Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Quick Note on Great Bible Covers
08/21/2009 - James White
I just got a note from Arthur over at Renaissance Art. They have begun making 1/4 custom leather covers, and since they just introduced them on their website, they are having a 20% off sale. I know many of you have purchased covers from Renaissance Art, and found them to be a great value---gorgeous leather, expert craftsmanship. Go here to see examples and to get yours. 144 color combinations!
Report from Brisbane, Australia
08/19/2009 - James WhiteSettling in now that I've arrived in Brisbane. Conference starts tomorrow, and I have some work to do between now and then, so I will have to make this brief.
Had a great day in Sydney yesterday. Hopefully when I get back I'll be able to carve out some time before my next event to sit down and really thank all the brothers there in Sydney who worked so hard, and fast, to put those few days together. Really enjoyed my time at Sydney University, Moore College, and last evening at the church in Neutral Bay. David Ould, Duncan Lockard, and Gerard O'Brien put in a lot of time and effort, as well as many miles of driving, to put the entire schedule together, and I am really thankful.
Yesterday I had a great opportunity to visit MacQuarie University and Dr. Don Barker, a papyrologist who oversees the program of study there. Some of you will recall that during my interview with Dan Wallace on the DL just a few weeks ago he mentioned being in Sydney at MacQuarie University to see P91. Well, once I heard that, I contacted David Ould, who knows Don Barker, and immediately our appointment was set up.
I had the opportunity to examine the fragment up close, as you can see. It is from Acts 2:30-37 (recto) and Acts 2:46-3:2 (verso). It is dated to the third century. The larger portion of this page is kept in Milan, Italy. When I get some more time I will give more detail of our visit, and look closely at the fragment, as I was able to obtain relatively high quality (10 megapixel) pictures of this fragment. For the moment I will just say it was a thrill to examine this fragment and to talk with Dr. Barker about papyrological studies, paleography, and related issues. Just as it was wonderful to see P72 back in 1993, so it was to see P91 in Sydney!
We then fought through rush hour traffic (via the drive through at McDonald's---and let me tell you, portion sizes in Oz are 1/2 of what they are in the US, for more money!) and got back in time for me to speak at the church in Neutral Bay. We had a great turn out for a sermon on the topic of justification and the uniqueness of Jesus. I will, Lord willing, post the video soon, and I thank Tur8inFan for linking to the audio of the presentation below.
Now I need to concentrate on the conference on the atonement this weekend, and hopefully stay healthy for the flight home on Tuesday. Evidently the flu is going around big time here in Brisbane, and the flight home, going East, will be far more difficult to adjust to than the trip over here. So don't expect much Wednesday through Friday of next week!
A Quick Report From Sydney
08/17/2009 - James WhiteJust a quick note from Sydney via my BlackBerry. The debate was very well attended. A clear witness of the gospel was given. Thanks to all who prayed for this event. I'm currently loading the video from my little camera onto my Mac, and hope to post it on YouTube tomorrow evening (Tuesday morning US time). Still much work to do before heading to Brisbane on Thursday!
The Sydney Atheists Visit Me on My First Night
08/16/2009 - James WhiteI would generally never schedule an event the same day as a trans-Pacific flight, but this time around I was to speak on "Why Otherwise Sane People Say They Actually Know Jesus" at St. John's Ashfield Anglican Church twelve hours after landing. Though I was feeling "OK," those who have traveled large distances know how you often feel "just half a bubble off," a little slow on the uptake, or as I describe it, "fuzzy brained." So I was just praying I'd be clear in my speech and hopefully encourage some of the brethren. Duncan Lockard, one of the two young university contacts who, along with David Ould, have arranged my time here in Sydney (Gerard O'Brien being the other), gave me a ride to the church. We talked with Andrew Katay, the senior minister before the service. Originally some discussion had taken place about taking some questions after my presentation, but that idea had been dropped, and I was just to give the evening sermon as a regular part of the normal service. So I was ready to do that when immediately before the start (I'd say within sixty seconds) Andrew informed me that a group from the Sydney Atheists were in attendance and that they wanted to ask questions.
So, during the opening music I re-arranged my presentation as best I could to shift it from "edification of believers only" to "that plus lay a foundation for talking to members of the Sydney Atheists who are in attendance." This is where being fuzzy brained does not help, as re-arranging sermon texts and points during music immediately before you speak is generally to be left to those who are clear of mind, to be sure. But, I made the switch, and once I opened it up for questions, the first, and last, came from the atheists down toward the front. The first was on how the Bible had been used (or abused) in the past to support various beliefs that we today reject, to which I responded, as I did in my debate with Tim Staples more than thirteen years ago, that the abuse of a sufficient source is not an argument against the sufficiency, or in this case, the inspiration, of said source. I emphasized the need for consistent exegesis based upon sola scriptura and tota scriptura. Then at the end another of the atheists, who was wearing an 'A-Theist' t-shirt, but who had been listening closely, asked about what I had said about man suppressing the knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-20). "What does this spiritual element look like, and how is it that even the most open minded skeptic can look at the same data you look at, and not see the evidence of God?" I focused upon the contradiction of the phrase "open minded skeptic," reminding him of the example I had used earlier of pots and dishes claiming they have no maker. I emphasized that if we are, in fact, the creations of God, the very idea of "open minded skeptic" is incoherent. I then discussed the fact that the spiritual element of man cannot be separated out from the rest of man's created nature. Why do some never see? I pointed out that regeneration is a gift of God's free grace, and that it cannot be demanded of God. I had to be rather brief, but it definitely made for an interesting evening.
