By the Grace of Jesus Christ, for the testimony of His Gospel and For Christ and His Church, Bro. Jerry Thomas of Sakshi: An Apologetics Network in India had an enormously victorious debate with Bro. Imran of IREF says Raymond and Richard.
Review of the Presentations on the topic Divinity of Jesus and Messengerhood of Muhammad: Separating falsehood from Truth
The debate began at around 7:00 P.M (IST). Bro. Jerry Thomas presented his paper for 50 minutes. In the fifty minutes presentation, Bro. Jerry Thomas presented a scholarly and cogent case for the divinity of Jesus while at the same time demolishing the claim of messengerhood of Muhammad. Bro. Jerry took the popular Islamic objections to the divinity of Jesus (like Son Can do nothing of Himself, Father is Greater than I, No one knows the hour, no one is good except God) and did a masterly exposition of the very passages showing that when it is read in the context it shows the unity between father and Son, servant incarnation of Son, humanity etc rather than a denial of divinity. Thus Bro. Jerry demonstrated that Jesus is eternally existing, all-powerful, all-knowing, omniscient God only by quoting the Holy Scripture and thereby silencing those who oppose the Gospel. In all these Bro. Jerry emphasized about the cardinal differences between Holy God of the Holy Bible and god of the Quran showing that Muhammad could not have been sent by the same God of earlier prophets.
Further, Bro. Jerry quoted the Quranic texts with aid of Islamic resources that Muhammad received Satanic revelation (at this point Bro. Jerry asked Bro. Imran whether it should be read or not). Also highlighted was that Muhammad was under the magic spell and the claims of Muhammad contradicted the established revelations of earlier prophets.
Bro. Imran started his presentation by hurling insults against Bro. Jerry (by calling cartoon characters) for not less than 10 minutes followed by another set of insults ( a total of 17 mins as one Christian brother later told to us. Precise time spent on insults we will know once the VCD is ready). Then he ran away from the topic to discuss whether Bible is the word of God by quoting Jehovah witness (which also shows his lack of understanding of Biblical Christians) and then by contradictions in the Bible. Then he went on to attack Trinity, though related to the subject of discussion was nevertheless not the topic. He hardly had anything to say on the divinity of Jesus except raising shallow questions like circumcision (was Jesus clean), Jesus being tempted (but God cannot be tempted), Jesus ministry limited to Jews etc. Further, to the utter surprise of Christians, he did not have anything much to say about Muhammad, though he quoted some scholars to say that Muhammad brought the greatest revolution etc. Thus, Bro. Imran did not quote the Quran nor the Hadith to prove the messengerhood of Muhammad. From all this it seemed Bro. Imran gets his information about Muhammad from secular scholars and TV shows rather than the Quran and Ahadees. Moreover, he seems to have been totally broken by Bro. Jerry’s presentation which was only from the Holy Bible, Quran and authentic Ahadees. Finally, following the usual gimmicks, Bro. Imran at the last moment took gift wrapped questions (10 in number) and gave it to Bro. Jerry to answer it.
Review of the Rebuttals:
Soon after the presentation of Bro. Imran, Bro. Jerry began his rebuttal by pointing out that Bro. Imran resorted to personal insults and spent very little time on the subject itself. But as true Christian, Bro. Jerry categorically stated that he would never resort personal insults which may be an entertainment for some people but not at all educative.
To the utter shock of Bro. Imran, Bro. Jerry returned a gift – a book answering all the questions of Bro. Imran’s which are related to the topic and also answering questions which are not related to the topic. (Sakshi had already published answers for Bro. Imran’s book Calling to Islam in its website, but only those which were outside the scope of debate).
Then again, though outside the topic, Bro. Jerry countered so-called Biblical corruption and contradictions by pointing out Quran is in utter mess if we apply the same methodology. Bro. Jerry cited the differences in the current Quran from the earlier Quran not by citing any Islamic cult but by citing the great Islamic translator Yusuf Ali’s footnote. Bro. Jerry pointed out these are outside the scope of the topic itself. Bro. Jerry then corrected many of Bro. Imran’s misrepresentation. Bro. Jerry presented the correct view of Jesus ministry- according to Jesus own words his death is for the salvation of mankind and His Gospel has to be preached to the whole world, His kingdom includes people from all nations etc. To Bro. Imran’s charge that virgin birth of Jesus is similar to Greek mythology, Bro. Jerry pointed out the Quranic verse which stated the same. In fact, Bro. Jerry pointed out from the Quran and Hadiths that Muhammad became richer after his so-called prophetic career began; it thoroughly refuted the Islamic preacher’s claim that Muhammad became poorer after his prophetic career began. In fact, the last nail on Bro. Imran’s argument about Muhammad’s superiority was countered by Bro. Jerry proving from the Quran itself that Jesus is superior. Though Bro. Jerry immediately made the disclaimer that he does not require Quran to testify about Jesus Christ, it was only for Bro. Imran’s sake.
