Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Advice for Future Apologists

In 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are commanded: "In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." From the Greek word for "give an answer" comes the word "apologetics."

Christians are commanded to be apologists. But how do we go about this? In this video, seven experienced Christian apologists (Douglas Groothuis, Gary Habermas, Craig Hazen, Mike Licona, Nabeel Qureshi, Mary Jo Sharp, and Frank Turek) share their thoughts.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Understanding ISIS, the Caliphate, and the Importance of Dabiq, Syria in Islamic Eschatology

In this brief video I discuss the importance of Dabiq, Syria and ISIS within the wider scope of Islamic eschatology. I also discuss the important elements in maintaining a 'Caliphate' in the Islamic worldview and why such a Caliphate is important in realizing the worldwide hegemony of Islam and the implementation of sharia law.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jesus in Ancient Non-Christian Sources

While all Historical Jesus scholars go to the New Testament to learn about Jesus, ancient non-Christian sources report a number of facts as well. Interestingly, the facts we learn about Jesus in non-Christian sources support the Christian view of Jesus, not the Muslim view of Jesus.

In this short video, Dr. Craig Blomberg shares the details we learn about Jesus from non-Christian sources.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Meaning of ‘Son of God’ in the Bible and Extra-Biblical Literature: An Answer to Islam (Part 2)

In a previous post, I addressed Part 1 of  the subject of the meaning of 'Son of God' in the Bible and Extra-Biblical Literature. In this second part I would like to expand further on this topic by examining the use of son of God language in Rabbinic Judaism, the Targums, and the New Testament. I will also address the term "Son of Man" as it is used in the Old Testament, but also as it used especially by Jesus as a self-designation. I will then draw this subject to a close by commenting on the Qur'an's view on the usage of 'son' language in reference to Jesus and then attempt to steer the argument forward in Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Dr. James White

Here, Dr. James White weighs in on whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Does Isaiah 53 Speak About the Nation of Israel as a Whole, a Righteous Remnant Within Israel, or the Coming Messiah?

In the above short clip, Dr. Michael Brown evaluates the hypotheses that Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 is speaking of the Nation of Israel as a whole, a righteous remnant within Israel, and the coming Messiah. Check out, and subscribe to, Dr. Michael Brown's Real Messiah YouTube Channel for other similar videos that defend and demonstrate the Messianic credentials of Jesus.

Has the New Testament Been Substantially Edited Since It Was First Penned?

This is one of the most frequently-asked questions I encounter when attempting to explain to people the cumulative evidence which stands in support and corroboration of the Christian worldview. I probably actually get this question more frequently from the Muslim/Islamic community than I do from atheists, agnostics and other non-believers. The reason for this is not hard to see. The Qur’an not only claims that the gospels and the torah are revealed Scripture, but claims that the Qur’an and the Bible are consistent with one another (e.g. Surah 2:75; Surah 5:49; Surah 32:23; Surah 17:55). But any cursory reading of these books quickly reveals that this is not the case. And it is not merely on minor details that the Qur’an and Bible differ, but on close-to-all of their assertions. For example, the Qur’an (Surah 4:157) explicitly denies that Jesus was even crucified, though this is the core doctrine of the Christian faith. The Qur’an also explicitly denies the Triune character of God (Surah 4:171), though there is no evidence that Muhammad understood what this doctrine was, and it is substantially misrepresented in the pages of the Qur’an (e.g. Surah 2:116, 5:72-76, 5:119, 6:101, 19:35). The Qur’an also teaches that Muhammad is predicted in the Christian and Jewish Scriptures (Surah 61:6), though Muhammad is no where to be found in any of the Christian Scriptures.

Modern Muslims attempt to evade this dilemma by arguing that the Christian Scriptures were consistent with the Qur’an, in their original form, but that they have been substantially edited and re-written in the centuries thereafter. But this argument fails for at least two reasons. First, the Qur’an refers the Christians and the Jews back to their own Scriptures for confirmation of the message revealed by Islam (see my recent article here for a more detailed discussion). There is absolutely no suggestion in the Qur’an or Hadith literature, at least to my knowledge, that the Bible was regarded as having been edited in such a radical fashion.  Certainly this process of editing cannot have taken place after the Qur’an was written (we have entire copies of the New Testament which pre-date the Qur’an by hundreds of years, such as the Codex Sinaiticus). But what about before?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Michael Moore and the "We Are All Muslim" Campaign

Documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore recently began his "We Are All Muslim" campaign against Donald Trump. But is the claim that all people are Muslims consistent with the Qur'an? Ironically, by insisting that we are all Muslim, Michael Moore has insulted both Allah and Muhammad.

