Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Today on a Jumbo DL: Response to an Open Letter on the Profanation of Marriage and a Call to Tyler McNabb to Repent and Return to the Gospel
07/31/2012 - James WhiteA fast moving jumbo DL today with basically two portions. In the first, I responded to this open letter on the subject of the profanation of marriage. Then we talked about this example of anti-Christian activism, and this amazing statement from the Mayor of DC. Then we moved over to a response to Tyler McNabb's apostasy as announced on his blog here. I made note of a blog article by Jon Speed relating to Tyler's apostasy here. I examined Tyler's argumentation, and called him to repentance. We finished up with an exhortation to keep one's eyes upon Christ and His gospel, and to not be discouraged when people go out from us (1 John 2:19). Here's the program.
Dear Wide-Eyed Tiber Swimmer:
07/30/2012 - James WhiteI visited the Tiber a few years ago. It was green. Looked disgusting. I imagine there is some bad stuff in that water, and once you get it in your eyes, well, it really messes with your vision. Assuming the best, that you will eventually get that stuff cleared out of your eyes, and your head, I'd like to give you some helpful guidance for that day when you find out things are not quite as advertised in the City on the Seven Hills.
See, once you get your vision back, you are going to discover that the primary appeal that got you to swim the river, that unity thing--well, it's bunk. It's all fiction. It doesn't exist. It is like a puff of smoke: try to reach out and grab it, locate it, and it's gone. Oh, you can find some like minded folks here and there, maybe an entire parish pretty much on the same page, but you can find that on the other side of the Tiber, too. Entire denominations worth. But the fact is, the Big Papa Man speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He has to. He's got lots of folks to keep "in the tent" so to speak. So you can find a huge amount of disagreement over there on that side of the Tiber. Go to those called "theologians" and you will find rank liberalism and heresy on every hand, even on the part of those chosen to sit upon Pontifical councils and the like. It's all politics, it's all power, and everyone knows it. Just pop on into some classes at Boston College, Notre Dame, or any of a thousand other "Roman Catholic" institutions of higher learning across the globe. Get your fill of the liberalism, the unbelief, the questioning of Roman dogmas, the secularism, the women's studies---you name it. It's all there, and everyone knows it. And here's the big secret: Big Papa and his Popettes turn a blind eye. Oh, once in a blue moon they will send the renamed Inquisition after someone, just to throw a bone to the conservatives, but in reality, they know they cannot do what they should to get rid of those folks. And so they keep on teaching, keep on educating, if that is what you call it.
Not only do you have that kind of disunity, but do be careful not to get yourself in between the Dominicans and the Franciscans and the Jesuits and any number of other groups when they start, you know, doing the unity thing. You could end up getting run over! Also---and this is very important---do not ask any of the really big questions, you know, the ones Rome has not figured out yet, despite infallibility and apostolic succession and being able to answer questions nobody ever thought to ask in the first couple hundred years of Church history, like all about Mary's virginity and stuff. Don't ask about predestination and election and that kind of biblical stuff, because, you see, while Rome can have absolute certainty about things like Mary's physical state after giving birth, when it comes to biblical topics, her tradition is pretty shallow. I mean, you'd think after two thousand years she would have found time to infallibly interpret most of the Bible, but, so far, according to lots over on that side of the river, she's only gotten to seven verses, and some folks say she hasn't even started the process! So all that unity and guidance you thought you were going have---sorry, it was pretty much just false advertising. Hope you are not too disappointed.
Dave Hunt: Repeater of Fully Refuted Fables
07/30/2012 - James WhiteI suppose it is possible the folks at the Berean Call are just recycling articles these days. But I was directed this afternoon to an article in the July 2012 newsletter from TBC titled "Calvinism's Surprising Catholic Connection." There is nothing new here, it's the same tired and refuted material we encountered in Debating Calvinism. Dave's willingness to use the most egregiously shallow historical argumentation on this topic, sadly, gives reason for anyone to question anything else he has done on many other important topics. Many of us tried to warn him, but he refused counsel. In any case, Hunt opines in his current newsletter:
In my debate with him [see resource pages], James White claims that “Calvin refuted this very passage in Institutes, and any fair reading of Augustine’s own writings disproves this misrepresentation by Hunt.” In fact, Calvin acknowledged the authenticity of the statement and attempted to defend it as legitimate reasoning for those who had not the assurance of faith by the Holy Spirit.Of course, Dave has refused, consistently, to debate me. In fact, he refused to even appear on radio with me after the book came out, knowing full well he cannot defend his position in my presence. He was very angry the one time we ended up on the air together, as he protested he had not been told I was going to be on! We did the KPXQ program together, which led to his writing of What Love is This?, and then we did the book, and since then, he has refused numerous invitations to do a formal debate. Obviously, that, now, will never happen. ...
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The 33,000 (Woops, Now 36,000) Denominations Lie Exposed...Again
07/29/2012 - James WhiteTyler McNabb, a former Protestant who has decided to do the "cool thing" and apostatize, has shown he is to be taken as anything but serious by including in his "why I converted to Romanism" announcement the following statement:
The principle of sola scriptura is not only self-defeating but the consequence of this doctrine is the creation of over 36,000 denominations.
[Note: Mr. McNabb, after posting this, edited it, without notation, removing the specific number, and instead replacing it with this:
The principle of sola scriptura is not only self-defeating but the consequence of this doctrine has had a large impact in the creation of over thousands and thousands of denominations.Note the change from directly asserting sola scriptura created over 36,000 denominations with "has had a large impact" in the creation of "thousands and thousands of denominations." Obviously, Tyler knows he cannot defend the 36,000 number. He knows it's a lie. But---where's the retraction and acknowledgement of the truth?]
I had to roll my eyes when I read this. It is so fallacious, so fully refuted, and has been for so long, that whenever you find anyone---Tim Staples, John Martignoni, Patrick Madrid, Steve Ray, and the wide-eyed Tiber Swimmers like Mr. McNabb---repeating it, you are listening to someone who simply should not be taken seriously. They are either dishonest (like Ray), or so shallow and cavalier on the matter of truth that they are willing to repeat anything in the service of Mother Rome. To find something like this in someone's conversion story (note, again, not a conversion story to Christ, but to Romanism, which itself says a great deal) reveals a lot about the level of study they have done and hence gives you a good basis upon which to judge the "weight" to be assigned as well. I may take the time to examine this statement on the DL on Tuesday, we will see. But, once again, to make sure everyone knows that the 33,000/36,000/whatever number the Romanist comes up with/ is a simple lie without defense, see here and here for full documentation.
