Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
21st Century Errors about Prayer's Efficacy
08/31/2008 - Tur8infanOn the same Catholic Answers Live episode (May 8, 2008), in which Steve Ray seemingly endorsed 18th Century superstitions (see my previous discussion), Mr. Ray discussed another Rosary-related topic.
A caller (Willie in Fredericksburg, TX) asked:
I tell somebody I'm going to say a rosary for them, and then I do, and in the process I might have told somebody else, and so I end up with two, three, four people - I'm just wondering, is that diluting it some way? Or is better to say individual - well its probably better - but is it diluting it some by combining several people?
Steve Ray responded:
I think that's a good question, but I don't think you have any fear of that, because if you are praying the rosary with sincere intent to pray it for several people instead of just one, the weakness would not be with you, but the weakness would be with God. And God isn't weak. He can make sure that that prayer that you pray is responded to for each of those individuals, because God is perfectly capable of hearing your prayer and reaching out his wonderful fingers to touch 4, 5, 6, or 10 people just as well as one. And as long as its your intent to pray for them, and you say, "Lord, this person has a real need here, and this person there, and this person there, and this person there, and I only have a half an hour to pray Lord, but I really really want you to help every one of those people I'm going to pray for, so when I pray, would you please make up for any of my weakness of mind, and my weakness of memory, and you take care of them for me." I guarantee by my little experience with God, and by knowing who He is and what He wants to do. He actually wants to help those people more than you want Him to help those people. So I think you add as many people as you want, and you pray for them, and then you watch God work in their life.
Let's assume for a second that Steve Ray actually understands Catholicism, and further let's assume that his statements are accurate. After all, he was introduced in the show as "one of the leading proponents of the faith" and he himself stated "if I don't know something, I'm going to be honest and right up front and let you know that."
If Steve Ray is right, isn't it somewhat limited to pray as Steve proposes? Wouldn't the following be a still more generous prayer?
Lord, I only have one half hour to pray, but I really really want you to help every one of the people on Earth who has a need, and each person in Purgatory who is suffering the temporal punishment of their sins. So, when I pray, would you please make up for my finite mind and my finite knowledge of all their particular problems, and their particular names, and take care of them for me.
In fact, if God would like to help all those people, wouldn't God being willing to accept an omnibus request of that sort? I hope that most readers sense intuitively that a rosary prefaced in such a manner would not be used by God for billions of times more good than the same rosary prefaced by "So that Joe, my neighbor, will get a job."
What's wrong with Steve's answer is that he doesn't see the problem in the man's question. Prayers, including collections of prayers, like the rosary, do not have merit. I've seen this problem in other contexts, normally in the context or people talking about requesting the prayers of "Saints."
This problem usually becomes visible to us, Reformed folks, when we see Catholicism interacting with this verse:
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
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3 John and "Fellow Workers with the Truth"
08/30/2008 - James White
Here is the Wednesday evening devotional from the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church from 3 John.
Steve Ray Relying on 18th Century Catholic Superstitions
08/29/2008 - Tur8infanOn the May 8, 2008, edition of Catholic Answers Live, I was amazed to hear Steve Ray reference (seemingly approvingly) a book called, "The Secret of the Rosary," for the idea that wearing a rosary "around your neck keeps the Devil away - it keeps the evil powers away, because they hate the rosary and they hate the crucifix ... ." I can safely say that wearing a rosary has about equal efficacy in keeping demons away as does wearing a scapular or dousing oneself in "holy water." In short, it has no power at all.
Meanwhile, enjoy the ecumenical flavor of that most lovely work:
The heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and clearly bear the sign of God's reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary. They still say the Our Father but never the Hail Mary; they would rather wear a poisonous snake around their necks than wear a scapular or carry a rosary.
