Category Archives: Apologetics

Ad Lucem Complicit in Plagiarism?

The debate between Jonathan McLatchie and Br. Yusuf Ismail that recently occured has brought to light severe and shocking plagiarism by Jonathan McLatchie. A video illustrating the plagiarism was created by Calling Christians but published by EFDawah:

Another popular Muslim YouTube channel, MuslimByChoice also took notice of Jonathan’s dishonesty and also published the video. However, this was the second video to be produced, the first video to be published (also by both EFDwah and MuslimByChoice) was purposefully published to demonstrate one instance of plagiarism in the debate. This was to assess the response that Jonathan would give, before releasing more incidents of plagiarism. As expected, Jonathan claimed that his plagiarising of Sam Shamoun in the debate was an “isolated case”. When the second video (embedded above) was published, it was then clearly demonstrated that he had lied. The videos demonstrating his plagiairism have gathered more views than the debate itself, with several prominent Muslim and non-Muslim academics, and debaters, taking notice of Jonathan’s dishonesty.

It was then at this point I reached out to Rudolph Boshoff who not only chaired the debate under fire at the moment, but whose organization Ad Lucem was party to the debate itself, as representative of the Christian side. It should then be noted that Jonathan McLatchie was representing Ad Lucem, that is Rudolph Boshoff’s ministry in that debate. Evidentially, here is the debate poster itself:

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As can clearly be seen, Ad Lucem was party to debate. Due to his involvement, we reached out to Rudolph for comment, given that he is a party to the debate, chaired the debate itself, is a student at a seminary, a teacher himself, it became necessary to solicit his comments on this matter:

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Initially, I did not want to involve Rudolph, but as Jonathan’s deception grew and questions began to be raised, it became necessary given his role and his ministry’s role in the affair. To date, three days have passed and Rudolph’s only “statement” thus far was to be complicit in the plagiarism by removing the tag of the query posted by myself.

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Plagiarism is highly impfactful when it comes to the moral standards of interfaith debates. When we have interfaith debates we put trust that the speakers will be honest and up front, that they would use sources and cite them responsibly. Such an issue discredits the hard work that debaters put into the events, as study and research is paramount to interfaith discussion.

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The questions have been asked, the plagiarism has attempted to be covered up and the silence of the responsible parties are perhaps the most damning words of all.

A New Christian Sect?

The Qur’an says:

Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].” – 3:64.

Equitable, common, agreeable. This is what the Qur’an calls Muslims, Jews and Christians to believe in, the unique oneness of God. Today’s modern Christianity has undergone much change due to the secularization of the faith, syncretism is common in the worldwide Church. A new sect has however emerged over the last few decades. This sect has adopted elements of beliefs related to Islam into the Christian faith. Usually when syncretism occurs, bits and pieces of one ideology are incorporated into another. However, this new sect takes a different route, though it is still considered syncretism. Instead of adopting parts of Islam, they’ve adopted teachings that contradict Islamic beliefs altogether.

How do we identify this new sect?

Against Halal Food – members of this sect refuse to eat halal foodstuff. They consider the concept of God in Islamic theology to be idolatrous or a false god, and therefore out of conviction for their faith, they refuse to eat foodstuff sacrificed to a god they do not believe in. However this directly contradicts Paul’s teaching in the New Testament, it reads:

4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. – 1 Corinthians 4-8.

According to this portion of the New Testament, only those who do not possess knowledge or who have weak consciences consider foods sacrificed according to the tenets or beliefs of another faith, to defile them spiritually. This belief of avoiding halal food out of some allegiance to Christianity cannot be supported by their own scripture.

Against Immigrants or Refugees – the New Testament contains many quotes about helping the poor and needy, both categories of which refugees and immigrants fall under. The New Testament reads:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:1-4.

What if the refugees and immigrants are bad people, what does the New Testament say that should be done?

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” – Romans 12:20.

What if giving to refugees and immigrants burdens the economy?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24.

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21.

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” – Luke 3:10-11.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Luke 12:33-34.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4.

Against the Hijab – Jesus according to the New Testament explicitly says the following:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? – Matthew 6:25.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:31-33.

According to these passages, Christians should not care or worry themselves about who wears what, rather it is said that “pagans run after all these things”, this includes food as well (as covered above regarding halal food). Many Christians belonging to this new sect, find themselves obsessing over the clothing of Muslim women. They want to tell Muslim women how they should dress when in fact it is none of their business to begin with.

Against Islamic Law or Muslim Majority Countries – there are many Christians who obsess over Islamic laws and Muslim majority countries. For example, they become angry that in some Muslim countries it is illegal to proselytize or to build new Churches, yet the New Testament disagrees with them:

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. – Mark 12:17.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. – Romans 13:1-5.

