Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Pre-Debate Poem
10/18/2007 - James WhiteThe Uber Librarian posted this on her blog last week. It seems fitting to link to it...today. An Uber Librarian poem.
Horton, Osteen and James White - Updated
10/15/2007 - Jeff DownsSome of you are aware (probably most by now) that Michael Horton was on 60 Minutes on Sunday evening, responding to Joel Osteen's "theology." The segment can be view by clicking here. Michael Horton also has posted some article in response here. Kim Riddlebarger writes a wrap up here in which he states:
On the lighter side, just so you know, Michael's already caught a fair bit of flack from his friends. As one noted Reformed theologian pointed out, "Osteenís theology may indeed be popcorn theology, but it appears that he can bench press more than Horton can." Michael has already promised to spend more time in the gym and will challenge Osteen to a rematch. Maybe the only Reformed guy who can currently out-bench Osteen is James White.
Let the games begin!
Update - A Continuous Strain of Silliness
Bob Ross throws his understanding of things into the areana. He states "I have heard Joel Osteen numerous times on TV, I have read his writings, and in just a matter of a couple of sentences at the close of every sermon, Joel preaches more Gospel than Michael Horton evidently even believes." If Ross wasn't so serious, it would be as funny as the weight lifting compition about to take place. Ross confirms his seriousness when writes "our nearby [Joel Osteen] neighbor who perhaps reaches more people with the Word of God on any given Sunday than either James or Michael will reach in a lifetime." So, Mr. Ross doesn't know the gospel (this is clear from the fact that he believe this is what comes from Joel) and he seems to indicate that numbers are to be significant to us.
Ross claims that I am "holding the fort while James is elsewhere." This is certainly a stretch....but what should I expect from a man who begins an Email (which isn't that long) by being critical of James and Michael Horton, claiming that Osteen is "one of their favorite targets." Has James ever said anything about Osteen? I can't seem to recall anything. And there is no doubt that Michael Horton has much better things to do. But, I thank God he had the opportunity (in what little time he had) to address these issues.
Ross calls Horton's comments from 60 Minutes and his articles "delirious diatribe," then he attacks Horton for being Pedobaptist, and something else about A. D. 70 and Horton not responding to him. Talk about delirious diatribe.
BTW, here are some other resources that should be of interest regarding Osteen. Regarding Mr. Ross, well, this was my first and last comments concerning him.
Your Best Life Now? Assessing Joel Osteen's Prosperity Message, by Robert Bowman.
Behind The Smile: A Closer Look at Joel Osteen's "Your Best Life Now" (Real Media file), by Rafael Martinez and Lance King.
"The Leaven of Lakewood Ė Joel Osteenís Appealing But Aberrant Message" The Quarterly Journal, Vol 24, No 4.
On Giving Your Cell Number to People on the East Coast
10/03/2007 - James WhiteSo I was deep, deep in sleep this morning at 4:32am. I remember the dream had something to do with debate, as I was making a very strong point. Now, it may have been about how horses with wings are clearly worth more than horses in roller skates (you know how dreams are), but the point is I was in deep sleep. REM sleep.
Then...my BlackBerry starts loudly proclaming the arrival of...a text message. Yes, a text message at 4:32am. Now, I leave it on at night because at times I need to receive messages, say, from my daughter, if she is traveling. My parents are older, so I keep the phone nearby. But generally, I get to sleep through the night. Not today. See, I gave my cell number to a friend. He's still a friend, don't get me wrong. But you see, he lives on the East Coast. I live in Phoenix. People on the East Coast often don't know where Phoenix actually is. It's on the other side of the Big River (the Mississippi), so its exact location isn't overly relevant. But what is more, what time zone it is in is not relevant, either. Folks on the East Coast do seem to realize that they should stop and think a bit before calling someone in California, because they realize there is a three hour difference there. But since Phoenix isn't in California, well, the time difference doesn't matter.
You see, Eastern Time Zone folks are...time snobs. Yes, there is a thing called time snobbery. It's when you think your time zone rules everyone else's. Time snobbery. And it is time to speak out about it!
Now, I should note that folks on the West Coast do the same thing in reverse. They will often call folks in the East Coast way, way late at night for the very same "my time zone is really all that matters" reason. But East Coasters seem to be more infected with this idea, since, from their perspective, everything takes place in their time anyway. They are the "standard." And besides, New York is in their time zone, hence, does anything else matter?
Now, the folks in "fly over" territory, the folks in the Central Time Zone, are the least time-snobbish of anyone. That is because you almost never see anything announced in their time zone. You see "9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific," and the poor folks in the middle are just expected to "do the math." Central time zone folks suffer from clear time-discrimination by time snobs in the Eastern and Pacific time zones. And since Mountain time only includes the likes of Wyoming and New Mexico...well, MST is the red-headed stepchild of time zones, to be sure. Eastern time snobs generally don't even mention MST. It's irrelevant. A literal "waste of time."
Now we in Arizona are some of the few folks in the world who honor time. See, we realize that clocks do not determine what time it is: time is independent of clocks. Clocks are just instruments. Turning your clock back, or forward, an hour, does not actually impact time, just your perception thereof. So we in Arizona don't play with our clocks. We don't pretend that moving the hands around is actually changing anything. Time is time, and we honor it as such. Hence, for about 8 months out of the year now, our honoring of time means that our clocks read the same as the folks on the West Coast. The other four months or so we synch up with Mountain time. In other words, we are always MST. Period. Ah, the glory of consistency.
Now, my friend was texting me because he not only suffers from time snobbery, and hence it never crossed his mind that 7:32 his time would be 4:32 mine, but he also suffers from being a...Cubs fan. And you see, I live in Phoenix, and the Arizona DiamondBacks had the best record in the NL, and hence are playing the Cubs in the first round of the MLB playoffs. Now, ever since the commissioner of the NBA handed the 06/07 season to the Spurs, I haven't cared a bit about pro sports. I really haven't. It's a racket and I just don't care anymore. I ceased being a fan of anything, NBA, NFL, MLB, whatever. But I admit I'm pulling for the D'Backs for two reasons: 1) I was here when they started, so, at least I've been consistent, and 2) I can't name a single person on their team. Seriously. Right now, this season, they are a bunch of young guys, no big super-stars, no $100 million dynasty guys, just a buncha young guys playing for the love of the game (how is THAT for unusual anymore). So, it's easy to root for them over against the over-paid, pampered super stars that fill the rosters of other teams. Yes, I know...they will almost all fall into that same trap themselves if they do well, so hey, does it really matter? But for this season, it's easy to root for them to beat the massively over-paid guys on the other squads.
So, the time-snobbery-originated text message that rudely woke me up at 4:32am this morning was a poor, deluded time-snob Cubs fan informing me that "the D'Backs are going down tonight!" Well, maybe they will. I won't be watching. I'll be at church, Lord willing, and other than that, prepping for next week (cruise/debate). But I did learn one lesson from this morning: be careful who you give your cell number to. If they are on the East Coast, you might wish to have them tested for time snobbery before you hand over that number.
(Anyone not reading this entire thing as the humorous piece it is supposed to be needs to take a remedial course in contextualized reading).