Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Without a Doubt the Most Amazing Nature Video I Have Ever Seen
06/29/2007 - James White
Some More Paul Potts
06/20/2007 - James WhiteI learned Sunday evening that Paul Potts won the competition, Britain's Got Talent. He gets a £100,000.00 prize and he gets to sing before the Queen. Anyone want to bet someday he will be singing and his cell phone will go off? In any case, I am not a big opera fan, but I would pay to hear Paul Potts sing. Here he sings Time to Say Goodbye. OK, I'm not a music critic, but, I know Bocelli's version, and this is fully comparable (though, of course, much shorter).
Still On the Fence?
06/19/2007 - James WhiteAs I look around at what attracts Christians today, I confess, I feel a bit out of touch. The seminars and conferences that really pack them in hold little interest for me. Spending days on end listening to folks trying to convince me about how lucky God is to have me on His team just doesn't get me overly excited.
On the other hand, it is pretty rare to have the opportunity, outside of solid, sound seminaries, to spend a concentrated period of time doing in-depth study of the sacred doctrines of the faith. And the reality is, those who get to do that kind of thing normally pay large sums of money for the privilege.
That is why I hope my readers will seriously consider joining me in October for The Cross: Theology and Historicity on board the Mercury, leaving Seattle October 15th. We still have plenty of room, but, we won't for long. For those looking for an intense, seminary-level class focused upon one of the primary areas of Christian theology where, sadly, in many places, sappy sentimentalism has replaced thorough-going biblical understanding, this is it. Not only will we be spending four hours a day in the Word, challenging and encouraging one another in the faith, but we will be looking forward to my debate with Shabir Ally on the Friday evening we disembark the beautiful Mercury. I really believe this will focus our attention like almost nothing else could!
Now, I know---not everyone wants to spend their "vacation" studying theology. That is why for those who will not be taking the class there will be plenty to do, including visiting Victoria, British Columbia, and Nanaimo, both beautiful ports of call.
Now, I remember seminary well, and during breaks in long classes, I enjoyed...Cheetos and a Mountain Dew from the vending machine in the hallway. The idea of taking a class like this and then having some of the finest fare at sea on one of the most beautiful ships I've ever sailed on (it is my favorite) was far beyond my wildest dreams back then. But that is what the folks on our cruise will experience in October: great theology, great fellowship, gorgeous views of God's creation, all with the finest in sustenance. You just can't beat it.
I may have mentioned this before, but some folks have said they'd love to come, but either the husband or the wife just can't handle the movement of a vessel at sea. I fully understand that, and that is why this cruise is so special. The Mercury is a tremendous ship (I've sailed her twice before), and she sails smooth. But what is more, we will be close to shore, in fact, sailing inside the Inside Passage area, so to be honest, this should be the smoothest cruise we have ever taken, bar none. For those who wish they could sail, but are concerned about open-sea ship movement, this is your chance. It really is.
Time is getting short on being able to make sure you have a spot in October. If you have been delaying, pondering...now is the time to make your move. You'll kick yourself October 20th if you don't!
This Is Just...Special
06/16/2007 - James WhiteWhen I first clicked on this link I was worried it was going to be another "Man, can you believe someone like this thinks he can sing?" And when I saw Simon sitting there, my sense of foreboding only increased. But then...well, see for yourself.
06/10/2007 - James WhiteOver the past few months as I have traveled and spoken in various places, one particular hymn has popped up repeatedly in the selections. And in case you have noticed that I don't exactly sing it out, there's a reason. Read it for yourself, not as it appears in Protestant hymnals today, but as it was originally written by Frederick W. Faber:
Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
England shall then indeed be free.
Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach Thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.
Why Sound Episcopalians Hide in Shame
06/04/2007 - James WhiteThere are a few of them...they are just hard to find. Poor Episcopalians who stand in the tradition of Bishop Ryle are in the small minority today. In the wide realm of Episcopalianism, the wackier, the better. You have seen my encounter with Spong, and any person with biblical insight cannot help but sit back and shake their heads. But I don't think I've seen anything as wild as this.
