Ask Abdu Murray (August 20-24, 2018)

abdumurray

(Samuel Biswas) #25

I just got your video. Watched it and it was so helpful. In recent times I get several questions asked by my cousin brother. Thank you Abdu from the core of my heart.


(Sandy) #26

Dear Mr. Murray, it’s a blessing that you’re taking time to join and help us here. Thank you!

Would you share please what are the 3 most common questions/arguments you hear from Muslims and what are the best responses you find. I have learned, even from your own story as well, how important it is to build relationships when possible, but your advice please when it’s people we’re unlikely to meet again…say on a playground or in a restaurant.

Thanks again!


(Bill Brander) #27

I really like your responses Abdu. You make them so clear and - to me - understandable (and useable.)

Thank you

Bill


(Megan Lykke) #28

Thanks for your time, this gives me a lot to think about!

Megan


(HarryAnuraag) #29

Hello sir!
My question is , how to react when a muslim or others make a statement that bible was corrupted? And muslims often say that there are predictions of Mohammed in bible.They support their claim by quoting John 14:16 and sometimes often quote Deutronomy 18:18 ?? How to defend the truth from such claims?
THANK YOU SIR !!


(Sarah C) #30

Thank you Mr. Murray!

Yes, I’ve been trying to see if people are truly interested in seeking the truth or if they’re just wasting time…mostly they have been very polite and engaged, which makes me think they are interested, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Some of their questions make me think, too–I also want to know some answers to the more tricky-to-understand parts of the Bible.

To clarify my above question regarding the Bible, I’ve actually discussed with multiple atheists/non-believers this question of the Bible. None of them acknowledge the veracity or authority of the Bible, yet they use it by reinterpreting it and twisting it to serve their claim that God (who they say they don’t even believe exists) is cruel, evil, etc.

I know some basics about the Bible and why it’s reliable (thousands of copies, dated to less than a century after Jesus’ death/resurrection), but they seem to ignore these points when I bring them up.

Then there’s the other problem of seeming discrepancies in the way different denominations interpret the Bible. There are so many things theologically that are beyond me, so I don’t know how to answer when people ask questions like “Why does Denomination A claim X while Denomination B claim Y, though they’re using the same Bible?”

Sometimes I feel like arguing points from the Bible isn’t helpful when people bring it up, because they are predisposed to distrust the Bible. I once listened to an RZIM debate/speech where Nabeel, I believe, stated that his faith’s foundation is not so much the Bible but on Jesus. That if all the facts around Jesus (death, resurrection, claim to be God) is true, then we can take it on his authority (in addition to the historical evidence, of course) that the Bible is true. What do you think about this statement?

I don’t know if I should ignore their Bible-related attacks entirely, or is there something I should say about the Bible when people question it or use it in the wrong way?

(A bit sad this opportunity to ask questions only lasts for one week. Discussions with atheist friends create so many questions!)


(Brittany Bowman) #31

Thanks for taking time to write Saving Truth, as it really changed my perspective. Nabeel Qureshi’s writing is so heartfelt, and it is exciting to see you promoting his work.


(Ryan D'souza) #32

Hello sir. I live in a fairly liberal but muslim country. What is the best way to go about witnessing to Muslims? What good arguments can I use for topics regarding the Trinity or the resurrection of Jesus? How would you go about doing this?


(Sarah C) #33

Oh dear, I tried to edit my former post, but I’m not sure it will let me do that. I wanted to add a question:

If I were to ask a person to read something, like the book you recommended, and they declined, indicating that they’re not really interested in finding the truth, should I stop the conversation entirely? Or should I try to engage the person in trying to find out WHY they don’t want to know? And if the latter, how would you go about doing that?

Reading this thread–questions and answers–has been fascinating.

I have so many questions, my own and others, and after many debates, I am starting to wonder about another aspect of apologetics: the emotional side.

You mentioned earlier that some people don’t want to know the truth–they want comfort, and I definitely have seen that in other people and even in myself.

Is there a way to read/study and then speak/share that can help overcome this hurdle? I feel like emotional resistance, not bad logic is the real biggest barrier to God.


(Ryan D'souza) #34

Hello sir. I live in a fairly liberal but muslim country. What is the best way to go about witnessing to Muslims? What good arguments can I use for topics regarding the Trinity or the resurrection of Jesus? How would you go about doing this?


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #35

I want to ask for your opinion about a topic that my youth leader and I had a while back. He mentioned that he believed in unicorns because the Bible said so. He showed me nine verses all in the OT that mention unicorns. When reading the footnotes, the bible scholars didn’t seem to have an idea except that maybe it meant ‘wild bull,’ which my youth leader rejected right away because unicorns supposedly have one horn while bulls have two. What are your thoughts on this?

Keep in mind we used the KJV as our Bible translation.


