Friday, 15 January 2010
To Debate or Not to Debate...
Since my return to apologetics I have had a number of debate “challenges” directed my way from people of varying reputations. In all honesty, amongst the ones which tickled my fancy have been two written debate challenges; one debate with a popular secularist and the other from a Christian apologist named Anthony Rogers (aka Semper Paratus).
The latter is more intriguing as Anthony is willing to debate concerning the Trinity, this does seem to be an interesting phenomenon amongst Christian apologists in recent times; they seem more willing to tackle the real focal issues of detraction when it concerns the Muslims amongst others.
As Anthony and I have had exchanges in the past I do feel I know him and he deserves a separate response not only out of fine courtesy but out of the fact that Anthony has a great array of phraseology and is a very well accomplished writer; indeed his writing style is something to behold. As a keen article writer, I personally feel it would be extremely interesting to enter into a written discussion with Anthony. I do want to stress my appreciation of Anthony’s writing style does not equate to agreement with his content
However, personal feelings should always be left aside when deciding what course of action to take in the realm of Islamic propagation and apologetics; every action is judged by its intention, hence our intentions in this noble field should always be free from ego and other worldly concerns. Nevertheless it is an opportunity to witness to Anthony and Anthony’s supporters and one should always take up the chance to deliver the message of the Prophets to all who have not heard it or those who have yet to understand it and thus accept it.
Moving onto the practicalities, Anthony’s time line for the debate was far from practical given all my commitments. I am sure we can come to some sort of agreement on the timeline which is suitable for both parties. I do fear this debate will have to be delayed significantly as Anthony is due a response from myself concerning John 1:1-19 (he, S.Shamoun and D.Wood are all due a response related to this issue) and his colleague, Hogan, is due a couple of responses too. In order to maintain chronological order and fairness I feel I must churn out the other responses before any such written dialogue can go ahead.
I must also say my current mode of witnessing/propagation and apologetics has been yielding fine results (all praise is due to God) so I am reluctant to move away from such a potent methodology; a methodology which is getting Christians to rethink some of the misinformation concerning Islam which is out there (unfortunately much of this misinformation is being disseminated by our Christian brothers/sisters) as well as getting them to rethink Christian doctrines. Hence, I do plan to continue down this path and this has been evidenced through my reluctance to debate anybody (up to now I have not accepted any debate challenges). I do feel a dialogue with Anthony is required and/or a refutation of his material should be carried out.
I must add my slight concern regarding the topics Anthony suggested, surely a more encompassing topic should be chosen rather than limiting a discussion on the Trinity to a certain section of the Bible. I would suggest:
Did Jesus teach the Trinity?
This topic should not be limited to a certain Book; logic should be allowed to come into play as well as other sources. Is Anthony up for this particular dialogue?
Finally I would like to finish on a personal note which is a rather sad state of affairs L. Anthony did suggest I was banned from a particular blog due to bad conduct; I do want to clear my name here. I have many Muslims and Christians who will vouch for my fine behaviour in discussion and respect for the Bible and other religious books. I have enclosed a link to what was deemed as “bad conduct” by an administrator/owner of the blog in question (D.Wood). The readers can decide for themselves whether it was bad conduct on my part or merely the result of a glass chin on the part of D.Wood.
I would also like to point out my banning only came into play as soon as I started refuting some of the material espoused/or produced directly by those concerned with the blog. Indeed this refutation material was potent and did get Christians thinking and asking questions. This fact combined with D.Wood’s huge efforts in censoring my highly respectful YouTube video to a lady who newly converted to Christianity leaves me with the impression that the censoring of my material was due to other reasons. It seems as though others sympathise with my plight too.
I would also like to point the readers to my condemnation of ignorant Muslims who insult the Bible (even if these insults are a response to Christian insults). The Muslim way (and the scholarly way) is not to ridicule or mock other faiths. You shall always find me following this great teaching. I am indeed a friend and brother to the Christians. I have a copy of the NIV Bible and I keep it in a lofty place in my room and treat it with care. The same rules apply to other books ie the Book of Mormon
Anthony also suggested I take every opportunity to criticise the Trinity; any arguments against the Trinity are always constructive and never produced out of malice. People can view my material for themselves, my material is produced for both Muslims and Christians to benefit from. I ask all to browse through it and look at it in an unbiased fashion…give it a chance…search for the Truth and the Truth shall free you.
Note to Anthony: In the discussion section to your debate challenge a commenter did claim he posted a message on my YouTube channel and was awaiting approval…I can assure him no such message came to me (possibly due to a glitch on YouTube or due to his link, YouTube does not allow links of that nature). If he wants to try again he may do so but I do want to assure him he was not censored by me.
May Allah guide us further. Ameen
Ban worthy discourse?:
The much censored video message encouraging a Christian lady to give Islam a chance (everybody can benefit from this video as it leads to a number of fine links, do take your time to browse through the material on offer):