And truly, I would rather (as Louis de Montfort claims) have a king cobra round my neck than participate in the superstitious and anti-Christian tradition of the rosary or the scapula. I think the portion Steve Ray was referring to was this:
Blessed Alan relates that a man he knew had tried desperately all kinds of devotions to rid himself of the evil spirit which possessed him, but without success. Finally, he thought of wearing his rosary round his neck, which eased him considerably. He discovered that whenever he took it off the devil tormented him cruelly, so he resolved to wear it night and day. This drove the evil spirit away forever because he could not bear such a terrible chain. Blessed Alan also testifies that he delivered a great number of those who were possessed by putting a rosary around their necks.
This may be from an eighteenth century book, but make no mistake, these superstitious beliefs are alive today, as evidenced by Mr. Ray's comment.
Yusuf Estes on the Deen Show: Part 4
08/29/2008 - James White
Tim Staples and Patrick Madrid Examined on The Dividing Line
08/28/2008 - James WhiteStarted the program 30 minutes early today for a total of 90 minutes. Listened to clips by Tim Staples and Patrick Madrid, covering all sorts of subjects such as the Marian dogmas and sola scriptura. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Iron Sharpens Iron Turns Two
08/28/2008 - James SwanThis week marks the two year anniversary of Chris Arnzen's Iron Sharpens Iron radio show. Congratulations Chris! To commemorate this longevity, Chris invited back his very first guest, Dr. James White. Dr. White addresed the theme, "Pulpit Crimes: The Criminal Mishandling of God's Word."
Other recent shows addressed the topic of Islam. Chris had a two day debate / discussion between David Wood and Bassam Zawadi. Part one can be found here, part two here. Also, make sure to listen to the interview with David Wood assesing his recent debates on Islam.
Tom Ascol was a recent guest addressing the sufficiency of Scripture. Steven Lawson recently was interviewed on the unbroken line of men who have taught the truths of God's sovereign grace throughout history.
If you're weary of the typical fluffy Christian radio broadcasts, you'll find Iron Sharpens Iron addresses a multitude of topics from a distinctly Reformed Christian worldview. Chris asks the right questions, presents guests who have the answers, and continually challenges Christians to apply their faith to every aspect of their lives.
"I thank God for Chris Arnzen and his Christ-centered ministry with IRON SHARPENS IRON. Most grateful am I for his unwavering commitment to the absolute truth of Scripture. Here is a rare voice on the radio today. May the Lord set a wide and open door before this vibrant program for all to hear." ---Dr. Steven J. Lawson, Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Mobile, AL
"Chris Arnzen's love for and confidence in Scripture causes him to address issues without fear while showing great respect for those who may disagree with his views. That's what makes IRON SHARPENS IRON such an informative and beneficial radio program. If you want to hear clear, concise thinking from a biblical perspective, listen to this show!"---Dr. Tom Ascol, author, Executive Director of Founders ministries, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL
The Dead Sea Scrolls Online
08/28/2008 - Colin SmithCNN (probably among others) has been reporting that a team are currently in the process of taking high-resolution photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls to eventually post on the Internet. This will not only allow scholars from all over the world examine these fascinating manuscripts, but it will also allow ordinary folks like us to see them. If you would like a preview of the Dead Sea Scrolls before they hit the 'net, and you are wondering whether you should make the trip to Durham, NC in November for the conference Dr. White will be addressing (not forgetting the preceding debate--there should be a banner ad about this soon), you may be interested to know that a portion of the Scrolls are currently being exhibited in Raleigh, NC (just down the road from Durham) until December at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Click here for more information.
If You Missed This Beggars All Post, Take the Time to Read It
08/27/2008 - James White
This is an excellent post from James Swan (hey, why didn't he post it here?)! It has always amazed me to watch Roman Catholic apologists citing this patristic source or that, and when you actually take the time to read the arguments put forward, you are left shaking your head and saying, "THAT is supposed to be a compelling argument?"
Richard Reid, Meet the Judge
08/27/2008 - James White
A fascinating exchange between Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," and an American judge.
Don't Talk About Us!
