Dear Dr. White,
If not for your ministry, I would surely not be an apologist today…
I remember attending a Bible study taught by our mutual friend Tim Staples on the subject of the book of Ephesians. He was saying things about what “your Protestant neighbors” believe. As one of those “Protestant neighbors” I didn’t hold to a bunch of stuff he said, so I challenged him afterward. That discussion blossomed into Tim quoting the Bible in Greek, quoting the Early Church Fathers and pretty much leaving me beaten and bloodied on the floor (figuratively, of course).
“Never again,” I said, and steeled myself for the hard road of getting up to speed in language, history and exegesis. Not long afterward I had listened to a bunch of your debates and lectures streaming on the old straitgate website. This incited my Aomin store buying spree where I bought almost everything I could and listened on my long Los Angeles commutes.
Within a year I was posting on online forums learning to apply apologetics to people and not just to arguments. I had a regular diet of the Dividing Line and that encouraged me to learn Greek and read what of the ECF I could. Getting a grip on philosophy and method was next.
I ended up a staff member on Apologetics.com and regular radio panelist on their weekly show. Now that I’m a regular co-host of the show I still use the lessons I learned from you. Whether it’s how to do exegesis (The God Who Justifies), how to understand Mormonism (Letters to a Mormon Elder, your lectures on the subject and the articles section of Aomin), how to engage in clear discussion with Catholics (too many resources to name!) or simply how to get up when people knock you down and keep proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there’s a bunch of James R. White pulsing through my apologetic veins.
So when you agreed to come on my show, I felt like I had an opportunity to let other people know of your work for the Kingdom, and give others a chance to benefit from your tuition.
Attached is a cell phone pic of you and I at the Shabir Ally debate at Biola. For all you and Rich have done to keep me on a steady diet of solid apologetics, thank you.
Eirene kai agape,
Alpha and Omega Ministries is a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. James White, director, is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics for numerous schools.