Friday, November 7, 2014

Addressing the Antithetical Battle of Our Time

EDITOR'S NOTE: Egyptian-born Dr. Anees Zaka is an adjunct professor at GPTS, teaching courses within our Master of Arts in Apologetics and Islam program, which has its first student enrolled this semester, Melwin Issac of India. For several years, GPTS offered a single introductory course on Islam. The new M.A. includes a variety of courses from our regular apologetics curriculum plus four courses related to Islam: Introduction to Islam, Life of Muhammad, Introduction to the Qur'an, and Exegesis of the Qur'an. (See the Academic Catalog for details and course descriptions.) These courses are taught on an "intensive" schedule full-time for a week each, as Dr. Zaka comes to campus from Philadelphia, where he pastors Church Without Walls, a ministry among Muslims. He has requested GPTS Online to publish the following open letter:

To all who love Jesus and His gospel among Muslims,

Greetings in His Name. Please be informed of the Islamic Studies program at GPTS. I have been teaching courses on Islam for some years at GPTS. My philosophy of teaching these courses is biblical and presuppositional, where the students learn to understand Islam in the light of the biblical antithesis, following Dr. Cornelius Van Til's biblical, trinitarian and covenantal apologetic.* Dr. Van Til taught us this: "It is never about winning. It is about exposing their inconsistency. God does everything else. Never forget the antithesis." This kind of teaching on "Islamics" is only found at GPTS. And I would like to do so as long as I will be able by His grace. Therefore, I appeal to all of you to take care of the cost of my courses, which is between $3,000 and $4,000, including everything such as airfare, board, room, and little salary. Teaching Islamics this way is an urgent need for the church of Christ worldwide. And GPTS is the only "reformed" seminary which allows me to teach it this way. So, please send a one-time gift to GPTS toward this cost. May the LORD guide you to do so soon.

Dr. Anees Zaka
Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies


* Van Til summarized his concept of antithesis in apologetics and epistemology as follows: 
My own proposal, therefore, for a consistently Christian methodology of apologetics is this... That we no longer make an appeal to "common notions" which the Christian and non-Christian agree on, but to the "common ground" which they actually have because man and his world are what Scripture says they are. That we ... set the non-Christian principle of the rational autonomy of man against the Christian principle of the dependence of man's knowledge on God's knowledge as revealed in the person and by the Spirit of Christ. That we claim, therefore, that Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold...That we argue, therefore, by "presupposition."