Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
More on Islamic Apologetics, NT Transmission, on the DL
11/29/2005 - James WhiteToday I covered the Sam Shamoun vs. Nadir Ahmed debate a little more in-depth, in light of Mr. Ahmed's contacting me and my informing him he was welcome to call the program and respond to what I have said about his presentation (the invitation remains open). Sam Shamoun called in toward the end of the program as well. We covered the common use of equivocation by Islamic apologists with reference to the term "corruption," and looked at Surah 4:157, Jeremiah 8:8, and other passages. Here's the program.
Today on the DL
11/22/2005 - James WhitePlayed clips from Tim Staples, Shabir Ally, and Patrick Madrid today---in that order, though, amazingly, two of the three had something in common. You'll just have to listen to find out what it was! Here's the program.
Yesterday on the DL, Quick Note Before the Big Race
11/18/2005 - James WhiteLast evening on the Dividing Line we had a three-part program; first a call on what Jehovah's Witnesses believe about salvation; then I read the majority of a two-part talk given by Joseph Fielding McConkie, LDS scholar and son of Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie (noted below); and then a real quick call and a question on why Romans 8:1 looks different here:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (NASB)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (NKJV)
Here's the program.
Finally, I'm headed to Tucson this afternoon. I will be riding in the 80 mile portion of El Tour de Tucson tomorrow morning, Lord willing. It's the first time I've ridden El Tour since 1998, but it looks like the weather is going to be completely perfect, and so I am looking forward to it. I am not, however, taking my computer, so, things will get a bit quiet till early next week.
Today on the DL: The New Mormon Dilemma
11/17/2005 - James WhiteJoseph Fielding McConkie is the son of one of the most outspoken Mormon apostles of the twentieth century, Bruce R. McConkie. In 1985 he wrote a book with Robert Millet (same LDS scholar who wrote the Eerdman's publication we have spoken of in the past) called Sustaining and Defending the Faith. The book remains in print. He is a professor at Brigham Young University.
Unless I am completely missing his point, it seems to me that McConkie is not walking the same path as Millet and Robinson these days. No, I don't have any "inside contacts" up there, but I am referring to two talks McConkie gave less than two weeks ago, found here and here. I will be discussing these talks on the Dividing Line today, for I see in them the "New Mormon Dilemma." I think McConkie sees something I have been seeing: Mormonism will splinter and die a thousand deaths if it gives up its distinctives: and, of course, it is those very distinctives that makes it a non-Christian religion. McConkie sees that compromise and trying to "look like everyone else" simply can't work for a religion like Mormonism which was founded on principles and beliefs that simply cannot be twisted into an ecumenical pretzel and still function as they have in the past. Just a couple of representative quotes:
Do you realize that the notion that all churches are equal presupposes that the true church of Jesus Christ actually does not exist anywhere?”I can respect McConkie. I can talk to a Mormon who believes he is right and I am wrong. It's the Mormons who think their feelings say they are right but my feelings might say I am right and who really knows and we all have light and blah blah blah blah blah....those are the ones I struggle with. McConkie has a spine---a fully, documentably heretical one, but a spine nonetheless, and as I believe Walter Martin once said, paraphrasing, "I prefer my heretics straight up, thank you." Indeed indeed.
If we are concerned about not offending the world, the first thing we ought to do is to reject the Book of Mormon. Can you imagine a book telling someone who believed in infant baptism that they are “in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity,” that they have neither “faith, hope, nor charity,” and that they ought to be cast down to hell for the very thought? (Mormon 8:14).
Perhaps we need to rethink the idea of seeking common ground with those we desire to teach. Every likeness we identify leaves them with one less reason to join the Church. When we cease to be different we cease to be.
So, that's what we will start with on the DL...but you never know where we will end up when those little green lights start blinking on the phone bank. The DL is today at 6pm EST.
Today on the DL
11/15/2005 - James WhiteToday on the Dividing Line we took a call on how to witness to Mormon missionaries, another with the suggestion that I do some DL's on the Da Vinci Code based on my PowerPoint presentation of it (good idea!), and I also spoke about a New York Times article on abortion, and then discussed Sura 4, Ayah 157 in the Qur'an and the Islamic denial of the crucifixion of Jesus. Here's the program.
