Christianity – The Faith of Famously Intellectual, Logical, Reasonable Thinkers


I often argue that Christianity is convincing to the mind as well as to the heart. Here are the conversion testimonies of several intelligent people – whom we would be very hard pressed to describe as ‘morons’, ‘uneducated’, ‘ignorant’ or ‘gullible’ – who became Christians because they were intellectually convinced of the truth of Christianity’s claims.

The people I mention here are great thinkers, with more powerful and logical minds than mere bloggers like myself. Their imposing intellects were each convinced by the claims Christianity… What does that say about its truth?

Commenters are welcome to say their piece, and introduce me to any other famous logically-sound converts to a thinking faith in Christ.

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37

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LEE STROBEL

Lee Strobel was a staunch atheist, skilled investigative newspaper reporter, and award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune.

His wife was agnostic, but then one day accepted Christ. The positive change in her behaviour and character encouraged Lee to start going to church, just to see what it was like. From there, he was challenged to investigate how true the claims of Christianity were.

In his own words from The Truth…What Is It? testimonies:

So I decided to take my legal training and my journalism training and investigate: is there any credibility to Christianity? I would do what I did at the Chicago Tribune. I would check out stories to see if they were true, if they could be printed in the papers. So I would investigate. I went out, and I applied those skills to the question of, ” Who is Jesus Christ?”

I didn’t do it with an antagonist attitude; I did it with a journalist’s attitude… I said, “Give me the facts. I’m going to look at both sides, I’m going to look at other world religions.” And I began to do that.

And it was an amazing journey: to look at other faith systems and see the eternal contradictions that, to me, disqualified them from being true. And yet to see in Christianity, as I looked into the historical evidence for Jesus, as I looked at the reliability of the New Testament, as I looked at the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies in the New Testament, as I looked at the resurrection: very powerful evidence.

And I looked at some of the most brilliant legal minds of history: Simon Greenleaf of Harvard, Sir Lionel Luck, who, the Guinness Book of World Records describes as the most successful lawyer in the history of the world (had more murder trials won in a row than any other defense attorney ever). These are brilliant people who have applied the laws of evidence to the resurrection accounts and walked away convinced that they are true.

So I did this investigation for almost 2 years of my life: looking at evidence inside the Bible, outside the Bible. One of my favorite things: I found 110 facts outside the Bible recorded in ancient history that confirmed (and again these are many things some are higher quality than others, most are somewhat questionable) that form together a very powerful corroborative aspect.

I just had a great time as a journalist investigating all this stuff. On the plus side, journalists respond to evidence; the negative side is I tended to be an observer, I was never a participant, I was the critical observer. I didn’t join anything; I kept things at arms length.

So the idea of making a commitment to God was alien to me; and yet the evidence was so powerful that on November 8, 1981 (after spending two years of checking this out) I just realized that in light of this torrent of evidence that points so powerfully towards Christianity, it would have required more faith to retain my atheism than to become a Christian.

Because to maintain my atheism I would have had to defy the evidence. To become a Christian, I just had to make a step of faith in the same direction that the evidence was pointing. That’s logical, that’s rational, and that’s what I did.

Lee Strobel went on to author various Christian apologetic works, including the popular series of interviews detailing the evidence and arguments for Jesus (A Case For Christ), God (A Case For Faith) and creation/Intelligent Design (A Case For A Creator).

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JOSH McDOWELL

Josh McDowell was a skeptic of religion who was challenged to disprove intellectually the claims of Christianity while in university.

After countless hours and much expenditure, his research led him to the conclusion that the claims of Christianity were based on solid historical fact.

In his own words from In Search of Truth:

My new friends challenged me to examine the claims of Christ. I thought most Christians were idiots. But these people were persistent. Finally, I accepted their challenge, out of pride, to refute them.

One of the crucial areas of my research to refute Christianity centered around His resurrection. More than 1,000 hours of studying this subject showed me that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was either one of the most wicked, heartless, vicious hoaxes ever foisted upon human minds, or it was the most fantastic fact of history.

