Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
James White on Church History - MP3s
04/18/2013 - Tur8infanAs mentioned on yesterday's Dividing Line, there is a collection of mp3s that provide James White's lectures on church history. (Here is the Link!) There are about 50 or so lectures there, so enjoy!
04/03/2013 - Jeff DownsA few things I want to mention this morning:
Here is a short video of Dr. Scott Oliphint describing his new book, and the use of the term "Covenantal" Apologetics as opposed to "Presuppositional" apologetics. I personally like the term "covenantal apologetics" because of the theological implications. Lord willing, in about month I begin reviewing Dr. Oliphint's new book. Oh, I guess I should mention the book itself: due out July 2013 is Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith (Crossway).
After you watch the above video, check out How to Answer the Fool: a Presuppositional Defense of the Faith (due out in May) which features our friend Sye Ten Bruggencate. Need to insert "covenantal" in that title. :)
Bill McKeever and Aaron Shafovaloff (of Mormonism Research Ministry) have been responding to the video with Richard Mouw and Robert Millet at Eerdmans: Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.
Theology: The Foundation of Philosophy (Updated)
01/18/2013 - Jeff DownsFor the Christian, the mind of God (found in His Word) should ground and permeate our philosophy, and any other discipline we may engage in. Herein lies the differences in apologetic methodologies. So...
An interview with Dr. Scott Oliphint was released today from Christ the Center, on the topic and titled of his book Reasons for Faith: Philosophy in the Service of Theology.
Click here to listen to the interview, and don't miss the articles linked on this page.
One more thing...
Last night, I noticed that J. Warner Wallace of STR and Please Convince Me, commented on some reaction to his new book by a "presuppositionalist." What stood out what this comment, by Wallace "If the missionaries had taken the approach offered by some of my presuppositional brothers, I might have trusted the Book of Mormon without testing." I am glad that Mr. Wallace qualifies his statement with "some...presuppositional brothers".
The point of Mr. Wallace's post, is that evidential apologetics is what convinced him. Again, he does qualify this by stating that "...I have repeatedly affirmed the role that God plays in first removing the enmity that all of us have in our natural, fallen condition. Iíve never argued that humans begin from a position of neutrality. I think we are, instead, aligned against God until he does something to remove our hostility." Amen, brother! He then states "But once that has occurred, I do believe the role of evidence is critical." Me too, and no Van Tillian, presuppositionalist, Covenantal apologetist should have any trouble with this. As a matter of fact, as I recently stated, that since this is God's world, everything in it (every bit of evidence, fact, etc.) must point to His existence and the truthfulness of the scriptures. Now, to qualify that statement; it is with a mind being sanctified to think God's thoughts after Him, that we see God's work in the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that in them is. Which is why, we as Christians, should be some of the best scientists, etc.
Mr. Wallace ends his piece by stating, "Iím grateful for my evidential detective inclinations because they guided me to the truth. God moved first, I responded with the evidence God provided. Iím at home with evidentialism because the evidence brought me home."
Mr. Wallace seems to acknowledge that God "moved first", but then ends up with the idea that the (plain) evidence is what finally convinced him, or in his own words, "brought me home." Now, I'm not exactly sure what he means by "brought me home," but I'm convinced, that what Mr. Wallace meant to say, is that it was God, working through the evidence, that brought him home. God uses means (such as the preaching of the word) to bring us to faith, but it is always, the Spirit working through these means.
I would recommend our readers (and J. Warner Wallace) to check out the recent article by Nathan Shannon titled Christainity and Evidentialism: Van Til and Locke on Facts and Evidence. If presuppositionalists are against evidence, then I'm no presuppositionalist, but the fact of the matter is, this is God's world, and he has made himself known (Roman 1:18-26).
With that said, although not having read it, I would encourage you to check out J. Warner Wallace's new book Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. Congratulations Mr. Wallace on this publication, please continue to show us, how all the facts of the universe, point to the true and living God.
Update: Joshua Whipps comments on Wallace's post here.
The Flood, Dinosaurs, YEC, Oh My!
12/26/2012 - Jeff DownsLately, I have gotten quite interested (again) in creation, the flood, dinosaurs and other matters related to science and the Bible. I have been quite impressed with most of the material I've looked at, and not so impressed with others. I'll admit that I'm a YEC, and what has interested me most in the past couple of weeks, has been the formation of the Grand Canyon and the existence of Dinosaurs and how these things speak to God's judgment, his power, and the beauty of creation. The Bible declares that God created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them (Ex. 20:11); therefore, all of creation testifies to His existence.
