Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
07/20/2009 - James WhiteThat's the best way I can describe it. Oven study.
I love living in Phoenix...for about 9.5 months out of the year. Clear blue skies, sunshine. But for 2.5 months out of the year, well---it's not enjoyable. We are in the middle of that period now. For most human beings, January/February is the worst. For us, July, August, and the first two weeks of September, are the pits. Tremendous heat that never stops, and yes, even humidity. Of course, if we didn't have this period, we would have 40 million people living here, and that would be bad! Now, I realize, some of you think all we have is a "dry heat." I just compared the reading locally for the dew point (which is a far more usable measure of actual moisture in the air) with that of a place famous for humidity, New Orleans. As I tap away on this blog post, it is just over 108 degrees here with a dew point of 64 degrees; in New Orleans it is 90 degrees with a dew point of 67 degrees. Do the math.
So anyway, what happens is that the ground here warms up, getting to about 88-93 degrees down at the level where the water pipes run. That's why going swimming here right now is not refreshing: it is more like taking a bath. That also means it just doesn't cool down at night. So, even though I have been dragging myself out of bed before 4am, it is still quite toasty (upper 80s, low 90s) before sunrise. So, you get a nice 18-20 mph wind going and you feel like you are riding into a giant hair dryer. In the dark. It's great. (Don't worry: I have a very good headlight!).
So this morning I headed into the darkness with a bunch of things to listen to. I had spent a bunch of time Saturday (way more time than I should have--thanks to whoever freed me from this today by picking up that Nano!) resampling the files I wanted to listen to to a higher speed. I was listening to William Lane Craig (he presented what he called a "narrow inclusivism" at one point---i.e., that someone who turns in "sincere" repentance and faith to "the Great Spirit" can be saved), Shaikh Yasir Qadhi (critiquing the Kalaam Cosmologial Argument---he even mentioned William Lane Craig!) and the recent debate in London between Nabeel Qureshi and Paul Williams. It was most enjoyable, if rather sweat-inducing.
Oh, and don't forget tomorrow on the DL! We will be joined by Sam Shamoun as we will be discussing Zaynab bint Jash and the "revelation" of the Qur'an.
Encouraging Young Brothers in Christ
07/15/2009 - James WhiteI just returned from spending the lunch hour with LeCrae, Tedashi and the rest of the guys. They are ministering here in Phoenix tonight, so, thanks to Twitter (and whoever hooked us up yesterday by that means!), we got together at their hotel. I brought my MacBook and my projector and gave my NT Reliability presentation over lunch. I figure if you are traveling and presenting a Christian message in our nation today, there are few things more foundational than knowing why you can trust the New Testament.
I was tremendously encouraged by meeting these young men. First, we share a bond that the world can't understand. Look at that picture. Who is the odd man out? Yeah, the white pasty bald Scotsman in the middle. But they told me about how my ministry has been an encouragement in their lives, so we share a relationship that transcends race and background. One told me about how The Forgotten Trinity had been used of God in his life, and I could only feel a deep thanksgiving at such words. And what kind of questions did they ask? A wide range, but two that I recall were, "How do you respond to folks when they bring up texts like Mark 16:9-20? How can you maintain an emphasis upon the reliability of the text in light of variation like that?" And toward the end LeCrae asked, "How do you handle the hypostatic union and the death of Christ? How do you explain the meaning of Christ's death?" Now that's the kind of discussion you want to have over the lunch table!
So, thanks to Twitter, I have some new friends in the Lord, and hopefully I have been able to encourage them in their walk with Christ.