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In our secular culture today there is a popular belief that all religions lead to the same god, and all religions are basically good so all we need to do is co-exist. but is that true? Statistics show that the majority of people worldwide are either Christian or Muslim. When we look at these two religions how do they answer those secular claims?
Nabeel Qureshi, Christian Apologist, former Muslim and author of the book: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, gives valuable insight to both faiths and the ultimate search for truth. Watch this 12 minute interview and then watch a more in-depth presentation at the end of this post:
A summarization of some major differences between the two faiths (information gathered from Christian Apologetics’ courses at Biola University):
A brief historical overview:
Based on historical records and narratives of the Genesis era we can make some of the following comparisons:
Islam does shares some early beliefs with Judaism and Christianity such as the Creation, Cain and Abel, Abraham and the Covenant, but they split sharply at the births of Ismael and Isaac. Islam claims Ishmael, not Isaac, as the promised son and the near sacrifice. However, there is no support that God gave Ismael the promise of the Covenant as there is for Him giving it to Isaac, and then to Isaac’s son Jacob (also known as Israel). Islam also reveres Moses as a great prophet, but they cannot connect Moses to the lineage of Ishmael. We know that Moses can be historically traced to the tribe of Levi who was a son of Jacob (Israel), a son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.
The religion of Islam began with the life of Mohammad (AD 570-632). It is said that he was mysteriously given the sayings of the Qur’an in a vision with the angel Gabriel. It is reported that Mohammad received his first revelation from the angel around AD 610 (seven centuries after Jesus). Mohammad tried to be a prophet to both Jews and Christians, but both groups rejected him. This most likely lead to his fierce rejection of Jews and Christians as “infidels.” In AD 622 Muhammad established a political order and central authority and was the military leader of some 27 battles. He also planned 55 others that included mass killings, rapes and forceful conversions to Islam.
Christianity continues the historical narrative that began in the Old Testament and is based on the fulfillment of God’s Covenant Promise, and the hundreds of prophecies contained within these Scriptures, by Jesus. Christianity’s massive following took off immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus and spread rapidly over the next several centuries. Even through severe persecution and death of many of its followers Christianity grew and became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.
Today, Classical Christianity follows Jesus (the promised Messiah) and the teachings of the early Church who knew Him. Christians follow the Bible that consists of the Old Testament history and prophecy pointing to Jesus, and the New Testament teachings after His fulfillment of those things. Unlike Islam, there is no promotion of violence in Christianity. Believers are mandated to love others, defending and sharing the teachings of their faith when asked about the hope that they have in Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20 and 1 Peter 3:15), and this includes loving and sharing with those of the Islamic faith.
- Christianity is about God’s hesed love for us and our responsibility to love all people into the Kingdom of God.
- Islam does not share this view of God’s love and relationship, and in some sects of Islam death is the penalty for the “infidels” who do not convert.
Who is Allah vs. God, are they really the same?
- Allah is portrayed in the Qur’an as a god who is unapproachable and who makes no attempt to communicate with His creation in a personal way.
- Allah demands blind faith and complete obedience to his rules and regulations; he has only given revelations through his prophets and angels, with Muhammad being the greatest.
- Allah guides or leads astray whomever he pleases and man is, and always will be, bond-slaves of Allah.
- Allah is one-dimensional and neither desires nor is able to have a relationship with his creation.
- Muslims have 99 names for Allah’s character, not one of those names shows him to be a god of love.
- Muslims believe that Allah might care for those who do his will, and he will hate those who do not.
- Allah may will or not will someone into paradise as it is his prerogative, the only guarantee is being martyred through an act of jihad (murder of infidels).
- A follower of Allah must contemplate the scales of his life and hope that the weight of the good side outweighs the bad side so that he may be considered for paradise by Allah.
- Prayer is a requirement, not a relationship.
- Allah has many prophets, Jesus was one of the great prophets, but Mohammad was the greatest and last, and it is a great sin to say Allah had a son.
- Muslims do not believe in the concept of the Trinity, they wrongly view Christians as believing in three gods, the punishment for this view is death.
- Muslims do not believe that Jesus died and was resurrected, instead they believe Allah replaced Jesus with Judas, or that Jesus only swooned on the cross and did not die.
- God is the great “I AM” (YAWH). He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. He is the Creator of all things and He loved the things He created, thus the plan of redemption to bring His creation back to a relationship with Him.
- The God of the Bible is real and knowable. We see this in His fingerprints throughout human history and through His actions in our lives and the lives of those who have gone before.
- God’s relationship with humans began in the Garden of Eden where God walked and talked with Adam and Eve until they became deceived by Satan and committed the great sin that caused our separation from God.
- In the Old Testament the only way to God was through the Law, which no one could keep, thus pointing to the need for a Savior. God sent His Son to redeem us from the Law and penalty of death.
- Our God reveals Himself through His creation seen in nature, through His Word—the Bible, through the example of His Son Jesus, and He continues to reveal Himself to us through His Holy Spirit.
- Our God is relational. He desires to have a personal and intimate relationship with us. He is near to us and is intimately involved in every detail of our lives.
- Our God is just and forgiving, but as a holy and righteous God He must punish sin. Yet God provided a forgiving way back to Him through the sacrifice of His Only Son, and for all who would respond he offers mercy and grace.
- Our God listens to our prayers and prayer is a means of relationship with Him.
- Our God is a Father who condescended himself through His Son Jesus to be a sacrifice on our behalf so that we could be with Him in His house (Heaven) for eternity.
- Our God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide and transform us back into the image that was lost in the Fall. He does this by changing our hearts, minds and spirits (born again).
- Our God is unconditional and complete love: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 and that is why Jesus is the only way to heaven, John 14:6: “I am the way, truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.”
- Jesus was fully God and fully man. He is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. The concept of the Trinity does not take away the sovereignty of God. The Trinity means that God is three persons in one being—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is not three gods, nor is He one God acting in three different ways. The Bible tells us that God is three distinct persons and that they are one in the being of God. The Trinity shows us why God is a God of relationship and love. Christians see this as one of the mysteries of God, but this mystery is explained in numerous verses of the Bible, both Old and New Testament.
Nabeel Qureshi, Christian Apologist, former Muslim and author of the book: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, gives insight to both faiths and the ultimate search for truth. Please take some time and watch this in-depth presentation for the times we live in today:
Many Muslims say that the Bible is corrupted and the Qur’an is not. An easy way to share Bible historicity and authenticity is the acronym MAPS-S:
- M=Manuscripts. 25,000 (plus) early New Testament manuscripts with over 5800 and climbing (due to new archeological finds) in the original Greek language and the scholarly field of textual criticism finding 99.5% agreement within them indicating an exact match to the autograph. Bibles today, like NASB, NIV or KJV, have only been translated once from the original language
- A=Archeology. 25,000 (plus) archeology finds that have confirmed Biblical accounts. None have been found that disprove any historical, geographical or physical accounts in the Bible.
- P=Prophecy. 300 (plus) specific, incidental and repeated prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the life and times of Jesus Christ. None of the Old Testament prophecies have been disproven and many are still to come.
- S=Science. The Bible has amazing scientific authenticity and makes no claims that are considered scientific absurdities.
- S=Saved Lives. Millions of saved lives are seen through the centuries evidenced by changed lives confessed by the saving work of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.
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