Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Today on the DL: Ergun Caner's Biography Comes to Light, Your Phone Calls (Including Pierre!)
03/30/2010 - James WhiteStarted off reviewing this piece of investigative work that helps to shed a lot of light on Ergun Caner's claims relating to Arabic as his first language, living in only "majority Muslim countries" prior to coming to the US (must have been when he was two years of age), coming here via "Beirut and Cairo," all that time he spent as a three year old training in the madrassa in Turkey after being born in Istanbul (Sweden), etc. I would like to think this information would finally prompt the powers-that-be high up on Liberty Mountain to have a little talk with Dr. Caner and let the rest of us know what the real story is, but---we will see.
Then I responded to a portion of the debate from last week about assurance of salvation, then we started taking our calls. Our first caller related an exchange with Dr. Brown on Genesis 50:20 that was most interesting (Aaron has been studying Hebrew for a number of years now), and then we chatted with Pierre, our LDS caller for a while. He wanted to comment on William Lane Craig's assertions that I played last week. A most interesting call! Then we finished off with a discussion of Genesis 4:7. Here's the program.
Don't forget Thursday we start an hour early for the second half of the debate with Michael Brown! Be listening then!
Monergism vs. Synergism on the DL Today
03/25/2010 - James WhiteToday kicked off the two-part debate between myself and Michael Brown. I suppose it is the classical Calvinist/Arminian debate, but I prefer the monergism/synergism description myself. In any case, we covered John 6, Romans 8-9, and Ephesians 1 over the course of 90 minutes. It is fast paced with very little break in the action, that's for sure. Next week we do it again, this time with a set of verses Michael has chosen. Here's the program.
Don't Forget: Dividing Line Debate with Michael Brown at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT
03/25/2010 - James WhiteDon't forget the 90 minute exegetical debate today with Dr. Michael Brown, live on the Dividing Line, 10am PDT! That is an hour earlier than the normal Tuesday time slot. There will not be a later program at the regular Thursday slot. No, we will not have time for calls. We will be working hard to get everything into only half an hour on each of these great texts as it is!
Today on the Dividing Line
03/23/2010 - James WhiteSo, just who is Robert Price? Well, most of our listeners only know him as the guy Bart Ehrman dissed on the Infidel Guy show. I decided that needed to change, so, I played two portions of the 1999 debate between Price and William Lane Craig on the resurrection. I felt his opening statement, and his rapid-fire answering of at least a dozen questions offered in a row from the audience, gave a good idea of the challenge I face in May in Tampa. Here's the program.
Yesterday on the Dividing Line
03/19/2010 - James WhiteA two-part program with no phone calls---not because no one called (two folks did), but because I opened a second tab in Safari and forgot to switch back to the phone control tab, so I did not even see that there were callers! So much for my vaunted infallibility (as if I had ever claimed it!). Anyway, two portions to the program: first half a review of William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris talking about developments in Mormonism, and their view that you don't call Mormons to repent of following a false prophet and come to the true and living God. No, the approach you should use is to encourage them to be...a little less heretical. In fact, we were told that we should help them to find ways to "finesse" the teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young so that, well, they can still be "Mormon" but be more "orthodox" in the process! An incredible discussion.
Then I played the comments of Joseph M. Holden and Brian Brodersen regarding 1 John 5:1, 2:29, and 4:7, in their most concerted effort offered so far to defend their man-centered synergism. Here's the program.
Today on the DL: William Lane Craig, Kevin Harris, Joseph M. Holden
03/18/2010 - James WhiteI have an ambitious schedule today as I want to play comments by William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris on the subject of Mormonism and the effort to help them become, well, "more orthodox." These comments came from the Reasonable Faith podcast of 2/16/2010. This is a classic example of abandoning a biblical paradigm, the apostolic example, and the use of a philosophically-oriented replacement, all the while painting those who would follow the biblical mandate as "anti-Mormons." Given that Alpha and Omega Ministries has been involved in this field of ministry years before these men, this is a must-do response. All those who work in evangelizing Mormons know how central these topics really are.
Hopefully that will not take more than twenty-five minutes or so, so that I will have time to address the comments of Joseph M. Holden, M.Div., president of Veritas Seminary, as he attempted to respond to the 1 John 5:1/ordo salutis discussion that has come up on the Pastor's Perspective program a few times over the past month. These comments were offered on a program with Brian Brodersen just a few weeks ago. This is the most serious attempt they have made to actually respond to my argumentation, and as such, provide an important opportunity for serious thinkers to examine the claims of both sides. Should be a helpful program, Lord willing! So listen in live!
