Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
The Role of Evangelism in the Church
01/31/2011 - James White
Behind Enemy Lines
01/30/2011 - Mike PorterCharles Spurgeon reminds us that we must always be mindful of our surroundings:
She is the church militant here below, and both in suffering and in service she is made to prove that she is in an enemy's country. She is contending for the truth against error, for the light against darkness: till the day break and the shadows flee away, she must maintain her sentinels and kindle her watch fires; for all around her there is cause to guard against the enemy, and to descend the royal treasure of gospel truth against its deadly foes.
--C. H. Spurgeon
KJV Only Debate, Live on Revelation TV
01/30/2011 - James WhiteClick here for more info.
Schedule of Speaking Events for Dr. White in the UK & Ireland
01/29/2011 - Rich PierceThese are the main events Dr. White is scheduled to speak at while in the United Kingdom...
Feb 2...London, England...9PM. Revelation TV King James Only Controversy Debate, White vs Moorman*. With 2011 marking the 400th anniversary of the KJV, this intriguing debate will be taped in front of a live studio audience and will be broadcast by Rev. TV. See http://www.revelationtv.com/news/article/the_king_james_version_debate for more information. It will also be available soon at www.aomin.org. Check back often to get your copy!
*Dr. J. A. Moorman has written several scholarly books defending the King James Bible and the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Words that underlie it. His books include: "When the King James Bible Departs from the So-Called “Majority Text” , "Missing in Modern Bibles—The Old Heresy Revived, "The Doctrinal Heart of the Bible—Removed from Modern Versions" and "8,000 Difference Between the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text". Dr. Moorman is currently the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in London where he resides with his wife Dot.
Feb. 5 & 6th...Dublin, Ireland...Saturday Feb 5th starting at 1:00 PM & Sunday Feb. 6th during the morning service Dr. White will speak at the Arann Reformed Baptist Church. The subject will be on the Trinity, from the scriptures teaching on the subject and defending the doctrine against the various cults of our day. Contact the church for more information... http://www.arann-reformed.com
Feb. 6th...County Wicklow, Ireland...Dr White will be speaking at the Sunday evening service in Bray Gospel Hall. The sermon will be on "The Potter's Freedom" Romans 9:9-23. Contact the church for more information (website n/a).
Feb. 8th & 9th...Glasgow, Scotland...Dr. White will be speaking both evenings at the Reformed Baptist Church in Anniesland. The subject will on "Gnosticism, Alive and Well today!" Contact the church for more information... http://www.rbcweb.org
Feb. 12...London, England...2:30pm. The Premier Radio Program "Unbelievable" will broadcast a show taped a week earlier with Dr. White. On the show, host Justin Brierley & Dr. White shall be discussing the question, "Is the King James Version the only Bible translation we should use?" Copy this link to your browser for additional details... http://www.premierradio.org.uk/shows/saturday/unbelievable.aspx
Feb. 12...London, England...6:30PM. Trinity Road Chapel Debate, White vs Zawadi--Does Islam misrepresent what Christians actually believe? Does it report accurately what Jesus' followers think and teach? Come to Trinity Rd Chapel (get there early for a great seat!) and discover the truth as you hear the debate between James White and Bassam Zawadi. Contact the church for more information... http://www.trinityroadchapel.org
Feb. 13...London, England...Sunday...Dr. White will be wrapping up his visit to the UK by speaking at both the morning & evening services at Trinity Road Chapel. The service times are 11AM & 6:30PM. See the church website listed above for further details.
On the Passage of Time
01/28/2011 - James WhiteGod gives us plenty of warning. He really does. Oh sure, some are cut off in their youth, but for most of us who are blessed to get our three score and ten, the good Lord plants plenty of signs along the way that read, basically, "Eternity Ahead. Take Thought."
When we are young, we ignore the signs, even though they are there even then. We rush past the wisdom of our elders, thinking we have it all figured out. Even in our youth we see friends cut off suddenly. Only the rarely wise ones stop to ponder. Most just rush on, heedless.
But eventually you cannot ignore it. Your body reminds you with regularity that it is aging. We spend billions to fight it, but it remains inevitable. The music of your youth is now found on the "oldies" station. And the great events of life that you remember your parents experiencing are now your own.
For me, I am now an empty nester (what an odd phrase). And six months after becoming an empty nester, I find myself the father of the bride, with a 2011 wedding upcoming. The story of Thad's proposal to Summer is one I will be telling for years (hint: dad in a floppy hat with a 35mm and a zoom lens, mom army-crawling between cars with a video camera. Sound like a great story? It is!). But all of that means that my youngest, and my only girl, will soon be someone's wife. In fact, here's a picture from the engagement party a week ago. Sometimes those snapped shots just turn out well, and this one sure did. Summer's aunt took the shot of the two of us, and yes, can you guess the wedding colors? Hint: green is not included.
When you are young, you don't think much about how your actions impact your parents, in the sense that you have no basis upon which to realize that the normal events of your life (graduation, marriage, etc.) carry a whole realm of meaning for them that you cannot know. And once you experience this yourself, you may not have the opportunity to share your newfound insights with them. I know my daughter will dearly miss having her grandmother at her wedding, for example. And it makes you all the more nostalgic to think back upon what your parents must have been feeling at your own wedding or other such major events.
If we took to heart much of what Scripture says about pondering eternal things, meditating upon life and death, spending more time in the house of mourning than in the house of feasting, we would have even deeper experiences of the richness of God's grace in this life. But we are often so distracted, so self-focused, we miss the best God would have for us, if we just followed His direction. I am trying, in the midst of a very busy life, to meditate upon the eternal impact of all of these blessings from his hand.
Now, I will tell you one thing: it will be a lot more challenging to make it through performing Summer's wedding ceremony than taking on a whole squad of Muslim apologists. I'm just an old softie at heart, really! (Like any of my debate opponents would believe that!). But, I also managed to sing a solo at my own wedding, lo nearly three decades ago, so I guess I can draw on that experience to make it through this one!
01/28/2011 - Mike PorterIn contrast to the modern Church's ever increasingly fad-driven, relevancy-craving, world acceptance-seeking, thirst for impressive numbers of people even at the cost of truth and genuine shepherding of the flock, Martyn Lloyd-Jones understood long ago that our ambition should be to be pleasing to Christ:
"The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes. That must also be true of us as individuals. It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ; the more like Him the better. And the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not a Christian."