I want to recommend some resources on these issues, and would encourage you also to take a look at them:
This book was recommended to me for introductory matters. Not sure if I care for the first part of the title, but there is nothing I can do about that: The New Creationism: Building Scientific Theory on a Biblical Foundation, by Paul Garner. More on introductory matters, I would recommend Science: The Whole Story; an interview (video) with Dr. Danny Faulkner.
There are some excellent journals and magazines such as Creation Magazine, the Journal of Creation (technical). Answers in Genesis produces Answers Magazine and Answers Research Journal (technical and online). There is also the Journal of Creation Theology and Science Series B: Life Sciences and Acts & Facts. There may be some other publications, but the ones mentioned will keep you busy.
Let me also recommend some video resources that I have been blessed by. First is the Origins program. The host interviews scholars such as Steve Austin, Danny Faulkner, and Andrew Snelling. Second, I would recommend the videos from Northwest Creation Network. This organization posts videos from past conferences from men such as Michael Oard, John Byle, Jonathan Sarfati, among others (some I know, others I do not know). Video from CMI are located here and children's videos can be found here. This his enough to keep you busy.
There are other organizations to keep up with such as Tas Walker's Biblical Geology site and local Creation Study groups, like the one in Greenville, SC.
Sabbath, Apologetics, and More Apologetics
12/14/2012 - Jeff DownsI hear that everyone interested in apologetics arises early in the morning. I like to get up around 4am, although that certainly doesn't happen every morning. Well, if you think 4am is early, then 8am is late. So, you will not miss the radio debate that will take place tomorrow morning between Drs. Joseph Pipa and Craig Blomberg. The topic will be the Sabbath. Both Drs. are contributors to Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 Views. For further information on the debate click here.
A few other resources I'd like to mention:
Earlier this year, Dr. Carl Trueman spoke at the RCA Integrity Conference (I'm just learning about the audio) on an important topic all of us should be interested in. Here are his two sessions:
A Few Good Men: Lessons from Paul on Preserving Orthodoxy
Overstaying their Welcome and Other Signs of False Teachers: Some Early Church Thoughts on Unity and Confession.
BTW, Carl Trueman participated in a debate yesterday evening with the Chairman of the Board of the Bertrand Russell Society. Dr. Truman commented on the debate today on Ref21, here is my favorite part of the post:
"Do not tell me that we are a random bunch of atoms and then try to impose your myths on me. Do not create a morality in your own image and then try to give it some objective, transcendent status. A random world does not give privileged status to the moral myths of an upper class English proto-hippy. Do not tell me that serial killers are morally worse than aid workers. At best, you might say that you find them personally more distasteful."
One (among many) resources I I'm looking forward to next year is a new book from Crossway authored by Dr. Scott Oliphint titled Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith. Oliphint is the author of The Battle Belongs to the Lord and Reasons for Faith: Philosophy in the Service of Theology.
Also, Dr. Oliphint participated in a conference back in October at Shiloh OPC in North Carolina. The audio is located here and includes a session on The Problem of Evil.
The following audio is a bit dated, but in case you are not aware of it, Michael Butler taught a course titled "Biblical Presuppositional Apologetics" which is available here.
Also, Jerry Crick (for professor at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) has an apologetics course online titled "Reformed Apologetics and Scripture" These lectures are located here. Don't miss his course on The Scientific Method. Dr. Crick died this year. For further information on this click here.
BTW, I have mentioned the upcoming GPTS Conference on the Doctrine of Man (it's worth mentioning again), but did not mention a conference that Lane Tipton and Vern Poythress recently participated in, on the Doctrine of Man. I would not agree with some things I heard (e.g. I hold to a 6 literal-day creation, Dr. Tipton does not), but it is always worth taking the time to listen to both of these men. Click here to listen.
A recent edition of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (Summer 2012 Vol 16 No 2) includes an article by Travis Kerns titled "Who Is This Jesus? An Examination of the Christology of the Latter-day Saints." Also a recent edition (2012 | Volume: 35) of the CRI Journal, Brian J. Wright and Tim Ricchuiti's article appears, titled "Jehovahís Witnesses and John 1:1: New Evidence Advances the Discussion."
That's all folks!
Inerrancy and the Gospels
11/05/2012 - Jeff DownsObviously (typing with tongue-in-cheek), with the recent republication of the exchanges between James and Mr. McKinsey on this blog, professor Vern Poythress, of Westminster Theological Seminary has made his brand new book Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible available free of charge. Grab the PDF by clicking here.
You can also purchase a hard copy of this book by clicking here
Serious Bible readers all recognize that there are differences between accounts of the same events in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and no responsible reader can simply sweep these differences under the rug. But can all of the accounts still be reconciled with a belief in biblical inerrancy?
