Catholic vs. Muslim – 2017-10-06 – Post-Mortem


This interview was vetoed by my guest, a Muslim man who shall remain unnamed to protect his identity. In this, my first ever post-mortem episode, I dissect the interview in an attempt to understand why it was killed.

Transcript

Please excuse any errors as these captions were automatically generated by YouTube.

0:00 [Music]
0:03 so sadly I don’t have a guest for you
0:07 today to listen to you’re just gonna
0:08 have to listen to me I’m gonna give a
0:10 post-mortem on an interview that was
0:12 vetoed this particular man agreed to be
0:17 interviewed by me knowing that my
0:20 podcast is called Catholic versus Muslim
0:26 knowing that the entire point of the
0:30 podcast is to compare and more
0:32 importantly to contrast my Catholic
0:35 worldview with his non Catholic
0:39 worldview with his Muslim world view
0:44 he knew that after five months of
0:50 consistent reminders have you listened
0:55 to it is it okay to publish is there
0:57 anything you don’t approve of do you
0:59 want any further edits finally I think
1:03 he managed to communicate to me that he
1:06 just doesn’t want his long being
1:07 compared with another worldview why why
1:12 did he find this threatening I barely
1:16 got a word in edgewise during the
1:18 interview so what what did I say that
1:20 had such a powerful damaging impact on
1:24 his religion let’s take a look at some
1:30 of the content and see what we can learn
1:36 as some listening to the interview now
1:40 but about seven minutes in I haven’t
1:43 said one word when I asked him to tell
1:47 us a little bit about himself he said no
1:50 this is what we’re going to do I’m going
1:52 to talk and you’re going to listen so he
1:56 took control and for seven minutes he
1:58 talked about God his god and my god by
2:01 the way and everything he said was
2:03 wonderful and beautiful and I was
2:04 enjoying it and after seven minutes of
2:08 praising and glorifying God and
2:11 making it perfectly clear that God is
2:14 sovereign God is perfect
2:18 and God is transcendent and that nothing
2:21 resembles God after seven minutes of
2:24 that I said okay well now tell me
2:28 something I don’t know what is unique
2:30 about Islam because everything you’ve
2:32 said aligns perfectly with all three
2:36 monotheistic religions Judaism
2:38 Christianity and Islam so why don’t you
2:41 tell me now something about your
2:43 religion that makes it different from
2:45 the other monotheistic religions and he
2:48 just came back to this idea this
2:51 monotheistic idea that God does not
2:54 resemble his creation God is
2:56 transcendent God is sovereign God is not
3:00 a man and I said I agree with you God is
3:05 not a man and so he started talking
3:08 about Jesus Jesus is a man yes I agree
3:13 Jesus is a man God does not resemble a
3:18 man I agreed God does not resemble a man
3:23 but Jesus is a man yes Jesus is a man I
3:27 agree my ways are not your ways says the
3:31 Lord we can’t make God in our image we
3:37 can’t force God into a box or make God
3:41 conform to our ideas about him he is
3:44 transcendent he is sovereign he will
3:47 surprise us so I was curious if he would
3:52 actually dig a little bit deeper into
3:55 what is very paradoxical namely the
4:00 Trinity and the Incarnation
4:03 what will this Muslim man do when
4:05 confronted with the mystery of God will
4:08 he bow will he prostrate himself will he
4:12 submit or will he tell God no you can’t
4:21 Trinity you can’t incarnate
4:25 you can’t die for my sins
4:29 is that what he’s gonna do I don’t know
4:32 all I know is that he was baffled by my
4:34 answer because I was atheist for 25
4:39 years and had come to God through
4:41 philosophy I knew to expect apparent
4:45 contradiction I knew to expect paradox
4:48 because there is no other way
4:51 God is necessarily beyond our
4:56 comprehension
4:57 it’s the characteristic of God God is
5:02 incomprehensible God cannot be named
5:04 I thought the Muslims knew this I’m
5:08 sorry to say that I did lose respect for
5:11 Islam because of this interview even if
5:16 it had been approved for publication and
5:18 especially because it wasn’t god is
