Tag Archives: tony costa

Missionary Mishap: Missionary Civil War

An all out Missionary Civil War is the best way to describe the fallout between a large group of Christian anti-Islamic speakers. Some of it has been covered by Br. Paul here. To make sense of it, please see the following post by Dr. James White:

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Similarly, both Jonathan McLatchie and his colleague Sam have called out Tony Costa as a heretic:

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As of this posting, Jonathan McLatchie has not rebuked, nor removed the comment of his colleague referring to Tony Costa as a heretic. In the same breath, both Jonathan and his colleague have been critical of Dr. White over the last few days, with Jonathan having approved posts on his Facebook timeline denigrating and attacking Dr. White:

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Not only has Jonathan approved his colleagues post attacking Dr. White, we should also be reminded of him not correcting or disagreeing with his colleague Sam, about Tony Costa being a heretic. Shortly before the attacks on Dr. White and Costa by Jonathan and his colleague Sam, there was a falling out between the both of them. Sam had referred to three Christian debaters as being the top polemicists when it came to Islam. Jonathan was not mentioned in that listing of the top 3. It is only after Muslims pointed out the obvious snubbing of Jonathan, was his name eventually added to a later post attacking our Br. Yahya Snow.

The timeline of events can be understood as follows:

  1. Sam Shamoun attacks Dr. White because Dr. White refuted and rejected Robert Morey’s hatred of Muslims and of wanting to destroy the Kabah in Makkah. – December 17th, 2016.
  2. Dr. James White has dialogue with Dr. Yasir Qadhi. – January 24th, 2017.
  3. Sam Shamoun disagrees with Dr. James White on having Dr. Qadhi in a Church. – January 24th, 2017.
  4. Sam Shamoun proceeded to make several posts disagreeing with Dr. White, leading to some of Sam’s friends and followers calling the Churches hosting Dr. White’s events trying to get them cancelled. – January 27th, 2017.
  5. Sam Shamoun calls for a debate against Dr. White, and lists a top 3 of Christian apologists who he recommends as good on “refuting Islam”. – January 27th, 2017.
  6. Jonathan McLatchie approves Sam Shamoun’s comment referring to Tony Costa as a heretic. – January 28th, 2017.
  7. Jonathan McLatchie approves tag and post by Sam on his timeline on Facebook attacking Dr. James White. – January 29th, 2017.
  8. Muslims point out that Sam Shamoun excluded Jonathan from his list of Christians who are good in “refuting” Islam.
  9. Sam Shamoun finally gives Jonathan the attention he needs and mentions him on Facebook, Jonathan meanwhile leaves the posts attacking Dr. White and Tony Costa. – January 29th, 2017.
  10. Dr. James White makes a post directly calling out Sam Shamoun and his colleagues. – January 30th, 2017.
  11. Sam Shamoun in response to Dr. White, posts articles from Catholic apologists who openly dislike and hate Dr. White. – January 30th, 2017.
  12. Sam Shamoun’s latest response is as follows:

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This is just the tip of the iceberg, behind the scenes there have been frantic emails and messages exchanged between many of the names mentioned above. Conversations, plans, tactics, agreements, all aimed at each other by Christian “apologists”. In the days to come, we’ll see how this mishap plays out. More to come.

and Allah knows best.

 

Quick Responses to Claims About the Eternal Word of God

I’ve been busy the past few days and had not noticed that Br. Yahya Snow published an article and created a video about me. The article can be read here and concerns debate challenges and the glib behaviour of some missionaries.Br. Yahya states:

Now I must say, it’s curious to see Jonathan angle for a debate with Yusuf Bux after he intimated Yusuf’s arguments are dated and weak. Admittedly, I do have reservations about some of the arguments that do come out of SA. Nevertheless, the point here is why would Jonathan decide to target Yusuf for a debate while Jonathan continually avoids Ijaz Ahmad’s debate challenges. Ijaz is a hardened apologist and debater who chooses to involve himself in technical discussions about Christian theology – it’s what he specialises in.

You see, Jonathan has come off really poorly in his interactions with experienced Muslim apologists. He struggled in his debate with Shabir Ally and struggled in his debate with Yusuf Ismail. Ijaz Ahmad and myself have corrected him and refuted him on many points over the last few months – at times on some very basic stuff highlighting his inability in dialogue with Muslims who are more experienced and aware apologetically.

We’ve corrected Jonathan McLatchie a number of times, here are some examples:

  1. Jonathan rejected the belief that God in the Bible literally inscribed revelation.
  2. Jonathan argued that Br. Khalid Yasin was a white man.
  3. Jonathan claimed that nowhere in the Qur’an does Allah say: I am God Worship me.
  4. Jonathan forgot how debates work.

