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Atlanta, 21 December 2016

Home at last! I've just returned from the final speaking tour of the year, in Bolivia. Actually, I'm something of a newcomer to South America. I didn't make my first trip until I was 40 years old. But since then I've been able to go down about once a year -- speaking in every nation except Uruguay. Yet December's tour has to rank as one of the best ever!

Cristo de la Concordia 02.jpgThe photo at the right is Cristo de la Concordia, in Cochabamba. Although it is easily mistaken for Cristo Redentor (Rio de Janeiro), this statue is actually even taller. In front of the statue is a bronze book with the appropriate words of John 14:6.

The second was taken after my final message in La Paz. The brothers with me are David Piñeda, visionary church leader and supporter of the teaching ministry; Kevin Broyles, faithful American doctor who has left the US to serve in our HOPE clinic; and Raul Barrientes, one of the best translators and quickest thinkers I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

I want to express special thanks to the men (and their wives) who looked after me: in Santa Cruz, Cristian Escobar; in Cochabamba, Henry Burgos; and in La Paz, David Piñeda. The work in Bolivia is truly encouraging. ¡Todos ustedes in Bolivia me han animado muchisimo!

There are dozens more photos at both of my Facebook pages, as well as in the Photo Gallery at the website.

Upcoming debate

I've got another debate scheduled! This time it's with imam Shabir Ally, one of the world's foremost exponents of Islam, and certainly one of its top apologists. The event will be held on 25 February 2017, in Toronto.

In 2008 Shabir and I were in a three-way debate with rabbi Shmuley Boteach ("America's Rabbi" and former spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson). While I've met Shmuley twice since that time, Shabir and I have had only email and phone contact.

I look forward to seeing Shabir again. At the time of our first debate, I'd read the Qur'an three times, as well as a handful of books on Islam. But now I've dug deeper, including an intensive study of the Hadith (records of the words and deeds of Muhammad), and even teach Islam in the World Religions course in an M.A. program at Lincoln Christian University.

Previous debate opponents include historian Richard Carrier, Finnish Free-thinker Robert Brotherus, "Christian Atheist" Robert Price, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (2x), and Scientific American's Michael Shermer (3x). If you have a debate idea, or are in a position to sponsor a debate, please let me know. I would relish the opportunity.

CLEAN in 2017

For quite some time now we have kicked off every year with a month of special podcasts (with notes). For example, 2015 began with an in-depth look at Romans, Romans A-Z, and 2016 started with Proverbs: the Disciplined Life. What's the plan for 2017?

CLEAN, or "Clean in Twenty Seventeen," is designed to inspire us to have a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5). We will move towards goal by studying the great themes of purity and cleansing in the Bible, especially through stories of people whose lives were radically transformed by God's grace. An apt subtitle for the Jan 2017 new series (which is also the order of the units within the series) would be “Purity, Cleansing, Leprosy, Exorcism, & Reanimation.”

Intrigued? Need a fresh start? Long to be done with sin -- to live a holy life? I'll soon start recording these 31 practical podcasts. Plan to listen to next week's introductory lesson -- and make your decision.

Douglas Jacoby

All material (c) 2016 by Douglas Jacoby.       unsubscribe from this list           update subscription preferences