5:24 controversial God is not conformable to
5:28 our human ways and our human ideas and
5:30 our human categorizations I thought all
5:33 monotheists knew that so I I finally
5:38 relieved the tension a little bit I
5:41 thought I did by revealing the Catholic
5:44 doctrine that Jesus Christ is fully God
5:47 fully man and he has two natures divine
5:51 and human and that the human nature is
5:55 different from the divine nature I think
5:56 that goes without saying I then changed
6:00 the subject slightly I asked him to talk
6:02 a little bit about Judaism from his
6:04 perspective what differentiates Islam
6:09 from Judaism theologically and the first
6:13 thing he said was quite shocking to me
6:15 I’d never heard it before I’ve since
6:17 looked it up and it’s a real thing Islam
6:20 apparently teaches that the Jews believe
6:25 that God has a son Ezra now
6:31 we all know about Ezra but I’d never
6:34 heard anyone say that the Jews believe
6:38 in a son of God not in any divine sense
6:44 I haven’t looked into it too deeply so I
6:47 don’t know exactly what the nuance
6:48 teaching is and I certainly don’t know
6:52 what the Jewish perspective is but in
6:54 the next Jew I interview I’ll certainly
6:56 ask that he continued talking about the
7:02 unacceptable teachings of Judaism from
7:04 his perspective talking about how God is
7:07 for the Jews an old man up in the clouds
7:11 and he sits up there on his throne and
7:13 he got tired after the six days of
7:17 creation and so he laid down in his bed
7:19 in the clouds and he took a little nap
7:21 and he started talking like this taking
7:25 at face value what we Catholics
7:28 understand to be condescension or
7:31 another word for that literary technique
7:32 is attribution for God who is pure
7:35 spirit all anthropomorphism for the
7:38 divine nature is condescension in holy
7:41 scripture talking in a way that we
7:44 humans can understand and relate to as
7:47 finite beings right there is no other
7:51 way to communicate with us other than
7:53 through attribution when it comes to the
7:56 unknowable and incomprehensible and
7:59 unnameable ineffable eternal God I
8:03 thought that was a given in all of
8:06 monotheism so I was surprised by his
8:08 very low opinion of his fellow
8:10 monotheists another funny thing that he
8:14 accused the Jews of believing is that
8:19 Abraham overpowered God intellectually
8:23 that he argued with God and he won the
8:26 argument now if you don’t know that
8:30 that’s condescension you need to check
8:34 your monotheism I mean
8:40 I don’t even know how to respond to that
8:45 I just find that so funny and of course
8:49 no offense is intended here I love and
8:51 respect my guests my mind is boggling
8:55 that he could be so ignorant about
8:58 monotheism given that he’s among atheist
9:02 but when I suggested that this is just a
9:04 literary technique I challenged him and
9:07 I said are you telling me that if I look
9:10 in the Koran I won’t find any
9:12 anthropomorphism I won’t find talk of
9:15 gods tongue or his arm or his hand or
9:19 his lips or his head or his body his
9:23 waist his breasts are you telling me
9:27 that I won’t find any of these
9:29 attributions
9:30 in the Koran is that what you’re telling
9:32 me the obvious implication of my
9:36 question being that if there are
9:37 examples in the Quran of this
9:41 anthropomorphic language attributing to
9:44 God what is human attributing attributes
9:48 of the creation to the Creator if
9:51 there’s even one example of that in the
9:53 Quran then we’ve got a clear case of
9:56 hypocritical double standard because and
10:00 again I’m not I’m not attacking this
10:02 man’s character I’m just saying that
10:04 from the point of view of Islam if he’s
10:05 presenting Islam and Islam says Judaism
10:08 attributes the characteristics of a
10:11 creature to the Creator based on these
10:15 Bible passages which are anthropomorphic
10:20 they don’t ever like to stand on with
10:22 that criticism if the Quran does the
10:25 same thing and I’ve since found out that
10:26 the Quran does contain anthropomorphic
10:29 descriptions of God so I asked him
10:33 directly
10:33 is there an example of the crime of this
