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Criticism of CL Edwards’ Debate Methodology versus Br. Shadid Lewis

Br. Shadid Lewis and CL Edwards recently had a debate entitled, “Can We Trust the Islamic Jesus“, this is not a review of the debate (the review shall be published soon), but this is a criticism of CL Edward’s methodology of which he employed during the debate. I base my informed criticism about CL, on my experience as a debater who has also previously engaged with him in a recorded debate and on my past rebuttals to him.

The Scope and Delimitations of the Debate

It’s all in the title. When two debaters sit down to discuss a topic, they are agreeing to leave off all other discussions and to focus on what the subject of the debate is. So for example, if I sit down with an opponent, and we agree to debate oranges, we are agreeing to discuss nothing but oranges, we will not discuss any other fruit such as an apple, or a banana. This therefore is what we refer to as the scope (depth) and the delimitations (boundaries of the debate). The scope of the debate, is that we have agreed to discuss everything about oranges, as much as we can. The delimitations (or boundaries) of the debate, mean that we limit ourselves to the discussion of oranges. CL would have to explain if he did not agree to debate this topic, to atleast release himself from the criticism against him.

What’s in the Title?

The title of the debate was and up to the start of the debate, declared to be, “Can We Trust the Islamic Jesus“. Let’s break the title up to understand what the scope and delimitations of the debate was:

  • Can we trust
  • the Islamic Jesus

Who is being referred to as, ‘we‘, here? Well, let the evidence show that the we, includes solely Christians and Muslims. Why do I say this? Well for one, the organization which CL Edwards represented was a Christian organization, the Center for Religious Debate. The audience was a Christian audience. The debate was held inside of a Church and the debate began and ended with Christian prayers.

Secondly, they were debating the Islamic Jesus, not the sources of the Islamic Jesus, but whether or not Christians, can trust the Islamic Jesus, not the Islamic faith, the Islamic scriptures, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but the Islamic Jesus.

What was Shadid’s Methodology?

Since this was a Christian opponent, and a Christian audience and given the scope and delimitations of the debate title, Br. Shadid’s methodology was quite simple. It can be demonstrated in set notation:

Let Set M represent the attributes of Islamic Jesus:

  • Set M = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah}.

Let Set C represent the attributes of the Christian Jesus:

  • Set C = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah, God}.

Set C represents what Christians trust about Jesus, therefore, Shadid’s methodology is to demonstrate the intersection of Islamic beliefs and Christians beliefs about Jesus, imply that they already believe what Muslims believe, and since they already trust their own beliefs about Christ, they then already trust the Islamic beliefs about Christ.

Let M ^ C be the intersection or what is commonly trusted among the beliefs of Muslims and Christians about Christ:

  • Set M ^ C = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah}.

The Muslim beliefs about Christ, are therefore declared to be a subset of the beliefs which Christians have about Jesus Christ. I’m using set logic, or set notation, since this is the easiest way to explain Br. Shadid’s methodology. I’m also using this form of explanation, since CL Edwards claims to have studied logic, or atleast attempted to explain (without reason), the definition of several logical fallacies during the debate. It is therefore the case, that CL clearly is an inane ignoramus, a sophomore (bookful blockhead), who although being a claimant of utilizing logic, he clearly did not understand the clear and consistent logic as used by Br. Shadid. My criticism against CL shows that he either intentionally misled himself into thinking he was a logician, or he fooled his audience by claiming to understand Br. Shadid’s methodology.

What was CL’s Methodology?

CL Edwards focused his argument on the following points:

  • The Qur’aan is not from the first century, thus it is not a reliable witness to the personhood of Christ.
  • The Qur’aan does not contain first person eyewitness reports, thus it cannot be trusted as to what it says about Christ.
  • The Qur’aan’s claim that Jesus had a scripture which has never been seen or proven to exist, proves that the Islamic Jesus cannot be trusted.

His methodology however, fails to live up to the scope and delimitations of the debate title, for which both speakers agreed upon. Let’s look at the first argument. The debate is not about the reliability of the Qur’aan, therefore the first argument of CL is outside the scope and delimitations of the debate, not to mention it contradicts his own beliefs as the New Testament itself is outside of the first century via empirical evidence (P52 dated to 125 CE), theoretically though it is dated to have existed in some form during the 70 – 80 CE, however there is no physical manuscript (for which CL argued for) which proves this.

His second argument, once again falls outside of the scope and delimitations of the title. The debate is not about the reliability of eyewitness reports. Br. Shadid during the debate also successfully demonstrated that the New Testament was written decades after Christ, by persons unknown to Christ, the names of the Gospels are mere attributions as handed down by tradition and not by fact.

Lastly, his final point, the existence of the Injeel also fails to be relevant to the title. The debate is not about whether the Injeel existed or not, or what the evidence for the Injeel is, therefore this argument of CL is highly irrelevant and clearly outside the scope and delimitations of the agreed debate title.

A Change of Scope and Delimitations

At some point during the debate, CL realised that if he were to argue against trusting the Islamic Jesus, he’d have to argue against what Christians already believe about Christ – since the Muslim beliefs about Christ are a subset of what Christians already do believe (this was demonstrated above). CL, realising this, decided to alter the scope of the debate, by asking Br. Shadid to assume he was an atheist, and therefore from this angle, challenged him to prove that the Islamic Jesus existed.

Once again, this only goes to demonstrate that CL is not a professional debater, nor is he educated. To begin with, if we are to discuss the topic that CL proposed, then we’d be discussing the origins of Christ, since atheists do not agree that Christ may have even existed at all. This is outside the scope of the debate, as the title does not indicate that either speaker was to prove Christ existed, but rather to show that Christians who already believed in a Jesus Christ, can also believe or trust in the Islamic Christ.

