Sunday, October 22, 2017

How Islam Can Help Prevent Sexual Abuse Scandals

The Independent recently published an article titled, "How the Teachings of Islam Could Help Us Prevent More Sexual Abuse Scandals," by Qasim Rashid. For once, I actually agree with Qasim Rashid. So, in this video, I present ten ways Islam can help prevent sexual abuse scandals.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Jesus Calls Zakir Naik "Satan"!

Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat popularized a silly argument claiming that the "Sign of Jonah" would be that Jesus would miraculously survive crucifixion. However, when we read one of the chapters where Jesus talks about the Sign of Jonah, we find Jesus calling Peter "Satan" for claiming that Jesus would not die on the cross. If Jesus called Peter "Satan" for rejecting his death by crucifixion, how can Naik and Deedat expect us to believe that Jesus was telling his followers that he would survive crucifixion?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Nabeel Qureshi, Muhammad, and Aisha

I spent years discussing Christianity and Islam with my friend Nabeel Qureshi before he became a Christian. Since I kept his written defenses of Muhammad, I thought it would be nice to share some of them. In this video, I share Nabeel's defense of Muhammad's relationship with Aisha.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Funeral Service for Nabeel Qureshi

This is a video of the funeral service for Nabeel Qureshi at Houston's First Baptist Church. Ravi Zacharias delivers an amazing eulogy.

Comparing the Deaths of Nabeel Qureshi and Muhammad

In this video, I go through Islam's most trusted sources to gather details on Muhammad's death, and I compare Muhammad's death with the recent death of Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi. Was Nabeel cursed by Allah, as many Muslims claim? If so, we have far greater evidence that Allah cursed Muhammad.

Grill a Christian: Live Apologetics Q&A

Image may contain: fire, night and food

Join me tomorrow, Saturday for a LIVE online interactive apologetics Q&A -- your chance to ask whatever burning questions are on your mind about the Christian faith and the Bible. There will be a panel of Christians taking submitted questions. This is the third grill a Christian webinar hosted by the Apologetics Academy.

The meeting takes place at 8pm British time / 3pm Eastern time / 2pm Central time / 12noon Pacific time.

Confirmed panelists include Dr. Tim McGrew, Dr. Chris Claus, Anthony Rogers, Mark McGee, and Jonathan McLatchie

Please click the link below to join the webinar: 
https://zoom.us/j/457736238


Doing so will immediately prompt you to download and install the Zoom program we use (if you have not already done so). This only takes a minute or two. You will then be automatically connected to the webinar room.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Famous Last Words of Jesus, Muhammad, and Nabeel Qureshi

We can learn a lot about what's most important to a person by pondering his last words. In this video, I discuss the parting thoughts of Jesus, Muhammad, and Nabeel Qureshi.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Allah: The Author of Islamophobia

Politicians and the media often accuse Western critics of Islam of spreading Islamophobia (the irrational fear of Islam). When we turn to Islam's most trusted sources, however, we find that Islamophobia has a different source—namely, Allah himself.

(The idea for this video came from Dr. Michael Brown. Read his post here.)

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Psychology of Islam, Part Three: Theology of the Fatherless

In "The Psychology of Islam, Part 1: The Defective Father Hypothesis," we learned that Muhammad's traumatic childhood experiences would produce three psychological results: (1) he would rebel against authority and tradition; (2) he would have a problem with father figures, and especially with viewing God as a heavenly father; and (3) he would have some difficulty forming normal relationships with other people. In "The Psychology of Islam, Part 2: Muhammad's Rebellion," we examined the historical evidence to see if our first expectation was confirmed, and we found that it was completely confirmed. Now, in "The Psychology of Islam, Part 3: Theology of the Fatherless," we test our prediction that Muhammad's childhood experiences would affect his view of father-figures and his view of God.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Debating This Saturday (August 19th) in Philadelphia


For those of you in the Philadelphia area, Robert Spencer and I will be debating Sakhawat Hussain and Sayyid Atiq Ebady this Saturday. Here's all the info you need:

WHO: Robert Spencer and David Wood vs. Sakhawat Hussain and Sayyid Atiq Ebady
WHAT: Debate on the topic "Does the Quran Promote Peace?"
WHEN: August 19th, 2017, 12pm-5pm (Debate starts at 1:30pm)
WHERE: Berean Presbyterian Church, Broad and Diamond Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19122
WHY: Why not?

