This is a debate on the topic of Sin and Salvation in the Qur’an vs the Bible between Christian apologist James White and Muslim apologist Shabir Ally.  It took place at the Erasmia Hall Mosque in South Africa back in October 7th, 2013.  It has just went online a few days ago thanks to Alpha and Omega Ministries!

The moderator of the debate mentioned in the beginning of the video that this might of have been the first time a debate occurred in a Mosque in South Africa.  There is also a mention of a book that’s being worked on presently with James White and Shabir Ally.  I can’t wait to get this book when it comes out!


Winter Morning

These are links between March 7th-14th, 2014 related to Presuppositional apologetics.  Enjoy!

1.) Self-Ownership Morality–A few years ago Pat of True Form Blog Emails Questions to James Anderson

2.) How Satisfactory is the Term ‘Presuppositional’ Apologetics?–Dr. Reluctant has a good discussion about the name of Van Til’s apologetics.

3.) Cosmos Chaos–Frontline Reformed Apologetics

4.) I Reject Christianity Because _______________–Written Interview with James Anderson over at Gospel Coalition.

5.) Question: Presuppositional apologetics and an Eternal Logic without God?–Our post here earlier this week.

Shepherds Conference


The Audios for the 2014 General Sessions of the Shepherd’s Conference has been uploaded online!  I’m waiting for the Seminars to be put online.

I can’t wait for the 2015 Shepherd’s Conference already!

General Session I — John MacArthur

General Session II — Phil Johnson

General Session III — Mark Dever

General Session VI — Al Mohler

General Session VII — Tom Pennington

General Session IX — John MacArthur

General Session VIII — Steve Lawson

amazon-reviews Nearly two months ago over at Triablogue Jason Engwer  wrote a post titled “Christians Should Be Posting More At Amazon” in which Jason explains why he will be more involved in book reviewing on Amazon as a Conservative Christian.  The last paragraph is worth quoting:

I’ve commented before about how Christians, political conservatives, and others with similar views need to be more active online. Amazon is another illustration of that need. It’s something I neglected for a long time. Late last year, I decided to become more active in posting reviews and comments at Amazon. I hope other Christians and others who hold similar views will do the same. I’m not just referring to posting positive comments about books we agree with. In some ways, it’s even more important that we be active in reviewing and commenting on what we disagree with.

And in the comment section I think Jason makes a good point that for those of us who blog should take into account of posting reviews on Amazon:

People are often concerned about building an audience for something like a blog or Twitter account, and most of us never get many readers in that sort of context. But Amazon provides us with a free platform that already has a large audience. And Amazon is surely used by many people in academia, politics, and other contexts where we’d want to be influential. In terms of both quantity and quality of influence, there’s a lot of potential.

Another way Christians can contribute in their influence is following certain Christian reviewers who are helpful and voting when there’s a good review you appreciate.  It seems that when one posts a critical review on a controversial books you always have those who are trolling to automatically down vote another perspective. As a result of that posts I’ve been thinking about posting our book reviews there on Amazon and want to encourage other Christians to do the same as a Christian influence upon people’s perspective of what they take in in terms of book reading.

Here’s my profile page.

I’m a late starter in this area and book reviews I post here will also appear on Amazon.  Double the presence with the same review. I’ll also begin the slow process of putting up older reviews I have onto Amazon as well.  As of right now we have 112 reviews and I plan by mid-April to posts up 270 plus book reviews on there. I also know that some of the readers on here have already been doing this for years now or some are just getting started.  If you already have a presence on Amazon what is the link to your profile page?

The Vatican Diaries A Behind-the-Scenes Look

This book provides a unique view into the Vatican with the politics and personalities of Roman Catholic upper hierarchy.  This book was written by a veteran correspondent of the Vatican Press Corps with decades of experience covering the Pope and Roman Catholicism.  One doesn’t have to be Catholic to appreciate this book since enemies and Catholics alike will get to see a fairly balanced look of the Vatican behind the pomp and the ceremony.  The author discusses how some people see the Vatican as a well oiled machine capable of complicated conspiracies but the reality is that the Vatican is like any other bureaucracy with its politics, inefficiencies, mismanagement and information leaks—which the author as a journalist is able to exploit.  But these leaks don’t just serve the advantage of the journalists—sometimes leaks are intentionally given to journalists for the benefit of certain factions within the Vatican against competing sides, etc.  The author doesn’t airbrush the accounts given.