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
01/27/2011 - Mike Porter
Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being, is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority; for that is the very meaning of the words. When we say any one is very lovely, it is the same as to say, that he is one very much to be loved. Or if we say such a one is more honorable than another, the meaning of the words is, that he is one that we are more obliged to honor. If we say any one has great authority over us, it is the same as to say, that he has great right to our subjection and obedience.
But God is a being infinitely lovely, because He has infinite Excellency and beauty. To have infinite Excellency and beauty, is the same thing as to have infinite loveliness. He is a being of infinite greatness, majesty, and glory; and therefore He is infinitely honorable. He is infinitely exalted above the greatest potentates of the earth, and highest angels in heaven; and therefore He is infinitely more honorable than they. His authority over us is infinite; and the ground of His right to our obedience is infinitely strong; for He is infinitely worthy to be obeyed Himself, and we have an absolute, universal, and infinite dependence upon Him.
--Jonathan Edwards: The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners
Reflections on Geisler's Chosen But Free
01/26/2011 - James SwanI take a trip down memory lane every time Dr. White discusses Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free. During the 1980's I was quite a fan of Dr. Geisler's work. I first came across Dr. Geisler while flipping through the channels on my television one evening. He was debating secular humanist Paul Kurtz. I had no idea what show I was watching. In fact, it was already half over by the time I tuned in. I had never seen a Christian present an articulate defense of the faith. Sure, looking back now twenty-five years later some of Geisler's arguments make me cringe. But back then I was an amazed garden-variety Evangelical teenager. Dr. Geisler was the first Christian I had ever seen get into the arena of ideas with an intellectual non-Christian and hold his own.
Reformed? I had no idea what that was. "Reformed" was probably one of those awful liberal denominations my church had warned me about. Off to college I went, but not totally unprepared. At this time I probably had a dozen or so books by Dr. Geisler (as well as books by Josh McDowell and few other popular apologists). Even with Geisler's books, by the end of my college years I found myself scrambling to make sense of my Christian worldview.
Fast forward a few years: I'm still trying to make sense of my Christian worldview. I figured watching Dr. Geisler had helped me before, so I contacted the John Ankerberg Show and ordered Dr. Geisler's debate with Rabbi Kushner on why bad things happen to good people. In what I can only describe now as blessed providence, Ankerberg sent me the wrong tapes. I was sent a few tapes on the King James Only controversy. I had no idea what that was, but I listened to it anyway. One of the guests was so articulate, I looked him up on my computer. So, it was actually my desire to hear a Dr. Geisler debate that actually introduced me to the work of Dr. James White.
In 1999, a dear friend bought me the first edition of Chosen But Free. When he assured me that Dr. Geisler settled the issue of sovereignty and free will once and for all, I excitedly began going through the book. I didn't realize at first that Dr. Geisler was going to stand clearly opposed to the Reformed view rather than presenting "a balanced view of divine election." I didn't get very far before my pen came out marking up the book. I couldn't believe Dr. Geisler had actually written Chosen But Free.
I eventually called Alpha and Omega Ministries because of this book. I distinctly remember getting Rich Pierce on the phone and asking him if he was aware of Chosen But Free. Indeed he was, in fact Dr. White had begun reviewing the book on his radio show. Back then Alpha and Omega compiled a six cassette tape set reviewing Dr. Geisler's book which is still available now. This pre-Potter's Freedom audio review is still valuable. I would encourage any of you interested in this topic to get this early review and hear Dr. White's initial reaction and response to Norman Geisler.
In August of 2002 Dr. Geisler visited a church near my house. There, he discussed the material in Chosen But Free. Dr. Geisler stated something like "James White is running around like a chicken with his head cut off." So, I sent the tape off to Arizona. To hear Dr. White's response, see this link.
I still continued to go through Chosen But Free. I eventually began sifting through Geisler's Calvin quotations in which he asserts Calvin was not a Calvinist. It appeared to me that Dr. Geisler didn't actually read Calvin. He probably took the quotes from secondary sources. As I document here, one of his citations is bogus.
Well, that friend who gave me Chosen But Free no longer talks to me, and I miss him dearly. He went on to be an avid Dave Hunt supporter, giving away copies of What Love is This? to those Calvinists he comes across. Did Dr. Geisler's book have an impact on me? Surely it did, but not the one my friend expected.
Radio Free Geneva Portion on Norman Geisler's Claim
01/26/2011 - James WhiteYes, Norman Geisler claims to be the first "major" scholar to critique Calvinism. I know, I know...
Today on the Last Dividing Line for a While
01/25/2011 - James WhiteStarted off with a discussion of some comments from Bassam Zawadi (first half hour), then took calls on a wide variety of topics, including witnessing to Muslims, Qur'anic variations, and whether a parable in Matthew is relevant to particular redemption. Here's the program.
Just a reminder: I do not know when we will be able to schedule any DL's during my trip to the UK. I may see if I can talk TurretinFan and some of the other bloggers into doing one on their own, and of course if I find myself in a position to be able to do a Skype DL from London or Dublin or Glasgow, I will do so, but I have lined out a pretty busy trip, so I can't make any promises. Please remember that the work of the ministry goes on back here in Phoenix even when I am on the road, and though we have bought and paid for the airline tickets back and forth to the UK (and internally), there are still costs we need help with. Thank you for listening to the DL, and especially for supporting our work!
Isaiah 10 and God's Kingship
01/25/2011 - James White
Upcoming MCTS Classes
01/24/2011 - James White
Lessons in God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility: Joseph
01/24/2011 - James WhiteFrom the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, AM service, January 23, 2011:
Second MCTS Podcast with Richard Barcellos: Sola Scriptura vs. Solo Scriptura
01/23/2011 - James White
Review of Bart Ehrman on the Bible and Suffering
01/23/2011 - James Swan"Where is God now?" inquires Dr. Bart Ehrman in his 2008 book, God's Problem. The subtitle goes on to state, "How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question - Why We Suffer." The further one delves into the book, however, the more one will discover that this claim is substantially inaccurate. One of my friends has done just that. He's dissected Ehrman's book and says a better title more accurately reflecting the book's content and thought would be: "My Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Why We Suffer to My Personal Satisfaction."
