Debate: Matt Slick and Shadid Lewis, Why we chose to accept or reject Islam

by Matt Slick

On August 29, 2015, I debated Shadid Lewis, a Muslim, on the topic, "Why did we choose to accept or reject Islam?"  Following is my notes from the opening statement.


To the Muslims who are here today I would like to say that I know you want to honor God and that you want to live in a way that is pleasing to him.  We Christians want the same thing.  Like you we believe in only one God, not two, and not three.  Like you, we want to live in peace and are concerned about the moral decay so prevalent in the world.  Like you, we want people to know the truth about God and how we might achieve the forgiveness of our sins that is through God’s undeserved mercy.

But, I have studied Islam for quite a while and I know what it teaches regarding God, Jesus, Salvation, the Bible, the Quran, and Muhammad.  It is because of my studies that I must reject Islam. I am convinced it is not true and that it leads to damnation.

Now, I know that Muslims will say the same thing about Christianity.  And so we have this debate “Why did we choose to accept or reject Islam?”  My opponent, Mr. Lewis, will give you the reasons why he has accepted it. But I will give it the reasons why I reject it. So, let me begin.

  1. The first reason I reject Islam is because it contradicts the Bible
    1. It is the Bible that has the accounts of the eyewitness testimonies of the Apostles who wrote what they saw and heard from Jesus.  We could say that the gospels are the like the Quran and the Hadith combined in that they are inspired from God and contain the deeds and sayings of Jesus.
    2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus is both divine and human.  The Quran denies that.
    3. The Bible tells us that Jesus died for our sins. The Quran denies that.
    4. The Bible tells us that Jesus rose from the dead. The Quran denies that.
    5. The Bible tells us that forgiveness of sins is by faith alone in Christ alone and that our good works are not good enough for God because he’s too holy to accept our sin-stained works.  The Quran denies that.
    6. In short, the Quran contradicts the eyewitness accounts of Jesus that were written by the apostles.  Instead, it claims to correct the gospels some 600 years after they were written.  I see no convincing reason to trust the Quran’s claims about Jesus over and above the gospel accounts.
    7. In Shadid debate with Dr. James White on the topic, “Is Jesus Christ God Almighty the Most High?”, at 43:28, Shadid said,
      1. “we look at what others have said. So for example . . . . what others said about Jesus. Those who seen him at the beginning. Those who were the very first. Not what things developed later on with the church. But what your Bible says what I would take as to be the very first followers. What did they, when they saw Jesus perform miracles. When they heard him speak, what did they say?”
    8. By Shadid’s own words, he should believe the Bible’s accounts of Jesus as contained in the New Testament.
  2. I reject Islam, because if the Quran is true, then Islam is false
    1. The Quran tells us that none can alter the words of Allah.
      1. 6:34, "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers."
      2. 6:115, "The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all."
      3. 18:27, "And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him."
    2. Jesus was given the gospel
      1. 57:27, "Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of Allah; but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors."
    3. Christians should be judged by what is in the gospel
      1. 5:47, "Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel."
    4. The Quran confirms the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels, and guards them
      1. 5:48, Shakir, "And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it,
    5. If the gospels in the New Testament are corrupted as Muslims claim, then why does the Quran command Muslims to let the Christians, judge by what is in the gospels since it says that is what Allah has revealed (5:47), the very gospel given to Jesus by Allah (57:27), which the Quran verifies (5:48), that very gospel which the Quran says cannot be altered (6:34; 6:115; 18:27).    
         Logically this means that the gospel given to Jesus could not have been altered and what we have in the New Testament is true. But if the Gospels are true, then Jesus was crucified and the Quran is wrong since it denies Christ’s crucifixion. But if it says that the Gospels are false, then the Quran denies its own teaching about the gospels not being corrupted, and the Quran is false.
  3. I reject Islam because of the errors in the Quran
    1. In Islam, the Quran is supposed to be the perfect revelation of God given through the prophet Mohammed. According to Islam, if one thing in the Quran is false, then Islam is false.
    2. A man’s seed comes from his chest   WATER
      1. 86:5-7, Shakir, "So let man consider of what he is created: He is created of water pouring forth, coming from between the back and the ribs.”
    3. Mary is the sister of Aaron and Moses:
      1. Quran 29:27-28, "Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. 28 O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot.”
        1. Mary was not the sister of Aaron.  That is just wrong.
    4. Mary is part of the Trinity
      1. Quran 5:116, “And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah'?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.”
    5. If Quran not from Allah, then it would have problems.
      1. 4:82, “Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.”
  4. I reject Islam because we cannot trust that the Quran we have is the right one
    1. The 3rd Caliph, Uthman, assembled all of the Quranic writings he could find and retained 114 surahs.  He then destroyed the other writings.  Why burn them if they all agreed and there were no discrepancies?  You’d burn them if they don’t agree and you wanted the appearance of a book that is coherent.  The fact that Uthman destroyed the copies strongly implies that there were problems and he was hiding them so as to make the Quran to appear as though it was uncorrupted.  Therefore, I cannot trust the Quran to be trustworthy.
    2. This casts strong doubt on the reliability of the Quran.
      1. DOCUMENTATION: Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people (Muslims) of Syria and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Armenia and Azarbaijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Syria and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before." So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to 'Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-As and 'AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue." They did so, and when they had written many copies, 'Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. 'Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. ...(Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 61, no. 510)1
  5. I reject Islam because the God of Islam causes people to err
    1. In the Quran, Allah deceived people into thinking that Jesus died on the cross.
      1. 4:143, Shakir, “whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him.”
      2. 4:88  Shakir, “What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him.”
      3. 4:157, “That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah"; - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.”
    2. How can you trust a so-called God who leads people into error and who essentially caused Christianity to exist by making someone look like Jesus and be crucified, then resurrected?  If Christianity is not true, why did Allah deceive so many people? 
    3. He is a deceiver, meker, surah 3:54.
    4. Bible
      1. Jer. 4:10, Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the throat.”
        1. This is about God letting the false prophets deceive people.  The Jews believed the false prophets and blamed God.
        2. [nashaʾ /naw·shaw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1425; GK 5958; 16 occurrences; AV translates as “deceive” 12 times, “greatly” once, “beguiled me” once, “seize” once, and “utterly” once. 1 to beguile, deceive. 1a (Niphal) to be beguiled. 1b (Hiphil) to beguile, deceive. 1c (Qal) utterly (infinitif).
      2. Jeremiah 20:7, “O LORD, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me.
        1. Jeremiah misunderstood God’s promise, which was not that he should have nothing to suffer, but that God would deliver him out of sufferings.
        2. He felt that God had deceived him by letting him be ridiculed by the people for his message.
          1. [pathah /paw·thaw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1853; GK 7331 and 7332; 28 occurrences; AV translates as “entice” 10 times, “deceive” eight times, “persuade” four times, “flatter” twice, “allure” once,
        3. The Hebrew word can also mean “enticed” and “persuaded.”
      3. Ezekiel 14:9, “But if the prophet is prevailed (enticed) upon to speak a word, it is I, the Lord, who have prevailed (enticed) upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel.
        1. [pathah /paw·thaw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1853; GK 7331 and 7332; 28 occurrences; AV translates as “entice” 10 times, “deceive” eight times, “persuade” four times, “flatter” twice, “allure” once,
  6. Conclusion
    1. I cannot accept Islam is true because of these things and many more.  Though we do not have time to go through them all, I must say that I cannot be a Muslim because it would mean to give up my Jesus, God in flesh, savior of my soul who died on the cross, rose from the dead, and did all that I cannot do so that I will have eternal fellowship with him
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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.