The most common question Muslims ask Christians: Where did Jesus say, “I am God! Worship me!”?

jesus-christ-by-MikeOC[232498]If you any Muslim friend who is apologetically inclined, then the question he would have asked you

is this. ‘Where did Jesus say, ” I am God! Worship me!”?’

Now it is an interestingly and intelligently worded question to take unaware any ill-equipped

Christian. It assumes that there is a certain way Jesus must express himself “I am God” and if he has

not said that then he is not God. The Muslim thinks that Jesus should express his divinity in

accordance with his understanding or wish as to how he should express it. Secondly, he assumes that

Jesus has not said that.

But Jesus has expressed his divinity in multiple ways

1. Jesus claim to be deity. [Read more…]

Worldview and Culture: The Stories That Shaped Us in 2014

hands raised by the crowd at a live music concertAs this year wraps up, I offer the following retrospective on some of the more popular entertainment in 2014. It’s not an exhaustive list, and I don’t necessarily recommend everything on it. It’s simply meant to provide insight into the cultural stories that are reflecting and/or shaping a lot of worldviews, particularly those of a young adult audience. Though some of the authors or directors on the following list do not approach life from a Christian perspective, they are all storytellers who wrestle with some of the most profound questions in life. Hopefully, entering into these stories will better equip us to understand the times and know what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).

FOUR  BOOKS (or series) WORTH NOTING

1) Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series offers one of the best YA stories I have read. Maberry offers great characters, intense story lines, philosophy, ethics, honor, love, and sacrifice embedded in books that will make you reset your alarm. It’s pretty grim – it is a zombie apocalypse – but it’s also saturated with goodness and hope. If my boys grow up to be like Tom Imura, I will be well pleased. Not surprisingly, the series is on its way to the big screen. [Read more…]

Debating Christianity and Islam on Spice FM: A Conversation on the Deity of Christ

I was recently invited to do a debate on a local radio station that airs in Tyneside, England, called Spice FM. Every Thursday, a Muslim program, called “Eye on the East”, run by Muslim activist Daniel Johnson of the Islamic Diversity Center airs. In the video above, I take on Daniel Johnson and Muslim apologist Majid Younus on the identity of Christ and the validity of the Triune concept of God. Enjoy! You can listen to two other recent radio interviews I have done on the subject of Islam here and here.

Answering Jewish Objections: “Jewish People Don’t Believe in a Suffering/Atoning Messiah”: Part Three

thumbnailca3tlj011This is the third part in our series. To see Part One, click here. To see Part Two, click here.

Remember the following:

  1. Targums are the Aramaic Translations of the Jewish Scriptures (The Tanakh), that were read in the synagogues on the Sabbath and on feast or fast days.
  2. Scholars usually assume the Targums were needed because the loss of Hebrew fluency by Jewish people growing up during the exile
  3. Targums are supposed to represent rabbinic Judaism after C.E. 70. Targums originated in Palestinian Judaism but later editions were done in Babylon.
  4. All of the extant Targums seem to date from 2nd century C.E. and later, yet a number of the translations would preserve readings that were current in the first century. (4)

Part of the passage reads this way (with italics indicating departures from the Hebrew): ( The translation is based on Bruce D. Chilton, The Isaiah Targum (ArBib 11;Wilmington: Glazier, 1987), 103–5. For Aramaic text and English translation, which at points differs somewhat, see John F. Stenning, The Targum of Isaiah (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949), 178–81).

Behold, my servant, the Messiah, shall prosper, he shall be exalted and increase, and shall be very strong. Just as the house of Israel hoped for him many days—their appearances were so dark among the peoples, and their aspect beyond that of the sons of men—So he shall scatter many peoples . . . Who has believed this our good news? . . . And the righteous shall be exalted before him . . . his appearance is not a common appearance and his fearfulness is not an ordinary fearfulness, and his brilliance will be holy brilliance, that everyone who looks at him will consider him. Then the glory of all the kingdoms will be for contempt and cease; they will be faint and mournful, behold, as a man of sorrows and appointed for sicknesses . . . Then he will beseech concerning our sins and our iniquities for his sake will be forgiven; yet we were esteemed wounded, smitten before the Lord and afflicted. 5And he will build the sanctuary . . . (if) we attach ourselves to his words our sins will be forgiven to us. He beseeches, and he is answered, and before he opens his mouth he is accepted . . . 8From bonds and retribution he will bring our exiles near . . . for he will take away the rule of the Gentiles from the land of Israel; the sins which my people sinned he will cast on to them. 9And he will hand over the wicked to Gehenna and those rich in possessions which they robbed to the death of the corruption . . .53: 10 Yet before the Lord it was a pleasure to refine and to cleanse the remnant of his people, in order to purify their soul from sins; they shall see the kingdom of their Messiah . . . .

[Read more…]

Is What They Said about Jesus True? A Call for Discernment

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As Christmas is drawing near, the interest in talking about Jesus and Christianity is surely going to increase. It happens every year. Church attendance rises and radical articles begin to cover the Internet and even leading publications preaching the latest and most headline-worthy theory about who Jesus Christ was or was not.

I don’t know about you, but it can be somewhat frustrating to see all of these popular attacks on the historical Jesus. While thinking about this a little bit more, I have come up with a list of three filters that I think need to be applied to any one of these stories that we might happen to stumble across in the media.

  1. Does the story match the headline?

I have done quite a bit of online sports journalism, and I know that one thing I was always told by my editors was to make my headlines memorable. That should be obvious. If you want people to click on your story (and the company makes money per click), you need to have a headline that grabs people’s attention. The same applies to a magazine and what appears on the cover.

Therefore, the first filter to apply to any of these stories is to actually read the story. Often times, headlines overstate what they promise, and many of these so-called “new discoveries” that many people find shocking are repackaged arguments from the past that have been addressed by many apologists. [Read more…]