10:36 same anthropomorphism he immediately
10:39 changes subject he started talking about
10:40 the Old Testament the Gospels how Islam
10:45 respects the Old Testament Islam
10:47 respects the Gospels and my response was
10:50 yes Islam respects them
10:54 they don’t exist Islam clearly teaches
10:59 that yes the holy books are holy but we
11:02 don’t have access to them they’ve been
11:04 corrupted lies have been introduced
11:08 they’re not inerrant not the copies that
11:10 the Jews and the Christians have and as
11:13 far as I know the Muslims don’t claim to
11:15 have the originals if they did certainly
11:18 I think it would make sense to come
11:20 forward with them since they are revered
11:23 these non-existent scriptures since they
11:26 are revered as holy texts of Islam I
11:28 think it would make sense to bring them
11:30 forth if they had them in the possession
11:32 but this brought to mind the questions
11:36 of authority and infallibility which are
11:39 so near and dear to my heart as a
11:41 Catholic and as a mafia stymie Nye won’t
11:44 settle for anything less even if
11:46 Christianity turns out to be a false
11:48 religion I will not settle for less than
11:50 authority infallibility and defect
11:53 ability so God’s religion is the one
11:56 true religion and it has to have those
11:58 three attributes his since God does so
12:03 when I asked him about Authority and
12:05 infallibility I was a little bit
12:07 surprised to find out that he does
12:08 believe in infallibility and authority
12:12 and they reside in Proffitt messengers
12:15 like Muhammad was a prophet messenger
12:17 it’s more than just a prophet so they
12:20 have the Quran which is infallible
12:22 inerrant they have Muhammad they have
12:26 God of course they have angels that are
12:29 infallible but they don’t get directly
12:31 involved in transmitting these messages
12:33 day-to-day in Islam the angels of course
12:38 communicated with Muhammad allegedly but
12:41 there’s another layer which has to do
12:44 with interpretation because what with
12:46 mom it’s no longer here there are the
12:50 what they call qualified scholars who
12:52 are able to interpret the texts because
12:56 there’s not just the Quran there’s also
12:58 the life of Muhammad and the writings of
13:02 Muhammad his life this needs to be
13:05 interpreted
13:08 it has to be interpreted infallibly
13:10 obviously and so the Muslims don’t claim
13:13 to have access to Muhammad directly but
13:15 they do have access to his book the
13:18 Quran and they do have access to the
13:21 life of Muhammad and they do have wise
13:25 scholars that can give us the correct
13:27 interpretation of any question
13:30 concerning faith in walls so either
13:34 that’s an fallible Catholic sort of
13:38 arrangement where there’s a living
13:39 Magisterium which cannot err went
13:44 teaches faith in morals for the whole
13:46 body of the faithful or it’s a
13:48 Protestant sort of outfit where Islam
13:51 says look every every truth is in this
13:54 book and it’s sort of self-evident if
13:58 you’re smart enough and this is the
14:01 Protestant idea of private judgment
14:06 you go to your Quran and the truth is
14:09 there just go if God wants you to see
14:13 the truth the truth is there and if you
14:18 have a quarrel with your neighbour about
14:20 interpretation look at all the wise men
14:23 what the wise men have said these
14:25 scholars the Protestants that I speak
14:28 with they’re not shy to draw on the
14:31 wisdom of the fathers the wisdom of the
14:33 scholars they have the freedom
14:35 ultimately to choose which
14:37 interpretation to go with because
14:40 obviously they’re different scholars
14:42 with different opinions and we’ve got
14:44 many many thousands of denominations in
14:48 Christianity and we’ve got different
14:50 denominations in Islam because without
14:54 an authoritative unified teaching body
14:59 people will come to different
15:01 conclusions so in any case the interview
15:07 continues and we talked about some
15:10 interesting stuff but it’s not really
15:12 relevant the post mortem as such because
15:16 it wasn’t controversial that as I said
15:19 earlier the only thing
