Category Archives: Sam Shamoun

Why do Muslims use sources they don’t believe in?

Question:

When Muslims quote the Bible, or quote scholars like Bart Ehrman who disagree with what Muslims believe, isn’t that cherry picking, a double standard?

Answer:

This answer can apply to any topic, regardless of the source or reference that a Muslim uses. When Muslims use sources like the Bible, it is not cherry picking nor a double standard to use it in their argumentation. This is because we have a standard of consistent truth. Regardless of what a source says, we agree and affirm when that source is correct. Consider the example of a flat earther (a person who does not believe the earth is a globe). If a flat earther told me that humans lived on the earth or that gravity was real, I would affirm those truths. I would not reject everything the flat earther says, simply because he is wrong in some of what he says.

Consider the example of a Jew who affirms that God is absolutely one. As a Muslim, I would affirm that such a monotheistic belief is a truth. Regardless of his other beliefs about the Prophets or about God, I am not going to reject monotheism merely because the Jew holds some beliefs I disagree with. Our standard of truthful affirmation remains consistent, we affirm the truth wherever it is, and reject the falsehood wherever it is. The ability to both accept and reject from a source is called rational discernment, or the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood. There is no rule or law which states that one must absolutely agree with everything a source says, this is a false impression to hold to. Being able to distinguish, discern is to remain consistent in one’s approach to works that someone may find things disagreeable with.

The same holds true to the Bible. A Muslim will gladly affirm that Jesus is the Christ as the New Testament mentions. It would be inconsistent to reject that Jesus is the Christ because the New Testament says so. Being able to discern between what we believe and don’t believe is to remain consistent in one’s theology. A long time Christian polemicist also received a similar question when he used and quoted Catholic works, when he himself is not a Catholic:

cc-2017-ss-quoteothersources

The irony here, is that when this same individual sees a Muslim quoting the Bible he becomes angry and belligerent, often using insults. Yet in this comment of his, he affirms that it is perfectly fine to quote sources when and where they agree with one’s theology in common. He has no issue with it. As one of his colleagues would say, inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument.

and Allah knows best.

Sam Shamoun Says Paul of Tarsus Preached in Mosques

Maybe it’s due to the lack of sleep since being condemned by a significant portion of the Christian community for attacking Dr. White, or perhaps it’s from the stress of changing core Christian beliefs when it comes to atonement. Needless to say, Sam has a vivid imagination, one can see it in his colourful use of insults and innate pervisity. Today however, we have quite the comment by our friend Sam:

cc-2017-ss-samscomments11paulwenttomosques

He says, “I am all for White going to mosques and preaching the Gospel like Paul did.” The question begs itself, when did Paul ever enter a Mosque?

What should be noted though, is that perhaps Sam may refer to the conjunctive term in the sentence and claim it refers to two distinct subjects, yet he denies this when it comes to the Shahadah mentioning two subjects (God and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). He claims the conjunctive term equates the two subjects (he claims the Prophet is  God). So either it is that Sam believes that Paul of Tarsus preached in Mosques, or he accepts that his interpretation of the testimony of faith in Islam (Shahadah) is faulty due to his poor grammatical and comprehension skills.

and God knows best.

Dr. James White Rebukes Sam Shamoun

On the 1st of February 2017, Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries responded to Sam Shamoun’s incessant attacking of him, dating back to March of 2016. Following months of insults, mockery, and taunting by Sam, Dr. White finally responded to him given the fallout after his dialogues with Dr. Yasir Qadhi. As a consequence of the dialogues, Sam Shamoun led a campaign, asking his social media followers to stop Dr. White’s ministry, which included calling event halls, Churches and conferences to request that they cancel his appearances.

