Answering Missionaries

June 24, 2006

Future plans

Filed under: Uncategorized — answeringmissionaries @ 12:16 am

Assalam Alaikum readers

I know the site has not been updated in a while. Besides being a little lazy, job hunting, and finishing up some assignments, I have been exceedingly busy getting some work done at home (new kitchen tiles, flooring, painting etc). However, I plan to update the site in a few weeks Inshallah.

I thought why not give you a glimpse of my future plans:

My plan is to finish a large paper on the compilation and transmission of the Quran. Although I have already started working on this subject, it would take a little longer to acquire all the necessary references. As work continues on this paper, I will try to upload on this blog a few excerpts on different aspects of the Quran from a particularly interesting book I recently came across, as well as certain excerpts from a classical book. Third, I plan to put up a series of articles on the historical Jesus subject in which I will attempt to briefly present the conclusions derived by a number of scholars whose books I have been reading for some time. Fourth, I wish to put up some book reviews as well – both Islamic and non-Islamic books. Fifth, offer some responses to the common missionary polemics against Islam. Finally, I will attempt to write a little on New Testament authorship, canon and textual transmission as well, where I will attempt to tackle certain common apologetic arguments.

Well, as you can see I have a lot on my mind. Inshallah, with God’s help I am sure I will manage it. Keep an eye on this blog!

Regards and best wishes.

June 16, 2006

Shabir Ally Vs James White debate: critical review and summarisation of arguments

“Is the New Testament as it exists today the inspired word of God?”

Debate summarisation and critical review

Shabir Ally and James White had a debate at the Biola University on 7th May, 2006. As is rather obvious from the topic, the purpose of the debate was to determine whether or not the New Testament, as it exists today, is the inspired word of God.

I will say a few words about the speakers. Shabir Ally is a very eloquent speaker, a fine debater, and highly knowledgeable when it comes to comparative religion. Shabir Ally is currently completing his Phd in Quranic interpretation. In the past he has debated people ranging from Robert Morey, Joseph Smith, to the well-known Christian philosopher, scholar and debater, Dr William Lane Craig. Moreover, Shabir Ally is an exceedingly polite and gentle speaker. Having watched over a dozen of his talks and debates, I can’t recall an instance where he was harsh or rude towards an opponent. James White, on the other hand, is also a fine debater and a rather fast speaker, having recently debated New Testament scholars such as Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg. Dr. White has also authored a number of books on the Bible.

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Additional input from a Muslim debate attendee who questioned James White

Filed under: Debate reviews,James White — answeringmissionaries @ 11:39 pm

Some noise was raised a little while ago about the conduct of a few Muslim individuals who were alleged to have been quite rude towards James White during the break-time. James White himself says this much in one of his Dividing Line talks. Previously, I argued that if what is alleged was true, then these individuals committed a disgraceful act and that there was no reason whatsoever to be rude and offensive towards James White even if he was distorting the truth at times (the misinformation about Ibn Masud’s fictitious beating. See this and this). I presented this case in the following paper:

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June 11, 2006

Comments from a Muslim who attended the debate: the use of sources

Filed under: Addressing James White polemics,Debate reviews,James White — answeringmissionaries @ 12:47 am

As some of you might have noticed, a few days ago I received some comments regarding the Shabir Ally Vs James White debate by a Muslim who attended this debate. I have decided to post his interesting comments on the main blog:

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June 9, 2006

The Da Vinci Code movie: a brief review and look at some of the claims

Filed under: Gospel reliability,Movie review — answeringmissionaries @ 2:01 am

A few days ago I went to the cinema with my brother and a friend to watch the movie “Da Vinci Code”, starring Tom Hanks. The movie is based on a fictional murder mystery book by Dan Brown entitled “The Da Vinci Code.” I have not read Brown’s book nor am I likely to read it in the future.1 To be frank, I don’t really enjoy reading lengthy novels and stories. That is not to say that I do not read at all; I love reading books on Quranic and Biblical studies. Over the years I have been obtaining a number of books on the topic of the canon of the New Testament, its textual transmission, Gospel studies, historical Jesus, Islamic history, the formation, collection and transmission of the Quran, books on Prophet Muhammed (P) as well as Islamic books in general. Thus, I have now a fairly decent collection of books lying around in my bedroom. In fact, my bedroom has become my mini-library. But, apart from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series and, my favourite, The Count of Monte Cristo, I just don’t like reading lengthy novels.

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Butler with another poor service

Filed under: Dialogue/Debates — answeringmissionaries @ 2:01 am

Doh!!

