Monday, September 26, 2016

Nahed Hattar: Killed for a Cartoon

Nahed Hattar was raised as a Christian in Jordan, though he considered himself an atheist. After posting a cartoon mocking the Islamic view of paradise, Hattar was arrested for insulting Islam, even though he apologized and said that he was only making fun of ISIS. Following his arrest, he requested security to protect him, but his request was denied. He was subsequently shot to death outside the courthouse.

Westernized Muslims are now insisting that the cartoon Hattar shared has nothing to do with Islam, and that the view of paradise the cartoon mocks is the view of ISIS, not of Muhammad. In this video, I go through Islam’s most trusted sources, to see if Muhammad’s view of paradise is different from that of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Leaving Islam: Volume Two

Someone sent me a request for another installment of "Leaving Islam." In "Volume Two," we read the short testimonies of ten former Muslims.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trump vs. Muhammad: Part One (A Reply to Craig Considine)

Rice University sociology lecturer Dr. Craig Considine has tweeted: “Prophet Muhammad protected ethnic and religious minorities with all his might. A far, far cry from Trump's approach.” Did Muhammad really treat religious minorities better than Donald Trump? Let's examine the evidence.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leaving Islam: Volume One

Many Muslims are leaving Islam. In this short video, we'll read comments from ten former Muslims.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Did Jesus Pray Like a Muslim?

An odd but common Muslim argument insists that Jesus prayed like a Muslim, so Christians should pray like Muslims. In this video, I respond by taking a closer look at the prayers of Jesus.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Muhammad vs. Jesus: Judging Religions by Their Central Figures

Christianity and Islam are the largest religions in history, and around half the people in the world consider themselves to be either Christians or Muslims. But Christianity and Islam disagree on fundamental doctrines and practices, so they can't both be right. Is there a way to judge these two religions? Some people judge religions based on the worst adherents of the religions. Others insist that we should judge religions by their best adherents. However, rather than judging religions by their adherents at all, we should turn to the central figures of the religions.

Friday, September 16, 2016

"What does the Qur'an Say About the Bible?" Jonathan McLatchie vs. Aqil Onque

Here is the recording of my debate on ABN from last night, in which I engaged Muslim apologist Aqil Onque on "What does the Qur'an say about the Bible?" Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Forthcoming Debate 'Was Muhammad a Prophet of God?' and 'Was Paul a Disciple of Jesus?' Tony Costa vs. Shabir Ally

I will be debating Shabir Ally in Canada on two debate topics,  'Was Muhammad a Prophet of God?' and 'Was Paul a Disciple of Jesus?' The debates will be broadcast on Monday October 17, 2016 from 4 pm - 7 pm EST. More information to follow. Your prayers for this event would be appreciated.

What Is the Hajj?

The Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Every Muslim who is physically and financially able to perform the Hajj must do so at least once in life. The Hajj takes place annually during the last month (Dhu al-Hijjah) of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Many Muslims, however, fail to realize that the pilgrimage to Mecca was once a pagan practice, and that the traditions associated with the Hajj have pagan origins.

Is the New Testament the Word of God? Luis Dizon vs. Ijaz Ahmed

Here is the first debate that Luis Dizon engaged in with Ijaz Ahmad in Toronto, Canada on August 12, 2016 at the TARIC Center.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Debate: What Does the Qur'an and the Islamic Traditions Say About the Bible? (Luis Dizon vs. Ijaz Ahmad)

On August 13, 2016 there was a debate held in Toronto, Canada between Luis Dizon of Nicene International Ministries, and Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians. The debate topic was on what the Qur'an and the Islamic Traditions say about the Bible. Does the Qu'ran and other Islamic texts charge the Jews and Christians with corruption of the text of the Bible (tahrif al-nass), or with corrupting the meaning of the biblical texts (tahrif al-mana)? Luis Dizon is a former seminary student of mine and a brilliant individual. He has learned the Arabic language and can read and recite the Qur'an in Arabic. Luis has also debated Shabir Ally, who incidentally also taught Arabic to Luis. I believe Luis is and will be an effective apologist in outreach to Muslims. Please pray for Luis. The audio quality is not the best at times, but this is the only video available that addresses this debate topic. For Luis' article on 'Muslim Writers on Tahrif [Corruption]' see here.

