Channel: Yasir Qadhi
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi points some questions and dialogues to Reverend Dr. James White, the director of Alpha Omega Community, to get some answers in the context of the religion of Christianity.
The Shaykh starts off with generic questions such as:
- The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity and how it validates monotheism
- Can God be a human being?
- The necessity of a sacrificial death and many more such pertinent questions.
“No soul shall bear the sins of the other.” – this is a Verse from the Qur’an. So theologically, what exactly is original sin? This question is also deeply delved upon and makes for an interesting listen.
The primary difference between Catholics and reformed Baptists is the next point of discussion and we are acquainted with interesting parallels.
The floor next opens for an amicable Q & A wherein numerous doubts are answered and also, new concepts, previously alien, come to the fore.
Lama Rahim. We began as we began all of our lectures by praising Allah subhanho wa Taala. He alone is worthy of being praised. And we thank Allah for the blessings he has bestowed upon us both openly and secretly. And we ask Allah His blessings to be sent upon all of the prophets, beginning with Adam, all the way through Moses and Abraham, and Solomon and David and Noah, and Jesus and culminating in our Prophet Mohammed, may God's peace and blessings be upon all of them. I greet you with the greeting of Islam As salam o aleikum, wa rahmatullah wa barakato, which translates as may God's peace and blessings and mercy be upon all of you. And this is the greeting of not just the
people of Islam, but of the prophets of God, they would greet one another with the greetings of peace. And that is why, of course Shalom and Shalom. It is also a Jewish greeting as well, because it is essentially the Arabic Salam aleikum. And in one of my studies, as well, I learned to that priests in medieval Europe would greet one another with the greetings of Pax verbascum, which also translates as peace be unto you. And so the phrase of peace be unto you and may God's peace be upon you, is a standard phrase of all Abrahamic faiths. And that is how we, children of Abraham have been commanded to greet one another, and an especial greeting to our guests. from other faith traditions,
we welcome you to our mosque. And we know that for some of you this itself was a big move to enter into a mosque, well, you can see that everything is pretty much normal here, except that we typically don't have chairs. That's the one thing that these are special for you and for those of us so we're typically we sit sit on the floor, and we pray, standing and bowing down. So we don't really have pews. I'm sure as well that for some of you to see those cubby holes outside reminded you of your days in high school. But that standard for us where we were placed our our our shoes, but apart from those small idiosyncrasies as we were testing the mic yesterday, we also had some mic
problems at the at the church. And so I marked our remarks to James here that mic problems are an interfaith dialogue issue, that one of the things that we definitely have in common are mic issues. And he remarked as well that no matter how well the microphone is set up, by the time he gets to the podium, there's always some issues and I sympathize with him, you know, the sheriff and the and the priests, we kind of found a common ground here, that no matter how eloquent or how great, we have the lecture prepared, the AV staff might have done a great job. But somehow Satan gets involved in both the church and the mosque. And but by the time we get to the microphone, it's something is not
working. So there is a lot of room for interfaith dialogue. For those of you that attended, yes, let me just get a quick show of hands. How many attended yesterday's talk? Oh, wow. Okay, so we have, I would say a majority. Okay, that's good, because today's talk is absolutely complimentary to yesterday's one. Yesterday,
I was more on the grilling seat. And I was asked some questions. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I was happy to give my Frank responses. Today, we're gonna shift the tables a little bit, and I will be doing some questions and dialogues. But many of us here have never really heard directly from a minister from a person learned in the Christian faith that is willing to be honest with us. We all know that, as we said yesterday, that a lot of times the people that we meet with our following understandings of Christianity that we don't really we don't really understand we don't really sympathize with. It's rare to meet a.
an expert's and an erudite learned scholar who is faithful to the tradition and is willing to share with us his interpretation and his understanding of Christianity. So of course, we welcome James White. We were we introduced Well, he introduced himself yesterday. I don't really have much more information other than he is very famous in his community, and he is the alpha minister of the Alpha Omega, Director of alpha Megaman and director of the Alpha Omega ministries living in Phoenix, Arizona.
He had asked me yesterday if I remembered how he contacted me so I did a quick search about in my email about how that happened. Yes, I did. So apparently, Shabbir Ali introduced to both of us via email. Oh, I think 2007 to 2008 long time ago and so he cc the both of us
we had a lot of questions back and forth. And I was honestly very surprised to meet a pastor online. So by the way, yesterday was the first time we actually met in person. After speaking on the phone for hours and hours and hours after corresponding back and forth for almost a decade, yesterday was the first time we actually met in person. And so he was asking such detailed questions, I was honestly impressed. And he was using Arabic terminology that, again, it's rare to find a minister who speaks even, you know, words of Arabic. So I was very impressed. So I said, Give me your address, I'm going to send you some, some CDs that I have. So I sent him my most detailed CD of al
Qaeda theology, which is lack of guidance. It's the class that I teach for the mother, it says, you know, to double weekends, and it's been compacted into 1617 CDs. So I sent him the CD set. And I honestly thought he just, you know, put it on a shelf or something. He began bombarding me with a series of questions. Very detailed, and I was honestly just blown away. Like, you mentioned that Tokido rubia has three categories. It's like what it is. These are questions that some of my students don't even ask me. Okay, how do you define [???]ake? No, no, here in this way. And we're going back and forth in this manner. And it was just so impressive and refreshing really, to meet
somebody who's taking the time to research what we actually believe from the sources. And then he began asking me questions about headed so I sent him my CDs are not CDs, there was online series of heady lectures I gave about the sciences of Hades. And so he's studying masala had headed like the terminology of headache, you know, so he has an advice and whatnot. And it's just I mean, it's very impressive to meet somebody who's going to be so dedicated to actually learn the sources. All of you in the mosque know, that three years ago, the far right targeted me, you know, Spencer and Pamela go whatnot. And they released this fabricated audio clip, although you're aware of it, where they, you
know, cut and pasted literally snippets of my lecture from light of guidance. So quite literally, they took 10 seconds here, 30 seconds there. And they constructed a paragraph in my voice that made it sound like I'm threatening Jihad and kill and whatnot, literally, as you as you've all lived in the mosque, no, but our Christian visitors probably don't know, they literally concocted a paragraph that I never said, but it is in my voice. And they put it on YouTube, which is still available on YouTube, because I tried to get it down. And they and they got their lawyers involved. The lawyers, you know, contacted YouTube and a long story, to cut to the cut a long story short, that YouTube
clip fabricated audio caused to me and continues to cause me so much damage, I almost lost my job. Rhodes College was inundated with 1000s of emails and letters to get me fired, I began to receive death threats. This is 2013. And all of a sudden, I came across a YouTube clip of James White, where he has an entire lecture entitled, is it in defense of yourself or something like this? And I was like, Whoa, that's intriguing. And I clicked on that lecture. And he defended me against the right wing bigots. And he said, I've listened to that audio lecture from cover to cover. I've heard the entire light of guidance and under exactly where he's getting those snippets from. And even if I
disagree with him in theology, and I don't think, you know, his his theology is right that, you know, I disagree with Islamic theology. He's not preaching radicalism or hatred or terror. And the fact that he stood up for me, and I never asked him, he never even told me that he's standing up for me didn't even send me a link and say, oh, by the way, I'm defending you.
This is something I just came across just accidentally, I came across this, and the fact that somebody would do that, to me, that indicates good character. To me, that indicates a purity of heart. And I find a kindred spirit in James here and I literally consider him a brother, in a faithfulness that is very similar to mine. It's not the same faith, but I do not question his integrity. And I do not doubt his commitment, and I do not challenge his sincerity. And I know that he feels the same way about me. So that is why we have been wanting to meet for the longest time. He wanted to have a debate and and a book with me. And and his his expertise is debating theology with
Muslims and with Mormons and with Catholics. That's what he has established his niches. As you all know, my expertise is in other areas, Sierra and Hadeeth and whatnot. And so I kept on and eventually I said, You know, I just don't feel comfortable because then I told him, You are more knowledgeable than I am.
