Wednesday, September 29, 2010

James R. White: The Assumption of Mary: An Analysis of the Recent Debate with Robert Sungenis (Encore Presentation)

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MP3 Available Here

James R. White, founder & director of Alpha & Omega Ministries , a theologically Reformed Christian apologetics ministry based in Phoenix, AZ, will address the theme: "The Assumption of Mary: An Analysis of the Recent Debate with Robert Sungenis."

On Friday, September 10, Dr. James R. White debated Roman Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis in New Mexico at Calvary Santa Fe on "The Assumption of Mary". According to Dr. White:

"...Robert Sungenis is the only Roman Catholic out there that I know of who will actually stand in public debate to defend the Bodily Assumption--the "big names" know better! They know there is no meaningful way to defend this concept outside of saying, "Look, the Roman Church says it, believe it!" That is all Rome has, really, and that does not hold up well to examination. But I think the Bodily Assumption is the single clearest illustration of the fact that all of Rome's apologists are simply dishonest (or deceived, or both) when they proclaim fealty to "Scripture and Tradition." The Bodily Assumption is found in neither, which is why Sungenis had to take the route, "We don't need Scripture or Tradition." Think how many times you've heard Staples, Akin, Keating, Madrid, et al talk about Scripture and Tradition, and yet in reality, neither is relevant to the dogma of the Bodily Assumption. This dogma is a shining example of sola ecclesia, the Roman Church, and in this instance, the Roman bishop, as the final and ultimate authority. What the listener will find fascinating here is that the Roman Catholic position is left fighting desperately not only against sound exegesis (as it always is), but against a cadre of sound, contextually accurate patristic citations as well. This debate is one of the clearest exposures of Rome's true nature I've ever participated in, right up there with the Stravinskas debate on purgatory."
Tonight Dr. White will provide an overview of this debate, and will also briefly discuss other recent debates he participated in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fred G. Zaspel: The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary

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MP3 Available Here

Fred G. Zaspel, author, conference speaker, Bible instructor and pastor, will address the theme of his doctoral dissertation, now available from Crossway: "The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary".

Here is what prominent Christian thinkers are saying about "The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary":

“Serious Christians who have dipped into Warfield find his writings to be a wholly admirable mix of rigorous exegesis, mature theological synthesis, and frank devotion to Christ. Much of his work is known only to specialists, not least because when Warfield first published it, it was scattered over many journals and books. Indeed, a fair bit of it was never published. Zaspel’s Warfield remedies the problem admirably: one hopes and prays that it will entice a new generation of readers to delve deeply into Warfield’s contributions.”—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“B. B. Warfield’s distinguished achievements as a systematic theologian have been obscured by the episodic, ad hoc publication of his major theological statements. But even if Warfield did not think it necessary that he write a single, connected systematic theology, it is nonetheless most welcome that Fred Zaspel has done the job for him! The result is a very useful compendium that gives both admirers and detractors of Warfield a full and coherent account of his theology. All who are in the least interested in Warfield or who care at all about vigorous Calvinist theology will find this a most valuable book.”—Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

“B. B. Warfield does not need an introduction for evangelical Christians. He is well known as a major conservative theologian at the close of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. His scholarship in biblical, historical, and doctrinal fields was often without a match. As a Professor in Didactic and Polemic Theology in Princeton Theological Seminary, he was content to use the three volumes of Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology as the textbook and to pour out the fruits of his labor in a flow of searching articles in a number of theological reviews. Many of these have been republished in book form, but they have not been systematically arranged in one text. That is what Dr. Zaspel has done in culling from the great mass of Warfield’s writings his actual statements in the order they could have followed had Warfield written a one-volume Reformed theology. In this form Warfield may enjoy a renewed effectiveness for our age. With great enthusiasm I highly recommend this volume and hope it will receive a wide reception.”—Roger Nicole, ETS Co-founder and its Seventh President