The Damascus Road Conversion of St. Paul: Fact or Fiction?

Muslims are often quick to dismiss the letters of the apostle Paul. In a previous blog post, I showed why there is good reason to think that Paul's message was largely consistent with the message of the Jerusalem church, and why this presents a problem for Muslims. Here, I want to present another reason why Muslims need to start taking Paul more seriously. In this blog post, I want to examine the historical evidence bearing on Paul's conversion experience. What transformed the Pharisee Saul of Tarsus -- a persecutor of Christians -- into the great apostle Paul, arguably the greatest evangelist who ever lived? Did Paul really come to believe that he had a vision on the road to Damascus that he interpreted to be Jesus Himself? If so, then what best explains the origins of this belief? It is these questions that concern us in the present article.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Meaning of ‘Son of God’ in the Bible and Extra-Biblical Literature: An Answer to Islam (Part 1)

When Muslims hear Christians speak of Jesus as the Son of God, they usually respond by denouncing this designation as a blasphemous appellation. To say that God has a son is paramount to seismic proportions, of causing the earth to split open, the mountains crumbling, and for the heavens to be rent asunder.

88 And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. 89 Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing 90 Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, 91 That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, 92 When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. 93 There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (Qur’an 19:88-93; Pickthall).

The Qur’an also states elsewhere, “And they say: Allah hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are subservient unto Him” (2:116; Pickthall).

The Qur’an is very clear that the appropriate relationship of God to any creature is that of a slave to his / her master. The basic Islamic paradigm in terms of relationship between the human and God is that of a slave-master relationship. All humans, and all of creation are slaves of God. Thus, there is no room in the Islamic worldview for a child-parent relationship between humans and God as we find in the Bible. A master owes his slave nothing, the slave is a mere tool. A slave owes everything to his master. With slavery of any kind, there is always the element of fear.

Biblical Faith: Is it Blind or Rational?

Here is my latest appearance on the One Minute Apologist. In this short clip, I am asked about whether Biblical faith is blind or rational. I argue that Christians are encouraged in Scripture to think and use argument and reason to persuade people to become Christians. You can find more of my interviews on the One Minute Apologist and other programs at my YouTube channel.

Is the Christmas Story Historical?

The Nativity and, in particular, the virgin birth has increasingly come under attack from liberal scholarship in recent years. Those committed to a naturalistic worldview dismiss the virgin birth of Jesus as fanciful. Muslims and Christians, on the other hand, are both agreed that Jesus was born of a virgin. The nativity story is somewhat different, however, in the Qur'an. Surah 19:17-23, for instance, tells us that the virgin Mary gave birth "at the trunk of a palm-tree" in a "remote place". The Christmas story is thus quite dissimilar. Muslims thus, along with atheists, often call into question the historicity of the Biblical version of the nativity story. Some have even questioned whether Jesus was born in Bethlehem and whether Mary and Joseph’s venture to this town was prompted by the Roman census as recorded by Luke. In this article, I discuss these questions.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Paris Debate: "Was Muhammad a True Prophet of God?"

On January 30th, a partner and I will be debating two Muslims in Paris on the topic "Was Muhammad a True Prophet of God?" Due to recent events, I won't be posting the location or other details until a few days before the debate. But if you're in Europe and you'd like to attend, make plans to be in Paris on the 30th. (Note: The debate will be in French.)

If you'd like to chip in for my plane ticket and other expenses for the debate, donations are tax-deductible:


Here's the location and time of the debate:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cataloguing a Few of the Historical Anachronisms in the Qur'an

Muslim apologists often contend that the Qur’an is free, in its entirety, from contradiction, inconsistency or historical inaccuracy. I have seen many Muslims assert that the historical and scientific accuracy of the Qur’an was what impressed them about this book and convinced them that Islam is true. In this article, I am going to focus specifically on the historical accuracy of the Qur’an. As we shall see, the claim that the Qur’an is historically accurate — particularly when it describes events hundreds of years removed from its writing — is not a tenable position.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

God, Science, Islam, and Atheism

One of the most popular arguments for Islam is the "Argument from Scientific Accuracy," which asserts that Islam must be true because the Qur'an contains numerous scientific insights that couldn't have been known during Muhammad's time. Those who have read the Qur'an, of course, know that it is a scientific catastrophe. The Qur'an claims that the sun sets in a muddy pool (18:86), that semen is formed between the backbone and ribs (86:6-7), that the earth is flat (88:20), that there are seven earths (65:12), that the sun orbits the earth (36:38-40), that human embryos are blood-clots (22:5), that the sky would fall on the earth if Allah didn't hold it up (22:65), and that stars are missiles that Allah uses to shoot demons who try to sneak into heaven (37:6-10; 67:5).

