Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Picture of Child Abuse
06/30/2008 - James WhiteI was directed to this article about "Gay Marriages" (marriage, being defined by God, cannot be redefined by man, hence, these are not marriages at all, but celebrations of rebellion) and as I scanned down the page I encountered the picture found here. The AP picture by Tony Avelar carries the following caption:
Jennifer Kozumplik, left, and her partner of 17 years Nicole Webber, right, from Sacramento, Calif., hold their 18 month-old daughter Sophie as they pose for a photo after receiving their marriage license on the first day of same sex marriages at City Hall in San Francisco.As I stared at the picture I could not help but see only one thing: the selfish, self-centered abuse of a beautiful little child by two people committed to the fulfillment of their own desires. I once again immediately thought of the comments of Rosie O'Donnell. She was asked about her "son," and she said he has asked about where his daddy is. O'Donnell's response is the very essence of self-centeredness: "I tell him Mommy only likes other Mommies."
It is a measure of the decay of Western culture that self-deception is the activity of the day. We constantly cry, "for the children, for the children!" while abusing them to no end in the service of ourselves. It is purposefully abusive of a child to consciously deny to them a mother and a father. It is even worse to warp them, from the start, by providing two mothers or two fathers, neither of which is actually a mother or a father, since, by definition, those terms are defined by the other. None of these abused children actually have a true father or a true mother. A father is a man who heads the household and loves his wife as himself; a mother is a female who bears the children and nurtures them, honoring and loving her husband. These role models are never perfect even in the best situations, but the fact that there is failure in true marriage is no excuse for the creation of faux-marriages.
A further measure of the decay of our culture is the fact that men like myself will not long be allowed to deny the validity of these unions born of rebellion against God. Oh, I know, for the moment we are assured that we will not be forced to acknowledge these abominations before God, but let's be serious. Look north. Look at Canada. Look to Europe. Homosexual activists, and the foolish politicians who pander to them, are not content with "equality." They want uber-rights. They want to silence any reminder of their sin and rebellion. They will not stop until we are silenced or, in God's grace, repentance comes to a nation, bringing His law back into the consciousness of the populace, resulting in homosexuality once again being seen for what it is: a shameful distortion and perversion of human sexuality. Of course, God may not grant repentance to that nation: He may well replace that nation with one that will hear His law. But in any case, anyone who trusts in the promises of the politicians that the "religious" will not be forced to acknowledge these "unions" should consider buying stock in companies catering to the Y2K problem.
But while I still have the freedom to say it, I will, and clearly: it is nothing short of child abuse to subject a little one to constant exposure to homosexuality and its perversion of human relationships. Homosexuals cannot reproduce naturally, of course, so they must do so through the perversion of the minds and morals of others. And they have found willing allies in politicians of all kinds who are willing to trade their souls for cash and votes. May God have mercy and bring true repentance!
Ignatius, Ben Douglass, Summary Response 1
06/30/2008 - James White
My Eschatology May Be a Bit Unorthodox, but...
06/28/2008 - Alan Kurschnerat the Lord's Coming when the New Jerusalem descends from the heavens and hovers over God's country, Wisconsin, during the Millennium, the city of Madison will be uprooted and thrown into Lake Michigan.
Where do most liberal ideas originate? UC Berkeley? Boston? Nope, they originate in the Communist City-State of Madison, Wisconsin. And UW-Madison is the Holy of Holies of Marxism -- and the Madison public school and library system is their PC gestapo. Madison is an incongruous city in the mostly conservative state of Wisconsin. I often come across numerous maddening stories of their vanguard liberalism and jaw-dropping political correctness, but this one was brought to my attention: a desire to ban the restaurant drive-through because of the concern for carbon/"global warming."
(I predict that the criminalizing of Christianity in Canada that we are witnessing before our eyes will begin to sprout in...Madison. The conditions are there right now.)
Jay Smith vs. Shabir Ally LIVE On Line TODAY, 2:30PM EDT
06/28/2008 - James WhiteI was just sent this information myself, so I apologize for the short notice. Jay Smith of London will be debating Islamic apologist Shabir Ally from Toronto today at 2:30 pm EDT. What is unusual (and something we need to be looking into!) is it will be live streamed in video here. I will be very interested in seeing if this will work on the technical side of things. To be honest, I've tried to watch such things in the past and inevitably they have failed for me, no matter how good a connection I had. So, we will see!
A Luminescent Fractal for the Weekend
06/28/2008 - James White
Full size image found here.
The Totalitarianism of the Secular State
06/27/2008 - James WhiteStephen Boissoin posted an article on his blog about the Draconian world of today's Canada, the very kind of totalitarian thought-control that many in the US would like to see come here, and, in some instances, it has already manifested itself. I will not repost it here, but I encourage you to read through the requirements for someone to simply speak to the issue of a biblical morality of sexuality. Keep in mind, this is coming from the left, not the right. The left knows it cannot win an open and honest debate. Silencing your opposition is its only hope.
When You Want a Desktop Graphic That is Easy on the Eyes
06/27/2008 - James WhiteA new version of UltraFractal just came out (5.0). If I could find the time I'd love to post an animated fractal. This program has the ability to produce .avi files, so I have an idea of how to illustrate the self-replicating nature of fractals using the animation feature. We will see when I can get to it.
In the meantime, some days I want a background that is darker and easier on the eyes, especially when fighting a headache. So I was working with a fractal I produced about three years ago and came up with this. It is pretty dark in small form, but on a 20.1 inch flatscreen, it is easy on the eyes, yet not drab. Some might find it useful. Here is the full size version (1680x1050).
Colossians 2:9 and King James Only Modalism!
06/27/2008 - James White
Today on The Dividing Line: The Supreme Court, the Law of God, Barack Obama, The West Wing, Pagan Superstitions about the Dead, and Patrick Madrid
06/26/2008 - James WhiteThe title says it all. A pretty unusual DL where I spent the first half hour tying together the recent SCOTUS abomination (the Kennedy child-rapist case), Barack Obama's "Leviticus and shellfish" comments, the classic West Wing clip where the President presents the classic pro-homosexual attack on the Bible, Pagan superstitions in the religions around Israel, and Patrick Madrid. It's worth a listen just to figure out how I did it! Here's the program (free/high quality).
Assessing Contemporary Theology
06/26/2008 - Jeff DownsI believe the readers of this blog would enjoy (very much) listening to a recent interview with Dr. Lane Tipton. The discussion took place in light of the new book Resurrection and Eschatology: Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (P&R, 2008), but the discussion is more general in nature.
The interview took place on the Castle Church podcast. Click here to listen.
