Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi died on September 16, 2017. As reported earlier on Veracity, Nabeel had been wrestling for the past year with stomach cancer. Veteran Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has a very moving eulogy for his “nephew” Nabeel in the Washington Post. Apologist Michael Licona gives us some added insight into Nabeel’s conversion to Christ on a Facebook post.
His best friend, David Wood, who led Nabeel to Christ, when both were students at Old Dominion University, has put together some interesting photos of Nabeel, on his Twitter feed.
David and Nabeel loved putting together YouTube videos, in a rather poking fun, and often sarcastic, manner, that were intended to prod and encourage Muslims to reconsider their faith and investigate the Christian faith. Ah, these guys, were a bit younger then, and it shows. The first video below is the final product of one of their sessions, but if you want a good chuckle, you should take a peak at the second video, with the blooper outtakes. Go to the 4:30 minute mark, for the handshake part, if it gets to be too much for you. What a couple of knuckleheads, but I appreciate their desire for Muslims to come to know the Truth. Be sure to view their last YouTube sessions together, filmed this past summer, with some excellent teaching. Nabeel Qureshi will be sorely missed.
September 18th, 2017 at 7:09 pm
He was such an inspiring young man. And to think he was from our area! So sad he was taken so early but God knows all things…praying for the legacy of his written word to go forth in power!
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September 23rd, 2017 at 9:13 am
Ravi Zacharias gave probably one of the most moving eulogies, at Nabeel Qureshi’s funeral this week:
A mentor of Nabeel’s, Jim Tour, a chemist at Rice University, also gave some remarks, as he spent many hours with Nabeel in the months leading up to his death. I must admit that I am a bit unsettled over something he said, so perhaps I am misinterpreting Jim Tour’s remarks. If someone could help me out there, that would be great, as I am still bothered.
The end result is that some Muslims are using Jim Tour’s remarks to say that within months of his death, Nabeel admitted to being “skeptical” about the Bible (he later rejected such “skepticism”, something that the Muslim critique fails to make clear).
This is important enough to address, as I believe that Jim Tour really meant well in his remarks. I think his remarks could be understood in a very positive way, but I can also see how Nabeel’s Muslim critics could take them out of context.
Here is a partial transcript of what Tour said, with respect to a particular sin that Nabeel needed to repent of, during his final months:
“I asked him, ‘What have you been reading in the Scriptures lately?’ He showed me and I said, ‘What have you been getting out of it?’ He said, ‘I have been critiquing this and studying the relevancy of this portion and the authenticity of that portion. I said, ‘What has God been saying to you?’ He says, ‘Well, really not a lot, I have just been critiquing it,'”
“I said, ‘That is your problem, Nabeel. Every word in this book is true. Every word in the book is true. God has watched over His word to perform it. I am so glad that you got your education, but remember every word in this book is true.”
“You read the testimony of Billy Graham. It was not until he fell on his knees and said, ‘Lord, I take every word in this book as truth,’ it was only then that his ministry burst forth, I said, ‘You have some repenting to do.’ So we got down on our knees right there in the kitchen and he repented for not taking God’s word as every word being true. He texted me that night and he said, ‘It is just like when I got saved. The Lord is speaking to me so richly through the Scripture.'”
Here is my question about Tour’s remarks: Was Tour suggesting that Nabeel had gotten too caught up in an “academic” view of Scripture, that he had forgotten to see the spiritual truth of God’s Word? If so, I think that Tour’s message is right on target. Bulls-Eye!!
On the other hand, if Tour was suggesting that there have been elements in Nabeel’s teaching that were “unscriptural” or promoting “skepticism”, and that Nabeel had to tighten up on his commitment to the Bible, then I think that Tour was opening up a door that really did not need to be opened. It exposed a “supposed” crack in Nabeel’s testimony, that his Muslim critics have tried to take advantage of.
Furthermore, it might suggest to some that Nabeel’s writings could be suspect for their orthodoxy. I have read enough of Nabeel’s writings to know that they do indeed line up with Scripture, so I really wish the door had been more securely closed here.
This is where clarity is vitally needed in our day. Yes, it is very easy to read the Scriptures in a rather detached, academic manner, focusing solely on matters of the head, and missing the deeper matters of the heart. For this is surely a sin that I need to repent of, often, as I have taken advanced theological studies, just as Nabeel Qureshi had done. But it would be foolish, and wrong headed, to suggest that an academic, critical approach to the Bible is inherently unspiritual. While a critical approach to Scripture can lead to “skepticism,” this is not necessarily the case.
The truth of the matter is that someone can believe that “every word in this book [is] truth,” and still completely miss the message of the Bible! We must be careful not to confuse respect for and submission to the authority of God’s Word with our ability to interpret God’s Word correctly. There are many today who loudly proclaim that they “believe the Bible,” but they then show themselves that the do not understand what it teaches. A critical approach to Scripture is necessary, as it helps us to sort through right ways of reading the Bible, as opposed to wrong ways of reading the Bible.
So while I sincerely appreciate Jim Tour’s words of encouragement at Nabeel Qureshi’s funeral, I really wish Jim Tour had closed the door more tightly on this subject.
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