In these particular areas, everybody has a speciality. And you know, may God have mercy on the one who's humble enough to know his own, you know, limits, right. So I didn't want to take on this expertise, because early Christian theology is not my area of expertise. And the development of you know, Christian doctrines is not my area. So I politely you know, said, you know, Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not, I'm not the person for a debate. Then after Trump's election, and in the in the, you know, call up to that in the in the framework for that, we started corresponding via email, and we both sensed a kindred sentiment of dread of what do we what's going to happen in this country.
And that's what we came across the idea, rather than come together for debating
advanced theology, which has a time in place, and it is important, rather than to come together and talk about you know, this and that about the the nature of Godhead or whatnot, why don't we introduce each other to our respective communities, and make people see and realize that you know, what we can fundamentally disagree, without hating one another, without having to resort to lying, without having to have anything but genuine respect, because Muslims in the audience know that unfortunately, many people who are very committed to their faith, and to being the most isolated from us, are committed to the Christian faith. And most of the groups that want to meet with us,
their understandings of Christianity are very different than the mainstream that we are surrounded here in Tennessee. So Reverend James White is a breath of fresh air for us. We appreciate his candidness and honesty, and that's why it's such an honor and a pleasure to have him here at the Memphis Islamic center. So I want to just start off by asking some very, very generic questions that I know are on the minds of many Muslims. And I know that they've never really had somebody explained to them, with the amount of knowledge you have out of the Islamic faith explained to them in a way that they can understand. Well, first, I've got to ask you, is this the first time there's ever been
a bow tie in here?
Did you think it probably is
that I'm proud of myself? It is, indeed, it isn't the first time there's been a bow tie over here. Yes.
It's very rare to meet somebody like this.
My wife says the same thing. So.
So I want to ask you a question that is on the minds of many, many Muslims. And even, you know, yesterday, I got the same question as well, like, can you ask him to explain this concept? The average Muslim is struggling to understand the Christian doctrine of Trinity and how, how it is viewed as being monotheistic because, again, this is something that is not comprehensible to the average Muslim mind. Excellent. I wrote a book in 1998, I believe, called The Forgotten Trinity. And I mentioned yesterday in our discussion that I've said many times that I think if you went to most conservative Bible believing Christian churches on a Sunday morning, and at gave their people a quiz
on the doctrine of the Trinity,
I don't know what percentage would pass it, but it would not be more than 50%. And probably less than that.
There is a lot so it's, it's really easy to understand if in talking with Christian people, you haven't been given a real clear understanding of what the doctrine of the Trinity is.
The first and fundamental there are three pillars you have you have five we have three of the doctrine of the Trinity, so we can use pillars here. The first pillar of the doctrine of Trinity is absolute monotheism, there is only one God. The Jews don't pronounce the Divine Name, but Christians don't have any problem doing that in the Old Testament, or what we would call the Tanakh, the Torah, the nether EME and the ketuvim, the law, the writings and the prophets, that that name is Yahweh, or as we slaughter it in English, Jehovah could not have been its proper pronunciation, but Yahweh is probably the best pronunciation and that's used over 6000 times in the Old Testament.
There is only one God Yahweh, he created all things he himself is uncreated, everything is depend upon him. He is accomplishing his purpose in this world. And monotheism I some of you don't. Fact I don't think you were really aware. I started my as a really as a teenager, dealing with Mormonism. That was my first real area of challenge. And the Mormons are the most polytheistic religion I've ever encountered. They believe in unlimited number of Gods literally infinite number of deities. And so I've had to defend monotheism, in debates, the University of Utah up in Salt Lake City all over the place. And so, I firmly believe there is only one true God and every Trinitarian believes
there's only one true God if they understand what the doctor
Teaching so you say, well, then why do you have the Jesus as the Son? Why do you have the Spirit of God as a divine person. And the thing to understand that maybe will help you to conceive least of what we're saying is there's one distinction that must be understood. And that is the difference between being and person. Everything that exists has been, my, my iPhone has been in if I toss it into the front row here, and the gentleman up front isn't expecting me to do so and it hits him in the forehead, he's gonna know it has been because it's gonna hurt when it hits him. But I can insult my iPhone. Well, Siri might not like that. But we know that's artificial. My iPhone does not have
personhood. It does not know that it's one iPhone, amongst many other iPhones that it can work for the good of iPhone kind or anything like that. So there's a difference between being in person we believe God's being is unlimited, cannot be limited by time space, anything along those lines whatsoever. And hence can be shared by three divine persons, the Father, Son, the spirit, my beings limited I'm a human being. So my being can't be shared by multiple persons. And when that happens, we we have special places we put people that have multiple persons that share their well being. But God's being is not limited in that way. And so when we look at the Bible as a whole, and I want you
to understand one of the things that I've so much appreciated about yasir Qadhi is his knowledge of the cut on
his ability to quote from it, but then the emphasis upon understanding all that it has to say and, and as I have engaged in dialogues with Muslims, one of the things that I have gotten in trouble for from my own community is that I want to apply the same standards of interpretation to the Quran, that I'm going to demand for my own my own text. So in other words, I can't isolate texts in the Quran, from other texts in the Quran and say, ah, here's a gotcha text or something along those lines, I have to I have to be fair, and I have to what I call equal scales, because I think that's the terminology that's used in the current we have to have equal scales. And so when you look at all
of what the Bible teaches, it teaches three things. There's one true God, it teaches that there are three persons that are equal with one another, not in their function, but in their power in their authority. And then it teaches that these three persons Jesus is not the father, the father is not the Spirit. Jesus wasn't a ventriloquist, it is baptism, he wasn't throwing his voice. There are people who believe that I didn't see any of the churches while I was driving here, man, there are a lot of churches down here they are, Oh, my goodness. And sometimes there'll be two Baptist churches right next to each other, I can't figure that part out. But
if you've ever encountered the oneness, Pentecostal denomination, there are people out there that do believe that Jesus is the Father, the father is a spirit, they only believe in one divine person
that can confuse people. That's not the doctrine, the Trinity, they reject the doctrine of the Trinity. So fundamentally, when I look at the New Testament, Jesus differentiates himself from the Father, He is the one who is sent by the Father, the father and the son send the spirit they are differentiated from one another. And yet, clearly, from not only Old Testament texts, like Isaiah nine, six all the way in the New Testament, Jesus is identified as yawei. The Father's identify as Yaqui, the Spirit is the Spirit of Yahuwah. So the only way to put these together and again, I'm taking all of Scripture, not just parts of it, is to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. And so
that's why I call myself a biblical Trinitarian, in my book, is that I am attempting to be faithful to the entirety of Scripture. And that's why we differentiate between being in person. And we recognize there's only one being of God, identified as Yaqui. And there are three persons that share that one being and so that's I can go far more into depth than that in the early church and things like that have taught church history for many years. But basically, I think that's the one thing to understand is if you recognize that we're differentiating between being a person that helps you to understand that we're, we're not preaching a form of polytheism, we're not trying to say there are
multiple gods and of course, last evening, one of the things I mentioned was, I think, in a in a really in depth discussion between a learned Muslim and a knowledgeable Christian, in regards to the key important issue of whether Christians are actually guilty of shirk is to is to get to that level and to recognize that when we worship Jesus, we are, we are worshipping Jehovah God, we are worshiping God, we do not believe that we're worshipping someone different than Yahweh. And I think that's extremely important. And to be honest with you, I've only heard one or two people that one or two situations where that's even come up. And I would think that would be vitally important in any
discussion on that subject. So the By the way, we're going to be having a discussion for around 1520 minutes, and we'll open the floor for q&a. So all of you be ready for your questions. So if I understood you correctly, would it be correct
To say theoretically, theoretically, God could manifest himself in more than three persons. No, because this is an eternal relationship. That's I'm glad you raised that. Because one of the one of the common areas of conversation we have with our Muslim friends, is this idea of the nature of sonship. Jesus did not become the Son, you couldn't have another son or something like that. This relationship that exists between father and son has eternally existed, it did not come into existence at a point in time. And if I had time I I'd walked through john chapter one, and how in the original language, the writer brings this out through the use of verb tenses of I guess it's
quite beautiful, actually. But no, the God has eternally existed in this way, and God does not change, you know, we believe, as the song of Moses in the 90 a song before the mountains were brought forth, wherever that was formed the earth in the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, he does not change. And therefore, if he is eternally Ben, Father, Son, and spirit, that could not change because God cannot change. So another question that many Muslims have, why does a god or a part of God have to die for our sins? And what does it mean that God died or Jesus died? It's very important that you recognize that that what we believe about Jesus is,
first of all, we did not believe death means cessation of existence are very frequently been asked, well, when Jesus died, who was running the universe? Well, we don't we all of us, none of us believe that death is a cessation of existence. And so even in the death of Christ, he does not cease to exist as a as a divine person or human person. But we also believe that Jesus was the god man, he was not a mixture, he was not 5050.
