Sunday, December 19, 2010

FacePalm of the Day #36c - Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Holy Spirit inspires James White "Jesus of the Bible is a one dimensional shallow person that could never be loved by anybody"

It's amazing to me how  people can view the same evidence and information and come with diametrically opposite conclusion to the truth of a matter. I think thegrandverbalizer is letting his own personal dislike for  Dr. James White and it is poisoning his ability to objectively understand the arguments that Dr. White is using. My comments are in red. This post is a second part to a three part response to a rather long response to a presentation James White gave regarding the things the Qur'an and the Hadiths say of Jesus and the Trinity. You can see the video below.

I hope people forgive this statement as some may see it as a cheap shot; however I am saying this sincerely. I think 'Dr' White's age is catching up with him. He's not as focused or as sharp as he once was for sure.

Considering Dr James White is not over 50 years old, it is an obvious cheap shot.

0:19:50 My goodness James does get a head of himself. Who would dare pick up the phone! Gasp! He has a kindle, and a mac book pro that has the Greek manuscripts with all the variations from the most minute detailed.

Just because thegrandverbalizer is intimidated does not mean all Muslims are.

For example Christians can pull out a fragment called P52 oh my goodness and guess what there is some very ancient text on there and though it is hard to make out some of it looks like what is in my Bible today!

Majority of scholars agree with what is written on the fragment and that it's part of John's Gospel.

Well you can see a very good academic response by brother Ibn Anwar here:

"If you know anyone who can read Greek ask the person if he can make sense of the above. Believe me, even if he is a professor in Greek he won’t be able to make sense of the fragment by itself. So, how did the scholars reconstruct the missing words? It’s quite simple. The verses are reconstructed based on LATER texts that are clearer. To say that P52 reliably transmits John 18 is absolutely fallacious"

Many scholars would disagree with that conclusion.. Just because the author of the article can't read it doesn't mean no one can.

0:22:41 The Qur'an does not quote the Bible therefore it is not true. Again more fallacious assumptions. This assumes that the Qur'an needs to quote from the Bible in order to gain credence. Think about it for a moment. When did the vast majority of mankind become literate? When did people in Arabia gain a 90% literacy rate. Even if the Qur'an quoted the Bible (assuming it is true) what would it prove?

The problem isn't that the Qur'an doesn't quote the Bible. The problem is that the Qur'an contradicts the Bible. Leaving us to make a choice and determine which one is true.  That fact proves that out of the two only one of them is a revelation from God. They both can't be simultaneously a revelation of God.

This idea that the New Testament quotes from the Old Testament is a laughable assertion at best. In fact in the debate above James White when asked by Abdullah Al Andalusi about Matthew 2:23 "He shall be called the Nazarene" really does a song and dance with it.

His response was nothing new to me. It was the same James Patrick Holding borrowed from Gleason Archer and Strong's concordance that I have heard time and time again... Nothing new, nothing convincing.

So thegrandverbalizer doesn't agree with the answer. Fair enough. I disagree. It's much morer than a song or a dance. Just admit you didn't understand it so we can go on from there.  However, let's see if he can deal with answering the questions Dr. White raised during his presentation.

You can see my interaction with a Christian named McElhaney who takes apologetic up as a hobby horse here: So you can see if the New Testament does indeed quote the Old Testament accurately or if there is quote mining taking place here:

Of course I remember this interaction  There was much back and forth. Interesting thegrandverabalizer only referenced one post in that exchange.

0:24:00 Now I know where James is going with this as he has done so to his own detriment time and time again. The Qur'an misrepresents the trinity. However, do note that in 0:26:45 minutes into his presentation "The word Trinity is actually not used in my knowledge in the Qur'an". Exactly!

We also interacted on this point several months ago. And the point is that Dr White is arguing about the passages in the Qur'an against the Christian understanding of the nature of God

However, James White is a very clever cat. He realizes that he can no longer say the Qur'an misrepresents the Trinity, because the Qur'an does not even make an attempt to define the trinity!

