Do We Need The Cross For Salvation?

A Debate with Adnan Rashid & Dr. James White.

“On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Sovereign Nations held a Christian and Islamic debate on the thesis “Do We Need the Cross for Salvation?” The debate was purposed by Sovereign Nations in the interests of promoting polemic, scholastic and respectful dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

Upholding the affirmative Christian position was scholar and apologist Dr. James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries while the Muslim position was presented by scholar Ustadh Adnan Rashid. The debate was moderated by Sovereign Nations’ Founder, Michael O’Fallon.

There are major theological divides that separate Christianity and Islam. One of the most difficult to unwind is the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus in Muslim tradition.

The penal substitution of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary for the sins of his elect, His resurrection and assumption are the foundational to the doctrine of justification in Christianity. Christians believe that on the cross, Jesus voluntarily bore our sins. Jesus allowed people to lie about him and kill him. He used the evil done to him to bring good to others. He sacrificed himself and demonstrated the greatest love of all. On the cross is where we are redeemed, and it is where a Christian’s sin debt to God is canceled.

There are major theological divides that separate Christianity and Islam. One of the most difficult to unwind is the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus in Muslim tradition.

Though the assertion that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in only part of one difficult verse in the Qur’an, scholars agree that the majority view within Islam is that the Qur’an affirms categorically that Christ did not die on the cross and that God raised him to Godself.”

The Forgotten Key to Engaging Pluralist Society

Dr. Michael Reeves – What’s Missing from Our Gospel? The Forgotten Key to Engaging Pluralist Society

How has the church effectively allowed pluralism to so dominate our culture, and what can be done now to engage our pluralist neighbors? What are we not understanding from a biblical worldview that will help us to engage these neighbors well? This talk will investigate the potential of a neglected resource found in the gospel, and look at how we might use it for more effective mission.

Scripture, Apologetics and Islam

Stanmore Baptist Church 2016 Apologetics Conference with Pastor Jeff Durbin (Apologia Church) and Dr. James White (Alpha and Omega Ministries).

Session #1 of 6 teaching sessions presented on 1 November 2016.

Pastor Jeff Durbin: Why Apologetics?

Session #2 of 6 teaching sessions presented on 1 November 2016.

Session #2 of 6 teaching sessions presented on 1 November 2016.

The Same God?

that determines what it is. In different languages, the same flower is known by different names, but it is still the same flower.

When we apply this idea to theology things get a bit more complicated. Indeed the rose adage has been transferred indiscriminately to religion in order to create a theological concept. The concept is: “God by any other name is still God.” Now certainly, it is true that the immutable essence of God is not changed by the alteration of His name. In English, we may say “God,” in German “Gott,” in Greek “Theos,” yet all these names or words are used to point to the same Deity.

Beyond this, however, things get murky. It is a quantum leap to go from saying that God by any other name is still God, to saying that all the great religions in the world believe in the same Being though they call Him different names.

This irrational leap is prodded by the popular analogy of the mountain. This analogy notes that their are many roads up the mountain. Some progress on a more direct route, while others wind about on more circuitous roads, but sooner or later they all arrive at the same place, at the top of the mountain.

So, it is argued, there are many roads that lead to God. They may be different routes but they all end up in the same place—with God Himself. That is, the differing roads indicate no difference in the God who is found. God’s being, then, becomes the lowest (or highest) common denominator of all religions.

The road analogy is buttressed by the democratic truism that all religions are equal under the law. The fallacy in this axiom is thinking that just because all religions enjoy equal tolerance under the civil law, they therefore are all equally valid. That might be true if there were no God, but then it would be better to say that with respect to their ultimate affirmation they are all equally invalid.

To argue that all religions ultimately believe in the same God is the quintessential nonsense statement. Even a cursory examination of the content of different religions reveals this. The nature of the Canaanite deity Baal differs sharply from the nature of the biblical God. They are not remotely the same. This sharp distinction is also seen when comparing the God of Israel with the gods and goddesses of Roman, Greek, or Norse mythology.

The problem becomes even more complex when we consider that sometimes different religions use the same name for God while their views of the nature of God differ radically. Consider, for example, the religion of Mormonism. It claims to embrace the Bible (as well as the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine of Covenants) and professes belief in the God of the Bible as well as the biblical Christ. Mormons call themselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yet historic Christianity does not accept the Mormon religion as a branch or denomination of Christianity. Why? Because the Mormon view of the nature of God and of Christ differs sharply at essential points of faith. For example, Mormonism categorically rejects the full deity of Christ. Christ is said to be pre-existent, but not eternal. He is highly exalted—indeed revered—but He remains a creature, not Creator, in Mormon theology. Continue reading