08/27/2008 - James White
Back on June 30th I posted a short note regarding the abuse inherent in depriving a little child of a father and a mother that comes from "same sex unions." I made reference to a picture, posted on the Internet, in a major news source (MSNBC) as a glowing example of just how self-centered "same sex unions" have to be by nature. Here is the article I posted.
I was contacted by "jennifer kozumplik/nicole webber" (name provided on the contact page) and told to remove the image, found in the above linked article. I have done so pending my getting legal advice on the matter. You will find the image on the following websites, and something tells me "jennifer kozumplik/nicole webber" haven't contacted USA Today, MSNBC, etc., demanding that the picture be removed. As I have said many times, and as more and more people are discovering, homosexuals do not ask for equal rights: they want super-rights, including the ability to shut down all expression of belief that reminds them of the moral evil by which they have chosen to identify themselves. This is a glaring example. Note the use of this picture by such national online sources as MSNBC and USA Today. Google will provide you with lots of examples, such as this one.
The two individuals have likewise posted similar pictures on Facebook; even those without a Facebook account (such as yours truly) can see them.
Even Flickr has them as well.
I wonder if they wrote to The Ledger as well? That one even provides the very same image they have demanded I remove in a zoomable form.
Clearly, these two individuals are not camera shy, and they surely did not grant "rights" to all of these sources to post their pictures. No, the reason for this is clear: homosexuals use the cover of "tolerance" as a demand for "silence" on the part of those of us who still identify moral evil as moral evil. These individuals are glorying in their rebellion against God's moral law, and they are damaging not only themselves in their rebellion, but others too young to even understand what is being done to them. But they are intent upon making sure that no one reminds them of these facts that they know all too well.
I have been asking those "in the know," and since the picture is an AP picture, all one needs is an account with AP to post it. These individuals do not have the right to selectively determine which sites post the pictures and which do not---they lost that right when they allowed the pictures to be taken in the first place. But their demands cannot change the reality of their actions, and the actions of all of those rushing off to California so that they can pretend that marriage is a term humans get to define (instead of an institution God Himself ordained) before common sense returns to that state (Lord willing) in November. My original post only used their picture as an illustration of a general moral evil that is being promoted in our day. They are not alone in putting their own sexual desires before the good even of themselves, let alone of a little child. It is the very essence of homosexuality, and the very essence of man-centered Western culture.
CalciumBoy, Sam Gipp, and the Ankerberg Incident Redux
08/27/2008 - James White
Today on the Sorta Dividing Line
08/26/2008 - James White
My sincere apologies for having to cut short the program today! I will make it up Thursday by starting half an hour early, hence, the start time will be 3:30pm PDT, 6:30pm EDT (2:30pm AKDT for my friends in Alaska!). I'll get to the clips I had mentioned but did not play. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Yusuf Estes on the Deen Show: Part 3
08/25/2008 - James White
Romans 12:1-2 from Anchorage
08/23/2008 - James White
I preached at Anchorage Grace Church on Sunday morning, from Romans 12:1-2. Here's the sermon.
On Xia Ahmad's Allegations of Textual Corruption: Part 2
08/22/2008 - James White
Yusuf Estes on the Deen Show: Part 2
08/20/2008 - James White
An Xia Ahmad's Allegations of Textual Corruption
08/18/2008 - James White
The Mormon Law of Eternal Progression
08/16/2008 - James White
I spoke on the topic of the "eternal law of progression" in Mormonism in Anchorage this morning. Here is the video.
John 8 From Anchorage, Alaska
08/16/2008 - James White
Greetings! I somehow managed to get this partial video uploaded. My battery died, so, this is only half of the sermon, but, it cut out at a fairly decent place, so I offer it anyway. Due to differences in how my Mac handles video, my head is cut off in this view (I'm learning, I'm learning), but that's almost a good thing. The substance is in the words, not in yours truly, that's for sure! So anyway, here is at least half of my sermon on John 8 from the conference here in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Things You Find on YouTube!
