Friday, 26 February 2016

Scandal: Promoting Adultery of the Heart

Look, I'm well aware of modern day society and the losing battle religiously-minded people are facing against sexual sin. It looks like are slowly giving up on that front as they are now seemingly allowing hugging and kissing between unmarried couples.

Many pastors and Christian counselors strongly advise a couple to not go beyond holding hands, hugging, and light kissing before marriage

I think this website, which is described as a conservative evangelical website, tinkered with their answer and the above quote is not the original wording - it appears it was originally advice given by the writer at Have a look at the quote here in this forum in the OP:

I, personally, would strongly advise a couple to not go beyond holding hands, hugging, and light kissing before marriage.

It seems as though changed the wording. Either that or the forum user made a mistake (which strongly I doubt as he seems to have copied and pasted).

Whatever the case maybe, there are issues here for conservative Christians. If the author advised such then he/she is promoting adultery of the heart (Matt 5:28)  and is going against the Bible verse mentioned in the beginning of the answer (Eph 5:3). If the author is suggesting the 'many pastors and Christian counselors' are offering advice which is edifying there's an issue - why else would the author mention 'their' advice if he did not believe it to be useful (which seems to have been his/her advice initially).

Are there any conservative Christians who disagree with this advice? If you are out there will you speak out against this?

We all struggle to resist sexual sin but this attitude from a supposedly conservative Christian organisation is perpetuating the problem of sexual immorality we are facing in the West (and increasingly in the East). Christians say they are guided by the Holy Spirit yet the answer provided by cannot be considered holy.

Muslims Have Least Sex Outside of Marriage (Least Fornication and Adultery By Muslims)

Why Islam

[QURAN MIRACLES] The Miracles of the Number 19 in Quran | Dr. Shabir Ally

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Tovia Singer: Does the New Testament Teach Jesus is God?

Video can also be seen here:

Study Notes

Protestants really believe they are free of Christian tradition. Catholics are more honest in that they recognise so much of what they believe has to do with Christian tradition rather than Christian Scripture. Protests claim to be sola sciptura but in reality their faith is full of tradition (such as the Trinity - they read it into the text)

Not one place in the New Testament did Jesus claim to be God. We find examples of Jesus rejecting the idea he was God in the NT.

In Mark 10, Jesus teaches only God is good after a rich man calls him good. This rich man learns and did not call Jesus good afterwards.

17As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19“You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” 20And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”
Not All-Knowing

In Mark 13 Jesus states he does not know that day or hour. How is it if Jesus was the same substance and co-equal to the Father that he did not have information the Father had?

32“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father

Also, what about the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit is person in the trinity, why does the Holy Spirit not know either? The Holy Spirit according to Judaism is the active force of God. It's not someone but something according to Judaism.

In Mark 20 we see the Father has the authority to do something that Jesus cannot

"What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."22But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

Jesus prays to God in Matthew 26:39 so clearly it's ridiculous to believe Jesus is God. Also, why is he only praying to the Father and not to the Holy Spirit and himself?

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

If Jesus was God why does he have to call on the Father for support from angels? Why does he even need support?

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? [Matt 26:53]

John 14:28 teaches Jesus is lesser than the Father

"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Jesus denies he is God explicitly in John 17:3. The word only in Greek is monos. It clearly teaches there's no other.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

In John 20:17 Jesus affirms he has a God

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

1 Corinthians 11:3 teaches that Jesus is subordinate to God

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 8:6 teaches only the Father is God

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

John 10:30 is about being one in purpose not substance. In fact the idea of this verse teaching Jesus is one substance with the Father is refuted in John 17:11 where the disciples are taught they can be one in the same way as Jesus and the Father are one (clearly not teaching the Trinity!!)

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

[QURAN MIRACLES] The Miracles of the Number 19 in Quran | Dr. Shabir Ally

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

South African Christian-Muslim Apologetics Review Yusuf Bux and Rudoplh Boshoff (Ad Lucem)

From a personal point of view, as somebody who is accustomed to internet debates this debate is really slow paced and far too long for a standard internet audience - which, ironically, I think I've mirrored in this debate review!