In March of 2016, Sam Shamoun began to openly insult and mock Dr. White for associating and debating Br. Yusuf Ismail of South Africa. In November and December of 2016, following Dr. White’s dismissal of Robert Morey’s call to “destroy Islam” by “destroying the Kabah” in Makkah, Sam Shamoun became increasingly infuriated with Dr. White. Finally, in January of 2017, following Dr. White’s dialogue with Dr. Qadhi in a Church, Sam Shamoun openly endorsed statements referring to Dr. White as an apostate:

cc-2017-ss-samscomments1apostate

Comment on Sam’s Facebook Page referring to Dr. White as an apostate.

cc-2017-ss-samscomments2apostate

Sam Shamoun “liked” the comment.

The below video is the summarized version of the 2 hour long Dividing Line episode which aired on the 1st of February, 2017. In this episode, Dr. White responded to Sam’s claims as posted on social media, while also commenting on Sam’s behaviour, trustworthiness (or lack thereof) and anger issues. As acknowledged, Sam cannot control his temper, has anger issues, is openly vitriolic and abusive, and is also referred to as a bully. The summarized version as presented below, includes 40 minutes of Dr. White directly addressing Sam Shamoun:

An earlier Missionary Mishap post covered a timeline of events leading up to the Dividing Line program. We have also produced two short videos based on statements made from the Dividing Line program, one where Dr. White states that Sam views himself as a “Prophet“, as well as another video where Sam’s uncontrolled temper, anger and foulmouthed behaviours are addressed.

and God knows best.

 

The Rise of Modern Christian Extremism

cc-2016-gunandcross1

The following are quotes from Christian author and journalist, Chris Hedges’ book “Wages of Rebellion”:

The breakdown of American society will trigger a popular backlash, which we glimpsed in the Occupy movement, but it will also energize the traditional armed vigilante groups that embrace a version of American fascism that fuses Christian and national symbols.

cc-2016-gunandcross4

Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the US House of Representatives, was shot in the head in January 2011 as she held a meeting in a supermarket parking lot in Arizona. Eighteen other people were wounded. Six of them died. Sarah Palin’s political action committee had previously targeted Giffords and other Democrats with crosshairs on an electoral map. When someone like Palin posts a map with crosshairs, saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” there are desperate, enraged people with weapons who act. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who believe it. When a Republican lawmaker shouts “Baby killer!” at Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, there are violent extremists who see the mission of saving the unborn as a sacred duty. They have little left to lose.

The kind of extremism that Hedges refers to, can be seen in the vitriol of Christian extremists such as Robert Spencer and Jonathan McLatchie. The next quote more accurately refers to these two missionaries:

Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans.

More specifically, their self-delusion in referring to groups they dislike, as in the case of Jonathan McLatchie referring to Muslims as a cancer in European civilization speaks to their extremism. Hedges further says:

The ethnic groups, worshiping their own mythic virtues and courage and wallowing in historical examples of their own victimhood, vomited up demagogues and murderers such as Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. To restore this mythological past they sought to remove, through exclusion and finally violence, competing ethnicities. The embrace of non-reality-based belief systems made communication among ethnic groups impossible. They no longer spoke the same cultural or historical language. They believed in their private fantasy. And because they believed in fantasy, they had no common historical narrative built around verifiable truth and no way finally to communicate with anyone who did not share their self-delusion.

In conclusion about these extremists, he says:

Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. Attacks on their myths as untrue trigger not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash.

That last quote reminds me solely of Sam Shamoun. Rather than engage in intellectual dialogue, he copy pastes articles, and insults those he disagrees with. Thus, the rise of Christian fascism, and its role in spreading hatred and violence towards Muslims is a growing pattern among polemicists such as Robert Spencer, David Wood, Sam Shamoun and now recently Jonathan McLatchie. The result of this hate can only be expressed as follows:

cc-2016-gunandcross3

and God knows best.

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.

cc-2016-jm-thief

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.

A Clear Conscience?