08/15/2008 - James White
"You Are From Below, I Am From Above"
08/14/2008 - James White
I am currently cruising at about 36,000 feet on my way to the conference in Anchorage, Alaska. I was doing what is normally called "sermon preparation," but for me of late, that has been focused very much upon the text itself. That is, I have found great freedom (and the people of God have seemed to be especially blessed) when I speak directly from the original language text itself. This involves a flowing translation of the text, commentary thereon, followed by exegesis of the key passages. I was reading John chapter 8 when I encountered these familiar words from Jesus' encounter with the Jews, "And He was saying to them, 'You are from below. I am from above. You are of (from) this world. I am not of (from) this world" (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· ὑμεῖς ἐκ τῶν κάτω ἐστέ, ἐγὼ ἐκ τῶν ἄνω εἰμί· ὑμεῖς ἐκ τούτου τοῦ κόσμου ἐστέ, ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. John 8:23). I was struck once again by a theme I have pointed to many times in my preaching. We are so often used to hearing Jesus speak in the context of His divinity that we often do not "hear" how very strange His words would have sounded in their original context. We know Jesus is the Incarnate Lord, the eternal Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, and so these kinds of words do not amaze us. But we must put ourselves in the context of the Jews standing in the gazofulakion, the treasury room of the Temple. And I think what caused me to especially focus upon this text at this time is my upcoming debates with Muslims.
If you can, put yourself in the original context, and "hear" Jesus speaking. What do you hear? What strikes you? Is there not a clear, strong differentiation between the Lord's view of Himself, His self-understanding, and that of everyone around Him? Are these the words of a man who sees Himself as "one of us" in the sense of origination? Surely not. The "below/above" and "this world/not this world" couplets are meant to communicate Jesus' divine origin very strongly. Jesus is not merely saying, "I am in harmony with God, and hence have a heavenly connection, one that you could have as well, if you only chose to do so." He is not saying, "I am a prophet like many before me." No, He is about to say (v. 24) that His opponents will die in their sins: "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that ego eimi, (ἐγώ εἰμι) I am, you will die in your sins." One's eternal destiny, even one's forgiveness of sins, is tied to faith in Christ, and more to the point, faith in what He reveals about Himself. The "I am" saying here (note v. 28, 58, 13:19, 18:5-6) aside from going directly to Yahweh's self-identification in such texts as Isaiah 43:10, flows naturally from the assertion to be "from above" and to be "not of this world."
Isn't it just here that the enemy has been so insistent upon attacking the once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints-faith? The list of falsehoods concerning the person of Christ propounded down through history (let alone today) is long indeed, but all the heresies of the past and present share this one consistency: they refuse to allow the Scriptures to speak fully in defining Him. The Jews rejected His self-identification in this text as well (8:58-59), and they are followed by the entire Muslim world today. The "Islamic Jesus," though a virgin born worker of miracles, is not divine, but is a "mere rasul, a mere prophet." But what "mere rasul" (إِلَّا رَسُولٌ) speaks to his fellow creatures and says "you are from below, I am from above"? What mere prophet has this kind of self-awareness? Obviously, no sinner can say the words Jesus said, and, of course, this is exactly why Muslims reject the testimony of John, for they, like the Jews of Jesus' day, have a particular traditional understanding of who Jesus can, and cannot, be.
If today you embrace faith in Christ, obey Him as your Lord, love Him as your Savior, and rejoice in the fact that He is the God-Man, let your heart be filled with thanksgiving that He, by His Spirit, has opened your heart to see the very "Lord of Glory" (1 Cor. 2:8).
Greetings from Alaska
08/14/2008 - James White
Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska! Just a real quick note to say that I won't be able to attempt to do a DL today via Skype. The conference schedule is such that I think it would be impractical. But it is great to be with the brethren here in Anchorage, and please pray that the Lord will bless the ministry of His Word this weekend.