I have spoken to Yusuf Bux and he gave me a brief overview of the audience landscape in South Africa, thus I can understand why SA debates have such a structure. The debate has to be run longer and at a slower pace if folk are unfamiliar with apologetics and/or have English as a secondary language. The sad reality for folk in SA; this does impact on the interest they are able to generate on the internet.

One thing I liked about this debate is the fact the embrace and the gift-giving seemed genuine. NOT saying others aren't :) but this left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. I doubt both have been to acting school either. Well done gentlemen!

Sarting with Yusuf Bux

Yusuf Bux clearly has public speaking skills, he offered a clear presentation teaching pure Abrahamic monotheism (Tawhid) is the same basic concept as what the Shema teaches. Bux draws upon Mark 12 to get the message across that Jesus did not depart from Tawhid (thus did not teach a Trinity idea)

Mark 12:29 Jesus spoke these words of the Shema according to Mark:

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a]

To help explain Tawhid Bux references Surah Ikhlas and the Islamic declaration of faith. Yusuf Bux states the Trinity contradicts monotheism.

On Pastor Rudolph P Boshoff

I think he quotes Thabiti Anyabwile but labels him as a "she". Perhaps he was referencing somebody else with a similar sounding name. Pastor Rudolph should double-check that. You see, if this was one of those mean-spirited and/or pride-filled Protestant Christian apologists I would have made a bigger deal out of this. As it's Pastor Boshoff, who seems like a respectful and friendly individual, there's no need as he does not need his nose honked metaphorically (something for the obnoxious Protestant Christian apologists to learn - act like a brat and you may not be afforded the same grace as those who are more humble and respectful).

Rudolph Boshoff's opening salvo included the old love argument (arrrgggghhhh this is such an annoying and fallacious argument - I really wish Trinitarian Christian apologists would stop using it). Boshoff argues God needs the creation to be Loving as opposed to idea of God in the doctrine of the Trinity which posits a community in the 'Godhead'. Look, this is effectively a polytheistic argument which is oft-repeated in evangelical apologetics circles - I've rebuked Jonathan McLatchie and Ravi Zacharias for this argument before. Clearly this argument is in some old Christian missionary tome which many Triniatarian Christians are drawing from. Would love to know where this argument originally came from, was it CS Lewis?

For those who want to know why it's such a fallacious argument, here's the response to Ravi Zacharias when he used the argument:

Negative theology

Rudolph Boshoff accuses Yusuf Bux of negative theology. This is the act of describing God by mentioning what He is not. This is unfair as Bux gave positive descriptions and outlined attributes of God. In fact, all theologians from the Abrahamic faiths engage in some negative theology by mentioning what He is not. It just aids understanding - it's a teaching tool. Oh for the hardcore - the fancy word for this is 'apophatic theology'

Functional subordination

Rudolph Boshoff appeals to the idea of functional subordination within his Trinity theory. He believes each member of the Trinity concept has different tasks; the Father is the ultimate source and cause of the universe. Here are Boshoff's texts and assertions which he leans on to support the functional subordination theory:

But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. [1 Cor 8:6]

[Revelation 4:11] "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased."

-Son is the agent that does the working [see 1 Cor 8:6 above]

-Holy Spirit is the means by the which the Father creates and maintains the universe and delivers revelation.

-Difference in function does not mean a difference in nature.

Oddly, one of the texts which Boshoff appeals to actually refute the ideas of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. 1 Cor 8:6 clearly states the Father is the only God. Related to this is John 17:3 which explicitly teaches Jesus is not the true God but rather was sent by God (i.e. was a Prophet). Incidentally, this is what Bart Ehrman believes Jesus taught.

