Following the debate in Seattle I invested some time in responding to some post-debate “chatter,” you might call it, in the form of comments from Shabir Ally regarding the topics we discussed during the debate (which is now available in mp3 format, and Lord willing, in DVD format very soon). In any case, I have not been able to do any more in that arena as time has precluded my doing so, but Sam Shamoun has taken the time to produce a number of replies. Two are on the crucifixion (here and here), and two on other relevant topics (here and here). Thanks again to Sam for all of his hard work for the King and the kingdom!
   In light of the mention of Shabir Ally, I would like to retract what I said on the 26th regarding Shabir’s upcoming debate with Dave Hunt. I do not believe Shabir is going to enjoy his time in that debate, to be sure. Indeed, Hunt’s dogged refusal to listen to the other side may well result in such a confused mess that no one will have the slightest idea what either side is saying. One could only hope! But in any case, I said I was disappointed in Shabir for accepting the debate challenge. Now, on the level that Shabir himself has announced as his reasons for debating, I would still have to be disappointed, because he is not going to be learning from Dave Hunt. But on the level of being willing to engage those who present the most “common” types of arguments against your position, it is perfectly valid for Shabir to respond to Dave Hunt. I was reminded of this by the encounter with Nadir Ahmed and David Wood’s mentioning that while surely Nadir does not present nearly as scholarly or thought-out arguments as Shabir Ally, still, responding to Nadir is useful because his arguments are more like what is found on the “Muslim Street” than those of Shabir Ally. And about that, David is so very correct. It is always good to meet the best the other side has to offer, and this is especially true in debating such groups as Roman Catholics, Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet, one must realize that the Witness at your door is probably not going to argue just like Greg Stafford; the Mormon will not have all of the FARMS materials memorized, and surely most Roman Catholics do not argue like a Hahn or an Akin. So at times you have to deal with those arguments that are more common, and nowhere is this more true than when looking to encourage our brothers and sisters who are under persecution in Muslim lands. The anti-Christian rhetoric of Islamic states is rarely on the level of what you find coming from a Shabir Ally: it is much more in the form of what we saw in my dialog with “Muslm” in our chat channel, or what you find from Ali Ataie or Nadir Ahmed. And as distasteful as it can be to engage those who do not show a proper commitment to honest representation of the other side, for the sake of those who suffer persecution around the world, we must be willing to engage them. And so I have to be consistent, and withdraw my objection to Shabir Ally’s debating Dave Hunt. Instead, since I know multiple people who attempted to convince the organizers of that debate to utilize better Christian representation, I will lay the real objection at their feet. They will get to clean up the mess, to be sure.
   Finally, I recently added a symbol to my “sig file” on my e-mails. Micah had been kind enough to produce some gorgeous signature files for me, and I wanted to add the cross/tricetra design (thanks Machaira!) with the Arabic phrase that reads, “Worship the one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” to it. So one Muslim who saw it wrote back, rather mockingly saying that my Arabic is strange, because I say there is one, but then say that there are three. So I wrote back to this gentleman, who is fairly well known, and asked why it is that Muslim apologists, scholars, writers, etc., fail, very consistently, to address what it is Christians actually believe. Why the straw-men? I seriously wondered if this man could provide a cogent response, but all I got back was empty rhetoric. I will continue asking, for one thing is for sure, the fact that the vast majority of Muslims who deny my faith haven’t a clue what they are denying is surely a major argument against finding Islam to be a religion that promotes a high view of the truth.

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