Yusuf Estes on the Deen Show: Part 1
08/13/2008 - James White
Today on The Dividing Line
08/12/2008 - James WhiteStarted off with a brief discussion of the necessity of grace in Reformed theology, and then took a 30 minute phone call from an Arminian/Open Theist in London, and then took a call from an objector to Biblical inerrancy. We may try to do the DL sometime on Thursday, if my Internet connection is good enough, we will see. Here's the program (free/high quality).
Kent Hovind on the King James Version: Reply Part 3 (Conclusion)
08/11/2008 - James White
Announcement: Debate in Durham, North Carolina in November
08/09/2008 - James WhiteI have received confirmation, thankfully, that I will be debating Dr. Zulfiqar Shah on the topic of the deity of Christ in Durham, North Carolina in November. I can now let you know that I have been arranging the London trip to allow me to fly to the UK, debate there, minister, preach, etc., then fly back to the US. But instead of flying all the way back across the continent, I will be flying to Durham for the Battle for the Truth Conference. We will open the conference with my debate with Dr. Shah. Joining me in speaking at the Conference will be men like Phil Johnson of Grace To You, or maybe better known to our readers, as the Pyromaniac. In any case, Dr. Shah is one of the most scholarly, well-read apologists for Islam I've encountered, so I expect a very in-depth exchange regarding the deity of Christ. I truly hope it will impress upon those attending the conference how important the "battle for truth" really is. The date of the debate is Thursday evening, November 20th. I will have exact location details soon.
I can't express how excited I am about what is coming up this fall! We do not have this fully confirmed yet, but remember how in May of 2007 I had the opportunity of being on Revelation TV in London to present the case for the doctrines of grace (you can watch the videos from that here)? Well, they enjoyed having me on, and extended the invitation to be on whenever I get back to London. So, one of my dear brothers in London contacted them, and they would like to arrange to do a program on Islam with a Muslim apologist! I have contacted the apologist I would like to be on with me, and am waiting to hear back from him even now. What an opportunity it would be to combine two formal debates, a trip to Speaker's Corner, and a debate on television as well! Talk about covering a wide range of audiences!
Obviously, I seek the prayers of God's people for the awesome opportunities represented by London, Durham, Southern California, and, of course, the Ehrman debate in January. Pray for my health and clarity of thought in preparation! I should mention that during the next few weeks I will need to finish the new second edition of The King James Only Controversy and I am likewise going to do a second edition of The Potter's Freedom! And again, I need to let the people of God know of the continuing need to fund the trip to London. It would be wonderfully encouraging to have a number of churches step forward to assist with this project, it really would. We need to make certain decisions and purchases very soon, so if you would like to assist us with this special opportunity, please let us know! Thank you!
An Old Article: But Still Very Useful
08/09/2008 - James WhiteA number of years ago I wrote an article for an online journal. A few years later they removed this article, for unknown reasons, so I reposted it. As I read new converts to Rome glibly repeating the same shallow, circular arguments about sola scriptura, I am reminded of how important it is to think clearly on this topic, and how few do, on either side of the Tiber. So may I highly recommend this article to your reading? It isn't short, but it isn't overly long, either (less than 7500 words). Here is how it starts:
He looked like death warmed over. “I’ve done all I can do. I just don’t know what to say any longer.” He looked defeated, and tired.Here is the article.
I sighed and said nothing at first. I had been through this too many times to count, but it never got any easier, never got enjoyable. I settled a little more deeply into the chair in his office and took a deep breath.
“Roger,” I began, “I truly do not believe it is a matter of what you have, or have not, said. People who make this decision do it for many, many reasons, and only rarely do they do so for strictly theological ones. I am sure, if we could dig a little deeper, we would find many personal reasons that have nothing to do with formal theological issues.”
He nodded in response. “Of course, I know. But it is so tremendously difficult to see someone simply abandon the gospel and walk into the arms of heresy. You want to do something.”