Ticket's must be purchased. You can get them here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Is Muhammad a Prophet of God?

Here is my latest debate and a summary of my presentation. I plan to publish it as a booklet in the future.

THE REASONS THE QURAN GIVES FOR MUHAMMAD BEING A PROPHET

Reason 1 - If Muhammad was not a true prophet God would strike him dead.

And if the apostle (Muhammad) were to invent any sayings in Our (God’s) name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, And then certainly should have cut off his life artery (Aorta). (Qur'an 69:44-46, Yusuf Ali)

Narrated (told by) `Aisha: The Prophet (Muhammad) in his ailment in which he died, used to say, "O `Aisha! I still feel the pain caused by the food I ate at Khaibar, and at this time, I feel as if my aorta is being cut from that poison." (Sahih al-Bukhuri: vol. 5, bk. 59, no. 713; 4428)

Reason 2 - Muhammad is a prophet because the Qur’an is in clear Arabic. (Not presented in the debate due to limited time.)

In truth We (God) know that they (Muhammad’s opponents) say, “It is only a mortal who is teaching him.” The speech of the one at whom they hint is foreign, whereas this (the Qur’an) is clear Arabic speech. (Qur’an 16:103, 44:14, Jones)

Reason 3 - There are no contradictions in the Qur’an

Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy. (Qur’an 4:82, Yusuf Ali)

Reason 4 - Bring a sura/chapter like it.

Or do they say, “He (Muhammad) has invented it (the Qur’an)”? Say (to them): “Then bring a sura like it; and call on those you can apart from God, if you are truthful.” (Qur’an 10:38, Jones)

Say, “Then bring a Scripture from God that gives you better guidance than the two of them (Torah and Qur’an), and I shall follow it, if you are telling the truth.” (Qur’an 28:49, Jones)

Reason 5 - The Qur’an confirms the earlier scriptures.

O you People of the Book! Believe in what We have (now) revealed (the Qur’an), confirming what was (already) with you. (Qur’an 4:47, 46:12, Yusuf Ali)

Reason 6 - Muhammad is foretold in the Bible.

Those who follow the messenger (Muhammad), the prophet of his community, whom they will find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel in their possession. (Qur’an 7:157, 61:6, Jones)

If you know of any other reasons the Qur'an gives please post them in the comments.

A BIBLICAL ASSESSMENT

Reason 1 - Sura 33 - The Ungodly Privileges of Muhammad

Qur'an 33:4 and 37 - Zaynab

Qur'an 33:50 - Any woman he wants.

Qur'an 33:51 - Not equal time with wives.

Narrated Aisha: ... (Quoting Quran 33:51) ... I said (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 60, no. 311)

Reason 2 - Muhammad turns people away from reading the prophets.

Islamic Lectures on the Collection and Transmission of the Qur’an

As a Christian I have often been told by Muslims that there is only one perfectly preserved Qur'an.
No other book in the world can match the Qur'an ... The astonishing fact about this book of ALLAH is that it has remained unchanged, even to a dot, over the last fourteen hundred years. ... No variation of text can be found in it. You can check this for yourself by listening to the recitation of Muslims from different parts of the world. (Basic Principles of Islam, p. 4)

While this may be believed at the popular level it certainly is not the view of academic Muslims. The Al-Mawrid Institute has produced an excellent video series that addresses directly the problems Muslims have with the different versions of the Qur'an. I highly recommend this series for your own knowledge of the issues, and because the videos are also very suitable to show to your Muslim friends so that they can hear from a Muslim scholar the extensive issues Muslim academics have with the Qur'an. Al Mawrid lecture series on Qur'an

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference in Long Island, N.Y.


For those of you in the New York city area, I will be speaking in Long Island, N.Y. on Friday September 29 and Saturday September 30, 2017. I will also be preaching on Sunday October 1, 2017. We will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

11 Week Seminar on the Book of Revelation

If you live in the Toronto area, I will be teaching an 11 week seminar on the book of Revelation beginning on Sunday September 17, 2017 from 3 pm - 5:30 pm at the Oakwood Wesleyan Church. For more information please contact Pastor Sule Prince at prince_sule@hotmail.com


Another Undesigned Coincidence: Unauthorized Fire, and Touching a Dead Body at Passover

In recent blog articles, I have been documenting various examples of undesigned coincidences throughout the Scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament. In this blog post, I will reveal another example. Turn with me to Numbers 9:1-8:
And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6 And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord's offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8 And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
There is a time stamp given for this Passover in verse 1. We are informed that it took place "in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt." Thus, this was the second Passover.