Faith in the Darkest Night
07/28/2012 - James WhiteBack in January of 2011 I taught a module in Owensboro at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies. My primary student contact, and one of the folks who gave me transportation, took me out to eat, etc., was Justin Kline. There is video, somewhere, of his baby daughter, shall we say, burping on my shoulder. I learned only this afternoon of a dark providence in his life, and the life of his lovely wife and their family. We all walk through the shadow at times, and those dark paths take different forms for each of us, as our heavenly Father conforms us individually to His will and the image of Christ. Justin and Rebekah are in the valley right now, to be sure, but God has sustained their faith. Here is the video of the memorial. It is heart-wrenching, yet, for believers, so much a part of who we are in Christ. The world simply cannot comprehend.
May God bless Justin and Rebekah and all the faithful folks back in Owensboro.
Yesterday on a Jumbo Edition of the Dividing Line
07/27/2012 - James WhiteStarted off with more reporting on the spiraling insanity and depravity of Western culture expressing itself in open hatred of Christian morality and ethics, especially in the abuse of the term "discrimination." Then we started to take calls, and, well, though I wanted to get back to the Abdullah Kunde response, the calls kept coming and we filled up the rest of the time with them. Good calls on a wide variety of topics. Here's the program.
And don't forget the WayBack Machine, streaming Dividing Lines from 1998 onward 24/7! You can listen on the Flash Player found here.
Open Letter to City Councilman James Kenney
07/27/2012 - James WhiteThis is in response to Mr. Kenney's July 25th letter, found here. It seems he decided to try to out do Boston with his invective and intolerance. And people say there is no anti-Christian sentiment being expressed! Amazing.
Two thousand years ago a man named Jesus lived and taught amongst the Jewish people. He was asked one day about marriage and divorce. Historically, the Jewish view of marriage had been based upon the words of Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." History does not record for us anyone in the Jewish community who had ever suggested that these words be amended to read "father and father" or "mother and mother." In fact, history records for us no one at all who attempted to teach, as a Jewish teacher or rabbi, that the prohibitions against homosexuality laid out in Scripture should be abandoned or rejected. And though the Jews had, in their traditions, relaxed the stringent standards of those first words of institution of marriage in Genesis, Jesus' answer would have none of that. His words are well known, and I would refer you to them:
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:4–9)
Mr. Kenney, these words reflect the viewpoint of every single one of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, do they not? And how about every President of the United States up to, but no longer including, the present occupant of that office? Or more importantly, how about a very large number of the constituents in your own city who happen to take very seriously the teachings of Jesus?
Your letter to Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A of July 25th is, quite simply, sir, an outrage. It is an outrage in its incoherence and its underlying message. In sum, it is intolerant, bigoted, and filled with prejudice---all of the things you accused Mr. Cathy of communicating. Though I doubt you took the time to check the accuracy of the press reports of Mr. Cathy's statements, if you had, you would have known that he expressed with clarity, and care, a simple Christian viewpoint of marriage. His words were sober and fair, unlike yours. A comparison, indeed, of his words and tone with yours is amazing, to say the least.
I often wonder how people who promote the redefinition of marriage under the guise of "civil rights" can so abuse history, logic, and language. You accuse anyone who disagrees with you of intolerance. You say Chick-fil-A can "take a hike and take your intolerance with you." You do realize, I hope, how utterly intolerant your attitude is, right? You speak of his expression of his personal opinion as one of "intolerance and hate." You do realize, I hope, that your letter is an excellent example of intolerance and hate? You speak of discrimination, yet, if you are familiar with the actual meaning of the word, you do realize you are engaging in anti-Christian discrimination in your letter and your stance?
You clearly believe that the younger generation is enlightened and is "shedding the prejudices of past generations." When was the last time, sir, you talked to a member of the younger generation who had taken any serious time whatsoever to be familiar with the thinking, actions, morals, and world view of "past generations" so that their abandonment of their morals and ethics would have the slightest relevant weight or value? You do realize that you are revealing, with your words, a frightening willingness to condemn those who came before us, those who sacrificed and built this nation, and who did so utterly convinced of the necessity of morality and ethics, especially in the area of sexuality and the family? Have you read the writings of the Founding Fathers and their constant refrain that this experiment in liberty can never, never succeed if it is not accompanied by the highest standards of virtue and morality on the part of all of the citizens of the United States?
The reality is, sir, your letter is a shameful example of the anti-Christian intolerance and bigotry that has taken a very deep root in our society, and yet, I truly doubt you are even fully cognizant of that reality. I exhort you, sir, to consider well the responsibilities of your office and hence to refrain from the expression of such anti-Christian bigotry in the future. And more importantly, for the sake of all that is good and right, to reconsider your support for the redefinition of the very first institution established amongst men by their Creator.
An Open Letter to Mayor Menino
07/27/2012 - James WhiteOn July 20th you sent a letter to the President of Chick-fil-A. In it you misrepresented Mr. Cathy's published statements, as has been documented by numerous news outlets. Mr. Cathy had expressed, in respectful and measured words, his Christian conviction, based upon the Christian Scriptures, that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, so-called "traditional" marriage. And it is a fact that Chick-fil-A donates some corporate profits to organizations that defend and promote the Christian view of marriage, just as many major corporations donate to organizations that seek to redefine marriage in opposition to Christian beliefs.
You indicated to Mr. Cathy that his company is not welcome in Boston. You accused him of making "prejudiced statements" and even seemed to indicate that the entire company engages in "discrimination" and hence is not welcome in Boston. These are, of course, very serious charges.
So I would like to ask you, Mr. Menino, how you can substantiate these allegations in a logical, truthful fashion?