A Hypocrite of Unforeseen Proportions

During the debate CL Edwards found himself claiming several fallacies of Br. Shadid, to which he himself is victim of:

  1. Confirmation bias.
  2. Straw man argumentation.
  3. Cherry picking.

CL’s confirmation bias, was demonstrated when he declared that the Bible came from eyewitnesses during the first century. This is clearly a false notion and none of the NT texts have been transmitted as first person verbatim.

By pretending to be an atheist and asking Br. Shadid to prove that Christ existed at all and then condemning him when he chose not to – and to instead stick to the debate, this is in itself a straw man argument.

Lastly, Br. Shadid, practised the Christian methodology of typology, in which they read from their own text/ scripture (the New Testament) about the Christ and then they return to the Old Testament to demonstrate that he was mentioned there, or that the Old Testament offers proofs about him. Br. Shadid applied this same methodology to the New Testament, he declared the Christ of the Qur’aan to be trustworthy and then using typology, demonstrated the Qur’aanic Christ from the New Testament. One of the strangest arguments from CL is that he asked, how could Br. Shadid seek for evidences of an Islamic Christ in a book he himself believe to be corrupted, when CL himself and many Christians believe that Jews corrupted the Torah to hide the truth about the Christ’s prophecies within them. He lowly can he go?

Very Low

In a last ditch attempt to salvage a debate in which the methodology of Br. Shadid flew over his head, in a debate to which he could not commit himself to be relevant, and to a crowd who was anxious – waiting for him to make a single valid point, CL went to the lowest low. He began to insult and use derogatory terms. How are these questions relevant to the trustworthiness of the Islamic Christ?

  • Does your God have a penis?
  • Your Prophet had sex with a child.

These have nothing to do with the debate, but rather these were low blows in attacking the faith of Br. Shadid, in order to escape the reality that CL cannot stand up and defend his faith, so he rather cast insults to make himself feel better. In contrast, doesn’t CL believe in a deity who is a man, and therefore does have genitals? We also pray that CL has taken a biology class or two, but again, his level of intelligence is yet to be established, therefore it is no wonder he has labelled a young adult as a child, he does not know that at the age of sexual maturation, a child can no longer be labeled as such.

The Reality of the Debate

If CL had to argue that the Islamic Jesus was not trustworthy, seeing as the Islamic beliefs about Christ, are a subset of Christian beliefs about Christ, he’d be relegated to arguing against his own religion. Therefore, for a majority of the debate, he focused on things outside of the scope and delimitation of the topic – the existence of the Injeel, the Qur’aanic claims about Christ, the eyewitnesses, God’s genitals, explaining the meanings of some logical fallacies, etc. CL did not have the courage to discuss the topic directly and therefore found himself fiddling around with largely irrelevant arguments, pretending to be atheist and mocking his opponent.

I’ve always held that the debate with Bob Siegel was the worst of the series, but to me, CL took the cake for this title. Bob was uninformed, inexperienced, but we cannot offer the same excuses for CL. He’s debated before, this is his field of interest, he’s a seminary student, he claims to be an ex-Muslim, he has no excuse for his lackluster performance, his shameful behaviour and his lack of mental fortitude to cope with the methodology and logic of Br. Shadid.

CL Can’t Change

I experienced the same with CL during my debate with him. Like any other dud, he tried to explain that Christ was God from evidences in the Bible, the debate however was titled, “Is Jesus God, man or both”?, it never asked according to the Qur’aan or Bible! I caught him out, demonstrated that his evidences and opening were useless, I used the secular historical method, never once quoting the New Testament or the Qur’aan. I’d presented an argument, with a methodology that he hadn’t prepared for, so his counter arguments were nuanced, he couldn’t salvage the debate because he didn’t prepare for it in the way I did.

Similarly, he wrongly assumed the arguments Br. Shadid would offer, so when Br. Shadid offered something logical, and clear, something CL didn’t think of – he had to go all out to not lose a second debate in a row. CL lost one debate, perhaps we could excuse him as it was his first, but to lose a second in a row because he was unprepared to deal with his opponent’s arguments – demonstrates that he is not a debater, he cannot hold his own and when he’s put to defend his religion, he can’t.

The Challenge

I know CL cannot debate me, I know that he’d try to mock me or insult my religion or cast aspersions about my character. Regardless of these things, he cannot hold his own in a debate, so here I am, challenging CL to debate me, let’s debate the topic Bob failed to impress on, “Is the NT Reliable“? Can you defend your religion against a person who’s not only significantly younger than you, but who’s unfazed by your theatrics? The challenge has been issued, all we need now is to see if CL can stand up and hold his own…? I’ve issued an email challenge to him, this is the message verbatim:

Good day Mr. Edwards,

Please see the following article assessing your performance, and also see the challenge towards the end:

https://callingchristians.com/2013/09/13/criticism-of-cl-edwards-debate-methodology-versus-br-shadid-lewis/

Can you hold your own?

Let’s see what his next move is.

and Allaah knows best.

Refutation: The Muslim blogger shows why attempting to have adult dialogue with him is useless

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

It seems as though Chessie has had enough and decided to make one final stab at gaining some level of dignity before disappearing for a few months, he states and I quote:

I do not have the time and energy to even attempt to comprehend the nonsense of the Muslim blogger..maybe in a few more months, if I have free time and am bored.

Chessie seems unable to be willing to understand the nature of Christ or to engage in a proper study of Christology, in fact, after reading his last reply I am happy that he’s seen the light and decided to go back into his cave and hide for several months once more. He concedes to the fact that he is unable to, and unwilling to understand what I have written, since that is the case, it explains why all of his points thus far have been erroneous and without much reason. He says:

“When it is said Jesus Christ was the incarnation of the Word/Son that doesn’t mean the Spirit had no involvement, yet just because the Spirit had his role in the  incarnation doesn’t mean he was the one incarnated.”

I’m growing very tired of repeating myself, so I’ll make this into bullet points:

  • In Christianity, a human has both a soul and a spirit.
  • Jesus had a man’s soul, thus he was human in nature.
  • Jesus had a spirit, the Holy Spirit, thus he was guided and supported by this Spirit.

