APOLOGETICS & POLEMICS WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?. Jay Smith 2012. Omar Sharif & Asif Hanif (April 30, 2003). Mohammad Hamid (February 2008). Introduction. In the wake of 9/11 and 7/7, we are finding a more aggressive and growing radical element within Islam, especially here in the UK….
Omar Sharif & AsifHanif
(April 30, 2003)
In the wake of 9/11 and 7/7, we are finding a more aggressive and growing radical element within Islam, especially here in the UK…
A Local problemi.e. quote by Maryam Jameelah, a convert to Islam, living in the UK
“We must crush the conspiracies of Zionism, Freemasonry, Orientalism and foreign missions both with the pen and with the sword. We cannot afford peace and reconciliation with the Ahl al-Kitab until we can humble them and gain the upper hand” (Jameelah 1989:412)
By 2002, radicals had risen to 25%
By 2003-2005: No polls were carried out…..
On February 19th, 2006:
over 40% considered themselves radical…*
while 20 % supported Suicide bombers
(source: Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell, Islam In Conflict, Leicester, England: IVP, 2003, chapters 10-12, and page 193. Also a lecture by Riddell on the theme, “Muslim Views on the World” held at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and sponsored by the London Lectures Trust, October 23, 2003)
* Sunday Telegraph, Feb. 19, 2006
Christian preachers face arrest in Birmingham
Turkey = 31%
Morocco = 45%
Jordan = 55%
Pakistan = 65%
(80 million out of 140 million people!)
Post 9/11 and 7/7, there is one faith which stands against all others (compromising ‘Multi-culturalism’)
An aggressive and growing ‘radical Islam’
It is a ‘scriptured religion’
i.e. ‘Dispatches’ Undercover Mosque: views sourced in the Qur’an
Creating a ‘Clash of Civilizations’
(Huntington’s thesis: 1996, reiterated by Lord Carey the autumn of 2006)
Riddell: “There is an international network of radical Muslims, committed to terrorism that must be stopped. They pose a legitimate threat which cannot be ignored, but confronted, and immediately” (Riddell 2004:172).
(headed by MaajidNawaz, Ed Husain (formerly HUT members)
It has the might and ‘where-with-all’
Its function is to protect
Its function is to police
-Bible vs. Qur’an
-Kingdom of God vs. ‘Khilafah’
-Women in the Bible vs. Women in the Qur’an
-‘Yahweh’ vs. ‘Allah’
-Jesus vs. Muhammad
-Peace in Christianity vs. Violence in Islam
-Relevancy of Christianity vs. Islam
Public Critical analysis of Islam:
-Grammatical and Linguistic irregularities
-Question the relevancy of Muhammad as a universal Model
-Question the relevancy of Women’s position in the 21st century
-Question the relevancy of the ‘Cultural Mandate’
(a model for all people in all times in all places)
-Defence, or apologia against an accuser is mentioned five times in the New Testament:
(Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1 Corinthians 9:3;
2 Corinthians 7:11; and 2 Timothy 4:16)
-Twice Christians are asked to defend the gospel (Philippians 1:7, 16; and 1 Peter 3:15)
But, did he use confrontation?
(Acts 13:46; 17:17; 18:28; 19:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 10:5).
We must remember that before he was Paul, he was first Saul, a ‘Shamaite’…on his way to Damascus to arrest & even KILL Christians!Then God met him in a dynamic way, and made him PaulYet he retained all his qualities as Saul…his passion, his intellect, and his knowledge of the Scriptures!
“Paul disputed in the synagogues (Acts 17:17) in the school of one Tyrannus, daily (Acts 19:9) for two years. In Jerusalem he disputed against the Grecians until they sought to slay him (Acts 9:29)...II Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians could be classified as controversial literature of the first century...His military vocabulary is proof enough that he was no spiritual pacifist but fought a good fight against the enemies of the Cross of Christ and all those who preached ‘another gospel’” (Zwemer 1941:225)
Stephen, when challenged by members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (i.e., the Jews of Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia), held his ground and returned their arguments, so much so, that “they could not stand up against his wisdom” (Acts 6:9-10), and finally decided to execute him (Acts 7:57-8:1). One does not get executed for merely “agreeing to disagree”!
Philip was likewise comfortable when confronting the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40).
Why do we consider confrontation detrimental to the gospel, when it was this very model that was used so often by the earliest believers who gave us the gospel?
We use a confrontational approach, employing both apologetics and polemics:
-HPCF and Speaker’s Corner (discussions on the ground, and impromptu debates on the ladder)
-University formal debates with Muslim scholars
-‘Christians Challenging Muslims’ (CCi) equipping
-i2 material for training
Most common formal style of debate
Muslim student groups:
FOSIS/ISOC (UK), or MSA-(US)
Christian student groups: (AyattolahSayedFadhelMilani)
UCCF (UK) or Campus Crusade, IVP, RZIM (US)
Use usually two adversaries, debating a theological issue
Primarily against Christianity. Rarely reciprocity used.
Two Models: Parliamentary & Populer
-Cheap, Quick, Easy to prepare, largest audiences, Largest reach, Most impact, in inaccessible areas.
-Distant, impersonal, no Face-to-face contact, thus no relationship, with little follow-up, and easy to censure.
Many of us with missiological training have been at the forefront of dialogue with Islam. Few of us, however, have sought to take the next step and confront its foundations polemically, perhaps out of fear, or perhaps due to our methodological restraints. We have tended to “sit on the sidelines” and watch from a distance the discussions and debates which have ensued within secular academic circles.
Once we can see the efficacy of apologetics and polemics in engaging the more radical Muslims, we will then need to get out ‘onto the streets’ and employ it in our ministries. Then we will need to model it publicly for others; and finally, we will then need to set up modules in both Bible Schools and Seminaries to teach what we know to the next generation. It is they who must be prepared and equipped to then take on this most important task in to the future.
(II Corinthians 10:3-5)