Getting a militant atheist and homosexual to think

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Debate

James White and James Renihan defend the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ in history against two very famous liberal theologians, Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

1 Corinthians 15:1

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand

γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν ἀδελφοί τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ παρελάβετε ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἑστήκατε

1 Corinthians 15:2

by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

δι’ οὗ καὶ σῴζεσθε τίνι λόγῳ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν εἰ κατέχετε ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ εἰκῇ ἐπιστεύσατε

1 Corinthians 15:3 –

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς

1 Corinthians 15:4

and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφάς

1 Corinthians 15:5

and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve

καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα

1 Corinthians 15:6

After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν

1 Corinthians 15:7

then He appeared to James, and then to all the apostles

ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν

1 Corinthians 15:8

and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί

1 Corinthians 15:9

For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι ὁ ἐλάχιστος τῶν ἀποστόλων ὃς οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς καλεῖσθαι ἀπόστολος διότι ἐδίωξα τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ

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Shabir Ally struggles to try and deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih

From a 2004 Debate between Mike Licona and Shabir Ally – “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (see below)

On the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih, there is no doubt. But the Qur’an and Islam deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih ( Surah 4:157). So Muslims try hard to find reasons to deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Here Shabir Ally struggles to try and use some scholars to disprove the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih.

Full Debate here:

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Debate: Is Muhammad prophesied in the Bible?

This is an excellent debate and I really appreciate the Muslims allowing a debate in their Mosque. (The East London Mosque, London, England)   This debate took place in 2012. Abdullah Al Andalousi did a great job in moderating and Zakir Hossein had a good spirit and tried hard to make his case for the Islamic position.

Dr. James White said something very important at the beginning of his time: (at the 31 minute mark)  My paraphrase – “We need to do this kind of thing more often, especially in the light of what is going on in our world today – communicate with each other with repect and honesty, to debate and disagree without being violent.”  Amen! Some select points and notes of important issues in this debate:

All of my notes are based on Dr. White’s answers and I have expanded and explained things more at some points.  

Because of Surah 7:157, Muslims are forced to try and find Muhammad in the Bible, because this verse in the Qur’an says, “whom they will find in the Torah and the Gospel”.

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful. Surah 7:157  (Sahih International version)

I just noticed that translation “in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel”.  (see ten other Qur’an translations into English)   “in what they have” is not there in the Arabic, and seems to imply that the Christians only have some of the original books.

Song of Solomon 5:16

“His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” This is the weakest of all the Muslims attempts to find Muhammad in the Bible.  Even weaker than John 14 and 16 and Deuteronomy 18:15-18.  Muslims are trying to claim that this is about Muhammad, because of the similar sound of the Arabic word for Muhammad and the Hebrew word “pleasant, desirable” (מחמדים – Makhmadim).  But the context is two lovers and the whole Song of Solomon is about romantic love and feelings for one another before they get married, and then their sexual love within marriage.  It is a celebration of romantic love, communication with each other, husband and wife and speaking to each other describing each other, and holy sex within marriage.  Sex was God’s idea and is pure within marriage. (Genesis chapters 1-2; Proverbs 5:15-19; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians chapter 7) It is the bride’s description of her soon to be husband.  So there is nothing about Muhammad here. Makhmadim –  “desirable” מחמדים Mamtaqim – “sweetness” ממתקים  – sweetness This is poetry; similar sounding ending to the other word (” . . .im” or “eem” – ים – ממתקים ) , in the Hebrew parallelism for “sweetness”.  “Sweetness” and “desirable” are in what is known as Hebrew parallelism in poetry. Balsam wood/trees -Song of Solomon 5:13 and 6:2.  Balsam wood is also from Arabia and Mecca.  Genesis 37:25 mentions the Ishmaelites bringing “aromatic gum, balm, and myrrh” to Egypt.  Ok, but Dr. White points out that Solomon brought a lot of things from a lot of different countries.  He was rich and powerful.  He had cedar trees from Lebanon (Song 5:15) and lilies (5:13; 6:2) there also, as described in the Song of Solomon.  Song of Solomon 6:2 shows it was his garden in Jerusalem, nothing about Muhammad in Arabia.   Dr. White Surah 7:157 – “whom they find in the Gospel and the Torah” No Christian at the time of Jesus, nor the apostles, nor any early church father ever wrote or said they expected a prophet from Arabia.