Thus, the Spirit of Christ, is the Holy Spirit, which is confirmed in the following verse:

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. – Romans 8:9.

Chessie has failed to grasp this and has argued against this, in doing so he is not only arguing against myself, but the Pauline literature as well. I then referenced a quote from St. Athanasius’ epistle to Serapion, which read:

When the Word came upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Spirit entered her together with the Word; in the Spirit the Word formed a body for himself and adapted it to himself, desiring to unite all creation through himself and lead it to the Father” – St. Athanasius’ Epistle, Ad Serapion.

He was again, unable to understand the relationship between the Spirit and the Word, our focus being on the portion which reads, ‘in the Spirit the Word formed a body for himself‘, see the Word, while it is in the Spirit, formed the flesh of Christ. I suppose that the words, ‘in the Spirit‘, means little to nothing to Chessie. I then quoted a portion of Tertullian, which reads:

Nay, but he adds, And that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit,3 because God is spirit,4 and He was born of God:5 this certainly has him in view, the more so if it has also those who believe in him.’ Then if this too applies to him, why not also that other? For you cannot divide them, this to him, the other to the rest of men: for you do not deny the two substances of Christ, that of flesh and that of spirit. But if he possessed flesh no less than spirit, when he makes a statement concerning the condition of the two substances which he bore within himself, he cannot be thought to have made a pronouncement concerning spirit as being his but flesh as not his. Thus, since he was himself by the Spirit of God (and the Spirit is God) born of God, he was also of human flesh and as man conceived and born in the flesh.” – Tertullian, De Carne Christi, 18.

Chessie says after reading this:

Nothing in this statement says anything about that it was the Holy Spirit who was incarnated and not the Son, the blogger simply reads his own ideas into something he does not understand.

Except the part which says that Christ was of the Spirit and of the Flesh and that the two are inseparable. Guess he missed that/

God is spirit that is no doubt, this simply means Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not material or of the material world. Christ being born of the Spirit does not mean the person of God the Holy Spirit was incarnated instead of God the Son, it means the power of the Holy Spirit over came the virgin when the Son was incarnated in her as a child(the same exact thing the Athanasius says). Notice how it says ” this certainly has him in view, the more so if it has also those who believe in him. ” those who believe, believe under the power of the Holy Spirit and are spiritual, imbued with eternal life inside them spiritually, but that does not mean they stop being their own individual selves. No you can not divide the believer from the Holy Spirit the same way you cannot divide the believer from the Father or the Son.

I don’t see how what he’s written here is relevant to what I have said or quoted. He most certainly went off into a tangent of some sort to perhaps make his article seem longer. The quote clearly says, “for you do not deny the two substances of Christ, that of flesh and that of spirit“. Intentional ignoring of the evidences and rambling onwards to inanity will not help you Chessie, reading the quotes help. He goes on to say:

“The Muslim blogger continues debating about who or what was incarnated and gives us his eisegesis of 1 Peter chapter 1. Again reading his own prejudices into another text to suit his agenda. For one the subject matter of 1 Peter 1 is not the nature of the incarnation its prophecy. “

It seems as if Chessie has learned a new word, ‘eisegesis’, yet what he doesn’t do, is show my source, in fact he never copies the link for any of the sources which I provided for all of my quotes. There was in fact no eisegesis done on my behalf, I in fact had referenced and used Matthew Henry’s Exegesis:

“The revelations of God to his church, though gradual, and given by parcels, are all perfectly consistent; the doctrine of the prophets and that of the apostles exactly agree, as coming from the same Spirit of God. (5.) The efficacy of the evangelical ministry depends upon the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The gospel is the ministration of the Spirit; the success of it depends upon his operation and blessing.” – Matthew Henry’s Exegesis, 1 Peter 1:11.

Had he quoted this, then his charade of saying that I committed eiesgesis and that the verse was solely about prophecy would have been debunked, therefore he had to intentionally claim I did not use an exegesis. Look at the desperation and dishonesty of this despot. He continues by saying:

“Now what I have pointed out about 1 Peter 1 is not my private interpretation, many others see the text the same way…”

Except that the one commentary he references is not focusing on which ‘Spirit’ came to the Prophets. The commentary I referenced focused on and explained that the Spirit of Christ which came to the previous Prophets was the Spirit of God. That the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God are one and the same, something which Chessie for some odd reason does not want his readers to grasp. He spends a few paragraphs trying to use his newly found word of eisegesis, which he ends up using quite appallingly:

(The same verse Muslims eisegesis by reading Muhammad into it)…

This sentence is wrong in so many ways, I personally had to take a deep breath and compose myself after reading such an incomprehensible sentence. This is probably the first time he’s using the word eisegesis and in a bout to attempt to sound smart, he tried using it again, unfortunately for him, his excitement to use a word he does not understand falls flat on his face. Quite hilarious to say the least, but I cannot say I expected more from a man twice my age, currently in a faith and mid-life crisis. Then he does something out of pure desperation that I think even he was too low to do, but then again, this is Chessie Edwards:

The blogger then makes the astonishing illogical self refuting statement…
” If the Spirits and Soul of Christ did not perish, and the flesh also did not perish, as the flesh returned to life “

Except that’s not what I said. If you’re going to quote someone and call them illogical, atleast try not to quote them partially:

If the Spirits and Soul of Christ did not perish, and the flesh also did not perish, as the flesh returned to life, then what sacrifice was actually done if nothing died?  This leads to my third argument from my original article of which Chessie has also failed to address, it reads:

“If we take John 3:16 as a literal study, then we have numerous paradoxes being applied, for if the Son did ‘die’, but did not truly ‘die’, then the ‘sacrificial death’ was not fulfilled. If you claim the sacrificial death was fulfilled, then this is disproven by Thomas touching a physical body of Christ, whose wounds he felt. Thus if Christ was meant to be an ultimate sacrifice but did not die, but merely suffered wounds and continued to live, then there was no actual sacrifice.”

