September 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm #20067
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Quershi
There‚Äôs really no question that Islam and Christianity are close to one another on the broader religious spectrum. They are both monotheistic, the largest two faith communities in the world, and they share many similarities. Each teaches the doctrine of an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing God who is sovereign over the universe. It is God who created mankind out of one man and one woman, yet mankind turns away from him. Each teaches that one day there will be a resurrection and final judgment. Before then, it is of paramount importance for us to seek God and follow him.
But the similarities between Islam and Christianity run even deeper, beyond the trappings of monotheism: Both lay claim to Abrahamic lineage; both teach that God has sent messengers, human and angelic, to steer people back to him; both teach that God has inspired divine scriptures to guide man; both teach that Satan is a deceiver that misleads the unwary; and both teach that believers ought to sacrificially care for each other and proclaim the truth to nonbelievers.
Perhaps the most surprising shared feature is reverence for Jesus. Both Islam and Christianity teach that Jesus was born of a virgin and that he was the most miraculous man who ever lived. Both the Bible and the Qu’ran teach that Jesus cleansed lepers, healed the blind, and even raised the dead. Indeed, both books teach that Jesus is the Messiah, and Muslims await his return, as do Christians. So there‚Äôs no question that there is much in common between Islam and Christianity. It would be biased to ignore this, especially considering that the gamut of worldviews runs from atheist to pantheist,
Where the difference matters most is in the ultimate message of each religion. According to Islam, the way to paradise is sharia, a code of laws to follow that will please Allah and earn his favor. Sharia is literally translated ‚Äúthe way.‚ÄĚ According to the Christian message, the gospel, the way to eternal life is Jesus. He said, ‚ÄúI am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me‚ÄĚ (John 14: 6). In Islam, sharia is the way, and in Christianity, Jesus is the way. How is it that the way to life in one religion is a law, whereas in the other faith it is a person? To understand, we have to compare sharia and the gospel.
[Qureshi, Nabeel. No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity (pp. 30-31).]
1.¬† How we perceive Islam and/or Christianity is certainly affected by our lack of knowledge of both faith traditions. ¬†Is this lack of knowledge leading us and them to be ignorant and/or phobic of the other’s faith?
2.¬† Is this perception and lack of understanding perhaps the root cause of our phobias?
3.¬† Does any faith have “the truth”?¬† What is “truth”?
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