Zakir Naik and the Inerrant Bible

The controversy arising from Zakir Naik’s visit to Malaysia reminds Christians that it is crucial to uphold the inerrancy of the Bible. First, it is well known that Zakir Naik and other Islamic dakwa-gandists unceasingly attack the Bible as a corrupt text. They further assert that the Bible cannot be the Word of God in the light of the alleged errors and contradictions found in it. It is self-defeating and futile for a Christian to try to witness to Muslim critics like Zakir Naik if he agrees that the Bible is corrupt.

Second, critics like Zakir Naik do not respect Christians who simply appeal to authority. They expect Christians to give a rational defence of the truth claims of the Bible. Naturally, they hold Christianity in derision when Christians concede that the Bible contains errors. Furthermore, it comes across that Christians are irreverent when they suggest that God does not always speak the truth. Such irreverence will not impress Muslims who are well known for their reverence for God. The only authority that Christians may rely on is the authority of the truth of the Bible. J.I. Packer explains, “Biblical veracity and biblical authority are bound up together. Only truth can have final authority to determine belief and behavior, and Scripture cannot have such authority further than it is true.” [J.I. Packer, Truth and Power (Eagle 1996), p119.]

J.I. Packer emphasizes, “The importance of recognizing biblical inerrancy as a fact of faith is that, on the one hand, it reminds us that all Scripture is instruction in one way or another from the God of truth. On the other hand, it commits us to consistency in believing, receiving, and obeying everything that it proves to say. The more completely heart and mind are controlled by Scripture, the fuller our freedom and the greater our joy. God’s free servants know God and know about God. They observe God-taught standards and restraints in living and in relationships. They trust God’s promises and in the power of Bible certainties live out their days in peace and hope. Modern man needs to hear more of this message of freedom from the church. The church needs to learn again how basic to that message is the truth of the inerrancy of Scripture, on which the fullness of biblical authority depends” (Truth and Power, p. 49). Was it not Christ who said “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”? (John 8:32).

Firm, uncompromising belief in inerrancy of the Bible is indispensable for sharing the Gospel. All these make me wonder whether Christians who doubt the inerrancy of the Bible ever seriously witnessed to Muslim polemicists and other atheistic-agnostic unbelievers who disdain Christianity because they are led to believe that the teaching of the Bible is false.

7 thoughts on “Zakir Naik and the Inerrant Bible”

  1. WELL SAID, DR. KAM-WENG. IN THIS REGARD I WOULD LIKE TO RECOMMEND DR. GORDON NICKEL’S “THE GENTLE ANSWER TO MUSLIM ACCUSATION OF BIBLICAL FALSIFICATION” (CALGARY: BRUTON GATE, 2015; AMAZON); AND ALSO AN EARLIER ONE BY DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL’S “THE BIBLE, THE QUR’AN, IN THE LIGHT OF HISTORY AND SCIENCE” (MIDDLE-EAST RESOURCES, 2ND-EDITION,2002; AMAZON). THESE ARE “MUST-READ” FOR ALL THINKING CHRISTIANS! DR. TAN, KS

  2. Dear Kim Sai,
    Fully agree that the books by Gordon Nickel and William Campbell should be read by all Christians who are led to defend the Bible against Muslim polemists. William Campbell had a debate against Zakir Naik which unfortunately was not his best moment. Campbell was too much of a gentleman to thrive in the cut and thrust of debates. Indeed, Christians who enter the debate arena must have both the wiles of a good debater and the innocence of doves.

    Christians who debate with Muslims must insist that both sides meet the same criteria of rationality and criticism. All too often the Muslim debater presses the Christian to defend the Bible, but is left off the hook when he is not asked to demonstrate how the Quran meets the criteria of rationality and criticism better than the Bible. I urge Christians to acquire full understanding of the textual history of the Quran and historical criticism of the hadiths so that they can call the bluff of people like Zakir Naik and challenge them to submit the Quran to the same intellectual scrutiny as the Bible.

    That aside, William Campbell has given the church two excellent books: 1) The Bible, Quran and Science and 2) The Gospel of Barnabas: Its True Value. Get the free online copies!

  3. For all the hoo ha – in reality Zakir Naik (who is called Deedat plus among Muslims) is a theological and philosophical lightweight. All he got is a big magnified media image. We need not worry about him or pseudo-intellectuals of his ilk, but we must do our homework and build up the faith our own believers. I got no problem with Zakir Naik giving his talks – provided that he does not misrepresent other faiths or incite violence.

    Freedom of speech should be protected and extended to people of all faiths. Likewise, Christians should also enjoy freedom to profess and propagate their faith no less than Muslims. It is wrong if authorities restrict Christian talks and confiscate Christian publications on grounds of religious sensitivity when they close their eyes on Muslim public events and allow public circulation of literature that misrepresent Christianity. The authorities allow widespread circulation of rubbish literature by Ahmad Deedat, but confiscate Christian literature that defends Christianity against Ahmad Deedat! How come it is often the case that Muslims feel offended? Selective enforcement of even good laws is unjust.

  4. What you said is true. When we are confronted by Muslims, besides Trinity, question on Authority of scriptures will surface one way or the other. They will always add Quran is transmitted without corruption besides being an exact copy in heaven as direct confrontation or incidental comments on purpose. Unfortunately we could not rebut with Problems of Quran transmission and errors. Our hands tied, mouth sealed on this issue. Perhaps it’s time we tell them they are insulting us when they accuse us of the corruption of the Bible without needing to talk about Quran.

  5. This is Malaysia. The deck will always be stacked unfairly against the non-Muslims.
    “Christian leaders” need to realise that it is not helpful (to put it mildly) to cast doubts and confusion on the authority and inerrancy of the Bible.

  6. Churches are more interested in spending money to send their members overseas to improve their music or a summer holiday in the guise of mission trip, than encouraging them to acquire knowledge & evidence on the inerrancy of the Bible. Something seriously must be done. Even though we know that this Zakir is a lightweight, unfortunately many Christians are featherweight.

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