15:22 that’s controversial is God we can grasp
15:26 a lot of philosophical truths even
15:29 eternal unchanging truths with the light
15:33 of natural reason we can for example the
15:36 existence of the god of monotheism that
15:39 can be known by the light of natural
15:42 reason we can know that he’s a mystery
15:45 we can know that he’s not a man up in
15:47 the clouds sitting on his throne resting
15:50 after work because he’s tired we can
15:52 know all of that with our natural reason
15:56 we can’t know the Trinity that way
15:58 though we need supernatural divine
16:01 revelation to know the Trinity the same
16:05 thing for the Incarnation and everything
16:10 that flows from that the Catholic Church
16:14 the Holy Roman Catholic Church it’s one
16:19 it’s holy it’s Catholic its apostolic we
16:23 can’t know that without divine
16:25 revelation we just can’t I do love and
16:29 respect my guest and I sympathize with
16:31 his fear it would seem to be
16:35 theologically inevitable that the fear
16:38 of God for the Muslim is a servile fear
16:41 it’s not a loving childlike fear of
16:45 disappointing a loving and merciful
16:47 father
16:48 it’s because the theology doesn’t make
16:51 sense because there are contradictions
16:54 in Islamic theology there’s something
16:58 off with their God and because there’s
17:00 something off with their understanding
17:01 of God even the smallest error with
17:06 regard to something that’s infinite can
17:08 be very powerful and if it’s not light
17:13 its darkness if it’s not of God it’s not
17:18 light its darkness
17:21 so no matter
17:23 how much they have in common in the
17:25 theological understanding of God the
17:28 Father if it’s not 100% correct there’s
17:34 darkness and so I sympathize with the
17:39 Muslims because they don’t have the
17:41 fullness of truth concerning God the
17:43 Father how could they it’s impossible
17:48 for both Catholicism and Islam to both
17:52 be right because they contradict each
17:55 other they contradict each other
17:57 on something as central as the nature of
18:01 the relationship of God to man we have
18:08 the Incarnation they don’t have that
18:12 that is no small affair when it comes to
18:15 the fear of God we are commanded to have
18:17 the fear of God but it means something
18:20 quite different to us because of the
18:24 Incarnation because of the Trinity
18:26 because of the redemption because of our
18:29 understanding of original sin because of
18:31 our understanding of salvation because
18:33 of our understanding of grace all the
18:37 puzzle pieces fit together it’s so
18:39 comforting
18:40 but if you’re alone in this great dark
18:45 universe on this tiny planet and God is
18:50 nowhere to be seen that’s lonely that’s
18:56 scary
18:58 no the fear of God is the beginning of
19:02 wisdom but it’s only the beginning for
19:04 the Christian because when you are
19:08 afraid to displease God and you start to
19:10 want to please God and you run into his
19:12 loving arms the fears gone perfect love
19:16 casts out fear that st. Paul famously
19:19 said and it’s true you go into the
19:22 physical human arms of Jesus there’s no
19:29 fear unless you’re Judas don’t be true
19:38 be like a little child
19:42 we need to renounce ourselves and we
19:45 need to go to God we need to trust in
19:50 God we need to love God as a child loves
19:58 his father so if there any Muslims that
20:06 are out there listening if you practice
20:10 your faith if you love your faith if you
20:12 know your faith if you know who you are
20:18 and what you believe in why you believe
20:20 it please get in touch with me you don’t
20:24 need to know who I am you don’t need to
20:26 know who Jesus is you just need to know
20:28 who you are and what you believe you
20:35 don’t need to know everything that you
20:37 believe you just need to know the core
20:40 essential foundational beliefs that make
20:43 you say yes to Islam every Muslim should
20:48 know that just as every Catholic should
20:53 know why are you a Catholic what is it
20:56 that you believe that makes you a
20:59 Catholic what is it that the Jew
21:01 believes that makes him a Jew and once