The fact is you do not like Mr. Cathy's beliefs. You are free to dislike them, but do you realize that his views are held by a very large number of Americans and that, up until very recent decades, represented the vast majority of the American population? That every single signer of the Declaration of Independence would have blushed at the idea of redefining marriage as the union of two men or two women? That every President of the United States up until the current President likewise viewed marriage, not as you, but as Mr. Cathy, that is, to be the union of one man and one woman? And I wonder, sir, if you considered how many believing Christians there are in your city who, likewise, follow the teachings of the faith on this matter? Are they now unwelcome to do business in Boston as well, I wonder?
My main question to you, sir, is, would Jesus be welcome in Boston under your leadership? What if He were to start teaching in the city square? You see, He upheld the law of God found in the Hebrew Scriptures, and identified those sacred writings as the very speech of God. No one in the Jewish community before Him, or for many, many centuries after Him, ever spoke against the positive teaching of the Scriptures found in Genesis 2:24 regarding what marriage was designed, by the Creator, to be, that is, the union of one man and one woman. There were no pro-homosexual advocacy groups in ancient Israel, and Jesus never for a moment gave the slightest indication of support for the overthrow of the institution of marriage as God had ordained it. In fact, He upbraided the men of His day for having relaxed the stringent guidelines God Himself had provided for this, the first institution God established amongst men, the covenant of marriage. Are you familiar, sir, with what Jesus said on the topic? Listen to His words:
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
Jesus the Messiah, the founder of the Christian faith, believed that God defines gender, and gender roles, and that by His creative right. He described the family as God designed it to be, a father and a mother, producing life. The process then continues on, those children produced by that marriage themselves entering into that sacred union. He even said it is God who joins together man and wife. It is a divine act. That was Jesus' teaching.
So Mr. Menino, I have a simple question for you. Are you opposed to the teachings of Jesus? Would you call Him prejudiced? Was He engaging in "discrimination"? Would He be unwelcome in Boston today? It surely seems you are angry at His disciples, and do not wish them to have the freedom to express His teachings, let alone do business in your city. And finally, do you not see that in fact it is your attitude that is prejudicial, and that you, in reality, are engaging in discrimination, based upon your ethical and moral viewpoints?
We Need Three!
07/27/2012 - Rich PierceFor almost thirty years Alpha and Omega Ministries has operated with no more than two employees and great volunteer support. Today, by God's grace the ministry has grown and the demand for James to travel to debates and speaking engagements all over the world is ever increasing. This has lead the board of directors to ask me to find a way to add employee number three.
The primary responsibility of this third employee is to assist in the planning and scheduling of James' ever increasing schedule so that he can stay focused on research, writing and equipping the saints through the all of the facets of this ministry.
Barry Ladden, who is the current Vice President of the ministry, has agreed to step in to this position. Barry has already been volunteering on a part time basis as James’ assistant and will take on additional, pressing ministry needs. For example, our MP3 shopping cart is desperately in need of reorganization so that folks like you can have an easier time finding the important recordings that you are looking for and Barry will be taking the lead in making that happen in our upcoming transition to a new website and shopping cart.
Although the need has been identified, the budget does not yet exist to fund this third employee. This is why we are reaching out to you. Please take a moment and consider providing your financial support in order to make this happen. Below we have created a PayPal link where the proceeds will be designated to be used for just this position. One time gifts are obviously important and welcome but we would also ask that you consider becoming a repeating donor to provide on-going support for this ministry need. Call me if you would like to setup a repeating donation schedule at 877-753-3341 ext 327.
Not Headed to Dallas in October
07/26/2012 - James WhiteI was contacted yesterday about a problem with my upcoming trip to Dallas for a debate with James Anderson, a very kindly and, in my few interactions with him, reasonable and thoughtful Oneness advocate. We had arranged the debate because I was going to be speaking at the Psalm 119 Conference with Todd Friel and Phil Johnson and others. Well, as we all know, Phil has had to cancel all his speaking engagements for the foreseeable future, so he wasn't going to be able to make it. Issues arose that likewise have precluded my participation.
I do hope all those who are planning to attend Ps119 will still do so, as it will undoubtedly be even better without a crusty old bald apologist there. I will still be in Delaware and Detroit in October, Zenia, Ohio in November, and St. Charles, once again, the first weekend in December, as always. Then don't forget the ministry in Hephzibah, Georgia, the week after, along with the debate with Anthony Buzzard.
[This is an edited version of what was previously posted.]
Omar Qayum and the Charge of "Misogyny"
07/25/2012 - James WhiteOmar Qayum is a volunteer at the North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF). Today he posted an article on the MDI blog taking issue with various events in Canada. I read through the article over lunch, and just about choked on my pasta when I ran across this section in response to Roman Catholic Michael Coren:
I challenge Michael to refute the following blatantly misogynistic passages in the New Testament as they are precisely why Catholic women are forbidden from becoming ordained priests:I included that last line because of the great irony it represents. I won't get into the Taliban blowing up schools for women, or how many women I see on the net who have had acid thrown in their faces, or the young woman run down by her dad in a car in a post office parking lot here in the Phoenix area a few years ago (an "honor killing"). That's too easy. What I wanted to do was point out the absurdity of identifying any of these NT passages as "misogynistic." Talk about redefining language! And what is more...I thought Islam maintained that there are definitely gender specific roles that are part of God's ordained order? So how do any of these texts engender hatred of women? How is having order in the home indicative of hatred of women, or how is order in the church, or a recognition of the normal calling of God for women to nurture children and care for the family, indicative of hatred of women? And finally, how can a Muslim make this kind of argument?
►men are the heads of women, 1 Corinthians 11:2-10
►women are to be submissive to their husbands, Ephesians 5:21-24
►women are to remain silent in church, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
►women are not to have authority over men, 1 Timothy 11:15
►women are to be domestic, Titus 2:4-9
It is sad to see how we have degenerated into a society of extremes and ignorance.
Of course, the answer probably lies in failed sarcasm, at least, I hope so. I hope our writer was simply being sarcastic and, well, just didn't do a good job making that clear. Unfortunately, given my experience with many Muslims and their general attitude toward the Christian Scriptures, it is truly hard to say.
For Those Seeking Ministerial Training
07/25/2012 - James WhiteMy friends at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies are making available a Basic Training program that many of our readers might find to fit your needs perfectly. Click here for information!
