Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Muslim Says He Wouldn't Mind Killing Me for Interpreting the Qur'an as Violent

In my post about the beheading of American aid worker Peter Kassig by ISIS, I added my video "Top Ten Qur'an Verses for Understanding ISIS." A Muslim just said he wouldn't mind killing me for my interpretation of the Qur'an (even after he noted that everything I said was correct):

Gary Habermas on Jesus and Islam

History has revealed a number of facts about the historical Jesus (e.g., that he died by crucifixion, that his followers were in despair after his death, that his followers believed he appeared to them as the risen Lord, etc.). Any view of Jesus that hopes to be taken seriously must account for these known facts. Interestingly, Islam contradicts several historical facts about Jesus.

In this video, historical Jesus scholar Dr. Gary Habermas shows that there is no evidence for the Islamic view of Jesus. Anyone who wants a view of Jesus that lines up with history will therefore need to look somewhere other than Islam.

Was Muhammad a Prophet?

Several weeks ago I was in Phoenix, Arizona where I participated in two debates with Andrew Livingston, a Western convert to Islam and a writer for Taqwamagazine.com. Andrew has been promoting Islam and attacking Christianity for quite some time, even longer than his current penname would suggest, so I was more than happy to accept his challenge to debate.

The first debate we did addressed the following question: “Was Muhammad a Prophet?” The second debate asked, “What Did Jesus Say About Himself?” The first of these two debates can be viewed on the home page of Ministry to Muslims and was moderated by Sam Shamoun.

After watching, please come back and leave your feedback.

Monday, November 24, 2014

December 6: Debates in Michigan

We've got some exciting debates coming up in less than two weeks, so be sure to mark these on your calendar if you're in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area of Michigan (for those who aren't, they'll appear on the Trinity Channel).

Date: Saturday, December 6, 2014

Topics:
2:00 PM—Osama Abdallah vs. C. L. Edwards: "Was Muhammad a True Prophet?"

6:00 PM—David Wood vs. Osama Abdallah: "Is ISIS Islamic?"
Location: Harvest Bible Church, 6420 Newburgh Road, Westland, MI 48185

Rob Bowman: Is Jesus God?

The core of the New Testament Gospel is that Jesus is the divine Son of God, who died on the cross for sins and rose from the dead. The title "Son of God" here refers to Jesus' place in the Trinity. But why do Christians believe that Jesus is a person of the Trinity? In this video, Dr. Rob Bowman, co-author of "Putting Jesus in His Place," explains the Biblical basis for the doctrine of the deity of Christ.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mike Licona: Islam vs. the Historical Jesus

Historians can investigate a variety of facts about Jesus of Nazareth, and there is widespread agreement on many of these facts (e.g., that Jesus was known as a miracle worker, that Jesus died by crucifixion, that Jesus' followers became convinced that he appeared to them after his death, etc.). Any view of Jesus that claims to be historical must therefore account for these facts. Islam, however, completely contradicts a number of known facts about the historical Jesus. Hence, Islam is at odds with history, and Muslims must accept their view of Jesus by faith alone (a faith that is contrary to known facts).

But don't take my word for it. Here's New Testament scholar Mike Licona on Islam and the historical Jesus.

Afghanistan: Suicide Attack at Volleyball Game Kills at Least 45

Suicide attacks in Afghanistan have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Pakistan have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Syria have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Iraq have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Nigeria have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in the United States have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Great Britain have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Spain have nothing to do with Islam.
Suicide attacks in Russia have nothing to do with Islam.

Any idea how so many Muslims, from so many different backgrounds, all misinterpreted Islam in exactly the same way?
Afghan Taliban
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)—At least 45 people were killed and 60 others wounded Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a crowd watching a volleyball match in the Yahyakhil district of Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika province, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Volleyball is a popular sport in the region.

In 2010, a suicide car bomb exploded in the middle of a group of men playing volleyball in northwest Pakistan. That attack left 30 people dead and 52 wounded.

Sunday's attack comes the same day the nation's parliament agreed to allow NATO forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

It's unusual for an attack in Afghanistan to kill so many people.

Only a few comparable incidents come up in the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database, which tracks acts of terror from 1970 to 2013. (Continue Reading.)
To understand violence in Islam, watch this:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Who Has Believed Our Message?