“B. B. Warfield was without doubt the greatest of the theological minds of Old Princeton, and he remains a towering influence within both his own confessional Presbyterian tradition and wider conservative evangelicalism. Nevertheless, while his writings are still in print, clearly written, and very accessible, their occasional nature means that there is no convenient way of gaining from them a good grasp of the overall shape of his theology. Until now, that is. In this volume, pastor-theologian and passionate Warfield aficionado Fred Zaspel has produced a work of historical and theological synthesis that sets Warfield’s thought in context and offers a comprehensive account of his thought on the major loci of theology and the controverted points of his day. In this, Fred has left us all—the veteran Warfield fan and the neophyte—deeply in his debt.”—Carl R. Trueman, Academic Dean and Vice President, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Well before the transdenominational convergence of what we now call the evangelical church, B. B. Warfield spent forty years as the Presbyterian Horatius, holding the bridge that leads into the citadel of the Westminster Standards against those he saw as spoilers from the wastelands of liberalism. A heavyweight academic and a complete player in the fields of systematic, exegetical, historical, and polemical theology, he scattered his wisdom in hundreds of articles, which this book surveys and integrates with great skill. Warfield can now be seen in his full stature as the godly giant that he was, thanks to Fred Zaspel’s labor of love. Best thanks, and hallelujah!”—J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College; author, Knowing God

“This work is long overdue. That a theologian of the stature of B.B. Warfield should not have had a comprehensive overview of his entire corpus such as this one by Dr Zaspel says far more about the thinking of Evangelicals and the ranks of the Reformed in the twentieth century than it does about Warfield. This truly excellent and eminently readable work will serve both as a primer to Warfield's thought as well as an outline of the systematic theology he never wrote. Highly recommended.”—Michael G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director, The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies

“B. B. Warfield was the last towering figure in a long line of Old School Presbyterian intellectuals known for their unshakable faith in the truth of Scripture and their practical, experiential Calvinism. That strain of scholarly conviction had a long history in New England, especially in Princeton. Its seeds were planted by New England’s earliest Puritan ministers—men such as John Cotton and Richard Mather. It gained widespread influence (and set down roots in the soil of Princeton) under the ministry of Jonathan Edwards. It gave birth to Princeton Theological Seminary under the leadership of Archibald Alexander. Charles and A. A. Hodge carried on the legacy at Princeton Seminary, and when the younger Hodge died in 1886, B. B. Warfield became that institution’s fourth Principal. He also was its last great conservative theologian. Both profound and prolific, Warfield produced an invaluable body of theological and polemical writings that remain immensely influential—because the issues Warfield contended with are virtually the same issues that trouble the church today.


“Fred Zaspel’s work is the first detailed, readable digest of Warfield’s theology, and it is an immensely helpful volume. Dr. Zaspel puts Warfield’s published writings in clear perspective against the theological issues that dominated that era. He also shows how those same issues—and Warfield’s clear and persuasive teaching—remain relevant to us today. Dr. Zaspel writes with such clarity and simplicity that this volume will be a valuable help and encouragement to lay people and serious theologians as well—a highly recommended addition to anyone’s library.”—John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California

“The great B. B. Warfield was essentially an occasional writer. His works are largely made up of learned articles, encyclopedia entries, and popular journalism. Fred Zaspel had the great idea of rendering this vast body of material into a compendium, a Warfield systematic theology. He clearly has what it takes to do the job superbly well: a love for his subject, care and attention to detail, and, above all, a thorough knowledge of Warfield’s writing. The result is a book that does not replace the Warfield volumes, but provides an accurate, thematic entry into them. It will be of inestimable benefit to all students of this outstanding Reformed theologian. Well done!”—Paul Helm, Teaching Fellow, Regent College; author, Faith with Reason

“The ‘Lion of Old Princeton’ roars and purrs in this helpful survey. The author finely displays the passion and wit as well as intellectual credibility of Warfield’s remarkable work.”—Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

Our guest tonight, Dr. Fred G. Zaspel, was for many years pastor of Word of Life Baptist Church in Pottsville, PA and adjunct professor of New Testament at Penn State University (Schuylkill Campus). He is now a part of the pastoral ministry of Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA (
http://www.rbcfranconia.org/), and instructor in Bible and theology at To Every Tribe Ministries in Brownsville, TX. He is a third generation Christian, the son of Baptist pastor / evangelist Dr. James A. Zaspel.

Dr. Zaspel was converted to Christ and baptized at an early age. During his teen years he sensed God's gifting to the preaching and teaching ministry, and since that time he has pursued further education to equip him for it. He holds a Ph.D. from the Free University of Amsterdam, and is a graduate of Bob Jones University (B.A., M.A.) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.A., Th.M.). His studies have concentrated in the various fields of Biblical-related study such as Greek, Hebrew, Theology, Church History, Ancient History and Archaeology. Among his awards is Biblical Seminary's coveted certificate for excellence in Greek exegesis (1993).

