Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
"Gay Christianity" Debated
05/22/2013 - Rich PierceJames White and Justin Lee dialogue on the question, "Can you be a Christian homosexual" in Helena, Montana at the 2013 Reformation Montana conference. Though a debate in format, this was more of a dialogue, as Justin Lee dislikes the term "debate" and would not engage in disagreement over the specific texts relevant to the topic biblically. Despite this, a useful and respectful exchange that should challenge all believers to consider how we should properly interact with those who experience same sex attraction.
Like the response to Matthew Vines found here we believe that the world needs to hear it and so we have decided to make this publicly available to be distributed for free. Share it with your friends and relatives. We've titled it "Gay Christianity" Debated and only ask that you not change it or sell it. All fair use rules apply for criticism too.
You can play it here or right click and download it. All that we ask is that if you are edified by it please consider supporting this work on a regular basis. There is more where that came from Lord willing.
"Gay Christianity" Debated by Reformation Montana and Alpha and Omega Ministries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Same Sex? Central Baptist Honolulu
05/21/2013 - James White
For the audio, click here.
Bannerman's Church of Christ
04/20/2013 - Jeff DownsNo, this is not some particular man's cult.
I'm referring to the 2 vol. set by James Bannerman. It has been said "Bannerman’s two-volume Church of Christ is one of the greatest classic treatments of doctrine of the church in the history of the church. He is unashamedly Reformed and distinctively Presbyterian. The church mattered to Bannerman and his work can teach us about why the church should matter to us."
So, you should all take the time, click this link and purchase Church of Christ, by James Bannerman.
After your purchase, you can then go here and for free, download Ryan McGraw 's new study guide, (now until Monday). For more on this short project, click here.
I know, not everyone who reads this blog is a Presbyterian. :)
That doesn't matter, your still need to get these volumes and this study guide, and learn.
McGraw, who I've mentioned before, is also the author of By Good and Necessary Consequence (a statement found in the Westminster Confession of Faith), and Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath.
Doctrine of Man (Audio)
04/01/2013 - Jeff DownsFinally! A decision was made in our staff meeting this morning to release the audio from this year's Spring Conference. All sessions are located online here. Please do pass along the word that they are available. If you prefer to have CDs or DVDs, contact the seminary (there will be a charge).
One more resource, I noticed that The Mystery of Self-Deceiving, by Daniel Dyke is now available from RHB. This topic certainly has implication for apologetics.
Supernatural Creation of Man
03/21/2013 - Jeff DownsIn one sense, a Christians teacher, should desire to simply teach the plain truths of the Bible, feeding God's people, until we all grow into the unity of the Faith. On the other hand, we know that there are difficulties we all have to deal with, therefore, we contend for the faith.
The Supernatural creation of man, should not be an area of difficulty for the Christian. Dr. Belcher's recent lecture on the "Supernatural Creation of Man" helps put things into simple biblical perspective.
While the audio is not up, yet (perhaps sooner than later), Rachel Miller of A Daughter of the Reformation gives us a blow-by-blow account of Dr. Belcher's lecture, here.
Death Before the Fall
03/19/2013 - Jeff DownsTo some, this topic may seem inconsequential, but others know it is a major topic in YE and OE creationist debates. I listened again, to Matt Holst's recent (GPTS Conference) lecture and was pleased with the presentation. He added light to the discussion. Below is a brief outline of what I picked up from the lecture (any missing elements are my error):
I. Biblical Definition of Life
a. God is the source of Life
b. Life in creation, has it's source in God.
c. Life is good, is very good.
d. Goodness is an aspect of God's character (we do not define goodness, but God does).
e. Structure and substance of life (3 things: breath of life, life found in the blood, flesh)
If life and goodness is that which God communicates of himself to his creation, can we conceive of death being a part of the same creation. Death is utterly contrary/opposed to Life. Death, at the point of creation, is opposed to the character of God.
II. Federal Headship of Adam (and his relation to creation)
a. Adam is the representative for his posterity, and the representative for the whole of creation
b. Adam is the representative for the whole of creation.