A recent blog post on the MDI site takes issue with viewing Isaiah 53 as a prophecy of the person and work of the Messiah, particularly His vicarious sacrifice and triumphant resurrection. According to the unnamed author, since the apostles did not expect Jesus to die and rise again before the events came to pass, they did not understand Isaiah 53 in the way Christians do today. Moreover, as the author further points out, no one else prior to the crucifixion understood from this passage what Christians understand it to teach.

However, far from being an insuperable objection to the Christian interpretation, an interpretation the disciples heard from Jesus and later came to understand and believe consequent upon Jesus rising from the dead, the MDI author’s observations unknowingly confirm that the passage was completely fulfilled, not only what it says about the Messiah dying and rising again, but even what it says about the fact that the generality of people would not recognize that the crucified one was the promised Messiah who came to die for the sins of His people and rise again for their justification. Indeed, the passage begins with a rhetorical question, which points up the incredulity of Israel to the prophetic word spoken by Isaiah, and continues to strike the same cord about Israel’s spiritual blindness to the reality of what God’s Servant, the Messiah, was going to do.

WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR MESSAGE?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
THAT WE SHOULD LOOK UPON HIM,
Nor appearance THAT WE SHOULD BE ATTRACTED TO HIM.
He was DESPISED AND FORSAKEN OF MEN,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
AND LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE
HE WAS DESPISED, AND WE DID NOT ESTEEM HIM.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
YE WE OURSELVES ESTEEMED HIM STRICKEN,
SMITTEN OF GOD, AND AFFLICTED.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, WHO CONSIDERED
THAT HE WAS CUT OFF OUT OF THE LAND OF THE LIVING
FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

It might be an understatement to say this MDI author missed the obvious, but certainly we can’t say anything less than that. Interestingly enough, this shows that someone can miss something even if it is clear in itself. This is because an objective source of light is only of benefit to subjects that have eyes to see. Prior to the resurrection, the dying and rising of the Messiah was hidden from the eyes of the disciples just like it is still hidden from the eyes of Muslims. Only a supernatural work of divine grace can overcome the blindness of the natural man. Let us pray that this writer for MDI and that Muslims the world over will be recipients of this grace and that God will cause the light of the Gospel of Christ to shine in their hearts.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)

Daniel Wallace on Islam and New Testament Manuscripts

Muslims believe in an original "Gospel" that was corrupted over time. Since this Gospel was still available when Muhammad was preaching in Arabia (see Qur'an 5:47 and 7:157), it must have been copied and transmitted for several centuries (the first century through the seventh century).

However, according to Dr. Daniel Wallace (executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts), there isn't a single ancient New Testament manuscript anywhere on the planet that presents an Islamic view of Jesus.

Hence, Muslims who believe in an original Gospel that supports Islam are doing so against the uniform testimony of manuscript evidence.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Heather Elizabeth Coffman Charged with Lying to Investigators about Terrorist Ties

Where did this Virginia woman get the idea that she should support the Islamic State? Didn't she hear President Obama's repeated claims that ISIS is not Islamic?
Washington Post—Federal authorities have arrested and charged a Henrico County, Va., woman who they say wrote Facebook posts supportive of the Islamic State and offered to help someone connect with the terrorist group in Syria, court documents show.

Heather Elizabeth Coffman, 29, is charged with making a false statement regarding an offense involving international or domestic terrorism. Coffman, it seems, was caught in a sting and unknowingly offered to help an undercover FBI agent connect someone with the Islamic State in Syria, according to a federal affidavit. Authorities say she lied to investigators who were looking into her support of the extremist group. . . .

According to the FBI affidavit, Coffman told an undercover agent that she had previously arranged for a man she termed her “husband” to travel to Turkey so he could meet with Islamic State facilitators and eventually make his way into Syria. She described “concrete steps” she had taken to achieve that, according to the affidavit. But Coffman and the man soon separated and he backed out of the plan, according to the affidavit.

The FBI’s investigation of Coffman seemed to begin in April, as agents took note of her postings on Facebook and sought search warrants to access her various accounts. On June 23, for example, Coffman posted two images with text that included a fuller name for the Islamic State: “We are all ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq & Sham,” according to the affidavit. On June 28, when someone asked why Coffman was expressing support for the group, she responded, “I love ISIS!” according to the affidavit.

