A Spirit of Fear: Muslims, Marketing, and the White-Howse Controversy

“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about the rise of ISIS. ISIS was new on the scene, and the horrifying images of beheadings and other atrocities were just beginning to circulate. I was asked what I would do if I were captured by ISIS and they were going to behead me. Would I resist? Would I fight?

After pondering the question for a moment, I replied, “I don’t know if one knows what they would do in that situation until they’re in it. But I hope and pray that I would have the courage to share the gospel. To look at my captors and tell them that Christ died for what they were about to do to me.”

Now I’m older and the stakes are higher. I have a wife and a home to care for. My death would mean more now than it did back then. And yet, I still want to think that my answer then would be my answer now.

I’m a Calvinist. I believe in God’s effectual grace. I have Romans 1:16 etched on my wedding ring. And I believe it–that same gospel that is the power of God for salvation for the American kid at summer camp is the power of God for salvation of the merciless jihadist, if God so wills. And I know that apart from that gospel, there is nothing but eternal punishment in hell. Eternal meaning forever, without end. In light of this coming eternity, which is better: For the terrorist to lop off my head, then repent and meet me in heaven where we will worship Christ together for all eternity; or for me to escape for a few more decades of meager existence on this earth and my attacker die in his sins and spend eternity in hell? I hope I would choose the former. I think that is the proper response for Christians with an eternal perspective.

Sadly, not all of my fellow Christians agree. This has been apparent in a recent controversy surrounding Dr. James White, a Reformed Christian apologist and theologian. He has written or co-written over 20 books on theology and apologetics. He has participated in over 150 public moderated debates against all sorts of groups, including Roman Catholics, Mormons, Atheists, Oneness Pentecostals, and, of course, Muslims. His approach is always uncompromising and gospel-centered. I attended one of his debates and apologetics seminars in April in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he took on Jose Ventilacion of the Iglesia ni Cristo, a Phillipines-based unitarian cult that is establishing a presence in the area.

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We both look so happy.

Now, most people have probably never heard of Iglesia ni Cristo, and haven’t given much thought to South Dakota. And most people with Dr. White’s credentials probably wouldn’t either. But Dr. White was there, because Dr. White’s priority is the furthering of the gospel. If that means going to remote places and talking to groups that most people have never heard of, he’ll do it.

A few months earlier, in January, Dr. White participated in two nights of informal dialogue in Memphis with Dr. Yasir Qadhi, an imam and professor. The first night was held in a church, the second at a mosque. I watched both within days of their publication, and found them to be very informative. From Dr. Qadhi, I learned a good bit about what Muslims believe. Dr. Qadhi is an orthodox believing Muslim, and his information would be helpful to any Christian interested in witnessing to Muslims. On the second night, Dr. White was able to, in a mosque, present the gospel clearly and completely, as well as Christian doctrines such as the Trinity that Muslims often misunderstand.

But last month (five months after the event in question), Brannon Howse, host of Worldview Weekend, became aware of these dialogues and launched a series of vitriolic attacks against Dr. White and his ministry that have not stopped since. Others have joined the chorus.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the more egregious accusations that have been made against Dr. White and the dialogue:

