Muslims put leap of faith before historical fact

Shabir Ally, probably the best Muslim debater today, admits that a firm conclusion in history trumps faith.

He seems to know that this is really devastating to Islam on the issue of the crucifixion – since the Qur’an denies that Jesus was crucified or killed on a cross – Qur’an Surah 4:157.  This is probably why Shabir is different than most Muslims and seems to have modified the traditional view, and admits that Jesus was hung on the cross, but he has to believe, because he is a Muslim, that Jesus did not die by crucifixion.  Somehow, in Shabir Ally’s viewpoint, Allah took Jesus up to Himself after He was hanging there for a time and so, he believes that He was not killed.  This shows that Shabir at least is dealing with real history seriously and has modified the traditional Muslim view.   But most Muslims ignore the historical facts, or have been kept in the dark for centuries as to the truth of the crucifixion of Isa Al Masih.

In this debate between Dr. James White and Dr. Shabir Ally – Did Jesus Claim Deity?

Shabir Ally admits that a firm conclusion in history trumps faith and we should use our minds and be reasonable and see this and confess this when historical fact is contradictory to one’s faith.

Around the 24:18 mark:

“I am a Muslim theologian and there is no secret about that; this is my particular bias where I come from . . .  it is important to recognize our biases that we do have . .

. . . I am approaching it [this subject of the historical Jesus] as a theologian, but at the same time, I want to be aware of whatever historical studies have been done regarding Jesus; so that, if there is a firm conclusion from history, eh, I should not believe eh, something contrary by faith.  I believe that faith, eh, should rest on, and it should build upon, and rise above eh, things like historical evidence and empirical studies.  In other words, what people might refer to as facts.  We should not say that I believe something when it is contrary to facts , however facts only take us to such an extent, and then faith takes over, so, I believe that faith can continue where facts stop. “  Shabir Ally  (my emphasis)

Even liberal scholars who don’t believe in miracles such as supernatural prophesy and that God sent prophets, and the virgin birth, which Islam affirms, believe and know as historical fact that Jesus the Messiah was crucified:

John Dominic Crossan:

“I take it absolutely for granted that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate.”  John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus (San Francisco:  Harper Collins, 1991), p. 372.

“That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.”  (Idem, Jesus (San Francisco:  HarperCollins, 1994), p. 145.

Marcus Borg:

“the most certain fact about the historical Jesus is his execution as a political rebel.”

M. Borg, Jesus, A New Vision (San Francisco:  HarperCollins, 1987), p. 179.

James D. G. Dunn:

“That Jesus was crucified on the direct authority of Pilate himself need not be doubted for a minute.”  (Jesus Remembered, volume 1 of Christianity in the Making; Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2003, p. 775)   This is also the book and author that Paul Bilal Williams has used in his “Da’wa” and Islamic polemics with me.

These are cited in a footnote (27) by Gary Habermas in chapter 13, p. 282 of Memories of Jesus: A Critical Appraisal of James D. G. Dunn’s Jesus Remembered.  Edited by Robert B. Stewart and Gary Habermas, Nashville:  B & H Publishing Group, 2010.

Bart Ehrman:

“In any event, Tacitus’s report confirms what we know from other sources, that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.”

Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, Oxford University Press, 2000], p. 197.

These modern critical scholars, the type that Paul Bilal Williams (he uses Ehrman and Dunn all the time; and chides me for not being up on the best and intellectual modern critical Biblical scholarship.)  uses to attack Christianity and the Bible, are the very ones who don’t believe in the virgin birth, and yet do believe in the crucifixion of Jesus, would show that it is not logical or reasonable to “shoot one’s brains out” and not believe in real historical fact of the crucifixion of Isa Al Masih.

As Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, has said many times, “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument.”

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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8 Responses to Muslims put leap of faith before historical fact

  1. Actually, I found a lot of evidence that Dunn does not believe in the virgin birth – in one of the very books that you quoted at me several times. I just have not written up the article yet. I was trying to give you another chance to show me if you know about Dunn’s view of the virgin birth – it appears that you have not read Dunn very closely.

    You need to be careful of accusing me of lying, because I have found the evidence from Dunn and it will be forthcoming in a future article.