Recently my friend and colleague, Br. Aqil Onque debated Jonathan McLatchie on the Trinity Channel – yes, the same channel that his mentor Sam Shamoun accused of stealing money and misappropriating funds:

cc-2016-ss-trinityfraud

Sam indicated that the Trinity channel was using donations to “fatten their pocket,” that is taking donations meant for evangelizing and managing the station, and instead using the money for their personal gain, i.e. theft. Yet, we find Jonathan openly promoting and working with the station. The question needs to be asked, did Sam Shamoun openly lie about his own Christian brothers and sisters at the Trinity channel, or is Jonathan colluding with Christians involved in fraud and theft? For those interested in inter-faith dialogue, the question of misusing religion for monetary gain or popularity seriously brings into doubt the actions of many Christian speakers, preachers and polemicists. As a Muslim, how can I trust what Sam Shamoun has to say if he is willing to fabricate claims about his own brothers and sisters in faith, or how can I trust someone who openly promotes a platform that engages in fraud and theft? Why Jonathan would knowingly promote a platform that engages in financial impropriety is a question he would have to answer himself.

Pursuant to this, I have to say that I am quite disappointed in the immaturity spouting from the Jonathan camp following his debate with Br. Aqil. I was shocked to see that both during and immediately following the debate, memes mocking and comments insulting Br. Aqil were shared to and posted on Jonathan’s Facebook profile. There is a stark difference between critiquing your opponent and openly insulting, mocking and ridiculing your opponent. While Jonathan himself did not post the offending comments or memes (photos), he did “like” them and did not remove them, nor did he caution his camp from such immature behaviour. This is surprising to me, because in the not so distant past, offensive memes ridiculing Jonathan were being shared on social media and I endeavoured quite greatly to not only stop the memes from being spread, but I also directly contacted Jonathan and expressed my disappointment and contempt with such behaviour from my Muslim brothers and sisters. To see that Jonathan would not only condone but engage in behaviour he himself found quite upsetting a month or two ago, is hypocritical to say the least.

In the end, we have to ask, do integrity, decency and maturity count for anything anymore?

and God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Jonathan McLatchie & Sam Shamoun Target Dr. Shabir Ally

I write this with extreme disappointment and sadness. A few months ago, Jonathan broke unto the Muslim-Christian interfaith debate scene. In his debate with Dr. Shabir he was respectful and it looked as if Christian apologetics had finally moved beyond the vitriol of Sam Shamoun and David Wood. Unfortunately, Jonathan has fallen quite far in the months following the debate. Instead of moving Christian apologetics into the future, he’s joined hands with Sam and has even begun advertising joint events with himself and Sam!

cc-2016-jm-shamounclass

Jonathan’s friend and mentor, Sam Shamoun recently made these comments on Facebook about our beloved brother in Islam, and teacher, Dr. Shabir Ally:

You mean when I demolished and screwed Shabir, your p*******e prophet and your demon you call Allah Shabir has been passing gas every night just like your satan called Allah does according to your prophet. And if you have a problem with praising oneself then that means you just condemned Muhammad and his satan since no one loved to be praised more than them.

I have censored one of the insults, as this is a website that tries to cater for all ages. I apologize for having to quote Sam’s curses and abuses, but this is the kind of person that Jonathan McLatchie endorses as true Christian scholarship, someone he is not only willing to work with, but someone he is willing to promote and hold classes with. In an email dated Friday 19th February, 2016, in which some 20+ Muslim and Christian debaters and preachers were tagged, Jonathan was asked to distance himself from Shamoun’s curses, abuses and insults of the Islamic Prophet, of God and of Dr. Shabir. Jonathan responded by saying:

my personal dealings with Sam are not your concern. I am accountable to God, not to you or anyone else.

This is quite shocking from someone who claims to want to have civil and professional dialogue with Muslims about interfaith topics. Not only did he not condemn Sam’s curses, abuses and insults, he refused to distance himself from Sam’s behaviour. How can Jonathan claim to be civil and professional, when he not only works with someone with such hatred and despotic behaviour, he even advertises him as someone to learn from! This is quite absurd to be honest. Jonathan dreams of once again sharing a stage with our esteemed teacher, Dr. Shabir, and yet advocates on behalf of someone who publicly curses, abuses and insults Dr. Shabir. This is quite underhanded behaviour, two-faced behaviour, deceptive behaviour.

