Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ramadan Bombathon Begins

Ramadan 2017 has arrived, which means that we're going to see a massive number of terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Allah. The "Religion of Peace" website keeps a running tally of these terrorist attacks and compares them with the terrorist attacks carried out in the name of all other religions combined. Let's see if all religions are equally violent.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Free Interactive Webinar with David Wood This Saturday: Don't Miss It!

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Join us for another exciting session of the Apologetics Academy as we once again explore the big questions of life together. Participate in the free weekly interactive Webinar -- featuring a short talk by a special guest speaker (representing a position from anywhere across the theological and philosophical spectrum) followed by live open-floor Q&A and discussion.

Participants can engage the speaker using live audio and video, submit questions anonymously, participate in the chatbox, or simply watch and listen anonymously.

In this session, Dr. David Wood of "Acts17 Apologetics" is going to give us a presentation on the psychology of Islam.

As usual, our group meets at 8pm GMT / 3pm Eastern / 2pm Central / 12noon Pacific.

Please click the link below to join the webinar: 

https://zoom.us/j/457736238

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

For a complete list of upcoming speakers, please check out the confirmed lineup at http://www.apologetics-academy.org/online-training

If you would like to contribute towards keeping the Apologetics Academy free for participants, consider making a donation at http://www.apologetics-academy.org/donate

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why Jihadis Attack Concerts: Understanding the Manchester Massacre

On the four-year anniversary of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by two converts to Islam, a Muslim suicide bomber named Salman Abedi attacked exiting fans at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 and injuring 59 others. Can we understand this brutal attack? Only if we turn to the Muslim sources.

Grill a Christian -- LIVE Apologetics Q&A: The Recording



Here is the recording of Monday's "Grill a Christian" apologetics Q&A panel, featuring myself, Mark McGee, Dr. Charisse Nartney, Dr. Chris Claus and Dr. Lydia McGrew. Thanks to all of our panelists for participating in the live panel and all those who submitted questions! The next one will be sometime in June. :

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Coming This Monday: Grill a Christian! Live Apologetics Q&A

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Tomorrow, Monday May 22nd, at 9:30pm GMT / 4:30pm EST / 3:30pm CST / 1:30pm PST, I am going to be hosting the Apologetics Academy's second "Grill a Christian" panel. This is your chance to ask whatever questions are on your mind about God, the Bible, or the Christian faith.

Whether you are a Christian who is wrestling with doubts, an inquisitive atheist, or a member of another faith, you are most welcome to join us and ask whatever questions are on your mind about the Christian faith! Questions can be presubmitted by emailing jmclatchie@apologetics-academy.org -- and you can also submit questions during the live panel by clicking the Q&A button within the Zoom software which will be used for hosting the panel.

To join the live Q&A, simply go to this link:

https://zoom.us/j/498843332

Doing so will immediately prompt you to download the Zoom webinar platform we use (if you have not already done so). This should only take a minute or two. You will then be automatically connected to the live Q&A session.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Christian-Muslim Dialogue The Oneness of God: Trinity or Tawhid? Saturday May 6, 2017




I will be engaging in a dialogue with Farhan Iqbal this coming Saturday May 6, 2017 in Maple, Ontario, Canada. The subject of the dialogue will be the Oneness of God. Is God a Trinity or is He an absolute monad, like Plato's conception of the divine? The Qur'an teaches that Muslims and Christians worship the same God (Qur'an 29:46), but do they? Is the one true God a Trinitarian Being, or a Unitarian Being? He cannot be both. Christians hold to the former, and Muslims hold to the latter. If Muslims and Christians are not worshiping the same God, then the Qur'an is false in its assertion that we worship the same God. If it is wrong on this central subject, is it wrong in other areas, such as its views of Jesus and the Bible among other things?

How to Refute Islam in Less than Ten Minutes: The Crucifixion Dilemma



Here is a short video in which I show how you can refute Islam in less than 10 minutes, with only a minimal knowledge of the Qur'an. I call this argument the "crucifixion dilemma". Check it out!

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be kept up-to-date with other videos.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Linda Sarsour Caught Lying about Female Genital Mutilation in Islam

After learning that a female genital mutilation gang had been arrested in Michigan, faux feminist Linda Sarsour tweeted: "Female genital mutilation has no place in Detroit or anywhere else in the world. Female genital mutilation is barbaric and is not an Islamic practice."

Let's see what Linda's prophet and scholars have to say about this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Palm Sunday Bombings: Are Coptic Christians Islamophobes?

