Friday, May 27, 2016

"Tony Costa Sent Me To The Hospital" A Close Call for Ijaz Ahmad and the Allat Syndrome



That's right folks, you read that correctly! I sent Ijaz Ahmad to the hospital! No, I did not engage in any physical altercation with Ijaz to send him to the hospital. Apparently it was based on something I never said that caused Ijaz to convulse with laughter which triggered symptoms of a severe chronic illness which he has that landed him in a hospital.  What was it that I said that caused Ijaz such convulsions?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Messianic Prophecy in the Jewish Scriptures: Dr. Michael Brown Presenting to This Saturday's Apologetics Academy

Those who follow this blog may know that I run a Webinar every Saturday at 8pm GMT / 3pm Eastern / 2pm Central / 12noon Pacific, called the "Apologetics Academy" (http://www.apologetics-academy.org). I bring in speakers from all across the theological and philosophical spectrum to present to us about a topic of interest to Christians. We then open it up for open-floor Q&A and discussion. You can see the complete speaker lineup, as well as recordings of some of our past sessions, at this link.

Participants can engage the speaker using live audio and video, submit questions anonymously, participate in the chatbox, or simply watch and listen anonymously. The Webinar is free, and open for anyone to join and participate, regardless of your point of view.

This coming Saturday, May 28th, we are blessed to have internationally renowned Biblical scholar and theologian Dr. Michael Brown (AskDrBrown.org) presenting to the group. He is going to be talking to us about Messianic prophecy in the Jewish Scriptures.

To join the Webinar, please click the link below at, or shortly before, the meeting's start time. I normally open up the room 45 to 60 minutes in advance of our scheduled start time.

https://zoom.us/j/457736238

Following the link will prompt you to download and install the webinar platform we use, called Zoom. It downloads and installs very quickly and is extremely user-friendly.

I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Zakia Belkhiri's "Peace Selfies" (and Her Antisemitic Rants)

Recently, a young woman named Zakia Belkhiri showed up at an anti-Islam protest and began taking selfies with those who had gathered. The BBC, Huffington Post, and many other sites praised Belkhiri for dealing with the protesters peacefully and for setting a positive example. A problem arose, however, when people went to Belkhiri's social media pages and found viciously antisemitic comments.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Response to Yahya Snow On My Debate With Yusuf Ismail

Yahya Snow, a notorious Muslim YouTube polemicist, based in London, whom I have had dealings with in the past, has written a review of my recent debate with South African Muslim apologist Yusuf Ismail on Unbelievable?. The debate topic was "Did Jesus' earliest followers believe He was God?" Yahya begins his review by noting,
"I did not appreciate Jonathan McLatchie’s approach in this debate – it smacked of insincerity. I don’t believe that is an attitude anybody who is putting information out into the public domain should espouse. Very disappointing."
Snow goes on,
"Jonathan McLatchie begins by outlining the significance of this discussion as well stating his aims in the discussion. McLatchie at 9.45 injects wild speculation into his theology by claiming it is essential for the Christian worldview that Jesus was divine. Where’s his proof here? This seems to be old speculation that other evangelical Trinitarian Christians are putting forward, others such as James White."
Yes, you read that right. According to Snow, my contention that the deity of Christ is an essential Christian doctrine is "wild speculation." Actually, this contention can be supported from the words of Jesus Himself. In John 8:24, Jesus makes an allusion to Isaiah 43:10, saying, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am you will die in your sins."

Does Paul Affirm Christ's Deity?

Yahya goes on,
"Jonathan McLatchie’s intention is to attempt to demonstrate the disciples believed in the divinity of Jesus in an effort to refute Islam. McLatchie wants to show all the earliest sources affirm the deity of Jesus and/or the original followers affirmed this to try and “win the debate”. Jonathan firstly contends Paul clearly affirmed the deity of Jesus in Phil 2:5-11 and 1 Cor 8:6 Hold on did he say 1 Cor 8:6? If he did then we are all left scratching our heads as this is a text Unitarian Christians use to show the Father is the only true God (not Jesus!). What is Jonathan McLatchie thinking here? Here’s the text: yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things cameand for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
Yes, 1 Corinthians 8:6 affirms the deity of Christ. Paul takes the Jewish shema of Deuteronomy 6:4 ("Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One") and expands on it ("yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist"). Paul thus identifies Jesus Christ as the Lord of the shema and even identifies him as being co-creator with the Father. What is said of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 8:6 ("through whom are all things and through whom we exist") cannot be said of any mere creature.