During the Obama administration many Christians labeled the former President a Muslim for the very purpose of denying the political legitimacy of his office. They also protested the constructions of new Masjids (mosques), despite the law allowing these buildings to be constructed, thereby directly contradicting the teachings of the New Testament.

Conclusion

These four beliefs are signs that someone you know, a Christian, has converted to a form of Christianity that is not only unbiblical and antithetical to the Christian faith, but also to a form of Christianity that is in open opposition to the teachings of Jesus and Paul. Such persons have compromised the integrity of their faith for the sole reason of hating Muslims, this includes Robert Spencer, David Wood, Sam Shamoun, Michael Brown, Jonathan McLatchie and Joseph (Jay) Smith. It should be noted that the Pfander Centre for Apologetics is a key institution in this new heretical Christian sect. The very core of their beliefs are enshrined in the aforementioned points, thus leading Christians away from Biblical teachings.

and God knows best.

The New Testament Today

The New Testament Today – What is it? Where did it come from? Can we rely on it?

These questions and more are answered, as our journey into 2017 begins. Let this year, be a year of guidance for our Christian brothers and sisters.

YouTube Mirror if above Facebook video is not available.

Thanks to Dr. Chris Claus for inspiring this video and this series of videos that will be coming out on various pages, YouTube channels and Islamic TV channels shortly.

 

Second Response to Dr. James White on John 9:38 and John 20:28

Apologies – I thought I had already posted this video to the site since it got more views than the original video that brought about the discussion in the first place! A few people duly pointed out that the second response hadn’t yet made its way to the main website and already had 4x the views of the original video. 10 days late, but here it is:

There are some interesting comments that came about due to this discussion which I’ll have to write about later on, but at the end of it all, this was a healthy discussion about New Testament Textual Criticism between a Muslim and a Christian. Not many people can fully appreciate how in-depth the discussion got, but it’s a start.

and Allah knows best.

Between Ehrman and Error

Recently on Blogging Theology I posted a video on the tenacity of the proposed ausgangstext which filled the lacuna of John 20:28. The vast majority of Muslims (expectedly) were enthusiastic about discussing the tenacity of Doubting Thomas’ alleged statement. The vast majority of Christians were not, which was also understandable. Then there were those caught in-between, educated enough to know that there had to be, or that there was more evidence behind what I had published, and there were others who were incredulous as to what that evidence could have been. Upon release of my second response video, I took a little more time, some 20 minutes and expanded on the rationale leading to the conclusions I mentioned in my first video on the topic.

Everyone knows about Dr. Ehrman’s famous statement, “copies of copies of copies of copies”. Yet the only two arguments I received in return were quite amusing. The first of which was that some people were curious as to whether Dr. Ehrman had commented on this passage or not. For some reason I have yet to discover, some Muslims’ hold on simple textual criticism of the New Testament is limited to only what Dr. Ehrman says, yet at the same time they are fully willing to simultaneously argue against his famous aforementioned quote. I duly provided a list of scholarship that not only knew of the work I gained the reference from John 20:28 on, I also provided the name of a seminary which uses the work itself, while also foregoing to mention that the scholar in question has been cited by Dr. Ehrman himself – one of the Muslims who opposed me in those comments had perhaps not yet read Dr. Ehrman’s references to this scholar (and his conclusions).

Nonetheless, the second argument I received was that no other variant of John 20:28 existed post p66, although I did point out that this was the case in Codex Bezae, as minor of a variant as it is, the challenge that not one variant exists has thoroughly been debunked (for those unread, the manuscript was eventually edited by a scribe).

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Following from this ignorant argument, was the case that since we know what every text post p66 said, then we must know what p66 itself said. This again, coming from those who agree with Dr. Ehrman’s aforementioned statement. We are therefore left with the following problem. Hence the title, Between Ehrman and Error. We have the following from the gracious Dr. Ehrman (emphasis mine own):

My point has always been (for example, in Misquoting Jesus) that we can’t know with absolute complete certainty what was said in each and every passage of the NT. That point – which I think cannot be refuted – is principally directed against fundamentalists who want to claim that every word of the Bible is inspired by God. How can we say the words were inspired if we don’t know in a lot of cases what the words were???Source.

I don’t think there’s an easy answer to these questions.  But they shouldn’t be ignored, as they ALWAYS are (in my experience) by people who want to assure us that we “know the original text in 99% of all cases.”   Really?   Which original?

If it were just up to me, I would say that the “original” is the first form of the text that was placed in circulation.  But since that in fact is not the oldest form of the text, maybe we shouldn’t call it the original. – Source.

