Friday, June 26, 2009

On the James White vs. Shamsi Ali Debate

Yesterday, Alpha & Omega Ministries aired a live broadcast of the debate between Dr. James White and Imam Shamsi Ali on the Bible and the Qur'an. Listening to Imam Shamsi Ali repeat many of the generic Islamic arguments against the Bible, I realized that he wasn't really offering much that was new on the table. Half of the time, I find that he pulls out quite a bit of smokescreens and misconceptions on the Bible.

It is also telling that he apparently lacks knowledge on textual criticism, and confuses translations with texts; a common misconception repeated by many Muslims including, notably, the late Ahmed Deedat. Plus there is the repetition of old and tired arguments such as the Qur'an containing "scientific miracles," and the Trinity being based off of Pagan copycat myths.

However, lest anybody think that I am merely giving a biased observation of the debate, here is a video of the Q&A and Closing Statements of the debate. Did James White really demolish the Islamic position regarding the Bible and the Qur'an, or did Shamsi Ali prove that the Biblical texts are unreliable? You be the judge.

Oh, and before I forget, Dr. James White appeared on the broadcast of Iron Sharpens Iron today, and gave his observation and opinion on yesterday's debate as well. For anybody who is interested, here is the audio of the interview. Also, see Wired 4 Truth on yet another take on the debate by another brother in Christ.

One last thing: I noticed towards the end of the debate that Shamsi Ali gave Dr. White a book entitled What Does Jesus Really Say? I did a Google search on that book and found an online copy of the book. The book appears to be compendium of all the standard fare arguments used by Muslims. I would like to note that Answering Islam already has a rebuttal to the aforementioned book. Nevertheless, anybody who is interested in Islamic apologetics ought to check it out, as it does seem quite interesting.

UPDATE (July 01, 2009)
Alpha and Omega ministries has put up the opening statements from the debate as well. Click here to view them. You can see the great disparity between the presentation of James White and that of Shamsi Ali.

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