Just how low is Jonathan willing to go?

and God knows best.

Do Christian Apologists Care About Theology?

Many in the inter-faith dialogue community would be surprised to know that most Christian apologists and polemicists do not care about theology. In fact, most of them ban, delete and criticize Christians who try to discuss inter-Christian theological matters. For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to Protestant Christians, since they tend to be the ones engaging most with Muslims. Theology necessarily deals with the doctrines about God, the nature of God, what salvation is, who is saved, and how one should use scripture. These are topics that a necessary for every faithful and devout Christian to have studied. Yet, most Christian apologists and polemicists are agnostic when it comes to declaring their beliefs. Most Protestant Christians fall under Arminian or Calvinist beliefs. The differences between being one or the other are vast, how one is saved, predestination, freewill, redemption, atonement and grace are all disputed between these two doctrines. Believing one or the other, often leads to accusations of apostasy and heresy. So where do Christian polemicists like Sam Shamoun and David Wood fall on these important beliefs?

Sam Shamoun

cc-2015-ss-calvinism

Sam doesn’t care whether his explanation of scripture goes against important creeds and doctrines based on the Bible. To him, important doctrines do not matter. So what if an explanation he gives contradicts an important Biblical creed? In his words, so be it!

David Wood

David gets really angry when Christians try to discuss important and necessary topics about Christian beliefs about salvation, he does not identify with either Arminian theology or Calvinist theology, he flutters somewhere in between and is an agnostic when it comes to his theology. During one discussion about the nature of God’s love, he expressed his rage inducing anger on fellow Christians, reacting rabidly towards them:

cc-2015-dw-calvinism

Another devout Christian was shocked at David’s disregard for an honest and heartfelt discussion between fellow Christians on the nature of God’s love in Christianity:

cc-2015-dw-calvinism3

What were the topics David did not want Christians discussing with him? Christian theology, election (how you are saved by God, is it predetermined or not), the perfection of God…..

cc-2015-dw-calvinism2

What was David’s response to all of this?

cc-2015-dw-calvinism4

Distract them with Islam! You can only speak to David about Islam! Don’t you dare try to discuss Christian theology, especially salvation and the nature of God, you can only discuss Islam! According to David, his theology concerning the nature of God, salvation, scripture, is all determined by, “the only side I take on this issue is the opposite of whoever is trying to disrupt a conversation…“. So just like Sam Shamoun, David doesn’t care about Christian theology, he flip flops between essential creeds that determine the nature of God and how you are saved, based on whoever he’s arguing with. He doesn’t care about Christian theology, he just prefers distracting Christians with Islam.

Matt Slick, Anthony Rogers, Sam Shamoun and Tony Costa

Recently Anthony went bobbing for apples and drowned in three inches of water. He decided to criticize some of the arguments I used in my debate with Tony Costa. Unfortunately for him, he ended up declaring the beliefs of Shamoun and Slick to be heretical. Regarding my arguments, he realised my arguments were based upon the Christology (what a Christian believes about the nature of Jesus) of his friends, and not on his own personal Christology. This led to the revelation that the beliefs of his Christian apologist friends were heretical. Anthony proclaimed:

However, Tony Costa does not believe in this doctrine of the “communicatio idiomatum” (nota bene: the Latin word is ‘idiomatum,’ not ‘idiomatium’), and that doctrine is not taught in but rather is contradicted by the orthodox definition of the incarnation authoritatively set down in the Chalcedonian Creed (q.v. “inconfusedly,” and “the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH NATURE BEING PRESERVED…”).

What’s that? The doctrine of ‘communicatio idiomatum’ is a contradiction of orthodoxy? That makes it heretical to believe in. Yet guess who believes in and defends Christianity using a doctrine that Anthony considers to be…..”contradicting orthodoxy”? His very friends, Sam Shamoun and Matt Slick!