Because that would be a demigod. We believe that the what's called the lagace, the son of God, the eternal Son of God took on a perfect human nature, and that there is no intermingling between the two. And that as that one person with two natures, he gave his perfect life on behalf of his people. So there's two, there's two different questions here. One is the nature of the death of Christ, and how that could be in light of his being divine. That's that's one issue. And could I mentioned that debate that I had,
I had a just, it's my favorite debate that I've had with a Muslim gentleman, his name is Abdullah Kunda, I've known Adela for a number of years. It's in Sydney. And so he has a very interesting, almost Germanic Australian accent, which is really,
it makes me challenge you just a little bit to follow sometimes, but he's a brilliant young man. I consider him a friend. And we debated the subject Can God become man, we actually cut to the chase, we cut to the real issue. And it was fascinating, the depth that we got into especially in the cross examination that's available on YouTube. So if you want to hear, I mean, he read my book, he attempted to, you know, communicate in that way. And I really appreciated that that's that that made it like I said, one of the best debates I've ever been engaged in. So if you want to look more into that, and and some really strong objections from your side, on that subject, that that debate would
be helpful, the other subject because there were two subjects in that question. The other subject is why would Why is it even necessary? Why does there have to be a sacrificial death, and this is, this is a major area of discussion between us and again, I can reference I could direct you to a debate with Shabbir Ali, most of you probably know, Shabir, I've debated him, starting to lose track 678 times something like that, on multiple continents. And
we did a debate in the abubaker Siddiq mosque in erasmia Pretoria, South Africa. And it was the first time in South African history that a debate had taken place. And I stood in front of the Qibla. So it wasn't a room associated with the mosque. It was right there. I mean, we observed the prayers before the before the debates. This is a mosque, by the way, we'll be praying after our talk. Oh, I know that. But I mean, but but but but what I mean is, is it was the first time in South African history that the debate itself had taken place. And they put chairs out too for the wimpy Christians. So they they knew we couldn't handle what you guys can handle sitting on the floor. So
cross legged cross. That's exactly right. But in that debate, we discussed this very specific issue of why is it necessary for there to be a sacrificial death within Christian theology, and I had much more time to expand upon that. But fundamentally, this is what I would like the bug I'd like to put in your ear in response to that. And that is, from my perspective, the key issue to remember is that God's law, from my perspective, and I think from a biblical perspective, God's law reflects his nature. It is not something separate from him that he could change. If he wanted to change it. It reflects his essential holiness and so when it is broken, there needs to be atonement. It needs to
be there needs to be justification, there needs to be a rectification.
of the breaking of that law, God can't just simply say,
my laws and broken but that's okay I don't mind I'm just going to forgive a person Anyways, this is reflecting the sacrificial system in under the old covenant and then its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. And so from my perspective, the necessity is related to the fact that God's law reflects his very nature. And if we had more time, since I have a Hadeeth expert, and most of my understanding of Saki, and Hassan, and everything else comes from listening to him.
In some very unusual context, I'm probably the only student he has ever had, that has listened to his insight his entire Hadeeth lectures in cotton spandex shorts, because I listen, I ride a bike, and I ride many, many, many miles. I did almost 9000 miles last year on my bike, and that's when I study. And so I've told him, I have distinct memory in July and Phoenix, and if you've ever been to Phoenix, it's very hot in July. And so if you want to do a 60 mile bike ride, you have to start about three o'clock in the morning. And I remember very clearly, waiting for a light at Union hills and 16th Street going northbound, and I'm listening to yasir Qadhi. Specifically, the fact that this
is going to freak you out, I'm sorry, you were talking about the rules by which you analyze the criteria that have to be passed for something to be sorry, I remember you're about halfway down. I was at that light then that weird, okay, I'm strange, I realized that you probably all saying you tie your bow tie is way too tight. But but one of the one of the Hadith that I would love to discuss sometime, maybe in the future is the one about the man who killed 99 people. Because I have used that as an illustration of this for many years. And then I did a debate at the largest mosque in New York.
And the mom, we were on a radio program beforehand, he brought it up as well. So I didn't feel like I was cherry picking anything given that it is obviously one that comes up very frequently.
And so that that I brought that up in that debate that particular hit Ethan, how many of you know what I'm talking about the Okay, most of the most of the Muslims in the room? No, no, I'm referring to sorry, Christians, you'll have to look it up later. Look at look at the debate, don't have time to go into it right now. But the forgiveness of that man, especially in some of the versions of the of the Hadith, the fact that a lot actually makes the earth shrink between the man and the city he was going to, I think that's directly relevant to, to, from a Christian perspective, a person who understands the Christian doctrine of atonement. That's one of the key issues we need to talk about,
because that's where we have a major disconnection our understanding of the justice of God and how forgiveness takes place. And so I just want you to know, you, you are, you're talking to someone who is not I didn't read all the Sahaba Chari, I have the same set that's over here and saw Bukhari and Muslim I didn't read them, I listened to them. In other words, they're available electronically, so I convert them to mp3. So can you imagine listening to the entirety of that in an electronic voice? That's what I that's, that's what I did. And think about how much better that is for memorization. Because when you're reading it, once you've read it once, what's the tendency when you encounter it
the second time to sort of skip over it. But there are subtle differences between each one that are given when you're on a bike on an iPod, you can't stop and fast forward. So you know, the one Hadith about the man, the woman who comes and offers herself and marriage to Muhammad, and he declines and the man gets up and says, Would you give it to me says, What do you have to give to her now? I have nothing. Go to your family ask we have we have nothing? And so it finally he asks, have you memorize any of the Quran and some of the versions give the specific service that he had he had memorized. And so he gives gives a woman to him for the memorization of the Quran.
I don't know how many times that appears between Bukhari and Muslim it must be about 45. I'm going to tell you something. But about the 45th time I wanted to ride my bike into a cactus because I had faced first because it was like, oh, but it's good, because repetition is the mother of memories. So I remember, it's amazing how many Hadeeth I can actually narrate because I did it that way. It's it's fast. So by the way, 9000 miles on a bike, I didn't do 9000 miles on my car last year. I've done I've done I've done 108,500 miles on my bike so far. Wow. Wow. And Bukhari and Muslim the vast majority of Muslims here haven't even read much less listen to it. So you're you're ahead of most of
the Muslims here. Okay. But and by the way, for the Muslims in the audience, um, I want to ask these very basic questions, because I feel that many of us here really just don't understand this basic Christian doctrines. And we end up asking questions that are just indicative of our own ignorance. When somebody says, well, when Jesus died on the cross, there are only two Gods that's not that that that shows that we don't understand Christian doctrine, even if we disagree. We should at least understand and and ask the right questions. That's why I'm asking
These questions here. And that's why I was asking you to clarify. Okay, last evening, same thing, we have the exact same problem going the other direction. Exactly. I appreciate that. Yes. And I'm giving you the opportunity to spread your teachings here. Because again, it's all honesty, because like, you're just as confident in your beliefs as we are in ours. And that's the whole point. There's nothing to be scared of, right? There's absolutely nothing. Here we are, we want to better understand, so that we can better dialogue and also just live together. So I have another question that many Muslims have is a very key boronic doctrine is that no soul shall bear the sin of another.