A quick way to refute the idea of functional subordination is to mention the fact the New Testament teaches Jesus and the Holy Spirit did not know the Hour, only the Father knows the Hour according to Mark 13:32. Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians has pointed out to Pastor Boshoff on an FB discussion recently - knowledge is related to ontology more so than function and it's an attribute of God thus to appeal to the idea of 'functional subordination' to explain away Jesus' lack of knowledge is invalid. Here's a video to help you understand two different ways in which Trinitarian Christian apologists try to respond to Jesus' lack of knowledge of the Hour.

Old Testament and the Incarnation idea?

Pastor rattles off a few references which he states teach God will be coming down. This first one is obviously poetic language which is in the past tense so it militates against the Trinity theology

10“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.

11“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.

12“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky. [2 Samuel 22:10]

Pastor Boshoff also cites

They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God. [Exodus 29:45-46].

Pastor Boshoff would do well to look at Henry's commentary on this and see it's not something taken literally:

That he would reside among them as God in covenant with them, and would give them sure and comfortable tokens of his peculiar favour to them, and his special presence with them (Exod. 29:45,46): I will dwell among the children of Israel. Note, Where God sets up the tabernacle of his ordinances he will himself dwell. Lo, I am with you always, Matt. 28:20. Those that abide in God’s house shall have God to abide with them. I will be their God, and they shall know that I am so. Note, Those are truly happy that have a covenant-interest in God as theirs and the comfortable evidence of that interest. If we have this, we have enough, and need no more to make us happy.

Prof. Larry Hurtado

Rudolph Boshoff appeals to Larry Hurtado in saying Jesus was worshipped by early Christians. Yes but this only came about AFTER Jesus' ministry. Larry Hurtado, as we have seen recently demonstrated in video format, does not believe Jesus taught he was God and nor did he ask others to worship him. says he was worshipped by early followers

Complexity and Simplicity

Chalk and cheese. Yusuf Bux was simple and understandable. Rudolph Boshoff was talking about complex theories which is part of the baggage of a Trinity idea. To be honest, I'm not too sure why Boshoff went into ideas such as functional subordination so early, not to mention his use of theological terminology. Admittedly, I don't know the make-up of the audience but for the regular bloke, a lot of Boshoff's presentation would have flown over his head.

What's more appealing to one's mind, Yusuf Bux's simplicity and clarity or Rudolph Boshoff's complex and confusing theories?

Arguments Against

Yusuf Bux uses Biblical text to oppose Boshoff's Trinity idea. He cites Deut 6:4 (the Shema) while adding it's also taught in Mark 12:29 and Matt 4:10 by Jesus thus showing Jesus' theology is in contradiction with the Trinity idea.

There'a brief focus on the word Echad which means one. Bux asserts it's similar to Ahad (Arabic) and that there's no 3 in 1 mentioned in the Shema. IIRC Boshoff mentioned the word Echad (f somebody knows the timeline let me know as I may make a video on it). I don't recall if Boshoff was making the same argument as Nabeel Qureshi which is refuted here, if he was he would be wise  to drop that line of argumentation.

Yusuf Bux made a lot of salient points, I have listed some of them:

-The problem the Trinitarian Christian faces, when they think about the Trinity belief they are always seeing 3 regardless of how hard they try no to. [Further showcasing the superiority of pure Abrahamic monotheism over Trinity beliefs - there's no cognitive dissonance]

-Jesus never mentioned nor taught it and John 18:20 ("in secret I have said nothing") [Excellent insight. For the thinker this is of vital importance and is related to the Trinity dilemma where we see the majority of Christians disbelieving in the Trinity or believing in the a 'heresy' of the Trinity. In fact, Rudolph Boshoff, IIRC, stated John Gilchrist is his mentor so I assume he is colleagues with Brian Marrian who also claims to be Gilchrist's mentee - Marrian espouses a Trinitarian heresy in this video clip - such is the difficulty behind this teaching and the lack of clarity in the Bible concerning this belief which perfectly illustrates the thrust of Yusuf Bux's arguments]

-The word, "Trinity" is not mentioned [This is not such an important point as theological terms such as omniscience and omnipotence are not present in the text either - the focus should be on the teaching - is that present?]