Buttressing the Truth: Apologetics in the Information Age
06/26/2008 - Tur8infan
The printing press revolutionized apologetics. Suddenly it became possible for books to be widely disseminated with a relatively small expense. Today, the Internet has reduced that expense even further. As with the printing press, the blessings are mixed. The technological advances make defending the faith easier, but they also making attacking the faith easier. Apologetics remains important – and the defenders of the faith have an important role to play.
Mr. Shea recently wrote an article for Catholic Exchange discussing Roman Catholic apologetics. The article was not narrowly focused on any one topic, but addressed some history, some ad hominem, and some meta-apologetics. The historical part of the article deals with some of the evolution of post-Vatican II Roman Catholic apologetics, especially focusing on the last two decades. The ad hominem section has already been addressed by Dr. White (link) and James Swan (link). The bulk of my response is directed toward the third part of the article, the meta-apologetics aspect: defending the defense of the faith
Mr. Shea seems to take a rather cavalier attitude toward apologetics in his article. He portrays the history of modern Roman Catholic apologetics as disorganized and largely individualized and seems to glory in this, commenting that “I don’t believe in organized religion. I’m a Catholic.” He brings up an example of his apologetic failure in a dispute against Mr. Swan, but dismisses the matter as unimportant. He tries to portray Dr. White (and metonymically other non-Romanist apologists) as having an inordinate (and unhealthy) interest in apologetics, while praising his fellow Romanists for their lack of exclusive focus on apologetics.
Of course, it has not always been that way. The notable counter-Reformation apologist Cardinal Bellarmine is more likely to be praised (by those of his church) for his tireless focus on attempting to respond to Reformation apologetics than for leading a balanced life. Indeed, while I have not attempted a survey of his biographies, one would expect that devotion to his work would be one of the many praises he would receive from favorable biographers.
In dismissing his failure against Mr. Swan, Mr. Shea tries to minimize the historical error he made in claiming that Jerome accepted the canonicity of the Deuterocanonical works, by indicating that it does not matter that Jerome rejected those works. It does, of course, matter. Once Rome acknowledges that its foremost Bible translator disagreed with the canonicity of some alleged books of Scripture, we realize that the set of beliefs held by Jerome was different from the set of beliefs held by modern Roman Catholics. That’s not to say Jerome held an identical set of beliefs to those I hold, or that Dr. White holds. What it does say is that the entire pre-Reformation body of those who claimed the title “Christian” is not “owned” by modern Roman Catholicism, just as it is not “owned” by the Reformation.
Mr. Shea says that the moral of the story is “test everything and hold on to what is good,” citing Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians. This is, of course, the Achilles heel of Catholic apologetics. How can the claims of Roman Catholicism be tested to see what is good? How can a person test the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent to see what is good? We all know what the answer is: the answer is that we turn to the standard of truth found in the written and uncorrupted Word of God.
Men err. God’s Word, which is to be found authentically in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, does not err. Jerome erred and even the Apostle Peter erred. The sixty-six canonical books that Jerome recognized as the authoritative Scriptures do not err. The two general epistles of Peter, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit, do not err.
Ultimately, it is the errors of men that make apologetics so important. Apologetics is the fulfillment of the church’s duty to serve as the support (στυλος and εδραιωμα) of the truth. It is a defense of the faith, and part of the duty of Christian brethren as laid out by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-20. Scripture is our sword, and with it we quench the fiery darts.
At the end of day, Roman Catholic apologetics cannot say the same thing. Instead, Roman Catholic apologetics must adopt blackwhite, which has been defined this way:
...this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that white is black, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. (1984 George Orwell)
Lest you think that description too harsh, consider the words of the founder of the so-called Society of Jesus, Ignatius Loyola, "I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it."
It is that attitude that renders much of Catholic apologetics moot, and permits Mr. Shea to have the nonchalant attitude toward it that he does. It’s what permits him to respond to Dr. White’s critique of his mockery with yet more mockery, “The Hindenburg of anti-Catholic apologetics blows up because ‘The prowde spirite . . cannot endure to be mock'd.’” (link)
And yet, despite the seeming nonchalance, hollow mockery, and studied dismissal of apologetic failures, one can sense that Mr. Shea is concerned about the strength of his positions. The reader notices that Mr. Swan is called not by his own name but “Mr. X.” Meanwhile, Dr. White is referred to by another pseudonym (a handle Dr. White never used, but which is rather the current name of the general purpose Christian fellowship IRC chat channel that he runs).
Ultimately, apologetics in the Internet age is as important as ever. There are fresh attacks and regurgitations of old attacks, even some of the same that were given long ago by the Jesuit counter-reformers. Apologetic teams and individuals, as long as the keep their eyes on God’s word, can contribute to this defense. The building of the church sometimes progresses one way, sometimes another, but we can model our role along the lines of Nehemiah 4:18, “For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded.” Even so let us joyfully edify the church, with the Sword of the Spirit as our defense against error.
Thanks, "Buck Helmington"
06/25/2008 - James WhiteI don't think "Buck Helmington" exists, and when I wrote back to the address provided here I did not get any response at all, so I can only assume this is a spoof. But, it's a humorous one, whoever pulled it off.
A while ago I listened to the debate that you had with Lou Rugg. I was thoroughly surprised over Lou's compelling argumentation, which I thought demolished your Kalvinististic diatribe. Let me tell you why I don't find Kalvinism compelling. Much of what I've heard about Kalvinism is from the chat program Pal Talk. Now, there are knowledgeable brothers on Pal Talk, and they have attempted to explain the basic teachings espoused by Jon Kalvine and his 10 statutes, and I am not impressed sir. BTW, his 95 theses nailed to the door of the catholic headquarters is admirable, but he went downhill from there. And as an aside, I find it interesting that you briefly signed up for Pal Talk but left as fast as you came. Is this because you couldn't stand up to the Biblical knowledge that is permeating Pal Talk? Perhaps you didn't want be backed into a corner and refuted? Are you courageous enough to debate my friends on pal talk? We shall see.
Here is a video about ol' Lou Rugg:
A Dream Debate
06/25/2008 - James WhiteI was directed to the "Praisefest Ministries" website regarding an upcoming cruise. Now, I must confess, I cannot possibly imagine how you have a cruise with this many speakers/singers/performers, but hey, that's not what is interesting here. The range of theologies represented by such notables as "Apostle Dr. Lyrica Joy Smith" would be sure to keep the readers of my blog hopping, to be sure. But two of the speakers really caught my attention, and I am wondering if maybe we could arrange a debate between them. I would pay money to watch it:
Personally, I'm not sure the topic would matter, but my money is on Paula.