back to Song of Solomon 5:16 –  This is poetry; the bride speaking to bridegroom. The  2 words, ending with “eem”, rhymes with “sweetness” and “pleasant”.   Balsam was in his garden in Jerusalem, so were cedars of Lebanon Solomon, and lilies and other things that Solomon brought from all over the world.

Lillies – Song of Solomon 6:2 – are lilies in Mecca? no.

Makhmad – to try and say this is Muhammad just because of the similar sound is not a good intellectual argument.  The root word is in other verses – 1 Kings 20:6 – same root word, makhmad / מחמד – “desirable” – “whatever is desirable in your eyes, they will take in their hand and carry away.” Was Muhammad carried in their hands and taken away? מחמד same word used in these two passages also: 2 Chronicles 36:19 – was Muhammad destroyed by fire ? Isaiah 64:10 – did Muhammad become a ruin?

John chapters 14, 15, and 16 – the comforter, the paraklatos, the one called alongside to help, the helper, the advocate.  Because of Surah 61:6 and the claim that “Ahmad” is in the gospel, Muslims try to find that “Ahmad” ( احمد – meaning, “praised one”, another form of Muhammad (محمد) in these passages by claiming that the “Paraclete” / paraklatos / παρακλητος  (the helper, comforter, counselor) was originally “periklutos” (praised one).

John 14:16;

John 14:26;

John 15:26;

John 16:7

There is no evidence of any textual change from Periklutos to Paraklatos.  Muslims have to claim that originally the text said, “periklytos”, but that someone later changed it.  However, there is no textual variant that would point to any evidence of periclutos in those texts in john 14 or 16.

παρακλητος – the helper, the comforter, the one called alongside to help

περικλυτος – “praised one” big difference.

And there is no textual evidence in any manuscript that backs up “periklutos” (praised one) Dr. White makes an excellent point about the vowels in Greek being part of the word. The Holy Spirit When Jesus ascends to the Father not 600 years later John 13-17 is a consistent whole. It is Trinitarian in structure; describes the different roles of Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and how they relate to one another.  How they relate to one another in speaking to one another, communicating, etc. speaks of personal relationship and person-hood.  that is why “person” describes the three-ness of the Trinity, and nature/substance describes the Oneness of the Trinity. another comforter of the same kind, Greek: allos / αλλος will be with believers forever (John 14:16) He will be in the disciples; in believers. (John 14:17)  This verse alone defeats the Muslim’s arguments for the John 14 and 16 and Ahmad argument, because Muhammad cannot be “in” the disciples nor any Christian in the future.  The world cannot see the Holy Spirit, but the world, the people knew Muhammad as a man – Muslims who accepted him as a prophet and the Quryaish pagans who rejected him and fought battles and wars and caravan raids against him.  His life was “of this world”, physical, and in the context of much war. “Spirit” is not human, He is Spirit  (John 14:17; 14:26; 16:13) dwells within believers – John 14:17 – “He abides with you and will be in you.”  That alone makes it impossible for the paraclete to be Muhammad of Arabia. The paraclete is called, “the Holy Spirit”, and “the Spirit of Truth”.  He is a spirit, not a man, like Muhammad.  The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all things (John 14:26) that Jesus taught, yet there is nothing much in the Qur’an from Jesus’ teaching or the NT.  There is no quote from the New Testatment. The Qur’an knows nothing from NT – no new info.  No quotes; only phrases like: Jesus is the Messiah, virgin born, prophet, the Word, a spirit from Allah. John 15:26 – proceeds from the Father.  This is Deity language – proceeding out from the Father. Paraclete is sent by Jesus (John 15:26 – “I will send to you from the Father”) Testifies to Jesus (John 15:27) and glorifies Jesus. (John 16:14) if Mohammad is sent by Jesus then Jesus is God; since only God sends prophets. Guides the disciples into all the truth, not people 600 years later.