-'The' Trinity belief is beyond reason, irrational and incompatible with the Oneness of God. And that it was developed after the deification of the Holy Ghost and Jesus.

-The terminology, Father and Son, indicates one pre-existed the other. [Food for thought]

-Jesus was not all knowing (Mark 13:32) [Trinitarian apologists struggle trying to reconcile this point within their theological framework]

Textual Criticism and Yusuf Bux

Bux lets the audience know 1 John 5:7 was an addition. I think this has a lot of shock value for lay Trinitarians but for people grounded in Christian apologetics it's not really a big problem apropos to 'the' Trinity belief when looking a the history of this addition (aka forgery). It was added into the text relatively recently by Erasmus, in 1522, so 'the' Trinity idea was not contingent on this Bible forgery. For Muslims, it would be better to ask why people were so insistent on this text to be added into the Bible even though there were no Greek manuscripts supporting this verse - could it have been because this group felt, without that verse, there would be even less material Trinitarians could cite to support the Trinity belief?

Bux asserts Matt 28:19 is a textual variant. This is an area that requires a lot of thought. Although there are no Bible manuscripts demonstrating this to be a textual variant the argument is patristic and is lent a bit more weight as it varies from Luke 24:47. Perhaps Christian apologists would appeal to the Didache to support the reading in Mark 28 but there is dispute around the Didache's authenticity too. Folk do appeal to patristic evidence to doubt the reading in Matt 28:19. It's a bit of a mess really!

 I believe they call this verse the Great Commission. We all need to initiate a great commission to start looking for more NT manuscripts. Rather than bombing the Middle East we should all put our pennies together and pay Arabs, Israelis, Palestinians and North Africans to dig around and hunt down more manuscripts to help ascertain further forgeries as per the find of Codex Sinaiticus. So all you Zionist Christians, stop and think. Do you want to find more manuscripts and possibly learn about more forgeries in the text? If yes, STOP your support of bombing and war in that region?!

Rudolph Boshoff's arguments against Abrahamic monotheism

Rudolph Boshoff used the standard Trinitarian Protestant argument from James White stating the doctrine of the Trinity was not understood. For the Mary in the Trinity argument, I'd advise Rudolph to watch this video response to Jonathan McLatchie

Monophysites and Nestorians in Arabia. Were there any other Christians in Arabia?

Sure we are in desperate need for more archeological evidenceto learn more about the Christians in Arabia in the 7th century - again folk should stop calling for bombing of the Middle East and call for  more research and archeological programs to be funded. My view is the Christian sects in Arabia at that time were variegated. The texts (Scripture) we read about are also different. Again showing the need for further study of the region (Russian and American Christians, stop dropping your bombs and start calling for peace in that region).

Seen a lot of this segment seems to be  similar to James White's fallacious and refuted arguments I'd like to point out one of the fallacies in White's argumentation against the Quran. In general, his argument is based on the premise the New Testament is considered to be the Injeel according to the Quran. It seems like White switches his mind off here. Where's his evidence for this claim? Here's one of the scholars who worked on the Study Quran denying that premise:

Sadly, James White has a huge pride problem and a problem in admitting he's wrong but perhaps he will relent. If you're willing enough to take his to him, go ahead.

And here's a video (I love a bit of video) of Shadid Lewis refuting Nabeel Qureshi on this point too.

Clearly Christians need to start looking into matters deeper in order to have a meaningful discussion with Muslim apologists.

Rudolph Boshoff's Philosophical arguments against Unitarian monotheism

-Impersonalism? This is a weird argument but a common argument within the evamgelical apologetics movement. It goes back to the Love argument which has already been dealt with above.

-Dependence on creation? Boshoff contends other beings must be created in order for God (according to the Unitarians) to manifest His Attributes. He's referencing love here again and speech. It's a bit of a polytheistic argument Boshoff presents as shown in the video to Ravi Zacharias. However, it's inconsistent too as God is the Forgiver, Creator and Sustainer according to Trinitarians too so what's Boshoff actully saying here? Think about it, does he believe the three persons of the trinity idea all sustained, created and forgave each other prior to creation? I doubt he would say that, thus he believes God's attributes of forgiveness, sustenance and creation only manifest when creation is in existence.