Response to Ben Douglass #4
06/25/2008 - James White
Painfully Obviously Pressing Forward with the 2002 Veneration Debate
06/24/2008 - James WhiteWe made it all the way through the cross-examination portion of the debate today, waiting, breathlessly, for the "painfully obviously" demonstration of the unbiblical nature of the arguments made against Rome's veneration of Mary, saints, and angels. We haven't encountered it yet. Today, though, we did get a fair amount of discussion of ultimate authorities, and saw, once again, the contrast between sola scriptura and sola ecclesia. We also observed a sterling moment in the history of my debates: Patrick Madrid turning to the audience and asking the Catholics, "Any Catholics here worship statues?" Wow. Overwhelming stuff. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Some Things Speak for Themselves
06/24/2008 - James WhiteSpied on the Way of the Master Radio site:
When Roman Tradition Continues to Blind
06/23/2008 - James WhiteI just found this e-mail on my system. It illustrates perfectly how no matter how clearly you state your case, those who do not want to hear will find a way not to:
You've spent mulitple Dividing lines now resting your entire argument on assuming that whatCatholics now call dulia must be judged by what a 2nd century BC translation might think it means. To rest all your argument on the dictionary would be to concede that if only the word say "appreciate" was used instead of "dulia", (or maybesupercalifragilisticexpialidocious), then your entire thesis would fall apart. Similarly with "prayer". Apparently if the word "talk" or some other word were used, your entire argument would fall apart.For those who have been listening to the DL, you know that I have been insisting that God gets to define what is, and what is not, proper worship. He does so in Scripture. We have no right to change that revelation, or ignore that revelation. Since Rome claims to be guided by "Scripture and Tradition," but that Tradition never contradicts Scripture, the fact that there is no latria/dulia distinction in the biblical teaching concerning service and worship should be, for the Christian, absolutely final in its definitions. But Rome says otherwise. So once again we have either God defining His worship in Scripture, or, man defining it in councils that did not even possess a meaningful level of biblical knowledge in the first place. Our Catholic writer doesn't seem to understand that the "dictionary" is provided by God: the normative role of Scripture flies right past him due to the presence of his Roman tradition glasses. A classic case, yet, one that is still quite sad.
How does it even begin to be a valid argument to compare the lexical meaning of words across completely different centuries and cultural settings, to be a valid argument? As far as I see, almost your entire debate was based on the worst kind of lexical fallacy.
Who Released the Cultural Collapse Brakes on Canada?
06/23/2008 - James WhiteLook, we already know Romans 1:32 is true, but do you need to keep providing evidence of it? Get ready to be sickened yet again.
Intellectual Fisticuffs: Mark Shea on the Apologetics Scene (With Combox Update)
06/23/2008 - James WhiteOver the years I have commented on the attempts of particular antagonists to paint yours truly as a fire-breathing zealot. Part of the ploy is to ignore the entire range of my work as a part of the attempt to make it look like I lack balance, and hence should not be worth the time one might invest in reading a book or listening to a debate or lecture. Normally, those engaging in this activity limit the amount of information they provide to a bare minimum, and try to make it sound like I spend my every waking hour opposing Group X, whether that be Rome, Salt Lake, Brooklyn, etc. Now, one might immediately wonder why anyone would do this, but the reason is not difficult to discern. This kind of tactic is employed by those who clearly know they could never defend their position in debate, and hence they wish to avoid having to do so at all costs. Since I have been active for decades now in this arena, it is better to do a pre-emptive strike so that you can have an excuse when asked why you won't debate. It is just that simple. Even the few (like Patrick Madrid) who have ventured out to debate clearly wish to avoid taking that risk in the future, and hence they likewise seek to engage in ad-hominem tactics, joining these to unrealistic and self-serving claims of total victory in the few debates they have done (witness my current series going over the veneration debate from 2002 that Madrid has claimed was a "painfully obvious" example of how unbiblical my arguments were).
Another glowing example of this methodology appeared in an article by Mark Shea June 18th, found here). The article is generally on the topic of the "apologetics subculture," of which Shea has at least a cursory knowledge. He has ventured, not very successfully, into the field a few times. His 1996 OSV publication, By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition is particularly poorly argued and documented, containing numerous rather easily proven errors of fact and argumentation. It is, however, "pop friendly," that is, it is written to communicate with some level of clarity. Nevertheless, it is plainly intended to be apologetic in focus and application. I encountered Shea in 1997 on a Catholic web board. After a few rounds that did not go well for him, he threatened legal action if I ever posted the materials. However, in 2002 he himself posted portions of the exchange, which clearly freed me to post the encounter, which I did here.
In any case, there is much I could comment on regarding Shea's article (Tur8inFan found it, and may be commenting on other aspects of it in the future). I think James Swan should be most encouraged by the e-mail Shea quotes, for it is clearly about his work on Luther on his blog. But you will notice another interesting aspect of Shea's article, one he shares with other Roman Catholics. He does not mention the names of non-Catholic apologists when he is busy skewering them. This irrational fear of mentioning names is becoming more widespread. The infamous incident where Envoy Magazine published an entire article attacking me, but refusing to use my name or even cite the article being attacked, remains the most glaring example of this kind of literary cowardice. To this day the fact that you cannot even enter www.aomin.org into the Envoy forums (the system automatically changes the address to a "0") speaks volumes about just how much of your "mind" you can "speak" at Envoy. And of course Steve Ray's constant gratuitous insults against the "rabid anti-Catholic" that he won't name are well known as well.
Now, I did find it interesting that Shea admitted an error very similar to that of Steve Ray regarding Jerome and the canon. Shea admitted that he had erred in an Envoy article. While that is refreshing, it would be nice to then hear the "correction" to the error. That is, if he was wrong then, what does he have to say now? Evidently, it doesn't really matter how often Rome's defenders get the facts wrong: Rome remains right all the same. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
06/23/2008 - James White
Response to Ben Douglass #3
06/20/2008 - James White
Continuation of the "Painfully Obviously" Debate on Veneration of Saints and Images on the DL
06/19/2008 - James WhiteSpent the whole hour reviewing the next portion of the debate from 2002, looking for that elusive evidence of how "painfully obviously" the arguments against Rome's position are unbiblical and incoherent. Here's the program (free/high quality).
The Canon was NOT Decided at Nicaea!
06/19/2008 - Tur8infanDr. White has been providing a number of video responses to Abdullah (who uses the screen name Mujtahid2006), a Muslim apologist currently residing in London, England. Having had the opportunity to review several of his videos, I'd like to respond to at a least one point that Abdullah raised. There are certainly many more things that could be said, and Dr. White has been busily preparing some of those statements in video form.
Abdullah, in Is the Bible Corrupt: 2 (a multi-part YouTube movie), provided an argument that appears to have been taken more or less directly from the pages of Isis Unveiled: a Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science, by H. P. Blavatsky, 6th ed. 1891, Volume 2, pp. 251-52. The argument relates to the council of Nicaea and, in essence, claims that the council of Nicaea was instrumental in selecting the gospels we have today from other competing gospels. It further claims (a) that the men of Nicaea were simpletons, and (b) that they used a form of divination to determine which gospels are authentic: they left all the candidate gospels in a closed room overnight, and only four gospels were on the table in the morning, the rest being under the table.
