A Letter to a Christian

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// November 13th, 2006 // Blog

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind

Peace be upon those who follow true guidance.

Hello again CE,

Thanks for your comment on my blog. No offence taken. I also thank you for all your advice on DT's blog. I thought it would only be fair if i return the favour.

Furthermore, we are all sinners and all deserve God's wrath. And there is nothing we can do to change that.

We might all be prone to sin, and thus deserving of punishment but we do have a choice – to seek forgiveness and repent, or not. God is independent of His creation and does not change, nor did He need to change anything else. His way has been the same from the time of Adam (peace be upon him) and will be until the last human being steps forth onto this planet: Don't sin, but if you do, I am ever-ready to forgive you as long as you repent. There was no need for Jesus or anyone else to die for our sins.

Any disagreement we have is strictly in the arena of ideas.

That is true – but in the end ideas only take you so far. When human beings take their own ideas or the ideas of other humans too seriously, that is when the trouble begins.

That is why there is no point of us arguing over ideas. In fact, i can imagine DT laughing at us now – two delusional religionists arguing over their delusions!

For this reason I am going to pull the scientist card on you now. We both believe in one God, in His angels, His Books, His Messengers, in Heaven and Hell and the Divine Decree. Right? The crux of the matter is this: you believe Jesus was the Son of God, and i believe that He was a blessed messenger of God. For either of us to accept the other's idea, and reject our own, we must bring proofs to support them. Reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative.

The only proofs we should accept are the words of God Himself, i.e., the revelations, as no man has the authority to say about God that which is has not said about Himself. Agreed?

Let's make it even simpler. We both agree that the Gospels (the teachings of Jesus Christ) were a revelation from God. At least i believe they were originally from God, but now they have been modified by the hands of man and thus not as reliable. Even so, it is evident that there still exists some truth in them.

From my experience of Christian teachings and my general reading, I propose that you are not able to prove Jesus Christ's divinity from the Gospels. For one he never calls himself the Son of God, but rather the Son of Man. The strongest argument you may have is the miracle of the virgin birth. Rather than respond to this in my own words, i will quote directly from the Qur'an. There is strong evidence that the Qur'an is the literal Word of God, in which case God is addressing you and your brothers in faith (the People of the Book) directly in the following passage from Surah Imran, verses 42-71 [intepretation of the meaning]:


42 Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allāh hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations.
43 “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.”
44 This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Messenger) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point).
45 Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allāh giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allāh.
46 “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”
47 She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: Allāh createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!
48 “And Allāh will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel,
49 “And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allāh's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allāh's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;
50 “'(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allāh, and obey me.
51 “'It is Allāh Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'”
52 When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allāh.” Said the disciples: “We are Allāh's helpers: We believe in Allāh, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims.
53 “Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger. then write us down among those who bear witness.”
54 And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allāh too planned, and the best of planners is Allāh.
55 Behold! Allāh said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.
56 “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”
57 “As to those who believe and work righteousness, Allāh will pay them (in full) their reward; but Allāh loveth not those who do wrong.”
58 “This is what we rehearse unto thee of the Signs and the Message of Wisdom.”
59 The similitude of Jesus before Allāh is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was.
60 The Truth (comes) from Allāh alone; so be not of those who doubt.
61 If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: “Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allāh on those who lie!”
62 This is the true account: There is no god except Allāh, and Allāh, He is indeed the Exalted in Power, the Wise.
63 But if they turn back, Allāh hath full knowledge of those who do mischief.
64 Say: “O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allāh, that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allāh.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allāh's Will).
65 Ye People of the Book! Why dispute ye about Abraham, when the Law and the Gospel Were not revealed Till after him? Have ye no understanding?
66 Ah! Ye are those who fell to disputing (even) in matters of which ye had some knowledge! but why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? It is Allāh Who knows, and ye who know not!
67 Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allāh's (which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allāh.
68 Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, as are also this Messenger and those who believe: And Allāh is the Protector of those who have faith.
69 It is the wish of a section of the People of the Book to lead you astray. But they shall lead astray (not you), but themselves, and they do not perceive!
70 Ye People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allāh, of which ye are (Yourselves) witnesses?
71 Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while ye have knowledge?

I wonder if you have ever read that passage before? I think you will find it very similar to the story related in the Gospels, right? That Mary was a pure and noble woman who was chosen by God to bear Jesus, even though she was a virgin; the exalted position of Jesus in the sight of God; him being blessed with wisdom and knowledge of the Law; the great miracles he performed by God's Will; the disciples being his helpers in faith; and his being raised up to God (but he was alive and not crucified). Muslims are even told Jesus will return to Earth one day. His arrival will be a major sign of the Day of Judgement. He will defeat the false Messiah and peace will envelop the Earth during His reign until he dies a natural death. Then things will progressively get worse till the end of time…

This is not, as some have suggested, a heinous plot by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers to imitate Judeo-Christian teachings (surely, he is above what they say). It is simply a confirmation of the truth that has previously been revealed by God to humanity, and a rejection of the lies that man has created about God.