I imagine most readers will have the same curiosity of what the book has to say concerning the Catholic sex abuse scandal.  The darkest moment of the book is the chapter discussing the leader of the Catholic order Legion of Christ, Marcial Maciel. The Legion of Christ is a popular order and highly successful in a day and age where many traditional order is dwindling in numbers, eroding financial support and their schools and seminaries closing.  Marcial Maciel has had many former Legion members accused them of being sexually abused by him and yet he remained the leader of the order until his death.  The Legion’s code of secrecy is rather unusual even among Catholic order and certain American archdioceses has forbidden the legion’s activity and support in their area of responsibilities.  It wasn’t until the leak of the unusual circumstance of Maciel’s death with the presence of a woman who fathered his children and Maciel rejection of the last rite that finally forced the Legion into a corner of not being able to cover up the reality of the evil deeds of their founder as a womanizer and pedophilia.  Again this is the darkest chapter of the book and to hear the campaign by the Legion to knowingly lie to the public and target victims is heartbreaking.  Added to this is to read of the politics in the Vatican in favor of the order makes one quite cynical at the injustice.  However the book has also revealed how Pope Benedict has been more willing than John Paul II in condemning the priests’ own rank to police their own rather than just blame the media for blowing things out of proportion.  A later chapter on sex and the Vatican reveals more heinous deeds and I thought the author does good job writing about it without making it sounding like a juicy gossip column.  Other parts of the books reveal his sympathies with the Catholic Church and one gets the sense he is trying to write as truthfully as possible.

Other chapters of interests include how Pope Benedict was selected and the Roman Catholic battle with the break away group of Society of Saint Pius the Tenth.  I thought it would have been wonderful to have also seen something about the Vatican’s relationship or view of Opus Dei.  From what I understand the book was published earlier than scheduled and I wished the author could have written about the reason why Pope Benedict stepped down and the selection of this current Pope.

The book does have its lighter moments such as the fascinating stories about how journalists with the Vatican Press Corps cover the stories about the Vatican including the irony of being a journalist in the Vatican knowing less what’s going on at times than those watching TV about a Vatican coverage.  The best of the chapters on the lighter side of the Vatican was the one on Father Reginald Foster and his funny personality.  Foster was interviewed by Bill Maher in Religulous as a straight talking Priest.

Not much theology is in this book but for a Protestant like me who is concerned about the teachings of Roman Catholicism and love Roman Catholics, this book broaden my understanding of the Vatican’s ecclesiastical dynamic.  Its journalistic style makes it accessible for non-Catholics although some specific terminology would be unavoidable.

Where to Buy:

Stairs to nowhere

Someone asked:

If in conversation I am asking an agnostic evolutionist who keeps changing his position to account for logic and he responds it isn’t from himself or from the universe it is just eternal. It has always been in existence but not from Yahweh. That is tricky for me and I am not sure how to do an internal critique with such a view of logic. Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

My response:

Note: I would encourage one to use questions in any apologetics dialogue in order to challenge the person to think and gently lead them to see the problem.

1.) “it isn’t…from the universe ”

Response: I take it by that we mean that the source of the laws of logic did not originate from the universe per se; my question would be “I agree and believe also the origin of logic is not from the universe (collection of all things and beings) in of itself, but without God behind the universe and logic, how did the universe ever become logical in it’s characteristics?  Help explain how you can resolve that difficulty without God to me, or maybe we need to back up and have you give a better explanation of your understanding of the nature of logic and the universe?” (What I’m pursuing is to see his relationship of logic to the world, whether one is dependent upon another and also how logic can be embedded in the universe or the two have any corresponding relationship in a chance driven, non-purpose atheistic universe.  My second question is to explore the individual’s understanding of the nature of logic and the nature of the universe so that one can spell out the difficulty of accounting for the laws of logic operating in the universe.)

2.) “it is just eternal. It has always been in existence but not from Yahweh.”

Response: Remember that our friend here is still autonomous (man-centered) if he is going to deny God.  I would ask him, “How do you know that logic is eternal?”  As a finite being with finite knowledge and finite means of attaining that knowledge, he has no basis to make his claim about something that is infinite by nature (eternity).

3.) “it isn’t…from the universe ”

Response: The same problem of a finite person with finite means of attaining knowledge making a universal claim also applies to the claim that the laws of logic is not from the universe.  While I agree that the universe itself did not give us knowledge, as an internal critique of this individual’s worldview, there is no basis for such a person to make a universal claim that the universe did not give us logic since a finite person does not have *UNIVERSAL experience to know that.

Shepherds Conference

Recovering from this year’s Shepherd’s Conference.  It was so encouraging, edifying and equipping!

The last evening on Friday John MacArthur made a major announcement that Shepherd’s Conference next year’s theme is going to be on the doctrine of Inerrancy.

There’s going to be a lot of big name speakers (not that it’s big name in of itself is important, but names of men whom God have used mightedly because of their faithfulness).  It’s anticipated to be the biggest Shepherd’s Conference ever.

Here’s the promotional video:

There’s going to be RC Sproul, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Paige Patterson, Carl Trueman, Al Mohler, etc.

It’s going to be March 3rd-8th, 2015.


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