Today I was pointed to the June, 2007 issue of the Episcopal Voice. It contains an interview with "the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding." The title? "On being Christian and Muslim." Yes, that's the title. Look for yourself. This woman, who likewise holds a Ph.D. in New Testament (!!!), claims to be a Christian...and a Muslim. Both.
A little more than a year ago, the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding found herself at the doorway of a new world, Islam, and wasnt quite sure how she got there. As she reflected on her journey, she realized Jesus was her guide. Now both a practicing Muslim and an Episcopal priest, Redding shares her thoughts on how the two faiths inform each other.I don't know whether to laugh or cry, this is so completely absurd. But where else could something like this appear but in an Episcopalian publication? Amazing, just amazing.
"The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam," Redding explains, "and although there are Christians and Muslims who think I must convert from one to the other, the more I go down this path the more excited I am about both Christianity and Islam."
A Call To All Procrastinators
06/03/2007 - James WhiteSome folks are just constructed in such a fashion that they love to wait till that last minute to get things done. Those of us who are at the doctor's appointment twenty minutes early just don't understand you, but that's the way things are. Procrastination is a common human behavior.
And so, those of us who don't procrastinate have to remind those of you who do that deadlines approach, time becomes short. While October 15th might seem like a long ways away, in the world of cruise lines and hotels, it isn't. It is right around the corner. And there are some of you who have decided to wait till the last minute to sign up for the cruise and the class and the debate. Well, time's a wastin'! Your window of opportunity will soon close, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. So now's the time, folks. The links are over on the right hand side of the page. You will never get a chance to get this level of instruction, in this context, for this cost, again. So those of you who have been waiting, or have been sitting on the fence, consider for a moment just how much it costs to take a single class in college or seminary, throw in the gorgeous surroundings, fellow believers, and the greatest food possible. It's a "no-brainer."
What's more, it will be a great encouragement for me to have an entire group of believers at the Shabir Ally debate who have spent the past few days in class with me, together plumbing the great depths of Christ's atoning work on our behalf! I am sure the debate experience itself will be greatly enhanced for those who take the class, that's for certain.
Once again, for those taking the class, here is the reading list. I posted it earlier, but due to the nature of blogs, such things get lost.
Morris, Leon. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Eerdmans Third Revised Edition, found here.
Owen, John. The Works of John Owen Vol. 10 (Banner of Truth ed.), found here. This work is available in e-text format as well (Ages Library CD Rom, as I recall). It contains The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, the primary text, but it likewise contains two other important works, Of the Death of Christ and, especially relevant to the Islamic position, A Dissertation on Divine Justice.
Long, Gary D. Definite Atonement (New Covenant Media, 3rd Ed., 2006), found here.
Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion (Fortress Press, 1977), found here.
Ally, Shabir, "Did Jesus Die for the Sins of the World" in .wmv format here.
These are the "textbooks" so to speak for the class. Aside from these, the student will need to obtain his or her own copy of the Qur'an. I would recommend either the many versions of the Yusuf Ali translation available in your local bookstores, or, one I have found particularly useful and handy, that Tafsir edition of Mawdudi's work, found here. Portable, not overly expensive, very useful.
Now, in addition to these published works, I will be providing a PDF document of six articles as soon as I can. When I finish it, I will post it here.
Next, I will provide a few "recommended reading" resources, in order of usefulness. These are not required. This is so guys can ask to buy these and put them in their library and say, "But James said it would be good." Hey, I had to build my library once, too! The first book would be an excellent textbook, so I highly recommend it, but it will not be out in the US until July, and even then, you never know with publishing houses, so I will leave it at the top of this list. But if you get any of the following books, get that one.
Jeffery, Steve, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach. Pierced for our Transgression: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution (IVP, 2007).
Brown, Raymond. The Death of the Messiah (2 vols.) Doubleday, 1994.
Hill, Charles (ed), Frank James (ed), Roger Nicole (ed). The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Historical & Practical Perspectives: Essays in Honor of Roger R. Nicole (IVP, 2004), found here.
McKnight, Scott. Jesus and His Death: Historiography, the Historical Jesus, and Atonement Theory (Baylor University, 2005), found here.
Bauckham, Richard. God Crucified (Eerdmans, 1998). Probably need to use a library for this one!
Beilby, James, Paul Reddy (eds). The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views (IVP, 2006), found here.