There were, nevertheless, some details of the argument that were not present in the edition of Isis Unveiled that I had located. Initially, I was ready to chalk them up to the creativity of Abdullah. For example, he claims that accounts (a) and (b) are from two respective eyewitnesses. Shortly later, however, I discovered a related source for those additional details. This source was Great Theosophists: Hypatia - The Last Of The Neoplatonists, THEOSOPHY, Vol. 25, No. 5, March, 1937 (Pages 197-207). (Number 12 of a 29-part series), which provides the additional elaboration claiming that Sabinus and Pappus, the two respective attributed authors of the critical comments, were eyewitnesses.
Here Abdullah must be taken to task as being excessively gullible with respect to the Theosophist propaganda, since neither Pappus nor Sabinus were eyewitnesses. Pappus lived long after the council (the Libellus Synodicus (from which the account is drawn) addresses 158 councils for the first nine centuries, down through the so-called Eighth Ecumenical Council in 869). Sabinus too lived after the council, his own history mostly addressing the period from 364-378 (whereas the Council of Nicaea was convened 50 years earlier in 325). He flourished around 425, according to Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., which is fully a century after the council of Nicaea. There's really no reason to suppose that Sabinus was an eyewitness or that his account was anything other than a party spirit, Sabinus being of a sect that asserted Christ to be of similar substance to the Father, rather than the same substance, as Nicene Christians confess.
Likewise there is no particular reason to give credence to the tale provided by Pappus. The author of the tale does append an account of the divination of the apocryphal works from the real Scriptures at the end of his very brief (less than 500 words) account of the council of Nicaea, but he cites no testimony as to how he arrived at this position, and we cannot seem to trace it back any further than him.
The passage in Latin reads:
Sacros etiam libros et apocryphos, hoc modo manifesto fecit. In domo enim Dei, inferiore loco juxta divinam mensam omnibus colloctis, Dominum invocans oravit: ut qui divinitus inspirati essent, superius; qui autem adulterini, inferius (quod et factum est) invenirentur.William Emmette Coleman translates it this way, (which seems a reasonable translation):
The council made manifest the canonical and apocryphal books in the following manner: Placing them by the side of the divine table in the house of God, they prayed, entreating the Lord that the divinely inspired books might be found upon the table, and the spurious ones underneath; and it so happened.There is nothing more: no context, no source, and nothing even to say which canonical books were found on the table. As Mr. Coleman noted in the article in which he provided this translation (The Bizzare, Notes and Queries, January 1888, volume V, no. 1, pp. 1-3), The narrative is merely one of the many legendary embellishments of the mediaeval ages, and is universally rejected by the world's scholarship as destitute of any historic foundation. This legend has no corroboration.
Mr. Coleman, however, provides two other helpful pieces of information. First, Pappus is simply the editor of the work in which the litany of councils appears, the work actually being the product of anonymous Greek author who lived, it is believed, in the late ninth century. Second, the Pappus quotation was popularized by Mr. Robert Taylor, an antichristian polemic of the first part of the 1800s. It was not popularized because of any historical merit, but simply due to its polemic value.
Essentially, what Abdullah has latched onto is a bit of Theosophist propaganda. There's no significant historical support for the idea that the Council of Nicaea either decided on the canon or sifted through 40 proposed gospels using some sort of divination technique. ...
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
On Seeing the Hand of God
06/18/2008 - Summer WhiteI have absolutely zero math skill. Watching me attempt to do the simplest of addition in my head has caused pain to many. It is this pitfall that forced me to sign up for the only lab my college offered that did not have some sort of ridiculous math prerequisite, a class called "Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution." I had little reservation about taking the class, something that many of my peers, knowledgeable of my worldview, had a hard time understanding.
Being a three hour class, we were allowed a ten minute break and it was during this break that I engaged the boy who had been sitting in front of me in a conversation. When he asked me why I was taking the class I explained my math "issue" and added that I do not believe in evolution. "So why are you taking the class?" he asked again.
It seems simple to me. I know what I believe and why I believe it. What I believe demands of me that I be "salt and light." Knowing what to expect when attempting to light up the darkness seems like such an obvious conclusion. I told him that it is important to me to know what the opponents of God's Word are saying. He seemed to accept my explanation, as well as being a little put-off by it. After a few moments spent in thought he said, "Well, we'll see if you change your mind by the end of the semester."
I mention this brief conversation only because this man's question to me over a large table in the library shared by many of our other classmates who were all sharing notes shortly before the final several months later stunned me almost as much as I had stunned him several months earlier. It was such a disappointing class to me; none of the explanations we were given in class for the origin of life were satisfactory; not once was it demonstrated how one species leads into another, although variation within species was covered exhaustively; seven times the professor's answer to some of my more difficult questions was "It just did." Do not even get me started on the fact that college students are still being fed the English Pepper Moth Fable, despite the fact that it was a complete fraud, discovered years ago, and even acknowledged by The New York Times in 2005 as such! What a sad day it is when the Times is reporting the truth on a subject that our schools and textbooks refuse to acknowledge.
With all of this in mind, and my faith only having been reinforced over and over again throughout the passing months the more I became familiar with the elitists explanation for the world around us, I stuttered for a few moments when my classmate asked me, "So, do you still believe in God after all of this?"
His question had diverted my attention from an article in National Geographic we had been asked to read. It was an article about bipedalism (the ability to walk on two legs) and how it is bipedalism, combined with our large brains, that makes us the dominant species. As a Christian, and a person who believes that we are made in His image, the article was more than offensive and just below nauseating. However, God was in every page of that article. Several times throughout, the authors had no other choice but to employ the word "design" to describe the mechanisms by which we walk upright, and they made sure the offensive word was in quotes. The complexity of our bodies and what must be in place in order for us to do something as simple as walk upright, give birth, and use our limbs was striking. As much as it was clear the authors attempted to avoid the nasty talk of "design," it was more than inevitable: it was all they could do.
His question stopped everyone at the table from what they were doing. My impatience flared for a moment. How many times throughout the semester had I engaged he and several others in conversations in which they could only walk away? Had I not demonstrated that the more I learned about evolution, the more I saw God's design?
A large picture of a monkey walking on a treadmill stared up at me and a bible passage that Mike Porter had me memorize so many years ago went through my head: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through that which has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Romans 1: 20-21.
I kept my answer to my peers short and sweet. God used that class to help me see His almighty hand everywhere.
In the minds of many, the issue of whether or not Neo-Darwinian Evolution is the explanation for the origin of life is settled, whether or not many of their strong points (such as the English Pepper Moth, the Piltdown Man, and Haeckel's embryo drawings) are complete and utter frauds.