More Amazing Errors from Shabir Ally on the DL Today
11/08/2005 - James White(Here is today's program, noted below)
Someday I'm going to wrap myself around a light pole somewhere because I'm so amazed at something someone just said in a debate I'm listening to while riding my bike. Yesterday I was listening to the Morey vs. Ally debate while riding, and just about rode right off the bike path when once again Shabir Ally proved "use any tactic you want---who cares about consistency" is his modus operandi. You may recall his amazing statement to Sam Shamoun that he does not have to take the Bible in its own context: he can pick and choose verses, phrases, etc., at will, isolate them, take them out of context, etc., and it doesn't matter. To any serious minded person, this was an admission on Shabir Ally's part that you do not need to take his arguments seriously, since he is not presenting them seriously.
I will be playing these sections on the DL today, but briefly, in the Morey debate at one point Shabir Ally shows that he knows he uses sources and arguments in an inconsistent, illogical fashion. In defending the Qur'an, Ally argued that you cannot use "Western scholarship" since that disproves both the Qur'an and the Bible. Now, while one could surely argue that point, immediately you are left asking, "If that is the case, why do you quote from Raymond Brown and all sorts of Western scholarship ad infinitum et ad nauseum in your debates against William Craig or others?" The self-contradiction is glaring, and utterly self-destructive.
But later I was left gasping for breath, not because of how hard I was riding, but because of Ally's willingness to show either utter ignorance of the Trinity (a possibility) or, to grossly misrepresent it. At one point Ally again shows his complete lack of exegetical capacity in speaking of the incarnation and the relationship of the Persons in the Trinity. He asserts confusion on the part of Christians as to who the Father of Jesus is, whether it is the Father in heaven or the Holy Spirit (as if the term "father" is being taken to mean 'the one causing the incarnation'). Then he says this:
But I cannot help you with this kind of confusion, ladies and gentlemen, except to invite you to the truth that God has revealed to correct all of this confusion. Ladies and gentlemen, I noticed this confusion here today as well when during the prayers we noticed that some people were praying to Yahweh, and some were saying 'Yes Jesus, praise be to Jesus.' Because Yahweh and Jesus, according even to the Trinity, are two different persons, they are not one in the same. If you say that Yahweh is Jesus, then how can you say that Yahweh sends His Son? Who is His Son? Not Jesus?I find it hard to believe Shabir Ally could possibly say something like this in a public debate. Surely any person who has done even the most basic amount of study knows that part and parcel of the proof of the Trinity adduced from the Holy Scriptures is the use of the divine name, YHWH, of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Only by once again assuming unitarianism can Ally miss this vital point. And how could he possibly think that this argumentation is at all compelling to a Christian? A truly amazing example of "We don't need to study what you believe or accurately represent it!" Listen in to the DL for this statement and others, and your phone calls at 877-753-3341. Perhaps some folks will finally call in this morning to defend Shabir Ally's arguments? Some of the other Islamic apologists we have examined? We tried to find someone Thursday evening, but no one called. We will try again at 11am MST (1pm EST).
A Caller Free Dividing Line!
11/03/2005 - James WhiteWell, we opened the phones for all those folks who would like to refute what I've been saying in response to Muslim apologists...and all we got was the sound of crickets chirping! Not a single call. Oh well, so I went over some material from Nadir Ahmed and Sabeel Ahmed presented in debates against Sam Shamoun. Here's the program.
Today on the the DL....
11/01/2005 - James WhiteFinished the Shabir Ally vs. Sam Shamoun debate today on the DL. Heard Shabir make it very clear that he does not feel he has to read the Bible in context--an admission that utterly destroys his credibility and his arguments, to be sure. Started the program with a message to Nadir Ahmed's followers as well. Here's the program. Open phones on Thursday at 4pm MST to allow anyone to defend the statements made by Shabir Ally. I will also be addressing some more errors in the Nadir Ahmed vs. Sam Shamoun debate as well.