Category Archives: News

William Lane Craig Concedes That Old Testament Stories Are Problematic

In a stunning admission, William Lane Craig, in response to a question sent to him has acknowledged that he has no good answer to problematic Old Testament stories. He says:

When people ask me what unanswered questions I still have, I tell them, “I don’t know what to do with these Old Testament stories about Noah and the ark, the Tower of Babel, and so on.” So I find myself in the same boat as you, Jon. I don’t have any good answer how to resolve these problems. Yet these unanswered difficulties have not kept me from Christian faith or from abandoning Christian faith. Why not?

Well, a large part of the reason, as you note, is that the truth of what C. S. Lewis called “mere Christianity” doesn’t stand or fall with such questions.

In essence, he’s claiming that the problems with the stories in the Old Testament should not effect some beliefs of Christianity, so it’s okay not to have answers to those questions. The problem here is that they do affect core Christian beliefs, namely the reliability of scripture, the truthfulness of scripture, the preservation of scripture and even salvation as it pertains to Jesus’s ability to hold or share false beliefs:

Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.

Apparently Jesus who is God, can have false beliefs that “shouldn’t matter”. In other words, it’s okay if “God as a human”, was fallible with respect to his own theology! Quite the disaster this is.

 

and God knows best!

 

Missionary Mishap: Bible Thrown in Masjid in Act of Vandalism

Someone got the really intelligent idea to vandalise a Masjid (Mosque, Islamic Center). The criminal broke a few glass panes, a door, and damaged some woodwork. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning.

What stands out though is the Bible thrown into the Islamic Center’s prayer room. Not sure what logic the criminal was using. Maybe they thought the Bible would prevent Muslims from using the prayer room? Maybe they thought we viewed it as unclean as we do with pork? Maybe they thought the Bible would cast Muslims away?

This might sound absolutely ridiculous, but some people, especially extremist Christians do hold some crazy beliefs when it comes to Islam. There was an incident where Christians stood and threw crosses at a Muslim while he was praying… So it isn’t exactly a unique incident for an extremist Christian to do something as silly as this.

The center has a donation page set up at Go Fund Me, do donate and help them recover.

and Allah knows best.

Ravi Zacharias Caught Lying About Credentials Again

In 2015, Ravi Zacharias was outed for manufacturing claims about his scholarship regarding being a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. This led to him acknowledging and then removing the claim from his website. This year, the same person who did the first investigation has done a second video demonstrating that Ravi has lied again, this time about studying quantum physics at Cambridge University:

Why does Ravi have the need to continuously pad his credentials? We all agree that lying is a sin, therefore as a leader of an international ministry, why doesn’t he seem to understand that making fraudulent claims about oneself is wrong? It’s simply unjustifiable. To call Ravi to be truthful in his actions and descriptions about himself, we are asking those who are interested in the truth to send Ravi an email at the following address: PR@RZIM.ORG

The subject line is as follows: Did Ravi Zacharias really study quantum physics at Cambridge?

The email body is as follows:

Dear Mr. Zacharias and Ms. Malhotra:

I write you in a spirit of inquiry, not challenge. Serious allegations, purporting to be carefully-researched and based on publicly available information, have been made that Mr. Zacharias has systematically exaggerated his academic credentials.

And while I have formed no conclusion as to the merits of these charges, I can see no harm in Mr. Zacharias publicly responding to them. Indeed, given the growing concern about these allegations, it seems that no legitimate purpose will be served by Mr. Zacharias continuing to remain silent.

In furtherance of the truth, might you kindly address the following questions?

Did Ravi Zacharias ever enroll in, or audit, a physics class taught by John Polkinghorne at Cambridge University?

Was Mr. Zacharias ever “a visiting scholar at Cambridge University”? If so, is there a reason that this claim was removed from his website after he was criticized for making it? How does Mr. Zacharias respond to the email statement allegedly made by the Cambridge Office of External Affairs that his attending classes at the University whilst on sabbatical at Ridley Hall would not have made him a visiting scholar at their University?

At page 205 of his autobiography, Mr. Zacharias writes about spending time at Cambridge University where, he says, “I was invited to be a visiting scholar.” Given that Mr. Zacharias’ sabbatical supervisor, Jeremy Begbie, has stated, in writing, that Mr. Zacharias was only a “visiting scholar” at Ridley Hall (which is not a constituent part of the University), might you kindly state who it was who invited Mr. Zacharias to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University itself?

Mr. Zacharias has claimed to have been “a senior research fellow” at Oxford University. Is this claim true? Was the position in fact an honorary one? If so, is there a reason that in February of 2103 Mr. Zacharias said in an Apologetics315 interview “If I’m in an academic forum, then the fact that I’m a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall Oxford University, that’s a credential with which I work in the academy”? Is there a reason the entire Senior Research Fellow claim has been removed from his website?

