My son Noah’s AP World History class did a May Madness competition between 64 of the supposedly most influential individuals in world history. Each student represents an individual then argues against their opponent for who has had the most influence on World History. For more details of the first 5 rounds, click here.
I left you yesterday just as I had announced who was in the Championship match: Jesus versus Muhammad. Noah was Jesus. His opponent had a second character, Benazir Bhutto (first female prime minister of Pakistan) whom she got into the Elite Eight. She was good.
(The reason I didn’t give the result yesterday wasn’t to leave you in suspense. It was late and I was tired. At that point a sequel seemed like a brilliant idea.)
This debate was structured differently than some of the previous debates, with questions from the class. Some of the questions seemed to favor the founder of Islam, “Which of you had more impact while you were alive?”
They both made good points.
Muhammad talked about how he united the Arabian peninsula.
Jesus countered by pointing out that his followers united Europe.
Muhammad said his was the world’s most rapidly growing religion.
Jesus spoke about how Christianity was the world’s greatest religion.
Muhammad talked about 1-2 billion copies of the Koran.
Jesus said there were 6 billion copies of the Bible.
In the end, the class voted and… Muhammad defeated Jesus (in this debate).
Afterwards, Noah was a little discouraged that he didn’t win, particularly with Jesus. He said he forgot to make some of his key points (e.g., dating A.D.).
I reminded him of how well he did. In Nate’s class 2 years ago and in the other class this year, Jesus lost in the 1st round.
But more than the fact that he took Jesus to the championship, I told him that I was proud of him, proud that he had argued for Jesus. I’m sure there were other Christians in the class who picked before him (Noah had the 17th pick), but they didn’t do what he did. Noah chose Jesus. I pray he continues to choose Jesus for the rest of his days.
What arguments would you give for the significance of Jesus or Muhammad in World History?