In my attempt to refute Christianity, I made some startling observations about the resurrection. The testimony of history, for example. I had no idea there was so much positive historical, literary and legal testimony supporting the factuality of Christ’s resurrection. But the more I investigated, the more evidence I found. I came to see why the Apostle Paul had said, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

The more I studied the historical-biblical Christian faith the more I realized it is a thinking person’s faith. As Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Having set out to refute the resurrection and Christianity, and then having been compelled by the evidence to believe that Jesus Christ was indeed exactly who He claimed to be – and that He indeed rose from the dead, I faced a new problem. My mind was saying, “Christianity is true,” but my will was saying, “Don’t admit it!”

It came to the point where I’d go to bed at ten and wouldn’t fall asleep until four in the morning. I knew I had to get Jesus off my mind or go out of my mind.

Finally on December 19, 1959, at 8:30 p.m., I became a Christian.

Josh McDowell went on to write several excellent works and compilations of the historical basis and evidence for the claims of the Bible. One of his best works IMHO is New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, a university textbook-style collection of evidence with citations.

His changed heart also enabled him to forgive and reconcile with his alcoholic, neglectful and abusive father whom he blamed for causing the death of his mother.

Through Josh’s newfound, Christ-enabled capability to love such an unloveable person, his father came accept Jesus as well, and turned his own life around – from the town drunk, to an inspiring testimony to all who knew him.

Read about that at my post Christian Testimonies of Incredible Forgiveness, Christian Stories Online (search for A MAN I HATED) and at Answering Islam (search for My father was the town alcoholic).

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C.S. LEWIS

C.S. Lewis is a name almost synonymous with Christianity, but it wasn’t always that way. He was born into a Protestant family, but rejected Christian beliefs beginning from the death of his mother when he was 10, and he became an avowed atheist at age 15.

From Christian Odyssey:

C.S. Lewis was born into a Protestant family in Belfast, today Northern Ireland, on Nov. 29, 1898. He endured a rather unhappy and lonely childhood. He was especially crushed by the unexpected death of his mother from cancer when he was not yet 10 years old. Her death left a hole in his heart and caused him to be disillusioned about God’s nearness.

Early in his life he rejected any Christian beliefs he might have had, even as a youth, and became an avowed atheist. When asked at age 18 what his religious views were, he called the worship of Christ and the Christian faith “one mythology among many.” By the time he had served in the British army on the front lines of France during World War I and began his studies at Oxford University as a student, now barely 20, he was a thorough-going materialist.

Despite – or rather because of – his intimate familiarity with all sorts of medieval liteature and mythology, Lewis came to be convinced of the truthfulness of the Christian story.

From Beliefnet:

Yet his immersion in European literature repeatedly confronted him with the fact that the writers he most admired were Christian. By 1929, Lewis felt compelled to adopt a cautious theism. In his 1955 autobiography, “Surprised by Joy” (there’s that term again), Lewis described himself at this point as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, was to take a decisive role in the next step of Lewis’ conversion. On a fall evening in 1931, Lewis had dinner with fellow professors Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. They walked through the college’s park, talking, until the early hours of the morning.

The conversation turned to mythology. Lewis felt that myths, despite their imaginative appeal, were, in the end, merely lies. Tolkien proposed instead that the beauty of Christianity is that it is a myth that happens to be true. The universal hunger planted in human beings by God, evidenced by all the world’s mythologies, was made manifest in time and space. In Jesus Christ, God really did walk this earth, die, and rise again.

A few days after that late-night walk, Lewis, still pondering the conversation, got into the sidecar of Warnie’s motorcycle for a trip to the zoo. He later wrote, “When we set out I did not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.” It was a distinctly intellectual conversion, a laser-like search for Truth, unaccompanied by emotional tumult.

C.S. Lewis went on to write various Christian and Christian-themed works, including philosophical and theological nonfiction such as Mere Christianity, and of course the beloved Narnia series.

He also put forward the Trilemma argument: If Jesus was not a liar (He was a stickler for the truth), nor a lunatic (He showed remarkable emotional insight and calmness), then the only option is that He is LORD (i.e. telling the objective truth that He really is God).