I actually have quite a couple more screenshots of never before released mistakes by Jonathan. However, they will not be posted. There’s a difference between correcting a public figure and caricaturing someone, and I do not want to cross that line. On the other hand, Br. Yahya also produced a video with me responding to some missionary claims regarding the speech of God, the preservation of the Qur’an and of Jesus’s nature:

I’m not particularly fond of seeing my name and face mentioned this much. While I am thankful for the efforts many brothers have made, it’s still a bit unsettling to see my face and name everywhere. In this case though, it is a video debate and so there’s no choice but to show my face. I am appreciative of Br. Yahya’s comments regarding me and for the video he’s made. I pray that many can benefit from the work that our little community of Muslim apologists, bloggers and du’at do.

and Allah knows best.

 

Tony Costa Sent Me to the Hospital

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Dr. Tony Costa – Christian Apologist

What a headline. Those are words I never thought I’d one day have to write. I’ve been interacting with Dr. Tony Costa for some time, most people would know I recently debated him last year on the topic of, Was Jesus the Son of God or Only the Prophet of God? For sometime now I’ve been ill with a severe chronic illness, this is public knowledge and people generally know that I’m quite frail most of the time. As such, any mildly strenuous physical activity leads to hospital trips where I am given pain medication and observed for some time.

Over the course of last night and this morning, I had the unfortunate experience of seeing Dr. Costa pretend to know the Arabic language. After having pointed out why he was wrong on the morphology of the term آله (Ilah), and that he was confusing it with a completely different word لت (Lat), while using three lexicons: Lane’s, Hans-Wehr and Lisan al Arab, and the Arabic Bible used by the Coptic Church: Smith & Van Dyke Arabic Bible, Dr. Costa decided he was correct despite all of these evidences proving him to be incorrect. To settle the matter, I simply asked Dr. Tony if he could kindly give me the morphology of the term آله. For anyone who has done more than one week of Arabic, you’d know how to derive the female from this root word. He was unable to do so, in fact, he outright refused to do so. Tony insisted that his finding the female of آله had nothing to do with using the root of the word.

Does that sound incredulous? I’m not kidding. Apparently Tony studied sarf (morphology) to the point where he does not use the root of words to derive their sexes and numerical forms. Considering you need to use root words to derive any other form of the word, I’m not sure what planet he believed he was on. In trying to help him and to save him from further embarrassment, I simply indicated that he was trying to get the feminine of word A (آله) using the word B (لت). I gave him a simple explanation, it’s as if he was trying to get the plural of orange, which is oranges, by using the word range. Orange has nothing to do with range. Unfortunately, without showing his morphology, or how it was possible to get the form of one noun, using a completely different noun, Tony decided he was correct. Regrettable as it was for him, several people, including myself who were included in the exchange have knowledge of the Arabic language.

This led to an endless fit of laughter lasting several hours. It’s akin to seeing a child get their ABCs wrong, and insisting they’re correct because their friends in kindergarten also recite their ABCs this way. So basic was his error, everyone knew that he was pretending to know the Arabic language. Yet he couldn’t get the female derivative of a noun. Knowing that he was pretending, we waited to see what his other replies would be. His last reply insisted that he was correct, no morphology, no explanation, nothing. To put it diplomatically, it was cringe-worthy. Due to laughing excessively, it led to me having a coughing fit, which triggered my other symptoms, thus landing me in the hospital. I’ve now been released and am back home and resting, Alhamdulillah.

This is the first time that someone’s ignorance has actually, physically hurt me. Dr. Tony Costa pretending to know Arabic and failing at it, sent me to the hospital. Thank you Tony, thank you.

If anyone would like to confirm that this story is true, one can ask Br. Yusuf Ismail, Br. Yusuf Bux, Br. Paul of Blogging Theology or Br. Yahya of The Facts About Islam.

and Allah knows best,
Br. Ijaz.

Debate: The Bible or the Qur’an? – Sadat Anwar vs. Dr. Tony Costa

One of favourite Muslim debaters, Br. Sadat Anwar (may Allah preserve him) recently debated Dr. Tony Costa. Today the debate video has been released and suffice it to say, Br. Sadat is simply mesmerizing. He’s previously debated Alex Kerimli and Carlton McDonald, as well as one Qadiani, Ansar Raza. I strongly recommend that this debate be shared on behalf of Br. Sadat, it should be watched and studied.

Let us know what you think of Br. Sadat’s arguments.

and Allah knows best.

