Category Archives for Blog

To Accept or Reject: An Unavoidable Choice

  This blog is directed to you if you are an agnostic who is willing to acknowledge that there may be at least some truth to the claims of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you are not fully persuaded, but you have encountered the possibility of the reality of Christ. Maybe in the Bible. Maybe in the testimony of […]

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Monson Reinvented

The AIIA Institute was incorporated in 1991. It has been headquartered here in Monson, Maine, ever since. Like many other small towns in Piscataquis County, the town seemed to be in decline for a long time. Then something happened a few years ago that changed that trend — something that has the potential to make […]

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Reverend Jayber Crow?!

My sons have long sung the praises of novelist Wendell Berry. So about a year ago I bought Berry’s most famous fictional work, Jayber Crow, and began listening to it last week on our return trip to Maine from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Jayber Crow, the main character in the novel by his name, grew up as […]

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Reception in the Shenandoah Valley

  If you’re within driving range of Harrisonburg, Virginia, this coming Monday evening, August 12, we’d love to spend a little time with you at an AIIA-sponsored reception. Our entire Witmer family plans to be present. Here are the details.  

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Christian Apologetics & John Wyatt Witmer

From its very inception we have tried to make AIIA more than a ministry of mere sterile academic apologetics. We’ve attempted to make it existential, alive, and connected with the real world in which we all live.  One major way in which we’ve done this is by sharing our family’s journey in life and in […]

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Faith Matters Focuses on Buddhism

What do you know about Buddhism? What’s the Christian response to Buddhism? What question often leaves Buddhists stumped? Click here for details.

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View. Click. Think. Be Ready.

View the newly updated slideshow on AIIA’s homepage. Click on each individual slide. Be informed. Be current. Be in touch. Be thinking. Be ready.

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Grandson John Wyatt’s Next Heart Surgery

You may be among those who follow and pray for our family as well as our ministry. If so, we’d appreciate your prayers for our youngest grandson, John Wyatt Witmer (age 5), son of Andrew & Maureen Witmer (Harrisonburg VA) in the time before, during, and after his third major open heart surgery, now scheduled […]

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Was Jesus’ Piercing Prophesied?

Did God supernaturally inspire the king of Israel to write about the coming Messiah’s death by crucifixion 1000 years before it actually even happened? If so, what are the implications for the Divine authorship of all Scripture? On this Good Friday 2019, here’s an up-to-date revision of a thoughtletter that was originally published fourteen years […]

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Was Reincarnation Once Taught in the Bible?

  In the May-June 2019 issue of AIIA’s Proclamation thoughtletter (scheduled for publication later this month), I refer to an exchange that I had with a Buddhist some time ago in which he contended that in 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea purged all references to reincarnation from the Bible. He said that prior to […]

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Now Read This! Darwin Devolves

  On March 8, 2019, I completed an initial cursory read-through of Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution, ©2019 HarperOne, by Michael J. Behe, PhD. Behe is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and author of the previously-published highly-noted work, Darwin’s Black Box. In this just-released book Behe […]

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Critiqued: Major Biology Classroom Textbook

  Robert Valiant, an AIIA Ministry Associate from southern New Hampshire, recently authored an 11-page critique of BIOLOGY (©2008 edition, Prentice Hall), a major textbook that has been used for many years in public school classrooms across the country. Mr. Valiant’s critique is respectful, yet precise and candid in exposing the macro-evolutionary assumptions that undergird much […]

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God, the Bible, and War

So many wars and conflicts throughout history have been driven by religion. Why believe in a God who advocates war and violence? Why accept a Bible that seems to repeatedly condone horrible human atrocities? How should a Christian respond to such charges?  Here are three salient points: 1. The Bible does not always condone all […]

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Rise & Fall of the New Atheism?

  Are all Christians intellectually deficient?  In his highly-touted book, The End of Faith, Sam Harris (neuroscientist, atheist, author) caustically writes: “Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anybody else, and to […]

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Insights from Saving Truth by Abdu Murray

Late last night I finished reading a new book by Abdu Murray, North American Director of RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). It’s entitled Saving Truth | Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-Truth World, © 2018 Zondervan. This blog is not intended as a formal review of the book. Not at all. I’m only citing […]

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Supporting the Defense of God’s Truth

  CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS MAINE NEW ENGLAND AIIA INSTITUTE THE WITMERS IN MONSON, MAINE •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• IS GOD’S TRUTH under serious attack these days?  IS THE INCREASED ATTRITION OF YOUTH from evangelical churches due in large measure to the fact that so many young people believe that there just are no good answers to the tough questions […]

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The Big Picture: Glorifying God

Someone once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Do you know where you’re going today? Do you know where you’re going in life? Or are you just meandering along in a maze of meaninglessness? Some of the most basic questions that Christian apologetics seeks to address are […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181206

Great news today from Homer Hill in Monson, Maine. Yesterday (Wednesday, December 5) at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, Mary and I met with Dr. John Klemperer, the surgeon who performed her aortic valve replacement procedure on November 1. Mary had been making good progress for weeks, so we were optimistic that he […]

