Quick few notes.
I have no idea what set this young Christian apologist off. – Luis Dizon of Nicene International. Sadly, Muslims being spoken down to by Christian apologists is nothing new. Sam Shamoun recently called myself, Yusuf Ismail and Ijaz Ahmad “sewage”. No surprise then that folk like David Wood – recently accused of “false witness” by James White’s Alpha and Omega Ministries’ president – mock and insult Islam and Muslims on YouTube while their Christian friends and colleagues sit idly and silently – in many cases encourage such disgraceful mockery and insults by sharing and/or praising his vile videos. Totally designed to sow division between Muslims and Christians
Perhaps Luis was trying to curry favour with that crowd of Christian apologist who only exist to make a bit of cash out of mocking and insulting Islam under the guise of “evangelism”.
Or maybe he’s taking his cues from the milder ones like James White, again somebody who is known for mean comments towards his opponents – as pointed out by Pastor Jacob Prasch.
I don’t know. I don’t care. Just sort it out, please. Luis has done this to me before, he posted on FB about a year ago telling everybody he had blocked me. Why did he block me, erm because I called something 95% of Brits would consider “bigotry” or at the very least feel uncomfortable hearing. The comments were from his friend (and colleague at Nicene Ministries), what’s his name, Steven Martins? Canadian guy who debated Ijaz Ahmad in Trinidad. He later came back and unblocked me although as far as I know, he has never apologised despite practically instigating a hate-fest against me on his FB post proclaiming he blocked me (don’t think he even linked to the reason why he blocked me).
I think this video serves as a response to that testosterone fueled rant which seems to be designed to muddy the waters prior to a debate – debate tactics?. Why he did it after everything was looking great – he and Ijaz looked good and jolly together – I don’t know.
We need more of that and less of Wood and Shamoun poison.
Oh, and responding with equal measures of testosterone like it’s some sort of Batman vs Superman thingy doesn’t work here. I’m more light-hearted. I hope Luis and others in that camp can see the funny side of it all and take on board the serious undertones. Nobody appreciates being spoken to like that (to be fair, Luis has said he sounded as he did because he was tired)
Oh and Luis, this is not a hit piece. Simply a public response. Take this piece of advice if you want; stop trying to please the nasty crowd of evangelicals on the net (if that’s what you’re doing) who think Muslims as sewage. Apparently one of your followers accused me of being a refugee rapist or something too , Thomas something.
Peace. NOTE: There’s a plausible explanation as to why Ijaz thought what he did (i.e. the comments Luis criticised, let’s use a soft word, Ijaz for.
The Facts About Islam: Steven Martins
”Do you know where he mentioned Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses can go to Heaven?”
In the video Boyd implies that a JW or Mormon can go to heaven,he doesn’t say it directly,by using the example of the thief on the cross who got saved.
A.The passage is:
”One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah?Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Lord, remember me when you come into YOUR kingdom.”
He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
1.The thief says Jesus is LORD,presumably he accepts Jesus as the MESSIAH
2.Then he says YOUR kingdom,meaning he believes the Messiah has authority in paradise
3.In paradise people are divine beings,so at the MOST,at most,the thief accepted that Jesus was divine(while still on earth,but NOT Yahweh Incarnate)(as the JWs and Mormons believe)
or was only human,but on dying would become a spiritual being,and have divine authority in heaven.
B.The counter-argument is that BEFORE this Jesus in Luke,in the original Greek,orders God to forgive those who are killing him:
”Jesus said, “Father, forgive them(an order), for they do not know what they are doing.” ”
Who can order God to do something,except he himself? But the problem with this argument is that there is HIGH probability(I am sure Greg Boyd knows this,which is WHY he uses the thief on the cross example) that,according to scholars,it is an interpolation,it was never in the original.
C.One who believes it is an interpolation is James White,the Calvinist:
In his >b>2013 article ”From the Lips of Jesus or a Scribal Hand?“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing””
In his conclusion James White says:
In my estimation, given the judgment of the weight of both the external and internal support [internal support was not covered in this blog post], it is reasonable to place about a 75-90% degree of probability that the longer reading is a scribal insertion early into the transmission history.
The attestation among text-types and the diverse early geographical witnesses and their genealogical weight strengthens the probability of the shorter reading being primary.
Whereas the longer reading is attested primarily early on in only the Western text………………….Concerning the argument that this reading was excised early because of anti-Judaic bias, in this particular variant, it is not a sufficiently cogent reason as explained.
Up until the second century, the shorter reading was read widely. It was until sometime during the second century, probably the middle to the late part, that the longer reading was added and from then eventually found its way into all the text-types and the majority textual history thereafter.”