Lastly, Chessie closes off with saying:

I still as of yet do not know why a immaterial spirit or soul has to cease to exist in order for someone to be truly dead, he has yet to explain this. Also If Christ’s body did not die how did it come back to life ? You have to die to come back to life.

As I told Chessie and as I would tell him again, to die is to cease to live, if Christ died, then which Christ died? Did the Christ of the flesh or the Christ of the Soul and Spirit die? If the soul does not die, how does he interpret Ezekiel 18:20 which reads, “The soul who sins is the one who will die.” If Christ’s flesh perished, then this was not a true sacrifice as God created something and killed the creation, not Christ himself. In closing, Chessie will now return to his shack in the woods and will pop out when he needs more schooling on his despotic faith. I look forward to him returning into hiding once more.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

 

Refutation: The Irrational Muslim Blogger Strikes Again

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

After a period of mourning for his apologetics career, Chessie Edwards, our resident court jester has decided to make a triumphant return. I say triumphant because he has resumed his role as a court jester instantaneously. Let it be known that I do not consider Chessie Edwards to be of any academic, spiritual, theological or human value. I’m really only writing this response to his article because I’m waiting for my post-op medication to kick in and I needed something to do, to pass the time that is. I came home from the hospital and after a long nap, I checked the website in almost more than a week to see that he had commented on a post of mines. Now, before I continue, it should be known that Chessie does not have a good history with me. Time and time again, I’ve embarrassed him into oblivion and every few months when he needs views on his website he posts an article about me, hoping to gather some much needed attention. I oblige with his requests because, well, because I have no good reason save for me enjoying routing the guy. So Chessie, I’m going to do you a favour, if anyone wants to read an article probably written during a druken stupor about his mid-life crisis as a failed Christian apologist, then please visit Chessie Edward’s website:

http://www.callingmuslims.com/2012/11/the-irrational-muslim-blogger-strikes.html

When you go to his website, on the left you’d see a donate link, if you would like to provide Chessie with some beer and stripper money, I am not going to stop you (although as a Muslim, I have to advise against doing so, but we both know where those funds go buddy!).  After you visit his website, you can then visit my refutation page that puts anything remotely close to ‘popular’ on his website to rest. I put popular in apostrophes because the highest rated article hasn’t changed in two years and I’ve yet to see a single Christian quote, cite, reference or use it. Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone comment on it (as of 30-11-2012 there still are no comments on his most popular post, which I suggest you read my response to or this new article of mines on the Sana’a codex).

Chessie’s claim to fame is that this website (Calling Christians) was created by copying his website:

I SAW THE FOLLOWING ON THE SITE OF A MUSLIM BLOGGER WHO I HAD SO MUCH INFLUENCE OVER HE COPIED THE NAME OF MY BLOG.

Now, I’m not sure why he’s written this in all caps, perhaps his caps lock key is broken, or maybe he is angry, either way this isn’t a good start for him. If I had copied his blog’s name, this website would be called, “Calling Muslims”. I’m not sure, but this website’s name is actually “Calling Christians”, maybe Chessie assumed by using the word “calling”, he had copyrighted it or something, I don’t know what he was thinking when he wrote that. The truth is however, that one day, Chessie began to boast he had a website on a mutual friend’s wall on Facebook. To let him know how silly this claim to fame was, I created a website, responded to his most popular articles, shamed him on every response he attempted to make, reducing his blog to something he updates once every few months or so. You’d think by now that he’d learn not to piss off the one kid that made him a laughing stock among Christian polemics, then again, you can’t expect the old and senile to learn new tricks (wait, that’s now how that saying goes, oh well…). He continues:

OUR BROTHER IN HUMANITY CLAIMS THAT JESUS DEATH WAS NOT A REAL SACRIFICE BECAUSE ONLY HIS FLESH DIED AND NOT HIS SPIRIT.

Chessie, I am not your brother in any way, shape and or form. Please do not associate me with you, spare me the embarrassment. I believe Chessie is confused, you see, Christians believe the flesh (a body) has both a soul and a spirit and Christ became God in flesh when the Holy Spirit became incarnate in the body of Jesus and replaced the human spirit. My question was and remains, if Christ died, is it the soul that perished, or the Holy Spirit that perished, or just the flesh (which according to him did not die but resurrected itself), or some combination of all three? You’d notice that he never answers this question, which forces me to ask: If you didn’t write this to answer my question, why did you write it at all?

THAT BEGS THE QUESTION DOES ISLAM TEACH THAT SPIRIT OR ROOH IN ARABIC DIES? SPIRITS ARE IMMATERIAL AND METAPHYSICAL..SO HOW COULD SOMETHING THAT’S NOT PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE PHYSICAL DEATH? NO ONES SPIRIT DIES, IF WE ACCEPT THIS PERSONS “LOGIC” THAN NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER DIED. ISLAM TEACHES THE METAPHYSICAL ASPECT OF MAN SURVIVES PHYSICAL DEATH AND GO’S ON TO LIVE IN THE BARZAKH A SPIRITUAL REALM.

Chessie decides to divert from the topic completely and rambles on incoherently about the Islamic concept of the soul (we do not believe in soul and spirit, just one unified ‘soul/ spirit’ – ruh). Which puzzles me as he then makes this statement:

THE WHOLE POST JUST SHOWS THAT MUSLIM APOLOGISTS HAVE A WEAK UNDERSTANDING OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY.