Rhology (from Rhoblogy and a contributor at Beggars All) and Matt (from Vox Veritatis) review and dissect Dr Bart Ehrman's God's Problem and, while they're at it, provide a powerful and biblical theodicy: God's Problem: Review and Solution.
Dr. White on Iron Sharpens Iron and Recent Responses to Islam
01/23/2011 - James SwanBack on December 18 Dr White mentioned he was going to be on the Iron Sharpens Iron radio program discussing The Qur'anic Test of Muhammad as a Prophet . The mp3 can be found here.
Iron Sharpens Iron has also done a number of recent programs on Islam:
Sam Shamoun: The Jesus of the Qur'an vs. the Jesus of the Bible
Sam Shamoun: The Deification of Muhammad: Is Islam Itself Guilty of Shirk?
David Wood: The Islamic Dilemma
For those of you in the New York City area, Iron Sharpens Iron will also be holding a conference on Islam:
A FREE 7-Hour Conference Open to All (a love offering will be taken)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12th
from 11AM to 6PM (with breaks)
"Iron Sharpens Iron" Radio
@ Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Long Island,
36 Smith Street, Merrick, NY 11566
(just a short walk from the LIRR Merrick station)
David Wood, who has become fondly known as "Iron Sharpens Iron's Resident Christian Apologist to the Muslims", is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy at Fordham University. A former atheist, David converted to Christianity based on the historical evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. David now debates both atheists and Muslims and is co-director of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries, an organization he founded with Nabeel Qureshi, a convert from Islam to Christianity. David also contributes to http://www.answering-islam.org/, which he considers to be the very best resource available anywhere, bar none, to discover and learn the true history and teachings of Islam. He personally operates the blog site http://www.answeringmuslims.com/. He has debated over 25 leading Muslim scholars and clerics in the US and the UK.
Dr. Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the truth of Christianity through apologetics and a spiritual search for God. Since his conversion, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating. Nabeel has given lectures at universities and seminaries throughout North America, including the University of Ottawa, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeast Christian Seminary, and Old Dominion University. His focus is on the foundations of the Christian faith and the early history and teachings of Islam. Nabeel has participated in 13 public debates and is currently co-director of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School and an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University. Nabeel is currently a youth pastor in Southeastern Virginia, where he lives with his wife Michelle.
For Directions: (516) 379-2408
All Other Details: (888) 9-JESUS-C
Is the New Testament Evil?
01/23/2011 - James White
I will sing to the Lord...
01/22/2011 - Mike PorterWhen was the last time the theme of a popular Christian song was wrath of God on the ungodly? That long, eh? To be honest, since I have listened to popular Christian music I cannot recall any song on the wrath of God that was not either an updated version of a great hymn of the faith or just making a passing reference to God's wrath. I cannot recall ever hearing a song expressly praising God for displaying His greatness in the dispensation of His wrath.
It seems to strike sharply against the sensibilities of today’s Christian to even admit the existence of God’s wrath, much less make it an object of worship and adoration. It is as if the modern church has taken its God to the surgeon’s table and excised those attributes it is not comfortable with. Give them Love, give them a Comforter, give them the Prince of Peace — but do not give them a Tempest!!
Yet, this is precisely what we see throughout Scripture. It can be almost formulaic at times: God displays His wrath and His people praise His name.
Take a journey through the Scriptures sometime to those passages where God displayed His great power in devastating the ungodly and see what the reaction of His people were. Consider the utter annihilation of Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. After the Lord destroyed the entire host of Pharaoh’s army, in Exodus 14:31 we read:
Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
They “saw” the great power of God and so the people “feared” the Lord. From thousands of years of distance, we can read such an event and not be stirred to fear. But those who witnessed this great display of power could not help being moved to fear. They did not have a modern, sanitized sense of what we call “godly fear” by which we mean only reverence and awe. They were afraid – terrified. Fear of the Lord may contain reverence and awe, but the reason such reverence and awe exists is precisely because the Lord, by His power, instills great fear. The people understood this and realized that the Lord was great in power. And this produced within them a song of praise. Contemplate the partial citation of that song:
Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.
4 "Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.'
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
“The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation”…“Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
These words were not written in a vacuum. There was a specific context – a specific reason that God was seen as majestic in holiness and awesome in power. As Moses rehearsed the events that preceded the song, neither political correctness, nor hurt feelings over the vanquished, nor even the duration of the Hebrew oppression was his concern. The object of his worship was God. The lofty theme was the majesty and holiness of God as displayed in His wrath against Pharaoh.
The reason why God is awesome is because He displayed His wrath and power against His enemies, and this stirred the heart of Moses and Israel to praise Him. It could be argued that this song had the theme of God’s love, but while there was a demonstration of His love for His people the focus of the song was not His love. This is no small point to grasp. This was true worship. The message is clear: God is worthy of worship in the display of His wrath upon the ungodly.
God is light, and in Him there is no darkness. “The Lord is good…” Nahum tells us also after telling us, “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” This was no difficulty for Nahum. It was not a contradiction to him.
Imagine, for just a moment, if one were to take the words of the song in Exodus and give it a modern beat. How would such a song be received in the Christian community? I shudder to think that the modern Christian heart would not be stirred by the words themselves. Would their hearts be stirred by something other than the words, such as the music? After all, we are part of the “It’s just song” generation, are we not?
It is a real problem with modern “worship” and why themes such as the wrath of God, if they are mentioned at all, are overwhelmed by themes such as Love, Grace, and Mercy. In today’s church, worship seems to be all about the comfort of man. Colors, architecture, themes, music – much of it is geared toward comfort and pleasure. So much thought, energy, and time is put into how men are pleased by worship that one wonders how much consideration and study and contemplation is given as to whether or not God is pleased by it. Man must find it acceptable and God must just deal with what we give Him.
I fear that the modern church treads too lightly on the wrath of God. It seems that it has mistaken “boldly approaching the throne of grace” with arrogantly approaching the throne of grace. The reason why God’s love, grace and mercy are so wonderfully sweet to the believer is precisely because he has a clear – a frighteningly clear – perception of the wrath of God. God is holy, and were it not for His mercy, the ground upon which we stand would swallow us up as it did Korah. We were enemies of God before faith in Christ. We were children of wrath. We cling to Christ dearly because we know in Him we are redeemed from the righteous indignation of God. A true heart of faith acknowledges that God is just in his wrath against him and confesses that He is right to do so because of our sin. He will cling to Christ alone because in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. We are humbled because of His mercy.