A less obvious problem for the Muslim argument is that science has been smothered in Islamic countries. While individual Muslims have made scientific progress (there were brilliant medieval Muslim doctors and engineers, for instance), Islamic civilization has never come close to experiencing what we might call a "scientific revolution." This would be an odd fact if the Qur'an were a book full of scientific insights that couldn't be verified until centuries later.

The reality is that the scientific revolution occurred among people who believed that they were created in the image of God and that they could therefore understand God's creation. This belief doesn't exist in Islam. That's why science exploded in the Christian West.

The Status of Women According to Islam

The status of women in Islam is a subject enshrouded in controversy. According to many Muslims, Muhammad was a champion of women’s rights, bestowing upon the women in his community privileges and rights that they did not have previously. The notion that women in pre-Islamic Arabia had no rights, however, is demonstrably untrue. Former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi lists some of the rights that women had in pre-Islamic Arabia, which included ease of divorce, the ability to marry multiple men, and become overlords. Women were even able to propose for marriage, as in fact was the case with respect to Khadija’s marriage to Muhammad.

The Divine Spirit in the Qur'an, and the Problem of Tawhid

Frequently, in debates with Christians on the doctrine of the Trinity vs. the Islamic concept of Tawhid (oneness of Allah), Muslims will try to maintain the focus on the concept of the Trinity. Much fewer time is spent trying to provide a rigorous defence and elaboration of Tawhid. Here, I am going to outline one Quranic problem faced by the Islamic doctrine of Tawhid.

According to various texts in the Qur’an (e.g. Surah 2:28; 22:6), Allah is the creator of life. Surah 15:23 tells us,

“It is indeed We, and only We, who give life and bring death, and We are the ultimate inheritor.”

"Answering Islam" Conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary: Audio Recordings Now Available

Be sure to check out this series of audio recordings from the recent "Answering Islam" conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary. There are 18 different lectures, totalling nearly 16 hours of content, available for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Is the Trinity Defensible Philosophically?

Here is the latest episode of the One Minute Apologist, which was released today, in which I am asked about whether the doctrine of the Trinity is philosophically defensible. For more of my interviews on the One Minute Apologist and other programs, check out my YouTube channel here.

Does the Bible Predict the Coming of Muhammad?

Muslims have made the claim for a long time that the coming of Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible namely the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), and the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). Why do Muslims make this claim?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Would Muhammad Have Approved of the Islamic State? Part 2: Influence in Medina

Mideast Islamic StateIn a previous article, I began a series of blog posts addressing the question of whether or not Muhammad would have approved of the Islamic state.  In the first instalment, I discussed Muhammad’s life in Mecca, and introduced the Islamic doctrines of abrogation and Taqiyya, both of which are found in the Qur’an itself. As I noted briefly at the conclusion of my earlier article, in 622 A.D., as a consequence of the hostility towards him from his tribe the Quraish, he was forced to flee to Yathrib (which he would rename Medina).
In this second installment, we shall examine the developments in Muhammad’s attitude as he gained influence in the city of Medina.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Would Muhammad Have Approved of the Islamic State? Part 1: The Meccan Years

ISISThe Islamic State (ISIS) have been in the news a lot recently as a result of a series of barbaric atrocities committed in the name of Islam. The question that the western media has been, for the most part, very reluctant to address openly is, “How representative is ISIS of the Islamic ideology?” 
It is the elephant in the room. Note that I am not asking “How representative is ISIS of Muslims?” Indeed, thankfully, the vast majority of Muslims in the west do not want to kill you. The majority of Muslims I have encountered in the UK have been very pleasant individuals, and I have enjoyed many a cordial debate with British Muslims. I think we should, nonetheless, be free to ask questions that many may find to be uncomfortable. Members of ISIS claim to be following the teachings of Islam as laid out in the Qur’an and by the prophet Muhammad as reported by the Hadith traditions. Peaceful Muslims in the west claim that ISIS have hijacked and greatly perverted an ideology that at its core promotes peace and tolerance. So who has correctly interpreted the teachings of Islam? Over the course of this and a series of subsequent articles, I seek to fairly evaluate this question.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Introducing "Belief Map"

If you’re an apologist in training, I want to call your attention to a really neat resource.
BeliefMap.org is a pretty neat Christian apologetics website, which is building online “pocket-apologist” for believers and non-believers to use. Imagine an encyclopedia that allows users to interact with academic material in a point-counterpoint debate format. That is to say, navigating the site feels like debating an expert Christian apologist, and you can get to information really quickly from it. All I can say is, try it out! Above is a 3 minute video tutorial of how it works.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ishmael and Isaac; Muhammad and Jesus; The Law and Grace

When asked for what I consider to be the most compelling argument for the truth of Christianity, I often offer the cumulative force of the argument from prototypic foreshadowings of Christ and the new covenant which are so delicately interwoven into the Old Testament fabric. Just as one needs the Box Top to make sense of a jigsaw puzzle, so one needs Christ in order to properly understand what’s going on in the Old Testament. In this article, I present one of those foreshadows -- one that has direct relevance and application to the relationship between Islam and Christianity.