Nestorianism in Light of Modern Christian Apologetics (Part 2)

In a previous post, I commented on an inter-Christian theological controversy regarding modern Christians and the heresy of Nestorianism. Many Christians were unaware that such a debate existed within their faith today, primarily between the Protestant sects of Lutheranism and Reformed/ Calvinist theology. I had first raised my argument using the study of the philosophy of religion regarding the ontology (nature of being) of the incarnate Christian God during my recent debate with Dr. Tony Costa. Quite a few lay-Christians thought I’d misidentified orthodox Christian beliefs (Dr. Costa and his supporter Anthony Rogers are guilty in this regard), that I as a Muslim did not understand Christian beliefs and as such my claim was based out of ignorance. Rather, through my subsequent posts a number of Christians have come to realise that I had actually raised an argument that Christian theologians themselves had raised, it was in fact the lay-Christians who were ignorant of their own modern day Christological controversies. In his erudite work on Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof wrote:

1. UP TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. The Reformation did not bring any great changes in the doctrine of the person of Christ. Both the Church of Rome and the Churches’ of the Reformation subscribed to the doctrine of Christ as it was formulated by the Council of Chalcedon. Their important and deep-seated differences lay elsewhere. There is one peculiarity of Lutheran Christology that deserves special mention. Luther’s doctrine of the physical presence of Christ in the Lord’s supper led to the characteristically Lutheran view of the communicatio idiomatum, to the effect “that each of Christ’s natures permeates the other (perichoresis), and that His humanity participates in the attributes of His divinity.” It is held that the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence were communicated to the human nature of Christ at the time of the incarnation.

Even prominent Calvinist theologian RC Sproul wrote in, “What Is the Trinity?”:

I have Lutheran friends, and I always refer to them as “my monophysite friends.” They refer to me as their “Nestorian friend,” but I always say, No, I don’t separate the two natures, I just distinguish them.”

It’s not an argument or claim invented by myself, it’s quite a well known common argument that many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Christian sects regard Calvinists as Nestorians. It is not difficult to see why. I tried to convey an argument that lay-Christians would be able to understand during my debate with Dr. Costa, but I will have to use a little bit of mathematics to better illustrate my point. The heresy of Nestorianism, entails that despite Christ having two natures, they are distinguished from each other to the point that Jesus becomes two Persons. Jesus with a divine nature and Jesus with a human nature. Surely in Islam, this enters the realm of polytheism. For the time being, let’s express how Reformed/ Calvinistic Theology about Jesus’s Hypostatic Union is Nestorian.

  • Jesus is a Person.
  • Jesus has a Divine Nature.
  • Jesus has a Human Nature.
  • Jesus = {Divine Nature, Human Nature}

If we were to say that Jesus suffered, does that mean the Person of Jesus with two natures suffered? Calvinists would readily say yes, but they would then additionally say, as James White has claimed, that only the human nature suffered. Thus, logically speaking it is a contradiction in thinking.

  • Jesus the Person with a Divine and Human Nature suffered.
  • Jesus the Person’s Divine Nature did not suffer.
  • Jesus the Person’s Human Nature did suffer.

Thus, this in effect breaks Jesus up into two Persons. They speak of Jesus in terms of only his human nature and of Jesus in terms of only his divine nature. Hence, regardless of their cries of orthodoxy, their ideas concerning the nature of Christ are inherently self-defeating and self-contradicting, thus eliciting charges of advocating the Nestorian heresy. In conclusion, as we have seen, Christians themselves did not know of these inter-Christian debates. That’s why I raised the argument in the first place. To bring attention to a problem that only their scholars seem to argue about, I merely wanted to demonstrate that Christians after 2000 years fundamentally disagree about the nature of God and cannot reconcile the God-man doctrine about Christ.

Why wrestle with confusion, when the solution is simply, there is no God but Allah….

and Allah knows best.

Nestorianism in Light of Modern Christian Apologetics (Part 1)

In an earlier article entitled, “Should Christians Appeal to Jesus’s Human Nature to Explain God’s Ignorance or Fallibility?“, I concluded that doing so is to use the heresy of Nestorianism. To demonstrate this, I quoted an example from James White’s The Forgotten Trinity:

“Crucifixion is only meaningful with reference to his human nature (you cannot crucify the divine nature). When Paul speaks of the crucifixion of the Lord of glory, he is speaking of Christ as one person with two natures.” – White, James R. (1998-11-01). Forgotten Trinity, The (p. 160). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Most recently, in my debate with Tony Costa, “Was Jesus the Son of God or Only the Prophet of God?“, I also raised this argument. In response, Tony argued that I didn’t understand what Nestorianism was. In light of this, I began to realise that the more popular Christian apologists did not seem to be aware of what the Church Fathers had written about Nestorianism in light of the doctrine of the ‘communication between the two natures’. Thus, in this short article I’d like to refer both of the aforementioned apologists, to The Anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria which was accepted in the Council of Ephesus (431 CE). He writes:

4. If any one distributes between two characters [προ′σωπα] or persons [υ‘ ποστα′ σεις] the expressions used about Christ in the gospels, etc. … applying some to the man, conceived of separately, apart from the Word, … others exclusively to the Word …, let him be anathema.1

The full text reads:

4. If anyone distributes between the two persons or hypostases the expressions used either in the gospels or in the apostolic writings, whether they are used by the holy writers of Christ or by him about himself, and ascribes some to him as to a man, thought of separately from the Word from God, and others, as befitting God, to him as to the Word from God the Father, let him be anathema.2

Thus, the position that both of these apologists hold to, that they can apply some expressions of Christ (suffering, dying, hunger) to singly his human nature and others singly befitting God, is considered to be Nestorianism. The consequences of which, both of these apologists could be labelled as heretics and anathematized from the Christian faith according to the Church Father Cyril of Alexandria.

Note: Here is a Christian who apostated from Reformed Theology, and has debated James White’s colleague Turretin: click here for the apostate’s exposition on Reformed Theology’s similarities of Noestorian beliefs, and here for the debate. Thus, it seems as if I have inadvertently stumbled upon an inter-Christian debate, leading to the same conclusions I have been arguing all along. 

and God knows best.

Sources:

  1. Bettenson, Henry. Documents of the Christian Church. 3rd ed. London: Oxford UP, 1999. 51. Print.
  2. “Twelve Anathemas Proposed by Cyril and Accepted by the Council of Ephesus.” Twelve Anathemas. Web. 31 Oct. 2015.

Debate: Was Jesus the Son of God or Only the Prophet of God – Audience’s Review #1

This is the first of several audience reviews from the debate between Dr. Tony Costa and myself. The following review is from Abu Ilias (USA):


As a student of comparative theology, I am addicted to watching Christian/Muslim interfaith dialogues and debates. Different speakers have different oratory attributes, skills, knowledge, and of course deficiencies as well, and present their information in various ways. There are some who, to the discerning minds, seem to merely want to spout hate and animosity at the interlocutor’s person and faith conviction, not seriously interested in genuine dialogue or hoping to reach a fair and objective conclusion. And there are those that , bless them, seem to be very sincere and earnest but do not posses adequate knowledge in the scope of their debate endeavors and consequently end up creating straw men arguments, misrepresentations and false conclusions, albeit not intentionally.

This debate between Tony Costa and Ijaz Ahmed encapsulated the best of both worlds in my humble opinion. Ijaz was lucid, intelligent, respectful and up to date on the current landscape of Christian theological doctrine and textual criticism. He did not allow his Quranic or Islamic preconceptions to muddy the merit of his arguments nor did he allow the fever of religious debate to infiltrate and ruin the civility of the event (contrary to what others such as David Wood and Sam Shamoun frequently do on ABN). Tony Costa, is also one of the more respectable Christian personalities and apologists. He displayed a very professional level of dialogue and did not resort to some of the oft repeated bigoted slogans that ubiquitously occupy the lips of others who use the ABN platform. And while I believe some of Costa’s arguments to be weak or unfounded, I never found myself grinding my teeth or face palming at any time during his debate, which is a first for me as a listener of ABN’s material.

Ijaz (as well as some very intelligent Muslim questioners during the Q and A) did a terrific job using only christian and general biblical scholarship to support his claims on various topics and I learned much from his presentations as well as his style of delivery, in fact, I am shocked at his level of knowledge and wisdom at such a young age. I will definitely watch this debate numerous times in order to study the material he so eloquently presented and utilize it in the future! By my humble estimation, Ijaz clearly provided the more objective and faith-neutral arguments while Costa, although being respectful and polite, countered with little more than cliches that have long been discarded by modern studies in textual criticism and Christology. Examples include his continued claim that the Gospels were 1st century documents despite Ijaz’s elucidation of the fact that the oldest known manuscripts like P52 are dated by biblical scholars no earlier than the early second century and as late as the third century (even though Prof Dan Wallace claims to have been a part of the dating and discovery of a small late first century fragment of Mark back in 2012, it is now almost 2016 with still no verification.)

There are many more points, paramount ones, that can be expounded upon to show how Ijaz demonstrated the problematic nature of reconciling unitiarian passages in the NT with the trinity and the dual nature of Jesus peace be upon him, as well as how he academically clarified the dubious nature of the NT text as a whole, which in essence trumped anything Costa could have had to refute!


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and Allah knows best.

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