Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
An Encouraging Word from Down Under
01/18/2009 - James WhiteI shall try to keep this as short as I can. Basically I stumbled onto your website about 2.5 years ago after stumbling onto a KJV-onlyist website (www.av1611.org) and although seeing that many of the arguments were absurd on their face (the KJV is actually EASIER to read than the new versions?? Seriously, they have this 'scientific' test to prove it by counting average word lengths or something) I still was curious to find a proper response to the things they were saying and so found your site. It was from reading many of the articles you have posted, and then subsequently using said articles to defend sola scriptura against a catholic on a Christian web-board about 18 months ago that kindled my own passion for theology and studying God's word and my life has changed dramatically since then. I will use note points for brevity's sake:
- I have left my old church, your typical large 'evangelical' church that seemed to care more for playing trendy music than for the exposition of God's Word and the teaching of sound doctrine - in the 10 years or so I was attending there I never ever once heard the words 'justification' or 'sanctification' or (heaven forbid) 'predestination' used in a sentence. Until 18 months ago I didn't even know what those words meant (also sola scriptura, sola fide, etc...). I now attend a solid, Bible-believing and teaching reformed Presbyterian church as there aren't any Reformed Baptist churches in Western Australia to my knowledge (incidentally your work on infant baptism has been very useful in this regards!!).
- You are partly responsible for me being a reformed baptist as opposed to just a regular vanilla baptist, though I haven't yet decided whether I should thank you for that or not. The killing blow was one of my friends from the aforementioned Presbyterian church that I wasn't attending at that time talking to me and lending me a copy of A. W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God, though it was listening to you on the DL (I think you were going over a sermon by George Bryson or something) that made me realise that maybe Calvinists aren't all a bunch of heretics. Otherwise I doubt I would have taken Pink's book when it was offered to me.
- As a result of your ministry getting me interested in theology I am planning next year to go and get my M.Div at Trinity Theological College, the only conservative theological college left in the state. If you ever come to Western Australia I recommend not accepting offers to speak at any other college (even the baptist one), because they are all either charismatic (and hence focus more on how to run effective youth ministries than on the unimportant things like, say, systematic theology or exegesis) or failing that, would laugh at any student who believed that the Old Testament is actual history. True story - one of my friends did a Theology unit at Murdoch University (the theology school there is run by the Anglican church, what a surprise) and was marked down for citing Calvin and Matthew Henry in an essay because they aren't reputable sources! Ack! Back on topic though - in the years to come there is going to be a Reformed Baptist church/ministry in Western Australia that there otherwise wouldn't have been without the work of your ministry. So, thank you very much for that!
- Another side note: about 15 months ago I started working at a Christian bookstore, and even though I get a staff discount the manager still told me a little while ago with a smile that I am getting close to being in her top 20 customer list - including churches and other bookshops! We are the biggest Christian bookstore in WA by miles so that really is something. I dare say I was the only 20 year old (I'm nearly 22 now) they've had spend $450 on the 38 volume early church fathers set.
So in summary, I have Alpha and Omega ministries to thank for starting my own passion for theology, which has in turn got me planted in a proper church, and hoping to study theology full-time next year with the hope of beginning a career in full-time ministry. I can absolutely guarantee that none of that would have happened otherwise, so I truly am very thankful for your work and all that you do!