(Sarah C) #36

I was recently speaking to another (Christian, this time) friend who had suffered through some tragedies in life, and spoke about the difficulty in trusting God in the hard times…then I was reading a book by another Christian writer (who also suffered physically from a permanent condition) who talked about how praising God in the hard times is not just a suggestion, but more like a command. I was wondering: when people are suffering, it is…not surprising that sometimes they get angry at God, (although there are some who turn even more faithful, I know)…is it sinful to be angry at God? To say even hopeless/bitter things? But if someone pretends that they are not angry when they really are, is that not being honest? What would you say to someone who is undergoing long-term pain (physical, mental, and/or relational)?


(Abdu Murray) #37

@sam
Great question, yet again!

I’m attaching a link to a dialogue I did with an very nice Muslim scholar (a former Hindu now Muslim) named Vinay on the question “who is God?” This might help a bit because we discuss the Trinity quite a bit (as I recall). Also, I wrote an entire chapter on this in my book Grand Central Question.

Before his incarnation, the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, existed in heaven, in a non-physical state. At the incarnation, God the Son “take on” human nature and a physical body. But take a look at the video for more on this beautiful doctrine of the Trinity:

Hope that helps!
Abdu


(Abdu Murray) #38

@Ryan_D_souza:

I’m so glad you have an opportunity to share the gospel with Muslims in a setting that allows you that freedom (presumably!).

You’ve asked a big question that would take quite a long time ot answer. Can I suggest a couple of things? First, I would get a couple of books, like Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, No God But One, or Grand Central Question and a good book by Norm Geisler and Abdul Saleeb called Answering Islam. There’s a lot of discussion about the trinity in those books.

On the resurrection, there are some great books to start with, including Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, Gary Habermas’s book The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ and a book he co-wrote with Mike Licona entitled the Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.

As for the Trinity, as you may see in Grand Central Question, I discuss this at three levels. First is logical possiblility (i.e., that it is logically possible for God to exist as having one nature and three persons or centers of conciousness). Second is Biblical warrant (i.e, showing that the Bible actually teaches that God is triune). Third is theological necessity (i.e., showing that if God is truly great - as every Muslim says he must be - then God must be triune). As but a quick taste of what I mean by the third one: If God is great (Muslims agree) and God is relational (Muslims agree) and God is the only uncreated being (Muslims agree), then before God had created any beings, he was alone. If he was utterly alone, then he was unable to be relational, because being relational always requires a “relater” and the one receiving relatationship. So if God is Unitarian, then he needs to create something or someone outside himself to be relational (i.e, to be who he is). If that’s true, then God needs something. And a maximally great being wouldn’t need anything. The trinity resolves that because God is eternally in relationship within Himself. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son and on it goes from eternity to eternity. God doesn’t need anything for relationship because God in the Trinity defines relationship.

This approach allows us to present the gospel to Muslims by respecting what they care about (God’s greatness) and showing them that the gospel actually and rationally fulfills their desire to worship a great God.

May God bless you as you share your faith in Christ!

Abdu


(Abdu Murray) #39

@mpitts92:

I’m thrilled your class is using JASG and putting it to use with non-Christians!

As you think through how to respond, remember to test the logic of a question. A great way is to ask the question - So what? Often, we see that an objection doesn’t have as much force as we initially thought. So what if God let’s people divide? Is that really inconsistent with what the Bible teaches us about the nature and character of God? The question doesn’t really pose a logical challenge to Christianity because whatever answer one gives doesn’t affect whether Christainity is true or not.

First, assuming that God does allow people to be divided (because he gave them free will, people are imperfect, and/or people will often interpret obvious truths in ways that they prefer rather than in ways that are simply true), what then? Does that mean that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead? The history remains the history no matter how much people divide over it, split into factions, or even hate each other.

Second, the fact that the world is actually consistent with God being who Christians think he is. He creates us for relationship with himself. We have free will, which entails the possibility of rejecting that relationship and of rejecting each other. We use that free will to reject God and reject each other and create a divided world. But God has done something about it through the cross. Not everyone will trust in what God has done and even those who do will go through a process of sanctification over the course of their lives. But in the end, there will be a unity of believers in heaven. God promises to restore a fractured world.

In fact, Jesus predicted that people would not only divide, but they would divide over who he is! See Matt. 10:34-39. And Paul tells us that people and creation itself are groaning until they are restored (Rom. 8:18-23). So the fact that the world is divided in’t inconsistent with what Christians believe, but completely consistent with Christian belief. I love how God predicts our questions and sometimes even answers them before we have them!

As you think through how to respond, remember to test the logic of a question. A great way is to ask the question - So what? Often, we see that an objection doesn’t have as much force as we initially thought. So what if God let’s people divide? Is that really inconsistent with what the Bible teaches us about the nature and character of God?


(Abdu Murray) #40

Hi Sarah,

I think you’re right, it is often the case that emotional barriers or personal issues are the real obstacles and intellectual challenges are merely the facade or smokescreen to hide them. That’s not always the case but it can be. If you offer a resource to someone and they don’t want to read it, I think it’s a great idea to ask them why not. You’ll get more insight into their barriers.

