Thursday, 30 June 2016

Jonathan Mclatchie: Gay Marriage is "Madness" but Terrorism is..

Jonathan McLatchie calls gay marriage "madness" yet when it comes to terrorist attacks such as the Orlando shootings, it's not called madness. It's called Islam - this is the message we get based on the videos of one of his colleagues, David Wood*, which he shares on his FaceBook page. All this despite there being more support from Christian authorities for gay marriage than support from Muslim authorities for terrorism!

You have the modern phenomena of indiscriminate killings of civilians which all Muslim scholastic bodies have condemned to be against the spirit of Islam. Dr Timothy Winter of Cambridge University states "terrorism is the arbitrary targeting of the innocent in order to place pressure on governments, which is something which doesn't have origins in Islamic culture or ethics and comes out of the French revolution and certain 19th century anarchist movements that used terrorism. As a doctrine in the Muslim world it's very recent and it's an expression of Westernisation. Terrorism, 9/11 for instance, according to classical Islamic Law is classified as hiraba which carried the death penalty"

An excellent quote from Muhammad Asad's book rebuking McLatchie's fellow evangelical Christians (Jeremiah Johnston and Craig Evans) who parse terrorist attacks in a similar manner to McLatchie and his friend David Wood:

"Simply put, every Muslim scholar - whether Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Deobandi - has condemned and spoken out against Daesh. Their arguments against Daesh and its acts are derived from traditional Islamic religious texts and  based firmly in Islamic jurisprudence".

The evangelical Christian inconsistency

Contrast that with the equally modern phenomena of gay marriage. Although there is a growing number of churches, Christian leaders and lay Christians accepting gay marriage as being within the spirit of Christianity, Jonathan would dismiss gay marriage as "madness".

More Christians who are involved in the CoE believe gay marriage is right rather than wrong. A recent survey by YouGov suggested 45% of Church of England followers felt same-sex marriage was right, against 37% who believed it wrong [stats sourced from Huffington Post]. According to the Huff Post, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and now the Presbytarian Church (USA) sanctify the marriage of two men or two women.

Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier, who has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1984 as a minister, theology professor, and writer states there's an overwhelmingly positive case for gay marriage in the Bible:

Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.

All this in the eyes of Jonathan McLatchie is "madness". Yet if he would just step back for a few moments he would observe the huge inconsistency he and his evangelical colleagues operate on. There's actually much more support for gay marriage from Christian authorities, churches and lay Christians alike than there is for terrorist acts such as Orlando.

If McLatchie was consistent he would say, that gay marriage is CHRISTIAN not "madness". I'd imagine for him, Christian proponents of gay marriage decontextualize and rely on fragmentary readings of the Bible. BUT he and his colleagues are not even cognisant to this being the case for Muslim terrorists despite:

In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”, the newspaper said. [Mehdi Hasan]

I recently heard rabbi Tovia Singer, a man who has no horse in this race, say terrorists abuse texts from the Quran and Hadith. Ask yourself why a Jewish rabbi can be more scholarly, consistent and fair than Jonathan McLatchie and his evangelical Christian colleagues - a crowd who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit?

There's clearly an agenda at play here. Perhaps Jonathan McLatchie will enlighten us on this glaringly obvious inconsistency and why it is operated on. For now, smart and fair-minded people are not impressed.

* David Wood, in pretty much the immediate aftermath of the Orlando shootings made a video effort claiming Omar Mateen's actions were in line with Islamic texts. Maeten's former gay lover has now come out and said he thinks it was nothing to do with religion but a revenge attack concerning a sexual liaison with a man/men who did not inform him of  a HIV positive status - see the Independent. David Wood has a history of hurdling over facts and fair-minded analysis.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Luis Dizon's "Only Conclusion" on Genesis 1:26 Discussed

Luis Dizon contends Genesis 1:26 can only be concluded as a reference to plurality of persons in the being of God (with a strong intimation this plurality is the 3-self Trinity belief). Here's his conclusion with the assistance of Gleason Archer:

It is also important to note that the Trinity does not occur exclusively in the New Testament, but can be traced back to the Jewish scriptures (the Old Testament, which came centuries before Christianity). Several times in these scriptures, God speaks in the plural. A prominent example of this is close to the beginning of the Bible, where God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness...” (Gen 1:26, cf. 3:22, 11:7). It also appears in the book of the Jewish prophet Isaiah. Here, God asks, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us” (Isa 6:8)? The common Muslim argument when faced with these verses is that God is using the plural of majesty, which is a custom in which a royal figure speaks in the plural. Muslims argue that since Allah frequently speaks this way in the Qur’an,141 then the same must be the case in the Old Testament. However, this explanation is anachronistic, because the plural of majesty is not used anywhere in the Old Testament. In fact, the concept did not even exist until after the Old Testament was completed. As biblical scholar Gleason Archer notes:

