AnsweringMuslims (Anthony Rogers) just runs with a bunch of semantics. One of which being that the definite article of 'the' in 'the angel of the Lord' means the angel is more than an angel. That does not make sense.
Anthony Rogers fails to mention that this is his personal belief and that many, many Christians do not believe the angel of the Lord was God. Rogers speaks as though he is representing Christianity when he is only representing his own personal beliefs. Anthony Rogers offered no proof at all. In a dull presentation he just presented semantics whilst rattling off his script.
One can only imagine how confused new Christians will be after coming across Anthony Rogers who is asking Christians to not only believe in the trinity idea, the man-god idea but now an angel-god idea.
Ijaz Ahmed (Calling Christians) was shocked at Anthony's opening presentation - he clearly was unimpressed. Ijaz Ahmed touched on a history of paganism within and around Christian communities and went for the jugular in singling out this belief of Anthony's to be pagan (worshipping the creation of God). He points out that Anthony's claims come with a belief of a hierarchy within Anthony's trinity which is problematic for Anthony's pre-existing Trinitarian beliefs. Ijaz, does something that Rogers did not, that's to say he introduces the idea that this is a later belief that was popularized by Justin Martyr in the 2nd century and thus not one that emanated from Jesus or anybody of real authority.
Ijaz brought up the concept of agency which negated Anthony Rogers' claims and pulled the foundations from Anthony's arguments. Ijaz brought forward the text of Zechariah 1 where the angel is said to be communicating with the Lord. Ijaz uses common sense to highlight this angel is not God through deductions from the following passage:
12 Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?
13 And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
Ijaz Ahmed tackled the claim that the angel of the Lord was worshipped and stated that Anthony's claims were 'intelectually abusive'
Ijaz Ahmed won the debate hands down. Quite what Answering Muslims (Anthony Rogers) was thinking in agreeing to debate his personal view, which is contrary to common reasoning and I hasten to add that many, many evangelical Christians do not even hold, is beyond me.
Overall, Ijaz Ahmed based his arguments on commone sense. Anthony Rogers threw common sense out of the window in order to accomodate his personal belief in the angel of the Lord being God. I think Ijaz's strong understanding of this belief and his willingeness to go toe-to-toe with Rogers even in the narrow-line of argumentation that Rogers employed worked out to be a positive for the truth-seeker as the lazy response and misdirection of 'my opponent doesn't understand' was pre-empted, thus the truth-seeker has a relatively clear run on this topic.
The cross examination was misdirected towards sematics by Anthony Rogers. Most of this debate was not beneficial, largely due to Anthony Rogers' rigid and semantic-laden approach. Ijaz's common sense arguments are beneficial for those who want to ponder on this belief.
In my opinion the debate format was not really in-line with the topic of the debate and the narrowness of the topic. The debate was too long and the cross examinations could have been skipped. The debate format of 15 mins OS, 10 min rebuttals, a further 5 mins rebuttals and then a 3-5 min concluding remarks would have been an easier format for the debate.This format would have kept the debate easier to follow.
I would have liked to have seen Ijaz further use and expand on the more basic arguments against this belief of the angel of the Lord being God:
The Book of Hebrews (which many Christians believe was written by Paul) states that angels are ministering spirits and nor did he say this angel was God (thus even Paul or whoever they believe wrote this NT book did not believe that the angel of the Lord was God):
Hebrews 1:14: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Jesus (p) nor any other Prophet taught this belief (nobody in the Bible,even in the NT, teaches this). No verse in Christian and Jewish scripture teaches this belief - it's simply an assumption by certain Trinitarians based on their feeling of 'who elese could this angel be' as well as their frustration in not seeing Jesus in the OT.
An angel is a messenger, thus by definition is not God. Ijaz did present this point quite vociferously.
One of the reasons this belief is borne out of is the Trinitarians' puzzlement due to their belief that Jesus existed throught the time of the OT but never showed up - thus this belief in the angel of the Lord being God is an attempt by them to force Jesus into the OT.
This angel is seen to be under the authority of God. This contradicts the Trinitarian view of co-equality. Also common sense dictates that as the angel is subservient to God it naturally means it is not God - this is one of Ijaz's common sense arguments presented to Anthony.
Anthony Rogers will believe Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them yet many, many Christians do not believe the angel of the Lord is God. Why is it that these so-called Holy-Spirit inspired Christians cannot agree on whether this angel is God or not?
Some Interesting Wikepedia for Anthony on the Angel of the Lord
During the Reformation the Angel of the Lord was usually considered a general representative of God the Father, due to several verses stating that no one can look upon the face of YHWH and live.
In Evangelical Christianity, some commentators interpret the phrase "Angel of the Lord" in the Hebrew Scriptures to refer to a pre-human appearance of Jesus Christ or Christophany. Others comment the functions of the Angel of the Lord prefigure Christ, and there is no clear mention of the Angel of the Lord in the New Testament because the Messiah himself is this person.
Ben Witherington says: The angel of the Lord is just that - an angel.
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More information on the belief of the angel of the Lord being God:
Invitation to Islam
Jesus taught people to do the Will of God (according to Mark 3:35) in order to become his brothers, mothers or sisters. A Muslim means one who submits to the Will of God. Do you want to become a brother of Jesus? If yes, become a Muslim. Now is the time.
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