The Doubting Christian – Robert Beckford
There is a theologian that my housemate and I were talking about, and I think everyone should check him out. Heralding a Pentecostal Christian background, Dr. Robert Beckford is a British theologian that has caused much controversy by his work on Christianity. You see, his more popular work deals with examining Christian beliefs that most Christians take for granted as being factual, and seeing whether those beliefs are validated by historical and archaeological evidence. What is even more interesting is that although he proclaims Christianity, he seems to disbelieve major doctrinal concepts of the Christian faith, such as the infallibility of the Bible, or the complete the story of the life of Jesus (AS) as we know it through the Bible. Personally, and with all due respect, I have doubt about his “Christian faith.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he later admitted to never being Christian. However, his work, at the very least, if not considered scholarly (as a lot of conservative Christian organizations try to say), is at the very least rather thought provoking. I am not saying that I believe everything he says – I don’t. However, a lot of what he says are based of facts which you cannot deny. As a Muslim, I found it refreshing that the Muslim perspective of the Bible find some support from Christian, or at the very least, non-Muslim, research. Of course, I am not asking anyone to just accept his words. That would be stupid. I am proposing that everyone watch the 2 documentaries whose links you will find below, and do your own research. God Almighty rewards honest Truth-seeking with Truth. So go and seek Truth.
Who Wrote the Bible?
As a Muslim, I believe in the corruption of all previous revelations, and that the Qur’an is the only infallible divine scripture we have today. Therefore, the general idea of this documentary is appealing to Muslims. We don’t necessary agree with the specific theories presented, but it is enough to validate our doubts about the Old and New Testaments. This is probably the most well-known documentary by Dr. Beckford, and appeared on Christmas Day, 2004 in the UK on Channel 4 (nice timing, eh?). It is approximately 2 hours long, according its website.
The Hidden Story of Jesus
This is a bit more controversial documentary in my opinion because a lot of what is presented here doesn’t coincide with the Islamic accounts of Jesus (AS). However, it is only fair that I present it here for everyone for purely acaedemic reasons. Take from it what you feel, but be honest with your feelings. This documentary also appeared on Christmas Day, 2004 in the UK on Channel 4 (more nice timing), and is probably also 2 hours long (I can’t remember).
There are much more by him, but these are the only two I have authority to post, since these are the only two I have watched. However, a simple Google search should give you more by him. Please watch them and post your comments. And more importantly, do you own research before you resolve to your own conclusions.
– Farhan R.