Response to Jason Stellman
07/25/2012 - Tur8infanJason Stellman has officially announced his intention to join the Roman communion at the "Called to Communion" blog. However, in the meantime, that post has been removed. It's unclear why it was removed, but the following are comments on the post that was put up on July 24, 2012.
Part of me has wished for a while now that I was born early enough to have been a fan of The Clash back in the Seventies. The first song I ever heard by them (several years after its release) was their cover of Sonny Curtis’s hit, the chorus of which goes, “I fought the law, and the law won.” Despite being a fairly law-abiding guy, I can relate to being on the losing side of a battle, only mine was not against the law, but against the Church.
I do agree that Jason has lost a battle. Abandoning a church of the Lord for Rome is always a loss. But the war is not over for Jason. He has the opportunity to repent of this error and return to Christ.
As many of you know, I recently resigned from my pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America (you can read my resignation letter here, as well as some clarifying posts here and here). My stated reasons for stepping down were that I could no longer in good conscience uphold my ordination vow that as a PCA minister I sincerely accept the Westminster Confession and Catechisms as containing the system of doctrine taught in Holy Scripture. More specifically, I no longer see the Reformed doctrines of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide as faithfully reflecting what the Bible teaches, which is why I will, Lord willing, be received into full communion with the Catholic Church sometime in the next several months.
a) Stellman's ordination vows (assuming his were typical) also included a vow of subjection to his brethren in the Lord. It is unclear whether Stellman intends to fulfill this vow by submitting to the discipline of his presbytery, or not. While it is commendable that he eventually fulfilled his vow to alert presbytery to his changed views, such obedience is only partial fulfillment of his vows.
b) It is interesting that Jason seems to premise his change of position on his private judgment regarding what Scripture teaches. However, if Jason actually joins the Roman communion, he will be required to give up his private judgment of Scripture.
c) It's an obvious non sequitur to deny Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide and consequently say, "Rome!" Even if Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide were wrong (which they certainly aren't), it wouldn't follow that Rome is right. Rome is defined by a lot more than just rejection of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Moreover, there are plenty of religions beside that of Rome that reject those doctrines. Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, and many others could be listed. ...
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The Dizzying Effect of the Tiber on the Mind
07/24/2012 - James White
More specifically, I no longer see the Reformed doctrines of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide as faithfully reflecting what the Bible teaches, which is why I will, Lord willing, be received into full communion with the Catholic Church sometime in the next several months.
Let's ponder this a moment. Scripture never directs us to a higher authority than God's own voice, and identifies itself as theopneustos, God-breathed. Scripture tells us we are justified by grace, by faith, and by the blood of Christ, and that works can never justify. But...that is not what the Bible actually teaches.
What does it teach? It teaches about an infallible Magisterium, and the bishop of Rome; it teaches about an oral tradition no one can identify but which existed outside of the Bible (and, in the case of the Marian dogmas, outside of---everything); it teaches about transubstantiation in all its Aristotelian glory, a never-perfecting sacrifice of Christ, propitiatory sacrifices overseen by men called alter Christus ("another Christ"), purgatory, satis passio, (the suffering of atonement in purgatory), indulgences, and the whole range of Marian dogmas and corollaries including de fide definitions of beliefs utterly unknown to the Apostles or the first ten generations of Christians. Yes indeed, that's what the Bible teaches because, of course, once you lose confidence in the Word, well, the Word becomes the slave of whatever authority you submit yourself to. And Rome has said it, therefore, that's what you are to believe.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:Now remember, that's unclear. We can't really know what it means, or trust what it says. We need an infallible interpreter, which has instead given us these clear, compelling and truly apostolic words:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
(Romans 4:3–8 ESV)
1. The doctrine and practice of indulgences which have been in force for many centuries in the Catholic Church have a solid foundation in divine revelation which comes from the Apostles and "develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit," while "as the centuries succeed one another the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."That is from Indulgentiarum Doctrina, a post Vatican II document defining, and defending, the doctrine of indulgences. I challenged Jason Stellman to read it. He hadn't when we met. I'll be honest, I sorta doubt he took up my challenge. Not that reading this kind of stuff will dissuade someone who has lost their foundation and are grasping for anything, but for most folks, these words are sufficient warning of the emptiness of Rome's non-gospel. They are so plainly non-apostolic, so plainly contrary to everything the Apostles cherished and proclaimed, that to believe them is to show, clearly, the true direction of one's heart. But, in any case, when you hear a wide-eyed Tiber Swimmer talking about how the Bible doesn't teach sola fide, remember that what they are really telling you is that you can't know what the Bible really does teach, and that what you should believe is what you just read from Indulgentiarum Doctrina. And once you realize that, well, you realize what Romanism really is.
For an exact understanding of this doctrine and of its beneficial use it is necessary, however, to remember truths which the entire Church illumined by the Word of God has always believed and which the bishops, the successors of the Apostles, and first and foremost among them the Roman Pontiffs, the successors of Peter, have taught by means of pastoral practice as well as doctrinal documents throughout the course of centuries to this day.
2. It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments.
Thus is explained the "treasury of the Church" which should certainly not be imagined as the sum total of material goods accumulated in the course of the centuries, but the infinite and inexhaustible value the expiation and the merits of Christ Our Lord have before God, offered as they were so that all of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. It is Christ the Redeemer Himself in whom the satisfactions and merits of His redemption exist and find their force. This treasury also includes the truly immense, unfathomable and ever pristine value before God of the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, who following in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by His grace have sanctified their lives and fulfilled the mission entrusted to them by the Father. Thus while attaining their own salvation, they have also cooperated in the salvation of their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body.
Today on a Jumbo Edition of the Dividing Line
07/24/2012 - James WhiteStarted off discussing the continued moral schizophrenia of Western Culture and the continuing progression of NewSpeak, the evisceration of the language (diversity and inclusive becoming their own antonyms), and then got a few more minutes of Harry Knox's comments covered as well. Then we shifted gears after a break and I responded to Abdullah Kunde's article here. Here's the program.
