Anthony Rogers vs Ijaz Ahmad: Debate
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
The debate can be either streamed (audio) or downloaded from this link.
The YouTube video is still being uploaded, it’s 10.5 gb, so that’s going to take a while. I’ll upload the Youtube video sooner or later, it’s really just a more accessible form of the debate, as opposed to using 4shared, which you can’t share via most social networking platforms. There was no video feed, i.e. of the debaters as this debate was done via Paltalk, an audio chat program. Anthony’s version (?) of the upload should be done soon.
How Did this Debate Originate?
Before any accusations are thrown, or assertions made, as is usual in these highly emotive events, I did have a post, located here, highlighting the origination of this event, emails included. This debate was initially proposed by Mr. Rogers and I accepted.
Why was this Topic Relevant to Islam?
While more of a Judaic based theological conundrum with Christianity, Islam does lay claim to being the only proper monotheistic Abrahamic faith. Islam’s relevance therefore was paramount in being able to demonstrate the polytheism and continued creation worship as proposed and propagated by Christianity.
What are Your Thoughts on the Debate?
I (Br. Ijaz), personally enjoyed the discussion, it was exciting, especially as the audience numbers began to grow. It gave me a chance to demonstrate creation worship in Christianity and it allowed me to demonstrate the lowly and fallacious argumentation of Mr. Rogers, which I will expound upon lower down. Anthony did accede to the understanding that we needed more than one event to discuss this topic and I’ll hold him to his word, I’ll email him soon and confirm the follow up for part two.
Opening Statement (Anthony):
Anthony’s opening statement was rooted on pedantic word play. I received complaints not only from Muslims but from Christians who were a bit disappointed that he spent well over 10 minutes of his 20 minute opening speech playing with semantics. When it came to actually quoting scripture to demonstrate his point, there was a clear disconnect between what he initially presented and what he later laid claim to. His opening argument can be summarized as such:
10 minutes – 15 minutes:
- Define Mal’ak.
- Define what an Angel is.
- Quote some scholars on the meaning of the word Mal’ak.
- Mal’ak YHWH actually means YHWH.
- Mal’ak YHWH is God because in Genesis 16 he’s called God.
Nothing really special, as I indicated previously, his argument didn’t flow (i.e., it was non-sequitur), it’s almost as if he copy pasted and then read, his part one of his article series,”The Malak Yahweh Jesus, the Divine Messenger of the Old Testament” and then from that, he realised he needed to fill in 5 minutes of his elapsed 15, so somewhere in their he threw in 7 verses from Genesis 16, hoping that it would aid his argument. Rather, he just played with semantics for 15 minutes and then tried to argue the deity of an angel in 5 minutes. Duly unimpressive and somewhat embarrassing, especially for a man almost twice my age and with official schooling in this field.
Take note however that he bases his entire argument on the following thesis (verbatim quotes from his opening statement):
- I want to state clearly that from the onset the thesis I will be defending in this debate and which my opponent will necessarily have to direct his remarks to, if he wants to avoid attacking a strawman or position I do not hold, the thesis I will be defending is simply this:
- The Angel of Yahweh is a distinct, divine in the Godhead according to the Old Testament.
- Notice that my thesis entails both the deity of the angel as well as his distinct personhood from another and or other persons in the Godhead.
- This means it will not be sufficient or at all relevant for my opponent to argue that the angel is distinct from Yahweh as if this somehow negates my position. In fact any good argument my opponent puts forward to prove that the angel is distinct from another person called Yahweh will receive a quick and robust ‘Amen’ from me.
- This also means that my opponent will necessarily either have to show that the angel is also not identified as God as I will argue or provide some way for accounting how the angel may be identified that is consistent with Unitarianism, the belief that God is only one person and the Old Testament.
Opening Statement (Ijaz):
From the get go, I point out Anthony’s lazy scholarship, i.e. repeating his copy pasted argument from his published work. I started with indicating that it was common for Christianity to progressively worship creation, based on Jeremiah 16:20, I demonstrated that:
- They worship both man (Jesus) and woman (Mary – Catholics and Collyridians), as their history indicates (http://carm.org/roman-catholicism-mary-idolatry), something which he denied.
- That they then began to worship animals through symbolism, i.e. Jesus is both a lamb and a mother hen, the Holy Spirit is a dove.
- That they continued until they began to consider themselves like Gods, some literally applying the titles, ‘son of God’, ‘daughter of God’ and ‘child of God’ to themselves, while believing that God, who is the Holy Spirit is inside them, see 1 Corinthians 3:16.
- Yet, they didn’t stop there, they forwarded that until they even worshipped the foreskin of Christ, dubbed, ‘the Holy Prepuce‘, something which Anthony got verbally upset for, and accused me of insulting his beliefs. Anthony, I do have to ask, you do realise that Jesus was a man, no? In your worship, you take a man as your God and you’re upset with me because I point out that the man you worship, had genitals? I’m a bit perplexed here, in what part of worshipping a ‘man’, did you not expect that he had genitals?
- The conclusion from this therefore, is that there was no surprise that Anthony wanted to worship an angel. It’s simply a progression of turning God’s creation into God.
I then laid out of what form, that I expected Anthony’s argumentation to take:
- The Angel of the Lord claimed to be God.
- The Angel of the Lord did acts that God would do.
- The Angel of the Lord was worshipped.
- The conclusion therefore being, that the Angel of the Lord is God.
Looking back on Anthony’s opening statement, I had him spot on, you’d notice he appealed to premise one and during his rebuttal period, he introduced points two and three. All three however, I addressed in my opening statement.
More to come soon…….
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]
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