This first person plural can hardly be a mere editorial or royal plural that refers to the speaker alone, for no such usage is demonstrable anywhere else in biblical Hebrew. Therefore, we must face the question of who are included in this “us” and “our.” It could hardly include the angels in consultation with God, for nowhere is it ever stated that man was created in the image of angels, only of God. Verse 27 then affirms: “and God [‘elohim]created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them” (NASB). God—the same God who spoke of Himself in the plural--now states that He created man in His image. In other words, the plural equals the singular. This can only be understood in terms of the Trinitarian nature of God. The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together—without ceasing to be one God.142

On the basis of this information, the only conclusion we can come to is that the passages where God speaks in the first person plural demonstrate a plurality of persons within the being of God.

Problems raised for Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer

1. There are other Christians with differing interpretations and thus do not share Luis Dizon's view that an idea of plurality of personhood is the "only conclusion" nor Gleason Archer's appeal to the Trinity belief (which ironically is anachronistic in itself!)

2. Plurality doesn't necessarily mean 3. As we know the plurality of 3 did not become recognised until at least 381 CE. For those wondering why not 325 CE? "The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son" [Edgar G Foster]

3. The suggestion there's no other examples of a Majestic Plural in the Hebrew scriptures may well be inaccurate - see the discussion on this below. In any case, why would an absence of a "royal we" used by a king in the Hebrew scriptures demarcate the absence of such a usage in Hebrew all together? It wouldn't. An absence of evidence is not absence of evidence. Luis Dizon is committing a logical fallacy; argument from ignorance.

4. Confusion for 14 centuries. This point of confusion is a philosophical headache for Trinitarian apologists. 1 Cor 14:33 states "for God is not the author of confusion" yet Luis' conclusion would imply there was confusion for 14 centuries (evangelical Christians believe Genesis was written 1400 years ago). In fact the duration of confusion would be greater still as the Trinity was developed from the 4th century onwards so the implication in the Trinitarian Christian worldview is that God left people in confusion about Him and Genesis 1:26 for 18 centuries!

Thus all those faithful believers and Prophets, including Moses who is traditionally considered to be the author of Genesis amongst evangelical, were all left in confusion concerning this supposed plurality being taught in Genesis 1:26!


Let's drive this problem home further still. In Exodus 33:11, it is taught Moses had the Lord speak to him face to face as one speaks to his friend. Despite this, the Trinitarian narrative contends Moses did not know about true the nature of God; that's to say he had a deficient understanding of God because he was unaware of the Trinity belief.

Isaiah 41:8 describes "Abraham as God's friend "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend," yet Luis' theory would have us believe Abraham, too, had a deficient understanding of God as the Trinity, according to the evangelical narrative was not revealed during Abraham's time.

Do Luis and others who argue for the Trinity in Genesis 1:26 not see the problems that come with such assertions?

Let's concentrate on providing some divergent views on Genesis 1:26 to show Luis' view that it's the "only conclusion" one can arrive at to be baseless:

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges o Genesis 1:26

Commentary from the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges surveys a number of explanations put forward over the years for "let us make" in Gen 1:26. Interestingly, the Trinity explanation is considered untenable:

Until recently, the traditional Christian interpretation has seen in the 1st pers. plur. a reference to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The requirements of a sound historical exegesis render this view untenable: for it would read into the Book of Genesis the religious teaching which is based upon the Revelation of the New Testament.

At the culmination of the list of various explanations the commentary concludes "The two last explanations appear to be the most probable". The last two being:

1. Use of the Plural of Deliberation
2. The old Jewish explanation that God is addressing the inhabitants of heaven

Dr Michael Heiser on Genesis 1:26 and the name Elohim

Michael Heiser gives his explanation, which differs and agrees with the more common:

(27) So God created (the verb is SINGULAR) man in his own (a third masculine SINGULAR suffix in Hebrew) image, in the image of God - we know this is singular as well from context - the preceding suffix tells us he created (the verb is SINGULAR) him; male and female he created (the verb is SINGULAR) them.

Conclusion – from the TEXT:
God announced to his council his idea to create mankind (“hey, guys, let's do this!” – a sort of exhortational declaration), then HE (and he alone, by virtue of the GRAMMAR) created humankind in HIS own image (not theirs).

He also explains the history of the name Elohim which does away with the idea that Elohim refers to a plurality in personhood:

It is of course true that "elohim" is MORPHOLOGICALLY plural (morphology refers to the construction or "shape" of a word). The - im ending of elohim makes the noun plural. As Psalm 82 (see above) tells us, elohim CAN be plural in the Hebrew Bible. The same psalm, though, also has elohim as a contextually clear SINGULAR (the morphologically plural word came to be used as a proper name for a singular deity).