Sam Shamoun uses the doctrine to defend the dual nature of Christ against Muslim objections: Click this link.

Matt Slick who operates CARM and is often featured alongside Sam and Wood on ABN/ Trinity TV also promotes and believes in this doctrine: Click this link.

What did Anthony do when he realised my arguments in the debate with Tony Costa was based on the Christology of his friends? He decided to correct a typo in one of my sentences by dedicating three paragraphs and two comments on YouTube about it. Yet, I persisted, he had made an error. He had wrongly criticized me, and at the same time had claimed that the beliefs of Sam and Matt contradicted orthodoxy, thus declaring them heretics. As expected, realising his error, he quickly left the conversation. The entirety of which can be read here.

Update 4/11/15:

Anthony was kind enough to post the conversation for me. Here’s the link to the images. For some reason he edited out the last two comments of the conversation, and chose not to link directly to the source as I did. As can be noted, when caught out, he resulted to arguing about a single typo. Such is the level of polemics he chooses to engage in, and of which I will not lower myself to.

James White

He’s considered to be one of the leading Calvinist apologists today. Debating Catholics, Jehovas Witnesses, Arminians and more. Yet, when it comes to his very own Christian friends like Sam and Wood, he fails to correct them. Fails to teach them. He’d readily criticize a Muslim for speaking incorrectly about Christian theology, yet he abjectly fails when it comes to educating fellow Christian apologists about central creeds and beliefs necessary for their salvation. It would be interesting to see if White would be consistent this time around. Here we have Shamoun and Wood openly disregarding Calvinist theology. These are statements made in the public domain.

Surely then, White, as a staunch defender of Calvinist theology would not stand for this. Given that he can condemn literally almost every other Christian sect that disagrees with Calvinist theology, it should be expected that he would also in like, publicly reprimand Shamoun and Wood for their gross misconduct regarding core theological beliefs. However, this is unlikely. White would not dare criticize the theology of Shamoun or Wood, regardless of how critical they are of Calvinist theology. If a Muslim had criticized Calvinist theology, we could have expected a 2 hour long Dividing Line episode on their lack of consistency. Such is the standard that White holds himself and his faith up to.

Conclusion

So where does this leave us? These polemicists do not care about Christianity. Studying and defending Christian theology is not important to them. Believing in heretical beliefs is of no importance. They go to extreme odds to prevent discussion about inter-Christian theological differences. The next time a Christian interacts with Sam, Wood, Rogers and Slick, ask them, do you care about your theology? Do they care that none of their Christologies are compatible, that they each differ about the very nature of God and the means of salvation in Christianity? Do they care? The answer is an unequivocal, no.

and God knows best.

Sam Shamoun and Lying by Dr. Shabir Ally – Part 2

Shabir Ally

October 1, 2015

Now that I am back in Toronto, and have access to my books, I am able to write a more telling response to Sam and his accusation about lying. I also had a chance to review the recording of what I said during the debate, and Sam’s interaction with me during the Q&A.[1]

Two things (at least) will become evident below:

  • I correctly cited that book of Robert Gundry to which I was referring;[2]
  • In order to generate his proof that I misquoted Robert Gundry, Sam actually misquoted me!

This is a sad day for Muslim-Christian dialogue.

Having listened to the recording, I still have the question that I had put to Sam during that conversation. Sam had said that he had two books right in front of him: one book is Robert Gundry’s commentary on the New Testament; the other book is Gundry’s commentary on Matthew’s gospel in particular. Sam read a portion from the commentary on the New Testament which obviously includes a brief commentary on Matthew’s gospel.[3] That is not the book I had cited. I had studied and cited the other book: the commentary on Matthew’s gospel in particular.