“Believe me, I know” I replied. “But I learned a long time ago that you cannot force someone to hear you. You cannot force someone to think rationally, to obey truth, or to recognize error, if they have chosen not to do so. It is beyond your capacity. Nor can you judge your ministry of the Word on the basis of such an action by someone in your congregation. The Apostles faced this same situation, so surely it was not a matter of failure for them, nor for you.”
“I know all these things” he said with a heavy sigh. He paused, then said, “But it really doesn’t make me feel any better right now.”
I smiled, “I know. So, your suggestion that she talk to me was ignored? Let me guess....I’m too, let’s see, harsh? Unloving?”
“You guessed it” he chuckled. “Seems the double standard doesn’t bother her. Her new found mentors can write or say anything, but if anyone responds to their arguments, and in fact refutes them, well, they are unloving and unkind and unChristian. You name the excuse.”
“Been there, done that.” I leaned forward a bit. “Well, your next move is not enjoyable, but necessary.”
“I know. I can’t believe we have to discipline someone who grew up in our midst.”
“She has embraced deadly heresy, Roger. God’s people must be warned. And we can only hope the seriousness of the response will communicate to her the gravity of what she has done. Besides, I think you will want to spend some time going over the foundations of the faith from the pulpit once again, just to make sure everyone is clear on the basics.”
“Indeed.” He rose from his chair and stood in front of a large shelf filled with books. He pulled down a hefty volume and opened it. “I have always sought to be faithful in preaching the whole counsel of God. She heard it preached over and over again. I thought she loved the truth....” His voice trailed off.
I stood. “Elders are not given a supernatural ability to see into the hearts of their congregations. Nor are you expected to. You exhort, you warn, you encourage, you teach. And you trust in Christ’s promise to build His church, but in His way, in His time. You hope the best, especially for those who are under your ministry for years, but you know that longevity is not a sure sign of calling. And, of course, we don’t know how long this fascination with Rome will last. Sacramentalism cannot long satisfy the heart of the truly redeemed, and if she is, well, the honeymoon can’t last forever.”
“Yes, of course. Well, thank you for coming. I will keep you appraised of any developments in the situation.”
“Please do” I replied, and walked out of his office into the gathering dusk. As I fought through rush hour traffic I pondered yet another example of why it is so utterly vital to not only understand biblical sufficiency, but to be passionate about it, both in one’s own personal faith, and for those called to the eldership, in one’s proclamation and teaching. A fine Christian pastor and church would now face the difficult questions that always follow an act of theological apostasy: why? What are the real reasons? Did the church fail in some fashion? How do we now respond to this person? And for those who are former Roman Catholics themselves, the questions would be even more difficult to answer. Literally millions of people have left Rome, seeking something beyond the dead formalism of sacramentalism based upon man’s acts, man’s merits. So how could someone go the other direction, especially when they had known, or seemed to know, the truth?
Abdullah of the UK on Textual Claims, Part 6 (Conclusion)
08/08/2008 - James White
R.C. Sproul and Mel Duncan on The Dividing Line
08/07/2008 - James WhiteHad a wonderful time talking with R.C. Sproul about the gospel for the first half hour, then Mel Duncan (J. Ligon Duncan's brother) for the second half hour. Enjoy! Here's the program (free/high quality).
MP3 Dividing Line Review: The Jimmy Akin Bible Answer Man Debate, Circa 1995
08/07/2008 - James SwanLast year, Catholic Answers started offering a two debate set for purchase. In actuality, neither product was an actual debate. Rather, they were discussions on two different radio shows. The first was Tim Staples discussion with Steve Gregg. The second was a 13 year old radio discussion between Dr. White and James Akin on the Bible Answer Man show.
It's been some time since Catholic Answers has agreed to an actual moderated debate with Dr. White. Last year Dr. White addressed why Catholic Answers would so readily make this old discussion with James Akin available, while steering clear of any actual new moderated debates with him. This led him to also critique a large portion of the old BAM discussion with James Akin. He did this over two months on eight different Dividing Line programs (8/2, 8/14, 8/16, 8/21, 8/23, 8/30, 9/11, 9/27). Sometimes he addressed it for ten minutes, other times an hour.