NIV Study Bible and Liberty University on Genesis 1:26

Rabbi Tovia Singer offers a list of authorities for evangelicals who do not espouse such conclusions about the Trinity being in Genesis 1:26. His list includes Liberty University's commentary on the Bible, NIV Study Bible amongst others. You can check this for yourself. Here's a snippet which shows another Christian authority siding with one the traditional Jewish views on Genesis 1:26 rather than what Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer contend:

Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26,
Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court

Edgar G Foster on Genesis 1:26

Edgar G Foster discusses this in his summary of Alan J. Hauser's views on Gen 1:26, which militates against the Luis Dizon's "only conclusion"

Hauser expands on this argument. He does not think that the use of the Elohim in Genesis 1:26 proves that Genesis teaches God's triunity. One reason that Hauser concludes this has to do with the Hebrew word Elohim. Granted, Elohim is morphologically plural as are "us" and "our." But these words, while they might seem to indicate plurality, definitely do not suggest triunity. It must also be kept in mind that in Hebrew it is common for the plural noun to cause the verb to be plural (Cf. Genesis 20:13, 35:7). E.A Speiser therefore renders Genesis 1:26 as follows: "The God said, 'I will make man in my image, after my likeness.'"

In the same piece, Foster also cites Charles Ryrie. Ryrie talks about the use of plural pronouns with relation to God; he offers a striking observation in that there is no limitation to indicate a plurality is only three (i.e. the Trinity). Problem. In addition, from Tovia Singer's survey we see Ryrie considers Genesis 1:26 to be the Plural of Majesty, thus he too disagrees with Luis Dizon's "only conclusion" hypothesis.

Plural of Majesty

Gleason Archer, as Luis Dizon mentions, believes there's no other use of plural of majesty in the OT. Now, this is not a major point of contention but from Jason Dulle it appears there may be some candidates for the use of the royal plural elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures. Dulle gives possible examples from Ezra and Daniel

The second theory is that the plural pronouns are used as a "majestic plural." This type of language was typically used by royalty, but not exclusively. Biblical examples include Daniel's statement to Nebuchadnezzar, "We will tell the interpretation thereof before the king" (Daniel 2:36). Daniel, however, was the only one who gave the king the interpretation of his dream. King Artaxerxes wrote in a letter, "The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me" (Ezra 4:18). The letter was sent to Artaxerxes alone (Ezra 4:11), yet he said it was sent to "us," and was read before "me." Clearly the letter was only sent to, and read to Artaxerxes. When Artaxerxes penned another letter to Ezra he used the first person singular pronoun "I" in one place and the first person plural pronoun "we" in another (Ezra 7:13, 24).

I'd be interested in knowing people's thoughts on these verses. I would like to reiterate, this is not the main thrust of my article, please do not allow this side piece to detract from the points above.


It is my hope this piece helps to give young Christian apologists and those who follow Trinitarian Christian apologetics some pause for thought.

Dale Tuggy considers the arguments for the Trinity in the Old Testament to be "crummy arguments". He's taken aback by evangelicals, who should know better, arguing for this position. In this video I interspersed clips of Tuggy with an evangelist - RZIM'S Nabeel Qureshi - discussing various standard Trinitarian contentions based on the Old Testament.

I'd appeal to Luis and others who may have been exposed to Trinitarian Christian contentions based on the OT like the one discussed in this piece to avail themselves of this video.

Edgar G Foster: Trinity Came After the Council of Nicea

The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son. There was simply an implication that the Holy Spirit was in some way associated with the Godhead.
Yes there was an affirmation of belief in the Holy Spirit, but the Nicene Creed did not put forth a triune statement about God. It would take another fifty-six years and more "heretical" developments, before the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was clarified.

Although activities were predicated of the Holy Spirit that can only be predicated of God, the Trinity was still not explicitly called God. Further addenda or adjustments would be made before the church would explicitly state that the holy spirit was equal to the Father and the Son.

One early witness who testifies to these early developments regarding the Trinity doctrine is Gregory of Nazianzus. In the work _Epistles 58_ Gregory Nazianzus explained the absence of the Holy Spirit from the ancient discussions about the Godhead, by stating that "the Old Testament proclaimed the Father manifestly, and the Son more hiddenly. The New [Testament] manifested the Son and suggested the deity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit himself is resident among us, and provides a clearer explanation of himself." As late as 380, he wrote, "to be slightly in error [about the Holy Spirit] was to be orthodox." This statement too proves that the orthodox understanding of the Holy Spirit was not "clear" until 381. As a matter of fact, this statement further demonstrates that the church neither subscribed to nor affirmed the teaching of the Trinity until 381 C.E. It is clear that the "details" of the Trinity still had to be worked out (The Christian Tradition, Jaroslav Pelikan, Vol. I, p.
213. Cf. also Gregory Nazianzus--Orations 31.5).

