Monday, May 11, 2009

Review of the Debates

Hello everyone--

Well, it's Monday and the weekend of debates ended yesterday. I must say that there were some unexpected twists and turns during the weekend! Overall, the debates went very well.

On Saturday, we kicked off the debates with the topic "Was the Qur'an Miraculous?" True to form, Osama opened up with a 30 minute opening statement entirely dedicated to the argument from scientific accuracy. I responded with an opening statement focused on the history of the Quran (including its inception, its course, and unusual characteristics of its compilation) as well as the supposed miracle claims (literary excellence, mathematical marvels, scientific accuracy, and perfect preservation.) All in all, I feel the debate went very well for the Christian side. Osama was unable to provide satisfactory responses to the Christian arguments, preferring instead to rehash the arguments he had already made or to introduce new, equally flawed examples of the argument from scientific accuracy.

Saturday evening was the debate with Osama and David on the topic "Was Jesus Crucified?" David provided all the historical evidence for Jesus' death by crucifixion, as well as the incompatibility of Islam with a coherent account of Jesus' death. Osama chose to focus the vast majority of his case on Old Testament verses, arguing that these verses do not portray the Messiah as a man who would die. You don't have to believe me when I say David did very well in this debate; Osama himself conceded twice during the debate that David was doing much better than he was.

Sunday morning was the debate between Farhan Qureshi and David Wood on the topic "Who Was Muhammad". I have to be honest and say I was unable to watch the whole debate, but from what I did see, it was very lively and spirited.

And finally, the Sunday evening debate was between me and Farhan Qureshi on the topic "Who Was Jesus?" I provided a case very similar to the one I provided in 2006 against Farhan, focusing on the four-pronged approach to Jesus' claim to deity. However, I added two arguments to that: that the earliest Christians honored Jesus with an honor due only to Yahweh (I relied heavily on the works of Larry Hurtado for this) and that the earliest stratum of Christians ascribed to Jesus characteristics that were only ascribed to Yahweh (I relied heavily on the works of Richard Bauckham for this). Farhan's response was twofold: if we are worshiping the spirit of Jesus, then we are just worshiping the spirit of God that in a sense can be found in everyone; and that the question "Who was Jesus?" is not a historical one, but rather a theological one that is best answered after we have already chosen which book to follow, the Qur'an or the Bible. 

So I praise God for giving His truth multiple victories this weekend, and for counting David and me worthy of being His servants. I really enjoyed debating with both Osama and Farhan. Osama is remarkably cordial in person and represents Islam well (though his arguments are the exact same ones he uses online). Farhan is still one of the coolest people I know, let alone one of the coolest Muslims, and it was a pleasure debating a student of Islam with his caliber of honesty and integrity. 

We'll be uploading these videos throughout the week. Our main video site, google videos, stopped allowing uploads. So we're looking around for a new option that will be easy to use. We'd love to use youtube, but we have to cut the debate up into 10 minute segments (too annoying to do!) Anyhow, God bless you all and thanks for your prayers!


Anthony Rogers said...

May the Name of the LORD be praised.

Bryant said...

Excellent! I praise God that the debates went well. Looking forward to watching them and learning something new. Grace and peace.

Haecceitas said...

"Our main video site, google videos, stopped allowing uploads."You mean in general? Or was this an act of censorship on those who criticize Islam?

"So we're looking around for a new option that will be easy to use. We'd love to use youtube, but we have to cut the debate up into 10 minute segments (too annoying to do!)"Perhaps you could as James White if he'd be willing to host your videos on his Youtube account. He has several long videos on his account, so apparently he has the rights to post them (I think it's a Youtube policy for active and popular video providers or something).

Fernando said...

God bless you all...

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Great job brothers

Look forward to see the debates.

Royal Son said...

God bless you brothers.

You're my heroes :)

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...


You don't have to cut your video to 10 mins, just try and find an account with "Director's account" (No longer available).

I'm willing to temporarily change my password for you (and give it to you) to upload the debates onto my channel on youtube just as a host, because 10 minute cuts are just a pain in the behind.

Alternatively you could find a christian with a directors account.

Nakdimon said...

Baruch Adonai!

Well done brothers.

Anonymous said...

Im looking forward too watch the debates. May GOD Bless you all for your efforts too proclaim his Word.

BTW: I believe the youtubechannel ''muslimbychoice'' is prepared too upload your debates.

He even uploaded the sam versus nadir and the 2 jalal (with wood and white) debates. Every muslim is embaressed about those debates. so what are 4 more of such debates:)

Michelle Qureshi said...

Yahya and Haecceitas and Rafa-el--

Thanks for the options with uploading the videos. We might do that, but for now I'd like to see if there's a way I can do this with more autonomy. It'd be nice to have our own "Director's Account" on youtube. Perhaps, if we start putting a bunch of small videos up, we'll get the director's account some point soon?

Does anyone know what the requirements are for a Director's Account? What is the number of hits we have to get, or how much do we have to pay?

Thanks again, all!

Anonymous said...

"Lord Jesus Christ" is a masterpiece!

J. Ed Komoszewski lists it as one of his "favorite books" in his blogger-profile

Anonymous said...

James White has made me a debate junkie. Looking forward to these debates. David we are hoping you will be coming north sometime and debate Shabir or possibly some one else. Hearing Shahir all the time is getting a bit stale.

DrOakley said...


I have a "partners account" with YouTube. I applied after I had 1,000 subscribers and at least half a million video views, but given some of the other folks I've seen who have them, that isn't required. :-) The time limit on videos is, as I recall, an hour and 45 minutes.

But I'd be happy to post the debate videos, especially since I don't yet have *8* of my own videos from last year! Please pray that we find a way to get those videos out of virtual limbo.

James White