(Yes, you can catch that little insertion in the film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where after a crying Lucy bumps into the Professor, he informs Peter and Susan “Well if she’s not mad and she’s not lying, then logically, she’s telling the truth.”)

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FRANK MORISON

As a lawyer, Frank Morison set out to write an exposé on how impossible the trial and resurrection was but, after an exhausting study, the book he actually wrote was the opposite. As one book reviewer said: “Just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes – Mr. Morison showed logically and diligently that after all the facts have been weighed, the solution that is supported by those facts – however unlikely it may sound or look – would have to be the truth.”

– From I Am A Cynic; Therefore I Am A Christian
by Graham Pockett

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AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Augustine of Hippo lived his youth as a hedonist, dualist, skeptic and Neoplatonist… All in all, a very knowledgable student of various philosphies. He finally found peace of heart and mind in the Bible (beginning with the Book of Romans).

From Crisis Magazine:

St. Augustine came to intellectual certainty about the truth of Christianity before he embraced it in faith. “What I now longed for,” he wrote in his Confessions, “was not greater certainty about you, but a more steadfast abiding in you.” The obstacles lay not in his mind but in his heart, “which needed to be cleansed of the old leaven. I was attracted to the Way, which is our Savior himself, but the narrowness of the path daunted me and I still could not walk in it.”

St. Augustine depicts himself as enchained by the obstacles to his wholehearted conversion, specifically his lustful habits and his enslavement to the lure of the flesh. The real obstacle, however, lay not so much in the flesh per se as in the wrongheaded will that bound him to it: “For it was no iron chain imposed by anyone else that fettered me, but the iron of my own will.”

Augustine went on to become one of the most influential early Christian authors, debating against various skewed doctrines.

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For more logic, facts and evidence based arguments for Christianity, see also:

Physicists Believe in God (Or At Least a Creator or Designer): A Collection of Quotes

Easy 3 Steps to Why We Can Believe The Bible About Spirituality and Metaphysics

The Cyrus Cylinder – Not Isolated and Not Vague Verification of the Bible’s Historical Account

The Heart of My Faith (which has a list of historical and intellectual evidences)


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22 Responses to “Christianity – The Faith of Famously Intellectual, Logical, Reasonable Thinkers”

  1. Ms. Mize Says:

    Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. Scott Thong Says:

    Thank you for reading and commenting on it!

  3. Simon Thong Says:

    Christian thinkers have always been more critical of their own faith than outsiders. They are extremely rigorous in their demand for evidence and reason. A study of theology is a lengthy tour of theologians conversation with each other, with no stone unturned and no subject taboo. That is a reflection of the mind of the Creator.

  4. Samuel Skinner Says:

    Malcom X

  5. Paul Maurice Martin Says:

    St. Paul himself repeatedly calls the resurrection “foolishness” in one of his letters – not, of course, because he thinks it’s foolish, but precisely because the idea of dead people coming back to life flies in the face of experience and rationality.

    For every intelligent Christian there are as many intelligent people from other traditions and as many intelligent atheists. The intelligence of some Christians or the fact that, after becoming grounded in their faith, they think up reasons for having it, isn’t evidence for its truth claims.

    It’s the Christian faith, not the Christian knowledge.

  6. Scott Thong Says:

    Ah, but that discount’s Jesus command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your MIND” (Matthew 22:37).

    Besides, the historical veracity of the Bible convinces me that since what it says about physical history is true, what it says about heaven should also be true.

    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/easy-3-steps-to-why-we-can-believe-the-bible-about-spirituality-and-metaphysics/

    So I agree that Christianity is absed on faith, but that faith is based on logic, reason and evidence (well, at least for me it is).