From a brief look at these developments, it seems warranted to conclude that the NT does not present a clear expression of the Triune Godhead. Therefore, we could reasonably conclude that neither the primitive church nor the ante-Nicene fathers taught the Trinity. Gregory Nazianzus even proclaimed that Scripture did not, "very clearly or very often call him [the Holy Spirit] God in so many words, as it does the Father and later on the Son" (Gregory Nazianzus, Orations 31.12).

Gregory's testimony is so important because he lived at the time when the Trinity assimilated its way into Christian didache. Concerning this prominent Christian "father," Jaroslav Pelikan says: "In remarkable summary of the controversy within the orthodox camp, composed in the same year, he [Gregory Nazianzus] declared: "Of the wise men among ourselves, some have conceived of him
[the Holy spirit] as an activity, some as a creature, some as God; and some have been uncertain which to call him . . . And therefore they neither worship him nor treat him with dishonor, but take up a neutral position." He did add, however, that "of those who consider him to be God, some are orthodox in mind only, while others venture to be so with the lips also."


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Iranians Fake Conversions to Christianity for Asylum in Germany (Gottfried Martens)

Sadly, a few evangelicals around the world have been conned by these stories of mass conversions of Muslim Asylum seekers from Iran to Christianity in Germany. After a short investigation we can say this appears to be a big con. In Germany, refugees from Iran and Afghanistan get a boost in their asylum application if they convert - they also get help from the German church with their application. It seems as though both groups are taking advantage of each other.

Here's a video exposing the /Iranian conversion scam in German churches

In Germany, conversion can work to a refugee’s advantage. “Members of our community are almost always granted asylum,” Pastor Gottfried Martens of the Berlin Evangelical-Lutheran Church told BZ Berlin.  [Daily Beast]

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam:

How hundreds of Muslim migrants are converting to Christianity to boost their chances of winning asylum in Germany:

Is Germany’s Refugee Crisis a Muslim Mission Field? Christian denomination of 3 million says 'strategic mission' to convert Muslims:

Andre Aggasi is Half Iranian

False Conversions of Iranian Asylum Seekers in the UK

Predator Christian Missionaries Targeting Muslim Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe?

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


False Conversions of Iranian Asylum Seekers in the UK (Pastor Mohammad Eghtedarian)

An Iranian Christian pastor in Liverpool, UK, has admitted many Iranians are pretending to convert to Christianity in order to help their asylum applications.

Pastor Mohammad Eghtedarian

Asked if some people pretended to convert to Christianity in order to help their asylum applications, Eghtedarian said: “Yes, of course. Plenty of people. I do understand there are a lot of mixed motives. There are many people abusing the system – I’m not ashamed of saying that. But is it the person’s fault or the system’s fault? And who are they deceiving? The Home Office, me as a pastor, or God?” [Guardian]

Christians really need to stop crowing about supposed Iranian converts to Christianity. It's obvious we aren't talking about sincere religious conversions.

Iranians Fake Conversions to Christianity for Asylum in Germany (Gottfried Martens)

People converting to Islam

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Vocab Malone Shocked by "Racist" James White Fan Boys

Vocab Malone was appalled by the bigotry coming from Christians who were following James White's debate with a Hebrew Israelite. Before we get into this sorry episode, this is hat I wrote on FB before going on to view the debate on livestream:

Heard James R White will be debating a Hebrew Israelite. Hide under your sheets! This could literally start a race war. I've been tracking Hebrew Israelites for a while (they are those uber racist and ill mannered folk that you see on YT preaching on American inner-city street corners). Their basic claim is that they are the true Israelites (along with other groups such as native Americans).

They will call the White man the so called white man - they are really anti white man (Edomite). And they take from the KJV and claim King James was black. They also look down on people from Africa and basically anybody who is not considered Hebrew according to their chart.

Will be interesting to see if the Hebrew Israelite will race bait. James White has had his issues with bigotry towards Africans, African Americans, Arabs and other Easterners.

This could get nasty. Hide!!!

Well, it seems the gentleman from the Hebrew Israelite stance was not with GMS or ISUPK and appeared to be from a milder BHI group. I'm not 100% sure which group he belonged to as I missed the start of the debate.

James White and the Hebrew Israelite representative weren't the problem. Some of James White's supporters were the problem. They appalled Vocab Malone with their anti-black bigotry and racism. I managed to copy some of Vocab's responses:

Malone: black people use emotion - specifically black people??? ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN??

Vocab Malone: Chris Park, how dare you? Black people argue in circles??? specifically black people???

