Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
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!