If Adam was created with life, what he represented, must have been created with life.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away...There will no longer be any curse" (Rev. 21:3-4; 22:3)
Doctrine of Man (Follow up)
03/18/2013 - Jeff DownsI wanted to briefly mentioned that if you missed the GPTS Spring Theology Conference, you missed a good conference. By the way, as some of you know, going to conferences is not only about listening to the speaker(s), but also includes (at least at the GPTS conferences) good fellowship, singing together and of course, good food.
The two evening sessions that were broadcast live, are now online. Keep in mind that we try to have a balance between academic lectures and preaching. The two evening sessions below are geared more toward preaching
Temptation and the Fall, by Joel Beeke
Original Sin and Depravity, by Joseph Pipa.
Cal Beisner also came by the seminary and spoke at our chapel on the topic of Godly Dominion. You can listen to that lecture by clicking here.
The sessions I enjoyed the most (and need to listen to again) were "Supernatural Creation of Man", "Death Before the Fall", and Questioning the Philosophy of Science Used to Question the Bible's Doctrine of Man."
We usually wait three months before releasing the full audio of the conference, and as soon as we do, I'll let you know.
There is nothing professional about this recording, but I was able to capture the conference attendees singing Psalm 98. Again, the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, to the glory of God and to one another, is a highlight of our conference.
Eternality of the Son
03/08/2013 - Jeff DownsGPTS graduate, and pastor, Ryan McGraw recently published the first chapter of his new book Christ’s Glory, Your Good: Salvation Planned, Promised, Accomplished, and Applied on the Katekomen Website. You can read the first chapter "The Eternal Christ" here.
McGraw is also the author of By Good and Necessary Consequence and Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath.
I would also encourage you to check out the audio from his pulpit ministry here.
Temptation, Fall, Sin, and Depravity (Update)
03/07/2013 - Jeff DownsUPDATE: After realizing I can make my point without by critical of another, I removed the reference to Normal Vincent Peale. I need to be careful with every word I speak (and write) and believe there are no reasons to be critical, when not necessary. I am sorry!
There are some who may tell you that the above terms are negative, and therefore, should not not be in our vocabulary. But, the biblical account is that man was TEMPTED, he FELL by SINNING, which plunged mankind into a DEPRAVED state. We can not talk about the good life, the happy man, being blessed, producing good fruits, etc, etc. without first dealing with man in state after the fall. Here is how the Westminster Shorter Catechism describes these biblical ideas:
Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.
Since these topics should interest all our readers, I would expect each one of you, would "enjoy" hearing Drs. Joel Beeke and and Joseph Pipa speak on these issue. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday (3/12 & 3/13) at 7pm click here, and you should see a Watch Live button. More details on what is happening next week, are located here.
A few resources to consider on this topic are:
Imputation of Adam's Sin
Where Sin Abounds: The Spread Sin and the Curse in Genesis with Special Focus on the Patriarchal Narratives.
The Evil of Evils
The Sinfulness of Sin and
Not the Way It's Supposed to Be.
A Voice of Reason Meets a Voice of Irrationality
02/18/2013 - James WhiteMy friend Michael Brown is willing to try to speak the truth in contexts that most of us wouldn't even attempt. Here's today's example....
Well, I was going to embed the video, but they designed it so that the snapshot is simply inappropriate for posting. Gotta love when they upload a snapshot of the video that they know will keep people from embedding it! Here's the direct link to the video.
Ironically, I will be reviewing a few sections of our debate from last Thursday tomorrow on the Dividing Line. I was really disappointed, not in our debate, but in the fact that though we wanted to work together and provide the "we can debate, and then work together" paradigm, all we ended up having was just our debate---we didn't even get to see each other at any other point the whole weekend in Charlotte. Well, let's hope for a future re-scheduling of what we had planned, and personally, what I would like to see, would be either finding another Muslim to join with Shadid Lewis so that Michael and I can debate together, or, see if we can arrange a debate on the homosexuality or marriage issue again where Michael and I could work together. That would be ideal.