Dear Jason: the Church Won? You Didn't Even Throw a Punch, My Friend
07/24/2012 - James WhiteJason Stellman just announced his defection to Romanism in these words:
More specifically, I no longer see the Reformed doctrines of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide as faithfully reflecting what the Bible teaches, which is why I will, Lord willing, be received into full communion with the Catholic Church sometime in the next several months.Just a few weeks ago I leaned over and looked Jason in the eye. He was sitting on the couch in my office, a matter of feet from where I am sitting right now. I'm sure he noted with some humor my lava lamps, which would have been directly behind me as I spoke. "If you are going to Rome, go all the way. Mary, Popes, the whole nine yards. Then debate me on it." He laughed.
As I sadly read the above cited words I could not help but shake my head. Jason knows the Apostles did not teach what Rome teaches on so many things. He knows there wasn't a single person at Nicea who believes what Rome requires him to believe de fide today, and that he has to buy into a massively complex, easily challenged house of philosophical cards to keep the Roman authority system standing. I do not understand what drives the kind of agnosticism about the authority of God's Word that has driven him into a system that offers no peace and no finished work of Christ. He refused to defend Romanism when we talked, he only wanted to pose hypotheticals that Rome has no meaningful answer to. But in any case, I can report with honesty that I gave it to him straight: if he went to Rome, he was abandoning the gospel, abandoning his call, abandoning all that is good and right and just and true, for a man-made system of endless penances, alter Christi, non-perfecting sacrifices, satis passio, and enough mythical dogmas about Mary to make the devotees of the Queen of Heaven blush. It will not satisfy, it will leave him empty and forlorn, once that initial "honeymoon" phase is over. When he sees it from the inside, when the glow of the New Convert Syndrome wears off, he will see he has accomplished nothing outside of the destruction of his own ministry and the trust others had placed in him. It is sad to see, but he will have to testify: I warned him clearly, and without compromise. I even asked him, "Has anyone else spoken to you with as much passion?" "No" was his reply.
Immature Christians are often troubled by conversion stories like Jason's. Look! A minister joined Rome! Look, another joined Islam! Another became a Mormon! Look how many have left the faith and become agnostic or even atheist! There must be something wrong! Such immaturity is borne out of an ignorance of the context of the early Church. The little epistle of First John shows us that even during the days when the Apostles still lived, apostasy was rampant. Opposition was everywhere. False teachers flourished. And the young Christian body could see, out there in the fellowships of the anti-Christs, those who had once stood with them and made a profession of faith. Has Christ failed? Is the Gospel without power? No, the problem here is a false assumption: that it is God's intention for the church to ever live in ease, without opposition, without false brethren and false teachers to battle, without persecution from the world, and tribulation within. No one who seriously reads the NT literature would come to that conclusion, but sadly, that is the idea many have. John told the young believers,
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.There is a reason for apostasy: "so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." The gospel drives out the hypocrite, the false professor. In fact, if hypocrites and false professors are comfortable in your church, then you have a good reason to question whether the gospel is being preached with clarity and power. Christ knows His sheep. They hear His voice. They do not listen to a man who claims to be the Vicar of Christ, who arrogantly allows himself to be called "Holy Father." They are satisfied with His Word, which is why false teachers tirelessly seek to inculcate dissatisfaction and distrust in the Word. That is how they get the false disciples to follow them. And we see it happen every day. We should expect to see it happening every day. It is a fulfillment of God's Word.
(1 John 2:19)
For more on 1 John 2:19:
What Will it Take for Mideast Peace? You Tell Me
07/23/2012 - James White
Ah, good ol YouTube...always concerned about community values, yes? Can't rock the boat! Thankfully, the clip is still around. Click here.
In the Midst of a Tough, Chaotic, Pressure Filled Monday Morning...
07/23/2012 - James WhiteThe heavens declare the glory of God...
Taken just north of the Carefree Highway on New River Road at 5:27am this morning on a 72.11 mile ride that took 3:49:11. Man could I feel the dew point at 66! Seven more weeks to endure!
Paul Williams And the Charge of "Extreme Fundamentalism"
07/22/2012 - James WhiteI am truly disappointed by this, but I am accustomed to it. I hope that it speaks loudly to the Muslims who know better, and know that we have provided a critique that must be answered by the current Islamic apologists. After confirming that he has left the Muslim Debate Initiative (I have no knowledge of why, though I find it ironic that it comes so closely after his debate with Chris Green in which he made a number of easily refutable arguments) he writes,
I will not be debating James White. He is an extreme fundamentalist with no credibility in the wider academic community. Muslims who continue to debate him give him a spurious credibility he does not merit.
Let's examine this for a moment. To my knowledge, Paul Bilal Williams is not a published author. I am unaware of any books he wrote as a Christian, and I am unaware of any books he has written as a Muslim, hence, I don't think he has any of his works used as textbooks in English speaking schools. During his period as a "Christian," to my knowledge, he did not teach any graduate or undergraduate level theology classes, Church history classes, or classes in the introduction of, and exegesis of, the original languages of the Bible. And though he has done a few debates, they have been on a limited variety of topics, as far as I know.
Now, over the years we have seen a long, long line of folks avoid debate challenges from me in this very fashion. And as we have examined the presentations of those folks, we have seen the real reason why they will not put their arguments to the test of public debate. Karl Keating and other Roman Catholic apologists have likewise thrown out the "fundamentalist" card, though, of course, in this case, the term is being used by a man who was once a part of a Baptist Church in London (I have debated there) but who seems to have adopted a new perspective, one that enshrines liberals as the definition of "serious" Christianity. Of course, this, coming from a man who believes Muhammad rode a winged steed to Jerusalem only shows, once again, the fact that Islam's defenders live in two different worlds. They simply do not see how they are utterly inconsistent on these matters.
What does it mean to be a "radical fundamentalist" I wonder? I know what the Fundamentals were, a century ago, and outside of the eschatological aspects specifically attached to a premillenial view of the end times, I guess I am a Fundamentalist. I believe in God, in revelation, in the Bible, in the Incarnation, in the Virgin Birth, in the resurrection of Christ, and in His promised return to earth. So Paul Williams won't debate...Christians? I think Chris Green believes all those things, too. Why did he debate him, I wonder? And doesn't Paul Williams believe in God, revelation, the Qur'an, the Virgin Birth, and Muhammad as the final prophet? In fact, doesn't he believe Jesus formed birds from clay and breathed on them and turned them into living birds, an extra-biblical story found in gnostic writings that ended up in the Qur'an? Does that make him a "fundamentalist" as well, I wonder? Would any of the "critical scholars" he likes to quote believe Jesus did that? There's that nasty double standard again!