    I could not find our original back and forth on that – the first time – sometime after I started commenting in June or July of 2011 ( exactly ?) [I am not taking the time right now to find the Messiah article, but I know it is there either June or July or August of 2011 ]- your article on “Messiah” and quoting a liberal Unitarian woman “minister”. I just wanted to be accurate and find your exact wording.

  2. Paul Bilal Williams wrote:
    Ken, so now you are playing silly games as well!

    How is that “playing silly word games” ?? I wanted to find our conversation in order to be accurate.

    And I did find evidence that Dunn does not believe in the virgin birth. See new article, posted a few minutes ago.

  3. The historical evidence is massive against the Qur’an’s one verse, Surah 4:157.
    1/3 of all the gospels is related to the last week of Jesus’ life, His triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, Olivet Discourse, Last Supper, Upper Room Discourse, Trials, suffering, death, burial, and resurrection. There is also Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny, the early church fathers, etc. Archeology on Pilate, etc.

    The real Jesus predicted both before they happened. Jesus predicted his death and crucifixion and resurrection 3 times before it happened. Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34 – which was to atone for the sins of the world – people from all nations. (John 1:29; I John 2:2; Hebrews 2:17-18; Revelation 5:9)

    Jesus spoke of His substitutionary ransom sacrifice – Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28

    Jesus combined the issues of His suffering and death on the cross and resurrection with repentance and forgiveness of sins – Luke 24:46-49

    The Qur’an in 4:157 is soundly refuted. We have the eyewitness/ and “ear-witness” testimonies of all four gospels – Mark wrote for Peter, an eyewitness; Matthew was an eyewitness, John was an eyewitness, and Luke interviewed the other eyewitnesses – the other disciples and especially Mary, who was an eyewitness. So Hick is just wrong. Thomas was an eyewitness and felt Jesus wounds on His body – John 20:24-28. John says the same thing in I John 1:1-4. Jesus told the other disciples to touch Him and see that “a phantom/spirit does not have flesh and bone as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39)

  4. Paul,
    You should apologize for calling me a liar; and you should apologize for saying I am playing word games. Doesn’t Islam teach you to be good and admit your mistakes and judgmental attitude and pre-judging me? (i.e., repentance)

    • Where did I lie? I asked you if you could find where we had that conversation in the past, since June or July 2011. You don’t make any sense, honestly.

      It is you who lie and pre-judge – being prejudiced and judgmental as you are is a sin.

  5. apologetisandagape,

    When Paul says: “I and others have refuted all this time and time again; it seems you are not so familiar with Muslim apologetics Ken”

    the truth is that Sam Shamoun has replied to Paul here:

    All Paul has done in response is call Sam names. If he can call you a liar for what I read above, then Paul is an arch-liar.

    I have tried to address Paul as well on the MDI site but he did what any real fundamentalist would do and banned me.

    In any event, you might be interested to know that we will have a full-scale response to Shabir’s (and Paul’s) claim regarding Jesus being in error, though it appears from another post that you already have some insight into these matters.

    Keep up the good work, brother.

    Pro Rege,


  6. Thank you Tony!
    Yes; I am still trying to read through all of Sam’s articles – I confess I have not had time to digest all of them yet; but I am slowly working through them. It is a massive undertaking, along with Dunn and others works, along with ministry and work and life. But I am also trying to read Dunn directly and books that analyze him and his methods. It takes time. I was sincerely trying to respect Paul Williams and actually read Dunn (But also find Evangelical writers who have analyzed him); and I asked him questions, and he then accuses me to lying and playing word games, etc. All I asked him was to recall where our exchange was on Dunn and the virgin birth and if Dunn believes in the virgin birth.

    We got up to 225 in the com-box here below at “The Qur’an Never Says the Bible was Corrupted”; and Sam came over and left a lot of good information there also. And on other articles I wrote on Islam at “Beggars All”. James Swan is the blog-master over there, I only post every now and then, when I have time.

    Here is another article I wrote (which I will probably modify and put up here later) that “Only Christ and the true gospel can break through the enmity” – the enmity that exists between Muslims and Christians and our respective communities.

    Have a Blessed Resurrection Day brother!

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