Volume 95, Issue 82

Friday, March 8, 2002
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-Budget 2002/2003-
Spoke fights 'stank'

Jesus called into question

The 65 per cent question

CFS slams Pierre Trudeau scholarship

ATMs eating students' beer money

Lots of sex - but none of it sells?

News Briefs

Jesus called into question

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Whether looking for inspiration, confirmation of their own beliefs or heated theological discourse, many students came out for a debate last night at the Richard Ivey School of Business between Islam and Christianity over the importance of Jesus.

A crowd of over 200 gathered to watch Shabir Ally, founder of the Islamic Information and Da'wah Centre International in Toronto and William Lane Craig, a professor at the Talbot School of Theology in California, debate whether the Koran's or Bible's accounts of Jesus are most accurate.

Craig tried to prove that the Bible is the true storyteller of Jesus' life by taking the perspective of a historian. He believes the Bible's accounts are worthy of belief because there are multiple independent sources involved and there is a clear difference in religion before and after Jesus's life.

He disputed the notion Jesus was simply a prophet, as the Koran states.

"He did not think of himself as simply one of God's prophets," Craig said.

The professor said allegations that Jesus was not crucified should be dismissed.

"No one who is not a committed Muslim believes that Jesus was not crucified."

In his opening remarks, Ally said it is impossible to argue the issue in only historical terms since "historians cannot tell us that Jesus is the son of God."

He said the Bible version of Jesus was contradictory, as Jesus proclaimed himself the son of God, something that would have been blasphemous to his Jewish religion.

"The Koran is believable and nothing is contradictory," Ally said. "There are no rational grounds on why I should not believe is this Jesus.

Ally argued the Bible's view of Jesus is critically dependent on his resurrection. He said the Bible fails to prove the resurrection took place and there is evidence another man was crucified in Jesus' place and Jesus may not have actually died on the cross.

While both men did not shy away from respectively taking personal shots at each other as the debate progressed, the crowd was appreciative of both their efforts.

"This is the epitome of what's best about academic freedom," said moderator Kurt Durstin. "It's an opportunity for people to go home to contemplate what they've heard and discuss it with their friends."

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