I still disagree with it. Historically the Christian understanding of the nature of God as triune. It's all over the New Testament.

But James White can not be seen to make an error and even more so he has to be seen as relevant and crafty thus he sipped his coffee, rubbed his chin and he thought...

and he thought..... suddenly a light bulb. O.K I will concede that point (though I won't admit it) but I will take a different approach. Now what I will do is focus on the word THREE.

I don't see or hear anywhere,James White conceded any such thing. 

Even though God say he is One. Now James again feigns innocence by saying he is not misrepresenting the Qur'an. If that is the case why does James White need to insert his own exegesis and theological speculation in the Qur'an at 0:27:44 minutes into the discussion.

One what?

"The only way it seems to make any sense to me is if the original author is saying do not say three gods Allah is but one God".

I want to break down this statement of James White and show why it is problematic.
#1) James has already shown at this point there is no room for discussion on the matter when he begins the statement 'THE ONLY WAY'.

#2) When he says, "to make any sense to me" basically to reinforce his presuppositional view that the Qur'an is flawed and the New Testament is accurate. Because we all know the Qur'an cannot possibly be the word of God in James White's world view.

#3) James White has to make three say three Gods. The Qur'an simply says do not say three. This is not aimed at the Hindu, the Buddhist, or the common Arab who worships the sun or the moon. The Christians themselves know full well what they mean when they say three. God is simply telling them to desist.

Interesting that thegrandverablizer says how wrong James White is but never really tells us what the Qur'an means by "three". 

Now what James White has effectively done (and his craftiness is rather sad) is to pre-empt the argument that we will now be using when he brings up the issue about Mary being a part of the Trinity (which is ridiculous).

Given the  following Passage I don't see how people can argue that the Qur'an does not suggest that Mary should not be worshiped alongside Allah and Jesus suggesting that they make a Trinity.

Qur'an 5:116-120   Surah Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread)
And behold! Allah will say "O Jesus the son of Mary! didst thou say unto men 'worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah"? He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.
"Never said I to them anything except what Thou didst command me to say to wit 'Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up thou wast the Watcher over them and Thou art a Witness to all things.
"If Thou dost punish them they are Thy servants: if Thou dost forgive them Thou art the Exalted the Wise.
Allah will say: "This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath their eternal home: Allah well-pleased with them and they with Allah: that is the great Salvation (the fulfillment of all desires).
To Allah doth belong the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein and it is He who hath power over all things.

Instead what James will now be arguing in his presentations in the future is that this argues that the Christians worship three Gods. His response will be we don't worship three gods we worship one God. His assertion now will be that the Muslims do not understand the concept of God living in community, or the tri-une nature of God.

Given that Muslims keep insisting that the Trinity means 3 three Gods - I'd say that there is a misunderstanding indeed.

To get to the short and sweet of it. James White himself mentioned there was much debate on this matter (with in Christianity). Now this should be food for thought for the thoughtful Christian. When you read and study the detailed debates that Christians had about the trinity (rarely if ever were proof text cited). This is not how Christians went about arguing on behalf of theological points. What was done was theological and philosophical concepts were advanced.

Um no. I believe the Trinity because the New Testament says the Father is God. Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God and that there is only One God. 

So it does not surprise me that James would now take this route and I am glad I had seen this video as it shows me the extent in which he is willing to resist Allah. May Allah open his heart and guide him.

Why does thegrandverbalizer keep ignoring what Dr. White is saying?

The problem with James White's new argument (something original for a change) is that now we are going to have not only respond to James White's concept of the trinity (and what it entails) we will also have to give response to Sabellianism as well.

New? I've heard James White say the same things before. If you follow his ministry this is not new in the slightest. 

So when Allah says do not say three. We will have to deal with Sabellianism and Modalism which states that the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son are three different aspects or modes of One God. We will also have to deal with Tri-theist like James White who say there are three distinct persons with in God himself.