God’s people throughout Scripture were able to sing of God’s wrath when they knew Him and were obedient to Him. God’s people today need to recapture that reverence and fear of the Lord and sing songs with the intention of pleasing the Lord rather than pleasing men.
Revelation 15:3-4 And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed."
Built on the Wrong Foundation
01/21/2011 - Tur8infanFrancis Beckwith explains (in a blog entry / column titled: "Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone"):
The Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is a real stumbling block to some Protestants who are seriously considering Catholicism. It was for me too, until I explored the subject, historically and scripturally.Transubstantiation is one of those Roman dogmas that spectacularly fails the tests of history and Scripture, so it was interesting to read what Beckwith wrote. It was particularly interesting because Beckwith views transubstantiation as a cornerstone, whereas for us (Reformed), the cornerstone of our theology is the Word of God.
[Click Here to Continue Reading]
01/21/2011 - James WhiteI was asked to speak on the presuppositions of my debate with Robert Sungenis up in Newberg, Oregon, and here is the presentation I gave in response to the request. (The audio unsync'd for the first 2/3 of the presentation, then caught up...somehow).
Today on a Radio Free Geneva: Norman Geisler and "Theological Racism"
01/20/2011 - James WhitePlayed the very odd section of a radio program from Detroit where Norman Geisler accused the Reformed of holding to "theological racism" and that we (the Reformed) went "berserk" in response to Chosen But Free, which, we likewise learned, was the first attack upon our beliefs by a "major scholar." Went from there to a quick review of John Calvin Goes to Berkeley, and finished up with a number of calls on generally Reformed themes, including one on Molinism. Here's the program.
Radio Free Geneva on Tomorrow's Dividing Line!
01/19/2011 - James WhiteYes, I think Norman Geisler's wild accusations against Reformed theology deserve an RFG. I will also review John Calvin Goes to Berkeley. Join us at 4pm MST!
Human Responsibility Does Not Imply Human Ability
01/19/2011 - Alan KurschnerHuman responsibility is dependent on an objective entity (God's law), not a subjective entity (human moral ability). Human responsibility relates to a moral standard. It does not imply a so-called free will.
If a teenager boy gets drunk and runs a red light, is he no longer responsible because of his condition? Yes he is responsible because he has broken the law, even if he did not have the ability to obey the law because of his condition.
The Bible teaches that humans are held accountable to God's law, not based on their moral ability to obey that law. The assumption by the Arminian is if God commands something, then we must have the moral ability to fulfill his command (with some added coaxing by God's grace). But their axiom is not taking the biblical human condition into consideration.
The Bible describes our human condition as slaves to our sinful will. Both Jesus and Paul use that terminology. Jesus did not come to affirm a free will; he came to set the will free. Both teach that the unregenerate person does not posses any moral free will:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44 )
“because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:7–8)They both use the exact same language "no one can" and "nor is it able" (ou dynatai). The Greek means "inability." In this context "moral inability." This is why Paul and Jesus use "slave" language. It is not that sometimes they can choose God, or occasionally they can please God. No, it is much more severe. Certainly, they have a will but only in the sense that they can choose according to their strongest desires, which in the unregenerate state is to only choose their fleshy desires.
God's commands do not imply moral ability. This debate is not new! May we continue to pray Augustine's famous prayer: "Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire."
A Classic Illustration of God's Sovereign Electing Freedom
01/19/2011 - Alan KurschnerOften it takes an illustration to help non-Calvinists break out of their categorical and cultural assumptions about the precious truth of predestination. The following illustration has floated around in Calvinist circles for many years, and has been very effective:
You have 100 criminals on death row. They are all equally guilty and deserving of death. Every single one of them hates the governor of the state. So much so, that all of them conspired together and successfully killed his only son. One of these death row criminals is you. The governor has the freedom and right to pardon and give clemency to any of them. It could be one person, ten, all of them, or just none of them. If he chose to pardon none of them, would he be perfectly just to do so? Yes. And he is not obligated to choose between a dilemma of bestowing mercy either on all 100 of them, or none of them---he could choose any number in between, if he wills. He can do whatever he wishes because of his right as governor. But let us say he chooses to have mercy on 10 of the 100 justly deserved death row criminals. The ten are just as guilty and deserving of death as the other 90. And one of those ten to be graciously pardoned is you. You are free! You are pardoned! You have been granted mercy! Now as you are stepping out of that prison into freedom, are you going to look back and point your finger at the governor and utter, "How dare you pardon me, and not everyone else." You would be an ungrateful halfwit.
Calvinism is the Only Basis for Evangelizing the Lost
01/19/2011 - Alan KurschnerGod's sovereign election is the only basis by which any believer has confidence to evangelize the lost. We do not know who the elect are in this lifetime, but what we do know with certainty is that there are elect out there.
Has God ever revealed to us why we should evangelize the lost? Indeed he has. In Acts 18, Paul was opposed vehemently in his gospel mission. He was about to leave Corinth out of fear and discouragement, but God in a vision at night revealed to Paul a confident truth:
“And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:9–11).Notice that God did not say, "Paul, there is a possibility that some people might get saved if only they use their free will to cooperate with my grace." Nor does God say, "According to my crystal ball, I foresee that there will be people who will be in the right place at the right time and the right disposition who will get saved." Nor does God say, "there are a lot of people in this city, play the numbers game and you are bound to get some saved." Instead, this is about God's purposes, and his people. And this is precisely what gave Paul the confidence to stay in that city for a year in a half.
Why is it that most people do not play the lottery? (forgive my carnal analogy for a moment). It's because they have no guarantee that they will win. Suppose people had the guarantee that if they played the lottery every day for a year, they would eventually win the lottery on a given day. Everyone would play the lottery!
It is roughly the same phenomenon with Evangelism. Calvinists have the confidence that God's elect are out there, and they know that if they consistently proclaim the gospel, God's people, the elect, will hear his voice and become saved.
Arminians do not have this foundation or confidence since in their theology it is possible that at this point of time until the Lord comes back, there will not be another soul saved, since for them salvation is not decreed, but ultimately dependent on the enslaved human will.