The Islamic State: Nothing To Do With the Prophet of Islam?

According to a recent "spoken word" video, that has been making the rounds on the internet of late, the Islamic State has nothing to do with the prophet of Islam. Take five minutes of your day to watch the above video. This is the reaction of the vast majority of western Muslims to the actions carried out by the Islamic State in the name of their religion. The video cites various ahadith which purportedly show that Muhammad was a man of peace.

Was the Planned Parenthood Shooter an Example of a "Christian Terrorist"?

Here is a good discussion from Dr. Michael Brown on whether the Planned Parenthood shooting was an example of "Christian terrorism" in the same way that ISIS represent Islamic terrorism, as some are claiming.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Doctrine of the Trinity: A Biblical Defence

The doctrine of the Trinity has come under increasing attack over recent years from a variety of groups. Some of these groups (such as Muslims and Jehovah’s witnesses) deny that this doctrine is even found in Scripture. They are often quick to point out that the word “trinity” is to be found nowhere in the Bible. This is correct. While the phraseology is not found in Scripture, however, the concept most certainly is.
In this article, I want to provide a definition of this important doctrine, explaining what exactly the Trinity is, as well as what is isn’t. I shall then examine the Scriptures to see whether they provide adequate substantiation of this concept.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Can God Enter Into Creation? A Case Study

Can God enter into creation? This is a major point of contention between the Christian and the Muslim, and often sadly a stumbling block for the Muslim in terms of accepting that the creator of the Universe, in the person of Jesus Christ, actually assumed a human nature and entered into creation itself. Is there reason to think that God can do this?

According to the Qur'an, God seems to be able to enter into creation at least in some sense, since in Surah 27, he enters into the burning bush in order to speak to Moses (paralleling the account in Exodus 3). We read in Surah 27:7-9: 
"Remember when Musa said to his family, "I have noticed a fire. I shall bring to you some news from it, or bring to you a live ember, so that you may warm yourselves." So when he came to it, he was called: "Blessed is the one who is in the fire and the one who is around it. And pure is Allah, the Lord of the worlds. O Musa, the fact is that I AM ALLAH, the Mighty, the Wise."
In Genesis 3:8, we also read that Adam and Eve "heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." This is difficult to explain given the view that God cannot enter into creation. But is there any additional evidence from the Hebrew Scriptures that God can enter into his own creation, or is the idea of divine incarnation a Christian invention?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Authorship of Mark's Gospel, And Why It Matters

The traditional attribution of the four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) has come under immense fire today from higher critical scholarship. Bart Ehrman, a well known New Testament textual critic at the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has for a long time been a favourite skeptic of Muslims around the world. In his popular-level book Jesus Interrupted, Ehrman writes (page 101),
"There were some books, such as the Gospels, that had been written anonymously, only later to be ascribed to certain authors who probably did not write them (apostles and friends of the apostles)." 
The Muslim is committed to this view. If the gospels really were written by the individuals whose names they now bear, this presents a problem for Islam. Why? The Qur'an, in Surah 3:52 and 61:14, claims that Jesus' disciples were Muslims (see here and here for previous articles of mine where I demonstrate how untenable this view is). If the gospels were indeed written by their canonical authors, then two of those (Matthew and John) were prominent disciples, and the other two (Mark and Luke) were approved by apostles. In this article, I am going to focus only on the gospel of Mark.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What Really Happened At The Council of Nicea?

For many years, the council of Nicea has been the subject of much confusion among laypeople. The misapprehensions which have come to be associated with the council of Nicea have, in part, been fuelled by popular fictional novels such as Dan Brown’s notorious The Da Vinci Code. No matter what group you are dealing with in your apologetic exploits (including atheists, Muslims, Jehovah’s witnesses and Unitarians), you are almost guaranteed to encounter some of these misconceptions. For this reason, it is important for Christians to study and learn church history, so that they might correct common myths and falsehoods.

George Christensen MP (Aust) speech regarding Islamic State 30-11-2015

I am impressed by the way this Australian politician has taken the time to learn about Islam and is trying to make sensible practical suggestions. Certainly more needs to be said, we need to listen to the grievances of Muslims, and I believe the West has it own apologies to give, but I am encouraged to see a politician learning about this area and being able to articulate it carefully.

