Though we still have a number of months before the October cruise, class, and debate (though, time is a-wasting for you to get your reservations at the SeaTac Marriott!–and remember, you need to go through the links on that page to get our rates and help us with the debate), most of you want to get started on the reading for the class. I have been waiting for a final book to arrive to finish the list, and it did today. We will not be using it. It is a tremendous example of just how bad Islamic apologetics materials can be. The book is titled, The Myth of the Cross, by A.D. Ajijola. I eagerly pulled the book out of the package as soon as it arrived, popped it open, and the very first paragraph I read was this one:
We must remember that the New Testament was canonized in the year 325 at the Council of Naecia (sic) [Pure Falsehood: Nicea had nothing to do with the canon of the Scriptures, period] where 27 books were selected by a majority vote,of (sic) course in that congregation the majority was of those who believed in the ‘Trinity’ and other pagan conceptions. Those who represented the true church were a small minority and though they vehemently opposed all abominations, they were, on pain of torture and death, forced into silence. [Pure Fantasy: if Ajijola is trying to say the Arians were the ‘true church’ he obviously has no clue what the Arians believed.] The Bishop of Rome, the head of the majority church, had the Emperor Constantine at his back to support him. Few dared opposed the Bishop and the Emperor. [The Bishop of Rome was not even at the Council of Nicea, and had little to do with its deliberations.] (p. 76)
So, there is surely no reason to utilize such a grossly flawed source as this. Unfortunately, none of the other books I ordered are any better. I reviewed Dr. Roshan Enam’s Follow Jesus or Follow Paul? but it is exceptionally shallow and shows no familiarity at all with Christian scholarship or exegesis. Naser Al-Moghamis’ Christianity & Islam According to the Bible & the Qur’an is by far the nicest printed of the books I reviewed, but it is again exceptionally simplistic and would not be useful at all to educated Christians. So, I will not be including a specifically Islamic book in the reading list. Instead, I will post a link to Shabir Ally’s presentation on the topic and assign the students to listen to that instead.
So, with that all explained, here is the reading list:
Morris, Leon. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Eerdmans Third Revised Edition, found here.
Owen, John. The Works of John Owen Vol. 10 (Banner of Truth ed.), found here. This work is available in e-text format as well (Ages Library CD Rom, as I recall). It contains The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, the primary text, but it likewise contains to other important works, Of the Death of Christ and, especially relevant to the Islamic position, A Dissertation on Divine Justice.
Long, Gary D. Definite Atonement (New Covenant Media, 3rd Ed., 2006), found here.
Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion (Fortress Press, 1977), found here.
Ally, Shabir, “Did Jesus Die for the Sins of the World” in .wmv format here.
These are the “textbooks” so to speak for the class. Aside from these, the student will need to obtain his or her own copy of the Qur’an. I would recommend either the many versions of the Yusuf Ali translation available in your local bookstores, or, one I have found particularly useful and handy, that Tafsir edition of Mawdudi’s work, found here. Portable, not overly expensive, very useful.
Now, in addition to these published works, I will be providing a PDF document of six articles as soon as I can. When I finish it, I will post it here.
Next, I will provide a few “recommended reading” resources, in order of usefulness. These are not required. This is so guys can ask to buy these and put them in their library and say, “But James said it would be good.” Hey, I had to build my library once, too! The first book would be an excellent textbook, so I highly recommend it, but it will not be out in the US until July, and even then, you never know with publishing houses, so I will leave it at the top of this list. But if you get any of the following books, get that one.
Jeffery, Steve, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach. Pierced for our Transgression: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution (IVP, 2007).
Brown, Raymond. The Death of the Messiah (2 vols.) Doubleday, 1994.
Hill, Charles (ed), Frank James (ed), Roger Nicole (ed). The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Historical & Practical Perspectives: Essays in Honor of Roger R. Nicole (IVP, 2004), found here.
McKnight, Scott. Jesus and His Death: Historiography, the Historical Jesus, and Atonement Theory (Baylor University, 2005), found here.
Bauckham, Richard. God Crucified (Eerdmans, 1998). Probably need to use a library for this one!
Beilby, James, Paul Reddy (eds). The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views (IVP, 2006), found here.