Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
This Week's MCTS Video...I Think There is Only One More to Come!
02/27/2011 - James WhiteHere is a video in which I publicly confess David Ould is a "great guy." I expect to be richly rewarded in October for this. :-)
Of Doctorates and Eternity
02/17/2011 - Rich PierceEvery now and then I like to remind our critics of how the doctorate issue began. The first post in this series was by Dr. White who was the first to raise the issue, (late 1997). We have never hidden this from anyone but have yet to have a single critic actually interact with Dr. White's reasoning for following the path that he did. Take a look for yourself and get informed.
Another Alexander the Coppersmith
02/14/2011 - James WhiteI just arrived in Philadelphia after an 8-hour flight from London. It was an uneventful flight during which I mixed a little reading of a work on the Qur'anic accusation of textual tampering with two viewings of...Despicable Me, which I found to be wonderfully heart warming and fun to watch (I rarely see movies in the theater, given I have so much flying time to fill on long trips using my iPad!). Yes, that's an odd mixture but hey, eight hours is a long time.
Anyway, I fired up my web access once I got here to Philadelphia as I have a bit of a layover (you know how much fun it is to go through customs, reclaim your bags, recheck your bags, go back through security, etc.), and amongst a few kind words about the ministry in the UK I found a discussion going on about someone that, as far as I know, I haven't even made reference to on this blog or on the DL for quite some time. He is a man who confesses he knows little about the subject of textual criticism, yet, he then displayed his own ignorance by posting the following under his own name:
James White embarrassed evangelicals with this poor dialog with Ehrman. Ehrman walks away looking like an accomplished scholar. On the other hand, White crawls away like a whipped mongrel.
As I will be doing the regularly scheduled DL tomorrow, I will add to the report on the ministry in the UK, along with the debate with Bassam Zawadi in London, a brief examination of the author of this insightful quotation (drawn from his own ignorance), along with some commentary on the kind of mindset that causes men like this to behave in such a fashion, while all the time thinking its "those other folks" who are causing all the divisions.
We will be doing the DL at its normal time, so I hope to see you all then!
02/12/2011 - James WhiteI am told this is the link for the live feed. I do not know if it will go live right when we start, or how it will work, but this is the best I can do on short notice: http://www.christianity.com/11645665/
02/12/2011 - James WhiteJust a few quick notes to bring everyone up to speed on events here in London. I have arrived back in Wandsworth from a few wonderful days in Glasgow, ministering at the Reformed Baptist Church of Anniesland and staying with Pastor Jim Handyside and his wonderful wife, Chrissie. Remember that Jim and Chrissie are headed for the US in just a few weeks (see his schedule below).
The Campingites are spending their money attempting to get the Scots ready for May 21st. I took this picture in the Partick train station in Glasgow (you know, where you have to change after taking the Milngavie train if you want to get to Central Station!). I saw it along the line as well at various stops. I wonder if their contract ends on the 21st of May? I'd love to take a picture of one of these on the 22nd. And let's remember, I offered to do a week's worth of programs on Family Radio on "how to actually interpret the Bible in a meaningful fashion without turning it into your own private playground of prophetic speculation" when I debated Camping. I wonder if he will take me up on my offer? Remember, Christ could indeed return on May 21st. But He could also come on May 20th, or May 22nd, as well. I truly feel for the gullible, deceived folks who have been taken in by this false teacher and enemy of the truth. It is truly a shame, for I know you will hear stories of folks "losing their faith" after May 21st. And well they should---since their faith has been placed in a false prophet.
Apostasy is good business at HarperOne Publishers, to be sure. They love cranking out books against Christianity, and they love apostates who help them in their task, and here's their newest offering. Bart Ehrman is back, rehabilitating hundred and fifty year old liberalism, slapping the sticker of "New and Improved---All the Scholars Love It!---Did You Know I Studied Under Bruce Metzger?" on it and making a mint in the process. While I would not wish to bring Dr. Ehrman's burden into the afterlife to answer for before a holy Judge, I have now been through enough of these experiences to know that God even uses the disbelief of apostates for His good. Lord willing this frontal attack upon the Scriptures, like Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted did, will result in sound, conservative responses, and may well cause some semi-conservatives to rethink their blind acceptance of the "flow" of much of NT scholarship that so easily dismisses such works as the Pastoral epistles as second century pseudonymous works. I hope someone will launch a counter-offensive, pointing out how circular most of the reasoning used to argue these points is. Example: "Well, the pastorals speak of a time when the church is established and organized, unlike what it would have been like during Paul's day. Therefore, they represent a later stage." Such argumentation, common as it is, is based upon flawed and fully challengeable assumptions. It requires us to believe the form and function of the church was the random result of evolutionary processes, not a divine revelation and part of the very purpose of the formation of the church at the outset. Further, it assumes what it cannot prove, i.e., that the primitive form of the church lacked elders and deacons, etc. It assumes its own conclusions, operates on the basis thereof, and then, in most liberal institutions, closes down dissent and moves on, having "established" its argument. The same can be said of the word-frequency/vocabulary studies so often referred to, which tend to ignore such simple considerations as "You know, you use different vocabulary when writing to someone you know well than you do when writing to a group of people" and the like. Simple considerations, rarely given voice in today's context. I can guarantee you, Forged will be one of the most cited books by enemies of the faith for years to come. Just be ready to reply, "Ehrman? Why not cite the 150 year old German liberals who came up with this silliness long before he slapped a new coat of paint on it and retired to the Bahamas?"
