Answering Missionaries

June 9, 2006

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!

What does he do now? One would imagine that after receiving so much bashing, Butler would either remain quite or make at least a minute attempt to respond to some of the things I had to say in order to save his face. But no, he literally ignores everything and does nothing more than to go on a wild rampage against Islam, issuing a series of blasphemous comments, as if that would somehow salvage his face and “answer” what I had to say. But such a move only reveals his immense desperation and highlights the weakness of his arguments – either consciously or subconsciously Butler is aware of the weaknesses of his arguments and so makes no effort whatsoever to defend his claims. Thus, he merely raises utterly irrelevant polemics.

Currently I am not at all interested in addressing his irrelevant polemics since I have better things to do, like finish my detailed review of the Shabir Ally and James White debate. In the future I might reply to it, but for now it’s a low priority. Nonetheless, let me respond to a few of Butler’s side comments aimed at me. Butler writes:

    “From the looks of things, it seems as though Rambo’s blog is exclusively devoted to the dissection of just one Christian/Muslim debate which happened between James White and Shabir Ally.”

I don’t see how Butler can say that “it seems” as if my blog is “exclusively devoted” to the above referred debate since I state very clearly in my blog:

“This blog is basically meant to be a collection of rebuttals to a variety of missionary polemics against Islam. It will also contain a critical examination of the Bible with the use of Biblical scholarship.

I will link to specific papers in other Muslim websites answering particular attacks and also upload papers authored by myself and others.”

Recall that this is the same page from which Butler foolishly concluded that my name was “Assalam Alaikum.” In any case, I clearly state the purpose of this blog, that, far from being “exclusively” devoted to this debate, it will, instead, contain papers on a variety of other issues. Nonetheless, it is true; my blog presently contains most material related to the debate between Shabir Ally and James White. Quite simply, the debate was the “hot item” at the time and since the Christians were saying a lot of things against Shabir Ally and Islam in general, I decided to put up the relevant material therein to address some of these charges. In the near future, I plan to put up other material on this site which would not be related to the debate in question.

Butler says:

    “That causes me to ponder: If the sole purpose of a person’s blog is to explain what Shabir Ally really said, or meant to say, or should have said, and why James White is wrong, what exactly does that tell you about Shabir’s arguments? Why weren’t they compelling the first time around?”

I have explained his distortion above regarding the purpose of this blog. To make matters worse, here he presents another distortion. Check out the papers on my blog and you won’t find anything therein which sets out to or gives the impression of “explaining” what Shabir Ally said, or what he “meant” to say, or what he “should have” said. There are simply no such papers and arguments on this blog. In none of the papers have I, or someone else, attempted to “explain” what Shabir Ally “said”, what he “should have said” or what he “meant to say.” Butler just made this up. Instead, in the blog I have papers which address specifically some of the weak claims and arguments utilised by James White, Shabir Ally’s responses to what James White has said subsequent to the debate, together with my debates with some Christians on a variety of issues. This convinces me that Butler is simply incapable of reading straightforward material.

Butler proceeds:

    “Rambo is also given to nipping at the ankles of all the Christians who happen to know a thing or two about textual issues and who point out his errors.”

Why not present an example of one such alleged “error” of mine and we will discuss it?

Butler appears to be running out of things to say so all he is left to do is react angrily with a meaningless and mockful comment:

    “He has also learned to insert photos.”

What precisely is supposed to be “wrong” with that? Where you born with the full knowledge of html and how to add pictures on websites and blogs? Was this information securely embedded within your brain as you were in your mothers’ womb? Obviously, at some point in time you learnt how to insert photos on sites and blogs, just as you learnt other things gradually. So I really don’t see what he is trying to say with such a meaningless comment.

And well, then he goes on and on rambling over irrelevant matters, making one arrogant/sneerful comment after another, and just making a series of unsubstantiated accusations. What he does is simply launch a rather shoddy type of polemic against Islam, ignoring basically everything I had to say in my discussion with him. For instance, he writes: “The True and Living God as opposed to the false, non-existent god, Allah.” I think there is nothing to say to a person with such a mindset. But, it is interesting to note that Butler contradicts and disagrees with James White, who has repeatedly acknowledged that Muslims are monotheists who worship One God. Just because Muslims, and Arab Christians, call God Allah (Al = the, lah = God, thus: “the God”) does not mean they worship God who is “false” or “non-existent.” Butler assumes throughout his angry tirade that the Bible is “true” and “inspired”, of course, not once bothering to substantiate this presupposition. In short, his argument can be summed up as follows: Christianity teaches this and the Bible teaches that, but Islam says something different, so Islam is “false.” Muslims can also make use of the same argument against the Bible and Christianity. For example, Christianity is false because it teaches that Jesus (P) died for our salvation and in atonement for our sins, whereas according to the true teachings of Islam, no one dies for our sins. Christianity is false because it teaches that Jesus (P) is God, which is denied by the Word of God, the Quran. According to Christianity, the false and non-existing god of the Christians is a Trinitarian god, whereas the true God reveals to us in His final book, the Quran, that He is an undivided Unitarian God. I can go on and on and “prove” that Christianity is “false” by applying such a circular model. I am sure this would not impress Butler, so he also needs to refrain from using circular arguments.

