Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Course on the Trinity Coming this Fall 2018




The subject of the Trinity is one that almost without fail always comes up in Christian outreach to Muslims. Muslims argue that the Trinity teaches polytheism, the belief in many gods, and therefore it is incompatible with the oneness of God. Many Muslims simply and sadly, do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity. Part of the problem is that the Qur'an misrepresents the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The word "Trinity" does not appear in the Arabic text of the Qur'an at all. The more serious problem is that many Christians don't understand the Trinity or oftentimes fail to give an orthodox theological definition of the Trinity. Words are important and theolgy is crucially important. In light of this I will be teaching a course on the Trinity to better equip Christian believers in this foundational doctrine.

Coming this Fall 2018, I will be teaching an 8 week Sunday course on the Trinity at Oakwood Wesleyan Church in Toronto, Canada. It will begin September 9, 2018 and run until November 11, 2018. Classes will run on Sunday afternoons from 2 pm to 4:30 pm EST. Those who are outside of Toronto and the GTA, have the option of taking this course via the internet by using Zoom. Those in the U.S., and those internationally can also take this course via the internet at a modified rate fee. Please be aware of your time zone in relation to Toronto. Notes and hand outs will be sent via email to those joining via the internet.  Come and join us and be equipped to defend the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
 

Friday, May 18, 2018

ISLAMICIZE ME DAY 1: URINE TROUBLE!

Join our heroes as they begin their journey into Islam by asking a mystical backpack about Muhammad's most important rule! (Hint: It's about peeing properly!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ISLAMICIZE ME: THE CHALLENGE

Here's the prologue to our 30-day "Islamicize Me" series! Join our heroes Giovanni, Jamal, and Dennis as they spend 30 days living according to the teachings of Muhammad, and fighting the evil forces of Islamophobia!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Should Robert Spencer Live or Die in "Islamicize Me"?

In our upcoming "Islamicize Me" mockumentary, three men will take a brave stand against Robert Spencer's claims that Islam promotes jihad. Will Robert survive when our beloved jihadis try to brutally murder him?

YOU DECIDE! VOTE NOW!

If you'd like to help cover the costs of our video projects, donations are tax-deductible:

For those of you who are confused about the series, here's a brief description:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

EXPERIMENT: Will a Cat Walk on the Quran?

Numerous videos on YouTube claim that the Quran must be the Word of God, because cats will not walk on the Quran (see here, here, and here). But what happens when we put this "Quran miracle" to the test? Will Allah vindicate his book by keeping a cat from walking on it? Let's find out.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Archaeology and the Deity of Christ: Dispelling a Popular Myth


A remarkable discovery was made in 2005 in the Jewish and Samaritan village of Kefar' Othnay in Israel.  An ancient mosaic was discovered dating to about 230 A.D. in what is believed to be an early Christian house church, in fact the earliest recovered church found in Israel. Early Christians met in homes or church houses as the New Testament testifies (Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2). It was only later with the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 A.D. do we begin to see the rise of structural buildings called "churches". The inscription on this mosaic reads, "The God-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial'. You can see what is also called Nomina Sacra, the lines above the letters or abbreviations for "God" and IY XW ("Jesus Christ").

In this same house church, they also found another mosaic of fish, an early symbol of Christianity. Early Christians saw the Greek word for fish 'ICTHYS' as an abbreviation for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". Here is a depiction of the fish in the discovered mosaic:




What is interesting about this discovery is that first, it was found in Israel, the birthplace of Christianity. Secondly, it was found in a Jewish and Samaritan village, which would indicate that there were still Christians among both Jews and Samaritans considering that Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses starting in Jerusalem but also in Samaria (Acts 1:8), where Philip also brought the Gospels to the Samaritan peoples (Acts 8). The third point to be made is that our Muslim friends continue to make and repeat the worn out argument like a mantra that the deity of Christ was invented by Constantine (who is blamed for every problem under the sun) at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Dan Brown in his fictional book, The Da Vinci Code also argued that Constantine was responsible for inventing the deity of Christ. The major problem with this popular myth is that it is false. Early Christians long before 325 A.D. referred to Jesus as "God" as we see in the early second century Church Father, Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 50 - A.D. 117). I have placed the relevant words in bold:

"There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 7.2.).

"For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit" (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2.).