Later in his review, Yahya asks whether the Carmen Christi (Philippians 2:5-11) supports the idea of the deity of Jesus. He writes,
"This is not really related to the debate subject either but it may be interesting for folks to delve deeper into this. A lot of evangelicals use this argument. However, does the Carmen Christie really teach the deity of Jesus in the manner in which Trinitarians would have us believe? I don’t think so. For those who are interested in researching this area, look into the idea of exaltation theology and subordinationism too. Again, are we seeing evangelicals thrusting their later church traditions on to the text?"
Actually, it is very related to the debate subject, since the Carmen Christi, quoted by Paul in Philippians 2:5-11, is believed by many scholars to be one of our very earliest sources concerning the beliefs of the early church. Given that our debate was on whether the earliest followers of Jesus affirmed His deity, how can Yahya Snow fail to see the relevance of this?

In verse 6 of Philippians 2, we read that Christ ὃς ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων (hos en morphē Theou hyparchōn) -- literally, "in the form of God subsisting..." In verse 7, we read, ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων (alla heuton ekenōsen morphēn doulou labōn en homoiōmati anthrōpōn) -- literally, "but himself emptied, the form of a servant having taken in the likeness of men." Notice that Paul uses the Greek word μορφῇ (morphē) in both clauses. He thus puts the two in the same category. Just as he was made in the form of a bondservant, so in the same sense he was in the form of God Himself. Verses 10 and 11 also allude to Isaiah 45:23, in which we read, "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance." The whole context of the Carmen Christi, moreover, is an instruction to emulate the humility of Christ. But one is hardly commended for humility for the act of not seeking to achieve equality with God. Rather, it makes sense only if one is exercising humility by laying aside the divine privilege that was rightfully His.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Bible vs. the Qur'an: Which One Should We Trust? Tony Costa vs. Sadat Anwar


On Saturday April 23, 2016 I had the great pleasure of engaging with my good friend Sadat Anwar of the Muslim Debate Initiative (MDI) on the topic of the Bible and the Qur’an at the Toronto Thinking Conference 2016. I have also provided a commentary on the debate. For the commentary see here.

Monotheism and the Doctrine of Trinity



Here is the recording of a recent presentation I delivered in England, on "Monotheism and the Doctrine of Trinity." Enjoy!

By the way, the image you see in the thumbnail is me sitting in Ahmed Deedat's office chair at the IPCI in Durban, South Africa.

For more of my videos, please be sure to check out (and subscribe to) my YouTube channel.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

"Paul or Muhammad: Who Represents Jesus' Teachings?" Jonathan McLatchie vs. Bashir Vania



Here is the recording of my recent debate with Muslim apologist Bashir Vania in South Africa on whether Paul or Muhammad is a better representative of Jesus' teachings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Three Quran Verses Every Woman Should Know

In 2009, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released a report on Gender Equality and Social Institutions. The study concluded that eleven of the twelve countries with the highest levels of discrimination against women were Muslim-majority countries.

A similar study in 2014, conducted by the World Economic Forum, concluded that 19 of the 20 countries with the largest gender gap between men and women were Muslim-majority countries.

Are these results connected to the teachings of Islam, or are they mere coincidence? In this video, I present three Quran verses every woman needs to know. These verses show that in order to challenge the gender gap in Muslim countries, we must all challenge the commands of Allah and Muhammad.


SOURCES CITED IN THIS VIDEO:

Qur'an 2:282—O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down. Let a scribe write it down in justice between you. Let not the scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so let him write. Let him (the debtor) who incurs the liability dictate, and he must fear Allah, his Lord, and diminish not anything of what he owes. But if the debtor is of poor understanding, or weak, or is unable himself to dictate, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence). You should not become weary to write it (your contract), whether it be small or big, for its fixed term, that is more just with Allah; more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves, save when it is a present trade which you carry out on the spot among yourselves, then there is no sin on you if you do not write it down. But take witnesses whenever you make a commercial contract. Let neither scribe nor witness suffer any harm, but if you do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So be afraid of God; and God teaches you. And God is the All-Knower of each and everything.

Qur'an 2:223Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) before you for your ownselves. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad).

Qur'an 4:34Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet said: “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said: “Yes.” He said: “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.

