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Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Nearly five years ago I refuted a frequent Muslim argument that the Bible in Deuteronomy 18 is a prediction about Muhammad. I looked specifically at the argument as it was presented in A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam.

Among other things the booklet asserted concerning Deuteronomy 18 that:

So, this prophecy refers to Muhammad and not to Jesus, because Muhammad is more like Moses than Jesus.” (Page 34)

I followed up with a second post in which I further established the Christian claim that Deuteronomy 18 is not a prediction about Muhammad since it is instead a predication about Jesus Christ. I did this by noting the parallel between the account of Moses in Exodus with the account of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.  In our current post I want to further reinforce my point that the Bible in the New Testament presents Jesus as the parallel “New Moses” by looking at further parallels from the first few chapters of the book of Mark.  Readers might want to start with the first two posts I have linked before proceeding onward in order to get the maximum force of the argument.

After reading this ask yourself this question: Doesn’t biblical Messianic prophecies and Messianic typology make you more certain in your faith with the truth of Christianity and also increase your awe with the glory of God manifested through Jesus Christ?

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Here is tonight’s weekend nonfiction book review.

Robert F. Worth. A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS.  New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 18th 2017. 272 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredibly insightful book on the Arab Spring and the subsequent rise of extremism and tyranny as the uprising’s aftermath.  The author is a journalist who has spent considerable time in the Middle East both before, during and after the Arab Spring which contributed to the author’s experience and knowledge of things before and after the Arab Spring.  For those who are curious about the Middle East and want to understand more of the current events in that region this book should be on the top of one’s list.

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christian-apologetics-manual-on-islam-cornelius

 

If you are looking for a resource on Christian apologetics concerning Islam we are now hosting a manual on Islam written by a Christian name Cornelius.

It is 220 pages long.

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The other day I saw that Twitter was trending with the hashtag #BoycottDelta.  It was about how supposedly Delta Airlines was racist and bigoted in kicking out a Muslim name Adam Saleh for speaking Arabic.

It’s ironic that the left spends so much time talking about censoring fake news…would be the very ones falling for (you guessed it) fake news.

So to those on the left: If you were guillby trending and think is something on the right, you might be part of the problem.

Here’s David Wood exposing Adam Saleh.  David Wood responded really well and cogently and gives examples to consider just how problematic Adam Saleh’s attempt to get attention is.

Share this with others for the sake of the truth because the truth matters.

 

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A friend sent me this video that shows some good pointers in terms of an evangelist’s interaction with a Muslim.  I appreciated how the evangelist emphasized Gospel terminology such as holiness, justice, the Trinity, resurrection – instead of a sole focus on the apologetic spectrum.  In regards to the Gospel, it is critical to proclaim it because the objective is to reveal to the unbeliever the beauty of Gospel; hoping that they will be saved.

In terms of his apologetics, I appreciated his presuppositional approach.  The Bible is God’s only  transcendent and authoritative document for mankind, as opposed to the Qur’an.   There are many problems that one could address in one’s dialogue with a Muslim, but narrowing it down to a few, as seen in the video, is critical to the Christian/Muslim dialogue.  Some of the major problems are the Qur’an’s misrepresentation of the Trinity, Jesus, and the Bible.  These differences are what separates Muslims and Christians.  Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.

When it comes to the Bible, the Qur’an says in Surah 5:44, “It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers” (Yusuf Ali).  Surah 5:46 says, “And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah” (Yusuf Ali).

According to those two verses, the Qur’an views the Torah and Injil (Gospel) as the “guidance and light.”  Upon that basis,  no where in those two verses does it state that the Bible is corrupted as some Muslims would indicate.  Since those two verses upholds that the Torah and Injil (Gospel) are God’s Word; anyone who rejects them are disbelievers.  The issue is not with the content of the Torah or the Injil, but the issue is with the interpreters.   Another point to remember is Surah 5:47 which states, “Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel” (Yusuf Ali).  Hence, Surah 5:47 indicates that one is to judge what has been revealed by Allah in the Torah and the Gospel.  And when you look at the Torah and the Gospel, what truths do you see concerning the Trinity, Jesus, etc.?

Well in terms of the Gospels, Jesus claims directly that He claimed deity (John 5:25; 10:36; 11:4; 14:6; 17:1; Mark 14:61-62).  As for the Trinity, the Torah and the Gospel points to the three-in-one (one God, three persons).  For example, see Gen. 1:1-3, 26; Psalm 2:7; John 6:27; 8:58; Mark 2:7; John 24:52.  As for the Qur’an, there have been misrepresentations of the God-head.  For example, the Qur’an views the Trinity to mean the Father, Mother, and Son (Surah 4:166-172).  Clearly what we see is that the Qur’an does not represent the the views of Christianity correctly.  It goes in contradiction to the Torah and the Injil, which the Qur’an views as being sent from God.