Believer: Where do you want to find your confidence in evangelism? God's sovereign grace, or the enslaved will of Man?
All of you and none of me! Praise God that you have ordained it to be!
Available Debates By Dr. James White
01/19/2011 - Tur8infanMany of you may know that Dr. James White has done a lot of debates. Many of those debates are available through the Alpha and Omega Ministry's on-line store. I've attempted to provide links to as many of those debates as possible, below. I should note that Dr. White has conducted many other debates as well, as can be seen from his bio page (link to page). And, of course, I should note that not all of the "debates" in this list are formal debates - some are radio debates or discussions, and I have tried to indicate that in the list.
- Is the Bible for Real? | James White vs. Robert S. Dietz and Robert Funk (mp3 or CD)
- Is the Bible True? | James White vs. Robert Price (DVD, mp4, mp3, or CD)
- Is the New Testament Evil? | James White vs. David Silverman (Blu-Ray, DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Call-in Radio Debate | James White vs. ("Fundamentalists Anonymous") Ann McKinney (mp3 or CD)
- Radio Debate | James White vs. ("American Atheist Society") Brian Lynch (mp3 or CD)
- Radio Debate | James White vs. ("Freedom from Religion Foundation") Dan Barker (mp3 or CD)
- Jesus: Myth or Messiah | James White vs. Dan Barker (mp3)
- The Triune God of Scripture Lives | James White vs. Dan Barker (DVD, mp4, mp3, or CD)
- The Paedobaptism debate | James White and Geoff Volker vs. Gary Johnson and Robert Strimple (mp3 or CD)
- The Baptism Debate | James White vs. Bill Shishko (DVD, mp4, mp3, or CD)
- Did the Bible Misquote Jesus? | James White vs. Bart Ehrman (mp3 or CD)
- Is the Bible True? | James White vs. ("Jesus Seminar") John Dominic Crossan (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- God's Irresistible Grace | James White vs. Dave Hunt (mp3 or CD)
- Predestination and Election | James White vs. (Church of Christ) Paul Barber (mp3 or CD)
- The "Read My Book" Debate on Bible Answer Man | James White vs. George Bryson (mp3 or CD)
- The Calvinism Debate (Two topics: The Will of Man and Limited Atonement) | James White vs. Pastor James Barker (mp3 or CD)
- Freedom of God in Salvation Debate | James White vs. Steve Gregg (mp3 or CD)
- The Regeneration and Perseverance Debate | James White vs. Robert Wilkin (mp3 or CD)
- Who Controls Salvation? | James White vs. George Bryson (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity? | James White vs. Barry Lynn (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity? | James White vs. John Shelby Spong (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- The Gay Marriage Debate | James White vs. (Metropolitan Community Church) Dee Bradshaw (mp4 or mp3)
- Does the Bible Teach Jesus is God? | James White vs. Sheikh Jalal Abualrub (DVD)
- Does the New Testament Teach that Jesus is God? | James White vs. Hamza Abdul Malik (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is the New Testament We Possess Today Inspired? | James White vs. Shabir Ally (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- The Cross Debate | James White vs. Shabir Ally (DVD, mp4, mp3, or CD)
- The Great Trinity Debate | James White vs. Abdullah al Andalusi (mp3 or CD)
- Is Jesus God or a god? | James White vs. Greg Stafford (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is the King James the Best Version | James White vs. D.A. Waite (mp3 or CD)
- Radio Debate - New Age Bible Versions | James White vs. Gail Riplinger (mp3 or CD)
- Radio Debate - The KJV and the Deity of Christ | James White vs. Thomas Holland (mp3 or CD)
- How Biblical is the Trinity? | James White vs. Robert Sabin (mp3 or CD)
- Are Tongues Necessary | James White vs. David Bernard (mp3 as a bonus item with the Sabin Trinity Debate)
- Does God Know the Future? | James White vs. John Sanders (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is Knowing Jesus the Only Way to be Saved? | James White vs. John Sanders (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Can Men Become Gods? | James White vs. (Mormon) Martin Tanner (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Christianity vs. Mormonism | James White vs. Van Hale (mp3 or CD)
- Defending "Letters to a Mormon Elder" in Salt Lake City | James White vs. Daniel C. Peterson and William Hamblin (mp3 or CD)
- Is Mormonism Christian? | James White vs. Van Hale (mp3 or CD)
- Live Call-in Radio Debate in Salt Lake City | James White vs. Van Hale and Alma Alred (mp3 or CD)
- What is Accomplished in the Atonement? | James White vs. Dennis Potter (mp3 or CD)
- What is Sin? The Fall of Adam and Its Consequences | James White vs. Gilbert Scharffs (mp3 or CD)
- ("Discussion") The Bible and Its Origins | James White and Van Hale (mp3 or CD)
- ("Discussion") The Origins of Christianity | James White and Richard Hopkins (mp3 or CD)
- Are Roman Catholics Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ? | James White vs. Douglas Wilson (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Are the Scriptures the Sole Infallible Rule of Faith? | James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa (mp3 or CD)
- By Faith Alone? | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- Did Mary Have Other Children? | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura? | James White vs. Patrick Madrid (mp3 or CD)
- ("Discussion") Bible Answer Man "Debate" | James White vs. Jimmy Akin (mp3 or CD)
- ("Discussion") Bible Answer Man "Debate" | James White vs. Tim Staples (mp3 or CD)
- ("Discussion") Bible Answer Man Discussion before the Papacy Debate | James White vs. Tim Staples (mp3 or CD)
- How Biblical and Ancient is the Papacy? | James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Indulgences | James White vs. Robert Fastigi (mp3 or CD)
- Is it Possible for a Non-Christian to Enter into Heaven? | James White vs. Bill Rutland (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is the Apocrypha Scripture? | James White vs. Gary Michuta (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is the Bible the Only Infallible Rule of Faith? | James White vs. Tim Staples (mp3 or CD)
- Is the Mass a Propitiatory Sacrifice? | James White vs. Robert Sungenis (mp3 or CD)
- Is the Mass Biblical and Ancient? | James White vs. Robert Sungenis (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Is the Roman Catholic Priesthood Biblical and Ancient? | James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Justification by Faith? | James White vs. Robert Fastigi (mp3 or CD)
- Justification by Faith | James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa (mp3 or CD)
- Justification by Faith Debate | James White vs. Robert Sungenis (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Papacy | James White vs. Vinney Lewis (mp3 or CD)
- Papal Infallibility | James White vs. Robert Fastigi (mp3 or CD)
- Papal Infallibility | James White vs. Tim Staples (mp3 or CD)
- Papal Infallibility | James White vs. Robert Sungenis (mp3 or CD)