The fact is, Paul Williams knows---he well knows---that the arguments I am making, both in defense of my faith, and in criticism of Islam, are beyond his capacity to answer. He cannot exegete the original languages, and his knowledge of Church History is scant at best. As I will demonstrate, both on the Dividing Line, and in public presentation in London, the arguments he presented against Chris Green are fallacious to the core, and rather easily refuted as well. They illustrate clearly that Paul Williams, when professing to be a "Christian," had a very shallow knowledge of the faith he professed, or, he is dishonestly misrepresenting the faith he once professed and actually knew. I will allow the reader, and the listener, to decide that particular issue. But in any case, I am sorry the folks in London will not get to hear Paul Williams' responses to my criticisms. Evidently, he doesn't think they are worth his time. When we post the material on the Internet, we will see how many others agree.
John 12:32 in Context
07/22/2012 - James WhiteOne of the most common excuses offered by synergists to the plain teaching of John 6:44 is to jump over to John 12:32. Do they have a basis for doing so?
Gay is NOT the New Black
07/20/2012 - James WhiteRead, absorb, communicate, distribute, repeat.
Today on a Jumbo Dividing Line: Radio Free Geneva and Radio Free Damascus!
07/19/2012 - James WhiteOK, I was going to divide the program up evenly, with 45 minutes on each topic, but...I lost track of time and ended up going one hour on my review of Pastor Rogers' anti-Calvinism book, and only thirty minutes finishing up listening to the cross-ex with Abdullah Kunde on Surah 5:44ff. Next week I intend to get back to the Harry Knox materials, too. My apologies for having left that off for a while, but there is just so little time and so much to cover! Anyway, here's the program.
A Short Response to Wesley Norris
07/17/2012 - Alan KurschnerWe have all heard the repeated misrepresentations and maligning of Calvinism, so it is easy to become blasé over time when we hear it again. But we must have stamina to continue to respond and challenge them. Certainly, there are times when wisdom calls for ignoring them. But there are times when we are called to defend our Lord's character when his free grace is slandered.
That being said, recently I encountered an anti-Calvinist, Wesley Norris, who is bent on defaming Calvinist theology on the Internet by calling it “heretical” and falsely claiming that it teaches “that God actually chose people to go to hell for His glory.”
He is woefully ignorant of what Calvinism teaches, for he conveys in his assertion of what it teaches that it is God’s fault that sinners go to hell. That is simply a falsehood. Calvinism teaches that it is sinners who send themselves to hell. And God is glorified in his loving grace to save freely undeserving sinners for himself, and he is glorified in the righteous judgment upon deserving sinners that he did not freely save. The former receives mercy and the latter receives justice. E.g., Rom 9:6–24.
Today on a Joint Mega DL: Radio Free Geneva and Radio Free Damascus
07/17/2012 - James WhiteWent for two full hours today, starting off with Pastor Rogers' new book, Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist as our subject in an hour long edition of Radio Free Geneva. Then we took a break and came back with an hour long edition of Radio Free Damascus, first offering some comments on Paul Bilal Williams and his comments in last week's debate in the UK, and then returning to Abdullah Kunde's comments on Surah 5 and then on the "I am" passages in John. May need to wash, rinse, and repeat for Thursday, as there is much to cover! Here's the program.
And don't forget the WayBack Machine, streaming Dividing Lines from 1998 onward 24/7! You can listen on the Flash Player found here.
Reference Materials for the Dividing Line ...
07/17/2012 - Tur8infanFor those following along with the current Dividing Line, the following link provides the reference materials (link).
The Great Scandal of Christianity? A Counter Proposal
07/17/2012 - James WhiteThis morning I had the privilege of listening to the debate that took place between Chris Green and Paul Bilal Williams. I will be addressing the debate on the Dividing Line, for I was truly amazed at what I heard. Chris Green did a fine job, for a Brit! I do believe my British brethren need to have a little more strength to their assertions, to be honest, but that is often not the "British way." In any case, I was disappointed in the debate for a more basic reason: I had read glowing reports from Muslims who attended, but what I heard was little more than the "same ol' same ol'," the utter and total reliance upon liberal attacks upon the Bible and New Testament in general while rejecting the consistent application of the worldview of such scholars to the Qur'an and Islam. Absolute fulfillment of, "Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument," but now that it seems "Inconsistency is the sign of Islamic dawah as practiced by MDI." Of course, I don't think there is any way out of it for them: their ultimate authority makes a claim that is unsustainable logically or historically, hence, both logic and history, and hence consistency, has to be sacrificed to hold the system together. But it seems the majority of Islamic apologists have abandoned even the semblance of "equal weights," and enjoy revving up their base with frequent quotations of "conservatives" like E.P. Sanders (yes, seriously, it was suggested by Williams in this debate that E.P. Sanders is a conservative).
In any case, toward the end of the debate (time index starting 1:32:50), Williams spoke about the "great scandal of Christianity." He repeats the standard lines about how "all scholars" (echoing Bart Ehrman, who limits all "critical scholarship" to those who embrace a naturalistic approach to Scripture and reject, out of hand, any concept of inspiration or therefore harmonization, taking as the default "contradiction" rather than "consistency") view the gospels in a particular way, how "all scholars" see John as a-historical and late and hence unreliable, etc. and etc. Oh, and anyone who disagrees? Just a "fundamentalist" (the irony of someone who believes the Qur'an to be the very Word of God, unchanged, without historical development, and such things as the Isra, Mi'raj, and the existence of the Buraq, the Jinn, etc., calling someone else a "fundamentalist" as a pejorative is rich indeed). But having concluded that no one with a brain who has done the first bit of study would ever still hold to historic orthodox Christian views of theology or history, and having concluded that everyone except the Fundies are on his side, he claims, "I'm just sharing with you what most Christians are not told about their own Bibles by their own scholars. That's the scandal of the Christian church, where these things are not communicated. I often find that Muslims are better educated about the Bible than Christians are, not because they have the Qur'an, but because they have looked into this."