It gets worse. Islam and Judaism generally agree with each other when it comes to their conception and view of God and their understanding of salvation, grace, works, acceptance of the law, and forgiveness etc. They agree that God did not become a man to die for the sins of mankind and they agree in their denial of the original sin and the Trinitarian conception of God. Therefore, it is only Christianity which stands as the odd one out and is, therefore, on a collision course with both Islam and Judaism.

Such simplistic circular arguments may work when having a discussion with fellow Christians, but they are quite useless when having a discussion with non-Christians since they do not presume the Bible to be “inspired,” “inerrant,” and Christianity to be “true.” Therefore, with all due respect, I really don’t give a monkey if the Bible and Christianity disagree with Islamic teachings at times since, for me, only the Islamic teachings are true. Instead of making use of circular arguments with people who do not accept the Bible and Christianity, Butler needs to invest some efforts at demonstrating and explaining why his beliefs and Biblical teachings are “true” and sensible. But Butler makes no such attempt.

Readers should be able to sense the feeling of defeat in Butler’s overly bizarre reaction. Moreover, the quality of his polemics is such that they do not need any immediate reply. But perhaps in the future I might do so. For now, I leave you with some relevant links which discuss Butler’s individual polemics and gross misunderstandings in detail:

It's not working!

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. [i]Therefore, it is only Christianity which stands as the odd one out and is, therefore, on a collision course with both Islam and Judaism.[/i]

    (Fred) So Rambo, if Judaim and Islam are so buddy buddy with each other, are you prepared to renounce Islamic anti-semtism and throw your support behind the nation of Israel? Will denounce Hamas and their satanic hatred of Jews? Are you going to renounce the various mythos in Islam that says Ishmael is the chosen nation rather than Issac?

    [i]Such simplistic circular arguments may work when having a discussion with fellow Christians, but they are quite useless when having a discussion with non-Christians since they do not presume the Bible to be “inspired,” “inerrant,” and Christianity to be “true.” Therefore, with all due respect, I really don’t give a monkey if the Bible and Christianity disagree with Islamic teachings at times since, for me, only the Islamic teachings are true. Instead of making use of circular arguments with people who do not accept the Bible and Christianity, Butler needs to invest some efforts at demonstrating and explaining why his beliefs and Biblical teachings are “true” and sensible.[/i]

    (Fred) I truly wonder if you really know what a circular argument is. Here you accuse me of being circular, and then in the next sentence use circularity to appeal to Islam. Amazing.

    [i]Refutation to polemics that Muslims do not worship One God[/i]

    (Fred) Note that I never said that Muslims do not worship One god. They certainly do. I stated that the god of Islam is radically different than the True and Living God who has disclosed Himself in the Bible. They are not the same deities. The Islamic god is more along the lines of the neo-platonic view of the prime mover who is so utterly transcendent he cannot be known personally.

    Fred

    Reply:
    [my previous statements in bold, Butler’s response in italics, followed by my response in normal text]

    “Therefore, it is only Christianity which stands as the odd one out and is, therefore, on a collision course with both Islam and Judaism.”

    Butler replies:

    ”(Fred) So Rambo, if Judaim and Islam are so buddy buddy with each other, are you prepared to renounce Islamic anti-semtism and throw your support behind the nation of Israel? Will denounce Hamas and their satanic hatred of Jews? Are you going to renounce the various mythos in Islam that says Ishmael is the chosen nation rather than Issac?”

    Notice the entirely irrelevant nature of his “reply.” That Hamas has allegedly “satanic hatred” for the Jews and that I will not throw in my blind support behind the nation of Israel does not in anyway “disprove” what I initially said, namely, that Islam and Judaism generally agree with each other upon their conception of God, agree with each other with regards to salvation, grace, works and have a very similar law. Thus, Christianity turns out to be the odd one out.

    Third, there is no “mythos” (?) in Islam according to which Ishmael (P) is the “chosen nation.” I don’t know where this one came from. Perhaps he might be referring to the Muslim belief that it was Ishmael (P) who was offered as a sacrifice by Abraham (P) and not Isaac (P)? If so, then no, I do not “renounce” this as I believe this is the truth as the Quran is God’s Word and that the Bible is wrong when it says that Isaac (P) was the son offered by Abraham (P) for sacrifice as it is not “inspired.” You see, like Butler, I too can play the circular game.

