Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Debate Announcement: Southern California, Here We Come Again!
03/27/2008 - James White
A Two-Debate Event, between Jalal Abualrub, David Wood and Dr. James White on:
Is Muhammad a Prophet?
Does the Bible Teach Jesus is God?
Place: 2505 Yorba Linda Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831
Is Muhammad a Prophet? 1:30pm with Jalal Abualrub and David Wood
Does the Bible Teach Jesus is God? 5:30pm Dr. James White with Jalal Abualrub
$8 for one debate, $12 for two. Students are free with ID.
Doors will open at 1pm and 5pm. All attendees must present I.D. Security will be present. Please leave all phones, large bags (purses OK) and cameras in your car. Thank you!
Sheikh Jalal Abualrub is a translator of Islamic works such as: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Pillars of Islam by Abdullah Ibn Jabrin, and The Hadith is Proof Itself in Belief and Laws by Nasirudden al Albani. He has authored several books, his most important being an eight book series titled The Prophet of Mercy. He is highly recommended by The American Muslim Association of North America. You may view his works at: www.islamlife.com.
David Wood is a currently a Ph.D. student and has recently co-authored the book, Who Was Muhammad? The Christian and Muslim Perspectives, with Bassam Zawadi. He has an in depth knowledge of the Muslim faith. You may view more of his works at: www.answeringmuslims.com or www.answeringinfidels.com.
And if you don't know who I am, well, you are on the wrong blog!
This came about pretty suddenly, but I am thankful for the opportunity to present and defend the truth about the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ.
Not The Dividing Line... But a Great Substitute!
03/27/2008 - James SwanI'm sure many of you are wondering where the links to the Dividing Line webcast are this week. Dr. White is away, but still managed to do three hours of live broadcasting as a guest on Iron Sharpens Iron .
Day one can be heard here.
Day two can be heard here.
Day three will be available later today. Iron Sharpens Iron airs live today at 3 PM until 4 PM Eastern Standard Time. You can listen to Dr. White's interview live-streamed here. Iron Sharpens Iron greatly appreciates calls from the listening audience. If you have a question for Dr. White, call 1-631-321-WNYG (9694) today between 3 PM and 4 PM. You will be able to speak with Dr. White live on the air.
Comparison/Contrast: Seeking to Speak the Truth with God-Honoring Accuracy
03/27/2008 - James WhiteAn old friend here on Long Island brought a really nice video camera to my lecture on Islam's Self-Identification as a Denial of Christian Truth in Baldwin Tuesday evening. It is truly amazing the quality that is now available in the tiniest little cameras! Anyway, he brought a DVD of the video to my talk last night in Merrick (where I addressed Jesus in the Qur'an), and I pulled the video late last night of a ten minute segment where I began to introduce the audience to Surah 112. While this is basic information (only two people in the audience had ever even read parts of the Qur'an), I provide it today to contrast with the kind of representation of Christian belief that you find in Islamic apologetics. Here I am speaking to a Christian audience yet, as you can see, I truly seek to be accurate in the information I am presenting, and fair in my comments, even while critiquing and disagreeing with the material under consideration. I leave it to the fair minded viewer whether this is the common practice on "the other side."
Shadid Lewis and Michael Baigent: Commentary
03/26/2008 - James WhiteShadid Lewis and Sami Zaatari have been commenting on my last video, and they have stated that we should watch the video to see what they really said. In fact, it has been suggested that I am being dishonest in my comments. So, I happen to have video from sections of both debates on my little digital camera (seems like a wise thing to do in light of what has been happening since the debates---I mean, video is hard to argue with). Since Shadid has been the main voice in commenting, here I provide not only my response, but I provide the video of Shadid Lewis presenting his "sign of Jonah" argument, as well as his citation of historical fiction writer, Michael Baigent (the man who wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail) as if Baigent is a Greek scholar. If Mr. Lewis would like to repudiate Baigent and abandon this argument, that is great. I would welcome his so doing. In any case, since the allegation of misrepresentation has been made, here is the video itself. Let the viewer decide!
Final Report from Norfolk: BAD Islamic Arguments
03/23/2008 - James White
Review of Day Two of the Easter Debates
03/23/2008 - James White
Islam Debate Review
03/23/2008 - James SwanI went to Norfolk Virginia to attend the debate between Dr. White and Nadir Ahmed on the topic, "Can We Trust What the New Testament Says about Jesus and the Gospel?" Mr. Ahmed was thoroughly unprofessional, acted completely unprepared, and had absolutely no ability to either present or defend any of his assertions in any coherent or persuasive fashion. In many instances throughout the interaction, Mr. Ahmed acted with belligerence and rudeness to Dr. White, the moderators, and the audience.
I would probably not be wrong in stating that even the Muslims present were embarrassed by his presentation. In fact, during the questions and answers segment, the Muslims that had the opportunity to comment expressed disapproval in Mr. Ahmed's presentation and behavior. I was very pleased that the Q & A actually allowed Muslims from the audience to comment in person. Their comments said more about Ahmed's presentation then any non-Muslim could. It would've been interesting to have a camera pan the audience during this debate. In one particualr instance, a Muslim asked Ahmed a basic question about Islam. The answer given by Ahmed totally frustrated the Muslim. I watched him go back to his seat, shaking his head in frustration. He then moved a few rows back to speak with a few other Muslims. I could tell, none of them were pleased by Mr. Ahmed.