My encouragement to Christians, and especially those of you who are college students and who will most certainly face ridicule for going against "academia," is that there are much worse things in the world that can happen to you than being ridiculed, but there is nothing better in the world that can happen to you than being used as a tool to the glory of God.
Light up the darkness.
Team Apologian: Two New Additions!
06/18/2008 - James White
A few months ago I decided I could use some more help with the blog, so I began pondering who to invite to join Team Apologian. Right around that time I started noticing the amount of time, and effort, going into posts here. I had come to know Tur8infan (his nick in our channel) over the preceding months, as he had become a regular in our chat channel. The consistency of his work, the depth of his understanding of the issues, and his ability to provide a God-honoring, biblical apologetic, led me to invite him to join our team. Tur8infan adds to our Presbyterian presence on the team, and is likewise our first pseudonymous team member (lest anyone think he is claiming to channel THE Francis Turretin!). I am excited to have Tur8infan with us, and I will be posting his first article tomorrow. Tur8infan joins our famous graphic on the far left, the writing on his jacket indicating his Presbyterian predilections.
On the right side of our graphic I am justifiably proud to introduce my second-born, she who in my own opinion is a better writer than her dad, my 19-year old daughter, Summer. Many of you have found encouragement in my reporting Summer's encounters with the world of academia, first her letter to President Bush back in her sophomore year in high school, and second her encounters with her philosophy professor in her first year of college. Of course, Summer's presence on the team completely messes up the "really bad looking Calvinist guy" image we were working on, but we will survive. We left the Pyromaniacs in the dust a long time ago as far as having Angelz doing our graphics (thanks again, Angelz! Now let's see a Nadir Ahmed toon!), but now, adding a brilliant young lady like Summer---well, what can I say? We have moved into a whole new realm!
So I welcome our two new team members, and hope their contributions will add to the value of this blog in the years to come. I begin with Summer's first contribution.
More in Response to Shadid Lewis on the Death of Jesus
06/18/2008 - James White
The Painfully Obvious Veneration of Saints Debate
06/17/2008 - James WhiteI recently listened to Patrick Madrid speaking of our 2002 debate as a "painfully obvious" example of how "unbiblical" the arguments are against the Roman Catholic perspective on the veneration of saints. So I thought I would start working through the debate itself. It is amazing how many people will proclaim someone a "winner" of a debate without actually listening to the debate itself. In any case, we went a little long (about 12 minutes). Here's the program (free/high quality).
Upcoming Conference in Cottonwood, Arizona
06/17/2008 - James White
The Bulletin from Jon Modene's Church
06/17/2008 - James WhiteI was sent a scan of an article Jon Modene put in his bulletin recently called "A Partial Calvinist Dictionary." Since my name appeared in this article, I thought I'd provide a part of the scan. It is so nice to know my contributions have appeared in church bulletins! If you have forgotten Jon Modene, he's the fellow who went ballistic on RC Sproul because...Sproul's pulpit was not centered! It was off to one side. Yeah, him.
When God's Word is Ignored
06/16/2008 - James WhiteHT: TC
Isaiah 41:7 7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, "It is good"; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter.
Surah 112 in Response to a Muslim Apologist
06/16/2008 - James White
An Introduction to Textual Criticism: Part 12--The Eclectic Text Position: "Reasoned Eclecticism"
06/13/2008 - Colin Smith
If the various Byzantine positions represent the extreme documentary approach to textual criticism, relying mainly on external evidence, and the Thoroughgoing Eclectic position represents the extreme evidential approach with regard to the text contained within those manuscripts, relying mainly on internal evidence, then the Reasoned Eclectic position, at least as it claims, sits somewhere in the middle. This position, while having a distinct bias toward internal evidence, does acknowledge the importance of external evidence to determine a particular reading.
As with Thoroughgoing Eclecticism, Reasoned Eclecticism has its roots in the work of Westcott and Hort. However, many of those who hold to Reasoned Eclecticism have departed from some of Westcott and Hort's views, or have modified them to accommodate more recent evidence. For example, Westcott and Hort placed a lot of faith in codices B and Aleph, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. For them, those were the manuscripts that were closest to the autographs, and were the standard by which all other readings were judged. This is why these manuscripts were the main targets of Burgon's attacks in the late nineteenth century, and why those who still cling to Burgon's views (for the most part, those who represent the Majority Text and Ecclesiastical Text positions) spend their time attacking these same two manuscripts. Modern Eclectic scholars, however, recognize that at the time Westcott and Hort wrote, these manuscripts were the best they had. Apart from these and one papyrus fragment, the rest of their manuscript evidence was relatively late. While recognizing the importance of B and Aleph to the textual tradition, modern Eclectic scholars weigh the evidence from across the entire spectrum of manuscripts, including both Byzantine text types and minuscules.
One of the major differences between the Reasoned Eclectic position and the Byzantine Priority position with regard to the history of the text is the Reasoned Eclectic position does not start with the presumption that the original text was of a particular text family. Granted, they will say that they believe the Alexandrian type to be closest to the original, but, for the most part, they do not claim that the original was an Alexandrian manuscript. For example, in his book The King James Only Controversy, Dr. James White states, "Most scholars today...would see the Alexandrian text-type as representing an earlier, and hence more accurate form of text than the Byzantine text-type" (p. 43). Also, note the words of Dr. Bruce Metzger: "Though most scholars have abandoned Hort's optimistic view that codex Vaticanus (B) contains the original text almost unchanged except for slips of the pen, they are still inclined to regard the Alexandrian text as on the whole the best ancient recension and the one most nearly approximating the original" (Text of the New Testament, p. 216).
From this perspective, one can understand how Robinson's objection that Eclectics produce readings unknown in the textual tradition causes no problem to the Eclectic viewpoint. They acknowledge that the original is not extant, and they also acknowledge that not one text type is in itself totally representative of the autographs. It is only reasonable to expect, therefore, that the autograph will not look precisely like anything in the extant textual tradition, given agreed upon assumptions about the early corruption of the text and the small amount of manuscript evidence from the earliest days of the church.
There is agreement, though, that the various text-types were generated from the work of the many (mostly non-professional) scribes that copied the various books of the New Testament over the first two hundred years of the church. According to the Reasoned Eclectics, the Alexandrian text type represents the earliest and most accurate form of the text, noted by its conciseness, while the Byzantine text type is a later creation due to scribal conflation of readings into one text. In other words, there is a greater tendency within the Byzantine text type to include textual evidence rather than to exclude, and to harmonize rather than support a single reading. It must be noted that these are tendencies. The Reasoned Eclectic position is often criticized for claiming that the Byzantine text contains conflations while the Alexandrian does not. Such critics go on to posit examples of conflation within the Alexandrian text type. However, modern Reasoned Eclectics will not deny that such scribal tendencies exist within the Alexandrian tradition. However, while these kinds of phenomena exist in the Alexandrian text, they are not the overall tendency of this text type.