In addition to the book we are discussing tonight, he is the author of a series of booklets published by the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute (IBRI), entitled, The Continuing Relevance of Divine Law (1991); The Theology of Fulfillment (1994); Jews, Gentiles, & the Goal of Redemptive History (1996). Along with Tom Wells, Dr. Zaspel has co-authored a major work entitled New Covenant Theology. He is the author of many other booklets and articles.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Help With Iron Sharpens Iron

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Do you love Iron Sharpens Iron and listen regularly? I'm looking for someone to help out with this blog.

The pay? Zero.

We get e-mails from people all around the world that benefit from the work Chris Arnzen does promoting and defending the Gospel. Chris also addresses issues that many other Christian broadcasters ignore or could never handle. Who else besides Chris Arnzen could actually get Harold Camping to agree to have his end times doctrine debated and examined by Dr. James White? Who else can get some of the leading theologians and ministers like R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and Alistair Begg to come on a live broadcast and take your questions? Chris also sets up debates with Muslim leaders, Roman Catholic apologists, atheists, Oneness Pentecostals, and many others, all for the benefit of the body of Christ. Scroll through the ISI archives, and take a look at the subjects Chris addresses. If you listen to Christian radio, YOU KNOW Iron Sharpens Iron goes places other broadcasts would never go.

Having worked with Chris Arnzen now for a few years, I can vouch for the fact that it's the proclamation and defense of the Gospel that motivates him. Chris doesn't ask his listeners for a dime.

I'm looking for someone who can monitor the mp3 files. That is, I need someone to monitor each broadcast, and alert the recording volunteers when they don't work, or if they have technical problems (too short, sound problems, etc.). I'm also looking for someone to help with putting the blog entries together, as well as someone who can help the site look even better. Also having someone recording back-up mp3's would be helpful as well.

Those of us involved with this website and recording the show are volunteers. We're looking to help Chris proclaim and defend the Gospel. If like me, you value the work Chris does, and you want to work behind the scenes, please drop us an e-mail:

(Chris Arnzen) carnzen@optonline.net
(James Swan) Tertiumquid@optonline.net
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Kathy Kuhl: Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner

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MP3 Available Here

Kathy Kuhl, who operates the website www.LearnDifferently.com, will address the theme of her book: Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

William Norman Grigg: The Ground Zero Mosque: A Christian Constitutionalist's & Libertarian's Response to the Cordoba Initiative

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MP3 Available Here

William Norman Grigg, award-winning investigative journalist, former Mormon High Priest who converted to Evangelical Christianity, former Senior Editor of The New American magazine and the author of America's Engineered Decline, Global Gun Grab, Freedom on the Altar: The UN's Crusade Against God and Family and The Gospel of Revolt: Feminism vs. the Family (see http://www.willgrigg.com/), will address the theme: "The Ground Zero Mosque: A Christian Constitutionalist's & Libertarian's Response to the Cordoba Initiative ".

Most Americans are fully aware of the heated controversy boiling over in New York City surrounding the planned construction of an Islamic center, headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, nearby the very spot where the World Trade Center once stood before collapsing after the most horrific attack by a foreign enemy on this nation's soil in history, on September 11, 2001. The 9/11 attack resulted in a total of 2,996 deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. Many of those most passionately protesting the erection of the "Ground Zero Mosque" are professing conservatives and Christians.

Tonight, our guest William Norman Grigg will share with us his reflections on this controversy from the viewpoint of a Christian Constitutuionalist and Libertarian.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

T. DAVID GORDON: WHY JOHNNY CAN'T PREACH: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers (Encore Presentation)

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MP3 Available Here

T. DAVID GORDON, Professor of Religion & Greek at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, will address the theme of his book "WHY JOHNNY CAN'T PREACH: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers".

Our guest, Dr. T. David Gordon, wrote the book we are discussing today after having been diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer. He was told he only had a 25 percent chance of survival, and believed he only had several months to live. The dominance of poor preaching from conservative evangelical and even Reformed pulpits is what Dr. Gordon most wanted to warn pastors and pastors-to-be about before leaving this earth and entering into eternity with Christ Jesus.