This is a verse repeated in the Quran, like seven or eight times, it's literally no soul shall bear the sin of another. And the motif is extremely ironic on the Day of Judgment, it doesn't matter what your father or your son did, if you didn't cause it, it doesn't matter what your brother did. If you weren't involved in it, you are responsible for yourself and yourself only. So Muslims have theological trouble understanding the concept of original sin? Why should any one of us be responsible for what
our father did, even if it's a million generations ago, or one generation ago? So if you can explain to the Muslims, what exactly is original sin? And why is it so fundamental for Christian theology? There are obviously a lot of Christians today who don't emphasize the concept. I would say many really don't even let it enter into their thinking, but I think it is. It's part of the biblical text. It's very clearly laid out in Romans chapter five, and I think it is important.
I think the technical term we use is federal headship. What does that mean? Well, Adam represented us in Christian theology, Adam represented us in the fall. And I think, is there not a Hadeeth where Adam and Moses are talking? Yes. And doesn't Moses say to him, in some sense,
you know, sort of, he represented mankind in the fall or his fall caused all these problems or something along those lines, the blame is not original sin, the blame is like your sin caused you to expel to be expelled in paradise. And so because you were expelled were your children. So that's right, right. There is there's almost a sense there, of federal headship. And here's, here's what we understand, just as Adam represented us in the fall, then Christ becomes the head of a new humanity. So in Adam, all we have is what he can give us. And that is death. The person who is in Christ receives from him what he can give us, and that is eternal life. The idea that this is unjust. Well,
if you look at if you look at, for example, the law of Moses, if you look at the taking of the Promised Land, if you look at what happened, for example, in Jericho, if you remember the story in the Bible, when the children of Israel took Jericho, a particular man by the name of Aiken broke God's law. And when God exposed his sin, who was punished, Akin and his entire family, he represented that entire family. So this idea of representation is very, very clearly laid out laid out in Scripture. But I also want to add to that this idea that when you talk about representation, and the idea of a person bearing the punch of their own sin, you mentioned, I'm not sure if I think
you just mentioned it briefly yesterday. And then over lunch, you mentioned more fully the idea of a legal system, that that you see tremendous parallels between the Jewish and Islamic legal systems that Christianity has moved away from that you mentioned, Paul, so on and so forth. I think it would help us out help our two communities to talk if you recognize that
biblical Christians have a very high view of law. I have a very high view of the Mosaic Law. I just finished an entire sermon series on the law and its relevance today and and how we are to honor God's law today. But what you need to understand is we believe that the gospel is a message of mercy and grace. that transcends the law but does not get rid of the law. So in other words, from our perspective, everyone in the universe, Well, okay, everyone on Earth, okay, let's put that way. Everyone on earth will receive either justice, or mercy. No one will receive injustice, no one be unjustly treated. God is under no obligation to extend mercy or grace to someone we cannot force
God's hand on anything. Instead, what we understand is that when Jesus bears our sins in the place of God's people, that he does so he has a perfect life to give. He is fulfilling God's law and most importantly, he gives his life voluntarily. It is not taken from him. He lays his down his he lays his life down of his own accord. That's extremely important to understand because
Because this was what was decided before the Incarnation between the Father, Son and Spirit and eternity pass, so it's not like someone took it from him. It's not like he failed or anything like that this was his intention. And so when he bears our sins in our place, we receive mercy and grace. But God's justice and his law is fulfilled. The person who does not avail themselves of that atonement receives justice for their sins. But from our perspective, and this is where, last evening we didn't get chance to expand upon it, but you were talking about, you use the term chance excuses at the judgment in the sense of being able to offer up an excuse your ignorance or chances to be
able to do so.
Here's where there's where, interestingly enough, the legal understanding that underlies Christianity is there is an absolute standard of perfection and reinterpret God's presence, absolute standard perfection. And that's why, for example, the man who killed 99 people, you know, we look at that and recoil from that because we have nothing unclean. The Book of Revelation says nothing unclean will enter in the presence of God. So how could anyone ever enter the presence of God? the understanding of the gospel is that Jesus in His sacrificial death not only provides forgiveness of our sins, but in his perfect life, he fulfilled all the commandments of God. For example, what's the
greatest commandment? In the New Testament? I'd be interested from a Muslim perspective.
From the New Testament is You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind, in the Quran? What would would there be a parallel to that? So the first commandment that is mentioned in the Quran, if you start reciting the Quran, from the beginning is all mankind worship your Lord who created you, but first in importance will be most important would be worship God. So to worship God, would that include love of God? Well, one of the pillars of worship of Elijah guys pillar is love. That's the primary. Okay. Okay. So we there's, there's a connection there. And yet, I will be perfectly honest with you, I have not loved God perfectly. And so if that's the standard, how could
I ever enter into His presence? Well, Christ, the son did love the Father perfectly. And so his perfect righteousness both negatively and the removal of my sin, and positively in the perfect life that he lived, is imputed to me by faith. And so when I stand before God, I stand closed in that righteousness. And that's how I can have peace with God. So that's, that's one of the areas I think, again,
when I think of most of the interactions that take place, that's where the conversation should be. And it's almost always off on something else. And that's why I appreciate you and these folks so much, you said so many kind things about me at the beginning. But may I say that the reason I've pursued him and maybe bothered him a few times, I'm sorry if that's the case. But one of the reasons I pursued him and I've told him this is I was not only did I appreciate the scholarship, and the consistency, and so on and so forth. But I was listening to a lecture he did once I don't remember where it was. I remember where I was, I don't remember where you were.
The the audio recording may not have even indicated that I don't know. But he was talking about the Quran and he was getting, he was starting to preach. He was starting to get very passionate. And he said, Why do we have our children memorize a text in a language they don't even understand if we're not at the same time, teaching them to live by the principles that that text communicates to them. And you said it with a lot of force. At that point, I said, Here is my counterpart on the other side, because that's exactly my perspective. Why Why spend the time studying the scriptures. If you don't believe them and make application to your life? It doesn't make any sense. And so it was that
consistency on his part, that when I had the opportunity to come, I'm speaking at a conferences next weekend down in Laurel, Mississippi. It's a four hour drive, but it was close enough to say, Hey, I got contacted, is there any way we can work something out? And the kind folks at the church, some of the members are here this evening, stepped up and said, Yeah, let's do it. And so I wanted to make sure that you understood the respect goes both directions. And it was and by the way, it's costly to
defend a Muslim from when you do what I do.
Because there are certain people that don't care. They do not care. They won't they will not even try to refute the information I provided. When I debunked that clip, because it wasn't difficult to do. I have to do is know what in the world he was actually saying. They want to do that. That's not the point. They are just simply so filled with they're all the same. They all want to put you in the exact same bucket and I can't do that. As a Christian. I do not see how
Believing Christian can engage in that we must be truthful and honest to be consistent with our own profession of faith. And so
I don't care what it costs, they do it again, I'll do it again. Appreciate that. I have two more questions, we're gonna open the floor for all of you. So the second to last question. I know this is a really heavy and deep one. But let's try to make this simple for our audience. Can you explain to us outsiders The primary difference that you would want us to know, between Protestants and Catholics, number one, and then number two, particularly between your strand of Christianity and that is reformed Baptist and other Protestant strands? Okay, two layered question to learn question.