Again one what?  Three what? What does Allah mean? And if the Qur'an is not addressing the Trinity, what it addressing? Also why muddy the discussion with Sabellianism and Modalism? Neither is in play here. Both Trinitarians (like Jame White and myself) deny these ideas as well do Muslims,

I believe Allah is using James White to sharpen Islamic apologetic before his eventual conversion to Islam. Allah alone knows best.

I doubt that. Qur'an 5:116-120  can be ignored as a way to understand what the Qur'an says about the Trinity.

Any how if James would just think about the following verse 'far above Allah from having a son'. Above or the Arabic word also means removed from. It conveys the concept or idea of being very remote and removed from the possibility of.

That means 'Do not say Three' addresses both the Sabellian and the Tri-theist. The Sabellian who says that God has three mask or three faces but is one. The Trintarian (Tri-theist) who says that God is three persons in one being.

In fact it's theologically profound for those with eyes to see and a heart to ponder that the Qur'an after saying do not say three your God is one (both in being, person and in essence) it goes into saying far removed is God from having a son. Subhan'Allah! In fact watching this presentation has increased my emaan (faith) in Allah's Qur'an al hamdulillah.

Where does the Old Testament or the Qur'an say that God being one is referring to being, person, and essence simultaneously. That's making a huge leap. Who says being, person, and essence are the same thing? They are not. 

Thank you James White! So moving forward by than talking about the Son it is getting the crux of the matter. It does not talk about the Holy Spirit or even Mary. It talks about the 'Son' and that God is above and removed from having a Son.

What about: 

0:35:10 James asserts that there were people who gave a good response to the Trinity better than the Qur'an does.

2 issues with James statement above.
1) It assumes once again that the Qur'an gives a portrait of the Trinity which it does not. I thought James just said a few minutes ago, "The word Trinity is actually not used in my knowledge in the Qur'an"

You don't have to use the word "Trinity" to talk about the concept.

So how do we go from the Qur'an does not use the word Trinity or attempt to define it, to contrasting the Qur'an supposed presentation of the trinity to contemporary writers who may or may not have been writing responses to the Sabellian and Trinitarians. This is just very odd.

The Qur'an is attempting to respond to both and doing a vague job of it.

2) Did James ever consider that Allah would allow people to research and ponder over theological issues and become convinced of Islam by other than what is in the Qur'an?

I don't think he precludes that possibility at all. I've heard him talk about people becoming Muslims out of ignorance over what actually is in the Qur'an. 

0:36:56 minutes into the presentation I find it amusing when James goes on and on saying 'This is not what Christians believe" etc... Did it ever occur to James that what Christians believe is a matter of intra-Christian debate itself?

Dr White was referring to the historic essentials that define what it means to be a Christian. Thegrandverbalizer's hobby horse of infant baptism is not one of those. Neither is believing or denying Free Will. For example belief in the bodily Resurrection of Jesus is one of those. Repentance of sin is another.

0:37:27 minutes into the presentation "That's going beyond the Qur'an" What is James trying to say here? Obviously James is doesn't know what he wants. He claims that we as Christians and Muslims speak past each other. However, when people like Abdullah Al Andalusi and Abdullah Kunde make a very great effort to read Christian theological works and than respond to it it's "going beyond the Qur'an". Clearly White is frustrated. Muslims can base their argumentation upon a verse in the Qur'an and than either expand on it linguistically, contextually, from philology and read external works that build upon the argument.

Again another weird statement coming from White.

James White's point was that the majority of Muslims don't go beyond the Qur'an and consider other sources.  I don't think thegrandverbalizer understood him.

0:39:59 "They go to liberals" That's rich! Considering that only 0:08:20 minutes into the presentation White advanced a claim from 'Liberal' Muslim scholars.

*note* White never attempts to give us the name(s) of these scholar(s) either. Nice indeed.

Again who? Nothing in the Presentation led me to that conclusion. Where did that thought come from?

0:41:35 Jesus says here oh Israel worship my Lord and your Lord where did Jesus ever say these things? Some times you just have to shake your head. Did it ever occur to James White that Allah is the author of the Qur'an? That Allah is telling the Prophet (saw) what Jesus had said?

