As the image says, this debate happened a long time ago. I first came across it in one of Josh McDowell’s older books. Click on the image to read the transcript of the very excellent debate.
A little background: Josh McDowell is a renown Christian Apologist and writer. Among his books are More Than A Carpenter, He Walked Among Us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus and New Evidence That Demands A Verdict.
Ahmed Deedat was a Muslim scholar of comparative religions, an author and lecturer. He was known for his blunt (often offensive) style and highly publicized debates with various well known Christians, such as Jimmy Swaggart.
I say was because Mr. Deedat has since passed away. The short of it is, he kept becoming more and more insulting, reaching the point where he was actually insulting the Bible itself – God’s Holy Word. He was asked to repent, for his own sake, but refused. As it were, God struck him down with a devstating stroke. Read it here.
When you read through Mr. Deedat’s speech, you might realize (as I did) that he is a very skillful speaker. He knows how to take facts and present them in a way that is supportive to his arguments.
He makes himself out to be both knowledgeable and correct about the topic, while his opponents are made out to be mistaken and brainwashed. If one didn’t know his Scripture well, Mr. Deedat’s chosen interpretation would be greatly convincing, turning the crowd to his side.
That is, until Josh McDowell starts to speak. It’s as if a bright light has been switched on, and the many flaws and selective portrayals in Mr. Deedat’s points are revealed. Then you realize that Mr. Deedat’s interpretations are not the only valid ones. In fact, now they don’t seem very valid at all, whereas you can suddenly see the validity in the interpretations he was ridiculing!
The most clear example of the above is where Deedat claims that all Jesus’ followers abandoned Him, according to the Bible – the Gospel of St. Mark, chapter 14, verse 50, tells us that at the most critical juncture in the life of Jesus, all His disciples forsook Him, and fled. ALL.
McDowell follows with a clear refutation of that claim – just the next four verses. It says this: “And Peter followed Him.” Ta-daaah! Deedat has just been shown to be supremely ignorant (not even reading the very next verse) or, more likely, sneaky (knowing full well about the next verse, but trying to use it as a point anyway).
Overall, a very good effort from both sides. Going through the whole debate, I would have to cast my vote for Josh McDowell’s excellent defense of the Christian stand. He uses plenty of research, facts and quotes as becomes immediately apparent. A stunning amount even! He seems completely prepared for the polemical attacks that Deedat throws so confidently.
You realize he’s certainly done his homework here, many times quoting from Mr. Deedat’s own writings. And he even fits in the Gospel message and his personal testimony in there.
More impressive than, say, than the harping on your own viewpoint and interpretations that Mr. Deedat prefers. Good show, sir!
How about you? What do you think? Read the transcript la!