David Wood (Christian apologist)

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David Wood
David Wood.png
Wood in one of his YouTube videos.
Personal information
Born (1976-04-07) April 7, 1976 (age 46)
West Virginia
NationalityAmerican
OccupationChristian apologist, YouTuber
Spouse(s)Marie Wood
Websitewww.acts17.org
YouTube information
Also known asActs17Apologetics
Channel
Years active2008–present
GenreChristian apologetics
Subscribers680 thousand[1]
Total views165 million[1]
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016[2]
Alma mater

Updated: 20 April 2022

David Wood (born April 7, 1976)[3][4] is an American evangelical apologist[5] and the head of the Acts 17 Apologetics ministry.[6][7] He is most well known for his YouTube videos in which he opposes and criticizes Islam, particularly Islamic views on theology and morality, as well as the Quran in general and Muhammad as a person, using Islamic sources such as the Quran and hadith.

Early life, incarceration and education[edit]

In a video testimony about Wood's conversion to Christianity he has stated that he was an atheist[3] in his youth, and that he had run-ins with the law by breaking into homes and later went as far as smashing his father's head in with a hammer[8] at the age of 18 in an attempt on his life, claiming a belief that morality was merely societal rules that were beneath him.[9][10][11] He also said that after the assault on his father, Wood was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy) and was sentenced to ten years in prison for malicious wounding. While in prison, he said, he was confronted with a fellow prisoner named Randy who was a devout Christian.[12] Wood said he often challenged Randy's Christian beliefs, initially claiming that Randy was only a Christian because he was born into a primarily Christian society, specifically the United States.[10] Wood stated that, while in prison, he and Randy frequently fasted, with Wood attempting to "beat" Randy at fasting, which eventually resulted in Wood being placed into solitary confinement under observation due to concerns over Wood potentially attempting to commit suicide by starvation. During this time, he began to read the Bible and participate in various Bible study programs in order to respond to Randy's rebuttals (thus "beating" him) but it eventually led Wood to convert to Christianity in 1996.[11]

He said that after five years between jail and prison,[10] he was released in 2000 and went to college at Old Dominion University where he earned a bachelor's degree. He later earned a doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University.[13][14][15] Wood wrote that while he was studying at Old Dominion University, he was challenged to convert to Islam by his friend, Nabeel Qureshi (an American Ahmadiyya Muslim of Pakistani descent), and that he went about investigating the life of Muhammad using the earliest sources, including Ibn Ishaq's Life of Muhammad (the earliest extant biography of Muhammad); the hadith collections of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (considered by Sunni Muslims to be the two most reliable or sahih collections of Muhammad's statements, actions, and example); and the History of the Prophets and Kings by Al-Tabari (one of Islam's greatest historians).[13][16] Wood said that he concluded that the Quran and Muhammad's example did not simply describe violence in the past (as in the Christian Bible per his assertion), but rather commanded ongoing violence. As a result, Wood said he then became a Christian apologist,[13] and that his roommate Nabeel later did so as well.[3]

Christian apologetics[edit]

Wood has participated in public debates with Muslims and atheists.[17] including debates with Muslim scholars like Shabir Ally.[5] Wood was invited on several ABN shows, in inter-religious discussions against atheism and Islam, where among other things he regularly appears on the Aramaic Broadcasting Network.[18] He has produced YouTube videos presenting his views on religion.[19] Writing for The Catholic World Report, William Kilpatrick says that Wood has made "highly effective short videos that set the record straight on areas of Christian-Muslim disagreement," and that he "comes across as the quintessence of calm, controlled manhood. Armed with a winning sense of humor, a razor-sharp mind, and a ton of knowledge, Wood doesn’t even have to raise his voice to make his points."[20]

In 2013, Wood completed his Ph.D. from Fordham University, publishing his dissertation Surprised by suffering: Hume, Draper, and the Bayesian argument from evil.[21]

Wood opposed the Park51 Islamic Center, arguing that it was not meant to honor the victims' families, but instead was a symbol of Islamic victory and named Cordoba House in memory of the Islamic conquest of Spain by the Umayyad Caliphate which later formed the Caliphate of Córdoba.[22] Wood disagreed with Pastor Terry Jones in the 2010 Qur'an-burning controversy, comparing it to the Uthman Qur'an burning.[23]

Wood was arrested outside Dearborn, Michigan, after preaching at an Arab festival and being charged with a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace, but was later acquitted.[24][25] In May 2013, the City of Dearborn was required to post a public apology[26] to be maintained on the City's website for three years and pay $300,000 to Wood and his three compatriots.[27]

