Atonement in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

For you to learn a lesson, something or someone will have to pay the price and be sacrificed. — Kayo K.

And here, shipmates, is true and faithful repentance; not clamorous for pardon, but grateful for punishment.
— Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
— Elvina M. Hall, 1865

I’m in the process of writing the above titled article. I think it will go a long way to compare and contrast the concept of atonement in the three main monotheistic religions. In the meantime, I was at a friend’s house two days ago when I observed a decoration that related to a recent discussion with a Muslim friend @Milo Božovich on a YouTube video about the necessity of believing the Trinity as a requirement for salvation.

As a Christian, my take on soteriology is relatively simple: Man is not saved by his understanding of the theological definition of God, nor by what he does or fails to do (not directly at least), but by whether he has a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Messiah, which provides the motivation for everything he does.

The Crucifixion of the Messiah

Periodically, my Muslim friends will advocate their position that Jesus was not crucified on a cross in Palestine two millennia ago (see here, here and here). They posit that someone may have been crucified, but it had to have been someone else. As further evidence, they say that if Jesus was crucified on a “tree” he would have been cursed by Allah, based on Deuteronomy 21. This is all based on one passage from the Quran…

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Freedom Versus Conformity in Islam

I was bantering with my friend @NeoLegendX when he inadvertently brought up a topic that I thought was very interesting. Soon after, comments began to be deleted by either the channel Moderator or YouTube itself. Here’s the context of our conversation:

NeoLegendX: @A Berean any interesting topics you stumbled upon

A Berean: @NeoLegendX Bored?

NeoLegendX: @A Berean corona has us on lockdown
Cmon Braf
You know that
And here I thought we dont need to rehearse

A Berean: @NeoLegendX Some of us “old folk” still get to work, even in lockdown…

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My Muslim Friends Don’t Trust Me!

For reasons deeply rooted in Islamic orthodox thinking, my Muslim friends continually say that my online persona “lies” or is a “liar” or even an “inveterate liar”. Here are a few popular ayat that are often used to stoke mistrust between Muslims and Christians:

O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies; some of them are allies of one another. Whoever of you allies himself with them is one of them. Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.— Quran 5:51 ITANI

Those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture, and the Polytheists, will be in the Fire of Hell, where they will abide forever. These are the worst of creatures.
As for those who believe and lead a righteous life—these are the best of creatures. — Quran 98:6–7 ITANI

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Missing Comment Thread

In the wee hours of Tuesday, June 4, 2019, I was having a very pleasant discussion with my Muslim friends on the topic of progressive revelation in the Old and New Testaments, specifically on whether aspects of the the Trinity were revealed in the Old Testament. All was going well until the Moderator of the MuslimByChoice channel got involved. Usually, I get blocked at some point, but never has it occurred this early in the conversation. I’m not exactly sure of the YouTube mechanism, but basically I can see my posts as “A Berean”, but they disappear when I login as a different username. In the past, I’ve been blocked somewhat permanently, or just for a period of time. Since I can see my posts as “A Berean”, I can blithely grab a screenshot or two proving that censorship has, indeed, occurred. Continue reading

The Rider of the Clouds

But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Matthew 26:63-66 ESV

Perhaps the greatest Muslim missionary/apologist/polemicist of all time was the late Ahmed Deedat from South Africa. He is famous for introducing the “exact words” argument against the divinity of Jesus. It goes like this: “Show me one verse in the Bible where Jesus says, ‘I am God, worship me’… in those exact words.” Implied in this conditional statement is “If you can’t find those exact words, then Jesus isn’t God.” A cursory examination shows this to be a fallacious argument, and yet it is still widely used by novice and experienced Muslim apologists alike. Apparently, Muslims demand blunt statements regarding their deities. While Jesus uttered no such exact quote in the New Testament, it would be fair to reframe the question as “Did Jesus ever plainly say that he was God and deserved our worship?” Continue reading

The Revelation and Preservation of Quranic and New Testament Manuscripts

photo by Crystalina

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Both the Christian and Islamic faiths depend on revelation in order to know anything about God beyond what can be learned through observing nature. Muslims claim that the Quran is the eternal Word of Allah, sent down to earth, complete in its original form and unchanged. Christians, on the other hand, believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God, sent down to earth, complete in his original form and unchanged. The New Testament is held to a lower standard than that of the person of Jesus Christ upon which it is based: Is it eternal? No. Was it sent down from heaven? Inspired, but… no, at least not in the Quranic sense. Was it complete in its original form? Yes. Was it changed? Yes, but we know where the changes are for the most part. For both the Quran and the New Testament, the revelation and preservation of the ancient texts is of utmost importance, for they give us confidence that what the scriptures declare about God is reliable. The problem is: If both scriptures tell us contrasting views of God/Allah, which is reliable and trustworthy?

I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in an online conversation with several Muslims on YouTube on this subject. I hope to use this post as a vehicle for continuing those conversations as the YouTube comment mechanism can be uncooperative at times. As I have a day job, this interaction will require patience. Also, I’ll endeavor to be as informed, truthful and fair as possible, so careful research will be required. Please stay tuned!

Editor’s Note: This thread was moved from the main “Ask Me Anything” page. It was based on comments that originated from the YouTube video “A Guide To Missionary Tactics For MUSLIMS” by Radush Shubuhaat. Look for the thread by “A Berean” that begins “So much cynicism in less than 15 minutes…”

Proof that MuslimByChoice YouTube Channel Blocks Users

Click on the image to open the video in a new window
Click the “SORT BY” drop down menu and select “Newest first”
Look for the comment by @A Berean beginning with ” I watched the entire video waiting to see the “Bad Arguments” of Dr. White.”

I offer this evidence for lovers of truth proving that The Moderator of MuslimByChoice wields their considerable censorship power to stifle free discussion on their YouTube channel. Continue reading