At many points, I was embarrassed for the Muslims. The presentation was that bad that Islam was disgraced by the one defending it. Out of respect, I tried as much as possible not to simply laugh out loud at the presentation being put forth. Many in the audience were not as respectful. One could hear the audience at times had lost patience with the foolishness being put forth from Ahmed as academic discourse on such an important topic. Even Dr. White lost patience at times with Nadir, asking him to "at least have respect for the audience." Nadir though kept on talking, despite pleas from the moderators, the opponent, and the audience. The video will probably not capture this in total, but the expressions on Dr. White's face during Ahmed's comments and presentation were worthy of an entire video. At a few points, the moderators actually had to turn Nadir's microphone off. This was not because he had gone past his time allotments, but because he launched into personal vendettas against one of the moderators and his family. At at least one point, I thought for sure Mr. Ahmed was going to be asked to leave.
Nadir Ahmed first gave his opening presentation, which only lasted for seven minutes out of the given twenty (Nadir would later comment he was being generous, giving the unused time to Dr. White, but of course, Dr. White did not receive any of this unused time). This immediately struck me as the methodology of man who was not prepared. The opening statement did not even appear to me to be an Islamic apologetic.
Ahmed argued from the position of skepticism. Though beginning by stating the Bible was an exact duplicate of the original documents, and it had not been changed or corrupted by early scribes, it was still an untrustworthy document. Ahmed argued one could not trust what the New Testament says about Jesus and the Gospel because the entire New Testament was constructed by the Pauline church "over a couple of centuries." The Pauline church held the New Testament was written by the disciples of Jesus, that Paul was a prophet (and hence a trustworthy source of divine revelation), and that the Apostles approved of and worked with Paul. For Ahmed, each of these claims are without evidence and believed on "blind faith." Hence, without any evidence, the New Testament cannot be trusted with what it says about Jesus and the Gospel. Further, since the Pauline church was only one of many different early Christian churches with their own distinguishing theology, this plurality calls into question whether any one church was the "true" Christian church.
Dr. White responded by pointing out there was no such thing as the "Pauline church," and that the early Apostles worked together. The alleged "other" churches with different theologies were typically heretical or Gnostic. Their writings come much later than the New Testament writings. Not only do the later Gnostic groups contradict the earlier Christian writings, they likewise contradict Islam on essential points.The Koran likewise mentions the Apostles, and does not indicate they were at odds with Paul, or "Pauline" Christianity. Paul is often not presented in glowing whitewashed terms in the New Testament. One would think, if his followers created the New Testament and looked to him as a prophet, his image would've been cleaned up, so to speak. Dr White also pointed out that Muslims are required to believe there were authoritative books sent down before [The New Testament]. If this is so, Mr. Ahmed's argumentation refutes his own religion. If the books sent down before are completely unreliable as to give any information on Jesus, why are Muslims required to believe they existed? The Muslim should only argue that authentic New Testament books exist, but have been corrupted over the centuries. Ahmed though began by stating they had not been corrupted, but were completely bogus. Hence, Ahmed denies what his own Koran says about the New Testament.
What followed after this was the chaos described above. Ahmed offered nothing more than his basic assertions. He could not answer any of Dr. White's questions, nor could he himself construct even a basic question to ask Dr. White. Often (if not in every instance), Nadir simply answered by launching into other topics (many not even relevant to the debate), or repeating his basic assertions from his opening statement. He took many opportunities to spend his time making debate challenges or reviewing his past debates. At one point, he stated something to the effect that Christians wouldn't debate him, this stated ironically, while he sat on a stage next to the leading Christian debater!
None of us were fooled. It became obvious very quickly that Mr. Ahmed had no credentials or ability to call himself an apologist, nor should he have been given the opportunity to a moderated public debate. I'm not sure what impact this debate will have in the future as an apologetic tool. One thing it did prove, was that one simply does not declare oneself an apologist. If anything, the debate showed me that simply because one has a passion does not mean they have the ability or wisdom to defend and explain that passion, particularly if that passion happens to be based on a religion that is not true. I'm not a person who enjoys a one-punch knock-out, or a baseball game in which the score is 17 to 2. I expected to see a Muslim apologist at least present a rational, well constructed apologetic in which I was challenged to think more deeply about my faith. This did not happen.
Despite all this, I don't regret going to the debate. It is always an honor to watch the truth proclaimed when it is challenged by an opposing view. It was valuable to watch the Muslims in the audience, consider their questions, and watch Dr. White take what time he could to speak to them with graciousness and respect. This alone challenged me to consider what I could do to be ready to present the Gospel to Muslims.
More from the Old Dominion "Debate" with Nadir Ahmed
03/22/2008 - James White
Early AM Debate Report: Nadir Ahmed, Old Dominion University
03/21/2008 - James WhiteWhat an amazing experience! I truly had never seen anyone misbehave as badly in a debate as Nadir Ahmed did this evening. Combine this with his utter incapacity to grasp the most basic elements of scholarly discourse and argumentation, and well---the results were predictable. But, the Muslims in the audience were so put off by his childish behavior and hubris that I do believe I had some opportunity of truly speaking to them about the key issues, especially when it came to audience questions. In any case, I threw together this video so you would have a report as quickly as possible. Now...I am going to bed! Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Now This is Interesting...
03/17/2008 - James WhiteI wrote a review of Daniel C. Peterson's book on Muhammad for the CRI Journal recently, so I found this little announcement quite interesting. This is one debate I am looking forward to listening to! Details here.
Islamic Debates in Virginia
03/03/2008 - James WhiteFor more information click here.
Conclusion of the Opening Statement from the Seattle Debate on the Crucifixion
03/03/2008 - James White