Say ye: “We believe in Allāh, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allāh (in Islam).” [Qur'an, 2:136]

By sharing all this with you I am not asking you to betray your own and join “our club”. Faith is not about tribalism. So what are you giving up by rejecting the unproven concept that Jesus was the Son of God? To paraphrase the Qur'an, Adam was created by God from dust without any parents, yet Jesus had a mother. So how can the virgin birth be evidence of his divinity? In actual fact you are not giving up a thing – you are only gaining proximity to God and His favour. You will only be increasing in love and respect for Jesus Christ – peace and blessings of God be upon him – as you will not be blaspheming against him. You will be following his way to the letter as his way was the way of all the prophets before him, and that of the final messenger of God, Muhammad (peace be upon them all). You will still be asked to practise charity, mercy, patience, humility and justice – you will still be asked to love thy neighbour and forgive thy enemies. All the teachings of Jesus that are universally beloved by all who believe.

God the Just in His infinite mercy has given mankind one last chance to worship Him as He has always asked to be worshipped – alone, without partner. That is all Islam is – the literal meaning being: submission to God in peace and obedience.

As a believer, do not these words call to your very soul?

If you are worried about my trustworthiness then i understand. You do not know me and i do not know you. I am not asking you to accept Islam at my hands, i am simply passing on the message. Take your time and reflect on everything i have said. Please read the Qur'an and the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) if you haven't already. I know they will only confirm your faith in God and your love of righteous good deeds because i have read the Bible and i know many Christians, and i know that sincerity lies in their hearts. I also ask that while you reflect on Islam you remove any prejeudice from your mind – all the false accusations of backwardness and savagery. Just as you would ask me to ignore the lies spread about Christianity. Please judge the merits of the faith on how it describes itself and not by the weakness of its followers (especially this one!).

In the end, what separates us is one idea, and ideas are only as good as their proofs.

I wish you the best on your journey in life – i pray God guides us both to the true path that is most pleasing to Him. Any truth i have said is from God and any errors are from me.

Respectfully yours,

iMuslim

14 Responses to “A Letter to a Christian”

  1. ConcernedEngineer says:

    iMuslim,

    I will say this much: I truly appreciate the manner in which you are presenting to me your beliefs. Thus far, you appear to be sincere and kind. This is greatly appreciated. Indeed, it is the right thing to do and the right way to be. I extend to you my friendship – even if we have major theological differences. I believe as Jesus taught that the greatest commands are to love God and to love one another. The civil manner in which you are addressing me is very much appreciated.

    When I say that our disagreements are in the arena of ideas, I mean that when we disagree, I am not attempting to personally attack and/or degrade. That is not to say that this debate is merely an academic exercise. It is not. It should impact our hearts and our lives. But what I am saying is that when I point out your error and sin, I am striving to be your friend as I do.

    As I read the passage from the Koran that you shared with me, am I intepreting it right that Islam teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin – a woman who had never engaged in sexual intercourse?

    I do agree with you that we are entirely dependent on revelation in order to know the truth about God. Without divine revelation, we can not know God.

    Let me just be upfront and let you right away that I do not accept the Koran as the Word of God.

    On the Gospels: You believe that they were from God, but that they have been corrupted. Well, to what extent do you believe that they have been corrupted?

    As we both believe in the gospels – to one degree or another – then I suppose that if I can show you from the gospels that what I believe is what the gospels teach – and that the texts that I use are reliable – then you will have to accept what I say. Are we agreed?

    As far as the morality that you describe, I think that it is safe to say that if what you are describing is truly the morality that Islam teaches, then Islam certainly has some things right. Of course, it is possible for a religion or a philosopher to get some doctrines right and others wrong. The ancient Greeks, for example, did not believe in the God of Abraham, but they did have some good ideas. So, I am ready to accept all the good and true ideas of Islam, but, of course, I will reject the evil and false ideas that Islam teaches.

    So, why don’t we start going through the gospels. Let us see what they say and what they do not say. I’d like to know what you accept and what you do not accept and why.

    For starters: Matthew 16. I challenge you to read Matthew 16 – the account of Jesus talking with Simon about the identity of Christ. In that passage, Peter made the “good confession” in which he declared, “You are the Christ – the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus replied by pronouncing a blessing on Simon, asserting that this knowledge was revealed to him, changed his name, and started talking about this thing called the church (in Greek – ecclesia – those who have been called out). This is the first time in the Bible, that the word church is used – and it is used when Peter recognized that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the Living God.

    This is one place where we see that the gospels teach that Jesus is the Son of God. If Jesus is not the Son of God, surely he would have corrected Peter. “Nice try Simon, but no, I’m only a prophet, not the Son of God. I am not divine.” But He never said that.

  2. iMuslim says:

    Hello CE

    I am very happy that you took my advice to be just that. We are both approaching each other for a similar purpose – to call the other to what we each perceive to be the truth.