Sunan Abu Dawud 2159—Ibn Abbas said: Ibn Umar misunderstood (the Qur’anic verse, “so come to your tilth however you will”)—may Allah forgive him. The fact is that this clan of the Ansar who were idolaters lived in the company of the Jews who were the people of the Book. They (the Ansar) accepted their superiority over themselves in respect of knowledge, and they followed most of their actions. The people of the Book (i.e. the Jews) used to have intercourse with their women on one side alone (i.e. lying on their backs). This was the most concealing for (the vagina of) women. This clan of the Ansar adopted this practice from them. But this tribe of the Quraish used to uncover their women intensely, and seek pleasure with them from in front and behind and laying them on their backs. When the Muhajirun (the Immigrants) came to Medina, a man married a woman of the Ansar. He began to do the same kind of action with her, but she disliked it, and said to him: We were approached on one side (i.e. lying on back); do it so, otherwise keep away from me. This matter of theirs spread widely, and it reached the Apostle of Allah. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: “Your wives are a tilth to you, so come to your tilth however you will,” i.e. from in front, from behind or lying on the back. By this the verse meant the place of the delivery of the child, i.e. vagina.

Sunan Ibn Majah 1853—It was narrated that Abdullah bin Abu Awfa said: “When Mu’adh bin Jabal came from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet, who said: “What is this, O Mu’adh?’ He said: ‘I went to Sham and saw them prostrating to their bishops and patricians (i.e. aristocrats), and I wanted to do that for you.’ The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.’”

Jami at-Tirmidhi 1160—Talq bin Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “When a man calls his wife to fulfill his need, then let her come, even if she is at the oven.

Sahih al-Bukhari 5825—Narrated Ikrima: Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, “By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this,” holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, “By Allah, O Allah’s messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah's messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.”

Click here for the New York Times article.

Click here for the Human Rights Watch study.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Islam: The World's Fastest-Growing Religion

The most popular argument for Islam goes something like this: "Islam must be the true religion because it's spreading so rapidly." But can we really conclude that a religion is true based on rapid growth? In this video, I go through some studies to help viewers understand the nature of Islam's growth. Not surprisingly, the spread of Islam has nothing to do with its being true (in fact, just the opposite).

Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible? A Conversation with Tony Costa and Yusuf Ismail



This past Saturday, my Apologetics Academy online Webinar group was blessed to have Christian theologian Tony Costa and Muslim apologist Yusuf Ismail join us to talk about whether Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible. Here is the recording. Enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2016

David Wood vs. Shabir Ally: "What Is the Quran's View of the Christian Scriptures?"

Most Muslims are convinced that, according to the Quran, Jews and Christians corrupted the Torah and the Gospel. But is this what the Quran really teaches? In this debate, David Wood and Shabir Ally discuss the Quran's claims about the Bible.

 

Slavery in Islam, and Its Historical Roots: Jay Smith and Sarah Foster at Speaker's Corner



Here is a recent video recording from Speaker's corner in London, featuring Jay Smith & Sarah Foster of Pfander Apologetics Ministries. They explore slavery and abolition in Islam and Christianity. Worth a watch!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?" Jonathan McLatchie



Here is the recording of a recent presentation I gave to my weekly Apologetics Academy Webinar class, on the historical case for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. Enjoy!

Islam Passes Over the Passover



Here is a recent show, on which I appeared, on ABN Sat's Trinity Channel, where we discussed the Quran's curious failure to mention the Passover among the plagues of Egypt.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Is Islam an Abrahamic Religion?


I was on the Trinity Channel addressing the question of whether Islam is an Abrahamic religion. I was joined by Osama Abdallah on the Islamic position, and Rabbi Nachum Shifren on the Jewish position. The show was hosted by Tony Gurule and Joe Carey.

"Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?" Jonathan McLatchie, Tony Gurule, C.L. Edwards and Joe Carey


Here is the recording of my appearance from last night on ABN Sat's Trinity Channel, in which I participated in a panel discussion on whether Muhammad is prophesied by the Bible?

If you want to cut straight to the conclusion, he isn't.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Did Jesus' Earliest Followers Believe He Was God?" Jonathan McLatchie vs. Yusuf Ismail



Here is a recent debate that aired on Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio between myself and South African Muslim apologist Yusuf Ismail, on whether the Christology of the early church evolved over time (as Muslims frequently claim) or whether Jesus' earliest followers believed in His deity. Enjoy!

"Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?" Jonathan McLatchie vs. Michael J. Alter



Here is the recording of my recent debate on Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio with Jewish skeptic Michael J. Alter (author of The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry) on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection, with a particular focus on the minimal facts approach. This debate originally aired during Easter weekend. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Obama Administration Censors French President Hollande's Reference to "Islamist Terrorism"

Recently, President Obama met with French President François Hollande to discuss matters of international security. When footage posted on the White House website was discovered to be missing portions of Hollande's audio (specifically, Hollande's comment about "Islamist terrorism"), the White House replied that a technical problem had led to the gap in audio. However, a closer examination of the footage shows that the audio footage was not accidentally lost and then restored; instead, it was deliberately removed and then replaced when the censorship was exposed.