An inconsistent argument.

Some more of Rudolph Boshoff's philosophical arguments, I doubt many people understood what he was trying to say as they were quite complex

Determinism? Decisions are ultimately determined by a singular will (God). What God wills only comes to path. This is actually the same with Trinitarian theology. Boshoff ends up arguing against James White's Calvinism; the predetermined elect. Perhaps Boshoff will debate James White on this - I'd watch it!

Not to detract from the major point of Boshoff arguing against Calvinism's U in TULIP (Unconditional election) I  would also refer Bohsoff to James White's comments in discussion with Louis Ruggiero where he teaches rapes are decreed by God. I understand Boshoff is not a Calvinist but this is still material he needs to think about.

Look at it from our point of view, as Muslims, we see Christians making philosophical arguments and ultimately arguing against their co-religionists. How does that look to us? It does not impress us. It's saying the arguments aren't consistent. Inconsistency is a sign of a failed argument.

'Determinsim leads to contradictory acts': Boshoff uses the example of God guiding and God leading astray. This argument flies in the face of Biblical theology as God according to the Bible misguides people by making them love a lie (2:10-11), He has blinded the minds or people (2 Cor 4:4) and put a lying spirit in the mouths of some people (1 Kings 22:23).

Boshoff miunderstands guidance and misguidance in Islam. Here's a link on the topic:

Rudolph Boshoff continues to argue against Calvinsim

Boshoff argues there's a moral problem as beforehand all are determined as to who is saved and lost. However, he misses the concept of freewill and argues against Calvinism AGAIN. Here's some information on the concept of free will in Islam:

Some counters by Yusuf Bux

Bux Counters the old Trinitarian Love Argument by mentioning the Trinitarians are still talking about self-love (their argument is really a polytheistic argument as it is geared more towards people who believe in more than one being as God - Trinitarians don't believe in more than one Being but pure polytheists do - perhaps the argument originated from Hindu philosophy). He also talks about the Attributes of forgiveness and creating which puts the Trinitarian in a bind here and just shows the argument is contrived based on an emotional appeal to the Attribute of  Love while ignoring all other Attributes of God. The Trinitarian Love Argument is a bad argument and does not reflect well on the one espousing it.

In fact, Boshoff left the door open for Bux to make mention of Numbers 31:17-18, Hosea 13:16 and Samuel 15:3 and put an abrupt stop to this line of argument.

Bux counters the Mary-Trinity Argument. Bux understands this to be a condemnation of Maryolatry. Bux notes some examples of Maryolotry:

- Pope John Paul, called out to Mary when shot.

- Quotes James White's comments on Catholics; 'many worship her'.

-Mariamites: said the Trinity was Son, Father and Mary.

An old fallacious argument by Christians concerning Quran 18:27

I know I've missed a few of his arguments but I'd urge Boshoff to rethink his argument on Qur8:27.  Here's an excerpt from from  Aqil Onque:

“And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge” (18:27).

Now, there are two points to note here. Firstly, in all of the above mentioned verses, the context shows that there is a promise that ALLAH’S Words cannot be changed. But, how do we reconcile this fact with the reality that the previous scriptures have been changed and distorted? As we will see, the relationship can be found in the very essence of God’s promise!

It is His very command or promise or threat that ALLAH is stating cannot be changed. In other words, the DECREE of ALLAH cannot be changed! Once ALLAH says that a thing will be like this, in the form of a promise, threat, or the like, that is what it is and none other than ALLAH can change that fact. If ALLAH stated that He will reward a people, give victory, forgive, or guide and so on, then none can alter what ALLAH has decreed therein. Likewise, if ALLAH stated that He will punish, deprive, send astray, or the like, then none can change what He decreed in the matter. In all of the verses above, we find this to be the case. Moreover, the word that is under discussion is a very particular word, as is found in the following hadith, or saying of the Prophet Muhammad (S), which further strengthens this point:

“Then there is sent to him the angel who blows his soul into him and who is commanded with four matters (decrees/words). 