Then why does what Jesus say in the Qur'an things contrary to what is said in the New Testament?

Jesus did many other things as well (not mentioned in this source) If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

Funny how none of them seem to be in the Qur'an. 

The problem with the Christian as I mentioned above is that here you have God almighty who is on Earth for 30 years in human form and we don't even get so much as a peep from him?

According to the standard presented here there is no "peep" from Jesus in the Qur'an either,

How very historical is a document that gives us a very condensed version (that seems like it takes place over the span of a few months) rather than three years that does not include 95% of Jesus life?

Thegrandverbalizer just argued that revelation does not have include every detail to be reliable, and now he appeals against it. 

The Christian is in a difficult position here. If they admit the possibility that Jesus may have said something that is not in the New Testament it is a theological conundrum. If Jesus is speaking than it is the words of God, and thus not all of the words of God are contained with in the Biblical text. Anyone can see why this would be a theological conundrum for them.

No conundrum. The Gospels themselves tell us that they don't exhaustively include everything Jesus said or did. However, I don't think you can show that Jesus is speaking in the Qur'an and the New Testament. 

0:42:49 I can tell Pastor Joseph doesn't really appreciate James White. James White claims he 'feels' for the Muslim apologist. Personally I feel for James White. James White (like him or not) does do a valiant effort on behalf of the faith that he cherishes.

Back handed compliment. 

The problem is that James takes people like Pastor Joseph (who sits over there tapping his pen, looking bored to death and occasionally rolls his eyes) and people like Sam Shamoun as his running crew.

Not my viewpoint at all.

Truth is Pastor Joseph would rather have quacks like Walid Shoebat talking about Allah and 666 in the book of Revelation than to hear James White try to give a fairly reasonable (though horribly inconsistent) approach to apologetic.

Another backhanded compliment to James White and a horrible mis-characterization of Pastor Joseph's ministry.

"Force and Fear" says Pastor Joseph. Right On! Amen brother! Joseph is probably sitting there thinking you know what James you are out of touch! We are talking to the average American who is watching or listening at home who most likely doesn't have a college education or is trained in the discipline of disputation. They don't want to hear your crap!

Can you see into Joseph's heart? Nope, didn't think so.

bring on the 'FORCE AND FEAR' ahhhh yes that's the stuff! Good job Pastor Joseph what a way to keep James White focused! Remember we are not here to engage anyone, we want you to know Islam is force and fear....

This is  meaningful? Nope.

0:43:23 James White really needs to read more. Every possible critique used by the likes of Anis Shorrosh (so called grammatical errors or nuances in the Qur'an) to the ahruf and qir'aat (John Gilchrist) etc are all issues brought about by Muslim scholars.

In Western countries where you won't be executed by asking such question. 

Anyone who studies the Islamic religion is given classes on the compilation and transmission of the Qur'an. Anyone (Muslim) from Mauritania to Malaysia deals with very challenging and theologically taxing issues concerning the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

So where can we buy textual critical editions of the Qur'an containing variant readings throughout the history of the Qu'ran's written existence. Really? Where?

So where James got off on Islam doesn't allow for debate I have no idea. As far as Muslim countries not allowing debate, than this is where James hopefully can be wise enough to recognize the difference between a world wide faith tradition and a political entity.

I don't think there is much of a difference in Iran or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia..

0:48:22 "That's not what the trinity states. That's not what the trinity teaches". Notice that James White did not say this is not what the Bible teaches.

The Bible doesn't teach it either. 

So if we asked James White what does the 'trinity' teach or say we are in effect asking him for the dogmatic statement of the trinity that Christians believe is taught in the Bible.

Notice that James was quick to say that "we believe that each of the divine persons shares fully the entirety of the divine nature"

Question how many persons share in this divine nature?

Three.One Being. Simple.

And the assumption that the Trinity is three different Gods" The only one making assumptions and inconsistent ones at that is James White.

So Muslims don't think we are saying that there are three gods. Then why do they reject the Trinity?

