I started studying apologetics in depth in 2008. Of course, I had been studying Scripture, Christianity, and Church history prior to that. The interesting thing is that I didn’t start my apologetics with Islam. I mainly dealt with non-Trinitarian cultic 19th century groups such as the Two by Two’s(Google them), Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Eventually I got interested in Old Testament Prophecy so that led me to study the Jewish objections to Jesus. I encountered the work of people like Rabbi Tovia Singer, Jews for Judaism and others.
Throughout most of this time, I was dealing with atheists as well. The head of my University’s atheist club was a fellow engineering student that I knew quite well. One time he invited me to debate a group of his fellow atheists on homosexuality. My main opponent was actually an ex-Muslim from Iran who was part of this club. Either way, dealing with popular atheist literature at the time, introduced me to Bart Ehrman. I had seen his books in the store before but now I needed to read them. I remember it was the summer of 2008 when I read God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens, read about Ehrman, then bought his latest book shortly afterwards.
In 2010 I stumbled across Dr. James White. I admired his work on the Trinity but at the same time objected to his arguments against Catholicism. I wound up reading many of his books over the next two years. I admired him for his promotion of Calvinism. He seemed to be the most hard core Calvinist out there. When studying James White, I got my first exposure to Islamic apologetics. After all, White had debated many Muslims by this point. I was familiar with Islam because I had researched it many years before. I had even done a project on Sunni Islam in my high school religion class. However, I hadn’t researched their apologetics.
Watching them was interesting because I got my first exposure to their methodology. Seeing their arguments, was interesting because I already knew the answers. They were using far left Biblical scholarship, atheistic scholarship, Jewish arguments, and Jehovah’s Witness arguments against the Trinity. All of this stuff was old to me.
Regardless, it was working. They seemed to be winning a majority of debates against those arguing for the Christian position. This was because our side didn’t know the answers to many of their objections. Being the geek I was, I had read up on all of their arguments from liberals, Ehrman, Singer and others. Watching debates was actually a bit frustrating as I would hear Muslims throw out arguments that I knew the answer to, but the debater did not.
Fast forward to today. James White recently did a Dividing Line episode on Psalm 22 and with a focus on verse 16. Muslims naturally are dabbling in Jewish apologetics for their arguments. James White pointed something out but didn’t realize where it could lead. He mentioned that it was odd that Muslims were dabbling in Jewish apologetics since Christians and Muslims both agree that Jesus was the Messiah.
Here is what I would love to see. One can go online and see many debates about whether or not Jesus is the Messiah. However, these are all from a Christian perspective. I would like to see Muslim apologists debate Jewish apologists on whether the Islamic Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. I think this would be an amazing debate. All of the prophecies in the Old Testament don’t point to the Islamic Jesus, but the Christian Jesus. However, Muslims are fully welcome to prove me wrong.
Muslims reading this, do you agree? I honestly don’t think that this would happen but I could be surprised. Shabir Ally, would you be willing to debate a Jewish apologist on if the Islamic Jesus was the one foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures? How about Adnan Rashid, Zakir Hussain, Ijaz Ahmad, or Paul Williams? I don’t think it’ll happen but I think it would show a lot to the apologetics world.
Is Jesus the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament?
Muslim vs Jew. Go!