Vocab Malone: black people use emotion - specifically black people??? ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN??

Vocab Malone: I am not, I am appalled at all the racist comments. Zane.

Vocab Malone I can not believe this. I did not expect to see this kind of behaviour in these comments at all.

Vocab Malone: Movement is one thing. To make such bigoted comments about black culture is prejudice.

Vocab Malone: Felix Lee, are you a Christian? cause your thug life worthy comment is not [sorry the rest of this comment got cut off when I copied/pasted it]

Christian apologist, Vocab Malone is shocked. I'm not. Bigotry/racism towards non-Whites is not alien to Christian apologetics - I've seen Christian apologists and/or their supporters incriminate themselves in this regard. Nothing novel. Vocab was upset and shocked to see folk on the chat say black people argue in circles and are emotional.

I wasn't. Actually, I'm not surprised. These folk may have taken their cue from James White himself. White has made bigoted/racist comments about African Americans, Africans, Middle Easterners and non Westerners in general:

James White's Bigoted Comments About Middle Easterners, Africans and Asians

Now, look at it from my point of view. I'm a Muslim. I see a bunch of Christians claiming they are inspired/guided by the Holy Spirit. I also seem them being racist/bigoted towards other cultures (amongst other things such as being mean-spirited, pride-filled, rude, malicious, dishonest, Islamophobic, etc.). Thus, I see them as self-refuting!

[Some good news from Vocab Malone, one of the individuals Vocab rebuked (Chris) later thanked Vocab for the rebuke and accepted it]

A quick comment on some of the "debate". IIRC think White tried to argue for a Trinity belief  from the Old Testament, that type of argumentation is crummy as highlighted in this response to James' evangelical colleague Nabeel Qureshi. James also brought up Ignatius of Antioch and quoted from him, as there was a lot of commotion in the chat I don't recall what his precise point was to this effect. If he was doing the same as he did in his debate with Yusuf Bux by bringing those quotes up, he has thoroughly been rebuked via a video on this:

Shameless Bigotry Jay Smith

Nabeel Qureshi Apology for "Bigoted" Mockery

Muslim Helps James White out: Why Bart Erhman Finds James White Offensive

Jonathan McLatchie Islamophobic Bigotry

Scandal: Pfander Centre for Apologetics Linked to White Supremacy, Xenophobia and Racism

Rebuking Rev. Steven Martins of Evangelium & Apologia Ministries - 'Western Values'

Ted and Walid Shoebat Foul Language

Marie Wood of Acts 17 Apologetics Censors to Save David Wood's Blushes?

People converting to Islam

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


Message of Concern: ExMuslims Come Back To Islam - Don't Give Up on the Mercy of God

This is a message of love and concern to any former Muslims that are out there experiencing hardships and loneliness.

The Islamic faith is the most spiritually uplifting when you understand a faith as opposed to being a nominal and cultural Muslim. Look into Islam with a renewed focus on spirituality and a desire to get closer to God. Start of slowly with the prayer - praying to God attentively rather than nominally will lead you to feel a spiritual empowerment that all humans yearn for.

Here's a short emotional clip from Hamza Yusuf which I think is ideal for exMuslims to see their pathway back to Islam is not irrevocably hindered. There are a number of exMuslims who make the journey back home to Islam. Come on home.

Ex Muslims invited back home

If this video does not play, please see here

People converting to Islam

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


Monday, 20 June 2016

Ex Muslim Introverted Smiles Corrected by Muslim on Terrorist Attack on Homosexual Club

Ex Muslim vs Muslim on Orlando Massacre

If the video does not play, please see here

This is an ex Muslim who is inconsistently and ignorantly attacking Muslims for the Orlando massacre.

Introverted Smiles begins by rattling off 3 or 4 attacks by Muslim in the West yet for some reason ignores all the other attacks. What are these other attacks and are Muslims the perpetrators of these other attacks? As Russell Brad points out, the majority of terrorist attacks in the West are carried out by non-Muslims. Only 2% are carried out by Muslims.

Is it possible this man's antagonism towards Muslims is fuelled in part by irresponsible and disproportionate media coverage? It seems so, otherwise he would not be so angry with Muslims, he'd be angry with all groups!

It seems a media bias has led him to overlook the irony in rallying "white people" against Muslims. WHITE men are disproportionately responsible for most of the shootings! David Sirota points this fact out in the video.

So what's the problem here? Obviously there's an issue with the media. Is there also an issue of low self-esteem where this man (Introverted Smiles) feels he should/can pick on the Muslims as
Muslims are deemed as an acceptable target for bigotry and ire when a Muslim carries out a
shooting but, he as an obviously ethnic minority male, feels the white American male is a demographic which warrants special and superior treatment?

