Mohammad is a Muslim in the UK who frequently sends me private messages via my YouTube channel. Recently he sent me a rather lengthy critique of one of my videos. The video is a recording of a message I commonly give when I have one Sunday or Wednesday at a church, as a general introduction to Islam and Muslim evangelism. The video, for those interested in the context of his critique, can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwSPmd2tWsw

 

Mohammad's critique was rather lengthy, so my responses to his concerns are also rather lengthy. Because his critique includes a number of common objections raised against Christians and the Bible, I thought it beneficial to reproduce our conversation here. He raised a total of 18 objections. Each will be blocked off below, with his concern first and my response following.

 

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Mohammad

As you requested me to refute your arguments I am going to take the time to go point by point using the timeline in the video to prove to you that the lecture is full with misinformation, conflicting quote from the bible and bias use of the quranic text where it seems you do not know the full text. I truly believe you gave your lecture with the utmost honesty and I can truly say I have listened to more than 20 Apologetic and you are one of the most decent and honest in your speech and I respect you for that. But that does not mean you are right in you info. So lets starts.

 

Me

I try to be fair and accurate. I'm not perfect. You will find that I try to understand Muslims, even the radical extremist ones, from within their worldview, rather than condemning them. That said, I do not excuse some of the evil ideas I see in Islam, and will expose them, and doing so is not 'Islamophobic.' That word I abhor, as it is used generally as a means to end any rational discussion, much like you do below in your critique of Spencer and Geller. Such tactics do not work with me.

Continuing my dialog with a Muslim man in the UK. See part 1 here and part 2 here.

5) Why do you believe in a book that has been changed many many times and has so many contradictions,absurdities, and scientific errors.

Changed? Contradictions? Absurdities? Scientific errors? You must be talking about the Qur'an. But before I go there, I will address your question.

Changed many times? Again you did not define what you mean, so I must make an assumption of what you mean. I assume you mean the standard line given by most Muslims, that we have many "versions" of the Bible. After all, you are want to quote Ahmed Deedat and this was his line of argumentation. So I assume it to be yours as well. "Christians have the King James Version, the American Standard Version, the New King James Version, the New American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version," ad nauseum....

These are not 'changes' to the Bible but simply new translations to bring the understanding of the text into modern usage. The common meaning and definition of words changes over time in any language - Arabic as well, which is why many of the brightest Islamic scholars do not understand the meaning of literally hundreds of words in the Qur'an because the classical Arabic of the Qur'an is a lost language. But I digress. For example, 80 years ago in American colloquialism, the word 'faggot' meant the butt end of a cigarette. Today the word is a pejorative term for a homosexual. Nobody today speaks the "Kings English" of the time of King James, using words like 'thee' and 'thou' and 'thine.'

Continuation of my dialog with a Muslim man in the UK. For part one see here.

You said:

6 Trinity
How on earth can 3 Gods be 1.Not even in your mind can you put these the different personalities into 1. It would have made some sense if you had said that you believe in 3 Gods.

Another Deedat-ism, I see. The idea that Christians worship three Gods suggests another defect in the Qur'an, for no Christian has ever held to the belief in three Gods, so how did the author of the Qur'an make such a blatant error again?

It would be illogical if Christians said we worship three gods as one god. It would likewise be illogical if we said we worship three persons as one person. A god or a person cannot be both three and one at the same time and in the same sense. Such a notion would violate the Law of Non-Contradiction.

But neither example defines the concept of the trinity. The trinity is defined as three PERSONS in one GOD. No contradiction, no violation of the law of non-contradiction. To say such a notion is illogical would be akin to saying it is illogical to think of humans as composed of body, soul, and spirit. Are you three persons in one person as body, soul, and spirit? If this does not rise to the level of a contradiction, then neither does the Christian definition of the trinity.

Recently I was engaged in a lengthy discussion via email with a Muslim man from the UK. He began the exchange by posting a comment to a video I had uploaded to YouTube. I won’t bore you with the initial conversation, but he was basically challenging me regarding the context of several violent verses in the Qur’an. He had no idea of my knowledge in this area, but when he realized I had some knowledge of Islam and the Qur’an and could back up what I said, his demeanor suddenly took a turn toward respect, rather than belittling me like he attempted in the beginning.

What I found interesting are the arguments he used to attempt to discredit Christianity. One of his first responses back to me was a whole laundry list of supposed errors or contradictions or inconsistencies in the Bible. It is these I want to focus on in this article. Since these are the same recycled arguments that have been around since the heydays of Ahmed Deedat, and Muslims still use these today, I hope you will find my answers to these helpful in fostering ongoing dialog with Muslims.

JESUS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE GOD

He began the dialog with the following statement:

If you want the truth, then pray to be guided to it. It is time to follow Jesus Christ peace be upon him and not the religion of Paul. Jesus told us to worship God not him.  Jesus never claimed to be God. Follow the religion of Adam Abraham, Noah, Jesus and Muhammed peace be upon them all. This religion is Islam.

I responded with the following:

On February 24, 2011 a debate was supposed to have taken place at a local university campus: California Polytechnic University, Pomona campus. The debate, between Imam Mustafa Umar and Christian apologist Sam Shamoun, was to be on the topic "Jesus: Prophet or God?" The debate was proposed to the Campus Crusade for Christ chapter by the Muslim Student Association. 

Working with Campus Crusade for Christ as an advisor, I suggested we agree to the debate with the condition that we also have a similar event later the same day on the topic "Muhammad: Prophet or Not?" However, the Imam and/or the Muslim Student Association would not agree to debate Muhammad. Apparently he is off limits with it comes to dialog. Muslims wanted the right to openly challenge the deity of Christ, but when we suggested the same sort of critical look be given to Muhammad, they said no. No debate took place that day.

Instead, Imam Mustafa Umar used the time that had been reserved to present the Islamic view of who Jesus is: a mere man and a respected prophet, but certainly not God himself. I video recorded the entire event which lasted about 50 minutes. That video can be seen here.

After hearing the Imam spend a good portion of his time bashing Christianity and the Bible instead of presenting the Islamic view of Jesus, I had to respond. I could not let his statements about Jesus go without response. I could not let him get away with ripping a verse out of context here and there to build the case that Jesus never claimed to be God, when in context the scripture says just the opposite.

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