Until I began dealing with the subject of Islam, and by the way, I will always just be a student of Islam, you will never hear me claiming to be an expert. There's too much to know in one lifetime. And I recognize that. But the primary group that I have done the most debates with publicly was with Roman Catholicism. I just did a major debate in Atlanta last week, a week ago tonight, in fact, with a Roman Catholic representative in Atlanta. And so, what's the primary issue there? Well, there are interesting parallel.
Protestants, at least historical Protestants, and this is the 500 anniversary of the beginning of the reformation, October 31 1517.
Two principles, the two principles, the reformation, the material principle reformation was the preaching of justification being made right before God by faith alone, not by the length, the number of sacraments indulgences, pilgrimages, all the other things that developed within Roman Catholicism over the centuries. And so the issue is the gospel is a person made right before God by faith. Is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ sufficient in and of itself, or do we have to add things to it? Is that something that sort of makes us saveable? And then we have to do the rest? Or is Jesus a powerful Savior? That's really the primary issue in the Gospel. And then the, what was called the
formal principle was, we believe in what's called sola scriptura. Scripture alone, versus the Roman Catholic understanding of sacred traditions, certain citations from early church fathers and things like that. It's not that we ignore those things. It's not that we ignore church history, though, I'll be perfectly honest with you, many Protestants do. Many for many Protestants, I've often said church history starts with Billy Graham, which really was not that long ago, and you think about it, but and I said, as a person who teaches church history fairly regularly, so. But we do believe that only scripture is they are new stuff. That's a Greek word, which means God breathed. And so it's God
speaking. Now we do, it would be a great thing to discuss our differences and how we understand inspiration.
Because that that the we do have a divide there, we both talked about God's word, we both talked about inspiration. But there is a difference in understanding. And I've spent a lot of hours reading books, primarily from the Sunni perspective to try to be able to nuance that and accurately represent you when we discussed it. But that'll be one of the major areas. Quickly. Where do I then differ from other Protestants? Well, the real big divide and this is a divide that you've you've mentioned or recognize, is between liberals and conservatives in the sense of people who continue to believe that God has spoken, or the God can even reveal himself and those who do not. I'll be honest
with you, once Christianity abandons the supernatural element abandons revelation abandoned the idea of miracles, virgin birth, things that we would agree on in regards to virgin birth and things like that. It becomes a social club. And every mainline Protestant denomination that has abandoned a belief in the Bible is God's word is collapsing today. There's they're closing their churches, and they're selling them off, because they're dying, because they have really nothing to offer. So that's the biggest divide is right there. But the other divide where I would be somewhat different than many of the people that you'd have around you in Tennessee that are that a good old Baptist
because like I said, I saw a lot a lot of Baptist churches on the way here, and I saw a couple Church of Christ buildings, and I wasn't invited to go to any of those. And the primary reason would be that a reformed Baptist is a person who has a strong emphasis upon the sovereignty of God and salvation, that there is an elect people that Christ's death atones for them perfectly. And hence the freedom of God in saving his people rather than the idea that God's just trying his best to save as many as he can. But he's doing his best but it's all up to us to help him out. I don't see that as the presentation of Scripture. I've debated a number of times. I believe that that God is able to
Save nice saves perfectly. And again, if we were to expand upon that we would want to discuss the differences between Tada, and what we believe about predestination and the the the elements of that. But our time is limited this evening. So those would be some of the specifics. So do you mind if I simplify what you said in language that probably they would understand? Because your terms like justification, right. So essentially, what the Reverend said was that
Protestants believe that in order to enter agenda, I'm going to use Arabic words here. All you need is a man and no, Ahmed, you need pure human. And if you have a man in Jesus, amen, and Jesus died for your sins, then you really don't need any Amen. After that. Where as Catholics would require not just Yvonne, but more than that. And the second point was, what is the primary source? So it's the Quran only, let's say, or it's sola scriptura. And it's not well, for the share of these things of the moms that say, so the products are so we don't believe in those as actually sources, we can look to them for reference or whatnot, but they're not actual awesome. So that's the main difference
between Protestants and Catholics. And then with regards to
what, what the difference is between Protestant The main issue would be, as the explicit said, in other what is the position of credit, and how does a lot or God choose people to be saved? And what does that entail? And all Baptists would agree in a profession of faith as an adult? Correct? Yeah. So that's another major point of difference that Baptists have with some of the old school Protestants, we don't baptize our children. Yes. But children are baptized by Baptist Baptists believe in adult baptism. So you choose to convert or you choose to make a profession as a confession as the term young Muslims and Christians do you understand these terms have different
meanings. We have language. Yeah.
Yeah, there's no. When you say justified, yep. Nobody understands what it means.
Well, that's not what I mean, I had a problem. And you have a problem when I speak in my Arabic phrase as well. So that's one of the things No, I've learned them all from Well, now. That's true.
That's true, actually. Yeah. Okay. Which leads me back so I can blame you for most of my mispronunciation. So, you've been my guide, which leads me to my final question. My final question, a personal note, why are you so interested in studying Islam? I'm so glad you and and
why me in particular, I'm just curious, like, there's so many people out there who are like, Well, let me answer the second question. First, you first of all, let's be honest, many of the first people I started listening to it was hard to understand them. You are you speak you know, you're from here. So it's it's there's a real practical level that it's easier to understand you your your Arabic is very good and understandable to me as well. I was just starting to study with an Arabic tutor at that time. So it was very, very helpful.
But what I found, especially once when I listened to the first thing I listened to you was actually your material and shirk. And that was so vitally important, because that is one of the key issues between us and your, your, your great teacher, you are very good at communicating what you believe you have a good cadence to your teaching is very understandable. I'm a teacher as well. And so I recognize good teachers. And so I wasn't trying to stop you. But once you once you sent me like guidance. I mean, that was just so so useful. That I started ransacking the net, you got a lot of stuff out there. There's there's a lot of material, and a lot of it goes away is back. And so
for the reason was, you're a great teacher, and I've even raised your name, and I've asked people that have been debating, would you agree with Josh Riccati on something like this? And sometimes there's a yes. And sometimes there's a no, it's difficult. But why do I do this? Well, look, I do understand that I'm a little bit unusual.
I never dreamed of this, believe me. When I did my bachelor's degree in Bible at Grand Canyon University, which is a Southern Baptist school back then it was it's not any longer but
nobody envisioned doing apologetics, which you would call Dawa. No one talked about anything like this. That was the farthest thing from my mind even after 911 and things like that. was not on my radar screen. What happened was two students at Biola University contacted me and said we'd like to arrange a debate between yourself and Shabbir Ali. I didn't know who she Bradley was I really didn't know these issues. But I said, Well, let me listen to some debates. So I started listening to some of Shapiro's lectures, debates, ended up listening to many, many hours of them. And I realized the things that he was raising regarding the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the person, Holy Spirit, the
transmission of the text of the Bible, allegations of corruption, the role of Paul, these are things I've been spending my entire adult life studying and teaching in other contexts. And so I realized I would have something positive to present here. And so when I met Shabbir, you know, I found him to be a very kind individual
And I started realizing, well, basically, I only put it in a spiritual sense, the Lord really started birthing in my heart, a love for the Muslim people.
And one of my chief concerns is, and one of my greatest criticisms of my own community is that many of my people fear you, when we're commanded to love you.
And as long as there's fear in the heart, we will never extend ourselves in love to the Muslim people.