Bro. Imran began his rebuttal again trying to attack Bro. Jerry. For people who expected that Bro. Imran would say some Islamic viewpoint to the messenger-hood of Muhammad for the questions Bro. Jerry raised, it was a great disappointment. To say the least, Bro. Imran was trying to score by mocking at Jerry and by raising questions which have absolutely no relevance to the topic.
Question and Answer Session
Question and answer session began with Bro. Imran taking the first question. Later Bro. Jerry took the question from Muslim brothers and sisters. Bro. Jerry thanked God for Muslim brothers and sisters raising a few questions which Bro. Jerry missed answering in the rebuttal due to time factor. Muslim brothers and sisters raised about Jesus being tempted where Bro. Jerry cited two types of temptations in the Bible (all by quoting scriptures) – one from inside and one from outside and showing that Jesus was tempted exactly the same way Yehovah was tempted from outside by Israelites and Jesus won over the temptations showing that he has the pure and holy nature of God himself.
Further, when the question of circumcision came Bro. Jerry pointed out when the circumcision was instituted and the fact Abraham was considered was righteous even before the circumcision ruled out the fact it has anything to do with holiness. Again Bro. Jerry pointed out that Prophet Moses himself had prophesied about the circumcision of heart thereby showing that it was only a shadow of things to come.
Amusingly Bro. Imran came with question of how heart can have foreskin which Bro. Jerry ignored with the contempt that it deservers. It must be pointed out Bro. Imran was not able to answer a SINGLE question about the
Prophethood of Muhammad making Bro. Imran a utter failure. In spite of running away from the topic and totally evading questions related to Muhammad, Bro. Imran insisted that Bro. Jerry should answer his 10 questions and Bro. Jerry raised his book answering Bro. Imran. However, Bro. Imran still insisted that Bro. Jerry should answer it only to receive the final blow from Bro. Jerry shattering Bro. Imran. Bro. Jerry walked to the podium took the question from the audience, answered it and turned to Bro. Imran’s questions answering almost eight out ten questions at a go before his time ended. A visibly shattered Bro. Imran could only resort to usual gimmicks proving that he is unfit for a scholarly discussion (or maybe his religion has no content).
Post Debate Responses:
Many Christians who attended such a debate for the first time were really wondering whether Bro. Jerry should have debated with such a shallow Islamic speaker. Then Sakshi had to point out that he is one of the top most Islamic preachers in Andhra Pradesh who has been mocking the Holy Name of God for the past 10 years. It was only by the grace of God that Bro. Imran was shattered due to the excellent content of Bro. Jerry’s presentation.
Importance of the debate could have been seen from the fact that more than 50 Churches in Andhra Pradesh announced fasting prayer the entire day of May 10. Many Christians who erstwhile were discouraged went back rejoicing, praising and clapping for God.
It must be also noted that it was not Bro. Jerry’s human wisdom that won the debate. Many Christians who attended the meeting testified that they could feel the mighty presence of God in the ground and it was Holy Spirit who used Bro. Jerry. Ironically, the Islamic preacher himself had acknowledged this though he mocked and said it was un-holy spirit speaking through Bro. Jerry.
However, we hope that they would learn now in a hard way that their human logic cannot stand in front God’s wisdom as revealed in the Divine WORD.
Update: Interstingly enough one Christian brother reported that his Muslim friend accepted Jesus Christ on the night of May 10. May the name of Jesus be glorified forever and ever. Praise God.
www.sakshitimes.com would be publishing soon a report about the enormous prayer support that they received from Christians worldwide without which this debate could not have been won along with responses of Christians soon after the debate. This portal would also publish about the team effort that went behind the preparation. When Bro. Jerry stood, it was not a one-man show but was the result of united effort of the body of Christ who helped Bro. Jerry in his preparation throughout. Further, Sakshi would be publishing an interview of Bro. Jerry to know how God has used him and what struggle Sakshi team has went through while in preparation.
Sakshi would be corresponding with you to know more about the details and let you know the details.