21:05 you know what it is that you believe why
21:08 do you believe it many things that I
21:14 believe I believe only on Authority only
21:20 the Jew and the Muslim are no different
21:24 there are many things that we believe
21:26 because our religion that we choose to
21:29 believe teaches us to believe that and I
21:34 think that’s rational
21:35 I think that’s sane I think that’s
21:36 healthy and I think we don’t have a
21:37 choice
21:39 we are finite fallible creatures we need
21:44 to be sincere and evaluate reality
21:50 and look at some fundamental questions
21:53 and come to some conclusions the only
21:58 alternative is agnosticism and that’s
22:00 untenable philosophically we have to
22:04 commit everyone makes a leap of faith so
22:11 if you’re a Muslim and if you’re
22:13 listening to this and if you have
22:14 something to say as long as it’s about
22:18 the truth
22:19 get in touch please and of course the
22:26 same goes for every other worldview if
22:30 you’re a Scientologist listening to this
22:32 if you know who you are what you believe
22:35 in why you believe it
22:36 get in touch please not because I have
22:43 anything for you but because you have
22:45 something to share with my audience
22:48 which is admittedly small right now but
22:53 I’m inviting you
22:57 I’m your fellow man I’m your neighbor
23:01 and I’m inviting you to talk about the
23:03 truth there’s no higher reason needed
23:09 your brother is asking you to talk about
23:13 God your brother is asking you to talk
23:17 about truth your brother wants to get to
23:21 know you and who you are what you
23:23 believe and why you believe it it’s that
23:28 simple
23:29 and there are many people listening
23:35 there not many people listening but
23:38 there are some people listening and even
23:41 if there’s one person listening if they
23:43 could be moved by your story if they can
23:46 get a little bit closer to the truth
23:48 because of your journey and because of
23:51 your conviction because of your love of
23:53 truth isn’t that valuable I think so
24:02 and I always wrap up my interviews with
24:06 a message for those who need hope
24:09 hoist and everyone surprises me there’s
24:17 no preparation for any of my interviews
24:18 ever I sit down with someone and I start
24:22 asking them basic questions the same
24:24 questions every time who are you what do
24:26 you believe and why do you believe it
24:29 then at the end I surprised them I put
24:34 them on the spot and I asked them to
24:36 talk to you the audience
24:39 find something to say to that nameless
24:44 faceless stranger out there and I’m
24:49 always surprised by what they have to
24:51 say you don’t know the depths of
24:56 compassion that lie and someone but you
25:00 can get a little glimpse if you just ask
25:04 ask someone to reach out with words of
25:08 advice comfort consolation inspiration
25:12 hope and you might get a little glimpse
25:17 of something unique something powerful
25:20 something moving so since I don’t have a
25:28 guest today in the spirit of Catholic
25:33 versus Muslim final thought I guess what
25:39 I would say to anyone that’s out there
25:40 listening today is don’t be afraid don’t
25:48 be afraid of the truth and whether you
25:55 believe in God or not don’t be afraid of
25:57 God don’t cower in fear like a slave
26:01 he’s infinitely lovable and if
26:07 the idea of God doesn’t appeal to you
26:10 start with truth that’s where I started
26:14 I can sympathize with the 80s I was
26:18 atheist for 25 years I can sympathize
26:20 with many many worldviews I’ve dabbled
26:23 our hearts are restless until they
26:26 repose in God so my restless heart
26:29 wandered all over the place
26:31 and I dabbled and I was seeking seeking
26:40 truth even if I didn’t know it and I
26:43 don’t think there’s anyone out there
26:45 listening now that isn’t seeking the
26:48 truth we are made for truth because we
26:52 are made by truth so if you’re honest
26:58 with yourself and if you love truth and
27:01 if you give yourself to that love and
27:07 don’t hold back even if your nicest as I
27:12 was give yourself fall fall in love
27:29 [Music]

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