Praise be to God, Dr. Gordon is currently in remission, but out of his trial was born what should prove to be an invaluable tool to either prevent those desiring to enter the ministry from beginning their vocation as failures from behind the pulpit, or to rescue those well-meaning pastors who already have burdened their congregations with ineffective, impotent and fruitless sermons, perhaps for years.

Before joining the faculty of Grove City College, Dr. Gordon was an Associate Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for 14 years and Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashua, NH for 9 years.

Monday, September 20, 2010

James R. White: The Assumption of Mary: An Analysis of the Recent Debate with Robert Sungenis

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MP3 Available Here

James R. White, founder & director of Alpha & Omega Ministries , a theologically Reformed Christian apologetics ministry based in Phoenix, AZ, will address the theme: "The Assumption of Mary: An Analysis of the Recent Debate with Robert Sungenis."

On Friday, September 10, Dr. James R. White debated Roman Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis in New Mexico at Calvary Santa Fe on "The Assumption of Mary". According to Dr. White:

"...Robert Sungenis is the only Roman Catholic out there that I know of who will actually stand in public debate to defend the Bodily Assumption--the "big names" know better! They know there is no meaningful way to defend this concept outside of saying, "Look, the Roman Church says it, believe it!" That is all Rome has, really, and that does not hold up well to examination. But I think the Bodily Assumption is the single clearest illustration of the fact that all of Rome's apologists are simply dishonest (or deceived, or both) when they proclaim fealty to "Scripture and Tradition." The Bodily Assumption is found in neither, which is why Sungenis had to take the route, "We don't need Scripture or Tradition." Think how many times you've heard Staples, Akin, Keating, Madrid, et al talk about Scripture and Tradition, and yet in reality, neither is relevant to the dogma of the Bodily Assumption. This dogma is a shining example of sola ecclesia, the Roman Church, and in this instance, the Roman bishop, as the final and ultimate authority. What the listener will find fascinating here is that the Roman Catholic position is left fighting desperately not only against sound exegesis (as it always is), but against a cadre of sound, contextually accurate patristic citations as well. This debate is one of the clearest exposures of Rome's true nature I've ever participated in, right up there with the Stravinskas debate on purgatory."
Tonight Dr. White will provide an overview of this debate, and will also briefly discuss other recent debates he participated in.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jamin Hubner: The Atheist vs. Christian Debate on 'Is the New Testament Evil': One Christian's Analysis (Encore Presentation)

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MP3 Available Here

Jamin Hubner, the Professor of Theology at the Jesus Bible Institute in Rapid City, SD (www.JesusBibleInstitute.org) and the founder of RealApologetics.org, will address the theme: "The Atheist vs. Christian Debate on 'Is the New Testament Evil': One Christian's Analysis".

On Monday, August 30, Dr. James R. White, co-founder and Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries (
www.aomin.org), had a very lively debate with noted atheist David Silverman, Vice President and National Communications Director for American Atheists, founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O'Hair as the result of her successful battle against mandatory school prayer and bible recitation (www.atheists.org). Their theme was "Is the New Testament Evil?"

Tonight, our guest Jamin Hubner, who in addition to writing articles for his own web site is now contributing to the blog of Alpha & Omega Ministries, will give his analysis of the debate. You can read his blog entry about the debate here:
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4153

Our guest, Jamin Hubner, has written several books including Light Up the Darkness and The Portable Presuppositionalist. He holds a BA in Theology from Dordt College and is currently pursuing his MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mark Allison: Harold Camping, Judgment Day & the Church Examined (Part Two)

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MP3 Available Here

Mark Allison, Minister at the Free Presbyterian Church of Malvern, PA, and adjunct professor of Theology and Pastoral Theology at Geneva Reformed Seminary in Greenville, SC, will address the theme: "Harold Camping, Judgment Day & the Church Examined".

According to Harold Camping, president of Family Radio, established in 1958 under its official name: Family Stations Inc. (www.FamilyRadio.com): "THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE! HOLY GOD WILL BRING JUDGMENT DAY ON MAY 21, 2011." Since Mr. Camping's warning has become globally known through Family Radio's worldwide broadcast facilities, including more than 150 outlets in the United States alone, in addition to Family Radio's mission trips and tract distribution, "Iron Sharpens Iron" believes his claims must be publicly examined in the light of Holy Scripture.