I have yet to meet a Muslim apologist who has invested a quarter of the time I and other Christians have to attempt to understand the other side's Scriptures. Williams' attempts at exegesis were, with all due respect, sophomoric. He pounded away at "Jesus was ignorant of who touched Him" and "Jesus did not know when the season of figs was." Both of these arguments are so ridiculous, so shallow, and so a-contextual, as to boggle the mind, but they were part and parcel of his constant presentation. While many Christians may be tempted to use bad arguments against the Qur'an, the fact is that as I seek to engage that text, I seek to be consistent in the application of my worldview, something that Williams, and the MDI men in general, simply do not do.
Further, while there are, indeed, many churches where people go on blissfully ignorant of their Bibles, the history of their Bibles, and all sorts of other issues, I would like to suggest that the situation is far worse for Muslims as a whole. Ignorance of the Qur'an and its history is epidemic amongst Muslims. Is this "the great scandal of Islam" I wonder? Or is the utter suppression of serious critical thought about the origins of Islam, and of the Qur'an, in most Islamic countries an even greater scandal? It is hard to say. But I would simply point to my own church as a standing, documented refutation of Williams' erroneous claim. I have been teaching through the Synoptic gospels, using a parallel harmony, for almost a decade. We have tackled synoptic parallel issues repeatedly during that study, including discussing background issues, alleged contradictions, you name it. The people of my church are fully aware of the entire range of scholarly disputes, and anyone with a computer and access to SermonAudio.com knows it. So much for the "great scandal."
I would like to suggest in response to Paul Williams the Great Scandal of Islam: that the founder of Islam was more ignorant of the Bible than the average Bible believing Christian is today. How is that for a great scandal? But it is the scandal that causes someone like Williams to proudly repeat the words of unbelievers like Bart Ehrman while ignoring the reality of the application of that very worldview that gives rise to his conclusions to Williams' own religious faith. The glaring inconsistency is born out of the ignorance of the writer of the Qur'an regarding the Torah and the Injeel, and it is an inconsistency that the Muslim simply cannot escape without rejection of Muhammad's authority or the Qur'an as divine Scripture.
The Divine Institution of Marriage: Our New Video with IV and Crown Rights
07/16/2012 - James WhiteThis is our third collaboration together, and, of course, we really need your help to get this video out to as wide an audience as possible. Of course, please pray that this video will not be censored by those who wish to suppress the gospel and the Christian worldview.
James on the Divinity of The Lord Jesus
07/16/2012 - Tur8infanDuring the Dividing Line of July 13, 2012, Dr. White mentioned an Islamic argument alleging that James (the author of the book of James) did not believe that Jesus is God and that the church of Jerusalem (which he seemingly associates with James) was somehow in opposition to the church of Paul.
But James does make it clear that he holds to Jesus' divinity.
(1) James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (2) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
In verse 1, James identifies Jesus as both God and the Lord. But if you will dispute this point, note that James clearly identifies Jesus as the Lord. Moreover, after suggesting that people can ask things from God, he immediately switches to the designation "Lord" in verse 7. James' interchangeable use of God and Lord demonstrates that he held Jesus to be divine.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Here James explicitly calls Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, which is a divine title. It's the same title that Paul uses for Jesus:
1 Corinthians 2:8
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Moreover, James is explicitly teaching people to place their faith in Jesus, which would be very strange if James thought that Jesus was merely a man.
It would be especially strange given that just a little later in the chapter, describing faith, James states (James 2:18-19):
(18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Notice that James views faith as faith in God, and holds that there is only one God, yet it is the "faith of our Lord Jesus Christ," as we saw above. Thus, for James, Jesus is God.
And again, this is the same as the teaching of Paul.
1 Corinthians 8:6
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
We see James equating Jesus and God again in the fourth chapter.
(8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
This is yet another example of James using "God" and "Lord" interchangeably.
Perhaps the most obvious example for a Muslim will come when James provides the Christian precursor to Islam's "Insha'Allah":
(13) Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
What Muslim would say, "If Mohamed will"? Surely the determination of what the future holds is something that is firmly the will of God - not the will of mere prophet or messenger, yet James assigns the future to the will that to the Lord, whom he has explicitly identified as Jesus Christ. Thus, James held Jesus to be divine.
But James doesn't stop there. He describes the future return of Jesus to the world (James 5:7-11)
(7) Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (8) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (9) Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (10) Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. (11) Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Notice that here James identifies this same coming Lord, namely Jesus Christ, with the Lord in whose names the prophets spoke, and particularly the Lord referenced in the book of Job, which is undoubtedly God. You will recall that after all Job's sufferings, the Lord gave him better than he had before.
Another example is found in James 5:14-15
(14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Notice here that prayer in the name of Jesus is commended, and it is alleged that Jesus will raise up the person. While this may be less explicit than the other cases, the very fact that the prayer is in Jesus' name indicates Jesus' divinity.
Thus, not only does James fail to deny the divinity of Christ (James affirmation of monotheism is no contradiction to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity), but James repeatedly treats Jesus as divine from the very first verse of the epistle.
Last Friday on the DL from Edwards, Colorado
07/16/2012 - James WhiteSorry I did not get this blogged (and nobody else thought to do it either!), but last Friday we did a special DL from Edwards, Colorado, replete with studio audience! Talked a bit at the start about cultural issues again, but then got back into Sam Zaatari's comments in his recent debate with David Wood. Here's the program.
I am getting backlogged with things to get to on the Islamic side, as I am listening to recent debates and there is so much to comment on, and so many errors to correct coming from the leading Islamic apologists! Their love affair with the liberal left is never ending, and hence the contradictions to their own religious beliefs just keep piling up! Add to that my desire to respond to some key elements of a recent Southern Baptist attack on Reformed theology, and I think we may have to schedule some Mega DLs this week just to make a dent!
Today on a Skype Driven DL from Edwards, Colorado
07/11/2012 - James WhiteStarted off shaking my head about the amazing thuggery of the radical leftists in our culture who can get away with attacking Brad Pitt's mother for daring to have an opinion other than their own. Then we moved into a brief discussion of the seemingly genetic inconsistency of the leading Islamic apologists today and their fascination with liberal scholarship--at least, when it comes to Christianity, not when it comes to their own sacred text. Then I moved on to just begin looking at Sami Zaatari's comments in a recent debate with David Wood, which I will continue, possibly on Friday, if we can make another remote DL work from another location. Here's the program.