  7. ish Says:

    This is to Mr. Martin,

    I am not sure you are speaking of when you mention that Paul called the resurrection “Foolishness”…..Paul was not saying the resurrection was foolish but rather to the those that are worldly the “Gospel” is foolishness. In fact this it is clearly not the case that Paul was not calling the ressurection foolishness based on 1 Corinthians 15. I believe Mr. Martin you were the victim of reading or hearing something second hand and believed it to be true. The only way to know the truth is to read the scriptures (as a Christian I read as much of the materials of atheism as I cannot because I want to be atheist but rather I want to know firsthand what was said). A classic example of this is of the film “The God Who Wasn’t There” it states in the beginning that the bible says the sun rotates around the earth (and with that starts the assertion that since the bible was wrong about that, that there are other things it got wrong). First of all the bible does not claim that at all and never hints about it and so the ground work of the whole film is based on a lie and second it was Science that got it wrong in the beginning and is continuing to get many other things wrong (such as the big bang theory that was proven about 8 years ago that scientist made fun of) but that clearly does not mean that I reject Science as a whole only that I need to be wise in what I read from others without going to the source. Faith as described in Heb 11:1 is clear that the proof is there besides when you read of the Christian founding fathers deaths it would be odd that someone would die such horrible ways without fully being convinced or that Christianity is based on feelings.

    By the way if your wondering I am a 29 year old Staff Sergeant in the Marines that works in communication (It is not my job to learn Christianity it is my passion to be fully convinced).

  8. aredvoice Says:

    What a wonderful article, thank you for sharing this.

    I love these quotes:
    “it would have required more faith to retain my atheism than to become a Christian. Because to maintain my atheism I would have had to defy the evidence. To become a Christian, I just had to make a step of faith in the same direction that the evidence was pointing. That’s logical, that’s rational, and that’s what I did.” and
    “The more I studied the historical-biblical Christian faith the more I realized it is a thinking person’s faith. As Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32)

  9. hiten098 Says:

    Great testimonies! May God’s Words continue to be heard by many. =)

  10. Jonny Howson is God. Says:

    I doubt the article’s originality, as Belfast is still the Capital of Northern Ireland, how could it become Northern Ireland? if that simple fact is unknown to you then clearly English is either your secondary or tertiary language.

  11. Scott Thong Says:

    Dude, grammar lawyer… Maybe he just left out the word ‘in’? If you really think the writer confused a city with an entire country, then you’re either being facetious or petty.

    By the way… You failed to use an upper case ‘I’ for your last sentence.

  12. Jermaine Beckford for England Says:

    then how do you explain the “today”? knowing a nation’s capital is not grammar. i’ve known many good Scotts, you’re just a disgrace to them.

  13. Scott Thong Says:

    Dude, are you just trying to pick a fight here? Or can’t you interpret meaning as well as you criticize?

    C.S. Lewis was born into a Protestant family in Belfast, today in Northern Ireland

    See, add in the ‘in’ and it would be completely acceptable, no? Or ‘part of’? Or ‘the capital of’? Especially since Northern Ireland did not exist per se until 1921.

    You know what you need? To practise some Christian-style forgiveness like in these testimonies. I’m confident you can do it! I do believe one typo is easier to let slide than, say, your entire family being murdered.

    I’ve known many good trolls here at my blog, you’re just a minor nuisance at present. Keep trying!

  14. mark boaler Says:

    Hi Everbody (Belivers & non)

    In my personel opinion, christianity is the only religion which is most convincing ofcourse there are few passages which are beyound understanding but can say 98% of the bible is concreate enough to prove the existance of GOD and HIS Objectives to save the human race through GOD the SON. Honestly no other religion has such substantial in depth evidence as the Holy Bible.

    I would appeal to one and all to reexamine the origin, purpose and final sourgn of their present faith and if not satisfied pls study other religions and i am sure christianity will be the much more convincing religion.

    Good luck and God Bless,

  15. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    Dear Mark Boaler.. I think Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims feel their religion are much, much more ‘convincing’ compared to Christianity or the rest. Athests believe “beyond resonable doubts” that God doesn’t exist and therefore the belief in Christinity or any religion is false, misleading.

    I think Abrahamic religions taught that anyone will know their fate immediately after his death..when everything is too late for him.