The Free Presbyterian Church of Malvern, PA, where tonight's guest Dr. Mark Allison serves as Minister, has a history connected with Family Radio. FPC of Malvern's former Minister, John Greer, who served that congregation from 1983 to 2000 before returning to his homeland, Northern Ireland, to minister at the FPC congregation in Ballymena, County Antrim, was often heard on Family Radio's "Echoes" broadcast, in addition to his own, daily, 15-minute program on Family Radio called "Let the Bible Speak". Our guest Dr. Allison was also heard many times preaching on Family Radio's "Echoes" program. FPC of Malvern later severed all ties with Family Radio, just as many other biblically sound churches and ministries did, after Harold Camping began to make public his heretical teaching that "the Church Age has ended". David Morrell, retired Vice President of Family Radio, was a member of FPC of Malvern and left the congregation along with about a dozen other members due to their loyalty to Mr. Camping's teachings. Obviously, tonight's theme is a great burden upon the heart of our guest Dr. Mark Allison.

We also highly recommend that you listen to the two-day debate "Iron Sharpens Iron" aired between Harold Camping and Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries in July of 2009, followed by three days of debate review provided by Mr. Camping, Dr. White and Christian blogger "Turretin Fan". Those MP3 links are here:

Debate (Part One): MP3 Available Here
Debate (Part Two): MP3 Available Here
James White Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here
Harold Camping Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here
Turretin Fan Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark Allison: Harold Camping, Judgment Day & the Church Examined (Part One)

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MP3 Available Here

Mark Allison, Minister at the Free Presbyterian Church of Malvern, PA, and adjunct professor of Theology and Pastoral Theology at Geneva Reformed Seminary in Greenville, SC, will address the theme: "Harold Camping, Judgment Day & the Church Examined".

According to Harold Camping, president of Family Radio, established in 1958 under its official name: Family Stations Inc. (www.FamilyRadio.com): "THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE! HOLY GOD WILL BRING JUDGMENT DAY ON MAY 21, 2011." Since Mr. Camping's warning has become globally known through Family Radio's worldwide broadcast facilities, including more than 150 outlets in the United States alone, in addition to Family Radio's mission trips and tract distribution, "Iron Sharpens Iron" believes his claims must be publicly examined in the light of Holy Scripture.

The Free Presbyterian Church of Malvern, PA, where tonight's guest Dr. Mark Allison serves as Minister, has a history connected with Family Radio. FPC of Malvern's former Minister, John Greer, who served that congregation from 1983 to 2000 before returning to his homeland, Northern Ireland, to minister at the FPC congregation in Ballymena, County Antrim, was often heard on Family Radio's "Echoes" broadcast, in addition to his own, daily, 15-minute program on Family Radio called "Let the Bible Speak". Our guest Dr. Allison was also heard many times preaching on Family Radio's "Echoes" program. FPC of Malvern later severed all ties with Family Radio, just as many other biblically sound churches and ministries did, after Harold Camping began to make public his heretical teaching that "the Church Age has ended". David Morrell, retired Vice President of Family Radio, was a member of FPC of Malvern and left the congregation along with about a dozen other members due to their loyalty to Mr. Camping's teachings. Obviously, tonight's theme is a great burden upon the heart of our guest Dr. Mark Allison.

We also highly recommend that you listen to the two-day debate "Iron Sharpens Iron" aired between Harold Camping and Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries in July of 2009, followed by three days of debate review provided by Mr. Camping, Dr. White and Christian blogger "Turretin Fan". Those MP3 links are here:

Debate (Part One): MP3 Available Here
Debate (Part Two): MP3 Available Here
James White Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here
Harold Camping Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here
Turretin Fan Reviews Debate: MP3 Available Here

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jamin Hubner: The Atheist vs. Christian Debate on 'Is the New Testament Evil': One Christian's Analysis

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MP3 Available Here

Jamin Hubner, the Professor of Theology at the Jesus Bible Institute in Rapid City, SD (www.JesusBibleInstitute.org) and the founder of RealApologetics.org, will address the theme: "The Atheist vs. Christian Debate on 'Is the New Testament Evil': One Christian's Analysis".