So, I asked Sam for the page number of the relevant section of the commentary on Matthew’s gospel in particular. Instead of supplying this simple piece of information, Sam kept telling me pages 135-36 of the book which he had read from. I asked him why he could not simply tell me the page number of the relevant section of Robert Gundry’s commentary on Matthew’s gospel which he said he also had in his possession at the time. Sam admitted that the page numbers he was giving me were from Gundry’s commentary on the entire New Testament, But when I asked him again for the page number of the commentary dedicated to Matthew’s gospel, there was a definite silence. I thought he had hung up. But he was still on the call. Why the silence?

Moreover, in listening to the recording I realized all the more how bizarre was the conversation between me and Sam. I kept asking him for the page number of a book which he claimed to have with him. In response, he kept challenging me to read a book which I did not claim to have in my possession at the moment. Naturally, I could not read a book I did not have in my hands; I could only accurately quote the most relevant line from my head. But, for some reason, Sam was unable to give me the page number of the book he had in his hands even though the relevant page number is easy to find. The commentary progresses from the start to the end of Matthew’s gospel, and the page headers show the progression verse by verse. It would have been a snap for Sam to thumb through the commentary following the page headers to chapter 28 and then to its verse 19 and give me the page number.

Obviously, he later located the relevant page number of a commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, this being the first book Sam referred to in his article composed on that same date.[4] It would be interesting to trace the relationship between this commentary and the one I was citing. It seems that the one Sam is referring to is the second edition of the same book, now with a different subtitle.[5] The page numbers of the relevant sections are the same, and the wording is strikingly similar, though the subtitles are different.

Now, the book I was citing really said on p. 596 what I cited it to say. So too does the second edition, as is evident from Sam’s citation in his article. But both of these are dissimilar to the book which Sam was reading on air.

To understand what is going on here between me and Sam, one has to see the big picture, as follows. In debates between Muslims and Christians, Muslims argue that in the Old Testament Yahweh is the only God. Jews agree. Many Christians also agree. Consequently, for Jesus to be God, he would have to be Yahweh. But if he is Yahweh, then he is the only God, and therefore the Father and the Holy Spirit would not be God.

In response to this clear logic, some Christians cite Matthew 28:19 as proof that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each Yahweh, and yet altogether Yahweh. In that verse, Jesus directs his followers to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christians point out that the name here is singular, though the named persons are three. Hence they insist that Jesus is Yahweh, the Holy Spirit is Yahweh, the Father is Yahweh; yet altogether the three are Yahweh.

This is the big picture, the context within which I am using the citation from Robert Gundry. I am saying that according to Robert Gundry the verse does not imply that the three persons bear the same name. According to him, the verse is not actually referring to their name; rather, the verse is saying that the baptism should be done with fundamental reference to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Here is an approximate transcript of what I said, as evidenced by the video recording:

In Matthew’s gospel towards the end where Jesus says, “Go and baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” some will take that as an expression of Trinitarian doctrine. But in fact, as Robert Gundry says in his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, it does not actually mean that—it does not mean that the three of them have just one name—it means, ‘Go and baptize with fundamental reference to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’ It does not mean that the three are one. In fact, there is no passage in the New Testament gospels or in any of the writings of the New Testament that says that the three—the Father Son, and Holy Spirit—are together as one God.[6]

This is what Sam needs to address. Instead, he changes the subject to me. But attacking me will not remove the problem. The problem, as the clear logic above indicates, is that there is only one God Yahweh, as Jews, Christians and Muslims agree.[7] According to Matthew 12:18, Jesus is the servant of Yahweh. This too Muslims and even Christians accept. But Christians insist that, in addition to being the servant of Yahweh, Jesus is also Yahweh himself. I have been refuting this latter claim with my clear logic. And now Sam wants to attack me. But my logic is not exclusively mine. Logic is universal. To get rid of this problem, Sam does not need to attack me, he needs to battle with the fundamental laws of nature, or the designing work of God who fashioned us to think logically. He needs to battle with his own thoughts which cannot escape the same logic.

When Sam called, he accused me of claiming that Robert Gundry in his commentary on Matthew’s gospel denies that Mt. 28:19 is a Trinitarian text.[8] But that is not what I claimed.

