I was riding northbound last Saturday morning listening to a debate which took place a few years ago between our good friend Sam Shamoun and Islamic apologist Shabir Ally. I have been collecting Ally’s on-line materials of late, and had been horrendously frustrated at the men he has chosen to debate. Up until listening to Sam’s debate, I simply hadn’t heard anyone really take him on properly. Well, I truly enjoyed listening to the debate, and wanted to share the debate with the audience of The Dividing Line. But more than that, I wanted to respond to Ally’s claims one by one, something even Sam didn’t get to do, given the brief time constraints of the debate itself.
Ally likes to use liberal Christian writings (especially Jesus Seminar style materials) to attack the Christian faith while refusing, of course, to apply the standards used by those sources to the Qur’an and Islam itself. Sadly, few of those he debates are prepared to engage that kind of apologetic. At times as I listened I could almost translate Shabir’s Arabic-tinged accent into John Dominic Crossan’s Irish lilt, for the words, in many instances, were identical. He also likes to throw out statements about textual criticism that simply make one cringe. In any case, there were so many statements made by him on such a wide range of topics that I felt taking time on the DL to review and rebut them would provide us an opportunity to address a tremendously wide range of apologetic issues, from textual criticism to the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the gospel, etc. So we will be following the pattern we have established in reviewing anti-Calvinist sermons in examining Ally’s claims.
If you would like to listen to the entire debate ahead of time to see where we will be going, they are available on line here.

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