Islam: Blood on the Apologists’ Dance Floor I
By: Deji Yesufu
Reaching Muslims through apologetics has not been a ministry option I considered until I received a message from Korede Olawoyin, who requested I come to his channel and speak on Islam. I told him that I did not know much on the subject but that there is a perspective on Cessationism that can help to prove the falsehood of Islam. Although hindered by poor internet connection, I was able to make a case for the falsehood of the Islamic revelation that came through Mohammed by pointing Christians to the words of Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-9. My argument was essentially this: God has given us a final revelation through Jesus Christ and that revelation was articulated for us by his apostles. The final revelation of God to humanity is Jesus and his words in the Bible. Paul, incidentally in that Galatian scripture, stated that even if an angel was to give anyone a revelation different from what he and other apostles have preached, that person should be accursed. Almost 600 years after penning those words, Mohammed began to receive revelations from an angel in a cave in Arabia.
Prior to my invitation by Olawoyin, the only Christian apologist, whose arguments I listened to on Islam, was Dr. James R. White. Dr. White utilizes a method of argument that is very gentlemanly. In fact I suspect that he is often invited to debate in mosques because he hardly rocks the Muslim’s boat. One Christian apologist, Christian Prince, criticizing Dr. White’s methodology, called him “Mohammed James White”. The message is clear: James White is too chummy with Muslims and his manner of reaching them is causing little offence and at the same time bringing little results.
Three months ago, I stumbled on another Christian apologist, with a ministry to Muslims on YouTube. His name: Dr. David Wood. David Wood utilizes unconventional methods at reaching Muslims and as a result hundreds of Muslims around the world are coming to faith in Jesus Christ through his ministry. Wood is a diagnosed sociopath. When he was 18 years old, and not yet a Christian, he took a sledge hammer and bashed his father’s head in – while the man was sleeping. Prior to that incident, Wood’s life ambition was to become a serial killer. He was ultimately arrested and slammed in jail – while at the same time psychiatrists had diagnosed him as a sociopath/psychopath. While in jail, David Wood encountered the gospel through his bunk mate, who was a Christian. After doing time, Wood went on to college and grabbed a degree in Philosophy. He would eventually get two Masters and a PhD. His interest in reaching Muslims came about when he befriended Nabeel Quereshi in college. Through a four year period, Nabeel and David challenged each other to prove the veracity of each other’s religion. They had some kind of signed pact that whoever’s religion proved true, was the religion that both of them would eventually adopt.
For three years, Nabeel examined the biblical claims on Jesus and came to the conclusion that indeed a historical Jesus once lived and died and rose again. He also discovered that the gospel, as recorded in the Bible, was true. He however said that although he has proven that Christianity was 90% true, he still regarded Islam as 100% true. David Wood now challenged his friend to use the same standards with which he investigated Christianity, Christ and his claims; that he should use the same standards on the Qur’an and Mohammed. In less than a year, Nabeel’s faith was shattered. He went into crisis of faith and emerged a Christian. Then David and Nabeel began to take their discoveries and share them with Muslims on the internet. Nabeel’s book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” became a bestseller and has become a tool for reaching Muslims around the world. The two friends opened a YouTube channel, called it Act17Apologetics and use it to witness to Muslims around the world. Nabeel eventually took up employment with the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry (RZIM). Unfortunately, at the height of his ministry and fame, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died in September 2017. He was only 33 years old.
When Nabeel died, some Muslim apologists sought to spite David and him; thus they made the remark that Nabeel “was seeking Jesus and found cancer”. This statement, and other remarks made to spite his friend’s death, led David to begin some kind of unconventional apologetics. He made 30 videos of approximately 10 minutes each, that he called “Islamize Me”. In these videos, David and two of his friends set out to become Muslims. They decide to take the Qur’an’s literal commands each day for 30 days. At the end of the odyssey, the guys are thoroughly disillusioned and they decide to return to Christianity. A lot of the things that those videos portrayed about Islam and Mohammed looked very untrue; except that David and his friends got their instructions from the Qur’an and from trusted hadiths. The videos were satirical and funny but whoever watched them got the message. Dr. James White criticized the videos, saying that they were not “Christian” ways for reaching people with the gospel. But, for me, those videos unveiled a dimension on Islam that I had never known. I would be listing some of those facts in the third part of this series.
Then David Wood was invited to debate Mohammed Hijab. Hijab is a young man from London and a Muslim apologist. The debate had Hijab breaking all the rules of modern debates and leading him to shout David down and portray him as someone who did not know enough on Islam to debate on it. Many Muslims regarded Hijab’s grandiloquence as his winning the debate. David Wood would not allow the matter to die down. It led him to begin to produce another video series he titled “Mohammed’s Boom Boom Room”. In these videos, Mohammed meets with different personalities in the world. Again in a satirical and comical manner, the true Mohammed is unveiled. Along with these videos, Wood is also making short videos explaining Islam to his viewers. Most of what he discusses in these videos are the findings that he and Nabeel discovered on Islam as Nabeel transited from Islam to Christianity. On the Acts17Apologetics YouTube channel, you will find other apologists like Sam Shamoun, Christian Prince, Hatun Tash, Vocab Marlone, Robert Spencer, William Craig, Jay Smith, Al Fadi and others. All of these people are reaching out to Muslim, presenting the gospel to them. The most interesting part is that thousands of people around the world are turning to Christ in the process. Wood’s methodology may be unconventional but the mere fact that people are coming to the Lord in the process, is proof that God’s hands are on top of this man.
Continued in Part 2.