And what of this man's family, are they Muslims? If so, if he rallying a bunch of white Americans against them too?

He claims some Arab Muslims were happy about the killing of the people at the gay club in Orlando

OK, I haven't seen Muslims celebrating the Orlando massacre but there are ignorant and immature
people in the Muslim community too - as with all groups. However, once again, this ex-Muslim inconsistently zones in on silly Muslims for doing exactly what others are doing, including Jews,
American military personnel and Christian leaders. The video shows Christian pastors, orthodox Jews and American marines were doing the same thing he berates some Muslims on social media for!

Of course, it's easier to zone in on Muslims and African Americans. If one is suffering from self-hatred and/or low self-esteem the demographics which are socially and politically stronger are especially more difficult to criticise.

He tries to link the criminality by Omar Mateen in Orlando with Sharia

This is anti-intellectual. Sadly, this is all too common amongst Islamophobes where they try to link any action a Muslim does with Sharia. The fact is clear, this act would not be considered an act of Sharia by any Muslim scholar.

Introverted Smiles was appealing to Sharia which is irrelevant to America and the massacre itself in an attempt to try and frame Islam for this massacre.

1. Sharia law is not aplicable in non Muslim lands
2. The most popular jurisprudence school does not call for execution
of convicted homosexuals.
3. Under Sharia, 4 witnesses to the ACT are required for somebody to
be convicted of homosexual sex
4. Vigilanties are not allowed to take matters into their own hands

Here are some further points from Dr Jonathan AC Brown:

It is not same-sex attraction or desires that the Shariah prohibits. It is acting on them.

Yes, the main position in the Hanafi school of law for many centuries was that someone convicted of sodomy (which in all the schools required four witnesses to the act of penetration) was not executed but only given a milder punishment or perhaps only disciplined by a judge.

The ex Muslim critic also intimated Muslims do not respect the law of America. This paragraph from Dr Brown may also be of use:

According to the Shariah, Muslims living in the West (or other non-Muslim states) are essentially visitors from the perspective of the sacred law. The standard definition amongst Muslim scholars for the Abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) was those lands where the Shariah reigns.[7] Muslims outside that space reside in lands and countries as guests of whatever legal or religious system reigns there. If the law of the land were to prohibit Muslims from carrying out a duty required by the Shariah, such as prayer, or require them to do something clearly forbidden in Islam, such as drinking alcohol, the standard opinion amongst classical Muslim scholars was that Muslims could no longer reside there (a second opinion was that they should remain so that the religion of Islam would not vanish there). Otherwise, Muslims must respect the law of the land. Their decision to reside in those lands represents their agreement to a contract with the governments ruling them. As the Quran commands Muslims, “be true to your agreements” (Quran 5:1), and as the Prophet´Ě║ taught, “Muslims are bound by the conditions [of their agreements].”[8] The Shariah continues to govern Muslims’ private worship and whatever areas of law the local system leaves open (such as contracts, inheritance and marriage in the US), but Muslims must respect and abide by the restrictions, duties and regulations placed upon them.

Muslim Refutes Pastor Steven Anderson's Anti-Gay and Anti-Muslim Propaganda

Ex Muslims And Self Hatred!

Growing Problem of Islamophobia in Britain What in the world is Ex Muslims of Scoland? EXMUSLIM PAWNS? Muslim Complains About BBC The Big Questions - Nicky Campbell

Difference Between Ex Muslims and Ex Muslim Extremists About 20% of British Muslim Women Feel Unsafe in Britain [QURAN MIRACLES] The Miracles of the Number 19 in Quran | Dr. Shabir Ally

People converting to Islam

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


Muslim Refutes Pastor Steven Anderson's Anti-Gay and Anti-Muslim Propaganda

Steven Anderson, a pastor in Arizona, has put forward some anti-Muslim and anti-gay propaganda in the wake of the Orlando massacre.

If the video does not play, please see here

His first bout of propaganda was to equate homosexual people with paedophiles. The research does not support his assertions. See these citations from Dr Gregroy Herek's paper (there are more citations in the video refutation of Steven Anderson):

As an expert panel of researchers convened by the National Academy of Sciences noted in a 1993 report: "The distinction between homosexual and heterosexual child molesters relies on the premise that male molesters of male victims are homosexual in orientation. Most molesters of boys do not report sexual interest in adult men, however" (National Research Council, 1993, p. 143, citation omitted).

The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.

Steven Anderson also attacked Muslims and Islam. He sad Islam was a wicked religion. However, just to show how shallow and nconsistent his claim is we can look at which religion has the better teachings on alcohol; Christianity or Islam. Islam forbids alcohol while Christianity allows it. Alcohol is linked to certain types of cancer even in moderation as well as other societal and health problems. Clearly Islam has the better teachings. Pastor Steven Anderson is confronted with a dilemma here, if Islam is wicked how did it come with better teachings than the religion you believe to be the true and holiest religion?

