Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
"When I Get Into an Interview Like This"
04/23/2013 - James WhiteMy response to Rob Bell's appearance on the Unbelievable Radio Program in the UK.
Corrupt Police Officers, Open-Air Preaching, and Christians Losing Their Rights in America
10/07/2012 - Alan KurschnerSome members of my church joined other believers yesterday in open-air preaching in Jersey City. They were wrongly shut down by the authorities who accused them of attempting to stir up a riot, which was patently untrue. Their rights were clearly violated by lying, corrupt police officers. Speaking to one of the individuals who participated yesterday, he told me police officers are becoming increasingly intolerant toward Christians in recent months, disregarding their rights to free speech, falsifying reports, and even combative.
Pray that their citations will be overturned at their hearing. Our time is short to proclaim Christ to the lost.
Click here for the full story
Calling the MSM---Anyone Home?
09/26/2012 - James WhiteDan Wallace just posted this:
“News flash: Harvard Theological Review has decided not to publish Karen King¹s paper on the Coptic papyrus fragment on the grounds that the fragment is probably a fake.” This from an email Dr. Craig Evans, the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University and Divinity College, sent to me earlier today. He said that Helmut Koester (Harvard University), Bentley Layton (Yale University), Stephen Emmel (University of Münster), and Gesine Robinson (Claremont Graduate School)–all first-rate scholars in Coptic studies–have weighed in and have found the fragment wanting. No doubt Francis Watson’s comprehensive work showing the fragment’s dependence on the Gospel of Thomas was a contributing factor for this judgment, as well as the rather odd look of the Coptic that already raised several questions as to its authenticity.Now, that doesn't mean the saga is over for two reasons: 1) the fragment could be rehabilitated by the release of further relevant information concerning its provenance, and 2) the MSM is far more interested in posting stuff that is against Christianity than corrections and retractions.
A Note to the Secular World: Do Your History
09/19/2012 - James WhiteAnd so another round of "the story of Jesus in the Bible is bunk, there were all these Christians back then who believed wildly different things" has begun. It will go for a few months, then fade away, only to be replaced by some new book, film, movie, etc., next year or the year after. For young folks who don't have enough perspective yet to start discerning the patterns, this may be a real big thing, so we cannot just roll our eyes and move on. But that does not mean that the modern day Gnostics have anything important or meaningful to say. They do not. But they sure insist upon repeating themselves. Repeatedly.
Here are some talking points for the conversations that may come up at work, school, even home:
1) "Funny how the media makes so much of tiny scraps from the fourth century but never tell anyone about the tiny scraps from the second century that substantiate the canonical, biblical testimony of Jesus, isn't it? Makes you wonder where the true journalists are anymore, doesn't it?"
2) "There are a small group of anti-Christian academics that the media just adores who do nothing but repeat the wild eyed fanciful theories that a small group of heretics dreamed up a hundred years and more after Jesus. They write books and make money recycling stuff the Christians wrote entire tomes debunking long, long ago. Do you ever hear the media pointing to the multi-volume refutations of these folks penned by men like Irenaeus as early as the end of the second century? Have you ever read those replies? In fact, have you ever read the Gnostic gospels yourself?"
3) "A fourth century Gnostic said Jesus was married? Shocking news...given that we have known all about such stories for hundreds of years! The stories the Gnostics made up starting in the second century only got wilder and wilder through the fourth century, when they started to die out. Just like our modern anti-Christian media to focus upon stories completely disconnected from the times of Jesus and based upon foundational beliefs directly contrary to those of the Jews of the first century, the people from whom Jesus came and amongst whom He ministered."
The problem, of course, is that sound bites are not how these things should be handled in the first place. It takes time to establish the provenance of such papyri finds, their meaning, context, relationship to other literature, etc., and normally such things take place outside the observation of the general public. What is more, the background material needed to make sense of much of that is far beyond your average religion reporter today. The result is that the bias of the media is simply unfiltered: if it can be spun to be in opposition to "traditional Christian belief," it will be hyped; if it is supportive of the same, it will not even get a mention.
All of this is all the more problematic because of the general acceptance---uncritical acceptance---of the "Bauer hypothesis," popularized today by Bart Ehrman, that the early church was a mish-mash of equally valid, equally apostolic, but mutually contradictory views. Combine that idea with every little scrap of gnostic nonsense and you have today's paradigm right in front of your eyes. [For one of the best currently published books debunking this viewpoint, you really need to click here.]
Finally, it is worthwhile to compare and contrast the response this story is getting with the worldwide Islamic rage against a vacuous, silly, absurd Internet video. Muslims are offended by its mockery of Muhammad. I am offended by the mainstream press propping up Gnostic absurdities and blasphemies about Jesus. We watch as Muslim Imams in Egypt tear up the Bible and then burn it in protest. We see death and burning and destruction as signs of an honor religion lashing out at a perceived denial of honor. And how do Christians respond to this attack upon our Savior? We seek to find ways to open dialogue so that we might speak the truth and dispel error. We consider the issues and point out deep and abiding world view issues and historical context errors. We respond with our minds, not with our fists. I truly doubt that Karen King has had to go into hiding due to the story about the papyri scrap. Christianity is not an honor religion. We leave judgment and vindication to the Last Day and we leave it in the hands of the Just Judge.