Notice that James White flatly contradicts himself earlier in his presentation when he says, 'The word Trinity is actually not used in my knowledge in the Qur'an'

However, do note that in 0:26:45 minutes into his presentation "The word Trinity is actually not used in my knowledge in the Qur'an"

So what is it? Does the Qur'an define the Trinity or is the word Trinity not actually in the Qur'an? How does James White propose to have his cake and eat it too in such a scenario.

Do you need to name a concept to define a concept? Nope.  There is no contradiction here.

You see I have already dealt with his same tired rhetoric over and over again. However, for the sake of those who are just tuning into this web site let me give you the gist of James White's 'argument'.

James White "The Qur'an does not accurately describe the anatomy of pink unicorns"

Again with the unicorns???! Why is thegrandverbalizer and atheists fond of unicorns?

This is James White's argument. Those of you who are debating James White in the future would do well to learn his argument in a nut shell.

So James White basically comes on stage and says, 'The Qur'an does not accurately describe the anatomy of a pink unicorn".

The crowd is silent and stunned by this amazing claim. Could it be? So what is the Muslim to do.

1) Wrong the Qur'an does accurately describe the anatomy of a pink unicorn.

2) Your right the Qur'an does not accurately describe the anatomy of a pink unicorn.

Here is the problem with both of these approaches.

1) This assumes that a pink unicorn exist in the first place. It assumes the truthfulness and capitulates that indeed there are such things as pink unicorns.

2) The problem with this view is that it would undermine the Qur'an.

They both undermine the Qur'an.  Because the Qur'an disagrees with what the Bible says about the Trinity, yet the Qur'an says that Allah gave both the Torah and the Gospel.

This is what people like James White are seeking to do. I admit he is one of the more crafty of the lot of missionaries; slippery indeed.

However, maybe there is an option 3. What is option 3? The Qur'an does not even attempt to describe the anatomy of a pink unicorn to begin with!

case closed end of debate White can go home now.

However, the Qur'an argues against the Trinity and it's not what Christians believe. This is the problem.

However, watch Muslims take the bait during the phone calls.

0:55:00 Mary and Jesus BOTH ate food.

James White wants to assert that again that even though the word trinity is not mentioned in the Qur'an (by his own admission) that the Qur'an gives an inaccurate portrayal of the trinity. Basically the Qur'an does not mention the anatomy of a pink unicorn but it gives an inaccurate portrayal of something it does not mention. Welcome to planet strange.

Um no. The Qur'an says God is not three and brings up worshiping Jesus along with Allah. If it's not responding to a trinity what is it responding to.

You see I come to quite an opposite conclusion than 'Dr' James White.
Did it ever occur to James White that the Qur'an is drawling attention to the fact that Mary is not divine and thus by extension Jesus is not.

Yes, we know the Qur'an is saying that. As Dr. White pointed out, Christians - even those who erroneously  pray to Mary don't think Mary is divine. Again, wouldn't Allah know that?

Now on the surface it looks as if James is agreeing this is the case but he comes to a very different conclusion.

Imagine for example I tell a Christian, "Look Jesus ate food how on earth are you going to say that he is God?" Does God need sustenance?

Well the Christian is than going to quote, "And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb." (Luke 24:42) You see Jesus was eating in his post resurrected body. Even though many Christian scholars say that this text is directed towards the Docetist. To me this whole event seems fabricated and odd. The fact that it comes after the crucifixion event seems to further substantiate that it is a polemic directed towards docetist.

Um no. Bringing up the Resurrection to answer all the cases Jesus ate before the Resurrection is not going to work. This objection to the deity of Christ has been answered ad nauseum.

"The Messiah, son of Mary was only a messenger; messengers before him had indeed passed away. And his mother was a truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We make the message clear to them! Then behold, how they are turned away!" (Holy Qur'an chapter 5:75)

The problem is the Bible tells us Jesus said:

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” - John 14:6-7

This text of the Qur'an is directed towards those who took the first steps in making Jesus deity: namely the docetist or a group of Christians that held the belief of docetism.

