Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Every Reference to Jesus in the Qur'an on Today's DL
09/28/2006 - James WhiteI decided to read over every text in the Qur'an that mentions the name of Jesus on the Dividing Line today. I thought that would only take a portion of the program, but I ended up barely sneaking it into the normal time frame! Many folks in our chat channel found the program tremendously educational. I hope you do, too! Here's the program.
Today's Dividing Line
09/26/2006 - James WhiteStarted off with some discussion of the Catholic Answers forums again, specifically, the use of the phrase "anti-Catholic" by that organization. Then took a few calls and moved on to Ahmed Deedat and his claim that Mohammed is the "spirit of truth" in John 14 and 16. Here is the program. Thursday's program, as far as we can tell, will be at the normal time, though, you never know!
Quick Note on Tomorrow's DL
09/25/2006 - James WhiteFar too many people are adjusting to the current schedule of the DL, so we must change things around to keep you confused! Of course, the upcoming time change will do that on its own, I suppose (well, we don't play with our clocks here, as you know...but most of the rest of you do). Seriously, we need to change tomorrow's DL time to the normal Thursday time, that is, move it to the afternoon slot at 4pm MST (for the time challenged, that's 4pm PDT, 7pm EDT, and those in between can figure it out for themselves).
Also, just a quick note to say I enjoyed my brief trip to Toronto, hope the saints were blessed, enjoyed briefly meeting Derek Thomas and Bruce Waltke, had a great time with all the folks from channel who showed up for the conference, and I'm now trying desperately to make progress on absolutely drop-dead, "must be done NOW" projects. For that reason I have not even fired up the Catholic Answers forums, Envoy, and am not even looking carefully at my blog feeds, since I just don't have time to be distracted. Besides, I've noticed a trend over the years: if you keep responding in a context like last week the quality of what comes back at you drops precipitously. Unless you just shut it down and let the wild-eyed folks find some new target for their venom, it will only get worse. I've had a few Roman Catholics contact me and apologize for their compatriots, and I do appreciate that. In my experience for every one Mitch Pacwa there are a dozen Vinney Lewis/Art Sippo types. You have to respond to both, and it can be a challenging task.
A Tremendously Informative Program
09/21/2006 - James WhiteMy sincerest thanks to Dr. Jim Renihan for joining me on the program today. We discussed the London Baptist Confession of Faith, John Owen, and all sorts of related topics, including the active and passive obedience of Christ (did you know Baxter opposed that language out of fear of offending Roman Catholics?). A true pleasure to have Dr. Renihan with us. Here's the program.
Just a quick note, I doubt I will be able to do much blogging or even responding to e-mails until next week. I am not feeling well but despite that am traveling to speak in Toronto, so I will be doing what I can to get as much rest as possible so as to not fall ever farther behind over the next two months.
Tomorrow on the Dividing Line!
09/20/2006 - James WhiteI will be joined tomorrow by Dr. Jim Renihan of the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. Dr. Renihan joined me in defending the resurrection in debate against John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg last year (as seen above). Dr. Renihan is a well known scholar of Baptist history and he will be discussing with us the great John Owen, as well as other things, as we will take calls the last portion of the program. So be listening at 4pm MST, 7pm EDT, for Jim Renihan on the DL.