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Another Piece of Cake

EVERYBODY HAS TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING. I believe I’ll have another piece of cake. Chocolate cake. Lots of frosting. Eat, drink, be merry. Tomorrow we might . . . eat even more. Anything wrong with hedonism? If you live within driving range of AIIA’s Study Center in Monson, Maine, plan now join us at our […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181126

Just a brief update here this morning to let those of you who are interested know that Mary continues to make good progress in healing from her aortic valve replacement procedure on November 1. The one persistent challenge has been getting a good night’s sleep due to discomfort in her back and near her primary […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181120

In the four days since my last post on Mary’s status there have been a number of positive developments. First, the bleeding from a secondary wound created during Mary’s open heart surgery on November 1 has now almost totally ended. That’s a huge relief.  Second, she has been taken off Coumadin, the anticoagulant that she […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181116

It’s been a number of days since I’ve provided an update on Mary’s recovery from aortic valve replacement surgery on November 1. In general she is making good headway but we’re learning that there’s a lot more to this experience than a one-time two-hour operation on the heart itself. Along with the primary incision to […]

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Is Christianity Valid for Everyone?

Suppose someone says to you, “Everyone has their own worldview — which makes true objectivity impossible. If true objectivity is impossible then no worldview can be considered universally valid. Therefore Christianity is not universally valid. Christian belief may be fine for you but please don’t claim that it’s true for everyone.” How would you respond? […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181110

Mary continues to steadily recuperate from aortic valve replacement surgery on November 1. Thanks for tracking along with her progress here and on previous blogs. Each day seems to be another step in the right direction. Yesterday she had an appointment with our family physician. Dr. Perlman confirmed that she is now back in sinus rhythm. […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181107

Today has been a day of nurses visiting, calling, and checking in as a follow up to Mary’s heart valve replacement surgery last Thursday, November 1. I’ve been “picking up the pieces” here at home after nearly a whole week away — responding to phone calls, answering days-old emails, and sorting through a large bag […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181106

Good evening from Homer Hill in Monson, Maine! That’s right — we’re home — and so far, so good. Our friends Wayne & Jane Armstrong came to Eastern Maine Medical Center this afternoon to transport Mary home in the back seat of their car. The back seat of a car is airbag-free, making it a […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181105

It’s been a long day of ups and downs, but one that on net seems to have ended well. At about 8:30 AM Mary’s heart slipped back into afib. So disappointing. But then this evening at about 7:00 PM it once again converted back to sinus. Mary had just been praying and immediately credited God’s […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181104

The good news of the day is that, within minutes of Mary’s two chest tubes being removed, her heart rhythm suddenly converted from atrial fibrillation (afib). However, it converted to another form of arrhythmia — possibly atrial flutter, according to her nurse, although sinus tachycardia was also mentioned as a possibility at one point. But […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181103

As of 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon, Mary’s heart continues in afib. This leaves her feeling very washed out. (I understand that feeling from years of experience with afib myself.) She speaks in a quiet voice, moves very slowly, and has almost no appetite. I’m used to her cheery smile and steady sunny disposition, but that […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181102.b

Within minutes of my posting the previous blog from my hotel room at about 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon, while enroute back to Mary’s bedside at the hospital, Stephen phoned to say that Mary had slipped into an arrhythmic heartbeat pattern known as atrial fibrillation (afib). While not totally uncommon for patients who’ve just had […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181102.a

Over twenty-seven (27) hours following the conclusion of aortic valve replacement surgery, Mary continues to make good progress. She has had many IVs, catheter, and other tubes and wires removed. The chest drainage tubes remain and they, plus the incision, are still causing considerable discomfort and pain. But she has been much more alert and […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181101.b

Mary has continued to recover from aortic valve surgery throughout the afternoon and evening hours. She is still sleepy as the result of anesthesia administered during her surgery, but was actually sitting in a chair for an hour at one point. She will probably be walking tomorrow. Pain has been managed well. The CCU staff […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181101.a

Mary’s surgery ended just before Noon today, November 1. Her preparation time lasted somewhat longer that initially projected, so the operation itself didn’t begin until after 9:00 AM, although we were up at 3:30 AM and had arrived to register on Surgical Level 3 at 5:00 AM sharp. It’s already been a long day. I […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181031

As of 8:00 PM this evening, October 31, Mary Witmer remains scheduled for aortic valve replacement surgery first thing tomorrow morning, November 1, at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. We are to arrive on the surgical floor at 5:00 AM. If all goes as planned, she will be out of surgery by Noon. We hope […]

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Apologetics, Conviction, and Hope

On June 6, 2013, The Atlantic magazine published an article by Larry Alex Taunton entitled Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity. Here is a brief excerpt: “Sincerity does not trump truth. After all, one can be sincerely wrong. But sincerity is indispensable to any truth we wish others to believe. There is […]

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Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181018

Mary Witmer is now scheduled for aortic valve replacement surgery on November 1 at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. We hope to be able to post regular progress reports here on this blog beginning on that date and following. Thanks for your concern and prayers on our behalf.