Moreover, if you note the date of this mosaic, it dates to 230 A.D., that is almost 100 years before the Council of Nicea. So the popular myth that Constantine or the Council of Nicea invented the deity of Christ as anyone can see, is patently false. Here is a case where archaeology has shown what Christians have always known, the Lord Jesus Christ was believed to be God Himself in human flesh, and He was worshiped as such. Notice as well, that this belief in the deity of Christ reflected in this mosaic, was found in the land of Israel, the birthplace of Christianity. The theory that the deity of Christ evolved from Gentile Christianity outside of Jesus' Jewish homeland as some liberal scholars have argued, like Wilhem Bousset (1865-1920) in his book Kyrios Christos ('Lord Christ'), is no longer tenable. Archaeology has confirmed the biblical witness and the testimony of the Early Church regarding the identity of  Jesus. Here is a case where if we remain silent, "the very stones would cry out" (Luke 19:40).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How Muhammad Ali Was Deceived by Islam

In 1964, a young boxer named Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. won an upset victory over Sonny Liston. Later that year, Clay changed his name to Cassius X, then to Muhammad Ali. Ali said that he changed his name because "Clay was a white name," while "Muhammad" and "Ali" weren't. Oddly enough, Muslim sources say that Muhammad was white, and that both he and his son-in-law Ali owned black slaves. Even more strange, Muhammad Ali was originally named after Cassius Marcellus Clay, the nineteenth century Kentucky abolitionist who helped convince Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? A Comprehensive Historiographical Case



On Saturday I addressed the Apologetics Academy with an "Easter Special" presentation on the public evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The presentation took approximately 90 minutes and lays out a comprehensive case for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Please check it out and leave feedback or criticism.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Evidences for the Resurrection of Jesus: Jesus Lives!



As we come to the Easter weekend Christians all over the world will  be celebrating the great sacrifice Jesus paid on Calvary to save sinners from their sins. The good news is that unlike every other religious leader, prophet, and teacher in history, while they all died and stayed dead, Jesus was raised from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the divine vindication of all His claims. Jesus didn't just talk the talk, which is cheap and easy. Jesus made unique claims about Himself, but He backed them up with actions. He predicted that He would die by crucifixion and that He would rise again the third day. Jesus left behind an empty tomb and He lives forevermore. The resurrection of Jesus confirm the truth of Christianity. The Qur'an 4:157 on the other hand denies in a very vague passage that Jesus was not crucified or killed. This passage is not only vague but has produced a number of various interpretations. Every credible scholar and historian believes Jesus died on a Roman cross sometime between A.D. 30 - A.D. 33. At this Easter time we invite our Muslim friends to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Savior, and the only hope for their salvation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Does Ezekiel 20:26 Teach that the Hebrews Practiced Child Sacrifice to Yahweh?

Image result for child sacrificeYesterday evening, I did a live-stream video podcast with an atheist known on the web as "Pinecreek Doug". For about 40 of the 50 minutes we discussed various aspects of New Testament, and historiographic methodology.

In the last 10 minutes he suddenly changed the subject onto Ezekiel 20, asking me whether verse 26 indicates that the Hebrews practiced child sacrifice. He caught me off-guard and I was not prepared for a discussion of this text. So I said I would prefer to study the text properly first before discussing it. I think apologists do themselves a disservice when they attempt to "wing" a discussion without doing the proper study of the relevant subject first. It is not a good Christian witness to offer half-baked answers without the appropriate research.

I was surprised to see Doug declaring victory over my not being able to give him a response right there and then (someone even commented that he had "trounced" me). I'm sorry, but saying "I haven't studied this text and I would prefer to do so before doing a discussion on it" is not being "trounced". Such behavior is anti-intellectual and anti-scholarly. The Bible is a huge volume of 66 different individual books, and while I study it incessantly, it is difficult to have a detailed ready-made analysis of any possible obscure text that one might bring up -- at least not if you want to do these texts justice. My specialization is historiographic arguments bearing on the veracity of the Scriptures, in particular the New Testament, and I am also interested in the Trinity, Christology and Messianic prophecy. I do not have time at present to specialize in much more than that.

Anyway, I think the use of this text deserves an answer, so in this post I wish to say a few words about Ezekiel 20. Here is the text that Doug quoted:
23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25 Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.
I invite readers to go read the chapter as a whole for context. Here are verses 10-26:
10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. 12 Also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned My sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols. 17 Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness. 18 “I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. 20 Sanctify My sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not observed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers. 25 I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the Lord.”’
And verses 30-31:
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.
So God says quite explicitly that the children of Israel defile themselves "when you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire." And verse 26 says that God "pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire..." We are also told in verses 10 and 11 that "I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live." Instead of choosing the way of life, which is what God desired for the people of Israel, instead they chose to reject God's statutes. Instead, they returned to idols, with which were associated the statutes of death, by which they defiled themselves.