- Perseverance | James White vs. Jimmy Akin (mp3 or CD)
- Purgatory: Biblical or Mythical? | James White vs. Peter Stravinskas (DVD, mp3, or CD)
- Sola Scriptura I | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- Sola Scriptura II | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- The Apocrypha Debate | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- The Boston College Papacy Debate | James White and Rob Zins vs. Robert Sungenis and Scott Butler (mp3 or CD)
- The Eternal Security Debate | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- The Immaculate Conception Debate | James White vs. Christopher Ferrara (Blu-Ray, DVD, mp3, or CD)
- The Lost Debate (Justification) | James White vs. Art Sippo (mp3 or CD)
- The Marian Doctrines | James White vs. Robert Fastigi (mp3 or CD)
- The Marian Doctrines | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp4, mp3, or CD)
- The Mass | James White vs. Mitchell Pacwa (mp3 or CD)
- The Papacy | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
- Veneration of Saints and Images | James White vs. Patrick Madrid (mp3 or CD)
- Was Peter a Pope? | James White vs. Gerry Matatics (mp3 or CD)
Two Very Helpful Articles by Sam Shamoun
01/19/2011 - James WhiteLord willing I will get a chance to listen to the recent Green/Kunde debate from Australia tomorrow, but Sam Shamoun has already done so, and has written two very useful responses to some of Abdullah Kunde's comments. Once again, Sam and I both call upon our Islamic opponents in debate to argue consistently. Do not use one standard for Islam, and another for Christianity. Let truth be truth. If you are going to rely upon ultra liberal humanistic scholarship for your anti-Christian arguments, then accept what those arguments mean for Islam and the Qur'an as well. If you are going to say the Federal Headship of Adam or the imputation of sins to Jesus in His sacrifice are "illogical," then say the same thing about the corresponding beliefs in Islam. I continue to look for that first consistent Muslim apologist. The search has been long. It might get longer! [I hasten to add a word of commendation for Abdullah Kunde, however: while I find his argumentation inconsistent, Abdullah has, in my dealings with him, been consistently calm and respectful, even when some Christian callers have been quite unfair to him.] Here are Sam's responses. First Response. Second Response.
Today on the Dividing Line: Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos
01/18/2011 - James WhiteI invited the Dean and Assistant Dean (who is shorter than the Dean) of the Midwest Center for Theological Studies to join me today on the program. Sam Waldron (Dean) and Richard Barcellos (Assistant Dean) were kind enough to take a full hour out of their day to chat with me. We covered a lot of topics, discussing their work with MCTS, their educational philosophies, and the topics of their books. Then we took two calls, one from India, and one from St. Kitts in the West Indies. A great time with two great brothers doing a great work. Here's the program.
Let me once again reiterate my tremendous thanks to MCTS, RBS, and IRBS for allowing me the privilege of teaching the Polemics module week before last. It was great to meet the students, and I look forward to teaching there again! I am really pushing to do a class on the writing, collation, and transmission of the text of the NT during the first 400 years, including a survey of all of the gnostic gospels. I think that would be a really needed and exciting class. If you think so to...let Richard Barcellos know! :-)
" ...but wanting to have their ears tickled..."
01/17/2011 - Mike Porter
1 Samuel 4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3 And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies."
I had been reading through 1 Samuel recently and this particular passage stuck out to me. I spent some time contemplating it and made some observations:
The first is that Israel understood that the Lord had defeated them before the Philistines. Such was a confession of judgment against them. Second, despite asking the question why the Lord defeated them they did not seriously pursue the answer. They knew of Samuel, yet they did not seek his guidance before going into battle and they did not seek his guidance after their defeat. Third, despite the defeat and despite the availability of God’s Word to them, they nonetheless ignored their spiritual state and attempted a desperate act: they brought out the Ark of the Covenant. It is clear from the passage what they hoped would happen. By bringing out the sacred Ark, God would be forced to display His power and defeat the Philistines. Yet, God did nothing and the final defeat was greater than the first. And the Ark was captured.
As I read the passage, I contemplated the bald contempt for the power of God displayed by the Israelites -- as if it was something they could control and beckon at their whim. God had previously demonstrated his power both in the Jordan River and in Jericho. The Jordan River had an altar built to remind future generations “the hand of the Lord is mighty”. It was never the ark, but the ark had become an idol to Israel. In their delusion, it was not God’s pleasure that brought forth victory, nor was it for His own glory that victories occurred. They believed that they could manufacture the power of God.
Fast forward to today where very little has changed:
I present to you today’s blasphemy, the "Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey".
Lord, have mercy. Please.
Has Islam Misunderstood Christianity?
01/17/2011 - Micah BurkeDebate
Has Islam Misunderstood Christianity?
James White vs Bassam Zawadi
Trinity Road Chapel
205 Trinity Road
London, SW17 7HW
Date / Time
February 12, 2011, 6:30PM
Bassam Zawadi is an Islamic apologist and speaker who has engaged in and conducted interfaith debates, lectures and dialogues across the Middle East, Europe and North America. This will be Dr. White's first debate with Mr. Zawadi.
First MCTS Podcast
01/17/2011 - James WhiteWe recorded some podcasts for the Midwest Center for Theological Studies last week while I was in Owensboro. The first has been released:
Cross Examination Period from the RTS Jackson Debate
01/14/2011 - James WhiteI found out today that someone may have video taped the entire debate, and if I can get hold of that footage, I will post it on the YouTube channel. Till then, here is the cross-ex period from last night's debate at RTS Jackson.
Yes, We Can Identify the Elect!
01/13/2011 - Alan Kurschner“After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. They were shouting out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”” (Rev 7:9–10)
Calvinists are Now Theological Racists
01/13/2011 - Alan KurschnerErgun Caner has stated that Calvinists are worse than Muslims. This week Norman Geisler has added to this vitriolic rhetoric calling Calvinists theological racists. Wait a minute, I thought it was Calvinists who are the mean nasty people?