A Night at Leicester Square
Made the trek to Leicester Square last night to join some brothers and sisters in ministry amongst the thousands who walk the sidewalks in that gorgeous area. Wasn't quite as magical as last year for the simple reason that they are doing some kind of major construction project in the square for the 2012 Olympics, and hence the entire center portion is blocked off by a large wall. Cut down on discussions, I think. In any case, last year I had three major discussions out there. The second was with a short, thin Muslim man who prides himself on being some kind of a philosopher. I recall our conversation lasted 30-40 minutes, but I did not time it. In any case, he kept using terms like "rational" and "irrational" while insisting upon ignoring the very categorical definitions that are so vital in any honest review of Trinitarian thinking (specifically, categories of being versus person). I made my best effort to get through what I at first thought could be honest misunderstanding, but once I realized it was not misunderstanding but stubborn refusal to allow the Christian to even define his own position, I ended the conversation and moved on.
This year I started out talking to a young Muslim man and some of his friends. I discovered quickly that post-modern liberalism exists amongst the Muslims as well, as he was anything but an orthodox Muslim, Sunni or otherwise. He liked to talk a lot, and I was only able to get a few comments in, seeking to direct him to the cross and to the truth. At one point I did utilize my white goatee to point out that he is five years younger than my youngest child, and hence, sometime over the next ten years or so, he might get to the point where he actually wants to stand upon something more than his mere feelings.
Then a man around my age, standing nearby, joined the conversation. He was a more orthodox, and knowledgable, Muslim, and we were able to get into the text of Surah 5:47. I felt like I was just about to make clear the point I had been laboring on for a while, when he moved off into the subject of the sonship of Jesus. Just then a man to my right piped up, and as soon as I glanced over I realized it was the same pseudo-philosopher from the preceding year, holding a video camera at his chest (running, just as it had been last year---I wonder where those videos are on YouTube?). Within the first sixty seconds he lied twice, including claiming that the preceding year I "had not desired to talk about the Trinity." As I pointed out,when you spend at least half an hour talking to someone about a subject, only to end the conversation when they refuse to reason honestly with you, that is clear evidence that you did indeed have such a desire. Now, when someone starts off being dishonest, I have no interest in investing time speaking about something as important as the revealed nature of God with them. It is one thing to have a different set of beliefs. It is one thing to be confused about the Trinity. It is another to be a dishonest opponent. He did not like the fact that I would not indulge his gamesmanship, but I refused to give in to his taunting. One of the other brothers engaged him, and was still talking to him when I left. I shook my head, remembering a day, about a decade ago or so, when I would have done the same thing.
After leaving that conversation I talked with some of the brothers who had come out to witness to folks. They had excellent questions for me, not so much about apologetics, per se, but especially about how to remain balanced as one who engages in evangelism and apologetics. I was encouraged to hear their questions and to engage them on the importance of being in the local church and teaching on subjects outside of the apologetic realm. We had a great conversation there in the clear and cool winter evening in Leicester Square.
The debate with Bassam Zawadi is in just a matter of hours here in London. Tomorrow I preach in the morning and evening at Trinity Road Chapel, then I will try to get everything into my bags (may take an Engineering degree to do that this time) and get to Heathrow for my flight home on Monday. And yes, I fully intend, Lord granting health and safety, to do the regularly scheduled DL on Tuesday!
We Are Going to Try to Live Stream Today's Debate
02/12/2011 - James WhiteWe may have a way to live stream this evening's debate with Bassam Zawadi on whether Islam has misrepresented Christianity from here in London. However, we are still working on the details, and really will not know until much closer to the event time whether it will work out or not. So keep an eye out, as I will do my best to provide details as we get close. The debate is scheduled to start at half six (that's how it is said here! For all the Yanks, that's 6:30), so, that's 1:30pm Saturday Eastern time, 10:30am Pacific.
For Our Friends in the Upstate New York Area
02/09/2011 - James WhiteIf you desire to hear God-honoring preaching and teaching, make sure you make plans to attend! Click here.
Sermons from Ireland
02/08/2011 - Rich PierceDr. White's sermons over this past weekend in Dublin are up on sermon audio. Please find the link here. The Trinity with Q&A, The Carmen Christi & The Potter's Freedom.
Greetings from Glasgow!
02/08/2011 - James WhiteI am once again back in "the land of my forefathers," as I like to point out, staying with Pastor Jim Handyside and ministering at the Reformed Baptist Church in Anniesland. This morning I had the opportunity to join in with their Tuesday morning coffee and tea outreach at the church, where passersby are invited in for free coffee, tea, and refreshments, and, of course, gospel conversation. I spoke with two men, one raised as a child as a Presbyterian but today an unbeliever, and another an inactive Muslim (as I found out only after we had spoken, actually). Tonight I will speak at the church, as well as tomorrow evening, before flying to London on Thursday.
Speaking of Pastor Handyside, he will be continuing his yearly trips to the United States beginning later in this month. You should plan to avail yourself of the opportunity to hear this precious brother in the Lord! Here is his schedule for 2011:
February 23- Highlands Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Sebring, FL 863-385-3787
March 5-6 First Baptist Church Markham Woods Lake Mary, FL 407-333-2085
March 8th Grace Chapel 352-476-8078 Sanford
March 11-17 Faith Baptist Tabernacle: Williston, FL 352-528-2216 Contact: 352-208-1007
March 17-22 St. Mary, GA 912-882-5704
March 22-28 Griffen, GA 770-631-3660
March 28-April 5 Bethel Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA 678-880-1123
If you are anywhere near these locations and want to hear soul-stirring gospel preaching, plan to attend! I recommend Jim Handyside's ministry to you strongly.
I have place an item by Emmanuel Tov on the Ministry Resource List that I note mainly for its value (Septuagint studies are very important) and for the fact that it is on sale for the next week or so. I think the area of the Septuagint is one of the most neglected areas of apologetics study, and it is an area I wish to delve much more into in the future.
Please pray for the debate on Saturday the 12th as well. Pray the Lord will bless and will bring many out to hear the exchange.