On April 9th, 2017, ISIS-linked jihadis bombed Coptic Christians at St. George's Church and St. Mark's Cathedral in Egypt. Since these attacks have been going on for centuries, and since the attacks are promoted in the Qur'an and the Hadith, are Copts irrational for being concerned about Islam?

Apologetics Academy: Easter Special Edition, This Coming Friday

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Join me for a special edition of the Apologetics Academy this coming Friday evening @ 8pm GMT / 3pm EST / 2pm CST / 12noon PST as we explore together the historical evidence for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The speaker will be me, Jonathan McLatchie.

Participants can engage the speaker using live audio and video, submit questions anonymously, participate in the chatbox, or simply watch and listen anonymously.

Here is the link to join the webinar:

https://zoom.us/j/457736238

Clicking the URL will immediately prompt you to download the Zoom webinar platform we use (if you have not already done so). This should only take a minute or two. You will then be automatically connected to our webinar room.

For the full schedule of upcoming webinars (which are normally on Saturdays), see this page.

If you want to help to keep these webinars going (and also free for participants), do consider making a donation via my website, by going to this page.

Geographical Coincidences in Scripture: Mount Hermon

In previous posts, I have been surveying some examples of undesigned coincidences in the Old Testament Scriptures (see here, here, here and here), and discussing their value in corroborating aspects of Biblical history. In this post, I want to introduce a geographical coincidence in Scripture.

Let us turn to Deuteronomy 3:1-9, which narrates Israel's defeat of Og, the king of Bashan:
"Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 2 But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ 3 So the Lord our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left. 4 And we took all his cities at that time—there was not a city that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. 6 And we devoted them to destruction, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children. 7 But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as our plunder. 8 So we took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the Valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon 9 (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir)..."
Take careful note of verse 9, in which an incidental mention is made in passing of a certain Mount Hermon, which, we are told, is called Sirion by the Sidonians. This is a curious fact to mention, because Mount Hermon is very far away from Sidon. In fact, it doesn't even appear to have belonged to Sidon, but to the king of Bashan.

Let's flip over to Judges 18:1-7:
"In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them. 2 So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3 When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?” 4 And he said to them, “This is how Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest.” 5 And they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.” 6 And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.” 7 Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone."
Following the conquest of this city by Israel, its name is changed from Laish to Dan.

Pay careful attention to verse 7, in which we learn that the people of Laish lived "after the manner of the Sidonians." This suggests that this city, in early times, in fact belonged to Sidon and was most likely inhabited by Sidonians.

Now, let's put the pieces together. Consider again the first text we looked at from Deuteronomy 3, in which we read the incidental remark about Mount Hermon. Hermon, we know, was close to the ancient Roman city of Caesarea Philippi, which lay at its southwestern base.

The famous fourth century church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastical History (book 7, chapter 17), informs us:
"At Cæsarea Philippi, which the Phœnicians call Paneas, springs are shown at the foot of the Mountain Paneas, out of which the Jordan flows."
Thus, we learn that Caesarea Philippi was the modern name of Paneas. Eusebius also places Dan/Laish in the vicinity of Paneas, at the fourth mile on the route to Tyre.

Thus, it would seem, that while Mount Hermon was geographically distant from Sidon, at its foot there was dwelling a Sidonian colony, who spoke the Sidonian language. This in turn illuminates for us why mention is made in Deuteronomy 3:9 of the Sidonian name for the mountain, which was Sirion.

The distance and disconnectedness of the texts from which this conclusion may be drawn again suggests a narrative based on truth, rather than a fictionalized account.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The New Stockholm Syndrome

"Stockholm syndrome" occurs when hostages form an emotional or psychological bond with their captors. But there's a new kind of Stockholm syndrome that occurs when victims of terror defend the ideology that promotes terrorist attacks.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Using the Principle of Undesignedness to Corroborate Biblical History: The Conquest of Jericho

In previous articles, I have written about the principle of undesignedness, and how we can use it to corroborate Biblical history. Philosopher Dr. Lydia McGrew recently published a whole book on undesigned coincidences in the New Testament (which you can and should purchase here), re-vitalizing an old 18th and 19th Century argument, originated by the famed Christian philosopher William Paley, and by J.J. Blunt.

There are also plenty of examples of undesigned coincidences in the Old Testament Scriptures, corroborating the historical veracity of the events in question. I have written on a few of them already (see here, here and here).