This word that we are focusing on here is the word “kalimaat” (كَلِمَاتٍ) and it literally means words in a plural sense. But this word, as seen in all the examples above refers to a decreed word, not revelation, which takes us to our next point.

In all the cases in the Qur’an where ALLAH mentions His Revelation, meaning scripture, this word kalimaat is NEVER used! That is because this word is never associated with revelation or scripture. ALLAH uses words like kitab, wahi, tanzeel, thikr or the proper names of each respective revelation – i.e. Suhuf, Torah, Zabur, Injeel, Qur’an, or Ath Thikr – in reference to revelation.


It's difficult to comment on debates like this as it's not a Western audience it was geared towards a non-Western audience and perhaps an audience which has English as a secondary language. Either way, I think Yusuf Bux would ave resonated with the audience and Rudolph Boshoff would have lost the audience. In fact even folk who dabble in apologetics would have found Boshoff hard to follow.

Some of you may have realised the odd wording I use around the concept of the Trinity such as 'a Trinity idea' or 'the' Trinity idea. This is because there are more than one Trinity theories out there as Dale Tuggy teaches. This is an area where Muslim apologetics should really look into as it's a key to help the more staunch Trinitarian to leave that theology and move towards Abrahamic monotheism.

Bux, like all Muslim apologists focus heavily on Text (Bible and Quran) and reasoning  but one area which seems to be under-utilised and under-researched is the history around the Trinity idea. I'd like to see people go deeper into the councils and mention the absence of theologians in the first three centuries who had Trinitarian beliefs.

Pastor Rudolph Boshoff, I'd like you to become a Muslim. All the Prophets taught worshipping God alone. You aren't doing this if you believe Jesus is God. Why believe a man is God?

I know why you folks do it, it's because you're emotionally attached to the vicarious atonement idea. Look, God does not need to send anybody to die for your sins or anybody else's sins. Sure, we all have done horrible things that we would not even dare admit to our  colleagues, friends, wives and children...but God does not think like a human being. Whereas a human may hold some grudge against us and drag up something he/she said they had forgiven us for years after the event....God is not like that. He can forgive us no matter what we did and we remain forgiven...sincere repentance is required.

To believe God needs to have a 'son' to die for our sins is beyond a primitive understanding of God. It's a transgression. In fact, a rabbi I listen to likens it to the pagan practices of sacrificing virgins (who represented purity, innocence). Move beyond these ideas.

We must all strive to love God with all our might and heart. This cannot be achieved if one is dividing their love by wrongly loving a man as God.

Jesus never taught this idea. Rummaging around in the NT texts (which have no reliability to them) and playing games of chess with your theology and salvation is not the way any of us should behave. A quote comes into mind from a James Dunn book I've gone  through, he's quoting Philo who comments on the first commandment:

Let us, then, engrave deep in our hearts this as the first and most sacred commandments, to acknowledge and honour  one God who is above all, and let the idea that gods are many never even reach the ears of the man whose rule of life is to seek for the truth in purity and guilelessness.

Unitarian Christians and Muslims having dreams which show Jesus (p) not to be God

[QURAN MIRACLES] The Miracles of the Number 19 in Quran | Dr. Shabir Ally

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Book Review: Jesus, the Fake Jihadis & Evangelical Christians by Muhammad Asad (A Response to 'Jesus and the Jihadis')

Generally a pretty easy and quick read responding to Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston's  book 'Jesus and the Jihadis'. Of course for those Non-Muslims who read 'Jesus and the Jihadis', it's recommended you read this book to get a Muslim perspective.

After reading this book  I came away with the realisation Craig Evans and Jeremiah Johnston really did a disservice to their community and their reputations through their approach which was demonstrated by Muhammad Asad to be unscholarly, inconsistent, unfair and in places outright dishonest.