Butler’s recent tirade against me can only be described as hopelessly pathetic. Recall that in his previous paper, Butler made a number of rather absurd comments. For instance, Butler, who has repeatedly claimed to know “a lot” about the Middle-Eastern culture and has allegedly spent “much” time among different Muslims from different localities, did not even know the most fundamental and simple thing: the meaning of “Assalam Alaikum.” His ridiculous level of ignorance can be easily gauged from the fact that somehow, almost magically, he convinced himself that “Assalam Alaikum” was my name! Worse, he then lied when he described me as a “self proclaimed expert” in New Testament textual criticism, even though I had never made such a claim about myself and had never claimed to be an “expert” in any area of New Testament studies. It gets worse. After making a silly blunder and telling an outright lie, Butler then proceeded to “respond” to some of the things he thought I might have said in my paper even though he did not even bother to read what I had to say carefully and in its entirety!

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Patrick is out again

Filed under: Dialogue/Debates — answeringmissionaries @ 2:01 am

You're out!

I was eagerly looking forward to Patrick’s reply to my latest reply to him as I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion and truly respect him. However, I was quite disappointed on reading his brief and strange reaction. Patrick does not engage with anyone of my arguments, but only expresses his disappointment at me. He says that he believes that I will not quite “get it.” Immediately thereafter, he asks his readers regarding what to do when the person you are debating “lacks the mental sophistication to appreciate your arguments?” Here Patrick assumes that he had offered highly “technical” and “sophisticated” arguments which poor me just wasn’t able to comprehend at all. Of course, this is what he likes to believe and he does not bother to present a single example to substantiate his baseless assertions. I don’t quite understand why Patrick reacted in such a strange way. I believe I understood his argument and then replied to them the best I could. If Patrick truly believes that I misunderstood anyone of his arguments, then he should have pointed that out clearly by sharing those alleged examples with his readers. If indeed I misunderstood anything, then I will acknowledge my mistake. But the problem is that Patrick does not offer any such alleged examples and I do not think that he will likely do so in the future.

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Part II – detailed response to Steve Hays

Filed under: Anti-Islamic/Muslim Polemics,Dialogue/Debates — answeringmissionaries @ 2:00 am

Steve Hays has come out with another reply to my response to his first reaction.

A lot of my arguments have either been entirely ignored or discussed briefly. Worse, as before, Hays often misreads and constructs a series of straw man arguments. I will provide examples of these as I proceed with my analysis of his comments. Moreover, as before, he maintains his arrogant, condescending and rude tone, something which I will try to avoid as much as possible.

Whatever I say about the Quran is immediately tossed aside with one or two liners. Hays is obviously not interested in an honest discussion where the purpose of the correspondents is to fairly assess the evidence in order to arrive at the truth. As a result, I will subject the Bible to the same treatment just to show how easily it can be “refuted” in a similar manner by someone who has already made up his/her mind.

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June 4, 2006

UNDERSTANDING THE RULES REGARDING THE USE OF SCHOLARLY CITATIONS

Filed under: Addressing James White polemics,General,James White,Shabir Ally vs James White — answeringmissionaries @ 1:10 am

UNDERSTANDING THE RULES REGARDING THE USE OF SCHOLARLY CITATIONS

Shabir Ally

May 29, 2006

Much of the discussion between James White and I during and after our recent debate seems to be on the question of who is a worthwhile scholar to cite. I have noticed over the years, and now again with this debate, that this issue has been much misunderstood. It seems that if I cite a scholar in favour of my view the other side dismisses the scholar as being unworthy. On the other hand, the other side would naturally cite scholars who disagree with my view. Moreover, my fellow debater may insist that I support my position with reference to only those scholars whom the fellow debater deems admissible. This can be frustrating, for, if I did not hold a position at odds with that of my opponent there would be no debate to begin with. And, the position I hold, which is the point of contention in the debate, would naturally be opposed by the scholars from the other debater’s camp. Equally frustrating is the fact that one of my fellow debaters would recommend a source which another rejects. More frustrating is the fact that a debater may not budge from his positions even when I am citing the very scholar whom he otherwise recommends.

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A RESPONSE TO JAMES WHITE ON THE VALIDITY OF HIS CLAIM REGARDING THE MANNER OF IBN MASUD’S DEATH

A RESPONSE TO JAMES WHITE ON THE VALIDITY OF HIS CLAIM REGARDING THE MANNER OF IBN MASUD’S DEATH

Shabir Ally

May 30, 2006

On James’ kind invitation, I have listened to his Dividing Line1 broadcast of May 23 in which he responds to two issues I have written about recently. First, I have pointed out that his reference to Yasir Qadhi’s An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran2 was incorrect, since the material simply does not exist in the cited book.3 Second, I had attempted to reclaim a point I had surrendered during the debate on the grounds that the information I had received from James, and to whose authority on the Greek language I naturally deferred, was incomplete.4 I will here attempt to evaluate James’ response to the first of these two issues. I will deal with the second issue, on the matter of Matthew’s modification of Mark, in another paper.

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