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Who Is Missing From This Major Expo?

Late last week an invitation to attend the 12th Annual Natural Living Expo in Marlborough MA arrived in the morning mail. This large-scale event is scheduled to take place on November 10-11, 2018. Three keynote speakers will be featured along with 275 exhibits, 90 workshops, seven healthy food vendors, and much more. It is being […]

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October 2018 Witmer Family Update

We’ve been waiting to post this month’s family update until we got word about the results of Mary’s latest echocardiogram on October 1. Yesterday it came. The phone rang just before Noon. Mary’s cardiologist was on the line. Her aortic value stenosis has worsened considerably since July and, in spite of the fact that she is […]

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September 2018 Witmer Family Update

Andrew and his family were in Monson for approximately ten days in early August. Mary and I had a great time with Maureen and the grandchildren while Andrew researched and conducted interviews for a book on the history of Monson which he’s hoping to publish in time for the town’s 200th anniversary in 2022. Stephen […]

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Is Christian Apologetics Really All That Important ?

What’s the big deal about Christian Apologetics? Is it relevant? Is it necessary? You’ll have your answer in less than 10 minutes if you’re willing to invest that amount of time in reading this timely new article by J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity. Click here for the article.

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Summertime. Maine. Monson. Apologetics.

This year, with an exciting multi-million-dollar rejuvenation project currently underway in our little village, and hundreds of Appalachian Trail hikers on their usual annual migration through town, there has been a marked increase in the number of people coming by AIIA’s Study Center. It’s clear that we are increasingly strategically located here in the northwoods as […]

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August 2018 Witmer Family Update

Never before in my life has four months seemed to fly by so quickly. Our sabbatical was wonderful. Except for the threat of Mary’s impending surgery and the considerable time spent in trying to arrange for home care when that happens, it was an almost totally positive experience. I was able to relax in the […]

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July 2018 Witmer Family Update

Mary had her most recent echocardiogram on Monday, July 2. The very next day we received a call from her cardiologist’s office with some surprising news — her numbers had actually improved since April. This is evidently not routinely the case with aortic valve stenosis, which typically progressively worsens. So we’re very much thanking God […]

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Alpine Water Troughs & the Evidence of Personality

One deeply memorable impression of my visit to L’Abri in Huemoz Switzerland in 1972 was of the water troughs in that picturesque little Swiss village. Water flowed freely and continually into those troughs from some higher alpine meadow or snow pack. Then the overflow would run down to a trough on a street below, then […]

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June 2018 Family Update

Mary and I were in the midst of our AIIA board-appointed sabbatical recently, quietly checking out a Native American Spring festival in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine, totally minding our own business, when I was suddenly ambushed by this Navajo Indian brave asking if he could have his picture taken with me! Well, that’s technically true. […]

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May 2018 Update on Mary

Mary and I met with her cardiologist in Bangor earlier today — May 3, 2018. Based on her most recent echocardiogram in April, and unless she begins experiencing symptoms, Dr. Crespo continues to advise that we await the results of her next echocardiogram in July before proceeding to set a date for open heart aortic […]

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Suppressing Christian Truth

  I once heard about a birthday card that on the outside read: “I was in a card store the other day looking for a card with a message that would fit you when suddenly this born again Christian guy came up to me and started quoting Scripture.” On the inside of the card it […]

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April 2018 Witmer Family Update

Thanks to so many of you who have written, called, and/or been praying about Mary’s diagnosis of aortic valve stenosis since January. It means a great deal.  Mary’s latest echocardiogram on April 3 showed that her condition has now worsened and is considered severe, making her a candidate for surgery. Nevertheless, her cardiologist believes that […]

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Good Friday 2018

On this Good Friday 2018 the words of the late Anglican minister, John W. Stott, come to mind: “I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the cross.” “In a real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?” Hebrews 4:15-16: “For we do not have […]

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March 2018 Update on Mary

In spite of maintaining a normal rigorous routine (which includes walking on her treadmill most every day, carrying wash baskets up the basement steps, and much more) — all of which the doctors have encouraged her to do — Mary continues to experience absolutely no symptoms whatsoever of her aortic valve stenosis. Until or unless […]

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What About Theistic Evolution?

Generally speaking, mainstream science today endorses a version of Darwinian evolution which proposes that humans are the unanticipated result of wholly natural random forces at work over long ages. But because the Bible makes it clear that a sovereign infinite personal God fully intended from before time that humans would exist, Christians who align with […]

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Introducing our latest AIIA initiative

Welcome to our new blog! I really hope that you’ll “follow” along by subscribing with your email address at right. Or bookmark this page and check in often. The pace of life slows during the winter months here in north central Maine. So I try to catch up on my backlog of unread books. I just […]

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