Deuteronomy 18:15-18

The context of Deuteronomy 18:15-18 totally defeats the Muslim’s claim that Muhammad is found there. Context in Deuteronomy 18:2 – Levites, among their brothers- verse 5 – out from the 12 tribes of Israel. context of a term is most important Deuteronomy 17:15 a king one from among your brothers, not from a foreigner; must be an Israelite.  This alone defeats the Muslim’s arguments concerning Deut. 18:15-18.  He will give revelation like Moses did Acts 3:22-25 shows the NT and Jewish disciples understood that Jesus fulfilled Deut. 18:15-18. John 14:24 Jesus’ words are divine words – from the Father John 8:28 – Isaiah 43:10 – “I am” I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

Jeremiah 6:22 – “a great nation” – same phrase used about Babylonians pagans.  Zakir Hossein asks, “is a nation great that is pagan?  the promise of “I will make a great nation” (Genesis 12:2; Genesis 17:20) must be fulfilled when Islam started, since only then did they turn from their idols and paganism.  It was a pretty good argument, until Dr. White pointed out that the same phrase is used of a pagan idol worshiping nation – the Babylonians.  Jeremiah 6:22 proves Zakir wrong, as the same phrase is used of the Babylonian pagans as a “great nation”. John 1 – the Jews asked John the Baptist if he was “the prophet” because he was a Jew, not because he was from Arabia or somewhere else.

Matthew 2:23

Matthew 2:23 was not part of the subject of the debate about Muhammad in the OT, but Zakir Hossein asked about it, because he seems to be saying that the NT authors tried to just go back and find things in the OT that may be used to show Jesus fulfilled them.  He was trying to say that finding Muhammad in Song of Solomon, etc. was legitimate, for example because of the prophesy of Jesus as a Nazerene (Nazer) of similar sound to the Hebrew word for branch in Isaiah 11:1.

Zakir Hossein asked about Matthew 2:23 and “where is it written in the prophets that Messiah would be called a Nazarene?”

First, notice it says, “through the prophets” – plural.  So he is speaking of a general concept that is in more than one prophet. “that what was spoken through the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23) “Nararene” – a Nazer – נצר – nzr – a rejected branch Nazareth was a rejected city by the Jews in the south and around Jerusalem, since it was a Galilean town.  “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46; see also John 7:41 and 7:52)

Nazareth describes Jesus being rejected by the Jews. Isaiah 14:19 – “like a rejected branch” = כְּנֵצֶר נִתְעָב כ = like נצר =  NZR, Nazer, branch נתעב = rejected, despised Isaiah 11:1 – “then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse (father of David); and a branch (Nazer – נצר ) from his roots will bear fruit.” (see rest of Isaiah 11:1-10 – a very Messianic passage in the Jews minds.  Referred to in Acts 13:22-23 and Isaiah 11:10 is quoted in Romans 15:12)

Isaiah 53:1-3 – concept of rejection, tender shoot, root out of dry ground

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:1-3

There is another word for the Messiah as a “branch” צמח used often, combined with the concepts of shoot, root, sprout, and despised, shows that Matthew had many passages in mind when he wrote, “as it is spoken through the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene” – despised, rejected. Jeremiah 23:5 – Messiah will be a righteous branch. (צמח) Jeremiah 33:15 – a righteous branch (צמח )of David will spring forth Isaiah 4:2 – “branch of the Lord”  (צמח) Zechariah 3:8 – “they are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the branch.” (צמח) Zechariah 6:12 – the one whose name is “Branch” (צמח) There are several words for “branch”(צמח is used more often) with root and shoot (Isaiah 53:1-3; 11:1) and “Nezer” (נצר) is not always used in every passage.  But the concept of a branch, with shoot and root and rejected; and the concept of being rejected combines all these passages as what Matthew 2:23 was referring to.