09/19/2006 - James WhiteI could not have scripted a more accurate portrayal of the mindset of so many who populate Roman Catholic web boards and forums than what was displayed on the program today. Miki called. In fact, she called an hour early, just to make sure of the time. And as you will hear on the program, I let her have all the time in the world. I let her say all sorts of things that I could easily have challenged her on, but finally, we had to get down to business. Remember the character of her e-mail:
Incidentally, when I was young and stupid and didn't have a proper religious education, I used to listen to you and read your books and articles--and *then* I read the Early Fathers and Eusebius and discovered the *real* truth...that you don't (and never have) have a clue what the "truth" is. The Truth, Love, is Catholic(since that *is* the New testament Church)--and the sooner you quit with the arrogant, misological pride and shenanigans, the better off you will be. So,my actual purpose for writing, I just wanted you to know that I just finished reading your site section on Catholicism and, minus the *egregious* errors and misrepresentations which you present as "facts", I found it to be uproariously entertaining! Not very informative, but *blissfully* funny for all of its ascerbic ranting blowhard-ness and Scriptural cluelessness. The reason your audience is "getting smaller", James, is because they *are* listening to GOD--and He doesn't like His lambs being poisoned with lies like yours. If your audience is as small and smaller, as you say it is, it's because that is *His* Will. Praise GOD for small favours!!! Anyway, thanks so much for the laughs--it's been very entertaining--this site is as funny to read as a Watchtower magazine! (I'm in tears and my jaw aches! ;O) ).... In His Grace, and praying for your conversion, MikiI was going to edit that down to just the lines with insults and put-downs, but that did not end up shortening the note at all. Every line contained them. So anyway, I had half expected something along the lines of, "Oh, by the way, let me apologize for the character of my e-mail. I'm very sorry. I went way over the line." Well, we did not get that. Nothing close. In fact, she would later glibly accuse me of lying that I had received e-mails from Roman Catholics who complained about my having posted her rude e-mail (obviously, she hasn't bothered read my blog, or, maybe, she thinks I make these things up). When I finally broke in I began asking for the only thing that would warrant her e-mail: examples. Documentation. Where have I egregiously misrepresented Rome? And that's when the wheels came off. No matter how long I waited, how many different ways I asked, one thing became painfully clear: the woman who claims to have talked to Jimmy Akin and other leading apologists before calling the program, the woman so willing to write nastigrams filled with mockery and insult, did not have a clue about what she was talking about. She could not give the first example, on anything. She mentioned purgatory, so I asked her if she had listened to my debate with Stravinskas. She admitted she has not listened to any of my debates. She kept saying she would not debate, which means, of course, that debate is a rather malleable word in her mind that can also mean "reason" or "answer necessary questions to back up my nastigram." And finally she had the temerity to offer to debate me in a month! I could barely suppress the laughter at the hubris of this woman who has not listened to any of my debates, evidently never read a single book, has no care or concern to even realize that I am doing three major debates a month from now, and yet she would dare to ask for a month to back up her nastigram's claims in a "debate"? Oh my goodness, please, folks, whatever you do, no matter what Rome's apologists say, never write to them and treat them the way their folks treat us. Learn from Miki's meltdown and take the high road. Anyway, then she started the "I'm going to keep talking over you and monopolize this though it is your program thing" which, I point out, is really silly, since I have control of the phone lines. We moved on to the next call from an Eastern Orthodox priest, followed by calls on Calvinism and the upcoming Caner debate in Lynchburg. A full program to be sure! Here it is.
One other thing. One of the "laughable" things Miki mentioned was that I'm saying the same things today I was saying in the early 90s. Now, I can only imagine that what that is supposed to mean is that from her perspective I've been refuted on all that, and therefore, I'm beyond reason. But, of course, she then admitted that she hasn't bothered to listen to the debates to know if I've been refuted or not! She is only going on what she reads from Roman Catholics. I take it as a badge of honor that I'm saying the same things today I was saying back then. I was focused upon the key issues then, and I've stayed focused on them till now, and I intend to remain focused upon them. It is not a mark of solid apologetics to be wandering about the landscape changing your tune ever few years just to attract some new market! Anyone who compares the debates I did back then to the more recent ones will, I hope and pray, see growth, but the topics cannot change, since the truth does not change. God help us to remain consistent in defense of the Gospel!
A Miki-Less DL
09/14/2006 - James WhiteWell, we tried, but no Miki today! So, no uproarious entertainment, but still three great calls, all on the same topic, Roman Catholicism. We talked a lot about church history, doctrine, dogma, debates--you name it. Even addressed the "why you don't invest time with Robert Sungenis anymore" question. It would be a great program for all my critics over at Envoy and the Catholic Answers forums to listen to--but then again, my experience is that those folks don't listen in the first place, so that is probably not going to happen. In any case, those who did found it very useful. Here's the program.