In verses 6 and 7 we read of "certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body." Someone, therefore, has evidently died among the camp of Israel. Here is where it gets interesting. According to Exodus 38:26, the number of men above twenty years of age -- excluding the Levites -- who paid a tax to the Tabernacle only a short time before its erection was 603,550. According to Numbers 1:46, the number just after the erection of the Tabernacle (at the beginning of the second month of the second year) is exactly the same -- 603,550.

This suggests that the dead body that we read was touched and hence defiled certain men in Numbers 9:6-7 was likely of the tribe of Levi.

Now turn with me to Leviticus 10, in which we read an account of the very same Passover. We know that Leviticus 10 takes place around the time of Passover, since in Exodus 40 we read of the erection of the Tabernacle on the first day of the first month and that at that same time Aaron and his sons were consecrated to minister as priests (Exodus 40:13). Leviticus 8 and 9 concern the particulars of their consecration. Thus, we pick up at Leviticus 10.

In verses 1-5, we read of the death of Nadab and Abihu:
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace. 4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” 5 So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said.
No mention is made in Leviticus 10 of the defiling of certain men by touching a dead body or the instructions given as a result. No mention is made in Numbers 9 of Nadab and Abihu, of the tribe of Levi, who took a censer and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, resulting in their deaths in judgment and their bodies being carried away out of the camp by Mishael and Elzaphan.

Thus, the "certain men" spoken of in Numbers 9 who had been defiled by touching a dead body was most likely Mishael and Elzaphan.

This sort of integration without design is the type of pattern we expect in genuine historical reports, not works of fiction.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tony Costa's Mission Trip to Cambodia





Dear Friends. I will be going to Cambodia from August 21-25, 2017 to teach pastors there on the subject of theology and other false religions. If you can help support my travelling costs it would be greatly appreciated. You can support my trip by clicking  here.  Thank you and God bless.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Support Needed!

We'd like to take our sons Reid and Paley to a conference where affected children and families meet with the researchers who are working on curing Myotubular Myopathy. The costs for our 2015 trip totaled nearly $9000 (but were completely covered by donors!). We started a GoFundMe campaign for this year's conference. Please chip in if you can.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Using Undesigned Coincidences to Corroborate Biblical History: King Hezekiah's Treasury

In past articles, I have been documenting many cases of undesigned coincidences throughout the Scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament, and showing how we can use them to corroborate various aspects of Biblical history. Here, I present yet another example of an undesigned coincidence in the Old Testament.

Turn with me to Isaiah 38, in which we read of King Hezekiah's illness and recovery. In Isaiah 39, we have an account of envoys coming from Babylon to congratulate King Hezekiah on his recovery. There is a parallel account of those events in 2 Kings 20 which appear to be textually dependent on Isaiah (or vice versa). Here is the account in Isaiah 39:1-2:
At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.
Thus, we learn, King Hezekiah proudly showed the Babylonian envoys his great riches in his treasure house. Hezekiah's pride brings upon him a prophecy of judgment. In verses 3-7, we read,
Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
King Hezekiah selfishly is relieved at the prophecy, thinking to himself that at least "There will be peace and security in my days" (verse 8).

Both the account of this event that we read in Isaiah and that in 2 Kings imply that Hezekiah's fell ill at the time of the invasion by Sennacherib of Judah and before the outcome of that invasion. In both accounts, God promises Hezekiah that he will live and that God will deliver the city from the Assyrians (Isaiah 38:6; 2 Kings 20:6). Thus, the envoys arrived from Babylon after his recovery, and after the danger from Assyria had been averted.

Now let's consider another text in 2 Kings 18:13-16:
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.
Wait a minute. So Hezekiah has just made this humiliating tribute to the king of Assyria, having had to offer him "all of the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king's house" and even being reduced to stripping the gold from the doors of the temple and from the doorposts. How then was he able not long after this humiliation to show all of his riches of his treasury to the Babylonian envoys? One could write it off as a contradiction, or we could dig deeper to find the solution - and in so-doing uncover another remarkable undesigned coincidence.