Monday, November 30, 2015

How Do Apostolic Fathers Present A Problem For Islam?

In previous posts, I drew attention to the problems presented to Islam by the contents of the Torah and the gospels, and the letters of Paul. Here, I want to build a similar argument from the works of early church fathers. I have previously pointed out that the Qur'an maintains that Jesus' own disciples were Muslims (Surah 3:52 and 61:14). This is a problem for Islam because the historical evidence is quite strong that Jesus' disciples approved Paul's message -- and Paul's message was most certainly not Islamic. But are there any other individuals in the early church, whose writings are still extant, and who had the stamp of apostolic approval? There most certainly are. Here, I will consider a few of these.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Whoever Changed His Islamic Religion, Then Kill Him": The Penalty For Apostasy According to Islam

Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar and writer, wants us to believe that Islam does not demand a death penalty for apostasy. Although he concedes that the ahadith reports Muhammad to have said  “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him,” (Sahih Al-Bukhari volume 9, book 84, no. 57) and other words to similar effect, Ramadan argues that such a penalty was to be applied only in cases of hostile or subversive attacks against the Muslim community, where perhaps an apostate would join the enemies of Islam, thereby committing treason. Ramadan concedes that his view that a Muslim is free to change his religion has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslim scholars throughout Islamic history.
Ramadan also issues a challenge to provide an example of Muhammad ordering a person’s death as a consequence of apostasy. Providing such an example is not difficult. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Eddie Redzovic Assures Us That The Islamic State Has Nothing To Do With Islam

The Deen show is a popular Muslim Dawah TV program, hosted by Eddie Redzovic. They frequently interview ex-Christian converts to Islam, who unfortunately often butcher their alleged former faith, showing little to no understanding of Christian theology. I and others have offered to come on the show and do a debate with Eddie or anyone of his choice, but unfortunately Eddie doesn't do debates, because he knows full well that his arguments (and the arguments of his interviewees) would not stand up to cross-examination.

From time to time, I visit the Deen show's YouTube Channel. This week, I wondered whether the Deen show had put out any commentary on the tragic events that unfolded in Paris just two weeks ago. Sure enough, three days ago a video was posted, featuring Eddie Redzovic condemning the Paris attacks that left 130 civilians dead. Of course, Eddie is to be commended for putting out this condemnation. I couldn't help but notice, however, that there was a conspicuous lack of any meaningful exegesis of the Quranic texts that I and others find troubling.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Having Conversations Full of Grace and Seasoned With Salt: Advice to the Christian Debater

In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul instructs his readers to “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person,” (Colossians 4:6). I have found this advice to be invaluable in the context of debate, an activity in which many of us in the apologetics community participate.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to be involved in several debates with both Muslims and atheists.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How Does Paul's Relationship with the Jerusalem Church Present a Problem for Islam?

In a previous article, I offered a simple reason why the Qur'an cannot possibly be the word of God, since the proposition that the Qur'an is the word of God entails a necessary contradiction. Here, I am going to present an equally compelling reason to reject the Qur'an as the word of God.

As I alluded to in my previous post, the Qur'an contends that the disciples of Jesus were Muslims. According to Surah 3:52,

“…when Isa [Jesus] sensed disbelief in them, he said: “Who are my helpers in the way of Allah?” The disciples said: “

So according to the Qur’an, there is no question that the apostles were Muslims, under Jesus. But what if we could establish that the teaching of the apostles differed starkly from the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur'an? Here’s an argument to ponder:

Premise 1: If the original disciples of Jesus rejected core Islamic teachings, Islam is false.
Premise 2: The original disciples of Jesus rejected core Islamic teachings.
Conclusion: Therefore, Islam is false.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gary Habermas: Contemporary Muslim Apologetics and the Resurrection of Christ

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, said that Jesus never died on the cross, never rose from the dead, and never claimed to be Lord. Muslim apologists have made valiant attempts to defend Muhammad's assertions, but the facts of history simply can't be seriously disputed here. In this lecture, Dr. Gary Habermas, one of the world's leading experts on the historical facts surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, evaluates some common arguments of Muslim apologists (such as Ahmed Deedat).

ISIS Poster Girl Samra Kesinovic Beaten to Death for Trying to Escape

Sad. If Samra Kesinovic had heard the truth about Islam when she was growing up, she'd still be alive right now. Instead, the world praises Islam, as young girls head off to join ISIS.
Samra Kesinovic before ISIS
Fox News—One of two Austrian teenagers dubbed "poster girls" for ISIS was beaten to death after she was caught trying to escape the terror group's de facto capital in Syria, according to published reports.