And that's why I've done what I've done here, people need to understand there's there's a, there's a strand, and you run into it all the time, there's a strand of people that would be formally in my community, who simply will not recognize that there's different kinds of beliefs amongst Muslim people. And so when they take the worst, and demand that all of you be put into the exact same category, I know enough to recognize that that's a lie. And it's untrue. And as a Christian, I cannot propagate on truth and claim to follow he who is the truth. And so when you ask me why I do this, I'm sorry if this sounds trite, or weird or odd, but as the Christians because I love you. And
when I tried when I bend over backwards, listening to this man's lectures at three o'clock in the morning, in cotton lycra, shorts and sweating profusely,
there, the reason I'm doing that is so that I can not only communicate with you, so I can understand, I can look, listen to his lectures, he can use Arabic, and I can follow him and I can understand I understand the terminology. But so I can show respect for you. You know what I've found?
I can disagree with you, openly and firmly. But as long as I have demonstrated to you that I want to honor you by accurately representing you, you folks are the best people in the world to talk to you.
I have been in mosques not just in the United States, but in South Africa. One week after the mikaze embassy attack I was debating is Muhammad prophesied in the Bible in the East London Mosque.
And the Muslims there loved it. And I had to say some strong things, but my my experiences with Muslims, if you have shown them the respect of accurately representing what they believe, then you can honestly disagree. And they'll, they'll listen and they'll talk. And we live in a day I tell my Christian, my Christian community, we live in a day, we have to break our backs, to get secularists to talk to us. And here's a whole group of people that want to talk to us. But we're not talking about a tragedy, trying to change it, but I'm just one funny looking guy in a bow tie.
Well, two people at a time, we're going to continue to have this conversation and dialogue and hopefully we will be building more bridges together. And before we go to the questions I do, I brought
I brought some books for your mom, one of them I brought and unfortunately it's a paperback and it doesn't like humidity. Okay, so the cover has been doing the Watusi ever since I left Arizona. This is a book by a friend of mine called behold your king. It is an entire study of the Old Testament prophetic texts about the messiahship of Jesus. So you might find it to be very useful. And then I ordered this one in two days ago. Because I was I happened to again, I wasn't stalking you. I was literally looking for something else on YouTube. When you're is it could hold on from Christmas. came up on YouTube here. Yeah, right over here, right here. Yeah, yeah, I was gonna say I was trying
to remember, you know, and we're in the room it was. And you were we can't debate this. But when you what you talked about Constantine. I was sitting there grinding my teeth as a church historian going No, no, no, no, no. And so I started, I started thinking about what book would a scholar find to be most useful? Larry Hurtado is not quite as conservative as I am. But he is a he is one of the leading historians, especially in early Christianity today. He's especially have a tremendous amount of work on the development of the Codex amongst Christians, a lot of people, did you know that we've only found six scrolls of Christian scriptures out of 5717. Christians did not want to use scrolls.
And we don't exactly know why this guy is the guy has done the most work on it. So he does a lot of stuff with archaeology and the development is called destroyer of the gods early Christian distinctives in the Roman world and how the Christian church wasn't trying to look like the Roman world. The Christian church was subverting the Roman world and purposely so. Excellent, excellent work.
Your library because someone tells me you're probably a bibliophile. You probably like books. I just have 10,000.
Well, since you're giving me some books, let me also give you a book of mine. This is a book that is one of the most popular books that I've written is engages with prayer, and the proper etiquette of prayer and it talks about monotheism and what is the best way to reach God
So this is
the weapon of the believer here by weapon. We don't mean weapon to weapon. It's like, yeah, we use the same terminology. It's sad that we even have to. Well, these days, yes, yes. So this is my gift. And it's also a gift as well from the mosque as well. Oh, my gift to token for small.
Thank you very, very much. I appreciate that. Well, thank you very much. We're not done yet. Well, now you can send your questions. So the first question that we have, and I'm going to go in order of votes, so you can vote a question up if you like it, and you can vote it down if you don't like it. The number one question is, well, the top question I have, how does the Christian with your position on homosexuality, it is forbidden to deal with the LGBT community on a day to day basis? You know, given the context we live in here in America. Well, what an incredible question. I did my first debate on the subject of homosexuality with Barry Lynn, who was an ACLU attorney, the head of
Americans nice separation of church and state. He's on Fox News. Oh, I've seen him
in 2001, in Long Island, and it's interesting, we have a friend of mine, Michael Brown, and I have been challenging the leading advocates of the quote unquote, Christian LGBT movement to debate for years, and they just simply won't do it. And I know why. They've already won the public battle, why in the world even bother. I had to go to Johannesburg, South Africa last year, the year before last to have a debate with Dr. Graeme Codrington there on the subject to be able to get a really well recorded debate. Look, from my perspective, this is a hill to die on. It's the hill to die on. Because in Matthew chapter 19, the Lord Jesus Christ specifically taught that God created he quoted
from Genesis one he would grow. He quoted from what you and I would both agree. In the beginning, God created man, he made them male and female, it was good. This was his creative purpose. And from my perspective, what we're being what Christians are being asked to do in our culture today, is to deny the authority of Christ in His teaching, and to adopt a different authority. And this is what the early church faced with the Caesars. The Caesars wanted us to engage in a form of pluralism. If you're familiar with the persecution of Christians in the early centuries, they were asked to take a pinch of incense and offered upon an altar and say Kaiser, kudos Caesar is Lord, while the Christian
confession is gay suits. Kodiak, Jesus is Lord, they couldn't say that. And so this was the form of persecution. And we're facing that, again, Caesar is saying, you need to bow the knee, and you need to start celebrating what your own scriptures say, is a fundamental denial of God's right to say, this is man, this is woman, these are the roles they're to have, this is the relationship they're to have. And of course, from our perspective, these lifestyles are destructive to human flourishing and human happiness. So if we actually love the people that are involved in these lifestyles, we can't just go along with the culture and say that, you know, whatever, whatever you do,
and it's going to cost I think, Christian colleges and universities, I think if the election had gone the other way, it would have been faster than it's going to be. But I believe Christian colleges and universities will be losing their accreditation there any type of government funding and Pell Grants and things like that. If they do not collapse on this issue, it's going to be coming. And I don't care what happens over the next four or eight years, it's still going to happen eventually.
Just how fast I don't know. But yes, from my perspective, this is a gospel issue. Because if you cannot define sin, you cannot proclaim a savior from them. And the scriptures are clear, the law of Moses is clear. There's no way around this, there really isn't. And so it is an issue of if I believe that the scriptures are God's speaking, final authority, I can't go anyplace else. There's going to be a huge collapse on this. By the way, though, I can guarantee you right now, you will see many large names and a large, well, most of the mainstream nominations already have collapsed.
But you're gonna see you're gonna see evangelical churches that are gonna decide, you know what, this is not a hill to die on, and they're going to they will collapse on that. So it'll be a small minority left, really will be.
I think that's one of the main areas of cooperation we need to work together on to preserve the sanctity of family. Well, the family, and of course, the whole issue of our society. I'm sorry, but if we don't believe that there is a moral and ethical standard outside of the most recent poll,
exactly what culture could ever survive Exactly. No culture ever has? Question? Everything we've learned about Jesus, Muslim from a Muslim US history, everything we have learned about Jesus talks about his compassion, his strong belief in helping those that are less fortunate. Yet most of our co workers who are good church going Christians identify politically as right wing and
Believe in policies that seem to directly oppose the teachings of Jesus. How do we Muslims reconcile this? So I think from our perspective here, well, you understand right wing policies which don't seem there seemed to be more catered to the influential and the elite than the poor. There's just a lot of issues that Muslims socially identify with Democrats yet morally identify with the right, you know, that's our problem. Yeah. So we seem to be confused. Why do church going God fearing Christians, not seem to understand that we have a role to play with the poor and the unfortunate and the weak and the oppressed and downtrodden? Well, first of all, most of us believe that that's not
the role of government in the first place. That's the role of the church. We believe that the church should be the one engaging in that kind of take, it's an inefficient way to take my tax money, and then only 20% of it ends up going to where it's supposed to be. Whereas if in the church is a much more efficient and effective way of doing that we just don't, there is a fundamental distrust on the part of many of us here in United States of the state. Because of our doctrine of sin, this is a theological thing. And this is the original sin thing, this is actually helps to explain where were we differ some on this, because we have a fundamental distrust of centralized power, because we
believe that man has fallen. And therefore, when you look at how the founding fathers set up things here, they dispersed power for this very reason. And a lot of it came from the Judeo Christian background that was theirs. They didn't want any one person having a tremendous amount of power, because that person, if they are evil in their heart are going to act upon that. And we believe that outside of the restraining grace of God, well, even back in the days of Genesis, every intent of the man's heart was was evil continually. So part of it is that is our doctrine of ma'am.