I went through the Dividing Line archives, and extracted all the material addressing the Akin BAM debate, compiling four MP3's, together totalling around four hours.
Dr. White's Review of the Akin BAM Debate (Part Two)
Dr. White's Review of the Akin BAM Debate (Part Three)
Dr. White's Review of the Akin BAM Debate (Part Four)
The content of these four MP3's will be extremely helpful for those of you regularly engaging Catholic apologists or evangelizing Catholics. Dr. White spent a lot of time addressing authority issues, and this is really the heart of the matter. When Catholics make authority claims, it's important to be aware of what they're saying, and what they're consciously not saying, or rather, avoiding. Also addressed are canon issues and justification.
That Catholic Answers continues to call this discussion a debate is humorous and hypocritical. The discussion ran 3 hours. During the second hour, James Akin was given much more time. During the entire broadcast, Dr. White wasn't even given a chance to respond to many of the claims being put forth. It appears Catholic Answers would rather offer a product in which an opponent is not given a fair chance to respond, rather than actually engage in a new moderated debate. I can't read the hearts of those in charge of Catholic Answers, but their tactics in providing "answers" via the materials they promote are highly questionable. Recall what Solomon stated long ago, "The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight" (Proverbs 11:1).
By the way, if you'd like to hear Dr. White's Bible Answer Man discussion with James Akin, you can purchase it on either CD or MP3 here. If you'd like to spend almost double the price Aomin charges, visit Catholic Answers.
08/06/2008 - James WhiteHonestly, if you couldn't hear what was being said, would you be surprised?
An Excellent Witness for Christ
08/06/2008 - James White
The Many Errors of the Appendix in Chosen But Free by Norman Geisler
08/06/2008 - James White
For the documentation on the many errors in Geisler's response to The Potter's Freedom, see here.
RC Sproul on The Dividing Line
08/05/2008 - James WhiteNo, not today. Today we covered a number of phone calls on a wide variety of issues, with the longest being on Molinism or the theory of "middle knowledge." Here's the program (free/high quality).
This Thursday afternoon (evening for those of you on the East Coast) during the first half our special guest will be Dr. R.C. Sproul. Dr. Sproul will be coming to Phoenix in September for a Ligonier Conference that will feature discussions of God's will and evil, answering tough questions on a tough subject. Dr. Sproul and I will be speaking live the first half hour, then we will be joined by Mel Duncan who will continue our discussion of the upcoming conference. Speaking in September will be (Lord willing) R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and J. Ligon Duncan. So make a note to join us on Thursday evening for a visit with R.C. Sproul and Mel Duncan on The Dividing Line!
Ross: Long on Claims, Short on Substance
08/04/2008 - James WhiteI posted a response once again demonstrating that Bob Ross of Pilgrim Publications is a troubler of the brethren, responding to, and refuting, his false accusations and evident confusion. He has responded with one of the most vacuous replies I've ever seen: long on accusation, dreadfully short on substance. He writes,
In James White's recent video, he claims to believe the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith on "Effectual Calling." Unfortunately, he does not give credible evidence that this is the case, nor does he even accurately read what the Confession actually says.Of course, I gave just that evidence, to which Ross has no response. Just like his mentor Peter Ruckman, Ross decides what others believe, whether they agree with his presentations or not, and declares himself the expert on the subject! Of course, when I say someone has been inaccurate in their statements, I document the inaccuracy. Ross fails to do so. See, for him, just like Ruckman, reality is what he says it is---the facts are irrelevant. So instead of going through the actual language of the confession and showing where I disagree (which he can't do, since, obviously, I am in harmony with its words), Ross simply makes the assertion that I have engaged in eisegesis---hoping, I guess, that his readers do not take note of the fact that he fails to prove his point from the text itself. For Ross, like his mirror-image Ruckman, bluster and insult is the substance of his argumentation. The irony is, while Ross was instrumental in making Spurgeon's works available, Spurgeon would be utterly embarrassed and shocked at his kind of behavior. As I've said before, mark the man, mark him well.