Question: What is docetism?
Answer: The idea that Jesus did not come in the flesh or that Jesus the son of Mary was simply a spirit or apparition. "from the Greek verb dokeo, which means 'to seem, to appear to be."

A gnostic concept that none of the Apostles believed. Put to rest in the New Testament.

The Qur'an could advance an argument like this.
1) Jesus ate food and depending upon the creator which establishes.
a) Confidence that Jesus was sent in the flesh
b) Confidence that Jesus was dependent upon something else (this would establish the dictum in Islam that Allah is independent of all needs).

The Christian counters...
1) Jesus ate food in his post resurrection appearance , thus he is an immaterial being (deity) that can annihilate matter (like broiled fish and honeycomb)

Not an argument a Christian would use

The Qur'an counters...
Jesus ate food for the same reason that Mary ate food. She/he is dependent upon another source for sustenance.

The Qur'ans argument is established, the Christian argument puzzling. Why puzzling? Why does Jesus have to eat broiled fish and/or honeycomb to prove he was resurrected? Was he simply hungry? A man who conquers death is now a bit hungry? How odd.

No. Spirits don't eat. 

I deal more with that here.

0:55:28 minutes into the presentation White makes a point that supports what I had mentioned above.

He says, the only thing that would make sense to him is the following:
A) Your assumption that God cannot enter into human flesh and hince Jesus would not eat food and of course we reject that. "And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb." (Luke 24:42)
B) That Mary is a divine being which we do not believe.

Now of course James White has to go with option B. Why? Because even though he has admitted that the Qur'an no where attempts to definite the anatomy of a pink unicorn he still must press on. Otherwise James is going to be looking rather flat when he shows up to debate Muslims and he has no argumentation of his own.

James White was saying that Muslim must take either option. We reject both.

The show must go on as they say.

James White could not allow for option A because that would harmonize the Qur'an and be more coherent. So that alone should be an eye opener for people who reflect.

James White rejects option A because it's not Biblical.

0:57:58 minutes into the presentation "So clearly the writer of the Qur'an has the wrong Jesus, and the wrong Trinity and the wrong argument to make in refuting these things."

However, do note that in 0:26:45 minutes into his presentation "The word Trinity is actually not used in my knowledge in the Qur'an". Exactly!

But the Qur'an is against the concept. Talking about what it does not know.

So again the Qur'an does not attempt to explain the anatomy of a pink unicorn but I'll be damned if James White doesn't bend over backwards to desperately hold on to a failed polemic that the Qur'an inaccurately describes the anatomy of a pink unicorn!

Unicorn does not equal Trinity. and without Jesus, damned is exactly what we are. 

Simply Incredible! I am simply amazed because James White (you can see it on his face) actually believes he has a very good argument and presentation.

I think he does. Thegrandverbalizer has failed to refute it. 

His presentation is easily shredded in a public platform or a debate. This presentation is nothing new. Rehashed and borrowed information from Zwemer institute of Islamic studies.

Any way I stopped watching and taking notes after 1:20:00 minutes into the video as I got rather bored with what was presented. Maybe Allah willing I will come back and deal with what ever points remained. However, if someone has anything they wish to redress or feel was brought up between White and Joseph that I could try and answer please do not hesitate.

I will do my best to present the facts and evidences; to be measured and balanced. Anything that is good from me all the praise is due to Allah. Only the mistakes are mine.

Below is an excellent presentation in the Arabic language refuting the polemic the Qur'an mentions Mary as being part of the Trinity. Thank you to brother Ahmed (may Allah reward him) for making me aware of such a video.

Thegrandverbalizer had promised to write about the point that James White argued that the Qur'an tells Muslims to obey the Old Testament and the Gospels. and yet contradicts both of them. But he didn't. Maybe he will indeed write.more. Again, some people don't know when to quit when they are behind.

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Holy Spirit inspires James White "Jesus of the Bible is a one dimensional shallow person that could never be loved by anybody"
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