One very interesting piece of evidence for this view involves a fact that is not widely known outside the ranks of the professional textual critics.  It is this:  new papyri manuscripts – relatively very old ones – do show up all the time (several in the past few years).  Whenever a new papyrus turns up, it almost NEVER contains a textual variant that is completely new.  The variants are almost always variants that we know about from our later manuscripts.  This shows, the argument goes, that variants were not created later.  Our later manuscripts preserved variants, they didn’t create them.  And this shows, it is argued, that all of the earlier variants are to be found even in the later manuscripts.

This is a terrific argument, and very interesting.  On the surface, it seems pretty convincing.  But in fact, in my view, it does not actually show that we have the original reading or that we can know that we do.  I will explain why in the next post. – Source.

I don’t think our New Testaments are likely ever to change much.  And I don’t think we know in a lot of places what the originals said.  Where’s the contradiction?  I’m not saying that we *know* that we have the original text in 99.9% of the passages of the NT.  I’m saying we *don’t* know – for a wide variety of reasons that I haven’t gotten into very much here.   But I’m emphasizing the word “know.”  We simply don’t know.

Do I *suspect* that most of the time we are pretty close or even there?  Yes, that would be my guess.  But it’s just a guess based on scholarly assumption and suspicion. – Source.

During those 300 years, Mark was being copied, and recopied, and recopied, by scribes.  Until we get our first full copy.  Can we know that this copy from 300 years later was 99% like the version that came directly from the pen of the author?  Of course we can’t know.  How would we know?Source.

Between Ehrman and Error. It’s really as simple as that. Dr. Ehrman used the word “guess”, I used the word “guesswork”. Dr. Ehrman used the word “suspicion”, I used the word “speculation”. Dr. Ehrman repeatedly points out that we cannot know what the original text said. He repeatedly points out that most variant units are decided on guesses and suspicion. So the question begs itself, how far are the conclusions in my video, different from that of Dr. Ehrman’s himself?

The problem presents itself, as he described regarding Mark, we don’t know what version of what copy we received. Given that basic, common sense principle, extend that to John 20:28, given that p66 is our earliest and we have no intermediate text (that is, the text between what the original author(s) wrote and the text of p66 itself), and that it has a lacuna or gap for the famous, “and my God” – then there is no way of certainty of knowing what p66 itself said or what the intermediate text(s) said, what the archetypal text said, or what the autographic text said. To require that we must need a variant before being able to dispute what a missing text says, is essentially self-refuting, the gap itself presents us with a problem, we don’t know what it said and we don’t know if any of the intermediate texts said something variable. We simply cannot know, just as Dr. Ehrman says.

So between Ehrman and Error, I agree with him, we cannot know, it involves guessing and suspicion. Those who disagree, disagree with the very goodly Dr. they appealed to in the first place and are as such, in error.

and Allah knows best.

Ijaz Responds to James White’s Video on Textual Criticism

Here is my response to Dr. White’s criticism of my video on the unreliability of the Bible. Of note are incorrect claims made on his part, conflating my statement of lacunae with his misrepresenting that statement as a ‘textual variant’ for over 40 minutes. Also his facetious and incredulous disregard for the science of higher criticism which he labeled as ‘mind reading’, along with citing or basing his arguments on misdatings of both p52 and p66.

There were a lot more errors on his end, and there was not a single rebuttal to the claims I presented and I was extremely disappointed to see negative comments about my character throughout his video despite both at the beginning and at the end of his video he said that this behaviour should not be condoned.

Have Christian Scholars Abandoned the Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy? Yes!

Our esteemed Br. Yahya Snow has published a video with Christian apologist, Dr. Michael Licona agreeing that there are contradictions, irreconcilable contradictions in the New Testament:

Another prominent Theology Blogging website, aptly named Blogging Theology, highlighted this and many other claims of errancy within the Bible by Dr. Licona here. To make matters worse, the infamous Christian polemicist Sam Shamoun has declared that he no longer knows whether or not Dr. Licona is a true believer:

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Not to be outdone, his close friend and student, Robert Wells (who once threatened to massacre innocent civilians if the voices in his head told him to do so) goes a step further and declares that he doesn’t even know if Dr. Licona is a Christian at all:

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Picture taken from Blogging Theology by Paul Williams

Given that Dr. Licona has been a cornerstone for Christian apologetics, the swift excommunication of him by ardent Christians has come as a shock to the interfaith community. Have conservative Christian scholarship collectively given up on the doctrine of inerrancy? In this other recent video, that is exactly what Dr. Licona has done:

He’s not alone, even Dr. William Lane Craig has lowered the bar, so lowly, that he’s said this:

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I’ve written an article on his statements here. Below is a video recording of him including the above statement and expanding on it:

At the end of the day, the sun has set on a major pillar of Christian apologetics. The view of Biblical inerrancy is quickly becoming a view of the past and Christianity of today now finds itself without certainty in scripture.

and Allah knows best.

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