Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Response to Dr. Ergun Caner, President, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
02/26/2010 - James WhitePrevious to my leaving for ministry in London, England, I was contacted by a Muslim who has invested a good deal of time documenting problems with the claims of Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I had initially heard from this young man when I had put out a general call for information on how I might obtain Ergun Caner's many debates, which he has been claiming to have done for many years now. One newspaper source claimed sixty-one debates with Muslims alone, so I really wanted to get hold of some of these encounters. This was when I first learned of questions regarding a much wider range of Ergun Caner's claims. Surely, our encounters in 2005 and 2006 had made me realize that Dr. Caner was not only radically opposed to historic Reformed theology, but was willing to engage in a level of behavior in public that still causes me no end of amazement. But after the 2006 debacle, I had given him little thought. However, his claims to be engaged in the very activity I am, in fact, engaged in, brought us into contact once again.
The Muslim with whom I had corresponded briefly informed me that he had clips of Ergun Caner claiming to have debated Shabir Ally. This I found amazing, so I asked him to provide them. When I landed in Philadelphia on my way to London I received an e-mail giving me the YouTube link providing the information. As I was using my phone as a tethered modem and time was short at the gate, I could not listen then, but did so once I arrived at my hotel in London. Here is the clip:
Unless these audios have been materially altered, it is very plain that at least twice (and I truly doubt anyone has the time to listen to every interview, every program Ergun Caner has done over the past six, seven years or so), Dr. Caner claimed to have debated Shabir Ally. Once, he gave a specific location, Nebraska, of all places. He gave specific arguments made by Shabir Ally, again, twice. In the first clip, he gave two other names. The first is Nadir Ahmed, a wild-eyed Islamic apologist who has been rejected by even the large majority of Muslims. I know Nadir Ahmed (here's proof). Dr. Caner had a single e-mail exchange with him on Islam and peace, which he has posted on his website. Nadir never raised the issue Caner attributes to him in their "debate" in what is posted on his website. But far more troubling was the presence of the name Abdul Saleeb. Dr. Caner claimed to have debated Abdul Saleeb, just as he claimed to debate Shabir Ally. Who is Abdul Saleeb? Well, first, what does the name mean? Abdul Saleeb means "servant of the cross" or "servant of the crucified one." That's not exactly a common Islamic name. It is a pseudonym, of course, adopted by the former Muslim co-author of a book with Norman Geisler on Islam. In other words, Abdul Saleeb is a Christian. Yet, Dr. Caner claimed not only to have debated him, but, at the "end" of their debate, Abdul Saleeb, the servant of the cross, argued, "So what if Jesus died?"
So, the first thing I did was contact Shabir Ally directly. I have debated Shabir four times, and contacted him about other debate opportunities many other times. Normally, Shabir is not quick to respond to e-mails, but this time he got back to me within about twenty minutes. He indicated that he had never debated Ergun Caner, and, as far as he could recall, had never met the man. Once I had this confirmation from Shabir, I wrote to Ergun Caner directly. I summarized the information, provided him with the link to the above posted video, and asked him to explain himself. He replied fairly quickly, immediately admitting that he had "misspoken" in regards to Shabir Ally. ...
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A Wonderful Evening of Debate at Trinity Road Chapel
02/22/2010 - James White
I have just returned to my hotel after a wonderful evening of debate at Trinity Road Chapel in London. We had a wonderful turn out for the debate between myself and Abdullah al Andalusi on the subject of the Christian and Islamic positions on the nature of God. Abdullah and I had engaged that topic on the Unbelievable Radio Program back in November of 2008. You can find that video of our encounter from the studio on YouTube. This time we engaged the entire topic in a fuller fashion.
The turn out was very good, with a good mixture of Christians and Muslims in attendance. The weather was not too bad, thankfully, so we got started at a good time. When you listen to the debate you will hear something you almost never hear from me. I asked the moderator how much time I had left. Why? It wasn't because I forgot my timer (it was on my desk). It was because I had mis-set the timer in KeyNote, which I use during my opening. I set it for 22 hours, not 22 minutes. As a result, I didn't get to the most important part of my presentation, because I did not properly pace myself.
But, that slip up aside, the evening went as you would expect. Abdullah raised the standard Islamic objections to the text of the New Testament and to the Trinity. "How can the infinite become finite? This is contradictory." I did my best to clarify the issues and provide a biblical answer. I also pressed Abdullah to explain why it is the Qur'an does not accurately define the doctrine of the Trinity, and in fact, misrepresents it. I think we could profitably address that topic more in depth in the future, and that is something I would enjoy doing.
In fact, I truly look forward to more encounters with Abdullal al Andalusi in the future. He was a gentleman in all ways. He kept to the time frames, kept to the subject, and though I think a few times during cross examination he sort of wandered from the question, all in all I thought he set a high standard for Muslim apologists to shoot for, very similar to my encounters with Shabir Ally, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Farhan Qureshi, and Abdullah Kunde (my "top Islamic debaters" list thus far).
I met a number of encouraging believers after the debate who had found it edifying. God's people here in London are truly wonderful. I would especially like to thank those who made this debate possible. All who donated to get me over here and support me while I'm here, thank you. To Doug McMasters, his wife and family, the elders and people of Trinity Road Chapel, once again thank you. Your partnership in the gospel is precious to me. To Rich Pierce, who makes it possible for me to travel without having to worry for a moment about the on-going work of the ministry back home, I truly hope you see these pictures and realize none of this happens without you! And special thanks to a Londoner I only met a few days ago, but whom I have known for a few years in our chat channel, Nick. Nick took all the pictures you see here, and, he ran my video camera as well. In fact, when he saw that my video camera's battery had died right at the end of the debate, he brilliantly grabbed the SD card out of my digital SLR, stuck it in his own camera, and recorded the Q&A session in HD, putting the card back in my camera when it was all done! Bravo, Nick, well done. Thanks for all your help!
So, I need to get a short night's sleep and then it is off on the Tube (the London Underground) to do two intense programs with Justin Brierley. I will be taking on Adnan Rashid in the first program, and then Sir Anthony Buzzard in the second. Pray for these programs!
Facts? Truth? Nah, We Want People!
02/04/2010 - James White
I feel badly today for those Islamic apologists I know who truly believe that Islam is true. I am not talking about the men like Nadir Ahmed, but the serious minded men I have met who really believe Islam is the religion of Allah. I would name some right now, but I do not want to get them in trouble. I feel badly for them today because I can see so clearly that the Super Star of Islamic apologists, the "Doctor of Dawah," Zakir Naik, is not one of them. Instead, Naik, whose simplistic arguments, borrowed almost verbatim from the late Ahmed Deedat, are fired off at high speed, has been shown to be fundamentally ignorant of many of the subjects upon which he opines with regularity. Please note the refutation of his recent appearance on The Deen Show here. The man is nowhere near the best Islam has to offer if you measure such things in reference to the truth and consistency. However, he is one of the most popular speakers in Islam, mainly because the average Muslim simply wants to hear reasons not to believe in Christianity, whether those reasons are truthful or not. This is a sad commentary.
We have contacted Dr. Naik's representatives, seeking to arrange a scholarly debate with him. He has debated a number of Christians with far less experience in debating Islam than I. They responded by asking for evidence that I could gather 10,000 people. I replied by providing evidence of my publications, debates, and again pointed to the issue that should be front and center to any truth-loving individual: the fact that I have demonstrated fundamental errors on Naik's part. I received my reply today, and for all those Muslims that would love to see Zakir Naik defend himself against the documentation of errors we have provided, I'm afraid you will be disappointed. I provide the entirety of the e-mail:...
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