On Monday, August 30, Dr. James R. White, co-founder and Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries (
www.aomin.org), had a very lively debate with noted atheist David Silverman, Vice President and National Communications Director for American Atheists, founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O'Hair as the result of her successful battle against mandatory school prayer and bible recitation (www.atheists.org). Their theme was "Is the New Testament Evil?"

Tonight, our guest Jamin Hubner, who in addition to writing articles for his own web site is now contributing to the blog of Alpha & Omega Ministries, will give his analysis of the debate. You can read his blog entry about the debate here:
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4153

Our guest, Jamin Hubner, has written several books including Light Up the Darkness and The Portable Presuppositionalist. He holds a BA in Theology from Dordt College and is currently pursuing his MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tom Ascol: A Tribute to Ernest C. Reisinger (Nov. 16, 1919 - May 31, 2004) (Encore Presentation)

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MP3 Available Here

Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida (www.TrueGraceOfGod.org), the Executive Director of Founders Ministries and Editor of the Founders Journal , will address "A Tribute to Ernest C. Reisinger (Nov. 16, 1919 - May 31, 2004)."

Tom Ascol was Ernie Reisinger's pastor and friend for nearly 20 years. Ernie was a pastor, prolific writer and patriarch of the Reformed Baptist movement. Although Ernie's name might not be very well known among Christians outside of Calvinist circles, you can be sure that the most renowned of Reformed thinkers today know his work well and are still blessed and edified by it today. Monday, May 31, marked the 6th anniversary of Ernie's departing from this earth to Heaven.

As Tom Ascol starts his article in the Fall 2004 edition of the Founders Journal:

"On May 31 of this year, the day set aside to remember those who have died in service to the United States of America, Ernest C. Reisinger went to be with his Lord. In the language of Pilgrim’s Progress, which he often quoted, he finally crossed that 'river that has no bridge.' " You can read the entire article here: http://www.founders.org/journal/fj58/article1.html

Here is an article written by John G. Reisinger the day after his brother's funeral in June of 2004:

A Tribute to My Brother Ernie By John G. Reisinger

Yesterday I attended my older brother’s funeral. This is the second of my two brothers that have gone home to be with the Lord. At the time of refreshments following the funeral there was an opportunity for personal testimonies and nearly everyone who spoke had come to faith in Christ through my brother Ernie’s witness. On my drive back to New York I kept remembering things about both of my brothers.

In some ways they were very much a like and in other ways radically different. At my brother Donald’s funeral over half of the people spoke to me and said, “Your brother Donald was the first person who ever told me the Gospel.” An elderly Amish man said, “I knew a lot about Moses and works but not much about Jesus and grace until I met your brother.” God used my brother Donald’s funeral to bring Ernie’s son Donald to a clear understanding of God’s sovereign grace.In some ways, my two brothers were two of the greatest Christians I have ever known. Ernest was by far the most famous. I used to say, “My only claim to fame is that I am Ernie Reisinger’s brother” since I was constantly introduced that way at conferences. Under God, I owe my soul to Ernie’s witness to me. I also owe him for many other things over many years. As I said, he was in some ways one the greatest Christian I have ever known. Let me share some things that I think made him the great Christian that he was. I would remind any who feel it is wrong to pay open tribute to a believer’s faithfulness that Scripture says, “Honor to whom honor is due.” It also gives us many examples of God Himself testifying to the faithfulness of some of His saints. Hebrews chapter eleven is only one example.

First of all, Ernie was never bitten with the love of money. He viewed his business as a ministry unto God and seriously treated it as such. The business could have made ten times more money than it did and he would not have been one penny richer. It was God’s business and God’s money. He paid himself a salary and put everything else into a Gospel foundation to help further the cause of Christ. He did not live in expensive homes or drive “rich men’s cars.” He enjoyed the good things of life but never allowed anything to possess him or his affection except the Savior. “Love neither the world nor the things of the world” was not a struggle with Ernie since his heart and life were occupied with something, or Someone, far better.

Secondly, Ernie never did anything in a half hearted way or with a lukewarm attitude. Some may feel he did not always act as wisely as he could have but no one can ever question his zeal or his motive. He could have well answered any critics by saying, “I like the way I do it better than the way you don’t do it.” Let me give a few instances of what I mean.

Not long after Ernie went into the construction business, he went to listen to John Rice preach. He arranged to have the Sword of the Lord, a paper John Rice edited, send for three months to every home with a Carlisle mailing address. During that three month period there were Sword of the Lord’s wrapped around telephone poles, laying in the gutter and doorways, sticking out of garbage cans, etc. I do not know if anyone got converted through that effort but I do know that one whole generation of people living in Carlisle, PA will never say, “No one ever loved me enough to put the Gospel in front of me.” The whole town of Carlisle will be “without excuse” because of Ernie’s effort.

Several years later Ernie went to hear Donald Barnhouse and was greatly impressed. He arranged to have every professional person, doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, college professors, etc. living in Carlisle to receive a subscription to Eternity, the magazine edited by Dr. Barnhouse. Again, I have no knowledge of the results of that effort but I do know that one generation of all the professional people in Carlisle had the Gospel set before them through the efforts one building contractor.

There is one instance where a nasty situation was created quite intentionally. Shortly after I went to Bible school I stopped to see Ernie and he gave a “great book” by a man named Andy Telford. It was on the subject of predestination as it relates to personal salvation. I had just recently come to understand the doctrine of sovereign grace in election. I opened the book and the author gave his understanding of predestination on page one. He said, “The doctrine of predestination means that believers are ‘predestined’ to get safely to heaven. It has nothing to with getting saved. It means “pre” and ‘destination.’ The train company predestines or guarantees that a certain train will take you to Chicago. If you will use your free will and get on the train, the train company guarantees that, because of “pre” – “destination” you will arrive safely in Chicago.” I am sure it was not even close to the wisest way to say it, but I blurted out, “The man does not know what he is talking about.” A very nasty discussion followed. What I did not know at the time was that Ernie had gone to hear Mr. Telford and true to form, he had bought 500 copies of his book. All of you who know Ernie will know that he changed his mind about predestination.

Thirdly, Ernie knew how to see the big picture and always keep it in view. He had that rare ability to be a 100% idealist and 100% realist at he same time. It was this gift that enabled him to accomplish many things that the pure idealist would never touch with a ten foot pole and the 100% realist would say it was neither practical nor possible. Ernie was chided for going into the Southern Baptist. He was called a compromiser because he bent over backwards to take people where they were and slowly teach them “a better way.” Few, if any, Reformed Baptists could have started or developed the Founders Ministries in the Southern Baptist. I personally think the Founders was one of Ernie’s greatest accomplishments even though that ministry, along with Ernie’s disagreement with the view of Eldership practiced by men like Al Martin, created one of the splits within Reformed Baptists that exists to this day. I should add that I personally feel the split was more than justified.

During the last fifty years Ernie and I differed on more than one subject. It would be dishonest with history and a dishonor to both my brother and myself to gloss over the obvious. On nearly all of our differences over the years we ultimately reached agreement, the one exception being the morality of the Sabbath commandment and Law and Grace in general. Of all our theological differences over the years, this is the only one that he refused to discuss with me even though he wrote quite extensively on the subject. He sincerely believed and stated , “There is nothing to discuss, the creeds have said it all.” I would feel that Ernie did not really understand what I believed. I was often asked, “How do you feel about your brother Ernie’s strong disagreement with you over law and grace?” I would reply, “If I believed what Ernie thinks I believe, I would be more upset than he is. Given what he thinks I believe, he would be a hypocrite if he were not upset. He is more than justified in opposing me as long as thinks as he does about my convictions.” It would be both unfair and untrue for anyone to say, “Ernie worshipped the creeds.” He did not. He was committed to the theology of the Westminster Confession of Faith only because he sincerely believed it was the true expression of what Scripture taught. This is why I could honestly respect his convictions and sincerely respect and love him as a Godly Christian. I can understand exactly why at one point he could most conscientiously regard me as being on the border line of heresy. I think in later life he modified that to mean I was “grievously wrong.” However, his attitude was based 100% on what he believed the Scriptures taught and what he understood me to be teaching.