Mr. Zacharias’s bio and publicity materials refer to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” Does Mr. Zacharias have a PhD or other academic doctorate? If not, how might he reply to the concern that his routine use of the title “Dr.” is likely to create a false impression in significant numbers of people?

The jacket of Mr. Zacharias’s book New Birth or Rebirth? says “Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees.” His publisher bios at Random House and Penguin refer to him holding multiple doctoral degrees. These make no mention of such degrees being honorary. What responsibility does Mr. Zacharias have to ensure that those promoting the sales of his books make clear that his doctorates are exclusively honorary? (This question may, of course, be disregarded if Mr. Zacharias has in fact earned an academic doctorate.)

Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation in shedding light on these important issues.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

More details to follow.

Israeli Knesset Introduces New Law to Ban Women from Holiest Site

The “Only Democracy” in the Middle East, Israel, has had 16 lawmakers introduce a bill that would effectively ban women from wearing shawls at the Western Wall, from reading Torah at the Western Wall and from other religious practises. Haaretz reports:

A group of 16 members of the ruling coalition submitted a bill to the Knesset on Sunday that would prohibit any practices at the Western Wall that are not deemed strictly Orthodox. The bill would prevent women from wearing prayer shawls and tefillin, from reading from a Torah and from blowing a shofar at the Jewish holy site.

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Western Wall (center-foreground), Masjid as Sakhra (background).

It would also prevent men and women from holding mixed services at the area known as the upper plaza, right above the gender-separated prayer plazas adjacent to the actual wall. If passed into law, the bill would constitute a major setback for Women of the Wall, the multi-denominational feminist prayer group, which has been holding a monthly prayer service at the Western Wall for the past 27 years. Many of the participants in this service wear prayer shawls and tefillin, and the group has been fighting for years to be allowed to read from a Torah scroll at the site.

Those who violate its restrictions would face heavy sanctions: six months in prison or a 10,000-shekel fine.

The push for this ban, comes from the same sect of Judaism that banned women from driving in London, in order to protect the women’s modesty. This also follows from a related sect of Judaism banning women from going to University, due to the possibility of women learning dangerous things, the decree was made in New York but applies to the sect’s followers worldwide.

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Christian and Nationalist groups have yet to protest this oppression of women in the Middle East’s “only democracy”, they have also yet to complain about the religious Jewish groups importing oppressive and archaic religious laws into their secular countries as much as they have complained about the Shari’ah being “anti-women” and barbaric.

and God knows best.

Cairo Church Bombing in Perspective

Indeed, it is a tragedy whenever lives are lost. We all grieve when the lives of the innocent are taken. Unfortunately, there are people among us who thrive off of the deaths of others, who use the blood of the innocent as a means for their political, theological and financial motives. The loss of life in Cairo to a Church bombing is awful, as is the loss of life in Istanbul from the twin bombings in that city. Yet, we must keep perspective. Inasmuch as some people enjoy and thrive off of a persecution complex, the world of Christianity had a greater disaster with many more lives lost this week. However, those lives did not matter. The deaths of some Christians matter more than the deaths of others. In Nigeria, a Church collapsed killing as much as 160 people. Yet, since it was not a bomb, and because no Muslims were involved, the deaths of 160 Christians did not matter.

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160 or more Nigerian Christians are Dead from Church Collapse

Acts17/ David Wood? Silent about Nigeria, but loud about Cairo.

Answering Muslims’ Tony Costa? Silent about Nigeria.

McLatchie? Silent about Nigeria.

Nabeel Qureishi? Silent about Nigeria. Why the silence?

Do they only care about Christians if they’re not African? Do they care only if a Muslim is involved? They can’t get donation money or fame out of truly caring about their Christian brethren. Then again, they probably have short memories and while quick to put the blame of the Cairo bombing on Muslims and Islam (without evidence), a little bit of history goes a long way:

Egypt’s general prosecutor on Monday opened probe on former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly’s reported role in the New Year’s Eve bombing of al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria in which 24 people were killed, an Egyptian lawyer told Al Arabiya.

Laywer Ramzi Mamdouh said he had presented a proclamation to Egyptian prosecutor Abd al-Majid Mahmud to investigate news media reports suggesting that the former interior ministry had masterminded the deadly church attack with the intent to blame it on Islamists, escalate government crackdown on them, and gain increased western support for the regime.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to care about Nigerian Christians, why should we expect them to care about anything other than themselves?

and God knows best.