Geisler said: "These people [meanie Calvinists] teach that Christ only loved the elect and only died for the elect. And I think that's some kind of theological racism."
At 30:30 into this radio show you can listen to human tradition in all its glory.
3 Reasons Why PowerPoint Preaching is Not Prophetic
01/13/2011 - Alan KurschnerFirst, they are boring.
How are they any more exciting than the multimedia that I experience throughout the week?
Second, and more detrimental than the first, they are distracting.
They take me away from what is important: the countenance of the preacher. There is just something about a cold, large projector screen vying attention away from the flesh and blood of the pastor that diminishes my reflective soul to hearing God's Word. And I don't think I have a short attention span, so I cannot imagine the affect on those who do.
Third, they promote passivity.
(1) Why should I bring my Bible to church and flip to a half dozen passages if Scripture is already in block text on the powerpoint screen?
(2) And why should I try to think through the preacher's argumentation of how he arrived at each point, since I have the conclusions on the screen in bullet points! Preaching requires much higher demands on its people. So don't short-circuit their involvement as listeners and thinkers.
(3) And since bullet points are atomized statements, they discourage people from thinking through their relationships. I am a discourse analysis guy (aka "arcing"). Expository preaching is not about preaching bullet points, so why communicate it as if it were, in PowerPoint? Expository preaching is about explaining the author's argument---whether that is found in Jesus' parables, Paul's epistles, or Revelation's apocalyptic prophecy. Gordon Fee aptly once wrote: "For the sermon to have integrity as a proclamation of the intent of Scripture, it should focus on this question [the intended author's reasoning], and all its parts should serve that focus." Powerpoint impedes this expository goal.
In summary, I simply do not find sermons supplemented with Powerpoint conducive to the qualities of soul-grabbing, prophetic, anguishing preaching. So pastors, just focus on edifying the flock's souls at that moment and allow your well-prepared sermons to speak for themselves.
Live Streaming Debate Tonight!
01/13/2011 - Tur8infanDr. White will be debating "Freedom or Bondage of the Will" with Dr. Steve Blakemore at 6 p.m. CST (that's 7 p.m. EST and 4 p.m. PST). A live stream of the debate will be available at the usual Dividing Line streams (high quality)(low quality for users with low bandwidth).
(see more info about the debate and the debaters here)
Glory to the Holy!
01/12/2011 - Alan KurschnerIn the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the sovereign master seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and they used the remaining two to fly. They called out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who commands armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!” The sound of their voices shook the door frames, and the temple was filled with smoke. I said, “Too bad for me! I am destroyed, for my lips are contaminated by sin, and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. My eyes have seen the king, the LORD who commands armies.” But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Look, this coal has touched your lips. Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven.” I heard the voice of the sovereign master say, “Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?” I answered, “Here I am, send me! (Isa 6:1–8 NET).
Do Not Flatten Out the Fabric of God's Decree
01/12/2011 - James White
A Fast Dose of Human Tradition!
01/11/2011 - Alan Kurschner
"Especially when it comes to human evil, that we would call sin in theological terms. That God does not will this, he does not promote it. But because of our free will, he permits it." -William Lane Craig, August 12, 2007, Reasonable Faith, "Problem of Evil"
“for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” -Acts 4:27–28)Ironically, a minute later in his radio show he cites the event of the crucifixion as a good example of an evil that God does not ordain, but instead is brought about by the actions of man's free will. Then he indicates that God basically picks up the pieces and makes something good come out of the crucifixion. Of course, Acts 4:27-28, or any Scripture for that matter, was not brought into the discussion. Don't you love philosophy!
When you hear a professed Christian philosopher explain Christian theodicy for Christian listeners, without citing Christian Scripture, you are witnessing human Tradition.
Today on the Dividing Line
01/11/2011 - James WhiteMainly relied on callers today to drive the topic, but did report on my time at MCTS (we are going to try to have Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos on next Tuesday's program), and thanked some folks who have really done a lot to make the past few weeks special for me, including M.A., V.L., BMcL, and DittoHead. Very thankful indeed. Took calls on a wide variety of topics, including one from Milwaukee (or was that London?) on the textual variant at 1 John 5:18 (a pretty tough one!). Here's the program.
01/08/2011 - James WhiteLord willing I will be home by Monday evening, and hence we should be able to do the Dividing Line at its regular time Tuesday morning. But I will be traveling Thursday, heading down to Birmingham for the Deep South Founder's Conference. I will be doing a pre-conference debate on the Freedom or Bondage of the Will with Dr. Steve Blakemore. The debate will be held at:
Grace Baptist Church
5331 Clinton Blvd.
Jackson, MS 39209
This is directly across from the RTS campus. The debate is scheduled to begin at 6pm.
Speaking of the doctrines of grace, Silly Brit II (aka John Samson) is leading an online journey through the doctrines of grace. Since John is much nicer than I am, and not nearly as scary (being British and all---Brits are never scary, they are...British), maybe you might know someone who would find his kinder, gentler approach helpful! Read his invitation here.
I have found the new Accordance app for iPad to be an awesome addition to my traveling arsenal, so to speak. Amazing the amount of information you can now carry in such a small space! Just incredible.
Had a great time at MCTS with Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos and all the fine students. I really enjoyed getting to teach on polemics, and I really hope to be back in the near future for another module.
The Holiness of God from the Go, Stand, Speak Conference, August, 2010
01/08/2011 - James White
Today on a Special "Via Skype" Edition of the Dividing Line
01/06/2011 - James WhiteTalked a bit about Ergun Caner speaking at the Jacksonville pastor's conference, discovered the cleaned up "woops" bio live on the air, discussed the murder of the governor in Pakistan, and then took some calls, first on Galatians 2:16 and "the faithfulness of Jesus" (subjective vs. objective genitives) and another call on Ezekiel 36. Here's the program.
How Effective Has the Great Evangelical Cover-Up Been? You Tell Me: UPDATED
01/06/2011 - James WhiteI was just directed to the speaker's page for the 25th Annual Pastor's Conference at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, which begins January 28th. Notables speaking there include Ah Mohler and Mark Dever. And Ergun and Emir Caner. And what do you see when you click on Ergun Caner's bio link?