Aland sees the difference in the Alexandrian and Byzantine text types as stemming from the churches in which they flourished. In his view, a more uniform church structure within a diocese will produce a more uniform text type as the various New Testament books are copied from church to church. While the churches of Egypt were very loose-knit, the churches of the Byzantium region were more united. Over time, this more homogeneous text would exert its influence over the texts of Egypt to become a standard text (Aland, Text of the New Testament, pp. 55-56).
The various forms of the text were stabilized within the first five centuries of the church. There is evidence (contrary to the claims of the Byzantine text proponents--whether Textus Receptus, Ecclesiastical Text, Majority Text, or Byzantine Priority) that shows that the early Alexandrian texts were used, possibly more so than many of their Byzantine counterparts. One example of this is the fact that a number of extant manuscripts--including codex Sinaiticus (Aleph)--have scribal emendations written upon the text by later hands. If, as Byzantine text supporters like to suppose, Byzantine texts wore out from use in the first three centuries of the church, why do many extant Byzantine texts fail to show the same kind of scribal activity and, instead, show clean, unchallenged pages? This argument was put forward by Daniel Wallace in his article "Majority Text Theory: History, Methods and Critique," published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (June 1994; page 206). In the same place Wallace also capitalizes on the lack of evidence for the Byzantine text type in the first few centuries of the church by asking the question: "Are we to suppose that every single 'good' NT somehow wasted away--that no historical accident could have preserved even one for the first 350 years?" Rather, the texts of the first few centuries of the church were generally undisciplined and, while some were distinctly Alexandrian in text type, they displayed a mixture of text types and readings.
As much as widespread persecution of the church influenced the means by which copies of the New Testament was made, in the view of the Reasoned Eclectics, this same persecution, along with other events and factors of church history, influenced which manuscripts survived the first five centuries of the church and became dominant. Holmes notes that Diocletian's first edict contained specific instructions regarding the confiscation and burning of copies of the Scriptures (see his article "The Case for Reasoned Eclecticism" in Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism, p. 95, n. 51). This would help to account for the relative lack of manuscripts from this period, and the general paucity of Alexandrian manuscripts.
After Constantine's rise to power and the legalization of Christianity, the various text types were copied more carefully and propagated more extensively. The solidifying of the text types could be said to begin here. However, the Islamic invasions of the seventh century brought Islam into Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia. These places either succumbed to conquest and the Christians were forced to live under Muslim rule, or the Christian communities disappeared completely. This situation would at the very least curtail the transmission of New Testament texts, and, inasmuch as the Muslims destroyed Christian literature (a disputed point, but Holmes notes that the 30,000 volume library in Caesarea was destroyed by the Muslims in 638 B.C, which would at least make such activity possible), would prove devastating for the survival of biblical manuscripts. It is of great interest, then, that the only region where Christendom held firm against the Muslims for close to 1,000 years was the region around Byzantium. Greek-speaking Christians in this area managed to fend off the invaders and preserve their churches, their language, and their Scriptures until the fall of Byzantium in 1453.
For the Reasoned Eclectic, the foregoing briefly but adequately explains why only a few manuscripts of distinctly Alexandrian text type remain, why there are no manuscripts of distinctly Byzantine text type until the fourth century, and why the Byzantine text type became so dominant later.
As mentioned earlier, the Reasoned Eclectic viewpoint is one that, while acknowledging a bias toward internal evidence, does pay close regard to external evidence. In light of this, the approach to a variant reading taken by such a scholar would be to first evaluate the various possible readings presented by the critical text (i.e., either NA27 or UBS4) in light of external evidence: geographical spread, age, and text types. While the use of versions and early church fathers has been of great influence to the Byzantine school, these are only of secondary (if that) importance to the Reasoned Eclectic. Sufficient evidence should be found within the Greek manuscript tradition (see Aland, p. 280). Arguments against the use of the fathers and versions include the fact that, unless the father is commenting on a passage of Scripture, they can rarely be trusted to quote a passage verbatim such that the Greek text known to him can be determined. Also, since the extant writings of the fathers are themselves copies, one cannot know for certain how much scribal activity has entered into the reproduction of the father's text. At best, the fathers are good for ascertaining whether a particular passage was known to them at that time. There is still no evidence that any church father used a Byzantine text type in his quotation of Scripture.
After this, the scholar can begin the examination of the text in terms of internal evidence: difficult readings, influence of contemporary church or theological issues, harmonization, and the author's style. Internal evidence, however, can never be solely determinative. In other words, the correct reading will have the support of both internal and external evidence. For a more detailed analysis of this process with illustrative passages, see Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, pp. 216-246. See also Aland, The Text of the New Testament, pp. 280-316.
Part 13: Concluding Thoughts--coming soon...
Response to Ben Douglass #2
06/13/2008 - James White
Today on The Dividing Line
06/12/2008 - James WhiteI haven't ever publicly commented on John Loftus before, but a recent YouTube video he posted on the Trinity caught my attention. During the show folks were posting materials indicating he graduated from Trinity, which means there really is no excuse for his ignorance of the doctrine he was attempting to review, and refute. In any case, played that, interacted with it, and then took calls on a variety of issues. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Shadid Lewis and Swma Again
06/11/2008 - James White
Today on The Dividing Line
06/10/2008 - James WhiteStarted off light today, discussing my new Kindle and what books I have on it. But then we get rolling, looking at the attack upon the Christian faith by the secularists in the judicial branch of the Canadian government. Those who wish to end freedom of speech and expression are many, and their primary target comprises you and me. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Great! A Canadian Who Sees the Stupidity with Clarity
06/10/2008 - James WhiteAfter doing the program today (be patient on the file: our ministry Internet connection went down shortly after the program, so we are having to use alternative means) I encountered this video of a magazine publisher simply telling it like it is before the Alberta "Human Rights Commission." Watch the HRC representative wither as he fires his broadside. Three cheers!
Art Sippo Strikes Again (Updated)
06/10/2008 - James WhiteI was just pointed to the following claim by Art Sippo, sometime Catholic apologist, medical doctor, and Doc Savage pulp fiction afficionado, regarding the incomplete tapes provided to us by Catholic Answers nearly two decades ago of my debate with Sippo on justification (1991):
Pseudopodeo has doctored the recording. I have come to expect such tactics from him and other anti-Catholic Protestants. It is more about egoism than about the truth. Sorry. That is the way it is.Evidently, Art Sippo spends so much time in the fantasy world of "Doc Savage" (he even chose one of the medical schools attended based on the fiction series!) that he has no problems creating fantasy himself. Simply put, this is yet another example of how completely disconnected Sippo is from the world of truth. In case he has forgotten, we did not record the debate in Toledo, Ohio. Catholic Answers did. We had to repeatedly ask them for the tapes, and when they finally did mail them to us, they were only a partial set of poor quality. We were never given a meaningful explanation other than, "We messed up the recording." I personally find that hard to believe, but in any case, the recording we have posted of that "lost debate" is simply the reproduction of the tapes that were given to us. The accusation of "doctoring" is slanderous and false. As normal, Sippo will avoid providing evidence of his slander, and his followers will continue to adore him for it.
