Tag Archives: James White

I Recommend

This past week, I shared the following links on social media and I think they’re worth sharing here too:

The Free Reformed Churches of Australia

It’s been a long time coming, but the FRCA finally has a new website. It now includes news items from our churches (which you can also get delivered to a blog aggregator like Feedly via RSS).

What To Do About Halloween on the Sabbath?

This is, to me it seems, a distinctly North American discussion. Halloween is a thing here in Australia, but not a big thing. It’s certainly not anywhere near as big as in the US and Canada. That suits me just fine.

Legalism: What It Is and What It Is Not

Chris Gordon: “Too often when people critique confessional Protestants, who affirm the abiding validity of the Ten Commandments, as “legalistic,” they are really advocating antinomianism, rejection of God’s moral law. What they are saying is this: we won’t require anything of you if you come to us. This is all an escape tactic for people who are running. God’s law is totally disregarded, and the consequences of this are evidenced in the way people approach him in worship.”

Victorian Government to Discriminate against Faith-Based Schools

While this is a deplorable development, I can’t help but wonder if the real problems are being missed here: churches which don’t practice church discipline, and then Christian schools which don’t make biblical church membership a requirement for employment.

Appeal court overturns UK puberty blockers ruling for under-16s

The case of Keira Bell (Bell v Tavistock) has received a lot of attention from Christians concerned about so-called conversion therapy legislation. This is a set-back, however an appeal to the UK Supreme Court is in the works.

Study: Majority of Self-Identified Christians Don’t Believe the Holy Spirit is Real

Perhaps a better title: Majority of Self-Identified Christians Don’t Really Believe Christian Doctrine.

Christian vs. Atheist Debate

I didn’t post this one on Facebook, but last week I did show it to participants at a Reformed Apologetics course I taught in Western Australia. Brace yourself — one unhinged atheist makes it a wild ride.


Book Review: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an, James R. White.  Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 2013.  Softcover, 311 pages.

More than ever, Christians need to be equipped to deal with the challenges posed by Islam.  We often live beside Muslims, work alongside them, and study with them.  It’s good to have helpful resources to inform our conversations with our Muslim neighbours.  Though it is now a couple of years old already, James White’s book on the Muslim sacred text is one of those valuable helps.

White is the author of numerous non-fiction books.  He’s well-known as an author, speaker, and debater.  Though it does not factor into this book at all, he is an elder in a Reformed Baptist church in Phoenix, Arizona.  He is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, an organization with a focus on apologetics (done in a Reformed, presuppositional manner).

Rather than summarize everything in this book, let me just highlight two points which stood out for me.  One has to do with what the Qur’an says about the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.  In chapter 4, White points out that the Qur’an says Christians believe the Trinity to consist of Allah, Jesus, and Mary.  Christians are alleged to believe that Allah and Mary had relations to produce Jesus.  This is important because:

Everyone affected would affirm that by the early decades of the seventh century, God Himself would have a perfect knowledge of what the doctrine of the Trinity actually says.  And if that doctrine does not accurately represent His own self-revelation, He would be in the perfect position to refute its falsehoods with devastating precision.  But is this what we find in the Qur’an? (76)

The Qur’an doesn’t describe the Trinity correctly, and so the Qur’an can’t be taken seriously as a revelation from God.

In chapter 11, White has a penetrating discussion about the text of the Qur’an.  Muslims claim that it is a perfect, immutable text.  Of course, that’s contrasted with the text of the Bible which, they allege, has been mutilated by Jews and Christians.  White gives a couple of examples from Muslim writers. This is one of them:

Muslims and non-Muslims both agree that no change has ever occurred in the text of the Qur’an.  The above prophecy [Surah 15:9] for the eternal preservation and purity of the Qur’an came true not only for the text of the Qur’an, but also for the most minute details of its punctuation marks as well…It is a miracle of the Qur’an that no change has occurred in a single word, a single [letter of the] the alphabet, a single punctuation mark, or a single diacritical mark in the text of the Qur’an during the last fourteen centuries. (250)

White demonstrates that this claim is patently false.  He notes that “even widely published editions of the Qur’an contain information indicating variations in the very text” (272-273).

He cites Yusuf Ali’s edition with its note on Surah 33:6.  In The Hidden Origins of Islam (ed. by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin), there is an essay by Alba Fedeli on variant readings in early Qur’anic manuscripts.  It is simply not true that there is a single immaculate Qur’an text preserved from the time of Muhammad.

One question I wish White would have addressed is whether these claims are made in ignorance or deliberately to deceive.  There is a doctrine in Islam known as al-Taqqiya.  This teaching says it is permissible to lie in order to advance the cause of Islam.  This is one of the things making Islam such a threat to western civilization in general, and Christianity in particular.  How can you tell when a Muslim is lying about Islam?

I would recommend this book to anyone who has regular contact with Muslims.  Be aware though: most, if not all, of the points raised by White in the book have rebuttals by Muslim apologists somewhere online.  The rebuttals are weak, but if you are going to use White’s material in conversations it would be advisable to prepare yourself beforehand for what your Muslim neighbour may bring back in response.