  16. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    A friend of mine jokingly said, all three Abrahimic religions started and originated not in Manchester England, or in New York USA; or Tokyo Japan but in The Middle East/ Arab countries. And..he said, nuns wear headcarf, Pope wears headcap like Jews, like Muslims. Well.. I said, it originated from the same monothetism and in the same place (and same God?).

    After all, I sometimes heard some ideas claiming Quran copied Bible, etc.
    I wonder also why Jews could not accept in total any religion that came or revealed after Moses time (especially Christianity). And if I’m not mistaken Jews were the peoples who betrayed and killed the prophets sent to them by God. So, are they (now) truly follow the teaching of Moses or “judaism” is simply Jews’ very own version ? This is because at time of Moses, some of them were literally opposing Moses, some peoples claimed.

    Any ideas ? I just know Jews do not eat pork like Muslims and we Muslims can always eat at their kosyer restaurants.

  17. Scott Thong Says:

    Well, put it this way Nasaei – if someone came along and started a new religion and said that he was the ‘true last prophet’ come to complete the ‘incomplete religion of Islam’ that Muhammad started, what would you think of that? (In fact, see what happened to Ayah Pin when he tried that.)

    Similarly, Jews do not accept that Christianity completes Judaism and Christians do not accept that Islam completes both.

    I believe that Jewish dietary laws are slightly stricter than Muslim ones – Jews cannot eat any sea creature without scales and fins, meaning that they cannot eat prawns, shellfish and eels which I’m sure many local Halal-certified restaurants serve (e.g. Sushi King serves ebi, hotate and unagi).

    Also, Jews can only eat animals with a split hoof that chews the cud, so rabbits and camels cannot be eaten (they are eaten by Arabic Muslims).

    All of the above animals I mentioned are halal, but not kosher… So it is generally permissible for an observant Muslim to eat food prepared for observant Jews, but it is not guaranteed that an observant Jew can eat food prepared for observant Muslims.

    Can Muslims eat any insects? Jews are allowed to eat grasshoppers only.

  18. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    I agree, it is difficult… a matter of believe. We practiced our believe over generations passed thru’ our forefathers, our parents. If someone else claimed he was the new ‘prophet’ (or preaching a new religion), most likely he will never succeed. Nobody will believe.

    By the way..it is interesting to know about food. You know, when I was young at my kampung in Machang Kelantan, I used to join my friend at night to catch grasshoppers that lived in padi fields. You know, what we did with those insects? We fried them using coconut oil, or you can also use ‘santan’ without any oil!. The wings and the thorny legs must be removed first. Very delicious, really ! High in protein.

    When I told this to my Muslim friends who are from west cost, they couldn’t believe it, even though they acknowledge it is halal (there is a hadith on it – only fishes and grasshopers among the halals that no need to be slaughtered like mammals).

    The grasshopers that live in paddy fields literally eats paddy’s leaves/ buds. They spend most of their time on leaves, rarely landed on the ground, therefore they are clean.

    There is a verses in Quran which say (roughly) : “Eat anything good from what We provided for you on earth; and do not be excessive. Verily Allah doesn’t like those who are excessive.

    So, Quranic verses do not say a clear-cut for every single things. Muslim can eat, but “anything good” which is ambiguous and very general. However there are several hadiths that explained or tell more details, for example certain birds like eagle etc are also prohibited.

    Sometimes I wonder .. Even though Buddhists and Hindus cannot eat the bloody animals on certain time prior to their rituals, generally I notice they are more open when it comes to eating.. not that strict. Literally they can eat anythings..even snakes, monkey, insects, dog, big lizards, (cat too?). Just mention any? O my gush.. I saw on the net also, scorpions, snakes, cocroaches been fried and sold at night market in China.. woaw..louzy, creepy..

    Muslim cannot eat many things including turtles, lizard, even crow, eagle etc. So non-Muslims are more lucky and have wide range of choices when it comes to eating.

