship of Matthew is not definitional of the Christian faith, and 2) Rome's own Pontifical Biblical Institute has made it known that they don't know who wrote Matthew either, and it is common in Roman Catholic scholarship to deny Matthean authorship of the canonical gospel, so the entire question is rather irrelevant) but other than that, I saw nothing at all. So, were these nasty comments that were deleted, perhaps? Personally sent in e-mail? We are not told. Instead, these uncited, un-described nastigrams are made the substance of his response and are, in fact, used as an apologetic argument that "my" side is "unloving." All of this only tells me that Mr. Jumper has a post-modern streak in him a mile wide, as least when it comes to being "religiously correct," as our day and age would put it. If someone says "you are ignorant of the system you now deny" that is probably interpreted as being mean-spirited and nasty---even if it happens to be true.
In any case, let's hope Mr. Jumper will drop the "professional anti-Catholic" silliness. His arguments would be much more compelling if they were not clothed in such emotionalism and sophistry.