But part of it also you need to understand, from my perspective, so that you can listen to me Even better, I did not vote for Donald Trump.
I was left without, I was left without a choice in this election, I really was. Because theologically, and morally, I could not begin to conceive of voting for Hillary Clinton, because I believe abortion is the murder of an unborn child. And she was the most pro abortion, pro homosexuality, pro gay marriage pro everything along those lines candidate ever seen. But I also couldn't vote for Donald Trump. And I couldn't because I thought they were both morally and philosophically and worldview worldview really disqualified to be present United States. And from my perspective, and I was not trying to trap you last night, by the way basket.
But from my perspective, and it is interesting, I have the freedom to say this. From my perspective, the choice we were given is indicative of God's displeasure upon a society that has taken his many blessings and has squandered them, and is spitting in his face with when when we when we take the first institution that God established amongst mankind, which is marriage, and say, We don't care what God says about it. We're going to let five people in robes determine what that is. I think God's wrath abides upon a people unless they repent. And so it may be old fashioned, but when I say God Bless America, I've say it this way, God bless America with heartfelt repentance, because that's
the first thing we need to have. We don't need material prosperity, we need repentance before God, the rest will follow after that. And so I think for a lot of people, that was so important, so central, the the abortion homosexuality issue, that it overrides every everything else. And so from our perspective, it is important to deal with the poor, but it's not the state's role. It is the church's role to be able to do that. And we want to have that freedom to do that without state interference. Fair enough. Fair enough. We have a question from a sister here. Why do so many non Muslims seem to have issues when Muslim women wear the hijab? Even though every single picture or
painting we see of marriage shows you're wearing similar clothing?
I think most Christians look at quote unquote, paintings for what they are a cultural thing. The reason that I think a lot of people express a concern, I don't have an I don't have any problem with it.
modesty, I think happens to be a wonderful and great thing. But and in fact, there are amongst the reformed there are traditions of wearing head coverings amongst the women's so it's not something that's just completely unknown, but I can tell you what, where they're getting it from. They haven't they're not talking to you women who want to do that. They're hearing from those that are they're saying that women are forced to do that against their wills as a part of being subjugated in Muslim lands, they
See videos on YouTube of women being struck and hit and beaten. And they they see things about honor killings and all that kind of stuff and they associate it all together. Again, the issue is the difference between making the proper distinctions and recognizing that there are people who want to voluntarily do these things. And then there Look, I think you'll admit that there are abuses that you can point to, in the Arab world, in the Muslim world, where men abuse their wives, and so on and so forth. And of course, we don't believe in polygamy, we would, you know, the, the New Testament teaches that, that the relationship of the husband the wife, is the monogamous thing, and that it's
the the picture of Christ and His church and things like that. So we would have some issues, we want to talk about divorce and things like that there are issues we need to talk about in those along those lines. But, again, most people do not make distinctions amongst the abuse, and then the non abuse of the same thing. It's it's ignorance, it's it's the sources we're drawing from. And since the communities generally don't talk to one another, how would they have ever talked to someone who could say, I want to do this, and here's why I want to do this. They've never heard it, and therefore they can only go with what they've been told that it's a sign of abuse, oppression,
oppression, yeah. Here we have a theological question, since God is absolutely just how do Christians understand or justify that God allowed 1000s of years to pass between Adam and Jesus, without those people knowing about Jesus explicitly, or understanding the essential concepts of the Trinity? Well, two things. God was saving people all during that time by faith in himself, according to Romans, chapter three, based upon the absolute certainty of the work of Jesus Christ. So Abraham has saved all of them were saved and saved on the same basis, faith in the same God who had made promises all the way back in Genesis 12. And Genesis 15, that he was going to fulfill His covenant.
And so we do believe that God was saving those people, and that there was not a need for explicit knowledge of who Jesus was because Jesus hadn't come yet. But let me let me mention something. The doctrine of the Trinity was revealed between the Old and the New Testaments, there are prophecies, there are texts in the Old Testament that directly point to these things, Isaiah nine, six extremely important, the use of the manual in the book of Isaiah, a number of passages like that, but the revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity takes place between the Old and New Testaments. So it's already been revealed, by the time the first word the New Testament is written. And why do I say
that? Because the primary revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity is the incarnation of the son the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, his claims for himself, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And when did that take place? That took place during the ministry of Christ immediately thereafter. And it was 1015 years before the very first words the New Testament written down. And so that revelation took place at that time, and not beforehand. And so no one's claiming that people in the Old Testament had to have explicit knowledge of these things to be saved. That's that's not what the New Testament teaches. Okay, fair enough. Back to social questions. A lot of a lot of Muslims
here are concerned about social issues.
With the announcement of the wall being signed as an executive power by Trump today in the banning of immigrants and refugees. How do you and your congregation have view all of this? And will you work towards eliminating marginalization of minority communities one of which is our community
This is especially difficult issue because first of all, I'm traveling and I'm not totally up on everything right now. I haven't been keeping up with with the news. So I'm, I am I am really, really concerned about the the fact that it seems we've now entered an era of rule by executive order. That's not how this was supposed to work. There was a reason why that you're supposed to have the house Representatives and the Senate is supposed to represent the people it's supposed to be a longer process. You can't just do things like this. And I'm really concerned that the executive branch is is becoming way way way too powerful. I am very concerned about what the future holds. I
have basically said Look,
I like some of the appointments I've seen. I don't like others. My biggest concern is real simple. I don't see a consistent worldview driving any of this. And so if there's no consistent worldview, there's going to be massive conflict and there's going to be gridlock and it's all gonna it's big, it's gonna become a mess. I am I during the primary season, I took a lot of heat because I'm a debater. And when you debate you listen to what the other side is saying. And you can tell by how they answer, but they have a consistent understanding of what the question is and what the issues involved are. I've done over 150 moderated public debates around the world. And when I listen to
Donald Trump answer questions during debates
I wanted to vomit. I was absolutely amazed because it was just I'm sorry, saying it's going to be huge is not an answer. Okay, that that does not tell me anything. And so, look, I want to allow things to take place, it's only been a few days, I want to see what's going to happen. I don't know what the fallout of all these things are some of these things, just reversing things that Obama did. I'm not a political expert. But the one thing that I said last night that I'll repeat this evening, I am very concerned about religious liberty in this country. And I'm primarily concerned about it because of the secularization of the millennial generation. They do not see religious liberty as
something that is a precious thing. They see it as something that's in the way of their desire to change the society. And so it's really easy to look at a marginalized minority group and say, we need to register these people are these. I was so disgusted. About six months ago, when a video Did you see the video that surfaced of Muslims in Texas, we're trying to get a permit to build a mosque. And this guy stands up, and he just starts yelling at the mom doesn't let them get a word in edgewise and just simply says, we know who you people are, we know what you're trying to do. Just you know, don't even try lying to us, there was no reasoning going on. And I thought it would be a
pretty simple and safe thing to point out, this guy was massively ignorant, and that this was completely inappropriate. I was disabused of that fairly quickly by how many people actually defended that kind of expression. And I don't know how any, I don't even know how any American can do that. But I can't speak for Americans anymore. I guess. I don't know how any Christian can look at something like that. And not immediately recognize the danger that even if even if we were just being selfish, even if it wasn't proper for us to look at somebody and say, you're throwing them all into one into one in the one basket, you're not making proper distinctions, you're not being
truthful, you're not being fair and not being accurate. That shouldn't be what to do. Even if you don't take that in. How foolish for Christians to give power to a secularizing government and think they're not going to use that against us? Of course, they will. I mean, we're the ones opposing their agenda in regards to the sexual revolution in marriage and abortion and all the rest of this stuff. Don't you think they're going to use those very same powers against us? especially against those of us that refuse to submit and give in? Of course they will. And so I'm really at a loss as to why so many don't recognize that when it comes to religious liberty issues, we're in this
And it's, it's similar to what happened in Nazi Germany. When many of the Lutherans and stuff they saw what was happening with the Jews, but they didn't do anything about it, because they think that they're not coming after me.