Chessie, if you bothered to read your previous paragraph, you didn’t demonstrate Christian theology, you were actually speaking about Islamic theology. Therefore, how can you claim I have a weak understanding of Christian theology, if all you’ve done thus far is speak about Islamic theology? Something doesn’t add up here. I fully believe that no adult man can write such a disjointed post without being influenced by alcohol or some opioid. If he did write this without the aid of an intoxicant, then I hang my head in shame, knowing that the human race has hit a new low in functional retardation. He continues:

CHRISTS HUMAN NATURE WAS NOT JUST FLESH IT WAS A REAL ACTUAL HUMAN NATURE, HE WAS A REAL ACTUAL HUMAN BEING AND HE HAD A REAL ACTUAL DIVINE NATURE, HE WAS REALLY THE DIVINE LOGOS. TO EVEN ASK IF CHRIST’S DEATH WAS THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF NON PHYSICAL SPIRIT SHOWS A LACK OF LOGICAL THINKING. SOME MUSLIMS ARE SO DESPERATE TO OPPOSE CHRIST THEY REACH OUT FOR ANY ARGUMENT THEY CAN FIND WITHOUT EVEN STOPPING TO THINK IT THROUGH.

I fail to see how this is anything more than Chessie shouting, “IT’S REAL”, without answering the paradoxes I presented here. Somehow begging me to think it’s the truth by repeatedly saying the word, “real”, does not convince me. I’m looking for something more of an explanation, an argument, a structured discussion, maybe a few academic references, I don’t know, maybe I’m setting my standards (and hopes) too high for Chessie’s sake. He continues:

A SHAHEED IS A ARABIC TERM USED TO DESCRIBE MUSLIM MARTYRS WHO HAVE DIED IN THE PATH OF ALLAH USUALLY WHILE FIGHTING JIHAD. THE QURAN SAYS ABOUT THEM THE FOLLOWING…

Yay! Free Arabic lessons from Mullah Chessie.

” ALLAH HATH PURCHASED OF THE BELIEVERS THEIR PERSONS AND THEIR GOODS; FOR THEIRS (IN RETURN) IS THE GARDEN (OF PARADISE): THEY FIGHT IN HIS CAUSE, AND SLAY AND ARE SLAIN:…” SURAH 9:111

Can’t wait for the major argument he is building!

THE ABOVE CLEARLY SAYS THEY ARE SLAIN I.E THEY DIE, BUT LOOK AT WHAT THE FOLLOWING SURAH SAYS ABOUT THEM…

“THINK NOT OF THOSE WHO ARE SLAIN IN ALLAH’S WAY AS DEAD. NAY, THEY LIVE, FINDING THEIR SUSTENANCE IN THE PRESENCE OF THEIR LORD; THEY REJOICE IN THE BOUNTY PROVIDED BY ALLAH: AND WITH REGARD TO THOSE LEFT BEHIND, WHO HAVE NOT YET JOINED THEM (IN THEIR BLISS), THE (MARTYRS) GLORY IN THE FACT THAT ON THEM IS NO FEAR, NOR HAVE THEY (CAUSE TO) GRIEVE. ” SURAH 3:169-170

THIS SURAH SEEMS TO BE CONTRADICTING THE FIRST ONE, THE LOCAL IMAM AT THE MOSQUE WILL TELL YOU THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION. ONE SURAH IS SPEAKING OF THE SHAHEEDS PHYSICAL LIFE IN THIS WORLD AND THE OTHER IS SPEAKING OF THEIR IMMATERIAL SOUL AND SPIRIT IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. SO JUST LIKE THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION HERE THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION IN CHRIST’S DEATH .

That was simply mind blowing! Excuse my sarcasm, but now on to my real thoughts:

Really?

Really?

I’m not sure how to tell Chessie this, but thank you for pointing out that while people die in this world, they are alive in the afterlife. Hence why it’s called the after life. Get it? After, life. Maybe I need to break it down a little bit more for my friend Chessie.

When you die in this world, you’re dead. When you’re alive in this world, you’re living.

When you die in this world, you’re in the after life, you no longer exist in this world, but are alive in the after life.

Now, I don’t think by superimposing Islamic theology on Christology is the best way to refute me. You’re confusing two different religious doctrines without really refuting my points which were based on Christian theology. If you wanted to respond to me, you would have clearly explained the nature of life and death in Christianity, then gone on to explain Christ’s nature and lastly, based on the last two notions, then proceed to explain how my logic was wrong in light of Christology. I am not your teacher, I don’t need to tell you how to write a refutation, but when you insist on mocking yourself, I will give you the attention your idiocy so much deserves.

Some might say that my words to Chessie are harsh and uncalled for, but I write this with the hope that Chessie puts his big boy pants on and learns not to interfere when adults are speaking.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Refutation: Reply to the Muslim blogger about rightly dividing the Bible

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

After bringing Chessie Edwards’ attention to my response, he took the initiative to reply in a new post on his blog. I’d like to thank him for continuing to draw Christian viewership to our website and we pray he continues to do so in the future. Unfortunately, as expected from Biblical Evangelists, Chessie began his response with mockery and insults:

Unfortunately the god of the unregenerate is Satan who is far from having any Rahma


I’m not really sure how his opening statement really answers me or in what way it was relevant to the topic at hand, I’ll leave the floor open for Chessie to address that. If this was his idea of building anticipation for what the rest of his blog post will present, I’m not very much looking forward to it. In any case, let’s examine his claims:

Actually that’s not what I said, I said ” Christ being “sinless”is beyond mere moral conduct it has to do with nature.”. This is just one testament to the Muslim bloggers many reading errors, he seems to see what he would like a text to say, instead of what it really says..he uses the same faulty hermeneutic with the Bible.  My Christology which I believe is orthodox, is Christ did not become sinless by living a sinless life(his not sinning is not the cause of him being a sinless man), He didn’t sin because he was by nature sinless(his sinless nature was the cause of his sinless life).  I did not say Christ sinless behavior had nothing to do with why we consider Him sinless, I said our doctrine go’s beyond that. I am sure the blogger will ignore what I just said and decide I said whatever he feels I said. Yet to fair minded Muslims, know such details are not minor, they are major in Christian Theology.

We agree with Chessie when he says Christ’s nature is to be sinless, which is why I am puzzled when he says I took his statements out of context. Recall from my previous response where I said:

I couldn’t agree more, it’s finally good to see him accepting the Islamic position of all children being born upon the “fitrah” or “pure nature”.