Here is the gist of what White wrote before the conclusion
”A few years ago I wrote a paper entitled, “Luke 23:34a: From the Lips of Jesus or a Scribal Hand?”
I argued that this saying of Jesus on the cross has significant textual doubt to its originality. It was sometime during the second century, probably the middle to the late part, that this saying was added, probably to a gospel harmony, and
from then on it eventually found its way into all the text-types and the majority textual history thereafter.”
The article also says:
”For Jacobus H. Petzer, the documentary evidence for an insertion into the textual tradition is noted,
Analyzing this evidence shows that the short reading [i.e., omission] has in fact a wide basis of diverse evidence in its favour:
The text is absent from almost all the earliest Alexandrian witnesses, notable P75, B and the Sahidic version,
as well as some of the later Alexandrian or Egyptian witnesses, such as the Bohairic version and the minuscule 579.
It is absent from some Western witnesses, notably the early Latin witnesses a and d, as well as Codex Bezae.
It is furthermore omitted in the early Syriac tradition through its absence in the Synaitic Syriac version and the Syriac commentary of Cyril.
Finally, it is even omitted in some of the early sources of the Byzantine text, such as W. ”
”Petzer notes that the material evidence for the long reading is early, but qualifies it,
“All these witnesses, however, belong to the same text-type. The evidence is thus genealogically limited. The pattern is more or less the same in the third century, with the reading occurring in Origen, Hipolytus of Rome, the Latin manuscripts c and e, which represent the earlier African form of the Vetus Latina, as well as the Curetonian Syriac version. All this evidence belongs to the Western texts with Origen the only exception.
In contrast, the diversity of the documentary evidence gives substantial weight to the shorter reading and thereby would strongly suggest a secondary origin of the longer reading. But the external documentary evidence cannot be considered definitive without an honest evaluation of internal considerations, which can be complex, yet extremely significant to the conundrum of this variant. But internal consideration is for another day, however, I did argue in my paper that there was likely a scribal numerical motivation for this interpolation. ”
The Pro-gay marriage movement is one of the biggest movements within what Christian theologians would call the “body of Christ” in the West. Ecumenism is up there too. In reality both ecumenism and the pro-gay marriage movement stem from liberal Christianity.
The sheer size of the Christian pro-gay marriage movement would mean Christians like Alisdair (Ally) Smith and David Robertson of Solas CPC believe the majority of the members of the “body of Christ” are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit nowadays as opposed to 30 years ago:
In others words, while clear majorities disapproved in 1983 (highest at 74.8 per cent for Catholics and 79.7 per cent for other Christians), in 2010 opposition had fallen to lower than 50 per cent in each group – lowest at 37.4 per cent for Anglicans and 20.4 per cent for those with no religion. Note that in all our tables given below, survey weights have been applied. [Dr Ben Celements, Leicester University]
One would expect this trend to continue, perhaps to the extent of virtually all Christians in the UK being pro-gay marriage or at the very least accepting of it in the coming years. Again, putting forth further questions on the beliefs the Christian community have concerning the Holy Spirt. As GotQuestions describes these beliefs:
Jesus gave the Spirit as a “compensation” for His absence, to perform the functions toward us which He would have done if He had remained personally with us….The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
What are David Robertson’s Solas CPC and the other minority of Christian activists going to say here? Will they say, the majority of Christians in the UK aren’t guided by the Holy Spirt and thus don’t interpret the Scripture in a way that is acceptable?
And what of the flip side, the Christian pro-gay marriage side? The majority side may well just point at their numbers and use that to support the claim the Holy Spirit is guiding them to do what Christ would do today!
In fact, the Christian pro-gay marriage side may even say there have been historical precedents in the past concerning early Christians and their deliberations towards the Trinity belief and the NT canon.
Let’s focus on the NT canon for a few moments. It was basically decided by a majority rule, early on there was disagreement as to which books to consider “inspired”. Christian theology would teach the decisions on the inclusion/exclusion of any book was guided by the Holy Spirit. Yet in reality, it appears, it was just majority rule which won out in the end.
Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.
If you combine this with the fact the pro-gay marriage camp is the bigger camp now, in addition it is still growing, and couple it with the belief that Christians believe they are guided by the Holy Spirit in Scripture then there is a huge hurdle here for Solas CPC. Is this not a big problem as this camp will make a more forceful appeal to this belief concerning the Holy Spirit because they have the numbers in the West.
The problem here is the Christian belief about the Holy Spirit and the way history played it self out previously with regards to the Trinity belief and the NT canon being formulated based on majority rule.
Consistency: Western incompatibility – Alisdair Smith’s colleagues’ inconsistent argumentation.