Two Austrian newspapers reported Tuesday that Samra Kesinovic, 18, was murdered. One of the newspaper reports cited a Tunisian woman who lived with Kesinovic and her friend, Sabina Selimovic, before managing to escape.

The Austrian government declined to comment on the reports, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Thomas Schnoll saying, "We cannot comment on individual cases."

Kesinovic and Selimovic have now both been reported killed since they left their home city of Vienna to join ISIS in April 2014. Late last year, David Scharia, an expert on the U.N. Security Council's counterterrorism committee, said he had been told that one of the girls was killed during fighting in Syria, while the other had disappeared.

The Osterreich tabloid reported that Selimovic was killed in December of last year.

At the time of their disappearance, they left a note for their families saying "Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah and we will die for him." The Daily Telegraph reported that Kesinovic confirmed in a phone call to her sister that she had joined up with the terror group.

In October, it was reported that both girls had grown weary of ISIS' strict enforcement of Islamic law and had written to their families saying that they wanted to return home. The girls' families have made no public comment on the latest report of their deaths.

Both girls' families settled in Vienna after fleeing Bosnia-Herzegovina to escape that country's war during the 1990s. (Continue Reading.)
To understand why certain people decide to wage jihad, watch this:

A Simple Reason Why The Qur'an Cannot Be The Word of God

The Islamic religion claims that the Qur’an, revealed allegedly by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad beginning in 610 A.D., is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Such an assertion, however, is highly problematic, and many, many arguments could be given to convincingly refute it. In this article, I am going to offer one of those reasons, which I perceive to be the most damning. My argument here can be summarized in syllogistic form as follows:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ahmed Mohamed Demands $15 Million for Arrest over Hoax-Bomb

Ahmed Mohamed took the casing off a store-bought clock, put what remained into a pencil box, and took it to school. Ahmed's sister, Eyman Mohamed, had been suspended three years earlier for threatening to blow up the school. After being warned by teachers that his "clock" might be mistaken for a bomb, police were called in. Ahmed refused to explain himself, and was taken to the police station.

Oddly enough, the major news networks continue to misrepresent the facts of this story. CNN, for instance, reports that school authorities mistook the clock for a bomb. They didn't. They thought it might be a hoax-bomb (something meant to look like a bomb in order to scare students). CNN also reports that Ahmed "brought a handmade clock to school." He didn't. He brought a store-bought clock with the casing removed.

And now Ahmed's attorney is demanding $15 million in damages. What a dangerous precedent this story will set! Kids across the country will be building hoax-bombs, daring school officials to say something, knowing that a big payday awaits.
CNN—Fifteen million dollars and apologies from the mayor and police chief.

That's what an attorney says the family of Ahmed Mohamed is demanding from city and school officials in Irving, Texas, or they say they'll file a civil suit.

In September, 14-year-old Ahmed made international headlines when he brought a handmade clock to school to show his teachers.

One of them thought it was a bomb and notified school authorities, who then called police. Ahmed was detained, questioned and hauled off in handcuffs. At the time, the school said it reacted with caution because the contraption that had wires could have been an explosive device.

It wasn't. It was just a clock.

In a whirlwind of publicity about the case fueled by social media, #IStandWithAhmed became a trending topic on Twitter, President Barack Obama invited the teen to attend an event at the White House and a foundation offered him a scholarship to study in Qatar.

But despite the surge of support for Ahmed, the attorney representing his family says the teen suffered severe psychological trauma and that his "reputation in the global community is permanently scarred."

In two letters sent Monday to attorneys representing the school district and the city, attorney Kelly Hollingsworth says that Ahmed's civil rights were violated by the way the case was handled.

Irving city officials told CNN they were reviewing the letter and had no comment.

School district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver told CNN that the district is aware of the letter and also had no comment.

Hollingsworth, who says he was recently retained by the teen's father, alleges that the teenager was not read his Miranda rights during his arrest and that those involved with the incident tried to cover up mistakes "with a media campaign that further alienated the child at the center of this maelstrom."

Rather than calming the situation, Hollingsworth says in the letters, officials in Irving stoked the flames.

"They tried to push responsibility off on the victim -- Ahmed. They have even implied publicly that what has come of this has been good for Ahmed, as though the resilience of this fine boy and his fine family somehow excused what they did," the letters say. "It does not, for there is no excuse." (Continue Reading.)
For more on this story, watch this:

The Paris Attacks: A Response from Nabeel Qureshi

On November 13th, 2015, ISIS-linked jihadists carried out a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, France. More than one hundred people were killed, and nearly four hundred were injured. Here's a brief response from Nabeel Qureshi.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Islam and the Siege of Paris

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, millions of people are once again trying to understand the relationship between Islam and terrorism. Both peaceful Muslims and jihadists quote the Quran to justify their views. In this video, David Wood examines two verses of the Quran to determine the Quranic stance on terror.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Obama's Failed Syria Program Cost $2 Million Per Trainee

Western politicians and the media overwhelmingly supported the "Arab Spring," which, they thought, would lead to the flourishing of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Instead, the movement led to the empowerment of groups like ISIS and the extermination of Christians, Yazidis, and minority Muslim sects.

The Obama Administration, still convinced that a peace-loving population of Muslims would rise up against their violent co-religionists, spent loads of money funding moderate Muslim soldiers. The result? There are only 95 of the program's trainees remaining in Syria. Thus, the Pentagon spent millions of dollars per trainee to fund a force incapable of standing against the weakest of jihadist groups.
Washington (USA Today)—When the Pentagon pulled the plug last month on its plan to train and field a force of moderate Syrians to combat the Islamic State, it had spent $384 million, or $2 million per fighter, for a program that produced dismal results, according to interviews and spending figures obtained by USA TODAY.

The Pentagon had tabbed $500 million in 2015 for the effort and promised to graduate 3,000 trained and equipped New Syrian Forces fighters this year, and 5,000 annually thereafter to combat the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

The program was suspended after $384 million had been spent. Of the 180 Syrians vetted, trained and equipped, 145 fighters remain in the program. Of those, 95 are in Syria today. Two of the four training camps the Pentagon designated for the program in the Middle East never hosted a recruit. (Continue Reading.)
To understand the leadership problem we face in the West, watch this video:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bad Spelling Meets Equally Bad Theology

****See Update Below****

I recently had a conversation in the comments section of a Youtube video with Ijaz Ahmad (aka "Calling Christians") about his egregious misrepresentation of orthodox Christology in his debate with Tony Costa, whom Ijaz erroneously accused of falling into the heresy of Nestorianism when defending Christ's deity. Since Ijaz shamelessly went on to misrepresent the contents of that conversation to others on another forum, even going as far as saying that I have branded Sam Shamoun and Matt Slick heretics, I am reproducing the entirety of it below for everyone's benefit. It should not require any further commentary from me to see that Ijaz is hopelessly ignorant about orthodox Christology and the position of those who hold to it.

****Update - 11/5/15****

Ijaz Ahmad still doesn't get that he is the only person who doesn't get it (see his response below).

In response to the fact that I posted our entire conversation, Ijaz has now referred to me as "mentally inchoate" and has said that my response was a "rabid rant." But as may be seen from the above, my responses to Ijaz were not filled with any unnecessary ad hominem attacks. Indeed, even though Ijaz is demonstrably ill-informed when it comes to orthodox Christology (see the conversation above), I have yet to refer to him as mentally inchoate and rabid, though others might think his (intemperate?) response warrants such a conclusion.

Ijaz has also complained about the fact that I corrected his spelling of the the Latin phrase - "communicatio idiomatum." However, given the fact that I have been arguing that he does not understand the orthodox version of the doctrine in question, repeatedly confusing it with heretical versions that go under the same name, it is surely apropos that he can't even get the spelling right. Moreover, how are we expected to believe that his untutored understanding of a doctrine he can't spell is better than that of trained theologians and historians?

In an effort to downplay the above, Ijaz is still seeking refuge in the fact that I later referred to the "communication" of attributes instead of using the Latin communicatio, the former of which he actually thinks is a misspelling. But this only further demonstrates just how much he doesn't have any handle on this discussion. The Latin phrase, i.e. communicatio idiomatum, literally means the "communication" of idioms/names/attributes. So not only does Ijaz not know how to spell the doctrine in question, he also doesn't even appear to know what the phrase means. If he doesn't even know what the phrase means, are we still to assume that he is well versed in the doctrine that goes under that label?

The most important part of Ijaz's response, the one that is the most telling, is his (unargued) assertion that I have inadvertently outed Sam and Matt as heretics since I reject Ijaz's idea that orthodox Christology maintains that Christ's two natures are "mashed together like a sausage." According to Ijaz, this is an appropriate way of explaining the relationship between Christ's two natures, because in the incarnation there was supposedly a blending of some sort between Christ's two natures, anywhere from 1% to 100%. Or, to put it another way, Ijaz believes that, to one degree or another, the attributes of Christ's divine nature were transferred to his human nature, and vice versa. This is what Ijaz thinks is the orthodox doctrine of the communication of attributes. Since I rejected "this" errant version of the communication of attributes, and since this is what Ijaz thinks is taught by Sam and Matt when they refer to the communicatio idiomatum, Ijaz thinks I am branding them as heretics.

In contrast to the above, the orthodox doctrine, which was affirmed in the church from the beginning and later formally codified at the Council of Chalcedon, teaches that Christ is one person with two natures. The natures remain distinct from each other and derive their unity not by a transferral of attributes from one nature to the other but by virtue of concurring in one person, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, the correct understanding of the communicatio idiomatum is that the attributes of both natures belong to the one person of Christ, not to each other. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man, but His deity is not His humanity, and His humanity is not His deity.

Since both Matt and Sam use the phrase communicatio idiomatum in some of their writings, Ijaz thinks my rejection of his understanding as heretical is a rejection of their understanding. But a simple glance at what both Matt and Sam have written reveals that they both affirm the orthodox version as I explained it above.

Here is what Matt has written:

"The communicatio idiomatum finds its source in the incarnation where the Divine Word became flesh in the person of Christ (John 1:114). This means that in the one person of Jesus are two distinct natures: divine and human. We call this the Hypostatic Union. Yet, we see in the Bible that the attributes of both natures are ascribed TO THE ONE PERSON OF CHRIST. In other words, the attributes of both divinity and humanity are ascribed TO THE ONE PERSON OF JESUS. Therefore, the communicatio idiomatum means "that the properties of both, the human and the divine natures, are now the properties of the person, and are therefore ascribed to the person."1Again, this means that the one person of Jesus can exhibit attributes of divinity (omnipresence, all-knowing, etc.,) and at the same time exhibit attributes of humanity (eating, walking, learning, growing, etc.). The communicatio idiomatum does not mean, however, that anything particular to the divine nature was communicated to the human nature. Likewise, it does not mean that anything particular to the human nature was communicated to the divine nature." (Source; upper case, bold, italics mine; the person cited here by Matt is Louis Berkhof, who goes on to reject a "peculiarity" of Lutheran theology on the communicatio idiomatum that is akin to the mistaken view under which Ijaz is laboring.)

And here is the phrase as it appears in a quote Sam approvingly cites:

"With regard to the communicatio idiomatum, the human actions of Christ should be predicated of the human nature, the divine of the deity, but both could be predicated of the Person." (Source; bold emphasis original)

It is painfully obvious from all the above that Ijaz has misunderstood everything from the spelling of the doctrine to the correct understanding of it and of those who hold to it.

Is it going too far to suggest that this might explain why Ijaz perceived the need to fill his response with ad hominem attacks? One could surely not be faulted for thinking so. 

Will Ijaz now accuse me of engaging in ad hominem attacks even though I have sought to be very gracious in answering him in spite of his insults? Quite likely.

Will Ijaz now deny that he has said the things documented above and accuse me of putting words in his mouth? Quite likely.

Will Ijaz now claim that he did not accuse me of "outing" Sam and Matt and pretend he was only asking if I agree with them? Quite likely.

Will Ijaz try to find other writings he can misrepresent since he has now lost the ability to appeal to Sam and Matt? Quite likely.

Will Ijaz take down his post now that he has been thoroughly refuted on orthodox Christology? Not likely. 

Will Ijaz repent of misrepresenting Sam and Matt? Not likely.

Will Ijaz repent of spreading the falsehood that I have outed Sam and Matt as heretics? Not likely.

Will I continue to spin my wheels discussing this matter with him further knowing just how far off base he is and just how unwilling he is to receive instruction and correction? Not likely.

[By the way, I have since spoken to both Sam and Matt, and both affirm that I have correctly understood them and Ijaz has not. What do you think the chances are that Ijaz will consider himself a better authority on their views than they are?]

------------Here is Ijaz's post that I am responding to------------

Zakir Naik Fan Asks if He Should Behead Me

"Erick Setiawan" goes from "I have a question" to "Should I kill them?" in the space of three comments.

First, after searching for Zakir Naik videos, he watches my video "Zakir Naik Proves That Jesus Is Muhammad's God!" He then proceeds to criticize the deity of Christ and to show by his objection that he has no clue what he's talking about.

Next, "Erick" sees my "Who Killed Muhammad?" video in the sidebar. He clicks on the video, and, in response to my careful argumentation, calls me a racist.

Finally, after watching this video, he sees my video about Caliph Uthman burning all known copies of the Qur'an ("The Original Burn the Qur'an Day"), and he asks if he should behead Nabeel and me.

Pretty impressive to go through all Three Stages of Islamic Denial (criticize, pull race card, threaten) so quickly. The shocking part is that Erick didn't learn peace and tolerance from his play list, which is filled with Zakir Naik videos.