Coffman later wrote about persuading her sister to develop an interest in the Islamic State and said, “My dad is a little angry because I got her into all this jihad stuff,” according to the affidavit. A woman who identified herself as Coffman’s mother declined to comment Monday. (Continue Reading.)
For more on ISIS, watch this:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Debate on God's Existence Tomorrow in Huntington Beach, CA

Tomorrow, I'll be participating in a debate set up by Christian Century Toastmasters Club and Backyard Skeptics. Here's the info:

WHO: David Wood (Christian, Former Atheist) vs. Heina Dadabhoy (Atheist, Former Muslim)
WHAT: Debate on the topic "Does God Exist?"
WHERE: Huntington Beach Community Church (8101 Slater Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 18th, 7:00 P.M.
WHY: Why not?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

American Aid Worker Peter Kassig Beheaded by ISIS (Islamic State)

The Islamic State has beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig. Our leaders and the media will use this beheading as an opportunity to remind us that Islam is a wonderful religion. The more violence and terrorism ISIS commits, the more President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron praise Islam.
RT—Islamic State militants have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig even though he converted to Islam, a video posted on social media shows.

After conversion during captivity, Kassig took the name Abdul-Rahman.

Kassig, 26, was captured on October 1, 2013, by Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants. He had served in Iraq before becoming a medical technician. In May 2012, he travelled to Lebanon where he volunteered in hospitals.

His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig from Indiana, recorded a video message in May 2014 appealing for their son’s release.

“As Muslims around the world, including our son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, celebrate Eid al-Adha, the faith and sacrifice of Ibrahim, and the mercy of Allah, we appeal to those holding our son to show the same mercy and set him free,” they said in a statement.

Kassig founded his own aid organization, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), a non-governmental group intended to provide relief to Syrian refugees.

Islamic State militants first showed him in the video of the beheading of UK aid worker Alan Henning, who shared a prison cell with Kassig. After Jihadi John, an IS executioner with a London accent, killed Henning, he also threatened Kassig would be next. (Continue Reading.)
For more on ISIS, watch this:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

United Arab Emirates Designates CAIR a Terrorist Group

CAIR's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are too much for the United Arab Emirates to ignore. Thus, UAE has designated CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) a terrorist group. Meanwhile, politicians and the media in the U.S. continue to grovel before CAIR, going so far as to help CAIR and its Muslim Brotherhood-linked associates hold a prayer service at the National Cathedral.
Associated Press—The United Arab Emirates designated the Muslim Brotherhood and dozens of other Islamist groups as terrorist organizations on Saturday, ratcheting up the pressure on the group by lumping it together with extremists such as the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria.

The federation's Cabinet adopted the designations against the 83 groups, the official state news agency WAM said. They include Al-Islah, an Emirati group suspected of ties to the Brotherhood whose members have faced prosecution in the seven-state federation, which includes the cosmopolitan business hub of Dubai and the capital of Abu Dhabi.

The move follows a decision by Saudi Arabia in March to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist group along with al-Qaida and others. The Emirates voiced support for the decision at the time, and accuses Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have taken a firm stance against the Brotherhood since its ascendance in Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring, and the oil-rich Gulf neighbors are strong supporters of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. He was elected earlier this year after leading the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt labeled the 86-year-old Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December.

The Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the kingdom of Bahrain earlier this year recalled their ambassadors from fellow Gulf state Qatar to protest what they say as its failure to stop meddling in other nation's affairs and for backing groups that threaten the regional stability. Analysts widely saw that as a swipe at Qatar's perceived support for the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

The Emirates list includes the Islamic State group it is helping to bomb as part of U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Among the other groups targeted are the Pakistani Taliban and the Yemeni Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

Also on the list are a number of Western Islamic organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the United States' largest Muslim civil liberties group. (Continue Reading.)
For more on CAIR, watch this:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Egyptian Terrorist Group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis Announces Allegiance to ISIS

The United States continues its policy of dropping bombs on ISIS jihadists. Meanwhile, ISIS is rapidly expanding. Keep in mind that President Obama compared this group to a "JV team" less than a year ago. Since the JV comparison, ISIS has taken over large sections of entire nations, and jihadists groups from across the Muslim world are announcing their allegiance. This entire problem, of course, could have been avoided if the President had listened to the people who warned him that rapidly pulling the troops out of Iraq could have devastating consequences. But let's face it: Our Commander-in-Chief has never been interested in listening.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis
Cairo (CNN)—ISIS has a new residency in Egypt, according to a YouTube message posted Sunday.