Alisdair Smith’s colleagues in the mission fields (certainly Jonathan McLatchie’s colleagues) argue on the lines of Islam not being compatible with Western values when constructing polemics against Islam yet if we are consistent Alisdair Smith, SOLAS and the rest of the anti-gay marriage Christian camp are promoting a Christianity which is incompatible with Western values.
Again, questions concerning the Christian belief of the Holy Spirit arise as surely the Holy Spirit wouldn’t guide towards inconsistency..
This is a subtle one for the thinking Christian
Christianity is not monolithic. The Christian pro-gay marriage movement has wide spread and rapidly growing support (as seen above) yet colleagues of SOLAS’ Alisdair in the Christian polemics business such as Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood and Jay Smith would say ISIS is true Islam despite being miniscule and having no scholarly Islamic body supporting ISIS (in fact all Muslim scholarship has denounced ISIS) yet at the same time this Christian camp claims the pro same sex marriage movement is not true Christianity despite it having much more support from recognised Christian bodies, authorities and a vast and ever-growing supporter base amongst Christian laity.
Thus hypocrisy is outlined in more detail in this response to a Christian apologist, Jonathan McLatchie. Jonathan Mclatchie: Gay Marriage is “Madness” but Terrorism is..
Let’s discuss another example of what appears to be hypocrisy from the conservative Christian camp.
There are heterosexual dating prohibitions (Matt 5:28, 1 Cor 6) yet the campaigns against this are nowhere to be seen. Can SOLAS or any other Christian anti-gay marriage campaign group show me a track record of vociferous campaigning against this throughout the years?
In fact, one would expect there to be overwhelmingly more anti-heterosexual dating/sex-before-marriage activity than homosexual marriage as homosexual marriage is a relatively new phenomena.
Selective focus like this not only invites accusations of hypocrisy but it again leads to questions about the Christian belief in the Holy Spirit. If this camp seriously believes they are being guided by the Holy Spirit then why a selective focus? Why hasn’t the Holy Spirit not guided them to campaign more strongly against the more widespread sin – heterosexual dating and unmarried heterosexual sex?
British Muslims should not solely rely on Christians in this endeavour of campaigning against gay-marriage. Muslims must go out and take a lead role in this effort. Sure, working alongside straggling Christians like SOLAS is encouraged but do not sit back and think this Christian minority are knights in shining armour. They’re not. They could capitulate tomorrow just like Christians did by agreeing to majority rule on the Trinity belief and NT canon. Not to mention them pretty much giving up their efforts against heterosexual pre-marital sex (once again, I’d imagine this was due to the pressure of numbers against them).
As for the Christian soldiers who are currently admirably standing against the tide of the zeitgeist why not do it under the umbrella of Islam? Friends, look into Islam with an open heart.
Muslim Helps James White out: Why Bart Erhman Finds James White Offensive
Let’s forget about ERS and EFS for now. Time for a few comments on Professor Wayne Grudem’s “Partial Revelation (of the Trinity belief) in the Old Testament” claim. Grudem’s Comment are denoted by WD.
WD: The word trinity is never found in the Bible, though the idea represented by the word is taught in many places.
I’d be interested in seeing these “many places” where the Trinity idea is taught. Remember the 3-self Trinity idea is a 3in1 idea, that’s to say an idea of God being tri-personal and all the “Persons” being consubstantial and co-equal.
Which places does Wayne Grudem have in mind? There are no places in the Bible which teach this Trinity concept. None. Zip. Zilch. Sure folk may scratch around and amalgamate a number of Biblical references and read a Trinity theory into those selected texts (i.e eisegesis) but that’s not what Grudem appears to be claiming here. He’s claiming places in the Bible teach this belief!
Perhaps his chief place is the Great Commission in Matthew 28. However, that does not teach the idea of the Trinity as outlined above.
Read it for yourself and see if it conforms with Wayne Grudem’s definition of the Trinity belief.
WD: The word trinity means “tri-unity” or “three-in-oneness.” It is used to summarize the teaching of Scripture that God is three persons yet one God.
Old Testament and old Trinitarian claims
WD: Sometimes people think the doctrine of the Trinity is found only in the New Testament, not in the Old. If God has eternally existed as three persons, it would be surprising to find no indications of that in the Old Testament.
Grudem has external motivations to argue for the Trinity in the Old Testament – for him it would not make sense for there not to be some allusion to it at the very least for purposes of consistency. One of the problems arising for his position is that of confusion; if he believes a hint was given as to the 3-self Trinity belief wouldn’t that not also mean he believes God confused people as there was no explicit teaching of the Trinity. Think about it, if hints of plurality within God were provided then that would have left people scratching their heads. Scratching their heads about fundamental ontology of God.