The fitrah or “pure nature” means that a child is born with a clean slate, free of influences, no record, completely new to the word, not a single penalty against the child. When he says this, I am in full agreement:

 He didn’t sin because he was by nature sinless(his sinless nature was the cause of his sinless life).

We also believe as Muslims that the Anbiya (Prophets) are sinless in Islam. So again, I see no reason for him to state that we disagree with his premises. Perhaps he was just finishing for an argument, but I shall not take his bait. He continues:

Christians believe as the Bible teaches that Christ had two natures, His Divinity and the second undefiled human nature He took on. As I clearly explained in the quote, Christ was never contaminated with the sin nature that effects the rest of humanity(or maybe the blogger thinks humans don’t sin?). The Islamic doctrine of fitrah has nothing to do with anything I said , but again the blogger sees what he wants to see.

Some questions need to be asked here:

  • Where does the NT teach the hypostatic union, i..e that Christ has two natures?
  • That Christs’ nature was undefiled (as we know Christ was abandoned by God on the cross, does God abandon sinless persons, but aids sinful persons?).
  • The Fitrah is the nature of being born pure, without sin, how does this have nothing to do with Christ being born free of sin?

In an odd way, he then decides to demonstrate original sin is actually from the Qur’an and not the Bible by posting an article link which I refuted many months ago, which you can read here, “Proving Original Sin from the Qur’an“. Yet the question still stands, can Chessie Edwards ever prove the Original Sin from the Bible? He’s demonstrated that either he cannot read or doesn’t want to fully answer the question. Chessie continues:

We see this from the blogger, he doesn’t have the time to deal with what I(or others) are saying, that would get in the way of him making his point(weather his point has anything to do with Christian doctrine or not). Obviously he gets this from his god who makes all sorts of theological errors in addressing Christians in the Quran. See the following article from bother Sam Shamoun.

Well, now I’m a bit confused:

  • I quote Chessie’s article on my website.
  • Chessie goes to my websites and quotes my quote of him.
  • Chessie writes a response based on my quote of him.

Chessie literally quoted himself and responds to it. I’m not sure if he confused himself, but he seriously quoted himself and then attempted to refute the quote by saying it was nonsensical, made up etc. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry out of pity. He then decided to link to Sam Shamoun’s article, which is refuted here by Br. Bassam Zawadi. Mr. Edwards continues:

The blogger is off in la la land, I am not sure why he didn’t see ” All the promises, types and shadows in the old Testament pointed to the Messiah “, why doesn’t he get ” All the promises, types and shadows in the old Testament pointed to the Messiah” is what I am saying is beyond mere moralism? If the blogger obeyed the moral commands or even ritual commands of the Law(The blogger seems to not know the word Law is used many different ways in the Bible, and there many aspects to the Mosaic commands.. a whole other subject) would that mean he now would fulfill ” All the promises, types and shadows in the old Testament …” ?

As explained in my previous response, and as explained in the video by Rabbi Michael Skobac, there were many Messiahs prophesied by in the Tanach, however according to the Tanach itself, there is no “The Messiah” to come. Of course, this is where we as Muslims would disagree as we do believe ‘Aissa [alayhi as salaam] was the Masih (Christ), but we do agree with the understanding that the Tanach (corrupted as it is), does not point to “a” Messiah.  In fact, if one would notice, he doesn’t reference a single prophecy or promise of the Bible this time. The reason being that I refuted his quote of Isaiah (Yeshayahu) by presenting the Hebrew version as opposed to the modern Christian version. His silence is deafening and a clear indicator that he has no prophecies or promises to present from his Bible. He continues:

That would be a nice quote if by Law what was being discussed was merely moral commands…I feel like I am repeating myself…

The “Law” are “moral commands from God”, unless what he meant by Law, was not the word Law. Since that is the case, he needs to choose his words better. If the word “law” does not mean “law”, then the onus is on your Mr. Edwards to explicitly use the words you wish to convey your message accurately. What does the “law” mean Mr. Edwards, if not “moral commands from God”? He continues:

The rest of this is unworthy of my time, I am quite busy and reading his post induces headaches.

Apparently my posts are now “unworthy of his time”, although by him posting two articles about my arguments he’s stating the opposite! While I am sure my posts give him headaches and while that does please me, I really do wish for him to be guided. He continues:

But, if he is taking ilm from the Jews now, I hope he accepts their reasons for rejecting Muhammad, then again maybe he is now rejecting Jesus or is an Atheist..a Jew..if its expedient will he next be a liberal post modernist? ..who knows.

Fallacy of hasty generalization and a poor ad hominem as well. I’m a Muslim, I follow Qur’an and Sunnah, I’ve never identified myself otherwise. Looking forward to giving Chessie L. Edwards more headaches though.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best].

Refutation: How Muslims bloggers wrongly divide the Word of God. PT 1

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

After a seemingly long absence from the apologetics realm, Chessie L. Edwards has once again returned, with a brand new article. You can read my previous responses to all of his articles here. I am pleased to see that not much has changed, he was attempting to respond to this post of mine.  Specifically trying to respond to Argument #1.

His Introduction:

Christ being “sinless”is beyond mere moral conduct it has to do with nature. Christ was not born of a male, he was supernaturally conceived without sperm to the virgin Mary. What this all means is that he was not under the curse of Adam, he did not have the fallen wretched sinful natural that afflicts all other men.

According to Chessie, Christ was not sinless due to moral conduct, but due to being born that way, as he puts it, this was “Christ’s nature”. I couldn’t agree more, it’s finally good to see him accepting the Islamic position of all children being born upon the “fitrah” or “pure nature”. We as Muslims also agree with the notion that Christ was not born of a male, however we would like to ask him what curse of Adam he is referring to? That is because, while I am sure he meant the “original sin”, this belief has no Biblical basis. In fact, the only curse of Adam would be that of Genesis 3:14-15, which does not mention any man having been cursed by God to be born with sin.