And don't forget the WayBack Machine, streaming Dividing Lines from 1998 onward 24/7! You can listen on the Flash Player found here.
Scripture Reliability Lectures Referenced on the Dividing Line
07/11/2012 - Tur8infanA few seconds ago, on the Dividing Line, Dr. White referred to a set of lectures on the reliability of Scripture. As Dr. White originally wrote, back in August, 2011:
This morning I listened, for the 2nd time, to a 3 1/2 hour seminar recorded in Scotland, I believe, in Edinburgh. The presenters (the audio file did a horrible job and explaining who was who) were Peter J. Williams, Dirk Jongkind, and Simon Gathercole. I just found a link, thankfully, here. I would highly recommend this series for everyone. The presentations are lively, well done, and very understandable. I have benefited from them greatly. In particular, Peter J. Williams' presentation was very useful. Here is a video of a similar presentation Dr. Williams gave. I likewise truly enjoyed Dirk Jongkind's dismantling of a particularly troubling section of Ehrman's work. I would love to hear Bart's response in a one-on-one discussion.Also mentioned on the Dividing Line was this alternate link to the lectures.
Two Sunday Sermons from PRBC
07/09/2012 - James White"Light and fluffy" would not be a proper descriptor for Sunday's sermons at PRBC:
A Very Sad Two Year Anniversary
07/08/2012 - James WhiteTwo years ago today I posted the following video. It was right toward the end of the major period of revelations concerning the false claims of Ergun Caner. On June 25th of 2010 Caner had been released from his position as president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. The cover-up on the part of Liberty was still ongoing. As we have learned since then, a series of facile excuses had been produced by someone at Truett McConnell College, where Emir Caner, Ergun's brother, is President. These shallow and easily refuted excuses had been posted on Norman Geisler's website. It had not taken us very long to document the many errors in the material. I produced this video asking three basic questions for anyone who would accept what Norman Geisler was promoting in the Christian community. Two years of silence have now passed. Geisler, and those associated with him, have refused to even acknowledge the existence of these questions, let alone respond to them. It is a sad chapter in the history of Christian apologetics in the United States, and a tremendous testimony to the power of politics, money, tradition, and croneyism. At least some of us can say we have honestly faced the issues and called for truth and honesty. Sadly, our numbers are few. Far greater are those who have turned a blind eye, and who to this day, though knowing the truth of these matters, share platforms with an unrepentant and still defiant Ergun Caner, and those who have enabled him to avoid doing the right thing, mainly, his brother Emir, Norman Geisler, and the political machine that chose to dodge responsibility rather than deal with direct dishonesty and deception.
This next video was posted about a month earlier, and remains highly instructional and important:
Michael Brown and The Real Kosher Jesus on Today's Dividing Line
07/05/2012 - James WhiteI was joined by my good friend Michael Brown on today's edition of The Dividing Line as we discussed his new book, The Real Kosher Jesus. Of course we wandered off topic a few times, and took some good calls at the end as well, but mainly we focused on the book, and especially the portion dealing with the Jewish views of Isaac and the events in Genesis 22. Here's the program.
And don't forget the WayBack Machine, streaming Dividing Lines from 1998 onward 24/7! You can listen on the Flash Player found here.
Ed Young's Worst Nightmare!
07/04/2012 - James WhiteI think Chris Rosebrough is to blame for this travesty of fashion. I will leave him for Al Mohler to deal with. Till then, I think Ed Young will be having nightmares about this. I know I am!
Today on the Dividing Line: California Continues Cultural Collapse, More on Harry Knox, and a Good Call on Federalism
07/03/2012 - James WhitePressed on with some discussion of the homosexual agenda from current news, then got a little farther in our Harry Knox review. Then took a call at the end of the hour on the subject of our federal headship in Adam and in Christ, which took us about ten minutes long. Here's the program.
And don't forget the WayBack Machine, streaming Dividing Lines from 1998 onward 24/7! You can listen on the Flash Player found here.
Dan Savage Response - As Referenced on the Dividing Line
07/03/2012 - Tur8infanA few seconds ago, Dr. White made reference on the Dividing Line to the following response to Dan Savage:
Current (& Future) State of the PCA
07/03/2012 - Jeff DownsRick Phillips recently joined William Hill on Confessing Our Hope (the podcast of GPTS) to discuss this years General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). If you are at all interested in the current and future state of this denomination, you will want to listen to this exciting interview.
Perseverance OF THE SAINTS
07/01/2012 - Alan KurschnerHays writes:
Over at Arminian Invectives, Ben Henshaw has a running series on “unconditional eternal security.” Oddly enough, he has that filed under “perseverance.”
Problem is, Calvinism doesn’t subscribe to “unconditional eternal security.” There are some antinomian fundamentalists who take that position (e.g. Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie, Randall Gleason), but that’s in studied contrast to the Reformed doctrine of perseverance.
I don’t know where Henshaw came up with the notion that perseverance of the saints is interchangeable with unconditional eternity security. I have noticed that some muddled Arminians detach adjectives from the TULIP acronym and misapply them to other Reformed doctrines. For instance, it’s not uncommon for Arminians to detached “irresistible” from “grace,” where it stands for monergistic regeneration, and then misuse “irresistible” as a general designation for Reformed soteriology.
Perhaps Henshaw is laboring under the misconception that if Reformed election is unconditional, then perseverance is unconditional. If so, his usage is idiosyncratic at best and illogical at worst.
In Calvinism, “eternal security” is conditional, not unconditional. It’s contingent on the “perseverance” of the saints. In fact, that’s why it’s traditionally dubbed the “perseverance of the saints.” Subtle, I know.
In Calvinism, “eternal security” is contingent on sanctification, contingent on faith. Good works are a condition of salvation.
Of course, there’s a condition behind the condition. If “eternal security” is conditional on perseverance, then perseverance is conditional on God’s preservation of the elect. And that’s a sure thing.
Perhaps Henshaw is laboring under the misconception that if something is conditional, it must be uncertain.