And why would a hint be given, why not just the full explicit teaching from the beginning – after all it is about the fundamental ontology of God? Surely a clear view of God would be expected to be given straight away rather than “hints” which would leave people confused for around 1500 years. Moses p is thought to have lived ~1500 years prior to Jesus p. Further problems arise for the Trinitarian position, Jesus did not teach the Trinity either, it was postulated by later Church Fathers from the fourth century onwards so Grudem would have folk believe God gave hints of the Trinity in the OT and thus left people confused for around 2000 years about a fundamental view of Himself.
And the Bible itself would argue against confusion of that kind by stating God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33)
WD: Although the doctrine of the Trinity is not explicitly found in the Old Testament, several passages suggest or even imply that God exists as more than one person.
It’s not explicitly taught in the NT either but let’s have a look at one of the texts he appeals to as an implication of the Trinity belief.
WD: For instance, according to Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” What do the plural verb (“let us”) and the plural pronoun (“our”) mean?
Plurality doesn’t necessarily denote three so to argue for plurality does not mean an argument for the Trinity belief. Plurality can be any number greater than 1. As we know the plurality of 3 did not become agreed upon by the Church until at least 381 CE. For those wondering why not 325 CE? “The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son” [Edgar G Foster]
WD: Some have suggested they are plurals of majesty, a form of speech a king would use in saying, for example, “We are pleased to grant your request.” However, in Old Testament Hebrew there are no other examples of a monarch using plural verbs or plural pronouns of himself in such a “plural of majesty,” so this suggestion has no evidence to support it.
Now, this is not a major point of contention but from Jason Dulle, it appears there may be some candidates for the use of the royal plural elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures. Dulle gives possible examples from Ezra and Daniel:
The second theory is that the plural pronouns are used as a “majestic plural.” This type of language was typically used by royalty, but not exclusively. Biblical examples include Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar, “We will tell the interpretation thereof before the king” (Daniel 2:36). Daniel, however, was the only one who gave the king the interpretation of his dream. King Artaxerxes wrote in a letter, “The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me” (Ezra 4:18). The letter was sent to Artaxerxes alone (Ezra 4:11), yet he said it was sent to “us,” and was read before “me.” Clearly the letter was only sent to, and read to Artaxerxes. When Artaxerxes penned another letter to Ezra he used the first person singular pronoun “I” in one place and the first person plural pronoun “we” in another (Ezra 7:13, 24).
WD: Another suggestion is that God is here speaking to angels. But angels did not participate in the creation of man, nor was man created in the image and likeness of angels, so this suggestion is not convincing.
Firstly, would that be consistent from a 3-self Trinitarian perspective? Why are humans not tri-personal if we were created in the image of a tri-personal God? The 3-self Trinitarian has another dilemma.
Secondly, Dr Michael Heiser and others don’t see a problem with viewing Gen 1:26 as an exhortational declaration:
God announced to his council his idea to create mankind (“hey, guys, let’s do this!” – a sort of exhortational declaration), then HE (and he alone, by virtue of the GRAMMAR) created humankind in HIS own image (not theirs).
Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26:
Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court [See Rabbi Tovia Singer on the Trinity]
Edgar G Foster discusses this in his summary of Alan J. Hauser’s views on Gen 1:26, which militates against the Prof. Wayne Grudem’s conjecture and throw into question his abilities in Hebrew:
Hauser expands on this argument. He does not think that the use of the Elohim in Genesis 1:26 proves that Genesis teaches God’s triunity. One reason that Hauser concludes this has to do with the Hebrew word Elohim. Granted, Elohim is morphologically plural as are “us” and “our.” But these words, while they might seem to indicate plurality, definitely do not suggest triunity. It must also be kept in mind that in Hebrew it is common for the plural noun to cause the verb to be plural (Cf. Genesis 20:13, 35:7). E.A Speiser therefore renders Genesis 1:26 as follows: “The God said, ‘I will make man in my image, after my likeness.’”
WD: The best explanation is that already in the first chapter of Genesis we have an indication of a plurality of persons in God himself. We are not told how many persons, and we have nothing approaching a complete doctrine of the Trinity, but it is implied that more than one person is involved.
And what of the thousands of singular pronouns used in the Bible such as in Isaiah 44:24, Gen 1:5 and Gen 9:6 ? In fact the very next verse Genesis 1:27 uses a singular pronoun as to whom mankind were made in the image of
27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.
Does Prof. Wayne Grudem have an answer for this? If he is consistent he’d see the singular pronouns being a problem for his Trinity hypothesis. In fact if this one reference, used as a far-fetched reference to plurality, is being pushed by Grudem as a hint to the Trinity belief then it really is case closed if he uses an objective mindset on all the singular pronouns used of God in the Bible – he has to believe those to be pointers to God’s singularity in Personhood and Being if consistent.