Thursday, September 20, 2012

God is in Control; Steady Your Heart in Him

"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast."  Psalm 57:7

After listening to the silly arguments that Muslims Zakir Hossein and Sami Zaatari make, and the way they tried to argue their case in their recent debates [Sept. 17 and 19, 2012] with Dr. White (, it was amazing at how they rely on western liberal scholarship, and then just deny and say "no" in the face of evidence. This was especially true with Sami Zaatari, who kept saying "It doesn't matter, because the Qur'an says so and so", etc.   His tone and demeanor reminded me of "Baghdad Bob" (Saddam Hussein's spokesperson when the USA invaded Iraq in 2003), who kept saying "No!; where are the soldiers?  They are not here."  Yet he was just denying reality.    Sami just seems to deny reality.  The way Muslims use liberal anti-supernatural scholarship and Gnostic gospels (Paul Bilal Williams, Shabir Ally, and many others) is truly amazing.

Also, Islam, as a political/social/militaristic force is seeking to overpower the west by many other Muslims and their seemingly faith in the political and military might of Islam, whether it be by "stealth Jihad" like CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood; or whether it will be when or if the Caliphate is restored, or other extremist Muslims who are not waiting for that and taking matters into their hands now; (Al Qaeda and other Jihadist/Salafi/Islam-ist types) - they seem to have methods of using whatever they need to in order to gain power.  That is why, it seems to me, that one Muslim recently even wrote an article noting the parallels of Islam to Neitzsche's philosophy of "the will to power".  (But they took down the article later.  It seems they are embarrassed to admit the obvious parallels.)

Without faith in the true God, the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the God of love, it can be disturbing to see the way Muslim apologists use liberal western scholarship and freedom of speech to do their apologetics in the west, but at the same time, other Muslims use the political powers and general culture in their countries and deny the same opportunity for Christians to debate in their societies without persecution and Dhimmi-ism and honor killings.  (with a few exceptions in early Islamic history and in recent years in Dubai.  (the debates between Thabiti Anyabwile and Bassam Zawadi were especially good, in my opinion. One is here.  The other one here.)

It has been helpful for me to read and meditate in Psalms 46,  56-57, 86, and Romans 8 and James chapters 3-5 in light of some of the big issues going on the world today.

Steady your heart in God, in the face of the above and three other things, yea, even four:
A.  the sensationalism around the pro-Gnostic hype over "the Gospel of Jesus' Wife"
B.  The tension in the Middle East and Muslim countries.
C.  The upcoming Election in the USA for President.
D.  The ongoing homosexual/gay agenda that seeks to destroy marriage, decency and culture.

A.  At least 3 good articles that steady the situation of the recent Gnostic Gospel promotion of the mainstream media and liberal pro-Gnostic scholars like Karen King and Elaine Pagels.

1.  Simon Gathercole points out the parallels and similarities between the fragment that was named "the Gospel of Jesus' Wife" by pro-Gnostic scholar Karen King, and the Gospel of Thomas:  Interesting that he also points out that the fragment was named by King "the Gospel of Jesus' wife" for sensational effect and should not have even been named that.

We believe this to be a largely reliable translation. But is it evidence that Jesus had a wife? The answer is an emphatic ‘no’. Not even Karen King is claiming that it is, though it’s inevitable that some of the news outlets will present it otherwise.
What we have here is a typical sort of text which arose after Christianity had become very popular and when derivatives of Christianity began to emerge. The language of the text is very similar to the Gospel of Thomas, sayings 101 and 114, and the Gospel of Thomas saying 101 shows influence of Luke 14:26, as the Gospel of Thomas does elsewhere. This way of speaking belongs to the mid-second century or later, in other words generations later than the books of the New Testament.
We asked Dr Simon Gathercole, an expert on apocryphal gospels and Senior Lecturer in New Testament in the University of Cambridge, for his comments. (See his analysis below).

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife - This piece of papyrus has been authenticated by two reputable scholars, Profs. Roger Bagnall and AnneMarie Luijendijk. There are doubts, however, which have been raised about its authenticity, especially by scholars at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome, where there is a good deal of scepticism. This is a tiny fragment of text, but which has something unprecedented in it, namely a reference to Jesus addressing someone as “My wife....”:
1 ] not. My mother has given me [life]
2 ] The disciples said to Jesus, [
3 ] deny. Mary is worthy of it [
4 ] Jesus said to them, “My wife... [
5 ] She will be able to be a disciple to me, and [
6 ] Let evil man ??? [...
7 ] As for me, I am with her because [
] an image [