In the video we have a well known Islamophobe who admits Islam leads to many Muslims living upright and fine lives. How can a "wicked faith" lead to that?

Prophecies of the Messiah - Reza Aslan

British Muslims Protested to Defend Jesus p

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Conversions to Islam

Learn about Islam


Monday, 6 June 2016

Debating Pantheism and Christianity - Seth Dunn's Discussion Greek Teacher Jordan

This was quite an interesting discussion. I recommend this for Muslims who are beginning to interact with folk of a Pantheistic worldview whilst simultaneously being familiar with Christian apologetics. That may not be too many Muslims. It will help you to understand this philosophy and assist in arguing against it. As a Muslim, in this discussion I found myself agreeing with the Christian on a few points

Jordan is a former Christian who knows the Bible well and is a scholar/teacher of Biblical Greek (Koine Greek). As far as I recall, he left Christianity and is now a Deistic Pantheist. Interestingly enough, Pantheism is a word which comes from Greek, pan and theos, which refers to 'all is God'.

Seth Dunn represented the Christian Biblical worldview. He has a seminary education in Christianity.

I have added some commentary and discussion points below this debate video.

Deistic Pantheist's formulate their own religion?

It is quite apparent Jordan is literally formulating his own religion as he goes along - he takes from religious texts selectively. Basically, whatever appeals to his reasoning/emotions  he accepts it. At times he was taking from the Hindu scriptures in this discussion.

Jordan, whilst discussing the topic of possible objections to Pantheism said most of them will be emotional as he doesn't use a particular text/scripture. This is a fascinating point because if you invert it, it means (for those Pantheists who don't rely on a Scripture i.e. Jordan) most of their arguments for Pantheism will also be emotional.

Coming to a particular worldview for emotional reasons is not the best way to do one's theology.

Problem of Cosmology in Pantheism

This is an interesting problem for the Pantheist worldview. We know, the Universe had a beginning (this is deduced by the observation that the Universe is expanding) while Pantheists believe "All is God". Thus, if they believe God is immutable how can they believe God is the everything we see as God is eternal while the material universe we observe is not eternal?

Biblical inerrancy

Jordan brought up the longer ending of Mark and the pericope adulterae in the Gospels (Mark and John respectively) being a big issue for him whilst he was a Christian. I suppose Luke 23:34 would have posed similar problems for Jordan back then.

I don't think Seth answers this well. He misses the real point behind the objection. Seth draws parallels between Jordan's argument and KJV Onlyists to dismiss the argument. That doesn't work. There are real issues which come to the fore when we think about the documented additions in the Biblical text.

How can Seth be sure other parts aren't additions waiting to be uncovered via new MSS discoveries?

What of the Biblical Christians prior to the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus by Dr Von Tischendorf in the 1800s? Weren't those Christians claiming to have the Holy Spirit yet believing in those two chunks Jordan brought up to be theopneustos (God breathed?)

And what about the other variants - the footnotes in Seth's Bible aren't considered to be Non-Biblical. Rather, conservative Christians consider them to be possible readings when it comes to the autographs. However, what if we have further discoveries which lead to more footnotes being added to accommodate a new reading? Who knows, perhaps John 1:1 will be found to have variants or even to be a complete addition in the future? There are some sceptical scholars who do suspect John 1:1-18 is not authentic to the autograph, they obviously base this on internal evidence rather than manuscript evidence but what if there is a new MS find to reflect this in the future?

These are huge problems for Seth and other Biblical Christians

Problem of evil (theodicy) in Pantheism and Christianity (and Islam)

Historically, this has been a talking point amongst folk of every worldview. I think this is a bigger problem for Pantheists than Christians (or Muslims) when we consider moral evil. There are two types of problems; moral and natural. In this case, moral is the one we is the focus. It is considered moral evil when humans commit reprehensible acts such as murder, rape, theft etc.

For the Pantheist, as Seth touched upon, it is God committing the evil act and being the victim of the evil act simultaneously.

Old Testament violence

Jordan experienced difficulties with Samuel 15:2-3 whilst he was a Christian. This passage from the Hebrew Bible (OT) is said to be an instruction from God via Samuel to Saul. It instructs the killing of women and children amongst others.

The thought of children being put to death will elicit emotions in any human with a heart. Jordan considered this part of the OT to be a likely addition to the text as he had moved away from Biblical inerrancy.

I thought Seth Dunn did well to raise the point to Jordan that he cannot have a moral objection to this story if he operates from a Pantheistic pradigm. Pantheism would have no problem with 1 Samuel 15 as Pantheism comes with the belief that God rapes and kills every time a murder/rape is carried out (the person carrying out the crime is said to have God inside them).