But eventually, they realize the huge mistake that they had made in that context. And so yeah,
I am afraid that the bigotry is the bigotry strong. And but please realize, a lot of that is from people who are what I would call nominal.
In other words, there's a cultural Christianity here in the south,
technically, we, we don't believe anyone's born as a Christian.
I understand the sun, you know, there are certain Hadeeth that say you're born
on the fifth or upon the fifth, because of the mythos.
And, and then your parents, you know, make you Christians or Jews or whatever else it might be, I understand that we don't believe that you're born as a Christian, we believe that you're born as the son of Adam, and that your rebellion against God, and that God has to change your heart. And so just simply being born into and walking down an aisle, in a baptist church doesn't make you a Christian, there needs to be a fundamental spiritual change within your heart. And so just because someone calls himself a Christian, I hope you can extend the proper and necessary distinctions between those who claim something and those who try to live consistently in light of those things.
If we're trying to do that, at least some of us I hope you can do. And I think that's why your voice is so important if you can spread this message far and wide. It is a beacon of hope for us where people like you can remain principled, you're not compromising on your faith. But we know we can trust you to say the right thing. And you're not you're not going to lose track of the principles. This country is founded on the freedoms It was founded upon. And you're not going to let your your differences in religion, cloud, your judgment about us and who we are and I
Thinking support and that people like us are aware of James White and support him and what he's doing. Because we're gonna need people like this, as the administration continues down, down the line that it's going, time is getting closer to the end that we'll try to wrap this up with a question or two. We have a question here, it seems that the Bible is an ever evolving or changing text. How do Christians ensure the authenticity of text is there the equivalent of an isnaad, or chain of narrators in the Christian tradition? Fascinating.
It's fascinating to me as a person who teaches in the field of textual criticism, which is we have 5717 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, we have nearly 25,000, other languages, Latin coptics, hitting barbaric, so on so forth. That's the area of my in depth study. on my part, I'm actually doing a postgraduate
study in that area right now.
There's a lot of misunderstanding ever since
a book came out in 1864, called the vindication of truth. I'm not sure if you've seen that book.
Any it was the book that made a document do not engage in dialogue.
And that book has
really promulgated the idea of
a tremendous amount of corruption in the text of the Bible. And the reality is that both of our texts have a history to them. And both were transmitted by handwritten manuscripts for certain periods of time. And all of us have to engage in textual critical study of our manuscripts. And
I've let me just, I guess the best way to answer this question would be to direct you to two debates. And I like being able to do this this sort of need to be able to is because there are Muslims representing the other side. So it's a fair thing. That's that's what I like about debate is you have an absolute equal amount of time from both perspectives, but I did two debates with Adnan Rashid, how many of you know odd non Rashid, you've heard of him, okay. Adnan
would come call me friend. Now. We did two debates, one on the transmission of the Quran, one of the transmission New Testament in London, those are available from
on on YouTube. And then use of Ismail, who is big in the eye, PCI down in South Africa, he and I did the exact same debate basically, at Northwest University and Potchefstroom South Africa. And all of those are available. We both gave
keynote presentations, and there's a lot of data involved and discussions of manuscripts and stuff. So that that conversation is an important conversation it needs to be undertaken, I can just simply tell you that the New Testament is the most early and best preserved and documented work of antiquity. And I'm not including the Quran, because the Quran I would put into the medieval period, because I sort of cut off at 500. So it's a medieval document rather than a document of antiquity. But that's a very important area. And I have been involved in discussions in that area. And I want to see more taking place in the future because it's, it's technical, but it's very important. Can I
just add on to that? Can you explain as well to the audience like for us Muslims? One thing that is a common misconception is languages. So for us, the Arabic has to be the Arabic and Quran is only an Arabic. Everybody knows Jesus didn't speak new American English. So can you? Well, they're actually they're actually a few people, few churches around here where you might be get a little bit of an argument on that, actually, it's called the King James only movement. And you don't even want to go there tonight, because,
ya know, definitely, from the Christian perspective, you have multiple languages, the the majority, the vast majority of the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, there's about 12 chapters in Aramaic. The New Testament is written in Greek.
And we do believe there's their strong evidence actually, that Jesus had proficiency in Greek almost everybody in that day had to for one simple reason. If a Roman soldier called you out and told you to do something, you better know what he's talking about. And it was an occupied place and Palestine especially it was an area of a tremendous amount of trade. So the point is that the new test was written in the.in, the language of the day so the gospel could be spread throughout the the known world where that language had been spread by Alexander the Great. We believe that we need to translate that message into every language. And we believe because the nature of inspiration that a
translation can accurately be called the Word of God. This is the fundament, there is a fundamental difference there at that point. Yes. So I and I, and I tried to teach my my my my teach on Islam. I say you need to I asked how many of you have read the Koran, and a few people put up their hands, let's say parts like that, say, how many of you read it in Arabic? Nobody puts their hands up and said from the assault perspective, you haven't read the Quran.
In the sense in the fullest sense of the fact that the Quran exists in Arabic, and that is the fundamental base text. And that's anything else is merely a very often the term transliteration is using. That's not the proper meaning of that word. But But we do have differences and understanding of how that's communicated as well. Great. Well, I think we've learned an immense amount we've asked some really deep and probing questions. There's just one question that I have, which is actually a follow up to something we were discussing yesterday. over lunch I had asked James about bow ties. Yes. And I was shocked to discover, I mean, I am not as skilled in bow ties as he is that you don't
just clip it on. I actually learned that you, you have to, you have to tie it. So he said he, he showed me how to tie a bow tie. So I said, I, this this, this is what I'm wearing right now. So if you go most places, you can just buy one and it has a it's it's already got the not pre tie that looks nice and pretty. And just wrapped around your neck. And there's a little clip and you put it on there only about 12 was left in the world.
It's a it's a it's a tremendous knowledge.
And so what I would like to do is, I would like to give Dr. kotti this it happens to go I think it goes fairly well. That's a thing that goes well. Wait, wait, this was for you. You want me where this?
I want to I would How many of you would like to see your body with a bow tie on?
Is this being recorded? This is gonna go on YouTube?
I have no clue what to do. Well.
All right. Okay. Now you got it. You got it to where it's about one.
shovel. I'm in enough trouble already. Believe me, I couldn't get worse right now. Well, basically, you have to bring it through here and tie a knot. And then you bring this around here. And here's the tricky part. Okay, you have to this is this is gonna be almost impossible for me to do from this angle. But you have to sort of try to bring it through here. And I'm going to try to do this. There you go. It's hard to do. But that sort of is supposed to form the front part of the not and I didn't tie it right, but we just have to go with that one for right now.
How do I look? Oh my god.
The shirt really wasn't designed for it. No, but
thank you very much. We had a great evening today. And I think we ended off on a nice note as well. Thank you Is this minor can it is Thank you. Thank you go on YouTube. You can find the actual instructions on how to do it. And I would love to see a picture of you ever, ever find out okay, well, the round of applause for our visitor here. Thank you very much for coming. Thank you very much for having