Relation to other gospels - What is interesting about the relation of this fragment to other gospels is that it is closest to the Gospel of Thomas:
Line 1:
Gos. Thom. 101.3:
My mother has given me [life].
My true Mother has given me life.
Line 3:
Gos. Thom. 114.1:
Mary is worthy of it
Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary come out from us, because women are not worthy of life.’
Line 5:
Gos. Thom. 101.1-2:
She will be able to be a disciple to me
Whoever does not hate his father and his mother as I do cannot be a disciple to me. And whoever does not love his Father and his Mother as I do cannot be a disciple of mine.
There is obviously ongoing debate here about the role of Mary, and by extension. What is not paralleled elsewhere is that Jesus addresses someone – probably Mary Magdalene – as his wife. There are two possible implications of this:

1. This could be like the special relationship that Mary Magdalene and Jesus have in the Gospel of Philip. There, Mary is closer to Jesus than the other disciples are, as Mary Magdalene is an important symbol: the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is an allegory of the soul’s meeting with God in the bridal chamber, i.e. salvation.

2. It could reflect debates about marriage and sex in the early church. Tertullian (c. 200, the time of this fragment), discussed marriage a lot, in particular re-marriage after death of a spouse (which he said was wrong), and his view of marriage was that the ideal marriage was without sex. Others at the time, like Clement of Alexandria, report opponents using Jesus’ celibacy as an argument for Christians remaining celibate. Some, he says, “say outright that marriage is fornication and teach that it was introduced by the devil. These arrogant  people say that they are imitating the Lord, who neither married nor possessed anything in this world, boasting that they understand the gospel better than others.” (Clement, Stromateis3.49.1).  The use of such a striking motif as Jesus being married obviously had a point to it: it may have been that Jesus’ marriage was invented as a reason to justify marriage.

3. It could be a text like the Gospel of Mary, where Mary has become an alternative channel of revelation. She is given a place very close to Jesus, so that she can be a mouthpiece for an alternative treatment of salvation.
Other references to Jesus in similar relationships - Jesus has female disciples in the canonical gospels, who support his ministry (Luke 8), and who are part of his entourage generally. There is no reference to marriage of any kind, which is striking in a biography. (Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars, for example, mentions wives and fiancées of all 12 of his subjects.) Other apocryphal gospels develop some of these relationships. So, for example, Salome who is a very minor character in the gospels (mentioned only twice, only in Mark’s gospel), but she becomes significant in the Gospel of the Egyptians, and especially in the Gospel of Thomas, where she shares a couch with Jesus: it was a dining couch rather than a bed, but sharing a dining couch was still a louche thing to do, and effectively meant being married or lovers. The Gospel of Philip might refer to Jesus kissing Mary, but the manuscript has some holes in at the key point! In a later text called the Greater Questions of Mary, Jesus even – in front of Mary Magdalene - has sex with a woman whom he has produced out of his side.
Harvard Professor Karen King, who is the person who has been entrusted with the text, has rightly warned us that this does not say anything about the historical Jesus. She is correct that “its possible date of composition in the second half of the second century, argues against its value as evidence for the life of the historical Jesus”. But she is also right that this is a fascinating discovery which offers us a window into debates about sex and marriage in the early church, and the way Jesus could be adapted to play a part in a particular debate. If it is genuine.
Simon Gathercole

2.  Michael Kruger brings us back to the bottom line in this issue:

"When it comes to these sorts of questions I like to remind my students of a simple---but often overlooked---fact: of all the gospels in early Christianity, only Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are dated to the first century.  Sure, there are minority attempts to put books like the Gospel of Thomas in the first century---but such attempts have not been well received by biblical scholars. Thus, if we really want to know what Jesus was like, our best bet is to rely on books that were at least written during the time period when eyewitnesses were still alive. And only four gospels meet that standard. "   Michael Kruger

3.  Al Mohler points out the sensationalism of this that masquerades as scholarship:

Even without these extra excellent articles, and information, we can calmly re-affirm with David, the inspired writer: 

"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast."  Psalm 57:7

With all this extra reasonable apologetic defense of the Bible and the true God, our witness is emboldened in being equipped to answer the critics.


B.  with all the turmoil in the Middle East and from radical Muslims who stir up many other Muslims - 

Psalm 46:1-11

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble . . . "

"Therefore, we will not fear though the earth should change;
though the mountains slip into the sea . . .

"cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

C.  And, whatever the USA election brings, steady your heart in God and His Word, with His people, humble yourself under His mighty hand.  (James 4:10; I Peter 5:5-10)

"This I know, that God is for me" - Psalm 56:9

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)  see larger context of Romans 8:28-39

Further doubt on the "Jesus' wife" fragment:

Addendum # 2 (Sept. 26, 2012)
The "Jesus Wife" fragment judged a total fake.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Debate - Thanks again Doug Wilson for telling the truth!

This is a recent debate:
Issue:  "Do Gay Rights Conflict with Conservative Christian Values?"
Douglas Wilson vs. R. Clarke Cooper

- Douglas Wilson - says "yes, they do conflict"; vs. R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans, says "no".   

Thanks again Doug Wilson for telling the truth and engaging this cultural issue!

I found out about this from Denny Burk's blog.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I have read the Qur'an. Have you read the Injeel (انجیل ) ?

This was my answer (now with some addition) to a Muslim who left a comment yesterday, encouraging us Christians to read Surah 19 - Maryam, in the Qur'an.  

He said both Mary and Jesus are respected there.  The problem is that denying that Jesus is Lord, the Second person of the Trinity and the eternal Son of God and God in the flesh (John 1:1-5, 14, 18; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:3, 6, 8, John 5:17-18, 8:56-58; 10:27-33; 18:1-6; 19:1-7, 20:28; etc.) and that He died on the cross for sins and that He rose from the dead - all of that denial is not respectful at all; for it denies who Jesus really is. 

Salaam Daawa,  (which means "Invitation" -  for others information.  Probably not his real name.)
"Salaam" = "Peace" (to you) 

Peace to you - true peace is only found in Jesus the Messiah - John 14:27; Romans 5:1, Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 2:13-15

I have read Surah 19 - Maryam. 

Daawa, Have you read the Injeel ? انجیل ؟ - Have you read the New Testament? (all the way through - in your heart language ? )  "Injeel" means "gospel" in Arabic and is understood as the revelation or book that was given to Jesus.   It came into Arabic from the Greek word, where we get "evangel" from -  ευαγγελιον. (generally pronounced, "euwangellion") 

I have read all of the Qur'an all the way through at least once, and I still read some of it in order to understand you and your religion better. 

Surah 19:19 indicates Jesus was "pure, faultless, sinless" - on that we agree. 

Jesus the Messiah was without sin.
(2 Cor. 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46; Hebrews 7:26)

Luke 1:34-35 - the holy Injeel - also explains the virgin birth of Al Masih and why we call Him "the Son of God"

the angel explains that Mary will have a son, so she asks - 

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 

35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."

Jesus had no human father - His mother was a virgin. 

God's power and Holy Spirit conceived Jesus spiritually in the womb of Mary - so Jesus' nature was divine. He was 100% God and 100% man - He had 2 natures. 

For more details on how to explain to Muslims what we mean by "the Son of God", see here.  
He is eternal and existed with God the Father from eternity past - John 1:1-5; 1:14; John 17:5

He is and was the "Kalimat'allah" کلمه الله (Word of God) 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

We agree that God did not get married or have sex - that is impossible for God who is Spirit - invisible, unseen, non-physical. 

If Muslims think that Surah 6:101 is teaching what Christians believed, that is wrong. 

Estaqhfr'allah ! استغفرالله 
(May God forgive! perish the thought!) 

that is what the Mormons believe - they are not Christians and are a theological cult, even though they are very nice and moral people and don't drink alcohol (or coffee or tea either !!).

God loved humans out of all nations, languages and cultures (Revelation 5:9) - so He was willing to become a man (Hebrews 2:17; Philippians 2:5-11) and live for around 33 years and let sinful people kill Him voluntarily - 

John 10:18
"No one takes My life from me; I lay it down voluntarily, and I have authority to take it up again."

"God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

But since we are sinners - we must realize we are wicked sinners, helpless, rebellious, prideful, selfish, full of jealousy and anger and malice and lusts, and God condemns our sin and has holy wrath/anger/justice against our sin. we must realize, and repent of our sins and turn to Christ Al Masih as the only savior from sin and only way to God the Father and the only way to heaven; the only truth that leads us to God and heaven. John 14:6

Mark 1:15 - Repent and believe the gospel. 

God's holy anger and wrath against our sin will bring judgement one day on all who don't repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. 

Hell is real - Mark 9:48; Matthew 5:21-30; Revelation 20:10-15; Luke 16. 