Also the idea of a Pantheist telling somebody what they did is not moral is problematic as they believe all is God.

Concluding remarks

I thought the dialogue was conducted fairly and in the spirit of friendship. I think dialogues like these will help us all to understand different worldviews and will help people with their intellectual and spiritual growth.

For me, I am surprised Jordan left the Abrahamic tradition just because of problems with the inerrancy of the Bible.

Why did he not explore Islam? Dr Jerald Dirks had a similar experience to Jordan during his studies of the NT, he came to Islam - I'd like Jordan to take the time to listen to Dr Dirk's story. Islam teaches there were Scriptures given to Moses and Jesus but these Scriptures are now corrupted thus the Hebrew Bible and the NT are not considered reliable. Islam also teaches Jesus was not God but rather a Prophet of God. This is all very interesting to somebody who follows modern day historical Jesus studies and NT textual criticism as these disciplines point to these Islamic teachings. Textual critics don't consider the text of the NT to be reliable nor authorised. Scholars like Bart Ehrman openly state Jesus would have taught himself to be a Prophet (not divine).

Some further discussion topics for our Pantheistic friends:

 - Idolatry and Pantheism. Would Pantheists not accept the worship of anything in nature as they believe whatever they are worshipping is God?

 - The universe had a beginning. The Pantheist, if consistent with the idea that God is the universe, would be left with the problem of whether God (too) has a beginning. Muslims and Christians don't have this problem as we believe God is eternal.

 - How can a Pantheist not believe in a moral law from God if there's evil? If there's an evil that means there's good. If there's good that means we have a moral law. If we have a moral law that means it can only come from God. Would this not be an argument for divine revelation from God?

 - Truth by its nature is exclusive. For example, if I say we live on Mars and you say we live on Earth, both of us cannot be right. The same applies for religious belief. However, for the Pantheist there's an added difficulty as they believe everybody is God. How can they believe God is the Christian, Muslim and the Deistic Pantheist while all three have radically different views - all three cannot be correct. For the Pantheist, God is part of this lack of truth as God is believed to be the untruthful/incorrect one too. There's a problem!

- Pantheism is not monolithic. There's a very basic belief that is common to all Pantheists but after that there are divisions. It really is the individual or a collective of individuals deciding what to believe:

At its most general, pantheism may be understood positively as the view that God is identical with the cosmos, the view that there exists nothing which is outside of God, or else negatively as the rejection of any view that considers God as distinct from the universe.

However, given the complex and contested nature of the concepts involved, there is insufficient consensus among philosophers to permit the construction of any more detailed definition not open to serious objection from some quarter or other. Moreover, the label is a controversial one, where strong desires either to appropriate or to reject it often serve only to obscure the actual issues, and it would be a sad irony if pantheism revealed itself to be most like a traditional religion in its sectarian disputes over just what counts as ‘true pantheism.’ Therefore pantheism should not be thought of as a single codifiable position. [Pantheism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Prophecies of the Messiah - Reza Aslan

British Muslims Protested to Defend Jesus p

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Conversions to Islam

Learn about Islam


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Analysis: Common Evangelical Christian Argument Saying Allah is not the God of the Bible

This is a response I wrote via a comment to an evangelical Christian argument that goes along the lines of:

Islam teaches Allah is not the father of anybody while according to the Bible Jesus calls God the Father therefore Allah is not God.

It's a very simplistic argument that has an obvious fallacy to it (see my first point) and under further scrutiny we see there's an interesting side question of the authenticity of the term "my Father" attributed to Jesus in the Gospel texts (second point).

Here's the response with amendments:

Hi, IIRC you argued the God that sent Jesus cannot be the God Muslims worship as Jesus called God the Father while Islam teaches God (Allah) is not the father of anyone.

Firstly, Jews used the word abba for God in a metaphorical sense denoting closeness and an intimate relationship with God.

[Thus the prohibition of calling Allah "my Father" does not mean Allah is not God. Think about it, there are dietary laws that are taught in the Hebrew Bible but done way with in the New Testament, would the Evangelical now seriously argue the God of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is not the same God that Paul preached about? The argument is not only flawed but it is inconsistently applied]

there’s no hard evidence Jesus called God by the term “father”. If you have a look at Mark 3:35 you will see Jesus is said to have used the word God while Mattthew changes the same statement by replacing the word ‘God’ with the word ‘Father’ in Matt 12:50.

However, there are other references in Mark where "Father" is used for God. Thus, the Christian will believe both Father and God can be used interchangeably. Therefore, banning the use of "Father" would not denote an ontological change in God.

Let me know what you think of this. Also, try and visit your local mosque to study scripture together (with Muslims) and have friendship and dialogue.