We had the largest group on the Veendam, 149 folks in all. Here’s the group picture from formal night.
   As I mentioned, I hope to play a few clips from the Spong debate tomorrow on the DL. But one of the comments he made that really caught the attention of many was his repeated assertion that everytime, during the audience questions, that I spoke of redemption, forgiveness, atonement–in other words, when I spoke of the gospel–he replied, “I hear a lot of guilt in what Dr. White is saying” or “I hear judgment over and over again.” And all the Christians in the audience are nodding and saying, “Yes, you are—if you don’t know guilt, if you don’t know judgment, you won’t be looking for a Savior.”
   Of course, those on that side of the cultural divide truly live in a world of double standards. They scream for inclusion, but exclude any kind of Christian worldview in the process. They demand freedom to express any kind of perversion they wish, but demand that the Bible be labeled as hate speech. An item I saw in my blog run this morning, and one noted in #prosapologian, illustrate the point.
   First we have this story about a Missouri State University student punished by school officials for refusing to sign a letter supporting homosexual adoption. Professor Frank G. Kauffman “assigned to his students a project promoting homosexual foster homes and adoption. The project required the entire class to write and individually sign a letter to the Missouri Legislature in support of homosexual adoption, a letter Brooker refused to sign due to her religious objections.” Now, focus on what is said next in the article: “On Dec. 16, 2005, Brooker faced a two-and-a-half hour interrogation by faculty members, who allegedly asked her personally invasive questions such as, ‘Do you think gays and lesbians are sinners?’ and ‘Do you think I am a sinner?'” Sound familiar? Can you see the real motivation behind these actions? Thankfully, things turned out properly in this case, though, one must wonder how often “academics” get away with this simple persecution of believing Christians.
   Then we have good ol’ Elton John calling for the banning of…religion! Here are his comments. You won’t find a scintilla of logical thought, historical understanding, or consistency, but then again, would you expect to? I repeat: this kind of stuff does not bring the wrath of God. It is the wrath of God being poured out upon men. Judgment has already begun, and it is taking a great toll upon the society that continues to exemplify its love for all things ungodly. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” is not an insult, it is a description of men whose foolish hearts have been darkened.
   Moving on to other things, I see Rich is working diligently in getting our debate and conference audio and video materials ready. The conference began with a tremendous exposition of the primacy of preaching from Scripture delivered by Pastor David King. Just as Jim Renihan’s opening presentation last year on the inspiration of Scripture set the tone for the rest of the conference, so too David’s presentation did this year as well. I was tremendously grateful to have such fine brothers as Don Kistler, David King, and Steve Camp on the cruise, and of course, Tom Ascol and Burk Parsons at the conference. I do hope all who were there were blessed and edified. I am truly thankful that we have been blessed by God to have a long history of providing important, sound presentations on vitally important topics for years now. We have resisted the temptation to go after the “sensational” and we have concentrated on that which has eternal importance. May He bless us to always keep that perspective in mind as we plan future events and outreaches.
   Finally, now that I have access to my scanner, I thought I’d provide one more formal picture. The nice thing about a cruise is that they have lots of photographers on hand during the two formal nights, so, if you want to get a nice picture, you can do so without all the hassle of most
photography places who try to sell you big huge packages and the like. Of course, any picture I take with my lovely wife will make me look better!

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