I am uncertain how news of my visit made it to the Sydney Atheists, but after the service I was certainly encouraged to visit with a number of Australian brethren who all said the same thing: they listen to the Dividing Line and find it very edifying.
So in just a few hours I will be at Sydney University for the debate with Abdullah Kunde. I don't feel overly fuzzy brained this morning, so Lord willing a good nights rest will allow me to think clearly when the interaction begins.
Dr. White's Itinerary in Sydney, Australia - UPDATE 2
08/15/2009 - Micah Burke
Dr. White's itinerary has been tentatively set with the following events and dates. I hope to update this article with contact information in the coming days.
|8/16/09||Sermon: TBD||7PM - 9PM||Christ Church Inner-West St. John's Ashfield 81 Alt Street Ashfield||FREE|
|8/17/09||Debate - A Guide to Humanity: The Qur'an or the New Testament||12PM - 2PM||Sydney University - New Law Lecture Theater 101||FREE|
|8/17/09||Lecture - Engaging with Islam||4PM - 6PM||Sydney Universiy - Chemistry Lecure Theater 1||FREE|
|8/19/09||Lecture - Justification & the Uniqueness of Christ||7:30PM||St. Augustine's Anglican 75 Shellcove Rd. (Corner of Wycombe Rd.), Neutral Bay, Please RSVP for this event: 02 99531830. e: firstname.lastname@example.org||$10|
8/20/09 Off to Brisbane!
Thursday's (8/13/09) Eclectic Dividing Line
08/14/2009 - Micah BurkeLot's of callers and important in-studio guests on this Thursday edition of the Dividing Line. Here's the link to the free edition.
You can also subscribe to the podcast using iTunes with this link.
Please keep in mind that Dr. White is now traveling in Australia, his itinerary for the first portion can be found here. Pray for his ministry 'down under', that God will strengthen him physically and provide him relief of jet-lag as well as open hearts and ears to the message of God's sovereign grace.
(Photo credit, Qantas Airlines) ...
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Trip Down Under Looms Large!
08/12/2009 - James WhiteNo, I have no intentions of trying to find a boomerang to bring back, though my daughter has requested I bring her something "cool." Unfortunately, her definition of cool, and mine, are...oh, about one generation apart. But I'll give it a shot.
In any case, I have my presentations put together, a pile of power adapters on my desk, and hopefully all the stuff I want to try to read on the plane (when I'm not trying to sleep to pass the 15 hours a little faster) loaded onto my Kindle (talk about the easiest way to carry stuff to read on an airplane!).
I would like to thank the folks who have helped with preparations through the Ministry Resource List and through donating to the travel fund. We are still pretty short on the travel fund side, however, so I thought I'd let our faithful supporters know that. One again, thank you for considering our work as part of your ministry of Christian stewardship.
Dan Wallace on a Very Important Dividing Line
08/06/2009 - James White
Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of Dallas Seminary and the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts joined me for the entire hour on the program today. We covered a tremendous range of topics, from the Ankerberg Show to Dan's Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, to Bart Ehrman, textual variants, etc. You really need to keep CSNTM in your prayers, and Dan in particular, as he is performing a service for the entire church body. This was one of the fastest hours in DL history! Sit back and enjoy! Here's the program.
Also, Dan mentioned two of his presentations related to our topics during the program:
Challenges in NT Textual Criticism for the 21st Century
Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?
You can get the DVDs of these presentations here.
Preparing for the LONG Flight Across the Pacific
08/06/2009 - James WhiteI suppose the really positive thing about the 15 hours on a jet on the way to Sydney is...it will be an Airbus 380, the new jumboliner with two full decks on it. At least I'll have someplace to walk! I wonder if you can do sprints up and down the stairs? In any case, I will be getting to work almost as soon as I arrive (which may not be overly wise: I make no guarantees of my orthodoxy for 24 hours after my arrival!), and I will be engaging Abdullah Kunde, an Islamic representative, on "New Testament or Qur'an: Which is a Guidance for the World" on Monday the 17th. Though not an overly "sharp" topic, it was thought best to lay groundwork for possible future debates with a discussion that can be a bit less strident. Of course, it gives a wonderful opportunity for comparison and contrast, and for Gospel proclamation. I will be busy through Wednesday in Sydney, then Thursday I fly to Brisbane, and the conference starts Friday night. It looks right now like I will actually have an entire day "off" on the following Monday before flying home. Whatever will I do?
While the trans-Pacific flight, and even the Sydney-to-Brisbane flight, have been covered by my hosts, there will, of course, be associated costs involved. If you would like to help bless the saints in Australia and bless us in the process, we have a link for donations for travel. I know it is very encouraging when I know the ministry is able to handle the incidental costs that come when I travel without having to endanger any of our regular on-going work. Thank you for considering us as part of your Christian stewardship!