This Saturday I will be debating Muslim maulana Abu Bakr Akoo on the topic: Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
Proverbs 18:17 says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Families, generations, and whole nations have fallen headlong into idolatry simply because no one stood up and said: “There’s another way.”
My opponent, who is also a friend, wanted to call this event an “Interfaith Dialogue” but I pushed for “Debate”. Dialogue is what two people do when they’re not sure where they stand. Debate is between two people with convictions.
All Christians must participate in debate, whether formally or informally. First Peter 3:15 says, “Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
I am asking for your prayers. The debate is 7 February, from 5:00-7:30 pm (09:00 – 12:30 Central Time). This is the first debate of its kind in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The positive vibe and chatter throughout the town in recent weeks has been equalized by others who have written in to the local newspaper encouraging people not to attend. Columns like that only end up bringing more people out.
The debate will be recorded on video and posted on YouTube some time later. I will post my opening statement on Saturday.
Here is how the event will proceed:
- Opening statements (25 minutes each)
- Rebuttals (10 minutes each)
- Cross Examination (two 7-minute slots a piece)
- Questions and Answer from the audience (30-40 minutes)
- Closing Statements (5 minutes each)
Praying for a clear mind and the Lord to use this debate for His glory. Looking forward to watching the video on Youtube when it gets up.
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I am standing in prayer with you Paul.
God’s perfect will, now and forever!
May God prosper your ways by exalting His Son!
Not only did Jesus make assertions that His immediate hearers knew meant He claimed to be God (e.g. Matthew 5:18, John 10:33) but also both Jesus and the gospel writers repeatedly attributed the qualities of deity to Him –
John 3:13 – omnipresence
John 1:48; 2:25 – omniscience
Luke 4:36, 39; 8:25 – omnipotence
John 17:5 – eternality
John 8:46 (cf. Matthew 19:17) – sinlessness