This is where the real issue of the conversation boils down to between the Christian and Muslim – either accept the Qur’an’s teachings that is not sent by God Almighty and a book that also contradicts and misrepresents the Bible’s teachings on Jesus and the Trinity, or accept the Holy Bible that reveals the truth about God.  Much more can be said about this topic.  But for now, I would encourage you to watch the video below and to pray for the Muslim people that we love dearly.

To access the video, please see this link: 

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Crisis Bernard Lewis

 Purchase: Amazon

Authored by the famous Princeton Orientalist Bernard Lewis. I was looking forward to the book to see if Lewis might have had some different insight about Islam and radicalization of Islam that would be food for thought for me to nuance or even perhaps make me reconsider the specifics of my understanding of Islam. I don’t think this book gave me anything significantly new concerning the religion of Islam itself. Actually it seem to me that the book ended up being more about the geo-political realities of the Islamic Middle East rather than a deeper look into Islam or radical Islam itself.

THE GOOD
Perhaps the one point in the book that struck me was how one needs to distinguish very carefully between Muslims who believe in possible peace with the West and those who say “peace” but really only want a temporary truce with nonmuslims in the long struggle of Islamic domination. The implication of this means that one ought to be cautious of assuming that bridge building and seeking understanding alone will resolve the present crisis. Against our intuition, Lewis argues that Iranian hostage crisis was the result of improved relationship and not bad relations. Things was going too GOOD–hence radicals had to resort to means to ensure hostility continues.

I think the book also made a good point that the West’s policy of supporting a certain government in the Middle East and its failure to shore up any aid for that regime when it faces rising internal threats has encouraged Radicals. Think of Iran. Lewis argues that the perception of most Muslims in the Middle East is that this is an indication of how the West installs puppet government but when push comes to shove the West is weak and will betray their own puppets. This in turn make the US seem unhonorable and encourages those engage in Islamic insurgency to believe there is hope in their activities against present Middle Eastern government.

The book does a masterful job filling in some of the blank spot I had in understanding the West’s relationship with the Middle East during the Cold War. Lewis explains why most Arab state fail to see the Soviets as a threat even though Russia has been a threat historically to Muslim territories and oppressive to Muslims during the Communist era. Lewis points out that the limited Russian influence and colonialism among Arabian territory reduces the likelihood of being demonized as immediate Western extension into the Middle East. Lewis noted the great irony of how the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was even supported by Muslim countries who were allied with the Soviets, and these countries went so far as even voting against UN condemnation of the invasion and speaking favorably of the invasion!

THE BAD
At times he even seem to handle Islam with kids gloves; for instance, while the book does discuss about the Crusades there is no account of how Islam originally spread to historically Christian land prior to the Crusades that made them “Islamic lands” in the first place. While Lewis noted that Islamic law makes nonbelievers pay the jizya, an Islamic tax, he nevertheless said that it’s better to be a second class citizen than not being a citizen at all in some nations in the West. This strikes me as odd since I think the concept of “second class citizen” versus “no citizenship” is rather anachronistic and Lewis doesn’t go into details as to what he means nor does he give any specific example from the West.

This particular work was published in 2003 and considering that I read this book in 2013, I would say the last decade allows us to examine whether some of his point hold water. For instance, Lewis argues that the United States has been relatively successful in their influence of Middle East compare to other region which has resulted in failed military intervention and other disaster. One must remember the book was written prior to the invasion of Iraq and our involvement in Afghanistan was just on it’s second year. Afghanistan’s future remain uncertain.

Lewis presents the Middle Eastern narrative of how the US have low standards in the Middle East of tolerating and working with tyrannical regimes in contrast to other regions of the world; I don’t think that’s historically true (think of Vietnam, think of Africa). But if the West stop working with current Middle Eastern government means better relationship with the people of Middle East as whole? We must further ask: with the US support of Arab Springs does it show that being anti-establishment and pro-revolution actually improve public perception or actual relationship between the Islamic world and the US? And more importantly, with policies of ousting the established powers does it actually improve the rights of the people? Does it prevent terrorism from being exported to the West? Not necessarily, and in 2013 it’s hard to believe Lewis’ perspective. Lewis even talks about in the book of how in 1992 Syria violently put down a rebellion and how the West paid no attention to it. Ironically, twenty years later the West does pay attention to it–and support the rebellion whose identity is, well you guessed it, tied to Islamic extremists.

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James White

Two days ago I analyzed a frequent Muslim apologist’s argument that the Bible predicted the coming of Muhammad.  I thought it was timely that James White, a Christian apologists who the last few years have spent a lot of time and effort in researching, lecturing and debating on Islam, recently delivered a talk at Reformed Theological Seminary on the topic of why Muslims reject the Gospel.  I am encouraged to see an apologist who has the combination of original language exegetical skills, Presuppositional apologetics and Reformed theology addressing the cults and now Islam.

His book on Islam is coming out sometime this year.

Yesterday, EvangelZ also posted a book review on Piper’s response to the New Perspective on Paul.  James White earlier this month has also debated N.T. Wright, the audio which is made available here.

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