Today on the DL
09/12/2006 - James WhiteToday on the DL I discussed a response written by Robert Sungenis (found here, #13) to a single line found in my August 21 blog entry. It has been posted on the Envoy forums and was forwarded to me by another Roman Catholic who began the e-mail with these words, "Great job Mr. White! Simply dismiss any philosophical, logical distinction between latria and dulia. I guess that your contra dulia/latria argument would work if you could first prove the novel, anti-orthodox, anti-scriptural, heretical position of sola scriptura." I began the program discussing this e-mail, and then moved on to examining the pro-homosexual argument that is used to get around Romans 1, the main "Clobber Passage" as they like to put it. Here's the program.
Today on the Dividing Line
09/07/2006 - James WhiteFinally got the Lynn/Spong interview finished today, and then spent the rest of the program discussing the Jehovah's Witnesses with a caller from Florida. Here's the program.
Regarding that Citation of Calvin
09/05/2006 - James WhiteOn the DL today a claim, made by an odd, off-beat Internet cult, came up. I promised to look into it. The cult leader enlists Calvin in his campaign to de-canonize 2 Peter (because 2 Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture, and his main goal is to attack Paul and the Pauline corpus), and I was asked about this by a caller. I managed to track down the claim on the group's website, but it only gave a reference to Metzger, not to Calvin. So I looked up Calvin, and here is what he actually said:
The doubts respecting this Epistle mentioned by Eusebius, ought not to keep us from reading it. For if the doubts rested on the authority of men, whose names he does not give, we ought to pay no more regard to it than to that of unknown men. And he afterwards adds, that it was everywhere received without any dispute. What Jerome writes influences me somewhat more, that some, induced by a difference in the style, did not think that Peter was the author. For though some affinity may be traced, yet I confess that there is that manifest difference which distinguishes different writers. There are also other probable conjectures by which we may conclude that it was written by another rather than by Peter. At the same time, according to the consent of all, it has nothing unworthy of Peter, as it shews everywhere the power and the grace of an apostolic spirit. If it be received as canonical, we must allow Peter to be the author, since it has his name inscribed, and he also testifies that he had lived with Christ: and it would have been a fiction unworthy of a minister of Christ, to have personated another individual. So then I conclude, that if the Epistle be deemed worthy of credit, it must have proceeded from Peter; not that he himself wrote it, but that some one of his disciples set forth in writing, by his command, those things which the necessity of the times required. For it is probable that he was now in extreme old age, for he says, that he was near his end. And it may have been that at the request of the godly, he allowed this testimony of his mind to be recorded shortly before his death, because it might have somewhat availed, when he was dead, to support the good, and to repress the wicked. Doubtless, as in every part of the Epistle the majesty of the Spirit of Christ appears, to repudiate it is what I dread, though I do not here recognize the language of Peter. But since it is not quite evident as to the author, I shall allow myself the liberty of using the word Peter or Apostle indiscriminately. (Commentary on 2 Peter)
Calvin recognizes the historical debate and the fact that there is a lot of difference between the style of 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Anyone who has translated both books knows this to be true. The fact that we have a named scribe in 1 Peter (Silvanus) is important, of course. In any case, Calvin does not throw 2 Peter out of the canon, as was suggested, and really adds nothing to the discussion that had not been said before him.
A Caller-Driven DL
09/05/2006 - James WhiteNever even started a sound clip today as our callers drove the program. First call was on the Church of Christ and the use of instruments in worship; the second was about an off-the-wall little group that denies the inspiration of the Pauline writings (involving a great deal of multi-tasking on my part--hope my replies made some sense), and the third was on the nature of "wine" in the Bible. As I said before I started my reply there, do not even think I'm going to waste my time on that argument. Do not bother writing, complaining, or anything else. I answered as best I can but I have zero interest in getting mired in that mess. Anyway, here's the program.
Woops, Forgot to Link the DL!
09/01/2006 - James WhiteBeen a bit distracted! On our "let's move it to Friday" DL I started with reviewing another Dave Hunt example of "Tradition Gone Wild!" Then we continued with Barry Lynn interviewing John Shelby Spong. Here's the program.