This is really an area for deep and heartfelt prayer because logic, facts, and truth won’t always break through. The Holy Spirit can break through, though, and that’s when logic, facts, and truth suddenly matter. That happened in my own life. It took quite some time and a lot of people praying for me, but it did happen.

A verse I often meditate on to get me attuned to what God would have me say or do in reaching out to someone is Col. 4:5-6. In fact, it’s the verse by which I guide my entire ministry. Paul writes:

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

He is teaching us to talk about what someone else cares about and see how the gospel might answer the longings of the heart as well as the questions of the mind. But most importantly, Paul tells us to answer people, not questions. Questions don’t need answers, people do. Never answer a question. Always answer a person. And sometimes, the best way to answer a person who you suspect might be dealing with an emotional barrier is to ask them questions about why the issue is important, what it might mean for them if the gospel were in fact true, and so on.


(Abdu Murray) #41

Hi @O_wretched_man!

As you hinted at, the issue here is that you’re relying on the KJV translation. The short answer is that the original Hebrew is an ambiguous term that doesn’t actually mean unicorn. It actually more likely means “buffalo.” It was translated into Greek for the Septuagint as “one horn”, but that really isn’t the best translation.

A friend of mine, Stephen Bedard, has written a short blog on this. You may want to check it out and go through it with your pastor!

Here it is:

Blessings!
Abdu


(Abdu Murray) #42

Hi Ryan: I replied to your question but I’m not sure it actually showed up as a reply. It’s in this thread, however, so I hope you can easily find it. Thanks!


(Abdu Murray) #43

Hi @Time_To_Wake_Up:

Thanks for the question. I can see that your question stems from a deep and abiding concern for innocent young ones who might face serious dangers or challenges in this age. But

I think the answer to your question is “yes.” The world has been corrupt since Adam and Eve’s fall, so today’s corruption is not actually new in that sense. True, it may be worse than before, but the fact is the world was once so corrupt that God sent the flood! He also judged His own people numerous times for their corruption. And yet, time and again, the Bible describes the bestowing of children as a blessing. So I would say that despite the ugliness of this world, bringing children into it is always a blessing. Yes, it can be very, very challenging and even scary. But what our world needs now is more Christ-centered families, not fewer.

Of course, it is not necessary for a fully-devoted Christian to have children to be completely fulfilled in his or her faith. From all indications, Paul was childless and Jesus never had children. I would never say that they were unfulfilled! I think this is a personal choice. But children are a blessing and once we are bestowed with the blessing of having conceived a child, that child is made in God’s image and must be protected, nurtured, and prepared to impact the corrupt world for the sake of Christ!

May God richly bless you!
Abdu


(Abdu Murray) #44

Great question!

In such situations, remember the principle of “the burden of proof.” The person who makes the statement bears the burden of proving that statement. So, when a Muslim (or anyone) claims that the Bible has been corrupted, that person bears the burden of proving that claim to be true. If a Christian claims that the Bible is the word of God, well it becomes the Christian’s responsibility to prove the claim.

Christians often rush to defend the Bible when this challenge comes up. Resist that urge at first. Instead, ask some questions that put the burden back on the person who raised the objections. When someone says “The Bible has been corrupted,” I often ask - “How so? In what parts? Who did it? When did it happen? How could it have been so uniformly corrupted? Do you have prooff of this?” Some might have actual answers, but you’ll also find that a lot of people who say this are really just repeating something they heard someone else say.

I wrote extensively about this in my book, Grand Central Question. One way to look at this is through the lense of God’s greatness. Muslims believe (as to Christians) that God is maximally great (that’s why Muslims say “Allahu Akbar”). Now, if God is maximally great he must be all-powerful and trustworthy. Otherwise, he’s not truly great. With that in mind, consider the following argument:

  1. For God to be great, he must be all-powerful and trustworthy
  2. Islam teaches that the Taurat (Torah), Injil (gospel), and Zabur (Psalms of David) were revealed by God.
  3. If the Taurat, Injil, and Zabur were corrupted, then either God is not powerful enough to prevent the corruption or God cannot be trusted to keep his revelations from being so corrupted that millions of people die believing blasphemies about him.
  4. If God is not all powerful, then he is not great.
  5. If God is not trustworthy, he is not great.
  6. Every Muslim believes that God is great, which means that God must be powerful enough to prevent the corruption and trustworthy enough to want to prevent it.
  7. Therefore God prevented the corruption ot the Taurat, Injil, and Zabur (i.e, the Torah, Gospel, and Psalms).

I wrote this down quickly so forgive some of the informality of the way it is expressed. Again, I wrote more on this in Grand Central Question. I hope this helps you as you offer the beauty and truth of God’s word!

Abdu