Responding to the questions surrounding the gospel narratives, New Testament scholar Vern Poythress contributes a worthy case for inerrancy in the gospels and helps readers understand basic principles for harmonization. He also tackles some of the most complicated exegetical problems, showing the way forward on passages that have perplexed many, such as the centurion's servant, the cursing of the fig tree, and more.
All those interested in the authority of Scripture will find in this volume great encouragement and insight as Poythress has provided an arresting case to stem the tide of skepticism.
(HT - Domain for Truth)
Biblical Theology, Trinity, etc.
08/31/2012 - Jeff DownsThere are a few resources that need to brought to your attention, if you don't already know about them.
First, you should know that Stuart Robinson's Discourses of Redemption is back in print. And as far as I know, the GPTS bookstore is the only one in the US that currently has this in stock. As a matter of fact, this book is back in print with the help a professor at GPTS. Another professor reviewed this book here in which he says "If this book is brought back into print, I encourage you to buy it." Well, now you have the chance.
Second, many of us have enjoyed the works of G. K. Beale such as Temple and the Church's Mission: Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God, his commentary on the book of Revelation, the worked he edited with D. A. Carson Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. A less known work (perhaps it is understandable), but worth reading is We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry. A recent work of Beale is his A New Testament Biblical Theology. Well, now Beale has provided us with a book on his methodology - how he comes to his conclusions in Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation. You can check out some of the pages by clicking here.
Third, given the fact that I collect systematic theologies, this Puritan Theology: A Doctrine of Life edited by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, will be a welcomed edition. Here are some sample pages.
On a related note, last week PRTS held their annual conference, and this years theme was "The Glory of the Father." The conference is now over, but you can already enjoy the fruit of it by going here. In particular, I would suggest Ryan McGraw's lecture titled The Need for a Trinitarian Piety. If I remember correctly, Joel Beeke mentioned that Derek Thomas' lecture Seeing the Father in the Face of Jesus was worth the price of the conference. I can promise you one thing, this conference will not be all head and no heart - the word will be applied to both.
Fourth, James mentioned Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and his recent comments about evolution, creation and our children. If you do a quick online search you will find a number of responses, but I'll mentioned a few here. This one is from Answers in Genesis. The guys of at Choosing Hats have two responses: this one and this one. Dr. David Menton was on Issues, Etc. yesterday. That interview is located here. I've been waiting for CMI to speak on this issue, but so far they have not. I'm sure there are other responses worth mentioning, but these will get you started.
There are probably some other important resources that could be mentioned today. In fact, I'm sure I could be here all day mentioning them. Well, ok, one more. Today, the guys over at The Reformed Forum released an interview with Lane Tipton on the topic of Nature/Grace Dualism, dealing with that which "undergirds much of how the Catholic church thinks through issues of anthropology, epistemology, and even cultural engagement." Click here to listen.
1 Timothy (Course with Dr. George Knight, III)
06/28/2012 - Jeff DownsIf you are not familiar with George Knight's commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, you will want to purchase it now. After (or before) purchasing the commentary, tune into the course I finished uploading today on 1 Timothy that Dr. Knight taught at GPTS a number of years ago.
The audio is pulled from the video of the class, so I do apologize for the quality (you'll probably have to turn up the volume). I am planning in the near future to upload three more courses taught by Dr. Knight (the rest of pastoral epistles and Hermeneutics). The course is located on Sermon Audio here.
On another note, this commentary on Romans in the Pillar series is now available. Here are sample pages.
Scripture & Seminary
03/12/2012 - Jeff DownsIf the above two topics pique your interest in the least, you will want to tune in live to the 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm.
The two evening sessions will be (Lord willing) broadcast live on Sermon Audio. If you click here at 7pm tomorrow, you will hear Dr. Paul Helseth on the topic "Scripture, Inerrancy, and the Role of Reason"; and 7pm on Wednesday, if you click here you can listen to Dr. Joseph Pipa on the topic a "Biblical Rationale for a Reformed Seminary."
Paul Helseth is the author of "Right Reason" and the Princeton Mind: An Unorthodox Proposal. And Dr. Pipa is the president of GPTS and author of numerous books including The Lord's Day
For further information on this entire conference you go click here
Princeton and the Old Testament/Confessing Our Hope
02/29/2012 - Jeff DownsFor the readers of this blog who have not heard about the new podcast of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, I am now informing you.
The name for the podcast is Confession our Hope. The RSS feed is located here, on iTunes here and on Sermon Audio here.
There are four episodes so far, the latest (posted today) dealing with "Princeton Seminary and the Old Testament", with Dr. Ben Shaw. Dr. Shaw's interview was a taste of what you'll hear at our 2012 Spring Theological Conference on the theme A Commemoration of Princeton 1812-2012.
I know you will enjoy this podcast, so give it a listen.