  • Dr. White was accused by Howse and others of violating 2 John 9-11 for letting Dr. Qadhi speak in a church. The dialogue was accused of being “interfaith” and sweeping the differences between Christianity and Islam under the rug. I wonder if those leveling this critique realize that church buildings didn’t exist in the time of John’s writing. “Church” has always been and always will be the gathering of believers on the Lord’s Day for the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the sacraments. That can happen in a cathedral, a barn, a jungle hut, or a prison cell. These dialogues were not church. They were clearly stated before, during, and after by Dr. White to be apologetic endeavors, night 1 for Christians to accurately understand Islam so that they could witness to Muslims, and night 2 in the mosque for White to present the gospel himself. Of course, by showing up to the party 5 months late, Brannon Howse likely never heard any of the advance discussion of these events or why they were done. He just heard that Christians and Muslims were talking, and that’s bad for his business model (we’ll see why momentarily). As far as the “sweeping differences under the rug” accusation, yes, there was some discussion as to similarities between Christianity and Islam because, believe it or not, there are similarities. Both are monotheistic (although Muslims often accuse Christians of not being so). Both are socially conservative. But differences were plainly and openly discussed, as well. Dr. White and Dr. Qadhi never said they were a part of the same faith. Rather, they both were clear that they believed the other was in a false religion and they wished they would convert.
  • Dr. White was targeted in a hit piece, being called a “useful idiot for Islamism” by James Simpson of American Thinker, who uses Howse as a source. This succeeded at bringing one of conservativism’s favorite buzz phrases into the argument. Of course, this ignores the fact that the very term “useful idiot,” beyond just being childish and rude, is a term that originated to describe sympathizers of communism, which is an ideological opposite of any form of Islamic government. Simpson further muddied the waters in an interview with Janet Mefferd (more on her in a second) in which he repeatedly equivocates Dr. White with “the left” (never mind that Dr. White sits politically to the right of most Republicans). Basically, an attempt to attach White to all of conservativism’s various bogeymen. Also, a list of accusations surrounding Dr. Qadhi’s ties, many of which Dr. White has addressed before. Simpson later admitted on Twitter that he had not listened to any of Dr. White’s debates with Muslims, had not listened to Dr. White’s refutations of Howse’s accusations, or even attempted to contact Dr. White for comment.
  • Janet Mefferd “interviewed” (read: interrogated) Dr. White on her program, and accused the dialogues of being “dangerous” among other things. While Mefferd, unlike the other players in this drama, was actually willing to have Dr. White on her show to discuss the issues, the interview quickly devolved into a bully pulpit, with Mefferd repeatedly interrupting, asking oddly-specific ‘gotcha’ questions, and accusing such dialogues of undermining Western civilization.

There’s a lot going on here, and it exists at the intersection of many things I have written about before.

Since Howse went on the attack, his followers and affiliates have eaten this up. People are now calling churches where White is scheduled to speak to try to prevent it. Other outlets in addition to Mefferd and American Thinker have jumped on board. Howse is probably getting more attention from this than anything he has done before. When you work in the ad-supported radio and internet site business, that means clicks, and clicks mean dollars. That might help to explain why Howse isn’t letting this go. Not only are site traffic and ad revenue on the line, but apparently Howse is in the survival rations business.

In the secular business world, this would be a brilliant marketing strategy. Create a need for a product (get everyone scared that Muslims and others want to kill them) then sell a product to meet the need (survival goods). The old, cynical marketing guidance is that “sex sells.” And, while in our present day, sex does trigger much commerce, I would imagine that fear takes second place in the category. Howse sells fear, and fear sells merchandise. Few fears are more widespread or deeper rooted than the fear of Muslims by white, conservative, American evangelicals. Someone who can tap into that fear and market to it stands to do well, at least by worldly standards.

The problem is, this isn’t secular business. These are people who claim to be Christians. Christians are supposed to love the truth. Not perpetuate lies, slander, and fear. Not profit off of false fear that they create. Jesus himself commands his followers not to fear in Matthew 6:25-34, which I will quote here in its entirety.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (ESV)

I don’t see much in Jesus’ teaching here that supports the concept of stockpiling MREs in anticipation of future disasters. Furthermore, I don’t see anything here (or anywhere in the Bible) that encourages us to defend American society and Western civilization at all costs, even if it means shutting people out from the gospel. If Jesus speaks against his people having such fear, how much more does this apply to people like Brannon Howse, who will use their media platform to cause other Christians to disobey this command to not fear?

With this fear comes yet another incarnation of political idolatry, where the Bible is subjugated to the conservative political agenda and “America First.” The smear campaign against Dr. Qadhi is an attempt to tie him to radical groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (of course, Qadhi himself has been threatened by various Islamic terrorist groups, calling into question just how closely affiliated with radicalism he can be). Howse and Co. have tried to make the case that Qadhi is lying–he really is a radical and a terrorist, regardless of what he said at the dialogues or anywhere else. Radical Islam is an enemy of America. In “civil religion” the idolatrous conflation of country and God, there always must be an enemy, as Kim Riddlebarger describes in his excellent article on the topic:

“When current events are read through the lens of civil religion, the nation’s struggles can be vividly portrayed in biblical images of sacrifice and redemption, and framed as part of the larger cosmic struggle between good and evil. Our enemies are declared to be “evil” because they oppose the good–our nation and its current cause.”

To the American right, Islam in any and all forms is the enemy. While what Howse and his crew are doing is wrong, it isn’t new. The conservative media has painted all Islam as radicalized and terror-in-waiting, and painted all Muslims who would tell you otherwise as liars. Again, fear sells. Anger also sells, and when you attack someone’s idol (in this case, America), they get really angry.

