Category Archives: Apologetics

Stay Tuned In : Nabeel Qureshi Debates Shabir Ally


Stay tuned in to watch live stream of a debate between Dr. Nabeel Qureshi (a former Muslim), author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Imam Dr. Shabir Ally on the question, “What Is God Really Like: Tawhid or Trinity?” at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (EDT). Apologetics Canada claims in its Facebook page that Imam learned debating skills by watching another prominent Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig.

Dr. Qureshi is in the RZIM’s speaking team. This is what he had to say about Dr. Ally:

“I’m honored to debate Dr. Shabir Ally. The last time I saw him was in 2004 when I was still a Muslim. I was watching him debate and was hoping he’d win.”

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to watch Dr. Qureshi taking on Dr. Ally.

Watch Youtube livestream

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Sabbatum Excerpt: Who Did Luke Think Jesus Was?


Luke indicates his views about Jesus in a speech attributed to Peter on the day of Pentecost – the first point at which Luke reports preaching about Jesus after his exaltation. In addition to the image of Jesus baptizing in the Spirit (which Lk 3:16 presumably derives from “Q”), in Acts 2:33 Jesus “pours out” the Spirit, a clear allusion to God pouring out the Spirit in 2:17-18 (the only other passage in Luke-Acts that uses ekcheo). Jewish texts also speak of God pouring out wisdom (Sir 1:9) as his gift (Sir 1:10; cf. Acts 2:38). But the most obvious source of the language, in view of the allusion to Acts 2:17-18, is Joel 2:28-29, where God pours out the Spirit.

Moreover, Peter interprets the name of the “Lord” (the divine name in Hebrew) in terms of Jesus of Nazareth in Acts 2:21, 38 (interpreting Joel 2:32 by way of Ps 110:1). By concluding that the gift of the Spirit was available to “as many as God would call,” Luke clearly echoes the end of Joel 2:32 (3:5 LXX), completing the quotation interrupted in Acts 2:21. That is, having finished his exposition of “whoever calls on the Lord’s name” (2:21) by showing that the name on which they must call is Jesus’ (2:38), he concludes the quotation in 2:39. The salvific name of God, then, is “Jesus.” That other early Christians interpreted the Joel text similarly in the 50s (Joel 2:32 in Rom 10:9, 13) signals that Luke follows an earlier tradition of interpretation.


Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 279.

Sabbatum Excerpt: G.K. Chesterton on Taking Down a Fence


In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, or that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.


G. K. Chesterton, “The Drift from Domesticity.” In: The Thing (London: Sheed & Ward, 1929), p. 35.

Friday Phraseology: Wager Argument


Wager argument: An argument developed by Blaise *Pascal that urges an unbeliever to attempt to develop *faith in God even if the evidence for God’s existence is not decisive. Pascal compared belief and unbelief in God to a wager and pointed out the potential gains and losses each bet holds. If some bet on God and are wrong, they will lose only the paltry pleasure from some sins in this life that they might have enjoyed. If others bet on God and are right, however, they stand to gain eternal bliss. The potential gains and losses are thus staggeringly disproportionate, and Pascal urged the unbeliever to pray, attend Mass and do whatever else may be necessary to develop faith.[1]


 

[1] Evans, C. Stephen (2010-03-17). Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion: 300 Terms & Thinkers Clearly & Concisely Defined (The IVP Pocket Reference Series) (p. 122). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Sabbatum Excerpt: Daniel Wallace Thanking Bart Ehrman for Wake-up Call


The excerpt is taken from a journal review by Daniel B. Wallace on Dr. Bart D. Ehrman’s : Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.


 

Letting the public in on scholarly secrets about the text of the Bible is not new. Edward Gibbon, in his six-volume bestseller, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, noted that the Comma Johanneum, or Trinitarian formula of 1 John 5.7–8, was not authentic. This scandalized the British public of the eighteenth century, for their only Bible was the Authorized Version, which contained the formula. “Others had done [this] before him, but only in academic and learned circles. Gibbon did so before the general public, in language designed to offend.” Yet by the time the Revised Version appeared in 1885, no trace of the Comma was to be found in it. Today the text is not printed in modern translations, and it hardly raises an eyebrow.

Ehrman has followed in Gibbon’s train by exposing the public to the inauthenticity of Mark 16.9-20 and John 7.53-8.11. The problem here, though, is a bit different. Strong emotional baggage is especially attached to the latter text. For years, it was my favorite passage that was not in the Bible. I would even preach on it as true historical narrative, even after I rejected its literary/canonical authenticity. And we all know of preachers who can’t quite give it up, even though they, too, have doubts about it. But there are two problems with this approach. First, in terms of popularity between these two texts, John 8 is the overwhelming favorite, yet its external credentials are significantly worse than Mark 16’s. The same preacher who declares the Markan passage to be inauthentic extols the virtues of John 8. This inconsistency is appalling. Something is amiss in our theological seminaries when one’s feelings are allowed to be the arbiter of textual problems. Second, the pericope adulterae is most likely not even historically true. It was probably a story conflated from two different accounts. Thus, the excuse that one can proclaim it because the story really happened is apparently not valid.

In retrospect, keeping these two pericopae in our Bibles rather than relegating them to the footnotes seems to have been a bomb just waiting to explode. All Ehrman did was to light the fuse. One lesson we must learn from Misquoting Jesus is that those in ministry need to close the gap between the church and the academy. We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ. Ehrman is to be thanked for giving us a wake-up call.


Source: The Gospel According to Bart