Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Can You Trust What You Read in the Media?
05/24/2012 - James WhiteRecently I invested over five hours of airtime to rather fully discuss the claims made by Matthew Vines in a YouTube video presentation defending the concept of "gay Christianity." His emotionally-laden presentation was not only badly imbalanced from any scholarly perspective, utterly ignoring the counter-arguments and even conflicting pro-homosexual interpretations offered on the same passages, but it was very poorly designed logically speaking, for it imported massive presuppositions solely on the basis of emotional appeal. Now, let's consider the actual situation here. A 22 year old undergrad with a small amount of Greek training gave an emotionally based presentation in which he attempted to laden all of church history, and everyone who disagrees with his minority and idiosyncratic interpretation of texts written in two different ancient languages with mountains of guilt, demanding that his views be given precedence while everyone else must be quiet or be labeled unloving and unmerciful. I gave a response drawing from years of training, and teaching, in both Greek and Hebrew, as well as church history. I am a published author in the field, and have debated leading proponents of the position (here and here).
So what happens when someone from the mainstream media reports on Vines' video? Well, you can see here. The reporter, Fred Mann, spends a good deal of time promoting the brilliance of Mr. Vines. And I guess, in today's context, we should be glad he even takes the time to note some of the responses. But evidently yours truly is the subject of a single short paragraph:
One minister in Arizona has offered a three-hour rebuttal that begins cordially but evolves into a strident appeal for Vines to repent, accusing him of making arguments used to justify pedophilia.
Now, how many times did I point out that the arguments Matthew Vines used could be used by those promoting incest, "inter-generational love," bestiality, and the like? Many times. But wasn't the point of the comparison made very clear in the five hours of my presentation? If argument X made by person A can be used to promote position M, which person A would reject as immoral and improper, should person A use argument X? Consistency would say no. I would invite Mr. Mann, or Mr. Vines, for that matter, to explain the error in my statement. The point of the comparison, of course, is not to commit the genetic fallacy, but to show that the argument is ethically and morally bankrupt and has erred somewhere in its presuppositions. And, of course, I spent a great deal of time demonstrating where the presuppositional errors were made by Mr. Vines.
I would invite Mr. Mann to consider looking into the scholarly works produced by men like Robert Gagnon or Michael Brown on these topics, and come to understand that Mr. Vines has not added anything at all that is new or even insightful to this debate. He has simply re-tread the same, tired, worn out arguments that have been found in the works of Boswell, Scanzoni, Mollenkott, Countryman, etc., for a long time now. And it really does not take two years to read those books and repeat their arguments. I wonder, would anyone at all today dare to critique Vines' presentation in a meaningful fashion in the media? I don't think so. Journalism, as it once was defined, no longer exists in the "mainstream media."
On being defined by what you are against...
05/23/2012 - Mike PorterFor Christians, this is nothing new:
And when finally he was brought up, there was a great tumult on hearing that Polycarp had been arrested. Therefore, when he was brought before him, the proconsul asked him if he were Polycarp. And when he confessed that he was, he tried to persuade him to deny, saying, "Have respect to your age"—and other things that customarily follow this, such as, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; change your mind; say, 'Away with the atheists*!'"
The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*An atheist was one who rejected the state approved gods.
That one nagging question...
05/21/2012 - Mike Porter(Read this. Then read this. And, to really get into this issue, please listen to Dr. White’s Dividing Line on this subject.)
I have decided that the powerful rhetoric of Rachel Held Evans is simply too overwhelming – too persuasive to maintain my position that homosexuality is wrong. I have decided to beat my sword into a plowshare. I have my bowl in hand and my washcloth at the ready. I have laid down my arms and am ready for peace.
I realize that this may come as a shock to all of you, but there is no arguing the airtight logic of the article in which we are told that if we do not surrender our deepest held beliefs in the teachings of Scripture that we will be shunned and laughed at – scorned and shamed for our lack of sophistication and eloquent words of wisdom. It was compelling to me that the wisdom of the younger generation, simply by virtue of it being younger, has a wiser and more discerning perspective over where the allegiance of Christians should be.
