Tuesday 12 January 2016

Fallacy of Appealing to Authority: A response to Paul Williams

Recently, I came across a link by an apologist by the name of Paul Williams. What his religion is now, I am uncertain, I was first aware of him at least two or so years ago.

Anyway, the link I came across was an article he wrote called "What does the largest Church on earth say about Muslims and Islam?" and I was not happy with what was written in the paper: You can find the original paper here: http://bloggingtheology.net/2016/01/11/what-does-the-largest-church-on-earth-say-about-muslims-and-islam-2/

Let's examine what has been said:

"It may surprise you! The official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church given at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 (known as Nostra Aetate), teaches the following:
“The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth (Cf. St. Gregory VII, Letter III, 21 to Anazir [Al-Nasir], King of Mauretania PL, 148.451A.), who has spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, his Virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.”
Read the decree in full here
Also, at the Second Vatican Council, in a document entitled Lumen Gentium issued in November, 1964, the Church teaches,
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”"

He firstly posts from two councils of the Roman Catholic Church to show what it's stance is on the Muslim people as you can see above and this is what Williams had to say:

"Muslims must always bear in mind that extremist Christians such as David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi, Sam Shamoun et al. do not represent mainstream Christianity.  The sensible, informed majority of the global Church – which also includes the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Churches – recognise considerable truth in Islam, though respectfully disagreeing about some things.
For further evidence of this mainstream, moderate majority see the signatories to the joint Christian & Muslim document A Common Word between Us and You. Here is a brief summary of the agreed common ground between the two religions:"

Firstly, Just because the Roman Catholic Church makes a pronouncement in a council, that doesn't automatically make it true and also referring to Wood, Qureshi and Shamoun as extremists I feel is nothing more than a harsh stab at them.

Second of all, there are various contradictions that Islam has with Christianity which are numerous (The obvious example being Allah being a Father to no one and Jesus is not his son, Whereas YHWH is a father spiritually to his people Israel and that Jesus is the Father's beloved and unique son).

Thirdly, as one who is an Anglican, I do not share the same view as that of Catholics or other Anglicans who may speak favorably of Islam. The Muslims are part of the mission field for Christians to evangelise to.

While there maybe some agreements among Christians and Muslims, the differences they have are irreconcilable.

Furthermore, this is nothing more than a fallacy of appealing to authority on the part of Williams. It's the same thing when some Muslims appeal to Moses Maimonides regarding mosques and synagogues, yet failing to mentioning the damning things the Rambam says about Muhammad.

Lest anyone claim "Oh you are saying Protestants are older?", I am not, I am just saying that what Rome says about Islam is irrelevant, because ultimately, it's the Bible that has the final say on whether those outside of Christ may be saved.
1 John 2 says this:
"20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[e] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also."

Notice John makes it clear if you deny the Son, you don't honor the Father. Yes I know Muslims do affirm Jesus' Messiahship, That's not the point, They deny him being the Son of God (The son meaning servant argument holds no weight either): http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/response-to-yahya-snow-and.html.

Furthermore, Jesus himself said in John 5:
"22"For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.…"

While Islam may affirm certain things about Jesus that are true, It denies fundamental doctrines about Jesus, namely his death, resurrection and deity.

While Islam may nominally serve the God of Israel, in practice, they do not worship him and accept Jesus on his terms. I am not arguing Allah is a moon god, I am only arguing that he is a false god masquerading as YHWH.

"‘Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.’"

But what about the differences that make the religions IMPOSSIBLE to accept both as viable options to take, One or the other must be chosen and I think there are Muslims who would agree with me on this.

Muslims need to be evangelized to by Christians and I am sure on the Muslim side, they have their concerns about the salvation of people.

One of the religions is right and one of the religions is wrong. We must ascertain who is right.

Answering Judaism

Any misunderstandings on my part, I do apologise.

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