It did not escape my notice that Paul Williams posted a blog article at his website quoting from Raymond Brown's Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible. In the quoted section, Brown calls into question the destruction of Jericho executed by Joshua. In particular, it is asserted that while "in the initial excavations of Jericho, the uncovering of walls violently destroyed confirmed for many the biblical account of Joshua's destruction of the walls", more recent techniques "have dated the immense destroyed walls to a period much earlier than Joshua and seem to indicate that Jericho was not even occupied at Joshua's time." For a thorough discussion and examination of this claim, I refer readers to this excellent article, which makes the case that the date put forward originally by Biblical archaeologist John Garstang in the 1930's (approx. 1400 B.C.E., in harmony with the Biblical narrative) is to be preferred over Kathleen Kenyon's dating (approx. 1550 B.C.E.).

In this article, however, I want to offer a different approach, and argue once again from coincidence without design (readers unfamiliar with the argument from undesign should go back and read my earlier articles). Let's look at Joshua 3:14-17:
14 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
At what time of year did this event take place? Verse 15 tells us that "the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water", the reason given being that "the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest". It is clear that it is the barley harvest that is being alluded to here -- not the later wheat harvest, since in Joshua 4:19, we are told "The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho." That is, four days before the Passover, at which time fell the barley-harvest.

Now, flip over to the account of the ten plagues of Egypt, narrated in Exodus 9. I want to draw your attention to the plague of hail, and in particular to an incidental comment in verses 31-32:
31 The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the emmer were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.
Therefore, it seems apparent from this text that flax and barley were crops which ripened at the same approximate time in Egypt. Since Canaan's climate was essentially the same as that of Egypt, it is reasonable to suppose that this was also the case in the land of Canaan.

Here is where it gets interesting. Let us now flip back from Joshua 3 two chapters to arrive at Joshua 1, in which we are told that Joshua sent two spies into the land of Jericho -- spies who, as we learn in chapter 2, were hidden by the Canaanite prostitute Rahab in her own house. We read that, when the king sent to Rahab to ask for the spies who had been sent to spy out the land, who had come to her house, she lies and says she does not know where the men went. In Joshua 2:6, we are told that "she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof." Presumably these stalks of flax had just been cut down and had been spread on the roof of her house to season.

The mention of the stalks of flax here is very incidental. And yet it makes perfect sense, in view of our inference that the crossing of the Jordan took place at the Barley harvest, which we saw from a completely unrelated text in Exodus 9 coincided with the ripening of flax.

Just one more example of the remarkable undesigned coincidences that interweave throughout the Scriptures. In future articles, we will continue to explore yet further cases of coincidence without design throughout the Bible.

Grill a Christian! This Friday @ 4:30pm EST

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Come join us this Friday @ 9:30pm GMT / 4:30pm EST / 3:30pm CST / 1:30pm PST for a LIVE apologetics Q&A with a panel of Christians. Whether you are a Christian who is wrestling with doubts, an inquisitive atheist, or a member of another faith, you are most welcome to join us and ask whatever questions are on your mind about the Christian faith!

Questions can be presubmitted by emailing jmclatchie@apologetics-academy.org -- and you can also submit questions during the live panel by clicking the Q&A button within the Zoom software which will be used for hosting the panel.

Confirmed panelists include:

Jonathan McLatchie, Mark McGee, Dr. John Ferrer, Tim Hull, Dr. Charisse Nartney, and Dr. Chris Claus

To join the live Q&A, simply go to this link:

https://zoom.us/j/149149291

Doing so will immediately prompt you to download the Zoom webinar platform we use (if you have not already done so). This should only take a minute or two. You will then be automatically connected to the live Q&A session.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Facebook Enforces Sharia Blasphemy Laws

Pakistani officials are working with Facebook to purge the social network of content deemed "blasphemous" against Muhammad and the Quran. Further, Pakistan is demanding that Facebook help track down blasphemers for extradition and trial. Is Facebook becoming Sharia compliant?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Iowa State Students Required to Write about 9/11 Attacks from al-Qaeda Perspective

Students in an Iowa State International Studies class were recently given an interesting assignment: they were required to write about the 9-11 attacks from the perspective of al-Qaeda jihadis. In this video, I complete the assignment.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Understanding Vehicular Jihad

In the past year, we’ve seen vehicular terrorist attacks in France, the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. Given the success of these attacks, we certainly haven't seen the last of them. Hence, our task now should be to understand vehicular jihad, so that we can eventually stop such attacks.