Thursday, May 24, 2012

Basic differences between Islam & Christianity

The Dark Side of IslamThe Dark Side of Islam by R. C. Sproul & Abdul Saleeb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A straight-forward book that highlights basic, fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity in 4 areas: the Bible, God, humanity, and Christ. The closing chapter highlights the fact that violent Muslims, while not the majority of Islam, are nonetheless acting in concert with the teachings of Islam and not against them. This is not true of Christianity, where violence in the name of Christianity is inconsistent with the clear teachings of Scripture. The authors close with encouragement, not to crusade against Muslims, but to lovingly witness to Muslims.

The Bible: Muslims believe the Bible has been valuable, but it has been corrupted by the Jews and Christians. The Qu'ran is the preeminent revelation.

God: Muslims see the notion of God as our Father as abhorrent, for the Qu'ran is clear that Allah has not children. Such is beneath him. Nonetheless, many ex-Muslim Christians came to Christ because of the intimacy offered by a Heavenly Father. Further, Muslims deny the doctrine of the Trinity, accusing Christians of blasphemy and of incoherence.

Humanity: Islam does not hold to the inherent sinfulness of human beings. Because sin is not emphasized in Islam, neither is salvation. One's eternal destiny essentially comes down to the scales of his life: Do his righteous deeds outweigh his wicked works, or vice versa? Another difference with Christianity is the lack of assurance of salvation. In Islam, there is no way to know whether one will be saved.

Christ: Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross. Prophets of God don't die in dishonorable ways, so the person who died many thought to be Jesus but in fact was another man. Neither do Muslims believe in the deity of Christ; indeed, he himself did not teach it or believe it.

This is not a profound read, but it is a good primer on the subject, and the authors combine to give a knowledgeable understanding of Islam (Abdul Saleeb) as well as an accessible understanding of specific points of Christian theology in response (Sproul). 

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