Abdullah of the UK on Textual Claims, Part 5
08/04/2008 - James White
Citing Half of Acts 2:39 in the Service of Tradition
08/02/2008 - James White
Bob Ross: Painter of Not Very Pretty Little Misrepresentations
08/01/2008 - James White
The Loving Roman Catholics of the Catholic Answers Forums
08/01/2008 - James WhiteJames Swan informed me that an old thread on the CA Forums got some life today. Someone asked about the video below, which is just the brief closing statement from the Papacy debate in 1998. Phil Porvaznik immediately jumped in with his pre-fab list of refutations---the same ones he would never dare use in public against me, because he knows better. But, he knows he's in "safe waters" and can play the "big fish" role there. Once again, the idea is not "what is the truth of the matter" but "what can I say to keep someone from leaving Rome?" Very different apologetic standards on opposite shores of the Tiber, to be sure.
In any case, this morning a loving, insightful Roman Catholic by the name of Terry O'Brien (terryobrien80 is the screen name) chimed in with, "All you need to do is get the "Bible Answer Man Debate" tape set with James White vs. James Akin to see what a moron White is." Yes, the same BAM discussion we examined a few months ago on the DL. Anyone want to place a wager on whether ol' Terry has ever even listened to that entire program? Probably not. O'Brien was challenged on his attitude, and his response was right along the lines of Art Sippo, "The truth shall set you free. And the truth is that White doesn't know his **** from his elbow I never claimed to be nice. I just keep it real." Ah, all is still sweetness and light in the realm of the CA Forms. I wonder when I'll get my next dozen fund-raising e-mails from Catholic Answers begging me to help them keep their wonderful forums open? It's been a month since the last spate, so, I'm sure they will hit soon.
Christ the Unbreakable Pothook
08/01/2008 - Tur8infan
Steve Ray (a Roman Catholic apologist and pilgrimage tour guide) has again provided an argument for the papacy via his blog (link to Ray's blog). Ray's argument for the paaccomes in the form of a reply to an objection based on the peg in Isaiah. Apparently, this was the “only issue” about Roman Catholicism that “unsettled … scripturally” one of the readers of Ray’s blog (according to the article Ray links to) and additionally it was a question raised by a caller to a radio show where Ray appeared.
If either that reader or that listener happens to find this blog, I’d suggest to him that this is a minor objection. There are many more serious issues with Catholicism that should leave him feeling unsettled scripturally: Rome's views of justification, purgatory, indulgences, papal infallibility, transubstantiation, worship by use of images, veneration of relics, and many more come immediately to mind. In fact, the peg in Isaiah would be so far down the list of possible issues with Rome that I doubt I have ever raised this particular objection, though Ray claims that “I know because I used to propose this as well.”
In the discussion that follows, I will explain the context of the objection (typical misuse of Isaiah 22) and explain some better objections both grammatical (the pluralization of "keys" demonstrates that a different figure of speech is being used) and exegetical (Eliakim in Isaiah 22 points to Christ, as confirmed by Scripture). Additionally, I will explain the objection (since many readers may never have heard of it) and address both legitimate and illegitimate rebuttals to the objection. By the conclusion, the reader will have seen that although the objection posed is not a particularly strong one, and not one that we should favor, an exegetical understanding as to why such an objection is improper confirms that the position Ray advocates in essence attributes to his church what is properly ascribed only to Christ, for the government is on Christ's shoulder. It is Christ upon whom, like an unbreakable pothook, we can safely hang all our hopes. It is by faith alone in Him alone, that we are saved....
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Kent Hovind on the King James Version: Reply Part 2
08/01/2008 - James White