God's wrath is real - 
John 3:36
Ephesians 2:1-3

Our sin is deep in the heart of our thoughts, motives, imaginations, and desires. 
Genesis 6:5
Mark 7:20-23
Jeremiah 17:9

Only Al Masih, Jesus the Messiah, only He can save you from your sins - 
John 14:6
Acts 4:12

Mark 10:45
Jesus said - 
"The son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

the word "ransom" is the same root word of the concept in the Qur'an in 37:107 - about the substitutionary sacrifice of the innocent ram (or lamb or sheep) for the human - for Abraham's son.

Something to think about - "Why did Allah substitute an innocent ram for Abraham's son?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Good Reminder

As we think about our culture and the upcoming election, here is a good reminder from Al Mohler:


"Parents who raise their children with nothing more than Christian values should not be surprised when their children abandon those values. If the child or young person does not have a firm commitment to Christ and to the truth of the Christian faith, values will have no binding authority, and we should not expect that they would. Most of our neighbors have some commitment to Christian values, but what they desperately need is salvation from their sins. This does not come by Christian values, no matter how fervently held. Salvation comes only by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Human beings are natural-born moralists, and moralism is the most potent of all the false gospels. The language of “values” is the language of moralism and cultural Protestantism — what the Germans called Kulturprotestantismus. This is the religion that produces cultural Christians, and cultural Christianity soon dissipates into atheism, agnosticism, and other forms of non-belief. Cultural Christianity is the great denomination of moralism, and far too many church folk fail to recognize that their own religion is only cultural Christianity — not the genuine Christian faith.

The language of values is all that remains when the substance of belief disappears. Tragically, many churches seem to perpetuate their existence by values, long after they abandon the faith.

We should not pray for Christian morality to disappear or for Christian values to evaporate. We should not pray to live in Sodom or in Vanity Fair. But a culture marked even by Christian values is in desperate need of evangelism, and that evangelism requires the knowledge that Christian values and the gospel of Jesus Christ are not the same thing."

Al Mohler

"Christian Values Cannot Save Anyone"

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lecture by Jay Smith on Islam and History - Excellent Overview

Here is an excellent overview of the historical issues on Islam and the Qur'an by Jay Smith.  Jay has been saying these things for many years, but the film and book by Tom Holland have made this info more widespread.  The documentary film by Dr. Tom Holland, that was shown on British TV recently, and got strong reaction from many Muslims. Holland has also written a book, In The Shadow of the Sword. (see Below for details)

Jay Smith's Lecture:
The Historical Emergence of Islam

  Summary: In the past 20-30 years, there has been increased research and interest concerning exactly how Islam really began. The orthodox view of Islam’s beginnings comes to us from material written and compiled 200-300 years after the fact. Jay Smith has been working in this area of historical research for the past 17 years, debating it with Muslims scholars, to good effect. Two months ago a new book was published in the UK entitled ‘In the Shade of the Sword’, by Tom Holland, one of the most celebrated historians in the UK today. His book details some of the most provocative and exciting academic research concerning this area of study, paralleling much of the material Jay has been using in his debates. Since its release, the book has sent shock waves throughout the Muslim community in Europe, which will hopefully help a growing disillusionment in the veracity of Islam’s origins. Jay introduced and explained Holland’s findings, as well as the ramifications this will have on the foundations of Islam for the future.

The documentary programme by Dr. Tom Holland entitled ‘Islam The Untold Story’, which has now been uploaded to the following website:

  Islam: The Untold Story part 1:

  Islam: The Untold Story part 2: 

Some have asked about the book on which it is based. In the Shadow of the Sword, by Tom Holland.

Here is a news report on some of the Islamic reactions to the documentary .

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Democrats Expose Themselves for who they really are

Didn't sound like a 2/3 Yes vote to me – more like yes was about 40-45 % and the no vote sounded like 55-60 %. The moderator who pushed the yes vote through has egg on his face and may never recover from this. The Democrats have exposed themselves as an anti-God party and an anti-Israel party; along with their love for the sins of homosexuality, abortions, infanticide, pornography, Darwinian naturalistic Evolution; big government; sex-change operations; and a Dhimmi attitude toward Islam.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

President Obama's extreme view on abortion rights

Those of us concerned about these issues, already knew Barak Obama's extreme view and voting record on abortion during the 2008 election when it was brought out; but it bears repeating:

Which candidate holds the most extreme views on abortion?  (Article  and video at Denny Burk's blog)

   Which part holds the most extreme views on Abortion? (Article and video at Denny Burk's blog) 

From the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life:

Sen. Obama’s controversial history with the ‘Born Alive’ legislation

The Born Alive Infant Protection Act drew a firm line in the sand—no killing innocent humans after they have been born. 
It was a line Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama refused to accept. 
 Obama voted four times against legislation to protect and care for infants accidentally born alive during late-term abortions.