Of course, we need to know that this is not any ordinary generation. This is not the generation of young Christians who daily hear of their friends decapitated, burned, shot, bombed, tortured, raped, and assaulted for their faith in Christ, like those over in Nigeria, Mogadishu, Kenya, Iran, China, and places where there is actual war. Those young Christians who might die today because of their faith in Christ have no idea what it really means to have true faith in Christ and to be part of the real generation of “young Christians” in the civilized world. Pity them, for all they can do is trust Christ and hold dearly to Him.
In various times, God spoke to the fathers and the prophets, but in these last days He speaks to us through young American and European Christians.
Mrs. Evans advises us to listen to the stories of people because "stories change everything".
So, I have decided to open up dialogue with all the communities that might have had their feelings hurt when previously I considered them to be “dead in their trespasses and sins” and “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”. And while the Scriptures are clear that “the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness” I could not help but be persuaded that simply by virtue of the fact that Mrs. Evans has offered the rhetorical equivalent of, “So what?” that I must instead call evil good and good evil. I must call black white and white black. After all, the fate of a generation hinges in the balance.
And, while Mrs. Evans has opened up her dialogue with the LGBT community and calls them Christians and loved of God (please – no one cite Scripture, such as Psalm 5:5 at this moment – it will totally kill my momentum here), I have decided to fully embrace *all* the communities of good and moral human beings that are out there.
I have decided to open up dialogue with the NAMBLA community and wash their feet and praise them for their courage in fighting against societal norms and those “old” Christians who still see truth as something that represents the character of God. After all, it is only important that one loves. Who one loves is irrelevant. Therefore, I think it is also time to welcome the bestiality community and then the robot love community that is just beginning in Japan (why wait when we can be progressive?).
I have also decided to welcome with open arms the RWB (rape and woman battery) community because of the great love they have shown their fellow man. I have included here the murderous community.
You see, I am a forward thinker, and I realize that it is only a matter of time that, since the Scriptures no longer govern this generation of “young Christians” then there is no limit to what they will accept. Abandoning all my convictions of the truth of the Gospel is the only way to save this generation from their sins. Forgiveness of sins is outdated. We need acceptance of sins in this enlightened age. Never mind that Christ will accept all who repent of their sins and believe in Him. Never mind that God commands all everywhere to repent. Our duty to this generation is to ignore those pleas and commands!
You know what? Since being retro is also in vogue, I think we need to make a token step toward accepting and loving the FPoB (False Prophets of Baal) community. Elijah certainly did not exemplify the washing of feet to them. Let’s also remember TPCTtFtStM (The Passing Children Through The Fire to Sacrifice to Molech) Community. Let us hear their stories. We can learn parenting tips from them.
It is also long passed time that we openly accept the MHHFW (Man Has His Father’s Wife) Community (1 Cor 5:1-2).
Our reason for this move is noble, of course. Mrs. Evans tells us that it is not worth it to take these stands and to teach the truths about God’s wrath, man’s sin, and man’s need to repent. It is not worth being salt and light to the world because it makes people feel bad.
After all, it seems that to Mrs. Evans Christ did not come to save us from our sins, but to save us from a poor self image. So, rather than make the church the “pillar and ground of truth”, it needs to become the Areopagus, where we “spend [our] time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”
Of course, I am sure we can ignore those warnings of Paul who was direct and plain and sharp as a knife when he said,
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
No, we can ignore them because the I am sure that the church is not interested in the eternal state of the souls of men.
It is truly more noble and brave to embrace this and let Mrs. Evans lead the charge, for Mrs. Evans’ chief concern is that we could win a culture war but lose a generation. So, our goal should be to “exchange the truth for a lie” for the sake of winning an entire generation.
Only, before I fully embrace this new and wise way of thinking, Mrs. Evans, allow me to ask this one nagging question of my own:
What does it profit the church to gain a generation but lose their souls?
Mega DL Today at 3PM MST/6PM EDT
05/03/2012 - James WhiteWhy a Mega? Simple. I listened to this entire presentation this morning out in the gorgeous Arizona early morning, and I think it is a MUST RESPOND presentation. This is a very different approach than you see in Dan Savage, and is far more difficult to respond to for most Christians. Want to do your homework beforehand so as to be ready? Here's the presentation I will be responding to:
Video Response to Dan Savage, Along with a Challenge
05/02/2012 - James WhiteThink Dan Savage would do a real debate, I mean, one where both sides are equally represented, where he would have to engage in cross-examination, provide serious scholarship, etc.? Think this video will remain on YouTube? Let's pray toward that end!