Dear Dr. White and Mr. Pierce
I am currently serving in the Army in the Middle East on my third tour (fifth, if you count pre-9/11 deployments). I am in a special ops unit and in my job, I travel extensively around the country and interact closely with the local population. As a result, I am not able to attend church very often while I am deployed. I rely heavily on books and my iPod to provide me with Christian teaching, encouragement and a steady diet of biblical exegesis during these times. It can be very difficult to resist discouragement and bitterness when you are cut off from the public means of grace and Christian fellowship for a long time while simultaneously dealing with friends and acquaintances who are killed or severely wounded in the line of duty. I’ve seen up close and personal the horrors of what the Islamic religious/political dream of a society really looks like in a real world situation. I’m not talking about the war, I’m talking about the day to day life of rank and file Muslims and the brutality which I believe to inherent in the Islamic worldview. It is truly disheartening to see western, secular liberals falling all over themselves to accomodate and frantically bow and scrape before Muslims in an attempt to appease them. They can never be appeased except through Islamic dominance and dhimmitude of all other peoples. They are engaged in a strenuous effort of delusion and self-destruction of Western civilization.
But that is not why I wrote this email. I wrote to let you know that your work has had an incredible influence on me ever since I became a Christian while in drill sergeant school in the mid-90’s. The articles, books, tapes and now, iPod broadcasts have provided me with the tools I need to be confident and encouraged in my Christian walk and have called me back to a life of holiness when tempted to stray over and over again. As a direct result of your ministry, I’ve had the opportunity to debate Roman Catholic students while in college and grad school, engage in countless street evangelism ministry opportunities, teach Sunday School classes (using videos of your debates as examples of how to engage various viewpoints), and engage in evangelism to Mormonism and Catholics (the communion in which I was raised). I once helped lead a team to Nauvoo, Illinois during the dedication of the temple on the site of the original to hand out tracts and talk to Mormons. Your book “Letters to a Mormon Elder” and “The Potter’s Freedom” were required reading for those who wanted to attend during the train-up classes (as well as the Westminster Confession of Faith and, of course, copious Scripture). I don’t take pride in any of this because I was merely following what I felt was your example in trying to be consistent with my professed faith in Jesus Christ, which is the example of the Reformers, the early Church Fathers and of course, the apostles. I’m only an unprofitable servant, doing what little I can do. I only tell you this because I want you to know what an impact Alpha and Omega ministries has had on my life.
Your book, “The Potter’s Freedom” was instrumental in leading me out of the church I was converted into (Plymouth Brethren) into the PCA. I was licensed to preach in the PCA and am currently serving as an elder in my home church….My wife is Reformed, my Christian friends and family always get your books as gifts, and my children are being catechised daily using the WSC during family worship. I’ve been strongly convicted by your ministry of the need to present a consistently CHRISTIAN apologetic for the faith when I interact with unbelievers, and I have labored to study men like Bahnsen, Van Til, Reymond and other presuppositional apologists. When dealing with cultists and false religionists, I’ve been strongly convicted by the demand to be honest and fair in knowing and accurately presenting my opponent’s position, which has led me to read and study Mormon Scripure and publications, the Quran, and Catholic Magesterial publications As a lay preacher, I fear the day I will stand before God to give an account for what I have taught others and I know I can always count on my worn out James White books when I cover texts you have exegeted.
Now I don’t want you to think that I only rely on you. I read the Puritans, Dabney, Calvin, Luther, Knox and Edwards as well as well as many others. But if I had to point to one ministry that has most affected my very small and feeble efforts to minister to the people of God and labor in the Word, I would without hesitation point to Alpha and Omega ministries. You have been a strong encouragement to me and a strong rebuke when I am tempted to be lazy or lax in my Christian walk. I pray for you and your ministry, your family and your health. I am so glad that you have started engaging Islam and have done so by learning Arabic and studying the original sources. Your recent work has been very helpful in witnessing to Muslims I come into contact with while over here. If you ever wonder who you are reaching or if you have made any real impact, then please rest assured that for me and those around me, your work has been tremendously used by God in changing people’s lives and equipping us for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the Body of Christ.
I hope to be back home in North Carolina by the time the “Truth War” conference kicks off in Durham, and I pray that I will be able to attend. I’m sure you will receive tons of emails like mine and will not remember this one. But that’s OK. I would like to simply shake your hand and thank you for your labors. God bless you and your elaborate staff (that’s a joke, by the way).
Forget this one? Hardly, this one is in my “top ten.” I pray God will preserve your life and allow us to meet next month.