    And…last time I saw foetus been cut and made a special soup. Many readers read that ‘unhumane’ story on newspaper. I think the story (together with that ‘soup’ photo) that publised by a local tabloids last year was originated in Taiwan or Hong Kong.. They CAN eat aaanyythings…minus batu and kayu (woods and rocks)..

    What do you think Brtr. Scott about those peoples ? Neo cannibalism? Were they really human being?

  19. Scott Thong Says:

    On cannibalism, probably not… Likely it is one of the usual Internet hoaxes. See http://www.snopes.com/horrors/cannibal/fetus.asp

    On what Buddhists and Hindus eat… Keep in mind that not all Chinese/Koreans/Japanese/Vietnamese etc. are automatically Buddhist or Taoist, who have restrictions on what they can eat. Modern China is also mainly atheist.

    Even among the Buddhists and Taoists, just like with monotheists there are differing levels of observance. Very observant ones will not even eat any meat at all as they practise kindness to all creatures, whereas others only avoid beef or other cow products, and still others don’t really care.

  20. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    Now some Christians groups in Malaysia woud love to use the word “Allah” in their Malay/English publications to mean “god” connotation. What is the embedded hidden motive actually ?

    In the Christian Bible, the name of God is called “Allah” ? (not “God”, “Lord”, “YHWH”, “Ellohim”, Jehovah or anything else ?). Then why are they so “excited” and naive to use Muslim’s God’s name after all? The answer..most probably.. to confuse Malays about who actually “god” is.. or to redefine what the god’s name is..

    Everybody knows, we Malays are so tolerance to our non Malays friends. Prior to forming Malaysia, our forefathers agred to accomodate ALL non-Malays to co-exist peacefully, to be the equal citizen of this our beloved country. (NO ! Not ALL peoples love Malaysia maybe.. some of them who live in Malaysia openly say tehy love Singapore, Canada, USA I think). I’m NOT intending or talking racist at all, but was and IS fact.

    After all, it is not a very big deal or complicating issue. We just hope they are sincere.. (pls. ask objectively again the above question “what is the actual reasons to use “Allah” instead of “Tuhan”, or “God” as stated in the Bible..) Why.. Those peoples must have known the reasons why it is needed to use that word in their publication.. Now..do we Muslims “kacau” them, or they “kacau” us … Who are they ?

    For Muslims, when we say “Allah”, He has no son, no father or grandfather and so forth. Allah also doesn’t incarnate. If He has a son, a mother, incarnated or such things, He is NOT Allah, but anything else.
    This is why, we cannot bring Allah in front of atheists as a proof of His existence, (because is one of Allah’s attributes is that He will NOT appear, incarnate, imposted etc. If anything incarnates, appears.. that is not Allah.

    Allah as we Muslims know also, he doesn’t need foods, or sleepy
    or slumbers, doesn’t need to be circumcised when he is eight days old etc. He doen’t need ass (or sport car) ride too.

    So, Allah is the the name of god for Muslim, but “god” to non-Muslims is not necessarily Allah, but maybe Lord, Krishna, Iswara, or god, etc. And is is not triune but ONE. Not ‘three-in-one’ whatsoever. He is NOT ‘god the father, or god the son anything that. Yeah..they surely must have known this, but perhaps because of hidden agenda, they needed to use after all..

    The learned Muslims will not easily get confused after all..

    They can use it as long as they are sincere..are they are sincere ? (I’m sure they have the answer deep in their hearts..please answer it themselves, not to us Muslims).

    So..”Allah” is NOT God to Christians simply because in Christianity, god is called “GOD” am I right ? “No, no, no.. if you open the Bible, it clearly stated in many books, the name of God is called “Allah…” Is that the case ?

    Yes..however..you are right ! For Muslims, what you called god in English is not Allah even though it is true literally in communication Allah is Muslims’ god , but you made it confused ..and going to make more confusion to the unlearned peoples. Might be because of this confusion many priests converted to Islam (this is also the very fact..pls. search on internet “why priests converted to Islam” to learn more. “Errr..those priests were confused probably…”)

    Is it not better if we do not kacau you, and you do not kacau us brothers?

    ..But NOW Allah is also your god?..