Thank You (Hiatus Note)

I have been honoured to work with many da’wah and apologetics groups. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many different people from backgrounds that I had no idea existed. Writing, copy-editing, debating, lecturing, giving khutbahs, doing podcasts, vidcasts, media development, application development, and many other roles and opportunities were presented to me during my da’wah and apologetics efforts.

Four years ago I became sick. For four years I’ve been doing da’wah and apologetics while suffering with a crippling illness that has no cure and no sufficient treatment for. I still remember the first few days I was hospitalized where I asked my family to bring a book to pass the time. I was reading Martin Ling’s Seerah at the time and so, just before my emergency surgery I had completed reading the Seerah of the beloved Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa salallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam.

I’m writing this because of an incident that happened this week. I had to be hospitalized again. I had to be taken to the emergency room again. I suffered. I’m still suffering. That incident occurred on Tuesday. Today is Saturday. Yesterday while attempting to retrieve some cough medication from the kitchen I saw a group of Jehovas Witnesses outside. I duly dropped the cough medicine and hurriedly invited the group of two into my home.

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I brought out three books to discuss Christianity with them. The first was the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 28th Edition (Critical Edition), along with David Trobisch’s guide to it, so that they can follow through with what I intended to explain to them. The third book is Wages of Rebellion by Chris Hedges, by no means is it a religious work but it examines the state of society, the causes of revolution, revolutionary personalities and revolutionary language. Being from the land where the (eventual) traitor General Francisco de Miranda once landed for help from the British, the man who later fought alongside one of the greatest military and political minds the world had ever known – Simon Bolivar – I found myself deeply invested in this book and its assessment of global political history and futures. Providentially perhaps, the Jehovas Witnesses eventually did discuss our political situation and so the book became quite useful.

Needless to say, this was three days after being rushed to two hospitals. Even in my dire state where my body is slowly but surely giving up, I still find the time to do da’wah. I still find the time to go to the Masjid. I still find the time to read the Qur’an and understand Islam. Last year I debated Steven Martins almost two weeks after having an experimental and the first of its kind surgical operation in my country. I still found the time to do two debates with him. This year I traveled to Toronto to seek the counsel of other doctors and still found the time to do two Khutbahs, a lecture, two debates and two street da’wah sessions. I’m writing this article at almost 2 am.  I am in horrible pain, yet here I am. Why?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. – Qur’an 2:153.

The Qur’an also says:

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجً

وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّـهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا

And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. – Qur’an 65:2-3.

Over the last year, brothers whom I do not know, found out perhaps through my da’wah and apologetics colleagues that I have had serious medical episodes that were costly. Many have donated and left messages of support and kindness. I know that the quality of posts I have been making is more of entertainment than apologetics, but that is mostly due to my inability to have time to produce the quality of research, argumentation and apologetics that Islam demands of me. Most have noted that the quality of argumentation in my recent debates has increased exponentially, but for some reason that increase in quality does not transfer over to my articles as of late.

Having met with Dr. Shabir, consulted with other du’at, scholars and colleagues, I’ve taken the decision to take a quasi-hiatus. Meaning then, that my posts may become infrequent but in the absence of newer, more consistent articles, I will be dedicating more time to my health, such that it can facilitate my obligations as a da’ee. By January I should be able to give an update on what the future holds for me. In the event that I should pass before January, certain brothers will have control of the Calling Christians website and most of my research. Preparations have already been put in place should such a dire event occur. In the meantime I leave you, my beloved brothers and sisters with two links.

  1. Please donate to our PayPal (please specify if the donation is for da’wah or for medical purposes).
  2. MAP – Muslim Apologetics Podcast. This week we had Br. Yusuf Ismail on!

جزاك اللهُ خيرًا

May Allah reward all of you for your continued support.

and Allah knows best.

Edit: Last night I thought I posted this article to both Blogging Theology and Calling Christians. Seems like I only posted on one website. Sorry.

Sam & John: Partners in Fraud?

In a recent article, I brought to light claims by Sam Shamoun about theft and fraud ongoing at the Trinity Channel. I indicated that Sam’s friend, Jonathan McLatchie would know whether Sam was lying about his own Christian brothers and sisters, or if Sam was being truthful. The consequences of which project badly on both Sam and Jonathan. As it turns out, my article raised questions that many in the interfaith community have been bothered about.

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Having published my article merely asking about Sam’s statements, in a fit of rage, Jonthan McLatchie, rather than clear the air on his position on this serious issue, has decided to end communication on this and similar topics with me. The question needs to be asked, if Jonathan and his friend, mentor and partner in….God knows what…are not bothered by the consequences of Sam’s claims, then why the sudden disconnect? Their silence says more than they think.

and God knows best.

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