Before reading Muhammad Asad's book 'Jesus and the Fake Jihadis', I would suggest you listen to the radio debate to familiarise yourself with the overall theme and some of the specifics coming from Craig Evans and Jeremiah Johnston.

Muhammad Asad's book is not just confined to those who are aware of Craig Evans and Jeremiah Johnston's book but rather it's also useful for Muslims and Non-Muslims who are involved in anti-Islamophobia and anti-ISIS activism. For Muslim apologists, it's a good resource; especially considering the focus on ISIS in the media and what appears to be a trend amongst critics of Islam in penning books and articles contending the terrorist group ISIS (Daesh) as well as others such as Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram are following Islam to the letter.

As a Muslim, I'd like to see more of this stuff from Muslim authors - writing books directly responding to books criticising Islam. I hope Muslims will encourage the author, Muhammad Asad, and support his work. He clearly put a lot of time and research in to this work. You can purchase hisbook Jesus, the Fake Jiadis and Evangelical Christians here.

My overview and notes on 'Jesus, the Fake Jihadis and Evangelical Christians' by Muhammad Asad


The book 'Jesus and the Jihadis' is denounced as "a propaganda styled assault upon Islam".

Muhamad Asad ties in the approach of Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston with that of Martin Luther's approach to Islam which was to malign Islam as a shameful faith and simultaneously (as odd as it sounds) to strengthen Christians in their faith.

The last point from this introduction that sticks out, Asad makes a telling point impugning Craig Evans - if Evans had shown the same diligence and scholarly acumen as he does for his work on Christianity he would not have come to such a propagandized hit-piece.

2. Five preliminary observations

Muhammad Asad reels off 5 of his personal observations that came from reading the book and listening to the radio 'debate'. I have listened to the debate and do believe Adnan Rashid many good points to repudiate some of their claims. Perhaps you came away with similar observations to Asad after listening to the radio 'debate'?

- Malice in the polemics

Muhammad Asad touches on the hurtful nature of the rhetoric from Johnston and Evans

[I haven't read the book but I found the comments on the radio 'debate' to be hurtful and to be honest I found Johnston to be extremely offensive and came away with the opinion he was obnoxious.]

- Losing respect for Craig A. Evans

Interestingly, Asad draws a comparison between the way older evangelical scholars maligned Jews and Judaism in an effort to make drive home their positive view of Christianity.

Evangelical Trust in Daesh: All Muslims are Wrong and Daesh is right

The author states Daesh does not even make up 1% of the Muslim community.

In a nutshell, Evans and Johnston insist Daesh are right, in doing so they are essentially saying pretty much the whole of the global Islamic community including pretty much all the scholars are wrong.

[If you think about it...that's absurd. Nobody of any desire for fairness would grab such a minority view point and laud it over the overwhelming majority in any field]

The author gives a useful short survey of scholarly condemnation of Daesh (something for the 'where are the Muslim leaders to speak out against ISIS?' brigade to look at).

"Like Daesh, Evans and Johnston also ignore the entirety of Islamic scholarship"

- Interpretation of Scripture

A brief run-down on interpretative tools for religious texts. The general principle is the same for the Bible and the Quran.

- Double Standards

A question of consistency is asked of Evans and Johnston as the Hebrew Bible contains more violent passages than the Quran.

3. Addressing Craig Evans

Muhammad Asad responds to comments from Craig Evans' radio 'debate' with appeals to common sense, context , consistency and through error-correction.

Amongst other useful information in this section there's a deft response to the standard evangelical dismissal of the Quran because the New Testament came earlier and a scholarly discussion on the idea of the divinity of Jesus, the NT as eye-witness testimony, the historical Jesus as well as the reliability of John's Gospel.

There's also something for the 'where are the Muslims to fight ISIS?' crowd in this section.