Falsehood and slander is Sippo's stock-in-trade, in fact. He posted this lie on the Envoy forums. Now, let's remember that on Envoy, if you try to post a URL to www.aomin.org, it replaces aomin.org with "0." So, you can tell these folks are on the front lines of apologetic action and response! [Update: I found out just now that they even run text filters, so that if you write "Roman Catholic" it posts as simply "Catholic"!] Sippo is a regular contributor of bombast and vitriol, a fact that tarnishes Madrid's oft-repeated claims of fairness and the like. In any case, just before posting this lie Sippo had provided a classic expression of his kind and loving apologetic methodology:
Luther suffered from bipolar manic-depressant illness and Calvin was a classic paranoid personality and was convicted of sodomy. They were both unstable. Their errors led to their excommunication. They died outside the Church of Jesus Christ. Everything Pope St. Peter prophesied in his 2nd Encyclical has come to pass in these two backsliders.Now, in case you are left just a little bewildered, for Sippo, any slander, as long as it serves Mother Church, is, by definition, usable. So, despite the gross falseness of the charge against Calvin, for example, and its repudiation by all meaningful historical scholars and even by Roman Catholic historians (and even Dave Armstrong!), it is normative Sippo to sling the mud. This is the kind of material you will find on Envoy's forums all the time.
A quick search of this blog for "Sippo" will reveal more than sufficient documentation of his incredible behavior over the years. Around the time he fled publicly from my challenge to debate him in his own home town on the only topic he said he would debate, he posted the following on Envoy (it has since been removed, surely out of embarrassment, by Madrid or others, but its original URL was http://www.envoymagazine.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1025):
Mr. White is an ignorant bigot who has no academic credentials. He was raised by bigots to be a bigot and would parade around in a white sheet burning crosses on people's lawns if there was any money in it. In a strange bizarro parody of Christian discipleship, he hates his enemies and does bad things to people whom he doesn't like. He also is a big whopping LIAR and likes to slander anyone who has the temerity not to kowtow to him. He is known affectionately as Pseudopodeo by those who know him best.The fact that he is allowed to spew his venomous verbiage without restraint through the Envoy forums and through the Catholic Legate website is yet another commentary on the current state of Roman Catholic apologetics.
The specific citation I gave at the beginning of this article has been removed by one of the moderators of the Forum, Patti [Edited by - Patti on 06/10/2008 4:04:03 PM]. Following posts still make reference to it, but the specific line has been removed. Of course, Sippo then posts another vitriolic rant afterwards, so it seems that the Envoy folks just follow Sippo around, cleaning up his messes rather than dealing with him once and for all. Another amazing insight into that realm where a man without a single theological degree is allowed to ramble on and on without censure.
Schedule Change for the DL Tomorrow
06/09/2008 - James WhiteI mentioned we have some scheduling "issues" this week on the program last Thursday. So, as of right now, we are hoping to do the DL on Tuesday just one hour later than normal---and we really don't have any idea about later in the week. But, that's the joy of webcasting...we can roll with the punches. So, tomorrow, 3pm EDT, noon PDT. See you then!
The State vs. Christians: Canada Joins those Nations that Prohibit Free Speech and Gospel Preaching
06/09/2008 - James WhiteThe speed at which the governments of the secular West are turning on the Christians living within their borders is a sure sign of the judgment of God coming upon this culture. It truly has come to the point where I question the wisdom of my ever going north of the border again, given that it is without a question true that I could be charged with a "hate crime" in Canada this very day. My debates with Lynn and Spong, my book on the topic, my preaching, would all now expose me---and more importantly, all believing Christians in Canada today---to the rebuke of the "law" in Canada. Free speech? Forget it! Homosexuals now have super-rights! You can't even express opposition to their sexual deviancy!
I am referring to the decision handed down by the Alberta Human Rights Commission Friday against pastor Stephen Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. I will not repeat an overview of the case, as it is found here and here, only to note that this has to do with the outrageous action of Boissoin in sending a letter to the newspaper that was published voicing opposition to homosexuality and its impact on society. Here is a sample of the terrible things Boissoin said:
Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.This basic expression of a logical, rational, perfectly consistent and Christian viewpoint is now officially illegal in Canada. Dr. Darren Lund, a homosexual activist, filed a complaint, and now gets $5,000 for the "suffering" he has experienced by the bare expression of Boissoin's words! Sound completely impossible? It isn't. Free speech is gone in Canada, and the secularists have taken over the key positions in government so that from those positions they can do exactly what they are now doing: silence Christians and the proclamation of the Gospel.
I downloaded the pdf of the "decision" of these anti-Christian secularists. Note the following:
14. The Panel finds, and the Panel orders as follows:Now keep in mind, the entirety of the Christian proclamation is "offensive" to many, hence, "disparaging remarks" can be, well, anything. So, this is a legal demand that Pastor Boissoin cease saying anything in any forum whatsoever about homosexuality. Period. Shut up. And since I am sure the preaching of the Bible constitutes "in public speeches" in Canada, this is an open unadulterated attack upon Christianity by a legal governmental agency. To call it anything else is to have one's head way, way too far down in the sand.
a. That Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. Further, they shall not and are prohibited from making disparaging remarks in the future about Dr. Lund or Dr. Lund's witnesses relating to their involvement in this complaint. Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.
The entire document is simply frightening in its mindless secularism. Boissoin is told he must apologize publicly for holding the historical Christian position! What an audacious demand! Can you imagine! Orwell was off by only 24 years, to be sure. But what is truly sickening is the fact that the decision is plainly intended to function as a chilling influence upon all other Christians. By prosecuting this one pastor the intended effect is to silence all Christians in general. I quote:
8. The Panel agrees also with Dr. Lund's submission that hate propaganda remedies should have a symbolic and educational value as stated in the Citron case:Do you see that? "We will come after you and we will prosecute you if you dare give voice to Christian beliefs on homosexuality in Canada." I cannot possibly see how the Bible itself can long remain on the shelf in Canada in light of such judicial activism and anti-Christian bigotry. The irony is, this kind of decision is purposefully designed to inculcate--hatred of the Christian faith. And never forget it.