**UPDATE: An improved version of this debate with better sound quality has just been posted. You can access the improved video below.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Vincent van Gogh and the Gospel

On December 23, 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear with a razor and delivered the ear to a girl named Rachel at a local brothel. Many have assumed that van Gogh's ear was some sort of twisted present for a prostitute he loved. However, recent research has shown that Rachel wasn't a prostitute. She was a farmer's daughter who had been mauled by a rabid dog. This new information about Rachel affects our understanding of van Gogh's tragic episode.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"Is Jesus God or is He a Prophet of Islam?" Shabir Ally vs. Jonathan McLatchie

The professional recording of my recent debate with Dr. Shabir Ally is now available! Check it out here! This is of much better audio and visual quality than the previous amateur versions which were on YouTube.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fun Islamic Facts 10: The Sun Sets in a Muddy Spring

While Muslim apologists often claim that the Qur'an contains miraculous scientific insights, the Qur'an is actually a scientific disaster. For instance, the Qur'an claims that the sun sets in a muddy spring, and that Alexander the Great visited the spring. Let's take a closer look.

How are we saved? Shabir Ally & Samuel Green

It was a pleasure to meet with Shabir again. Here are a few post-debate comments for you to consider after watching the debate:

1. Shabir displayed the cover of, "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" translated by Martin Abegg et al, and claimed that it showed that some versions of Isaiah 53 do not have the servant die (21:44, 1:56:20). I asked for a reference to this claim during the debate (1:09:00) but none was given. I have this book and have now checked, and it does not make this claim. In this book the authors publish the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) Old Testaments books. They list any variants within the DDS and also compare to the LXX and Masoretic Texts. So do any of the Isaiah DSS say that the servant does not die? The answer is no. What follows are the verses from Isaiah 53 (pages 359-360) which indicate the death, or otherwise, of the servant:

53:7 ... like a lamb that is led to the slaughter ... (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)
53:8 ... For he was cut off from the land of the living ... (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)
53:9 Then they made his grave with the wicked, and with rich people (his tomb, DSS)/(in his deaths, MT)/(in his death, LXX).
53:12 ... because he poured out his life to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the their transgressions. (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)

The only variant about his death is whether the reading is “tomb” or “death” in 53:9. But as the death of the servant is also stated in verses 7, 8, and 12, and all sources agree, then it is impossible to conclude that the reference to “tomb” in DSS 53:9 is a denial of death because the death of the servant is stated elsewhere in verses 7, 8, and 12. For Shabir’s argument to work all of these other references to death would also need variants which offer an alternative to the death of the servant, but they do not. I am happy to be corrected but I cannot see any evidence from this book for the suggestion that in some Isaiah scrolls the servant does not die. Please read Isaiah 53 and make up your own mind.

2. He said there was no Old Testament prophecy about a specific individual called the Messiah to come (22:50). Again this is wrong. The Messiah is the son of David (2 Samuel 7:13-16, Psalm 2) and we are specifically told of a coming son (Isaiah 9:6ff et al) who will bring God's kingdom. This is basic teaching about the Messiah.

I will not go through every point. My hope is that debates such as these will help Christians and Muslims understand each others books and religions better. My concern is that Shabir presents his material with convincing confidence yet when I check these references they do not say what he claims. I hope that those of you who want to learn by watching these debates will check all of the references given by both speakers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fun Islamic Facts 9: Muhammad's Fly-Wing Medicine

Houseflies spread diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, anthrax, salmonella, and tuberculosis. Shockingly, Muhammad told his followers to dip flies in their food and drinks, based on his absurd belief that fly wings carry the cures for the diseases carried by flies.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Misunderstanding of "the Messiah" in Islam and Its Ramifications


The irony with Islam and its relationship with Christianity and Judaism is that, it agrees on the one hand with Christianity that Jesus is the Messiah over against Judaism, which denies Jesus is the Messiah. However, Islam agrees with the Jews that Jesus was not the Son of God over against Christianity. Muslims believe Jesus was the Messiah, but then agree with Judaism in trying to eradicate the messianic prophecies that point to Jesus as the Messiah! As I noted before, the Qur'an never defines what "Messiah" means which demonstrates that Muhammad simply appropriated that title to Jesus as he heard Arab Christians use it as we would use "Jesus Christ".