This idolatry needs to be called out for what it is. For the Christian, America cannot be first; the Christian’s first citizenship is in heaven.  Instead of fearing for our own well-being, Jesus instructs us in that same Matthew 6 passage to “seek first the kingdom.” Christians are supposed to love and participate in the spread of the gospel. Above anything else. Even if it makes us uncomfortable. Even if it makes us go places and deal with people we don’t want to. Even if it means questioning our political agenda or views on foreign policy. Even if it means we die. Whether or not Dr. Qadhi or any Muslim is radicalized is moot, because the only power that can transform them is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Does Brannon Howse care about reaching Muslims with the gospel, so that they might repent and follow Christ?

I asked him on Twitter as the scandal was taking off. Three times over two days, to be exact.

 

I’ll admit, by the third time, I was frustrated and let him know about it. Because while Brannon Howse never answered my legitimate question, he had plenty of time between my tweets to post more tirades. After I later questioned him on some bad arguments he tweeted, he eventually blocked me. That’s his right. But the proof is in the pudding. If Howse, as a professing Christian, does desire to reach Muslims with the gospel, he apparently does not desire it as much as he wants to make Christians fear and avoid them, which means his methods likely will not be effective. So much for seeking first the kingdom. It’s easier and more profitable to worry about what can be eaten and worn.

Dr. White, on the other hand, is seeking first the kingdom. Disagree with his methods if you want, but White went into a mosque and unflinchingly preached the gospel, and people heard. Hopefully, the seeds planted will grow. Hopefully more Christians will be encouraged to take the message of Christ’s salvation to those who desperately need it, rather than letting fear, prejudice, or political agendas get in the way. After all, Christ did not die just for white America, he died to save a people of every tribe, tongue and nation. Including those who are presently Muslims. Including (hopefully) Dr. Yasir Qadhi.

I stand with Dr. James White and those like him who long to see this realized. ♦

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE ESV® BIBLE (THE HOLY BIBLE, ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION®), COPYRIGHT © 2001 BY CROSSWAY, A PUBLISHING MINISTRY OF GOOD NEWS PUBLISHERS. USED BY PERMISSION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

17 thoughts on “A Spirit of Fear: Muslims, Marketing, and the White-Howse Controversy”

  1. There is no Biblical support for “interfaith dialogue”—the term itself is un-Biblical, worldy nonsense based on philosophy. I’m not sure how much more clear the Holy Spirit can be with us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and throughout the Holy Bible.

    Among other things, Mr. White said, “I think the greatest barrier for Christians in reaching out to the Muslim people is fear,” and “We all may be facing being a religious minority. How are we going to get along in that situation? Are we going to want someone to come alongside us? Then we need to extend the hand now.”

    The irony is, while you insinuate Mr. Howse is profiting from a so called “fear” of Muslims, you’re overlooking Mr. White explicitly appealing to fear, and that alone should inform you, and Mr. White, that he’s simply not thinking rationally or Biblically and nor are you. By the way, you don’t need to worry, and if we’re ever faced with “being a religious minority” the only One we should want “alongside” us is Christ Jesus the LORD. Instead of fearing for our own well-being, God has indeed said, His Word is clear and we need to abide in and trust what He has said in Isaiah 2:22; Isaiah 51:12; Psalm 118:6; Proverbs 29:25; Proverbs 14:16; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Jeremiah 17:5; Mark 8:34-38, Luke 12:5; John 12:23-26; Romans 8:31-39; Colossians 3:1-4, and throughout.

    Further, Christians do not need to listen to Muslims “to accurately understand Islam so that they could witness to Muslims”—we are not to rely upon our own understanding or theirs about anything. Our understanding of all things comes only from the Holy Spirit through the Holy Bible. Though it’s evident Yasir Qadhi has convinced many people otherwise, from a Biblical perspective, there is no difference between him and those in ISIS. A carnal mind is a carnal mind and the flesh is the flesh, it doesn’t matter whether it manifests itself as a sword to your neck or a lie to your face; it’s enmity against God and evil. Romans 1:18-32 through Romans 3:1-20 is the bad news to which the Gospel is to be proclaimed, not debated. After preaching the Gospel to people, Apostle Paul did not hang around and form friendships with those who rejected it and opposed him and blasphemed, he shook the dust of his feet and moved on, Acts 13:51; Acts 18:6.