    Third, there is no such thing as an “Islamic anti-Semitism.” Arabs are also Semites and I do not hate them. Likewise, I do not “hate” Jews and have a very high regard for Judaism and Jewish customs, though I disagree with the policies of the Israeli government. What is “anti-Semitic” about disagreeing with the policies and actions of the Israeli government? But more importantly, I wonder if Butler is familiar with the “Christian anti-Semitism?” I very much doubt that. I would like to know if he would renounce the “satanic hatred” and the paranoid anti-Semitism which is to be found in the gospel according to Matthew and other New Testament writings, not to mention the “satanic” hatred towards Judaism which is clearly to be seen in the writings of the early Church fathers? I can easily have a wonderful time educating Butler on this topic if he is seriously interested in playing this type of a game.

    “Such simplistic circular arguments may work when having a discussion with fellow Christians, but they are quite useless when having a discussion with non-Christians since they do not presume the Bible to be “inspired,” “inerrant,” and Christianity to be “true.” Therefore, with all due respect, I really don’t give a monkey if the Bible and Christianity disagree with Islamic teachings at times since, for me, only the Islamic teachings are true. Instead of making use of circular arguments with people who do not accept the Bible and Christianity, Butler needs to invest some efforts at demonstrating and explaining why his beliefs and Biblical teachings are “true” and sensible.”

    Butler replies:


    ”(Fred) I truly wonder if you really know what a circular argument is. Here you accuse me of being circular, and then in the next sentence use circularity to appeal to Islam. Amazing. “

    Clearly, he has a particularly difficult time following straightforward arguments. Let me explain again:

    It was Butler who initially applied circular arguments for the purpose of attacking Islam. I clearly explained how he did that. In response, I argued that I too could make use of such circular arguments to dismiss Christianity and the Bible. Thereafter, I presented some examples to substantiate my point – to show how circular arguments could be applied by me to reject and dismiss the Bible and Christian teachings. Here I was using Butler’s circular arguments against him. This was done merely as an educational device in the hope that Butler would understand the fallacious nature of his useless circular arguments. Period.

    I have never made use of circular arguments in support of Islam out of the blue.

    “Refutation to polemics that Muslims do not worship One God”

    Butler replies:


    ”(Fred) Note that I never said that Muslims do not worship One god. They certainly do. I stated that the god of Islam is radically different than the True and Living God who has disclosed Himself in the Bible. They are not the same deities. The Islamic god is more along the lines of the neo-platonic view of the prime mover who is so utterly transcendent he cannot be known personally.”

    Even if for arguments sake we buy the above, it would only show that Muslims worship the same God which the Jews and Christians also worship, but only with a different understanding and conception of this same God. That the conception and understanding of God between Muslims and Christians is “radically” different does not follow that Muslims worship a “different” deity. Instead, the deity is the same, but our conception, view and beliefs about this same deity are different.

    Butler does insinuate that Muslims do not worship the same One God when he mocks Muslims by typing “god” – small “g.” Thus, Christians worship “G”od whereas Muslims worship “g”od. Instead, if he acknowledges that Muslims are monotheists, and if he agrees with James White that Muslims do worship the same One God who is also worshipped by the Jews and Christians, then there is no reason to use a small “g.”

    Moreover, the above type of argument backfires upon the Christians since the Jews also do not believe that God died as an atonement for sins and they also reject the Trinitarian conception of God, together with the theology of the original sin. Does that mean that the Jews worship a different deity – “god”?

    It should also be noted that the above type of misunderstandings of the Muslims belief and conception of God are exactly the same type of caricatures and distortions of the Jewish belief and conception of God which were to be found in an untold number of books in the past authored by Christians.

    Muslims worship a Loving and Merciful God with whom they have a close and intimate relationship. God is known by the believers and he is more close to us than our very veins, listening to all our prayers. For the Muslim beliefs about God, see:

    http://www.beautifulislam.net/tellmemore/god_and_love.htm#love

    Finally, I have a very simple request to make to Butler. For a few minutes at least, try to put aside your presuppositions about Islam and forget what you have read about Islam in polemical Christian websites. I ask you to do this just for a few minutes, so I am sure you can manage it. So, with an open mind, listen to some of the talks on Islam and Prophet Muhammed (P) to be found here:

    http://www.ihyafoundation.com/index.php?page=audio2

    Perhaps these short talks, by one of our leading scholar, will open your mind and motivate you search Islam in a proper manner. Or, they would leave you unchanged. So, you have nothing to loose, do you?

    Regards.

    ps: also the talks here: http://www.zaytuna.org/multimedia.asp

    Comment by Fred — June 9, 2006 @ 8:56 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: