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?:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6590312557191237519&postID=8397958699663275226

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):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQjhA-KU0w0

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Yahya,

I'm glad you have agreed to a debate. I hope you also agree to the suggested topic. The subject of the Trinity in the Old Testament is in my opinion greatly misunderstood by the Muslim apologists I have read.

The Shekinah Glory and the OT Christophanies seem to be totally ignored in Islam. I for one would like to know Muslims deal with these things.

I think it would be helpful for not only you but also for your readers to address this topic

peace

Yahya Snow said...

@Anonymous

Thanks for your interest

I have suggested my own topic...I await Anthony's response

Please do view smaterialbe an ex-Christian preacher named Yusuf Estes...he is a Muslim now and is preaching Islam in a noble fashion. Please take time out of your schedule to view it

Thanks

Peace

Anonymous said...

I do hope you will reconsider. I’ve seen your suggested topic debated before. It would be nice to see some new ground covered.

The harmony between the OT and NT as apposed to the Quran as far as the nature and character of God is probably the biggest reason that informed Christians reject Islam. It would be a shame to continue to ignore this fact.

There truly is a lot of scholarly Christian materiel dealing with the Trinity as reveled in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and so far I have not seen any useful Muslim response.

As far as your suggestion goes I have seen some of Yusuf Estes stuff and from what I can tell he does not even understand the Trinity . He seems to argue against strawmen instead of the actual doctrine as affirmed by by all of orthodox (little o)Christianity.

From what I’ve seen he does your cause a huge disservice. His approach would be like me arguing that the Quran contradicts itself because I choose to ignore the differences between the Mecca and Medina passages.

Such an methodology might play well to the uneducated folks in the pews looking for sound bites and applause lines but it adds next to nothing to the discussion.

Are you aware of a specific work by him or any Muslim that seriously deals with topics like the Shekinah Glory and the OT Christophanies?

If so could you point me to it. Thanks in advance.


peace

Yahya Snow said...

@Anonymous

Thanks for your respectful response and interest my dear friend

You have seen the topic put forward by myself debated previously...perhaps others have not.

It is a key topic as it relates to key Christian doctrines which are the amongst the most obvious differences between Islamic and Christian theology

We must remember debate is not about enjoyment but about an opportunity to pass on the message of pure monotheism and salvation to those unaware or those who are yet to understand - hence the topic I put forward

As for the Shekinah Glory...perhaps you would like to consider the Jewish (rabbis) perspective...Jesus never taught it...I do not consider it to be important in any of the debates topics put forward.

As for Yusuf Estes...he was an ex-Christian preacher...passing him off as an individual who misunderstood the incarnation and the trinity does no favours to anybody

In my view many Christians do not understand these doctrines...this does point to the lack of simplicity within them..it also leads to the big question; why did Jesus not explain these new doctrines???

You see...there is more scope in the topic I put forward

Kind regards

PS...if Yusuf Estes does not appeal to you...try Dr Jerald Dirks (a former deacon who converted to Islam)

Peace

Anonymous said...

Hey Yayha,

You do understand that anyone can call himself a Christian preacher or deacon? There is no earthly governing authority in such things. The true test of one’s standing in the Christian faith is their adherence to the Gospel and there is no evidence as far as I know that Yusuf Estes ever adhered to such.

That being said Christian clergy don’t have a monopoly on truth and to point Christians to ex clergy instead of dealing with issues is just an appeal to authority. No thinking person would be swayed by such a tact.

I’ll ask again. Are you aware of any specific Islamic materiel that deals with the Trinity as revealed in the OT?


You said,

As for the Shekinah Glory...perhaps you would like to consider the Jewish (rabbis) perspective

I say,

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about, I have looked at the jewish perspective and it is in stark contrast to the Islamic view of God. I just don’t think Muslims have considered the Rabbi’s perspective.

The Rabbi’s believed that God can enter into his creation in a special way. In fact the entire temple system is based on this fact. Jews have always believed that God really dwelt above the mercy seat in a special way and at the same time also dwelt in heaven.

This concept of a God that is both transcendent and truly present in a specific place is the seed of the Christian understanding of the incarnation. I would like to see how Islam understands this if at all.

You said,

why did Jesus not explain these new doctrines???

I say,

Because they are not new. They are found from the very beginning of the Bible. From the opening words of Genesis.

Do you see why it would be profitable for you to debate this topic

peace

Semper Paratus said...

My response:

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/01/yahya-snow-and-debate-proposal.html

Anonymous said...

What an interesting subject. Unfortnately your writing style is so boring I couldn't get to the end of the article.

Will said...

Mr. Snow, I am disappointed with you. Mr. Wood does NOT cut up debates, and post only parts which sustain his argument. He posts the FULL debate, Muslim and Christian, not just Christian, not just Muslim.

Mr. Wood blocked you for inappropriate behavior. If you notice, a few other Muslim debaters have been blocked but "miraculously" keep posting. Maybe we should leave it to Mr. Wood’s judgment as it is his blog.

But we mustn’t take a whole and separate it into parts also. That is why one does not cut up debates. By taking a whole debate, and separating parts appropriate for ones purpose, we take out the essence of what a debate is. The debate transforms into propaganda.

Mr. Wood has Muslim sites linking to his blog. If you cannot get a "reconsideration" to a newly born by yourself, well sad. Im sure your video has been diligently considered by the rightful recipient. And Im sure your stating that one was made is enough for the appropriate party to investigate it further.

Please agree to the debate proposal.

Yahya Snow said...

@ Will

Thanks for your respectful tone

I must pick you up on a slight inconsistency here...you criticize me for slicing a debate yet NO Christian criticises their foremost apologist (James White) for doing the sam thing

Go to White's YouTube page and you will see numerous examples of this

Where isthe consistency

In any case...slicing a debate to highlight a segment when it is obvious it comes from a larger debate is perfectly acceptable in my eyes - hence my doing so

However you and other Christians are complaining...perhaps you should start with your own (White) before makingit an issue on this blog

I am sure you will view that to be fair and consistent

As for Mr Wood's censorship...that is an issue for you to contemplate upon.

Will I do plan to debate with Anthony...it is all a matter of sorting the details out...if these are not finalised then no debatecan go ahead

I plan to contact/respond to Anthony soon; hopefully we will make progress concerning the debate details

Thanks

Please do view some of the conversion stories/vids on offer as well as the "why Islam" section

May Allah guide us all

Ameen

Thanks

Yahya Snow said...

Will...

I forgot to mention...view the link to the dialogue which leads to myslef being blocked...you will realise itis hardly a reason to block somebody

Peace

Semper Paratus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yahya Snow said...

Semper Paratus said...
The entirety of Dr. White's debates are made available on his website. Anyone whose interest is piqued by the clips he puts up from them can go and order them. That is his prerogative.

What I have complained about is that you erased my previously approved comments that simply directed people to where these are available in toto online. Can you provide an example of where Dr. White has tried to hide from his constituency what his debate opponents had to say by way of response?

In any event, I stand ready to debate. Do let me know if and when you are.

Semper Paratus,

Anthony Rogers

(His comment was removed due to links to two sites spouting propaganda against Muslims and Islam)

I have reproduced all he said (in order to allow him to participate) but his links had to be removed.

Yahya Snow said...

@Anthony

I will contact you privately (soon) to iron out the details of the debate

Thanks

Peace

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Will, Mr. Snow.

It seems like there is a little difference, it might seem slight but nonetheless it is. Having just sifted through James’ YouTube page I do not see a debate on Mohammad, attacking Mohammad. All I see are parts defending the Deity of Christ or responses; everything was Mr. Whites own work.

The difference comes – I would find it completely fair if you wanted to show the Christian speaker only and then point to what is said about the Deity of Christ. Just as I would find it fair for a Christian to do with a Muslim view and what is said about Mohammad. But do you honestly find it fitting that a Christian posts parts of a full debate on the Quran – with only Christian parts disproving Quran; from that debate?? If Muslim, I would get angry. Post crossfire’s, questions, whole debates, videos of yourself, replies, videos of Christians defending Christianity, videos of Muslims defending Islam, etc. your own work.

Posting the whole debate and expounding on claims made or issues raised in a whole video gives one freedom to be totally critical.

Mr. Snow, you will not find "sliced" debates (with only Christian views on key Islamic concepts) on Mohammad as topic, attacking Mohammad. Any debates between a Muslim and Christian dealing with major issues and concept within the Islamic faith located on Mr. Whites YouTube page come whole.

minoria said...

Hello:

This is the first time I comment here.I believe the gospels have clear references to a PLURALITY in the UNITY of God in statements by Jesus,which is the ESSENCE of the Trinity.Also that the Trinity can be defended as being MATHEMATICALLY true according to X mathematical reality,like in:

1X1X1=1
infinity+infinity+infinity=infinity

IN PHYSICS like with TIPLER's OMEGA POINT where there is a TRIUNE UNIVERSE.

DEBATE

There is a very interesting debate that shows Muslim-Christian cooperation:

Go to youtube and write:"Theist vs Atheist:Does God NOT Exist?"

It's a fascinating one between ATHEISTS RICHARD CARRIER and DAN BARKER (ex-Christian) on one side and MUSLIM HASSANAIN RAJABAL and CHRISTIAN MICHAEL COREY (who is very good in his defense of the scientific evidence in favor of God.)

Check it out.