Because the people would not choose God's statutes of life, God then gave them over to their idols' statutes of death. He did so in order that they might know that He is the Lord and He will righteously judge those who reject His commandments which give life. We see the same concept in Romans 1:
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.
Thus, in both Ezekiel 20 and Romans 1, God gave them over to their own evil desires so that they might come to recognize Him as the Lord through His judgment of their wickedness.

Now, one might come back and try to assert that the issue in Ezekiel 20 was not child sacrifice, but rather that the child sacrifice was being done to the idols rather than the Lord God. But this interpretation doesn't fly either. In fact, God specifically condemns child sacrifice in Deuteronomy 12:29-32:
29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.
Here, we learn that the people of Israel are not to serve the Lord in the same manner in which these nations served their idols because these acts, God says, are "abominable" and "the Lord hates" those practices.

In conclusion, it is abundantly clear that God does not command child sacrifice here, as even a cursory reading of the context reveals.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The 5 Solas of the Reformation


I joined Jonathan Mclatchie of the Apologetics Academy to discuss and defend the 5 Solas of the Reformation  (faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone, to God alone be the glory). These are biblical truths that are important in our Gospel witness to our Muslim friends.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What do Rabbits and Eggs have to do with Easter?

Continuing with our series on Easter we discuss the subject of rabbits and eggs that the secular world emphasizes at this time of year.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

What is the Significance of Easter in Christianity? Why is It the Most Important Date in the Christian Calendar?


In this video, we discuss the importance and significance of Easter in Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus would only make sense if Jesus died on the cross as the New Testament records and teaches. The only place where the Qur'an deals with the crucifixion of Jesus is in surah 4:157 where it claims they did not crucify Jesus or kill him. The major problem with this text is that it is notoriously vague and unclear, and is subject to many conflicting interpretations. The New Testament on the other hand, came from the first century A.D., and contains eyewitness testimony. This is why all scholars who study Jesus go to the New Testament. It is the earliest accounts we have for Jesus. The Qur'an on the other hand, came 600 years later, was written in a different country, written by a writer or writers who were not eyewitnesses to he life and words of Jesus. The Qur'an was composed in a land far removed from the land that Jesus and the apostles ministered and preached in. The Qur'an was also written in another language, foreign to first century Christians, and is filled with stories that come from apocryphal and historically worthless and dubious sources. Therefore, all who want to learn about the historical Jesus should go to the New Testament.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Is Easter a Pagan Name or the Name of a Pagan Spring Goddess?


As we enter into the Easter season there are a lot of questions that many people about this time of year. While this season is the most important time period in the Christian calendar many Christians feel that we should not use the word 'Easter' because it has pagan connotations. Some Christians prefer to refer to Easter Sunday as 'Resurrection Sunday' instead because in so doing they think they are avoiding a pagan word. Some of our Muslim friends have also argued that Easter evolved from paganism in an effort to refute the Christian faith. In this video we answer these often repeated claims and demonstrate that they are in fact baseless.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible? Part 1



I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Pastor Thabet to discuss the question of whether Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible. We addressed Deuteronomy 18:18-19 and touched a bit on Song of Solomon 5:16. We will discuss this text further in a follow up video and then address John 14-16.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Did Christianity Borrow From Paganism?



Some of our Muslim friends frequently use the old and worn out argument that Christianity borrowed from paganism. Is this claim true? In this short video clip I address this question.

In the video below I further address this question with my friend Pastor Sule. I also deal with Tom Harper (1929-2017) who wrote the book 'The Pagan Christ' and respond to some of his arguments.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?


I will be joining Pastor Thabet Megaly on March 5, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. on his program to discuss the question 'Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?'. You can join the program through the web link provided in the poster above. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Amazon Echo Calls Muhammad a Hypocrite!

Vocab Malone and I were setting up for a video about a Sharia-compliant version of the Amazon Echo, when we realized that Alexa was completely willing to accuse Muhammad of hypocrisy for marrying more women than his own revelations allow!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Paul vs. Muhammad (Complete Video Playlist)

When Muhammad gets things wrong about Jesus, Muslims typically blame the Apostle Paul for corrupting Christianity. But what happens when we compare Paul and Muhammad, and we realize that Paul is far more reliable than Muhammad? Let's find out in this video series.