Ernie’s body will lie silently in the grave until the resurrection but we will still hear him speak. Though he is dead his voice will be heard for a long time. We will see his foot prints in a lot of places and in a lot lives for many years to come. Ernie’s death coincided with Ronald Reagan’s death. As I listened to the many changes that had taken place in the world of politics because of Reagan’s vision and influence, I thought of Ernie. I heard Reagan list a few of the things that he and his philosophy had changed and then he said, “Not bad, not bad at all.” I thought of a ninth grade drop out well on the way to being an alcoholic being rescued by sovereign grace and then having the unbelievable effect on so many lives and the well being of the Church of God at large and I thought, “Not bad! Not bad at all!”

Before he was converted Ernie had never read a single book. He did not even read the funny papers. His conversion filled him with a thirst for knowledge and truth that made him wiser than his peers. Despite his lack of education his greatest influence was with professional people. Again we can rightly say, “Not bad, not bad at all.” God took a nobody and really made him a somebody. He took a drunken carpenter and made him a Prince in the House of Israel. He will be both remembered and missed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

TurretinFan: PART 2: The Debate on the Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary: One Protestant's Analysis

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MP3 Available Here

"TurretinFan" (a pseudonym used in order to separate his secular career from his apologetics ministry), a contributor to Dr. James R. White's blog on the Alpha & Omega Ministries web site (http://www.aomin.org/), returns to our program to address: "PART 2: The Debate on the Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary: One Protestant's Analysis".

On Saturday, August 28th, Christopher A. Ferrara, an attorney, widely published Catholic author and commentator, and founder, president and chief counsel of American Catholic Lawyer’s Association , participated in a live, public, moderated debate (over 3 hours in length) with Reformed Evangelical Christian apologist Dr. James R. White, co-founder & director of Alpha & Omega Ministries , on the theme: "The Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary".

Tonight, our guest TurretinFan will provide his analysis of this debate, and will cover topics including:

I. Ineffabilis Deus Lies?II. Ferrara's Attempt to Get Augustine via AquinasIII. Augustine and the Immaculate ConceptionIV. Sanctified in the Womb Does Not Equal Immaculately ConceivedV. Argument from Comparison to John the BaptistVI. Seven Popes Who did not believe in the Immaculate ConceptionYou can read TurretinFan's blog article on the debate here:
http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/08/white-ferrara-marian-debate-some-follow.html

One of the arguments repeatedly used by Mr. Ferrara pointed to the early regeneration of John the Baptist, and suggested that Mary must have been given even more of a blessing from God. You can read TurretinFan's blog article addressing this issue here:
http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-mary-greater-than-john-baptist.html

Thursday, September 2, 2010

TurretinFan: The Debate on the Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary: One Protestant's Analysis

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Due to technical difficulties the MP3 of this broadcast ends approximately 5 minutes before the conclusion of the full interview

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MP3 Available Here


"TurretinFan" (a pseudonym used in order to separate his secular career from his apologetics ministry), a contributor to Dr. James R. White's blog on the Alpha & Omega Ministries web site (http://www.aomin.org/), will address: "The Debate on the Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary: One Protestant's Analysis".

On Saturday, August 28th, Christopher A. Ferrara, an attorney, widely published Catholic author and commentator, and founder, president and chief counsel of American Catholic Lawyer’s Association , participated in a live, public, moderated debate (over 3 hours in length) with Reformed Evangelical Christian apologist Dr. James R. White, co-founder & director of Alpha & Omega Ministries , on the theme: "The Immaculate Conception & Sinlessness of Mary".

Tonight, our guest TurretinFan will provide his analysis of this debate, and will cover topics including:

I. Ineffabilis Deus Lies?II. Ferrara's Attempt to Get Augustine via AquinasIII. Augustine and the Immaculate ConceptionIV. Sanctified in the Womb Does Not Equal Immaculately ConceivedV. Argument from Comparison to John the BaptistVI. Seven Popes Who did not believe in the Immaculate ConceptionYou can read TurretinFan's blog article on the debate here:
http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/08/white-ferrara-marian-debate-some-follow.html

One of the arguments repeatedly used by Mr. Ferrara pointed to the early regeneration of John the Baptist, and suggested that Mary must have been given even more of a blessing from God. You can read TurretinFan's blog article addressing this issue here:
http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-mary-greater-than-john-baptist.html

Tonight's co-host will be Pastor Gary Scott of
New Hyde Park Baptist Church, New Hyde Park, Long Island, NY.
Iron Sharpens Iron 30 Day Archive

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend"- Proverbs 27:17