What is meant by ‘Christ fulfilled the Law’:

When it is said Christ fulfilled the Law and Old Testament, what is being spoken of is again beyond human moral-ism. All the promises, types and shadows in the old Testament pointed to the Messiah. No mere prophet was going to fulfill the words of Isaiah when he said….

According to Chessie, following the law, does not mean following the law, as he comprehends it to mean being above “human morality”. So by that logic, if we “follow” the law “perfectly”, i.e. we fulfil it, does that mean we in ourselves are above “human morality”?

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. – Bible, Luke 1:5-6.

Clearly he needs to sit down and study his own Bible, after all these two verses which demonstrate that humans can practise all of the law blamelessly, is in the first chapter of the Gospel according to “Luke”. One of the problems we see with Christians is their poor study of the Old Testament. Rabbi Michael Skobac discusses the irrational belief of the Christians and their prophecies of their concept of a Messiah:

While as Muslims we do accept Jesus as the Messiah, we do not agree, along with the Jews that the Messiah is to be a God, a sacrificial son, a Trinitarian, etc. In the above video, the Rabbi examines the claims of “prophetic-God Messiah-ship”, it’s well worth the time to watch it. Chessie then tries to claim that Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy about Christ being foretold as the Son of God, something which I answered here.

He then proceeded to quote a variety of verses that reference Paul’s and Christ’s attitude pertaining to the law, something which I have already discussed in detail in this article of mines. I won’t bother to answer those claims in this response as the articles I’ve previously written and subsequently linked to (see above) more than aptly go into heavily detailed study and research into these rather simple topics.

Conclusion:

I am left questioning myself as to how Chessie considered this a “refutation”, as opposed to more of an erratic tirade for the purpose of insulting me:

It is no surprise the a unregenerate natural minded man such as our Muslim blogger would be blinded to the Spiritual truths contain in scripture, the Word of God tells us

At this point, I suppose he gave up on trying to respond to my argument and proceeded to just write a post to give the illusion his blog is still active, other than that I can’t fathom a reason he’d write something so silly. My arguments therefore stand and I do look forward to seeing someone else eventually try to respond to them.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Refutation: A clear Quranic contradiction in Ta-Ha surah 20 verses 83-97

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Response to: A clear Quranic contradiction in Ta-Ha surah 20 verses 83-97
By: C.L. Edwards from Calling Muslims website.

The ill reputed author, Mr. Edwards is at it again. This time he is claiming a contradiction in the Qur’aan and quite funnily, borrows the argument of Abraham Geiger which most Orientalists have used against Islam, since some 200 odd years ago. His argument isn’t new or is it of any academic value. However in the name of exposing his indecent affinity towards absurdity, we shall engage his argument step by step and refute him. He begins by asserting that these verses supposedly have a contradiction:

“(When Moses was up on the Mount, Allah said:) “What made thee hasten in advance of thy people, O Moses?”He replied: “Behold, they are close on my footsteps: I hastened to thee, O my Lord, to please thee.”  (Allah) said: “We have tested thy people in thy absence: the Samiri has led them astray.” So Moses returned to his people in a state of indignation and sorrow. He said: “O my people! did not your Lord make a handsome promise to you? Did then the promise seem to you long (in coming)? Or did ye desire that Wrath should descend from your Lord on you, and so ye broke your promise to me?” They said: “We broke not the promise to thee, as far as lay in our power: but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the (whole) people, and we threw them (into the fire), and that was what the Samiri suggested. “Then he brought out (of the fire) before the (people) the image of a calf: It seemed to low: so they said: This is your god, and the god of Moses, but (Moses) has forgotten!” Could they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good? Aaron had already, before this said to them: “O my people! ye are being tested in this: for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my command.” They had said: “We will not abandon this cult, but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us.” (Moses) said: “O Aaron! what kept thee back, when thou sawest them going wrong, “From following me? Didst thou then disobey my order?” (Aaron) replied: “O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard nor by (the hair of) my head! Truly I feared lest thou shouldst say, ‘Thou has caused a division among the children of Israel, and thou didst not respect my word!'” (Moses) said: “What then is thy case, O Samiri?” He replied: “I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the Messenger, and threw it (into the calf): thus did my soul suggest to me.” (Moses) said: “Get thee gone! but thy (punishment) in this life will be that thou wilt say, ‘touch me not’; and moreover (for a future penalty) thou hast a promise that will not fail: Now look at thy god, of whom thou hast become a devoted worshipper: We will certainly (melt) it in a blazing fire and scatter it broadcast in the sea!” – Suratul Ta-Ha (20) : 83 – 97.

So what is his argument? In summation:

“There are many details in the Quran that differ or are missing from the original account in the Bible, one of which is a person named al Samari. Now the name as-Samari literally means “The Samaritan a person who comes from Samaria”……..The problem in all this is this event in the history of the nation Israel happened over 600 years before the area of Samaria came into existence. To add to this colossal blunder early Muslims(the Salaf) are recorded as explaining that this as-Samari came from a Israelite tribe called Samaria…no such tribe has ever existed.

To begin with, he implies that the original account is from the Bible, one must point out that he is referring to the Old Testament, therefore that begs the question, which Canon or Codex of the Old Testament is he appealing to this time? Here’s a short list for him to choose from:

(1) Samaritan Scrolls.
(2) Qumran/ Essene’s Scrolls.
(3) Greek Septuagint (LXX).
(4) Masoretic Text.
(5) Massorah Oral Tradition.
(6) Eastern Orthodoxy’s varying Canon’s (Coptic Canon versus Ethiopian Canon….etc).

After he’s played a game of lottery with “God’s word”, the next step is to determine if the Bible’s historical accounts are valid to establish the veracity of a particular historical event. This of course is easily laid to rest with a resounding no, by consensus of most Biblical scholars, to validate this claim, here’s a few quotes:

The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first     place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and persihable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities. – (George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter’s Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, p 599 “Text, NT”.)