    Unfortunately, the dialectic “reasoning” underlying “interfaith dialogue” leads you to, among other things, reason from “feelings” and “opinions” rather than from facts, i.e., God’s Word. Temporal situations and temporal relationships with people (even with enemies of the cross of Christ) become the focus of your mind and essentially take precedence over your focus on Christ Jesus the LORD and your relationship with Him. That’s one reason we see certain Christians defending those who engage in “interfaith dialogue” while denouncing it in principle. It’s the same “reasoning” Matthew Vines and his cohorts use on themselves and on undiscerning Christians. It’s what leads a Christian to attend a homosexual “wedding” while denouncing such a thing in principle. It’s used everywhere, including seminaries and it’s not new; the serpent used it on Eve in the Garden of Eden. The fact of the matter is, like Matthew Vines, Yasir Qadhi claims to believe in Jesus, and yet they teach falsehood about Jesus; they’re false teachers teaching “doctrine” contrary to the doctrine given us in the Holy Bible. Romans 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 John 9-11; Ephesians 5:11, etc., are all applicable and clear in how we are to deal with them.

    If we want to express the love of Christ to other people, then we have to listen, not to other people, including ourselves, but to our Father in Heaven and MIND (OBEY) HIM; THAT IS LOVE. We have to listen to Him as to where we all are and address and deal with ourselves and others as He tells us to do in the Holy Bible. We must accept only what He says, which includes His definitions of things, God does not change and neither does His Word. We cannot accept what the world says and what God says; the two are diametrically opposed, and contrary to dialectic philosophy, they cannot be “synthesised” in reality, but only in the minds of those who engage in the insidious process.

    “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-11

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    1. I’ll address each paragraph.

      There is no Biblical support for “interfaith dialogue”—the term itself is un-Biblical, worldy nonsense based on philosophy. I’m not sure how much more clear the Holy Spirit can be with us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and throughout the Holy Bible.”

      The “interfaith dialogue” terminology was introduced by Howse and the other critics, not Dr. White. White was open and transparent the whole way on what was going on, who it was for, and what the goals were. Additionally, such a broad application of 1 Corinthians 6 is the death of evangelism, if we can’t even so much as talk to our opposition lest they corrupt us. A faith so weak is not true faith given by God.

      Among other things, Mr. White said, “I think the greatest barrier for Christians in reaching out to the Muslim people is fear,” and “We all may be facing being a religious minority. How are we going to get along in that situation? Are we going to want someone to come alongside us? Then we need to extend the hand now.””

      This statement sounds salacious when ripped out of context like this, but I’d encourage the reader to go back and listen. This statement was made firmly in a context of religious liberty. If Christians are free to live and worship here, so are Muslims. As the world becomes increasingly secularized and tries to suppress all religious worship, Christians and Muslims can work together to defend their rights.

      “Further, Christians do not need to listen to Muslims “to accurately understand Islam so that they could witness to Muslims”—we are not to rely upon our own understanding or theirs about anything. Our understanding of all things comes only from the Holy Spirit through the Holy Bible. Though it’s evident Yasir Qadhi has convinced many people otherwise, from a Biblical perspective, there is no difference between him and those in ISIS. A carnal mind is a carnal mind and the flesh is the flesh, it doesn’t matter whether it manifests itself as a sword to your neck or a lie to your face; it’s enmity against God and evil. Romans 1:18-32 through Romans 3:1-20 is the bad news to which the Gospel is to be proclaimed, not debated. After preaching the Gospel to people, Apostle Paul did not hang around and form friendships with those who rejected it and opposed him and blasphemed, he shook the dust of his feet and moved on, Acts 13:51; Acts 18:6.”

      I already addressed the accusations of Qadhi’s radicalism in the article. It is irrelevant. Whether he is a militant or not, I trust that the gospel is the power of God to salvation. I’ll listen to what he has to say, then I’ll show him from the scriptures where he has erred. Just like White did. As far as Paul, he regularly reasoned in the synagogues with religious Jews (not Christians) and preached at Mars Hill to the various pagans.

      Unfortunately, the dialectic “reasoning” underlying “interfaith dialogue” leads you to, among other things, reason from “feelings” and “opinions” rather than from facts, i.e., God’s Word. Temporal situations and temporal relationships with people (even with enemies of the cross of Christ) become the focus of your mind and essentially take precedence over your focus on Christ Jesus the LORD and your relationship with Him. That’s one reason we see certain Christians defending those who engage in “interfaith dialogue” while denouncing it in principle. It’s the same “reasoning” Matthew Vines and his cohorts use on themselves and on undiscerning Christians. It’s what leads a Christian to attend a homosexual “wedding” while denouncing such a thing in principle. It’s used everywhere, including seminaries and it’s not new; the serpent used it on Eve in the Garden of Eden. The fact of the matter is, like Matthew Vines, Yasir Qadhi claims to believe in Jesus, and yet they teach falsehood about Jesus; they’re false teachers teaching “doctrine” contrary to the doctrine given us in the Holy Bible. Romans 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 John 9-11; Ephesians 5:11, etc., are all applicable and clear in how we are to deal with them.”

      Nobody ever made Qadhi out to be anything other than a false teacher. It wasn’t “come hear this guy so you can grow in your faith,” it was “come hear this guy so that you understand what Muslims believe and can reason with them from the scriptures so that they might be saved.” As to the Matthew Vines comment, it’s just introducing another bogeyman (homosexuality) to the existing one (Islam). The gospel can save and reform the homosexual just like it can for the jihadist. I’d also point out that James White spent of 5 hours refuting Vines’ arguments (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QESCfpWUTE8) when they first were made, so trying to lump them together is preposterous.

      I’ll let the reader decide who is reasoning from fear and emotion and who is not.

      If we want to express the love of Christ to other people, then we have to listen, not to other people, including ourselves, but to our Father in Heaven and MIND (OBEY) HIM; THAT IS LOVE. We have to listen to Him as to where we all are and address and deal with ourselves and others as He tells us to do in the Holy Bible. We must accept only what He says, which includes His definitions of things, God does not change and neither does His Word. We cannot accept what the world says and what God says; the two are diametrically opposed, and contrary to dialectic philosophy, they cannot be “synthesised” in reality, but only in the minds of those who engage in the insidious process.

      “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-11

      I agree completely. And no one tried to “synthesize” Christianity and worldliness. The goal of the whole enterprise was for the gospel to be proclaimed to Muslims so that they might repent and believe.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. You said, “The “interfaith dialogue” terminology was introduced by Howse and the other critics, not Dr. White. White was open and transparent the whole way on what was going on, who it was for, and what the goals were. Additionally, such a broad application of 1 Corinthians 6 is the death of evangelism, if we can’t even so much as talk to our opposition lest they corrupt us. A faith so weak is not true faith given by God.”

    Mr. Howse and the other critics used the terminology because that is exactly what it was, “interfaith dialogue” and you can’t redefine it. Further, you’re still using fallacious reasoning, and making assumption and insinuation. Because the Holy Spirit is clear in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and throughout the Holy Bible, it does not follow that Christians cannot evangelize and it does not follow that I’m saying “we can’t even so much as talk to our opposition”—your assumption, and insinuation, are in your imagination.

    You said, “This statement sounds salacious when ripped out of context like this, but I’d encourage the reader to go back and listen. This statement was made firmly in a context of religious liberty. If Christians are free to live and worship here, so are Muslims. As the world becomes increasingly secularized and tries to suppress all religious worship, Christians and Muslims can work together to defend their rights.”

    That’s more insinuation, I didn’t “rip” that statement out of context. The statement is clear, Mr. White was making an appeal to fear, and again, you overlooked it while insinuating, among other things, Mr. Howse is profiting from a so called “fear” of Muslims. Further, the last part of that paragraph is what I’ve heard from those in the the “Interfaith Movement”—and like IFD, there is no Biblical support for IFM and that term too is un-Biblical, worldly nonsense based on philosophy.

    You said, “I already addressed the accusations of Qadhi’s radicalism in the article. It is irrelevant. Whether he is a militant or not, I trust that the gospel is the power of God to salvation. I’ll listen to what he has to say, then I’ll show him from the scriptures where he has erred. Just like White did. As far as Paul, he regularly reasoned in the synagogues with religious Jews (not Christians) and preached at Mars Hill to the various pagans.”

    You did not address my paragraph. As for Paul, many people try to justify IFD by claiming the same thing, while, like you, ignoring the fact that Paul did not hang around and form friendships with those who rejected the Gospel and opposed him and blasphemed. He shook the dust of his feet and moved on, and he certainly did not invite a false teacher with what the Bible calls a spirit of anti Christ into a church to teach the congregation anything.

    You said, “Nobody ever made Qadhi out to be anything other than a false teacher. It wasn’t “come hear this guy so you can grow in your faith,” it was “come hear this guy so that you understand what Muslims believe and can reason with them from the scriptures so that they might be saved.”

    As to the Matthew Vines comment, it’s just introducing another bogeyman (homosexuality) to the existing one (Islam). The gospel can save and reform the homosexual just like it can for the jihadist. I’d also point out that James White spent of 5 hours refuting Vines’ arguments (

    ) when they first were made, so trying to lump them together is preposterous.

    I’ll let the reader decide who is reasoning from fear and emotion and who is not.”

    You’re still using fallacious reasoning, and making assumption and insinuation and you didn’t really address that paragraph either. I didn’t just introduce “another bogeyman” I made points which you’re overlooking. Yasir Qadhi is indeed a false teacher and he’s using the same old tactics Matthew Vines and other false teachers use. When Christians open church doors and their minds to false teachers, they do it by reasoning from “feelings” and “opinions” rather than from facts, i.e., God’s Word and are duped into violating God’s Word in the process; Romans 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 John 9-11; Ephesians 5:11, etc.

    As for this, “come hear this guy so that you understand what Muslims believe and can reason with them from the scriptures so that they might be saved.”

    Where does the Bible say that? Nowhere. That’s your own “reasoning” and it’s not Biblical, it doesn’t make sense. Again, Christians do not need to listen to Muslims “to accurately understand Islam so that they could witness to Muslims”—we are not to rely upon our own understanding or theirs about anything. Our understanding of all things comes only from the Holy Spirit through the Holy Bible.
    As for this, “The gospel can save and reform the homosexual just like it can for the jihadist…” etc., As with the others, I cannot address your assumptions and insinuations any further than pointing them out to you because they’re in your imagination.

    You said, “I agree completely. And no one tried to “synthesize” Christianity and worldliness. The goal of the whole enterprise was for the gospel to be proclaimed to Muslims so that they might repent and believe.”

    The ends don’t justify the means. Reasoning from “feelings” and “opinions” rather than from facts, i.e., God’s Word, is worldliness. When God tells Christians how to deal with false teachers and Christians “reason” His Word away, they’ve become “synthesized” with the world.

    “when. . . reason has been exalted above revelation, and made the exponent of revelation, all kinds of errors and mischiefs have been the result.” Robert Shindler

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      1. While I do appreciate you posting my response after a delay and a rhetorical question regarding it, I posted it with line spaces between paragraphs, I’m curious where they are because and as it is, it can make for a difficult read.

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  3. “The smear campaign against Dr. Qadhi is an attempt to tie him to radical groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (of course, Qadhi himself has been threatened by various Islamic terrorist groups, calling into question just how closely affiliated with radicalism he can be). Howse and Co. have tried to make the case that Qadhi is lying–he really is a radical and a terrorist, regardless of what he said at the dialogues or anywhere else.”

    You’ve lost the plot. Find some Lebanese or Egyptians Coptic that would agree with this if you want to convince anyone.

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    1. The only plot I’m advancing is that the gospel of Jesus Christ can save anyone, regardless of who or what they are. That includes radicalized Muslims just as it includes Western secularists.

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  4. Beautifully and truthfully written!
    I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s the gospel that’s the power of God unto salvation and not our fear mongering.
    I’m already tired of the unnecessary infighting that bears no fruit of the true Christian spirit.
    Great piece!

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  5. I live in Northern Ireland and am an Evangelical Christian. I am opposed to the James White/Yasir Qadhi “interfaith dialogues” and my objections have nothing whatever to do with US politics or Donald Trump. I would not have voted for Trump or Clinton if I lived in America because they are both evil. I believe that James White is far too accommodating towards Islam, a false religion, and he gives it, and the mosque a respectability it does not deserve. There is no “agreement” between the temple of God and idols yet James White wanted to discuss the “agreements and differences” between Muslims and Christians. During the dialogue in the church, Yasir Qadhi revealed that he and James White enjoy watching Monty Python and then he (Qadhi) quoted a line from a song from a blasphemous Monty Python film called “The Life of Brian.” The line was “Always look on the bright side of life” and is sung during a blasphemous crucifixion scene from that vile movie. James White’s response to Yasir Qadhi divulging their enjoyment of vile Monty Python was to put his finger to his lips and say “shush.” Shame on James White. He is also wrong to spend so much time as a “student of Islam.” Christians need to major on truth, not error. A false teacher (Qadhi) was permitted to spread his false doctrine in an Evangelical church and he was treated like royalty as he did so. James White should not have entered a mosque because in so doing, he treated a “temple of idolatry” with respect and gave it a veneer of respectability it did not deserve. Many years ago D L Moody did a similar thing with Mormonism. He spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City while the Mormons were practising polygamy and probably engaging in blood atonement and teaching that God is an exalted man with many wives. Moody was wrong, and, in more recent times Al Mohler and Ravi Zacharias followed his example. Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle and Mohler spoke at BYU. They were wrong also and so is James White. Christians should fear Islam because it is a dangerous and violent religion. Think of “honour” killings and barbaric halal slaughter of cattle and beheadings etc. James White is trying to give the impression that fear of Islam is irrational. Yet in 2010 his “mentor” Qadhi praised a Muslim called Ali al-Tamimi who five years earlier was sentenced to life imprisonment in the UK for inciting terrorism!

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    1. Was Paul wrong when he went into the synagogues to reason with religious Jews or going to Mars Hill to do so for the pagans? By the logic you apply to Moody, Mohler, and Zacharias, he was.

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      1. The Jews worshipped the true God and Paul’s sermon was out in the open on Mars Hill, not in a pagan temple, so you are not comparing like with like. I am amazed Sir, that this is your only response to my lengthy comment about James White and his “mentor” Yasir Qadhi. Please address the Monty Python issue and Yasir Qadhi’s praise of a terrorist five years after the terrorist was jailed.

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        1. I might remind you that this is my forum on my site, so I am under no obligation to respond to your critiques, much less grant them a venue to be aired.

          As I said in the article, what Qadhi may or may not be and who he may or many not support is not relevant–he is a sinner in need of the transforming power of the gospel, political ties notwithstanding. If the gospel can redeem a Christian-killer like Paul, it can surely redeem whatever Yasir Qadhi is.

          I reject your assumption that synagogue Jews were worshiping the true God. Jesus makes it very clear that there would be no knowledge of the Father apart from him. “They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”” (John 8:19 ESV). One cannot reject Christ and worship the Father. We know Paul’s message did not find universal acceptance among the synagogue Jews (see Acts 17:4-5, note how only “some” believe; Acts 18:4-6, he is there for “many Sabbaths” but eventually no more). So at least some of those synagogues for some of those people were houses of false worship and that for at least a time Paul would go there and reason with them. Also, while Paul may have given his address in Athens in an open area, we know he would have seen enough of the idols and at least been close enough to some of them to be able to observe inscriptions (such as the “To the unknown god” he references in Acts 17:23. Was he giving those idols/altars a “veneer of respectability”? Do you find fault with Paul? It would be hard not to while still finding fault with Dr. White.

          As to the Monty Python business, I’ve never seen any of those films, so I have nothing to offer.

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          1. We invite you to visit our blog. It can be found at http://www.thetruthshallsetyoufreeblog.wordpress.com/ We have not seen the Monty Python films either but we have read reviews about them and they are vulgar and blasphemous. One does not need to eat a whole apple to know it is rotten. Read the reviews of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” for yourself and then perhaps you will condescend and grant us a response to James White’s enjoyment of that which is blasphemous and vile. Then perhaps you could google halal slaughter of cattle and sheep by Muslims and see how barbaric it is. We live on a farm so we are very concerned about animal welfare and we refuse to buy halal slaughtered meat because Muslims love to make animals suffer. Should you decide to delete this comment, it is of no consequence to us because we have posted about James White and Yasir Qadhi on our blog in addition to many other equally serious matters and you cannot silence us on our own blog. You Sir need to remember your manners because we are your fellow Christians and dispense with your haughty attitude.

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      2. The fact that the Apostle Paul went to synagogues and Mars Hill is no justification for IFD or those who engage in it; or those who support those who engage in it. Among other things, you’re evading the fact that Paul didn’t hang around and form friendships and have fellowship with those who rejected the Gospel. He displayed a sign of contempt shaking the dust off his feet against them and moved on; just as the Lord Jesus Christ commands His disciples do. And he certainly didn’t invite them to a church as though he needed unbelieving Jews, or pagan philosophers or anti Christ false teachers, etc., to school him and his fellow Christians on anything.
        “We have substituted for the mighty operations amongst us of the Holy Ghost, the pitiful “soulical” training of men.” William R. Newell

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