In the audio message, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or ABM, allegedly announces its allegiance to ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

The roughly 10-minute clip blames tyrants and their "Jewish agents and their allies" for decades of Muslim suffering. The message also calls ISIS "the emergence of a new dawn."

If verified, this would be a new, dangerous chapter for the deadliest group in Egypt. Since 2012, ABM's attacks have grown more daring and sophisticated. The group has killed hundreds of Egyptian police officers and soldiers. The largest attack was last month in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 31 soldiers. Analysts put the group's numbers at from the hundreds to roughly a thousand.

While ABM's attacks, until now, have almost exclusively targeted the Egyptian government, there is growing fear that an association with ISIS could expand the threat to civilian and tourist sites. (Continue Reading.)

ISIS and al-Qaeda Form Alliance

If you thought things were bad when ISIS and al-Qaeda were fighting against each other, wait till you see them united in their goal of subjugating Syria.

ISTANBUL – The two most brutal terror groups in Syria reportedly have struck an alliance, in a deal that poses serious problems for the Obama administration’s efforts to prop up “moderate” rebel factions in the country.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that militant leaders from the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, the Nusra Front, agreed during a meeting in northern Syria last week to stop fighting each other.

Such an accord could present new difficulties for Washington's strategy against the Islamic State. While warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition strike militants from the air, the Obama administration has counted on arming "moderate" rebels to push them back on the ground.

Those rebels, already considered relatively weak and disorganized, would face far stronger opposition if the two heavy-hitting militant groups now are working together. One official claimed the Islamic State and Nusra already have agreed to work toward destroying one prominent, U.S.-backed rebel group.

The Islamic State, which also operates in Iraq where U.S. troops already are stationed, had fought with the Nusra Front for more than a year to dominate the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Their new agreement, according to the sources in rebel groups opposed to both, would involve a promise to stop fighting and team up in attacks in some areas of northern Syria. (Continue Reading.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Here's What High School Students Are Being Taught about Islam

Ever wonder what American students are learning about Islam in their classes? Here's what students are being taught at Porter Ridge High School in Union City, North Carolina. (A concerned mother supplied her son's assignment to the media.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The World's Most Persecuted Minority: Christians

The International Society for Human Rights reports that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed against Christians. If 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination were directed at any other group, it would be the top story on every news channel and the chief concern of our leaders. But it's Christians, so . . . no worries.

Here's a short video from Prager University, featuring Raymond Ibrahim.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Internet Records Show New York Axe Terrorist Zale Thompson Had Been Studying Jihad and Martyrdom

I wonder how many terrorist attacks we'll have to go through before our leaders and the media finally start to wonder if they have something to do with Allah's commands to terrorize us.
Fox News—The suspect in the Oct. 23 hatchet attack on two New York City cops had been searching online for jihadist propaganda and foreign terror organizations—as well as information on martyrdom and suicide bombings—in the weeks leading up to the assault, according to a city counterterrorism bureau intelligence assessment obtained by Fox News.

While initial reporting from unnamed sources suggested Zale Thompson may have been motivated by anti-government or black power sentiments, the four-page document provides new details that speak to Thompson's self-radicalization. They show his online obsession with the "message" of terror groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The intelligence assessment, further, said he "may have held a long-standing interest in violent jihad."

"A preliminary analysis by the NYPD of approximately 277 online search terms by Zale Thompson in the weeks leading up to the attack revealed multiple references to 'jihadist' materials," the assessment states. "Thompson used internet search engines to query specific terms including but not limited to 'lone wolf,' 'jihad,' and 'jihad against the police'."

The investigation is ongoing, and the report says "there is no evidence that Thompson conspired with other individuals to carry out the attack"—but it adds that his Internet searches were focused on known terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, its affiliate in Somalia known as al-Shabaab, and the Islamic State. It also documents 58 search terms from Thompson's electronic records that range from "jihad against the infidels" to "fatwa against americans" to "death to America in Arabic." (Continue Reading.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

William Lane Craig vs. Jamal Badawi: "The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity"

William Lane Craig is, in my opinion, the best Christian debater in history. Though he often faces off against the world's most respected atheist scholars (when, unlike Richard Dawkins, they don't run from him), he occasionally debates Muslims as well. Here's his classic exchange with Jamal Badawi on the concept of God in Islam and Christianity. I watched this debate many years ago at Mike Licona's house with my friend Nabeel Qureshi (when Nabeel was still a Muslim).