To begin with, how can it be logically sound, that if the people at the time of the Bible’s authoring, rejected it as a scripture (inspired by God, contains absolute truth), much less as a historical document (if it isn’t an absolute truth, then it’s fickle truth), how can you expect us, some 2000 years or so later to accept such historical claims?

He says: Complaints about the adulteration of texts are fairly frequent in early Christian literature. Christian texts, scriptural and nonscriptural, were no more immune than others from vicissitudes of unregulated transmission in handwritten copies. In some respects they were more vulnerable than ordinary texts, and not merely because Christian communities could not always command the most competent scribes. Although Christian writings generally aimed to express not individual viewpoints but the shared convictions and values of a group, members of the group who acted as editors and copyists must often have revised texts in accordance with their own perceptions. This temptation was stronger in connection with religious or philosophical texts than with others simply because more was at stake. A great deal of early Christian literature was composed for the purpose of advancing a particular viewpoint amid the conflicts of ideas and practices that repeatedly arose within and between Christian communities, and even documents that were not polemically conceived might nevertheless be polemically used. Any text was liable to emendation in the interest of making it more pointedly serviceable in a situation of theological controversy. – (H. Y. Gamble, Books And Readers In The Early Church: A History Of Early Christian Texts, 1995, Yale University Press: New Haven & London, pp. 123-124.)

The Bible, clearly as a historical document is said to have been emendated (improved with bias) according to each sect’s understanding of it. What’s worse is that the first person to ever canonize and codify the Bible (canonize – to say what is scripture, codify – collected to be arrange in some order) emendated his own version, enough for him and his followers to be persecuted (see: Marcion’s Canon). With the above quotes and subsequent historical lesson, there is no basis for us to accept the account of the Bible, none whatsoever. It is merely wishful thinking and an appeal to emotion that CL Edwards seeks.

His second error, is that he incorrectly, which was his purpose, defines the term: “As-Samiri” (السَّامِرِ‌يُّ).

We do ask Mr. Edwards, on what authority do you have to give the absolute definition of the term above? Are you an expert in the field of Arabic or Hebraic Etymology? From where is your certification in these fields derived? To answer on his behalf and rightly so, nowhere! Therefore we assume he’s probably appealed to the fallacy of appeal to authority (to Orientalist Christian Scholarship). In his desperation for trying to find an error in Al Qur’aan ul Kareem, he has inadvertently exposed his lack of honesty, integrity and self respect. Thus, we do request that he come to terms with these self deficiencies.

Let’s continue by trying to grasp the history of this Samiri, so we can know who he was or from where he came:

“Samiri’s name as generally believed, was Musa Ibn Zafar. Ibn Jarar has narrated from Sayiddina Ibn ‘Abbas {ra} that Samiri was born in the year when under the orders of Pharaoh all male Israili children were to be killed. His mother, fearing the worst, put him in the hallow of a cave and covered its mouth.” – Tafsir Maa’riful Qur’aan, page 144.

Now that we’ve established some form of historical context to this person, his lineage does go back to the time of Moses (Musa alayhi as salaam), so this person did exist at the time of Moses. In that context, why is he called “As Samiri”, well, there are two probablities here:

(1) It could be a place from which he came.
(2) It could be a title due to his beliefs.

Earlier Islamic sources tend to cite both (1) and (2) as their understanding of the person named As-Samiri, that being, he came from a people who were worshipers of the cows:

Sayiddina Ibn ‘Abbas {ra} says that he belonged to a nation of cow-worshippers who somehow reached Egypt and pretended to join the religion of Bani ‘Israil whereas in actual fact he was a hypocrite. (Qurtubi) – Tafsir Maa’riful Qur’aan, page 143.

Where did they come from, if they were not from around Egypt?

“According to Sayddina Sa’id ibn Jubair {ra} he was a Persian from the Kirman province.” – Tafsir Maa’riful Qur’aan, page 143.

Now this logically makes sense.

(1) The Samiri was born during the time of Moses.
(2) The Samiri was from Persian (Mesopotamia) and was brought to or near Egypt when a group of Persians migrated.
(3) Persia is near the Indus Valley River Civilization (known cow worshipers), in fact, they share similar cultural traits (languages, religions, dress).

Therefore it is logical to assume that the Samiri is a person who was from among a people who worshiped cows, and who had migrated to near Egypt. The entire narration from the Qur’aan makes sense when compared to basic history. Of course one had to be objective and look outside the inconsistent and incoherent Biblical tradition and really accept the historical narrative as it exists through modern historical interpretations.

The historical context is easy to grasp, the Samiri was a cow worshiper with Mesopotamian origins (from which his religion came) through the Indian peoples (Indus Valley Civilization – known cow worshipers):

In the case of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations, there exists considerable evidence that the two societies, which flanked Mesopotamia on the west and east, respectively, had continuous trade contact with the cities of Sumer and, in the case of Egypt, political and military contacts as well. So the channels for the diffusion of technology and ideas certainly were there. It should probably be stressed at this point that a certain amount of diffusion and cross-fertilization is critical to the development of any civilization and no society has developed in total isolation. Whatever the degree of borrowing, however, every civilization adapts and applies ideas, technologies and institutions to its own physical environment and cultural heritage. – (The World’s History (Volumes 1 and 2 – 2nd Edition), Chapter 3 (River Valley Civilizations), Page 11 – by Howard Spodek.)

Therefore in conclusion, the Biblical claim is that a city known as Samaria did not exist until some 700 years after Moses, therefore the Samiri people could not have existed. Whereas historical knowledge (go figure, the Bible contradicts history) indicates that the Mesopotamian, Harappan (Indus Valley Civilization) and the Egyptians all shared a common and integrated history some 1500 years before Moses (Civlizations from 3000 BCE, Moses from 1500 BCE) and the incident of Pharaoh.

We therefore propose that Mr. Edwards rescinds his absurd, infantile, petulant, irrational and ignorant arguments and perhaps, for the good will of his humanity, cease to embarrass himself and his archaic faith.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]