What we thought about...



11th September, 2005

Seeing God articles
Faith & Reason articles
Bible Teachings articles

Christianity and Islam

The religious world is rapidly polarizing around two major belief systems — Christianity and Islam. For some reason, evangelical fervor appears to characterize Muslims more than it does Christians. Further, as a general rule, Muslims seem to be far more sincere about, and devoted to, their religion than Christians are to theirs. I just heard a Muslim cleric from Melbourne say on the radio that he had no time for any other religion than Islam.

On this fourth anniversary of September 11, all people would do well to coolly ask the question, “Whose God is the true God?” Everybody foolishly assumes that the God they were brought up to believe in must be the genuine article. And I don't apologize for inserting “foolishly” in there, for glibly taking any assumption, untested, as the chief foundation for one's belief system amounts to folly.

I believe that a dispassionate consideration of the evidence will lead to the total exoneration of the God of the Bible, and the rejection of the Islamic God, Allah. But I hasten to add the conviction that Christendom has so misrepresented the biblical God that it's no surprise many people will have nothing to do with Him. Muslims in particular have good reason to reject the God of the church. After all, it was the head of the medieval church, Pope Urban VI, who raised an army to drive them out of Palestine. Not very nice. By the same token, the alleged God of the Koran is misrepresented by some of his followers who insist that Jews and Christians are all lost. The Koran, by contrast, says, “Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews… and the Christians, whosoever believes in

God and the last day, and does what is right, there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve” (The Chapter of the Table).

Compare the Koran with the Bible. Muslims believe the Koran is the eternal and uncreated Word of God. Yet study of it shows that in many ways it is a garbled version of biblical sayings that were written one to two thousand years earlier (which fact itself tells us something). Though it contains some noble thoughts, the Koran strikes one as a human contrivance. Do these words sound of divine origin?

But he who severs himself from the prophet after that we have made manifest to him the guidance, and follows other than the way of the believers, we will turn our backs on him as he hath turned his back; and we will make him reach hell, and a bad journey shall it be (The Chapter of Women).

You won't find anything similar in the bible. By contrast, the Bible not only rings of non-human origin, much of it is written in the divine first person; one can scarcely imagine a human being concocting words such as these:

“To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing (Is. 40:25-26).

You won't find anything similar in the Koran. One shines as the sun in full brilliance, the other merely as a lighthouse on a rock.


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