For the solution, let us now turn to 2 Chronicles. 2 Chronicles contains the account of the destruction of Sennacherib's army by the miraculous intervention of the angel of the Lord (which is also found in Isaiah and 2 Kings albeit in different wording and terminology from the account in 2 Chronicles). After these events, 2 Chronicles throws in a unique detail in 32:23:
And many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.
Therein lies our answer. This explains how Hezekiah came to have a full treasury to show off to the Babylonian envoys by the time the Babylonians learned of his recovery. No mention is made of the humiliating tribute to the Assyrians in 2 Chronicles. 2 Kings does mention the humiliating tribute and him showing off his treasury shortly thereafter to the Babylonian envoys, but makes no mention of the gifts that replenished the treasury. Isaiah makes no mention of the tribute or the gifts but mentions his display of his great wealth.

This undesigned coincidence corroborates the historical veracity of these events and also strongly suggests that one of our authors (i.e. either Isaiah or the author of 2 Kings) had access to the court of Hezekiah, and thus knew about the visit of the Babylonian envoys.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Corroborating Biblical History with Undesigned Coincidences: The Building of Solomon's Temple

In a previous article, I introduced an example of an undesigned coincidences relating to Mount Hermon. I discussed Moses' incidental mention in Deuteronomy 3:8-9 of the Sidonian name for the Mountain, which is Sirion (despite the fact that Mount Hermon is geographically very distant from Sidon). The solution, which I discern in my earlier article, is that at its foot there was dwelling a Sidonian colony, who spoke the Sidonian language, of which we read in Judges 18:7. The city was called Laish, but following the conquest of this city by Israel, its name is changed from Laish to Dan. I invite readers to go back and read my earlier article, in order to better make sense of the undesigned coincidence I lay out here.

Turn with me to 1 Kings 7, in which we read of the building of Solomon's temple. Let's zero in on verses 13-14:
And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work.
There is a parallel account given in 2 Chronicles 2:13-14, in which we read of what the king of Tyre wrote in a letter to Solomon:
Now I have sent a skilled man, who has understanding, Huram-abi, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David your father.
It is clearly the same individual being spoken of here that we read of in 1 Kings 7. However, there is an apparent discrepancy (which I have highlighted in bold font in our texts above) -- the text in 1 Kings asserts his mother to be a woman of the Tribe of Naphtali; the other, in 2 Chronicles, asserts her to be a woman of the daughters of Dan. Now, we could just simply dismiss this as a contradiction on the part of Scripture -- as many liberal critics would like to do. Or we could dig deeper to see whether there is a resolution.

As discussed in my earlier article, six hundred people from the tribe of Dan seized the city of Laish, which was a city of the Sidonians (see Judges 18). We also know that the Sidonians were subjects of the king of Tyre, since in 1 Kings 5:6 we read of Solomon sending to the king of Tyre for workmen, saying,
Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.
As I showed in my previous article, Laish/Dan was close to the springs of Jordan. There is thus evidence to support that Dan/Laish stood in the Tribe of Naphtali, since we read in Joshua 19:32-34:
The sixth lot came out for the people of Naphtali, for the people of Naphtali, according to their clans. And their boundary ran from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim, and Adami-nekeb, and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan. Then the boundary turns westward to Aznoth-tabor and goes from there to Hukkok, touching Zebulun at the south and Asher on the west and Judah on the east at the Jordan.
We are thus told that the outskirts of the territory of Naphtali is said to have been at the Jordan. Again, this implies that Dan/Laish stood in the Tribe of Naphtali.

This, then, makes sense of our apparent discrepancy between 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The woman is said to be of the Tribe of Naphtali since her hometown, according to 2 Chronicles 2:13, was Dan/Laish -- just as Jacob is also called a Syrian because he had lived in Syria (see Deuteronomy 26:5). By birth, she was of the Tribe of Dan -- the very tribe which had conquered and colonized the city of Laish, renaming it Dan (Judges 18). This also illuminates why her husband is said to have been a man of Tyre (since the Sidonians were subjects of the king of Tyre).

What at a superficial glance appeared to be a contradiction between 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles in fact, on closer inspection, reveals an undesigned coincidence that ends up corroborating the Biblical account. In future articles, I will continue to document cases of undesigned coincidences throughout the Scriptures, thereby further corroborating Biblical history.