Yes, I know...someone just cut and pasted from the now utterly debunked bio that continues to float about the Internet. But it also means that the majority of folks simply do not know that Caner's story has been proven fraudulent, and given the cover up engineered by Norman Geisler et al., the fraud continues to be perpetuated out of ignorance, or apathy, by others. So now you have real leaders, genuine scholars who have actually done the things they have claimed to have done, featured right next to those who have made outrageous claims (born in Istanbul, trained in Cairo, etc., debated Imams in mosques in Arabic, blah blah blah) and have been exposed. A great testimony at a pastor's conference. And so the cover-up goes on.
I wonder if Caner will have the integrity to contact all the churches that intend to have him speak in the future and provide them with an honest bio, the one without the false claims about debating all over the world, born in Turkey, etc.?
Well, it is nice to know folks are out there reading this blog, because when I went back to discuss the topic on the Dividing Line today, guess what happened? The bio had been "fixed." No, no apologies or notations, just...rewritten. Here's the new, cleaned up version. How embarrassing is it to have to run around cleaning up the messes you created by lying about your past, when you refuse to actually admit you did it in the first place? What a shame to see this.
I note as well that until the updated bio was posted, there was a clear and obvious contradiction between the bio provided for Ergun and the one provided for Emir. Emir's at least admits he wasn't raised in Turkey, one of the numerous false statements found in Ergun's. I wonder if anyone who signed up for the conference even noticed?
Special Time for the Thursday Dividing Line
01/05/2011 - James WhiteSince I am traveling and lecturing at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies in Kentucky (teaching a Polemics class for MCTS, the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies, and the Reformed Baptist Seminary), we will attempt to do a Skype-based DL tomorrow at 3pm EST, 1pm MST, noon PST. Join us then!
No DL Today--Technical Difficulties!
01/04/2011 - James WhiteI'm traveling and have two technical issues that will preclude attempting to do a Skype DL today. I will see if I can get them cleared up by Thursday!
Testimony from a Former Jehovah Witness
01/03/2011 - Alan KurschnerMatthew Fenn is a former Jehovah Witness saved by God's grace through the reading of Philippians chapter 3.
Read his edifying story, here.
"But when I read this passage, I read that was talking about “not having a righteousness of his own”. That blew me away. It blew me away because it was so different from what the Watchtower teaches. The Watchtower teaches that God only saves the godly. The Organization says that Jesus helps us but we also need to help him. He isn't enough to save us, we need to do something as well. Their version of salvation is Jesus giving the sinner the same chance as Adam had. Jesus needs us to participate and contribute to our own salvation. As a result it isn't humble, it's proud. It isn't joyous, but very angry, critical, and mean. It's isn't grace, it's nothing but pure law."After Fenn's conversion, he would meet with the JW Judicial Committee, which was very telling. So read the whole story!
Here is video of his story: http://ponderingchrist.blogspot.com/2010/11/heres-my-story.html
A Few Sermons/Studies on a Travel Day: Oh, and One Brief Note at the Bottom
01/03/2011 - James WhiteHeaded to Kentucky for the Polemics class, so while I'm on my way, I thought I'd link up a Bible Study and two sermons from SermonAudio that were just now posted. Hope they are useful and edifying!
I am going to do my best to make this the only time I even deign to make note of one of Islam's worst rabble-rousers. Some people do not deserve to be noticed due to their dishonesty and their inability to even attempt to pretend to act with a modicum of fairness. I was just directed to a blog post by a Muslim who quite simply lacks the ability to think logically, or to speak honestly. He has written to me in the past, and is, evidently, constantly seeking to get attention for himself, not by producing anything of any benefit or scholarly weight, but by exerting all his faculties to twist the words of others. At that, anyway, he is quite good (shallow, but prolific). In any case, this Internet gadfly noted that I had responded to an article on Muslimmatters.org that repeated the falsehood that I had only responded to the Ergun Caner situation because Caner opposes "Calvinism." I have refuted this falsehood many times here on this blog. In the process, someone raised the issue of "others" who are alleged to be like Caner, and made the false accusation that I had appeared with these others when I had not. I am aware of accusations against these men, but unlike Caner, about whom I had first-hand knowledge (having communicated with Shabir Ally about his false claims to have debated him), I have no connection whatsoever with these other men, and little interest (let alone time) to be digging into their stories (most of which take place outside the US anyway). I hope others who have the time and ability and calling can determine the truthfulness or error of these claims, but it is not my calling to become the Big Policeman of Apologetics.
So our rabble-rousing Muslim writes a blog article claiming I threw Sam Shamoun "under the bus." How any rational person could read my comments and come to such a conclusion is beyond me. Our writer is either utterly irrational (which is possible), or dishonest, or both. In any case, the man wasted time on his blog actually raising the possibility that I had claimed I had never met Sam Shamoun! What utter foolishness. I have had Sam on the Dividing Line, in studio even. I have appeared on ABN with Sam. I would love to do a two-man debate with Sam sometime against a two-man Muslim team. I have learned much from Sam, and he would say he has learned much from me.
Sam has gotten into some spitting matches with some of the less level headed Islamic apologists in the past that I would have counseled him to avoid (such avoidance is not as easy as it sounds). I am not a clone of Sam, nor is Sam a clone of me, and that is how it should be. But I am well aware of the primary reason Sam Shamoun is hated so much by many of these folks: he has torn their arguments to shreds, and they know it. So, just as some folks are still dancing about with pitchforks because I humorously noted the historical fact that Brigham Young's wives never entered the Mrs. Utah Beauty Pageant (they have nothing more substantive to argue but to feign offense at such things), these folks have to find something to throw Sam's direction, since they obviously cannot compete on the battlefield of truth. I have experienced the same thing many times.
So to the dishonest man who claims I threw Sam under the bus, I assure you, Sam could toss me a lot farther these days than I can him! Sam is a warrior, and it is simply beyond lying to say I did any such thing. The person who made this accusation has always been beneath notice due to an utter lack of honesty, integrity, and truthfulness, and will remain so. It is one thing to respond to the bad arguments common amongst Muslims. That is necessary. It is another to waste time responding to clearly dishonest individuals who seek only to twist every word you speak (or write).