Any remedy awarded by this, or any Tribunal, will inevitably serve a number of purposes: prevention and elimination of discriminatory practices is only one of the outcomes flowing from an Order issued as a consequence of these proceedings. There is also a significant symbolic value in the public denunciation of the actions that are the subject of this complaint. Similarly, there is the potential educative and ultimately larger preventative benefit that can be achieved by open discussion of the principles enunciated in this or any Tribunal decision."
Boissoin endured six years of persecution at the hands of the High Priests of Secularism in Canada. You cannot debate these people: they know they cannot win in that venue. They seek to silence the other side by force of "law." The militant jihadi does the same thing. Both have the same goal in mind: silencing those who would dare to point out that their arguments are without merit. Their methods are quite different, but their ends are the same: the suppression of truth.
Should you watch these things and experience temptation to fear and distrust, remember: many have been the nations and cultures that have passed from the scene over the centuries due to their hatred of God's law. Justice will be done in the end, thankfully. Unrighteous judges should read the many warnings directed to them in Scripture. Meanwhile, Christians must pray for strength to stand firm in the face of those who would instruct them to be silent about the Gospel. "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19-20).
Ties for Father's Day!
06/09/2008 - James WhiteSo early last week I was thinking about what to get my dad for Father's day (just ruined THAT surprise), and I started playing around with the software at zazzle.com. I had gotten my wife a calendar there for Valentine's day and it turned out very nicely. So I started looking at their ties and how I could make a custom tie. And I started thinking about all the images, including my fractal art, and my love of ancient manuscripts and textual criticism, and before long...well, you can take a look via the flash panel below, or here.
make custom gifts at Zazzle
You will see that about half are my fractal designs, and half are apologetically oriented. For example, the Alexandrinus manuscript's reading of John 14:26 is for use with Muslims: you can clearly read on the tie the phrase (ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον), ho de parakletos to pneuma to hagion, "the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit" (I focused mainly on the term παράκλητος, parakletos). Muslim apologists claim Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible, and like to assert that John 14 and John 16 originally referred to the the exalted one, i.e., Muhammad, suggesting any number of terms like periklutos as the original reading. But here, in Codex Alexandrinus, written more than two full centuries before Muhammad's birth, you have the proper term clearly presented.
The purple colored tie with the image of Codex Sinaiticus on it (ok, a very small portion of a single page), contains the text of the Carmen Christi, Philippians 2:5-11.
The Granville Sharp tie gives the text of P72, the earliest manuscript of 1 and 2 Peter and Jude, at 2 Peter 1:1. This is where you find the Granville Sharp Construction, "our God and Savior Jesus Christ." I repeated the text three times so that you have the entire line containing the construction. Great for JW's and Muslims both!
And the Arabic tie's background is a page of a manuscript from 1453 containing portions of the crucifixion narratives written in Arabic.
I will donate the proceeds ($3 a tie!) to A&O, so at the very least you can feel like you are supporting the work. This is just a little something I did on a lark. But I wore two of the ties this weekend in Atlanta, and folks really liked them, so, here they are.
Oh, and by the way, today only (Monday) they are $10 off! $20 for a tie like this isn't half bad! So, don't forget Father's Day is Sunday!
A Trinitarian and a Unitarian Debate
06/09/2008 - Jeff DownsOn June 1 of this year Mr. Brant Bosserman (Trinitarian) and Mr. Sean Finnegan (Unitarian) debated the topic of the Trinity. I had a chance to listen to the debate and I enjoyed it very much. I trust you will as well. Click here to listen.
I've heard Brant on two other occasions and appreciated very much what he had to say regarding presuppositional apologetics and Trinitarian theology.
Brant was also the guest on Gene Cook's The Narrow Mind this past Saturday, discussing the debate. Click here to listen.
More Bad Islamic Arguments
06/09/2008 - James White
Reponse to Ben Douglass #1
06/06/2008 - James White
Today on the Probably to be Banned in Canada Very Soon Dividing Line
06/05/2008 - James WhiteStarted with a heart-breaking article about a blind Muslim boy killed by his mullah for not memorizing the Qur'an in Pakistan, followed by an article on the simple reality that Canada is not a friendly place for Christians anymore. Then we listened to a response by Tim Staples, newly demoted from "one of the foremost Bible scholars in the Church" to "one of the leading apologists today," regarding the term "until" at Matthew 1:25, and learned that once again, Rome's apologists do not mind recycling replies even when they have been refuted over and over and over again. Then we took phone calls on a wide, wide variety of subjects. Something for everyone! Here's the program (free/high quality).
Jesus in the Qur'an (Baldwin, Long Island Lecture Continued)
06/04/2008 - James White
No Man is an Island
06/03/2008 - James WhiteThis one hits close to home. This amazing picture is of a drunk slamming into a group of cyclists in a race in Mexico on June 1 (ht: SillyBrit2). You can see bodies flying through the air, a helmet, bikes, parts of bikes---one man, 37, was killed, ten others were injured. The driver? Drunk, fell asleep at the wheel. By the time cops arrived some bystanders were trying to lynch the driver.
I have ridden in many such races, El Tour de Tucson, El Tour de Phoenix---one of my favorites used to be El Tour de Farm! That was a great race out in the East Valley. And anytime you go out on the streets, whether on a bicycle, or on a motorcycle, you always know that there are people like this man out there, too. Maybe they hide behind the "hey, it's my life, I can get drunk all I want behind closed doors!" defense. I don't know, and I don't care. When you live in a society, that kind of behavior, that kind of immorality, impacts us all, sometimes gravely. As fewer and fewer in society feel any sense of createdness, and hence any sense of the Creator, so that law is simply what "the politicians say it is," this kind of behavior will only increase in regularity.
And the Phones Go Wild!
06/03/2008 - James WhiteWell, it's Tuesday, and Tuesday mornings are supposed to be "no phone call" times. Not today! Lined them up early and they kept coming! Spent most of the hour on a wide variety of topics from the KJV Only denial of the Septuagint (LXX) to the wills of God! Quite a potpourri of topics! Then, for the last fifteen minutes I played some clips from Todd Bentley, the wild-eyed purveyor of "revival" down in Florida. If this stuff doesn't shock you, well, nothing will. Sad, incredible stuff. See...theology matters! Here's the program (free/high quality).
Theology Matters Shirts Part Deux
06/02/2008 - James WhiteThe poor American who claims to be a hostage in Canada (have you noticed that everyone you meet from Canada says they are not, in fact, Canadian?) has put together a second "Theology Matters" graphic. You can see it in full size by visiting her store here. You can get coffee mugs and stuff, too. I have to admit, it would be interesting to see the results of having a mug like that when you go to the coffee pot at work. "Theology Matters? What is that supposed to mean?"
Khalid Yasin: Further Straw-Man Arguments from a Leading Islamic Apologist/Speaker #4
06/02/2008 - James White
Conclusion of Response to Abdullah of the UK
06/01/2008 - James White