April 8, 2006
Was Christ Crucified?
Tonight we had an absolutely wonderfully done-up multimedia version of the famous debate between Ahmed Deedat and Josh McDowell, on "Was Christ Crucified?", and you can find the entire transcript of it here.
Deedat speaks with convincing confidence, but some of his arguments flail when he takes sentences and verses out of its context. He should know better though, because critics of Islam tend to do the same for the Qur'an, which I also feel is very unfair.
In any form of analytic literature, one is called to observe the context through which the passage is written. Only then will you garner its full flavour and gain the most understanding of its writings.
The basic thrust of the arguments of the night centred upon the identity of Christ. Whether or not he really died, and rose again – for upon this Christianity is grounded. If this were false, everything falls apart. The overriding question is to call upon history; nothing else proves or disproves.
An objective assessment is that for this debate, McDowell had the upper hand, using personal testimony which is powerful. However, I am told that Deedat's other debate with another Christian scholar maintained him as victor of the day, and one that most Muslims refer to. I must check this one out too.
What I say: In studying the Qur'an, the Bible and other written teachings, context is important. I am going to read the Qur'an in my room tonight and will remember to investigate it with the context in mind. If I expect the same of my holy book, I should objectively do the same for all others. A friend has an interesting take on Islam, which I'll try to summarise here soon.
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