I’ve come across a Moslem pamphlet rubbishing Christian origins. It’s available as an eBook here. The authors are not orientals, but Britons who have converted to Islam and taken Arabic names. As such they have no access to Eastern literature and have had to make use of whatever anti-Christian literature they could find.
I find it hard to read 99 pages online, but the general approach is to heap up quotations by western writers, whoever they may be, rubbishing the bible, the fathers, and so on. The quotations are plainly taken from atheist literature, quoting such elderly “authorities” as Gibbon and Toland (1718)! Some of the quotations look extremely suspect — F. G. Kenyon is quoted in a sense opposite to every work of his that I have ever read.
But AbdulHaq goes further. He wants to claim that the people he quotes were all Christians, that what is said here by anti-Christian polemicists is what Christians say about themselves. He states:
During conversations whilst compiling this work, it was noted that many evangelical Christians would argue that the Christian scholars quoted in this work for example are ‘not really Christian.’
To this he responds as might be expected.
Unfortunately AbdulHaq has defeated himself before he began. The argument he has borrowed is the old 19th century atheist jeer “Who are you to say who is a Christian and who is not?” Logically that is nonsense, unless the word “Christian” has no meaning. It’s merely a gibe intended to weaken the appeal to the name of Christian, so that people who live by convenience but claim the name of Christian may evade the plain teaching of Christianity.
To assist this process, the establishment — hardly eager to have their lives examined! — has always appointed people to bishoprics who have publicly made clear that Christianity was not true, or were men of immoral life, or both. These men act as cuckoos in the nest, pushing out the real nestlings and in the confusion allowing the vicious to continue as before. A former bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, publicly said that he did not believe in Jesus’ Resurrection. When Christian evangelist David Watson was running university missions calling students to repentance and conversion, he used to run counter-missions to encourage them to remain drunken fornicators as before. Such activity qualified him, in the view of the church appointments committee, for high ecclesiastical office.
We all know that there is a pool of hyopcrites and liars around, and atheists make use of them as the establishment intends, to divert the argument from “Is Christianity true” to “Is this revolting person lying when he claims to be a Christian, and who is to say?” Atheists need confusion, in order that their lifestyle of convenience may be hidden in the smoke.
But none of this helps AbdulHaq. He needs clarity. He needs to attack what Christianity is, not what it is not. Confusion merely obstructs him from coming to grips with the enemy.
If I wrote against Islam, it would be very silly for me to find some depraved soul who drank and never prayed and didn’t believe in the Koran, yet still claimed the name of Moslem, and use his ‘views’ as evidence of what Moslems believed. I would need, for my argument, to make sure that those I quoted were accepted, by Moslems, as Moslems.
AbdulHaq could compile endless quotes from enemies of the church. But it would show nothing except that Christianity attracts the enmity of people who live immoral lives and want to claim the name of Christian! Well, I think we all knew that!
For his polemic to work, he must attack Christians. It does him no manner of good to confuse into his argument people who Christians don’t accept as believers. This element of his book simply fails.
If his argument is that many scholars reject Christianity, it must be observed that this must be a rather dangerous argument for him to make. Do those same scholars accept Islam? Or do they merely repeat what is the fashionable religious consensus of their age? If the latter, their testimony again does not help him.