  21. Scott Thong Says:

    Personally, I prefer to use the true name of the JudeoChristian God, YHWH. There are many differences between the Christian and Muslim ideas of God and various personalities, so it is my opinion that a distinction should be made YHWh and Allah, Jesus and Isa, Abraham and Ibrahim etc. whenever possible.

    However, ‘Allah’ is not exclusively confined to the Muslim God, as this letter to Malaysiakini proves from the Quran itself.

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/118145

    By Allah, Muslims are not so easily ‘confused’
    A Siddiqi
    Nov 23, 09
    6:40pm

    I refer to the Malaysiakini report Catholic paper in ‘Allah’ row gets new permit.

    The Arabic ‘al-Lah’ means ‘the God.’ According to Islamic history, the pagans, Christians, and Jews all used the term ‘al-Lah’ or ‘Allah’ to mean God since long before the Prophet. Arabic- speaking Christians call God ‘Allah’ till today.

    What the Qur’an says:

    Evidence of Christian and Jewish usage of the word ‘Allah’ during the Prophet’s lifetime can be found in Chapter 22, verse 40. Abdullah Yusef Ali translates the verse as follows:

    ‘(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, for no cause except that they say, ‘Our Lord is God.’ Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure.’

    Note that where the English translation uses the term ‘God’ the original Arabic is ‘Allah.’

    Other evidence of pre-Islamic use

    1. Prophet Muhammad’s polytheist father, who died while Muhammad (saw) was still in his mother’s womb, was named ‘Abd Allah’ which means ‘slave of Allah.’

    2. The Prophet’s young wife Aishah, the daughter of Abu Baker and the first baby born in Islam, had an elder brother also named ‘Abd Allah,’ demonstrating another case of a child – born into polytheism of then-polytheist parents — being named ‘slave of Allah.’

    3. In fact, the renowned Islamic historian Ibn Ishaq records no fewer than 24 of the Prophet’s contemporaries in both Mecca and Medina named ‘Abd Allah’ – all born (and so named) into polytheism.

    Pick up a translation of his ‘Sirat Rasul Allah’ (‘Life of the Prophet of God’) in the Islamic section at any local bookstore and check the index of names in the back. Count the listings under ‘Abd Allah.’

    4. Islamic history clearly demonstrates that the term ‘Allah’ was widely used among the polytheist Arabs.

    Ibn Ishaq’s ‘Sirat Rasul Allah’ (Life of the Prophet of God) includes countless quotes by Muslims and non-Muslims alike that begin with, ‘By Allah.’

    By Allah, it is an insult to claim that Muslims are so easily ‘confused.’

  22. Nasaei Ahmad Says:

    Thanks Brther. Scott. Also to me..personally I believe Malays/Muslims should not object to its use, provided proper use with sincerity. For example Christians use it to mean ‘god’ in their believe..in their circles (to Christians, NOT to Muslims). If it is “abused” to the level of ‘blashphemy’ in the eyes of Muslims..(who knows if in the future for example..peoples put the name “Allah” the Crucified statute/ idol of Jesus.. in any case..)then might Muslims would angree..we do not want peace and harmony would be at stake because of this quibble. We do not want any quarrels or serious conflicts between us (Muslims and our Christian brothers) to happen.

    I know, the learned peoples in religion like Tuan Guru Nik Aziz, Dr. Mohd Asri and many more said, there is no clear prohibition to anyone to use word “Allah” by Islam viewpoint. And Allah is not God for Muslims alone, but God for all mankind.

    If Christians/ churches or publication sincerely meant for Christians, then it is fine. What is ‘not fine’ is.. when you try to confuse Muslims with it..or proselytize it to peoples who already have their own choice of religion” (I mean Muslims in this context)..then it would be unwelcomed, ill-motivated I think. Even ‘dangerous’ to all of us – the peace loving Malaysians.

    Yes it is true..in Egypt Coptics used it with great confusion like trinity..and allowed to be confused by the Egyptian authorities. If Indonesia and Egypt do it..then why can’t us??

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