Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Checking the Cultural Barometer
07/13/2011 - Colin SmithSome of you might be aware of the show "Sister Wives" that runs on the cable station TLC. If you don't, it is a reality show centered around a polygamous household. I believe they either belong to an off-shoot of the LDS Church, or they are not affiliated with any particular LDS Church but follow the beliefs of the original founders. In any case, the man is a practicing polygamist, has children by each of his four "wives," and has chosen to use reality TV as a vehicle to show that polygamous relationships can "work," and the children raised within that environment can be just as healthy and happy as children raised in a "traditional" home. Sound familiar? Well, it seems the man is now going to court to try to have polygamy tolerated. He's not seeking to have polygamy legalized--he just wants the government to leave them alone to live their lives according to their beliefs.
According to the article on CNN (linked below):
One case that could figure as important in the case is the Lawrence v. Texas case in 2003, when the majority of the Supreme Court struck down laws banning consensual sex between same-sex couples. That case involved two consenting adults who didn't seek recognition of their relationship, were not involved in any crimes and whose behavior was private, Turley [his attorney] said.
If you have heard Dr. White address homosexuality, and in particular if you listened to his dialog with Dr. Michael Brown on the subject of "gay marriage" and the homosexual agenda, you will know that he and others have drawn parallels between the arguments used by "gay rights" activists to legitimize their behavior, and the arguments used by others (polygamists, pedophiles, etc.) to justify their behavior, for a while. Now we have a legal challenge to polygamy law that is in part based upon the freedom allowed to same-sex couples. If this challenge succeeds, hold on to your seats. You know where this will go.
May the Lord have mercy on us.
Here's the CNN article: Reality TV Sister Wives to Challenge Utah Anti-Polygamy Law.
The Year of Shameful Silence: Norman Geisler, Ergun and Emir Caner, and Veritas Seminary
07/12/2011 - James WhiteOn July 8, 2010, I posted the following video on my blog. We all know that at that time the Caners, and Dr. Geisler, were monitoring what we were saying about the newly released excuses that, until just a few days ago, were posted on Geisler's website (the links have now disappeared but the articles are still there as of this posting, such as here). Dr. Geisler, along with Ergun and Emir Caner, are fully aware of the questions posed in this video. A year has now passed without a word of explanation, without the first attempt, by any of them, to answer these basic, straightforward questions. Meanwhile, Ergun Caner, having moved from Liberty to Arlington Baptist Bible College, continues to speak at apologetics conferences for Veritas Seminary (see here) on the topic of Islam.
It is very difficult to put much stock in conferences where these men are speaking, given their glaring unwillingness to speak truthfully regarding these matters. How can they consistently criticize, for example, the Mormons for their continued ignoring of the mountains of evidence against Joseph Smith while they themselves ignore these questions and the full refutation of the excuses offered by Caner and promoted by Geisler? Simple honesty and integrity, one would think, would force them to respond, but what of the integrity of their statements concerning Islam? How can they continue to ignore this huge and glaring contradiction in their oft-repeated proclamations of the need to pursue truth at all costs? Do they really believe that time covers over all things, including the Great Evangelical Cover-Up?
I have taught at many conferences, and spoken with thousands of people (note that I do not claim, therefore, to have done thousands of debates!). I cannot imagine that Caner and Geisler get through too many of these conferences without someone asking them about these issues. It is sad to consider how they have shown such disrespect for the truth, for the "discernment" ministry, and the reputation of the gospel itself, in how they have sought to bury Ergun Caner's misdeeds.
On Staying Cool in Phoenix
07/11/2011 - James WhiteI can say I am not disappointed that I was in the cool of Alaska last week when we hit 118 here in Phoenix, but I was here in 1990 when we hit 122, so I can honestly claim to be a "veteran" the record heat in the Valley of the Sun. My alarm clock is going off these days, normally with a "3" at the start of the time, so as to get out in the "cool" of the day (i.e., mid to upper 80s) before the sun rises and starts to scorch everything in its path. A good friend made sure I have a really bright light for those early morning rides in the darkness.
Heat is just a part of life here in Phoenix. Some folks love it, some hate it, but that's just the way it is. With the heat comes the absolute necessity of air conditioning, especially if you have electronic devices operating, such as the computer I am using to write this entry, upon which I also am writing my books. Or, if you listen to the Dividing Line, or have discovered that we are now running a 24/7 "Wayback" machine airing the DL's from 1998 onward, those broadcasts come off of computers right here in our small offices in Phoenix. And those computers need air conditioning.
Which brings me to the reason for this brief note: I am sitting in my office right now, cool and comfortable. The air is quietly cycling above me (we had a storm last night, so it barely cracked 102 today). In fact, it is very quiet today...because it is a brand new unit. The old unit decided to start making loud moaning noises a few days ago. We knew it was old. Every time the compressor kicked in lights flickered for miles. OK, not really, but my UPS under my desk would pop every time it turned on, meaning it was really pulling a huge load. The AC guy said, "It's on its last legs." We had a choice, either replace the compressor and get only a one year warranty (and continue paying large bills using an old, non-efficient unit) or pony up close to $5,000 for a new unit with a ten year warranty (and the hope of electrical savings of half of that or more over that time period). Well, you do not play games with the Arizona heat, nor do you run the risk of frying the precious computer equipment you have been entrusted with to do the work of the ministry. Hence the shiny big box on the roof above me.
We do not send out fund raising letters. We do not spend 20-30% of the DL seeking to instill guilt in you if you don't support A&O. And nobody has ever been interrupted during dinner by a fund raising cold call seeking monies for this work. That just isn't how we do things. We are small and, we like to think, lean and mean when it comes to the financial aspects of things. But every once in a while we let folks know about needs. Well, here's one. $5,000 to keep the offices usable all summer and the DL going regularly. (I might note the unit heats as well, but Rich will tell you I simply do not turn heat on during the winter on "my side" of the offices).
There are other costs coming up as well that we would ask you to pray about. We are praying toward a trip to London and Germany next April. We truly wish to take up the invitation we received to debate at the South London mosque, the largest physical mosque in London. Flying across the proverbial pond takes money, but we really wish to bless the saints in Germany, and we will need your help to do it as well.
So if you can help us to press forward in the work of the ministry, we would greatly appreciate it. We do not have a group of large donors who make all of this work. We have regular folks who think what we do is important and they want to see it continue. Your partnership in ministry is greatly appreciated.