But one last word of irony: Muslims say they do not differentiate between one prophet and another. OK---so why are there no riots in Egypt about this papyri and its allegation that Jesus was married? The Qur'an does not say Jesus was married. The Qur'an says Jesus was virgin born, was a true man, etc. So why not be enraged about all the constant attacks upon Jesus? I have never heard about a single KFC being burned due to some denial of the virgin birth by a Western scholar, have you? But let someone draw a cartoon image of Muhammad, and the world erupts in flames. I am left once again asking, "Where's the consistency?"
Get Ready for A Wave of Gnostic Looniness Once Again
09/18/2012 - James WhiteRemember the Gospel of Judas a few years ago? Yeah, most people don't. It was one of the last "Look, the Gnostics were a bunch of heretics, let's call them Christians and say Christianity is silly" waves that was sponsored by a major institution with hundreds of thousands of dollars to burn in the never ending campaign to attack the Christian faith. Well, looks like the 2012 version has arrived courtesy of the Queen of Gnostic Looniness, Karen King.
Click here for the story.
Karen King makes her money writing books attacking Christianity based upon digging up the same gnostic myths rejected and refuted long, long ago. Just do a quick look on her name on Amazon. Some of her real winners include The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (2003), What is Gnosticism? (2005), and Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (2007) co-authored with the other Queen of Gnostic silliness, Elaine Pagels. As you can see, she makes her shoe fund money digging the gnostics out of their graves and propping up their inane stories. But, that's what the media craves, and so, here we go again. Get ready, and be prepared to explain that gnostics were not Christians, for anyone who thinks the God of Abraham was an evil deity or that Jesus did not have a physical body is not, was not, and never will be, a Christian. Period. Just a heads up.
Get Ready for "Love Wins, Round 2"
08/20/2012 - James WhiteCombine easy believism, man-centeredness, humanism, cultural secular dominance, and and abandonment of any deep seated knowledge of the holiness and "otherness" of God, and you have a situation rife for stuff like this, coming in September:
Did Jesus Heal a "Same Sex Partner"? Watch it While You Can
08/14/2012 - James WhiteLet's hope this doesn't get pulled.
Have you heard about Mother God?
06/11/2012 - Mike PorterFile this under “Yet another cult group”.
The apostle Paul made no pretenses to Timothy as to the challenges that would face him in pastoral ministry. Having warned him that “evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse” and having established the sufficiency of Scripture to deal with these things, Paul charges Timothy to “preach the word”. And with that charge, Paul tells Timothy the nature of his preaching is both positive (exhort) and negative (rebuke, reprove). It is to be thorough, balanced, and substantive.
Paul encourages him to be diligent in the preaching ministry, being ready when times are good or bad and then warns him that the time will come when they will want their ears tickled and accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires.
It is interesting that the only solution that Paul offers Timothy for when these people seek after false teachers is the very thing that drives them away: They could not stand sound doctrine, so they went to find those who would offer fine words and phrases to appease them and make them feel good.
Sometimes, no matter how clearly you explain a text to someone, there simply is no getting passed the defenses in their mind that are intent on ignoring everything you say and hardening their heart against His truth. It is times like this that one must rely entirely upon the Holy Spirit to be the Great Evangelist and trust that as you faithfully proclaim the truth of the Gospel, He will soften their hearts and break down every stronghold. ...
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The Muslim Use of the Errant Unitarianism of Sir Anthony Buzzard
04/04/2012 - James WhiteI have engaged Sir Anthony Buzzard on a number of occasions. We engaged the relevant subjects on the Unbelievable Radio Broadcast on March 13, 2010, and I had to correct his constant assumption of unitarianism, esp. as it refers to the name Yahweh, at that time. Michael Brown and I engaged Buzzard and a cohort on the Jewish Voice Broadcast during the summer of 2010:
Once again, both Michael and I corrected Anthony's constant yet unproven assumption of unitarianism. [I note that I am scheduled to debate Sir Anthony, one on one, in Hephzibah, Georgia, in early December]. Clearly, Sir Anthony cannot break out of the circle of his commitment to bland unitarianism, and as a result he finds himself being used regularly by Muslims (willingly, we wonder?). MuslimByChoice, whose channel nick should be changed to MuslimByConfusion, has posted the following video:
If one does not assume unitarianism my comments are, well, obvious. Only by cutting, editing, and ignoring context, can Sir Anthony attempt to create confusion and hence contradiction. He refuses to allow for the distinction between being and person, and on the basis of that refusal, asserts contradiction on my part. Yet, my very definition is based upon the distinction in usage and referent for the terms "being" and "person". Hence, to reject part of my definition, import a different definition, and on that basis accuse me of contradiction is irrational. We have seen this error on Sir Anthony's part many times. But what is MuslimByChoice's excuse this time? He is citing a man who believes Jesus died and rose again. He believes Jesus is properly called the Son of God (in a much higher sense than Islam can possibly allow) and hence is someone who rejects the inspiration of the Qur'an and the prophethood of Mohammed. It is clear once again that MuslimByChoice chooses to use any source, no matter how inconsistent with Islamic doctrine, teaching, or history, as long as it looks like it is contradictory to the Trinity. Isn't it interesting to see how dependent Muslims are upon enemies of the Christian faith, like Bart Ehrman, for example? Rejection of biblical teaching makes strange bedfellows, to be sure!
No Compromise. It is Coming
03/16/2012 - James White