“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

November 9, 2010

Peter Kreeft and Robert Spencer Debate the merits and demerits of Islam

Several weeks ago, I heard that this debate was coming up, but I was unable to attend. Two people I know personally and respect, Dr. Peter Kreeft and Robert Spencer, debated the question of Islam. For those of you who know Dr. Kreeft's work, you know he is eminently reasonable, always irenic, and a deep thinker. In fact, as I have gone on record saying many times over the years, I regard Peter Kreeft as our generation's C.S. Lewis.

Robert Spencer, who, like Peter, is a fellow Catholic, has in recent years produced a serious body of in-depth critical scholarship on Islam. His website, jihadwatch.org, is very influential and both widely admired and widely reviled (mainly, though not exclusively, by Muslims). These two men have very different views of Islam and of Muslims, and this debate promises to be an excellent opportunity for both positions to be carefully examined, compared, and contrasted. That's the hallmark of any good debate, in my opinion. I say "promises to be" because I haven't watched this video of the debate yet, though I am just about to do so.

Catholic blogger (and one of my Twitter friends), Lisa Graas, alerted me to the video clip, which I post for you now on my blog. I'd also like to lead off with the beginning of her commentary on the debate (below). And, as ever, I am very interested in knowing what you think of this. So, please, post comments to your heart's content.

Lisa writes:
On Thursday, November 9, 2010, Robert Spencer and Peter Kreeft participated in an historic debate at St. Thomas More College on the topic “Is the Only Good Muslim a Bad Muslim?” Video of this debate is below. 
Kreeft’s final remark:
“I suppose Bob must be right in saying that if everything in the Qur’an must be accepted literally and practiced then these are bad Muslims, so in that sense, I would have to agree with him that the best Muslim is a bad Muslim.”
Any Catholic who cares to understand this issue with any intelligence is strongly encouraged to watch this debate. I also recommend, of course, the catechism and Vatican II, particularly Nostra Aetate. Here are my thoughts on what Vatican II had to say about Jews, Christians and Muslims. . . .