Wood wrote a polemic regarding the work of Richard Carrier which he titled "Good 'n' Senseless Without God: A Critical Review of Richard Carrier's New Book, Sense & Goodness Without God". Richard Carrier responded to the review with an essay entitled "On the Deceptions of David Wood", in which he argued that Wood misrepresented his arguments and that his review was full of diatribes.[28][29] Wood has also written journals arguing against the views of Dan Barker.[30]

Wood is a member of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the Evangelical Philosophical Society.[5]

On 26 May 2022, Wood announced his decision to delete his YouTube channel at some point in June of the same year, due to what he saw as an increase in censorship and restriction of free speech from the side of YouTube.[31] Wood has stated that he will establish a website to serve as his new base of online operations and content creation, but has encouraged fans to re-upload his videos onto their own YouTube channels if they wished to keep them on the site.[32]

Personal life[edit]

He met his wife Marie, then an agnostic while in university; she also became a Christian.[10] They have five sons, two of whom suffer from centronuclear myopathy.[13][33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Acts17Apologetics". YouTube.
  2. ^ "Acts17Apologetics's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) - Social Blade Stats".
  3. ^ a b c Dearborn Free Press: "Amazing Grace Amid Profound Controversy" by Jonathan Light August 31, 2010
  4. ^ Degrasse. 21st century Christian debaters (2015) p. XVIII
  5. ^ a b c Chattanooga Times Free Press: "Scholars will debate whether Bible, Quran are books of peace" October 3, 2015 |"These men are recognized for being two of the best in the field of religious apologetics,..."
  6. ^ Acts 17 Apologetics
  7. ^ "Well-Researched Videos for Someone in Ministry to Muslims". The Network (CRCNA). Christian Reformed Church in North America. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  8. ^ 2016-04-15T00:00:00+01:00. "David Wood: From Nihilism To New Life". Premier Christianity. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  9. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  10. ^ a b c d CBN: "Misguided Man Assaults Father with Hammer" retrieved August 3, 2016
  11. ^ a b Dagen: "Den umulige snuoperasjonen" by Eivind Algrøy 22 mai 2016 (in Norwegian)
  12. ^ Thesenvitz, Kayleigh (8 May 2019). "Atheist/Christianity debate overflows venue". Claremore Daily Progress. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  13. ^ a b c d Chattanooga Times Free Press: "Wood: Holy Books of Peace? - Religious scholars will debate whether the Bible and Quran promote peace or violence" by David Wood October 4, 2015
  14. ^ Feldman, Kiera (November 1, 2010). "Killing the Buddha: The anti-Muslim Machine". Killing the Buddha. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  15. ^ Rowland, Stephen (15 July 2020). "Serving a God of hope". Daily Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  16. ^ Taylor, Justin (September 16, 2017). "Nabeel Qureshi (1983-2017)". The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  17. ^ Debates Look At Islam, Christianity Daily Press (Virginia) newspaper
  18. ^ "MUST SEE ISLAMIC TV MINISTRY: Promoting ABN (The Aramaic Broadcasting Network) at ABNsat.com « The Religion of Conquest". Archived from the original on 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/Acts17Apologetics[specify]
  20. ^ Kilpatrick, William (27 October 2014). "Are We Losing the Apologetics War with Islam?". The Catholic World Report. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  21. ^ Wood, David (2013-01-01). "Surprised by suffering: Hume, Draper, and the Bayesian argument from evil". ETD Collection for Fordham University: 1–278.
  22. ^ Mosque plans near Ground Zero Archived 2012-09-07 at archive.today By Pittsburgh Tribine-Review
  23. ^ Original Quran-Burning Took Place in the Mid-Seventh Century Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine CNS News Cybercast News Service
  24. ^ Jury acquits 4 arrested for behavior at Arab fest Associated Press re-print
  25. ^ Dispute in Dearborn Christianity Today magazine
  26. ^ Michigan Live: "Dearborn ordered to apologize for arrests of Christian missionaries at Arab Fest" by Gus Burns May 6, 2013
  27. ^ Christian Post: "Michigan City Paid Evangelists $300,000 in Lawsuit Settlement" by Anugrah Kumar May 25, 2013
  28. ^ Wood, David. "Good 'n' Senseless Without God: A Critical Review of Richard Carrier's new book, Sense & Goodness Without God". AnsweringInfidels.com. Archived from the original on 2006-02-11. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  29. ^ Richard Carrier. On the Deceptions of David Wood
  30. ^ Defending the Resurrection By Ed James Patrick Holding
  31. ^ I'm Deleting My Channel [NOT A JOKE], retrieved 2022-05-26
  32. ^ How to BLOW UP by Deleting Your YouTube Channel!, retrieved 2022-05-30
  33. ^ "Wood Family Story". YouTube.

External links[edit]