Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Another Contrast Between Christianity and Islam
12/31/2009 - James WhiteYou may have seen this new item today:
As many as 50 Muslim villagers armed with clubs and axes recently attacked a showing of the 'Jesus' film near Sargodha, Pakistan, injuring three part-time evangelists and four Christians in attendance.
Two of the evangelists were said to be seriously injured. The Muslim hardliners also damaged a movie projector, burned reels of the film and absconded with the public address system and donations from Christian viewers in Chak village, about 10 kilometers northeast of Sargodha.
Officers at the Saddr police station refused to register a case against the Muslim assailants, sources said....
The evangelists said a Muslim cleric instigated the Muslim villagers, who were armed with clubs, spades and axes.
This happens so often anymore that for many it has become "ho hum." This is how Muslims act in Muslim lands. This is what happens when a religion rooted in 7th century Arabian ethics is forced upon the modern world. But think for just a moment. What if there was a "Muhammad" film? Would you expect to hear of Christians with clubs and axes attacking villagers and burning copies of the film? And if such a thing did happen, what would be the response? Riots in the streets, if the Danish cartoons were any indication. Burning buildings and the like. But will the state-run media point these things out? No, they sit in silence, focused upon Tiger Woods. The double standard is striking.
Dar Al-Harb: Why You Need to Know This Arabic Phrase
12/28/2009 - James Whiteدار الحرب
It is an Arabic phrase. It is pronounced "dar al harb." Memorize it, because it explains why the Nigerian in the window seat is trying to blow you, and the nearly 300 other people with you on your international flight, to pieces as you descend into a major American city.
Dar al-Harb means "the world of war." It is in contrast to دار الإسلام , dar al-Islam, the world of Islam. Dar al-Islam exists when Islam is in control of an area, and the kafirs (unbelievers---you and me) are under the control of the Muslims, subjugated into the position of being dhimmis, paying the jizya, feeling themselves "subdued," as Yusuf Ali kindly put it in this important verse, one of the last "revealed" to Muhammad:
9:29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
The more accurate rendering of the term would be "disgraced" or "humiliated," the same term Allah uses of Satan himself when he is cast down. In any case, the Nigerian with the underwear bomb on his leg views the world in this way. He is a soldier of dar al-Islam. You belong to dar al-Harb. The world of war, the West, the great Satan. Your life is forfeit because he believes a state of jihad exists, and in a state of jihad, the property, and life, of the kafir is forfeit to the soldier of Islam.
On Christmas day we came within a single malfunctioning detonator from adding 12/25 to 9/11. My next flight, and yours, will now be even more uncomfortable, more difficult. I will have to carry less and less with me when I travel, relying more upon the churches I speak at to make up for the new security restrictions. And every single person who gets up and heads to the bathroom for any length of time at all will find himself or herself the object of suspicion and scrutiny. Thank you, Al-Qaeda. Every one of us will be wondering, as we descend, if the Lord will grant us mercy in a safe landing, not just in the normal way, but in restraining the madness of evil men.
Now, you will hear from the "moderate" Muslims that these men just misunderstand Islam. I know moderate Muslims who today are cringing in disgust at what took place on Flight 253. I wish them well in their attempts to debate with their fellow religionists. I hope they can make progress in promoting the idea that there is also dar al-Dawa, the world of invitation or, as we would put it, evangelism, where first one invites to Islam before a state of war exists. I hope they can argue effectively that there is no Muslim Caliph today who can legally declare a state of jihad to exist. But I truly fear that the sources upon which they rely---the Qur'an and the Hadith---are far too unclear, far too muddled, to allow for a clear victory for their views. One thing is for certain, the world tells us that they are losing that battle in the trenches, and someday, soon, that detonator is going to work, reminding us once again that Islam, as it is being promoted openly in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and numerous North African nations, is a militant religio-political system, with the emphasis upon the political.
Lord willing I will comment on the contrast between Islam's use of politics and militarism as a means of expansion with the biblical view of how Christ is building His kingdom in the hearts and minds of His people on the Dividing Line tomorrow at 11am MST.
Cross-Fire Section on the Deity of Christ
12/23/2009 - James WhiteAnother clip from the London debates of 2008 (the video of which just arrived). Again, we are hoping to get the masters so we can fix the image sizing, annoying graphic, etc. But, the information is still there. Here is the "cross-fire" round (that's what you do when you can't really trust that cross-examination will be done properly).
Does Belief in the Trinity Necessitate Shirk?
12/22/2009 - James WhiteSome of the London debates arrived yesterday. Well, sorta, anyway. We requested DV, unedited video, we got plain DVDs with a highly annoying graphic plastered on the screen. So, we have made inquiry as to how to get what we requested. But, till then, at least we have something! I have no idea why the shape of the shot is odd, or why there is enough head room above the speaker to catch pictures of passing birds and aircraft, either. Be that as it may, this was my rebuttal period in the debate with Adnan Rashid on whether belief in the Trinity necessitates committing shirk.
On Remaining Sound in Islamic Apologetics
12/04/2009 - James White
Dan Wallace posted a very interesting article responding to this video wherein Walid Shoebat alleges that Codex Vaticanus (B) identifies the mark of the beast not as "666" (or 616 as some earlier manuscripts have) but instead an Arabic insertion "in the name of Allah" along with a symbol of crossed swords. I will not repeat Dan's refutation here, but I wanted to add a few graphics to strengthen his case. First, Dan pointed out that Vaticanus ends at Hebrews 9:13. What is included in the manuscript after that is really a different manuscript itself (Codex 1957) from long after the writing of B itself. [For those interested in theological/apologetic trivia, for years and years Walter Martin's The Kingdom of the Cults has erroneously made reference to Vaticanus in the book of Revelation in its discussion of Jehovah's Witnesses. I fixed the problem in the edition that Bethany House put out a number of years ago, as an un-named editor, however, once the Martin family took the book back from BHP, they put out the current edition, which went back to Martin's original material, re-inserting the error where it remains today]. Hence, what Shoebat would be looking at would be from long, long after the original writing. Next, though I am traveling, and hence do not have access to my library, I did have with me the printed facsimile of B, and here is what it has at Revelation 13:18:
Now, to try to turn these letters into Arabic, as Shoebat does, is just way, way beyond the pale. If I was at my office I think I could track down a Hijazi example of "bism..." "in the name of," but for now, I can surely provide what Allah looked like in the oldest Qur'anic manuscripts:
Compare this with what Shoebat writes on the board and you can see that this is a real stretch.
I am concerned about this "feed the eschatology crazed evangelicals with wacky connections to Islam" movement. For those of us attempting to provide solid, sound, consistent answers to Muslims, this kind of presentation is significantly less than helpful.
Helping a Fellow Worker Out
12/03/2009 - James White
I will probably be looking for help in this area in the not too distant future myself, but for the moment, my MacBook is fully functional (as you can see on the video I will be posting, Lord willing, by the morning, from here in St. Louis). But Sam Shamoun, a tireless producer of in-depth material on Islam, needs a computer, and David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi of Acts 17 are attempting to put together some funds to get him one. So I thought I'd try to help by posting the widget David put together, that allows you to donate to the fund. This isn't a part of A&O, but I know some of my readers have been blessed by Sam's research and writing, so here it is: