Debating Gods: Christianity vs. Islam on the Divinity of Jesus
May 1, 2009
Christian scholar William Lane Craig and Islamic scholar Jamal Badawi presented a series of debates about their religions at the University of Illinois in 1997. Their debate about the true nature of Jesus is discussed here, after having discussed their opening views . Here, we finish with two segments, Craig’s closing and Badawi’s closing about the nature of Jesus. These videos on YouTube are accompanied by the rest of the segments if you want to view the entire debate.
Craig concludes (in segment 10/11) by re-affirming his reasons for concluding that Jesus is divine. Craig takes selected passages from the New Testament to be true and makes sure they get a favorable interpretation. Craig then contrasts the Christian god, who supposedly is more moral by loving everyone, than the Islam god who only loves believers. (This seems like a silly distinction to atheists, who wonder about hell, etc.) Then Craig picks out statements about Jesus in the Qur’an that strike him as false. Interestingly, Craig concludes with his personal testimony about the attractive power of the Jesus character in the NT. I wonder if Jesus’s ability to testify to the Father would remain as potent if Jesus remained quite human. Do the moral lessons in the Sermon on the Mount lose validity if Jesus isn’t god?
Badawi’s concluding rebuttal (in segment 11/11) offers an excellent compilation of Biblical refutations of Jesus’s divinity—atheists take notes! The burden of proof is on the believer in Jesus’s divinity, after all. Badawi points out several Bible-based arguments that Jesus must have been only human, and that Jesus considered himself as only human. Badawi’s final statement is decisive. What happened to Christianity? Historically, there was "a change of a religion of Jesus, to a religion about Jesus."