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Hebrews 3:12-14 – John Piper

This is where knowing the Greek tense of a verb is very helpful.  Verse 14, “We have become partakers of Christ . . . ” (past perfect tense) – “if we hold fast” = if we persevere, it proves we were partakers of Christ in the past and have been partakers – the perfect tense speaks of past action with continuing results.

So, the warning of “take care” is for everybody in the audience, for believers and those that claim to be believers in the church.  If a person perseveres, it proves he was justified in the past, if they don’t persevere in the faith, it proves they were not really partakers of Christ in the past, and in that sense “fall away from the living God”.

Warnings to take care and persevere are means that God uses to give us grace to keep on persevering in the faith.

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Islam could not get rid of the concept of sacrifice, ransom, or substitutionary atonement

Ken Temple:

Islam could not get rid of the concept of substitutionary atonement, as evidenced in several Hadith passages and a verse in the Qur’an.

Originally posted on Apologetics and Agape:

The Islamic sources could not completely get rid of the concept of sacrifice, ransom, or substitutionary atonement in their texts of the Qur’an nor Hadith collections, because it was so clearly taught in the Old Testament, the Jewish Scriptures.

Muslims like Paul Williams, Shabir Ally, and Jamal Badawi say, that the Christian idea of substitutionary atonement is wrong and unjust and does not make sense.

“The Christian idea that guilt can be removed from a wrongdoer by someone else being punished instead is morally grotesque.”   Paul Williams writes that here, called “The Supreme Maxim of Christianity”. 

Then why do these Islamic Hadiths clearly say that Allah will forgive the sins of Muslims and save them from hell by punishing Jews and Christians in their place?

“Abu Musa’ reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to…

View original 410 more words

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Balance of understanding the conflict within Islam today

1.  On the Islamic texts, history, and motivations of the brutal actions of ISIL / ISIS / IS

2.  Stay Balanced and don’t let anger over the evil of ISIS and Al Qaeda types lead you to condemn all other Muslims

We understand many peaceful Muslims disagree with ISIL / ISIS / IS.  We are grateful for the majority of Muslims who are peaceful and do not follow ISIS or Al Qaeda or Boko Haram (in Northern Nigeria) or Al Shabbab (in Somalia), etc.

And we are very saddened at the murder of the 3 peaceful Muslims in North Carolina recently and we condemn that guy for his hatred and violence.    May the Lord give justice to the murderer and mercy to the family of the victims.  The murderer was an atheist and anti-theist, and full of anger, according to reports, and even if his main motivation was over parking issues; it is still wrong and we sincerely pray that other westerners, whether nominal Christians or cultural Christians or atheists like this guy, will not do any more things like this.  We pray that people will not let their anger over ISIS and Al Qaeda type evils move them to do violence or unjust actions against other Muslims.  Let us realize that many Muslims are very peaceful and interesting and share many conservative family values with conservative Christians.

True Christians should be willing to reach out to Muslims and discuss the gospel and the Bible with them and eat their food, accept their hospitality, give hospitality, listen to the Muslim’s viewpoint, and some even take the time to learn other languages of Muslims (Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Kurdish, Uzbek, Indonesian, Malay, Urdu, Fulani, and many others) and their culture and agree that there are many good things within Muslim culture.  As someone who has known many peaceful Muslims (Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Pakistanis, Uzbeks, Tajiks) for 32 years, and former Muslims, I can testify that for the most part, they are very hospitable and giving and willing to talk about God and spiritual issues, when we reach out in love and kindness.

Posted in Balance, Hospitality, Islam, Jihad, Muslims, Other cultures | 1 Comment