4. Addressing Jeremiah Johnston

Muhammad Asad engages with Johnston's comments from the radio 'debate' by looking at the Quran, Hadith literature and scholarly opinions.

Here we see Jeremiah Johnston exposed as a liar for the following claims:

Kafir can be mocked
Kafir can be beheaded
Kafir can be plotted against
Kafir can be terrorised

There's a good discussion on that age-old polemic of  'Muslims can't take non-Muslims as friends' in this chapter as well as a more realistic (less evangelical) analysis on love and hell in the Bible.

Addressing Jeremiah Johnston - Part B

Asad continues to respond to Johnston's radio comments and then moves the discussion on to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Asad catches Johnston in another outrageous lie:

"there are over 100 verses in the Quran enjoining Muslims to fight, kill, torture, rape, pillage and conquer in the name of Allah against the kafir"

[As a side note - this propaganda claim of Muslims can rape is common in the deafening din of Islamophobia. Here are some Muslim scholarson rape]

Asad also addresses Jeremiah Johnston's strange assertion of 64% of the Quran being related to what to do with the non-Muslim world. Asad's investigation demonstrates "their statistical approach is completely unscholarly and, ridiculous to say the least" and "pure disinformation".

Muhammad Asad discusses the shock value claim of 200 references in Bukhari relating to Jihad [something which I thought was well addressed by the Muslim panel in the radio debate] as well as Johnston's appeal to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Here's a snip from Asad which just highlights the foolhardy attitude of Johnston:

"Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to be believed but Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi, Dr Tahir ul-Qadri, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the Shia religious auhorities, the thousand plus Indian Muslim ulema...are not to be believed."

There's some symmetry here, Johnston, whom Asad shows to be a liar, appeals to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who in turn, Asad points out to be a proven and documented liar.

Addressing Jeremiah Johnston Part C

Muhammad Asad finishes off responding to Johnston's radio claims. This section includes a dissection of Bill Warner's contention that 132,315 words in Bukhari are devoted to Jihad. The faulty methodology of Bill Warner's study is explained.

An appeal to consistency is made as Johnston and Evans are demonstrably using different standards for the Hebrew Bible and Islamic Texts.

Islamic Eschatological beliefs are discussed including a fascinating narration by Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra) concerning the possible foretelling of a group close to the end of times which appears to fit the description of Daesh. Asad then moves on to Christian eschatology.

Johnston's contentions on the growth of the nascent Islamic community are repudiated and Johnston's flawed thinking comes to the fore when it comes to conversions to and from Islam in more recent times.

7. "Condemning the Jews" in Scripture

This chapter focuses on the Christian and Islamic view of Jews. Asad points out some possible cognitive dissonance on the part of Evans and Johnston; both admire Martin Luther and both express an opposition to anti-semitism yet Martin Luther was drenched in anti-Jewish sentiment.

Asad illustrates the consistent theme of disingenuous citing from the Quran on the part of Evans and Johnston in discussing the treatment of Jews. Asad goes through a number of different Verses which the two Christian authors misrepresented and suitably he rebukes them:

"Leaving aside Johnston, we know that Evans is a vigorously trained scholar. Had he investigated even minute scholarship to investigate the above passages, it is highly unlikely that he would have made such an argument. Unfortunately, for polemical motivations, Evans appears to have ditched sound principles of scholarship for good when commenting upon Muslim sources."

8. Initiative To stop violence: Sharia-based approach

Muhammad Asad presents an interesting overview of an Egyptian terrorist group responsible for terrorism in the 80s and 90s including the assassination of Anwar Sadat. This group renounced violence after a careful analysis and reflection on Islamic texts. They have took to preaching against terrorism.

9. Sources of the Quran

Muhammad Asad thoroughly addresses the old 'borrowing' polemic after looking at the scholarly field of source-criticism pertaining to Christian texts.

"When convenient, the authors like to play "historians" but when it comes to the New Testament, they replace their historian hat with that of the believers hat. They are profoundly conservative regarding the New Testament, but happy to be equally sceptical when it comes to Islamic sources"

End of review