In the above transcript of the relevant portion of my speech, I started out with my own statement, cited Gundry, and then ended with my own statement. I can see where at first glance it may not be clear to others where I intended to end my citation of Gundry. But if that was not clear at first, during the call I explained to Sam:

In that commentary, Robert Gundry says very plainly that the idea that the mention of Father, Son and Holy Spirit should mean that they share the same name—that is not the idea. He is saying that the idea there is that the baptism should be done with fundamental reference to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am not saying anything more than this.[9]

Notice that last sentence: ‘I am not saying anything more than this.’ Now it should be clear that I am only claiming as follows: in a particular book, Gundry denies that Mt 28:19 implies that the three persons bear the same one name.

Despite my taking pains to clarify the point on air, however, Sam charges in his writing composed after the debate:

Ally basically claimed that Gundry denies that this text supports the Triune nature of God.[10]

That is not what I claimed.

I am not saying that Gundry is not a Trinitarian, or that he denies that Mt. 28:19 can be put to Trinitarian use, etc. It should be clear to all students of logic that a statement of the form,

‘A does not imply B’

does not mean the same as,

‘A implies that B is not the case,’

and it does not mean the same as,

‘I deny B.’

In what follows, I will replace B with ‘the Father, Son and Spirit share the same name.’

Logically, therefore, when I cite Gundry to say,

‘Mt. 28:19 does not imply that the Father, Son and Spirit share the same name,’

that is not the same as citing him to say,

‘Mt. 28:19 implies that the Father, Son and Spirit do not share the same name.’

And it does not mean the same as citing him to say,

‘I deny that the Father, Son and Spirit share the same name.’

It is really sad to see Sam misquoting me to prove his charge that I misquoted someone else. Sam does not like my message. But does that justify shooting the messenger? Dialogue between Muslims and Christians need to move beyond such tactics. We need to listen to each other, learn, and pray to God asking him to guide us all.

Finally, the book I was citing was published in 1982 for an academic level of readership. It caused a stir in evangelical circles leading to Gundry’s resignation from the Evangelical Theological Society. The book Sam read on air was published 28 years later in the year 2010 for a more common readership.

This latter work, from which Sam’s read to me on air, and which he cited second in his article, clearly supports Sam’s contention that Gundry believes that the three divine persons are included in ‘the name.’ I am grateful for this information. I did not know it until Sam pointed it out. And I am glad that I did not overstate my case in citing Gundry. However, if I do cite him again, on this matter, it will be appropriate for me to add that Gundry apparently changed his mind about this as is evident from his later writing. Why he apparently changed his mind would be interesting to learn. Is it that the two books were meant for two different audiences, in which case he was willing to tease the academic community but not the masses? Did the negative response to his earlier book cause him to be more cautious? Or, did he find new evidence to convince him that his earlier statement was incorrect?

In short,

  • I correctly cited Gundry’s earlier statement,
  • I am willing to incorporate his later statement in future citations, and
  • I am grateful to Sam for alerting me to this, but
  • I find it at least ironic that Sam would misrepresent me to prove that I misrepresented Gundry.

[1] The recording can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idHxegbSunQ&feature=youtu.be. Sam’s call comes in at 2 hours and 14 minutes into the recording. My thanks to Brother Nazam for pinpointing this location.

[2] Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982) p. 596.

[3] Sam was referring to Gundry, “Matthew,” Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2010) pp. 135-136.

[4] http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2015/09/catching-shabir-ally-red-handed.html?m=1

[5] Robert Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution, 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995).

[6] This begins at approximately 19:55 and lasts for about 40 minutes.

[7] Though Muslims call him by another name Allah, which is also in the Bible in Arabic translations. See Genesis 1:1.

[8] At 2:14 in the recording.

[9] At 2:16:40.

[10] http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2015/09/catching-shabir-ally-red-handed.html?m=1

« Older Entries