Also, a quick word of correction (before we get the graphic fixed) about the upcoming Dividing Line episodes with Michael Brown. The dates are 3/25 and 4/1, as noted. However, 4/1 is a Thursday. Both will be an hour earlier than the normal Tuesday time so that Dr. Brown can do his own program at his regular time (we are much more flexible with webcasting than he can be with his network commitments), hence 10am PDT/1pm EDT. The program will run 90 minutes, no breaks, to get maximum presentation, discussion, and interaction. I have chosen three texts for us to discuss on one program (John 6:35-45, Romans 8:28-9:24, Eph. 1:1-14) and he gets to choose the texts for the other program (at the moment I only know the "all" passages will be included as a group). Our goal is to have a more textually oriented exchange, more focused than the programs we did before. I'm looking forward to them!
The Way Back Machine is Running
03/17/2010 - James WhiteFor those interested, we are digitizing old Dividing Line programs from around 2000 and live-streaming them at the regular DL link. Some folks are really enjoying the look back, so feel free to join in! Here's the link.
Today on the Dividing Line: Ergun Caner Update, Robert Sungenis on Predestination, Calvary Chapel
03/16/2010 - James WhiteDid the DL live from Kansas today, covering a brief update on the Ergun Caner front, reading an e-mail sent to Robert Sungenis and his answer for most of the hour, and the closing with the caller who had called the Pastor's Perspective show and asked about Ezekiel 36 and the heart of stone and the heart of flesh (if you recall, he did not get even a pretended answer to his specific question). Here's the program.
Today on a Special Monday Edition of the Dividing Line
03/08/2010 - James WhiteCouldn't let some folks have withdrawals for nearly two weeks (and I wanted to comment on a few things myself!) so we did a special Monday DL today. I started off looking at Ezekiel 36 and 37 and the beautiful presentation of God's work of regeneration in the New Covenant displayed therein. Then we listened, without interruption, to a nine minute clip from the 2/25/2010 Pastor's Perspective radio program with Brian Brodersen. A caller called in and asked about how they would understand God taking out the heart of stone and giving us a heart of flesh if their "free will" position was correct. I felt bad for the caller: he never got an answer. What he got was a classic example of mis-direction, eisegesis, and "our tradition says this, so the Bible could not possibly be saying that." Our one caller asked about another text in Ezekiel, and that finished out our time. But before taking that call, I played a section of another Ergun Caner sermon where he not only claimed that he had only lived in majority Muslim countries prior to coming to the United States (Sweden today is not a majority Muslim country, and it surely wasn't back then) but claimed Arabic was his language prior to English---a claim directly contradicted by his 2/25/2010 published statement on his website. Which is the truth? Only Dr. Caner knows. Here's the program.
A Monday DL...Early (10am MST)
03/07/2010 - James WhiteSince I will be traveling both Tuesday and Thursday, we will do a special, early edition of the DL tomorrow at 10am MST (9am PST, Noon EST). I did not get a chance to play the "quote the text, quickly move therefrom" response of the men on the Pastor's Perspective program when someone called in to ask about the heart of stone and the heart of flesh. That has to be heard to be believed. See you tomorrow morning!
Calls, Calls, and More Calls, on the DL
03/04/2010 - James WhiteIt was a caller-driven show today. I had cued up some Robert Price material, but the calls started early and kept coming. We even took some Skype calls for the first time (the sound quality is amazing!). Covered a very, very wide range of topics, from divorce and remarriage to preparing for apologetics, the meaning of true forgiveness, etc. Something for everyone! Here's the program.
What I Am Looking at During the DL
03/04/2010 - James WhiteThought I'd share with you what I'm looking at while doing the Dividing Line:
Today on the Dividing Line: The Southern Baptist Convention, Ergun Caner, and 1 John 5:1
03/02/2010 - James WhiteBut not quite in that order, thankfully. A lengthy call took up most of the program, focused upon the Caner situation and the need for simple integrity in being honest about what you say in the field of apologetics. A caller at the end shifted the topic to 1 John 5:1. I'm a bit surprised at the responses I have received to the discussion of this text. There seems to be some very strong resistance to any concept of God being the one who raises dead sinners to life. Must have saving faith within the sphere of human capacity, or so it seems. I sure am glad I've joined the Lazarus club: those who are very thankful the Son of God is not dependent upon human cooperation to bring about the resurrection of dead sinners! In any case, here's the program.
Ways to Contact Us on the DL Today
03/02/2010 - James WhiteI mentioned last evening that we are going to be doing some new things on the DL today. First, I will have Twitter up, so you can contact me with your questions at @DrOakley1689. Then, we will be trying to use Skype today as well. Here is the Skype address: dividing.line. That's how you can get in with your call. I hope this will increase the number of over-seas participants in the program. In fact, today, the one system that is most questionable due to technical issues is our phone system! But, we hope to have that working as well. Join us at 11am MST, 1pm EST!