    One of the things i did not appreciate before practicing Islam was the way that certain people would share the message of God in an open way. I attended a Christian school and sometimes we would have visits from preachers and the like. My friends and I used to call them Bible Bashers! I know, it’s terrible, but we were young! It was only after truly accepting Islam did i realize that such people were not calling to God to remind us of our faults and make us feel bad, but rather they were doing it out of genuine concern for our welfare, both in this life and the next. They wanted the best not just for themselves, but for everyone. This is true love for humanity – what else could it be? If a person genuinely believes that they hold the knowledge that will grant salvation, then wouldn’t keeping it secret be the most selfish act possible? Now i find myself turning into such a person, and i wonder how my friends would react to that?! Qur’an basher doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

    Of course the limit lies at acceptance of the message; no-one should ever be forced into it. That is why i find the accusation that muslims regularly force people into Islam quite ludicrous and unjust. The very nature of Islam would prevent this as it is the willful submission of oneself to God in peaceful obedience. Anyway, people have their own motives for spreading lies – truth stands out clear from error and it always will.

    As I read the passage from the Koran that you shared with me, am I intepreting it right that Islam teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin – a woman who had never engaged in sexual intercourse?

    That is correct.

    Let me just be upfront and let you right away that I do not accept the Koran as the Word of God.

    Well CE, i kind of expected that else you’d be a muslim already!

    However do you not accept it because you think the evidence is lacking or because there are teachings of Islam you do not agree with (such as Jesus not being God) or some other reason? Have you ever read the translation of the entire Qur’an? There are a few good ones to choose from. I have read the one by Yusuf Ali which many people like (it is the one i usually quote from), although if i come across a verse i don’t understand i sometimes refer to other translations and this often makes things clearer. In case you do not know, the Qur’an was actually revealed in Arabic, and it has been completely preserved in this language for over 1400 years. Due to the richness of the arabic language, the Qur’an cannot be completely “translated” word-for-word into other languages and so translations are sometimes referred to as “interpretations of the meaning”. The English translations are sufficient for the purpose of understanding the message and learning basic lessons, but one cannot rely on them to make formal Islamic rulings – only the original Qur’an can be used in this case. I hope that makes sense!

    On the Gospels: You believe that they were from God, but that they have been corrupted. Well, to what extent do you believe that they have been corrupted?

    I am not a student of comparative theology [or even Islam!] so my understanding is based on the little knowledge i have accumulated during my short life! Before i answer your question, it might be useful for me to first explain the Islamic position on the Prophets and the previous revelations.

    Islam teaches that every nation has been sent a Prophet to guide the people to worship God alone, and to steer them away from any wrong-doing. Some Prophets were given revelation such as Abraham, David (Psalms), Jesus (Gospel), and Moses (Torah). These were specifically mentioned in the Qur’an, but there have been many more. The remaining Prophets were sent as warners to their people and relied on the previous revelations available to them, such as Lot, Solomon the son of David, Zachariah and his son John. etc. Thus over the course of time there have been many thousands of Prophets sent in order that no people would be left to go astray. That is truly the Mercy of God. May God’s peace be upon them all.

    One question to ask at this point is why did God keep sending down new revelations to mankind – especially as each revelation was only a confirmation of the previous one? For example, why did He reveal the Gospels to Jesus (peace be upon him) when the Torah was still available at his time, and the Qur’an to Muhammad (peace be upon him) when both of the previous scriptures are still with us? The following verses from the Qur’an explain (5:12-16):

    12 Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And Allah said: “I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, practise regular charity, believe in my apostles, honour and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude.”
    13 But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them – barring a few – ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind.
    14 From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.
    15 O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary). There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book, [the Qur’an] –
    16 Wherewith Allah guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light,- guideth them to a path that is straight.

    So the corruption of the previous scriptures was due the people in charge of the scriptures making alterations to them for their own selfish purposes, or hiding parts to exercise control, and some parts were lost or forgotten over the passage of time. That is why God kept on sending Prophets with new revelations so that the people would not have to rely on incomplete scriptures. Once again, this is truly a Mercy from God, the Most Merciful and Just.

    We both know that this world is a finite one, and i’m sure Christian prophecies also indicate that we are now living in the end times. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen as the final messenger of God, and the Qur’an is the final revelation of God. His appointment was the first sign of the Day of Judgment. Thus God promised that the Qur’an will be protected from the abuse that the previous revelations were subjected to, so that people will have access to the complete truth from the time that the Qur’an was revealed until the end of days:

    Say: “Shall I seek for judge other than Allah – when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail.” They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt. The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. [6:114-115]

    And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt tho

    u find as a refuge other than Him. [18:27]

    This is truly one of the many miracles of the Qur’an – since the time it was revealed not one letter has been lost, added, or changed from it’s proper place – as God promised. That is a proven fact – not a hypothesis/ theory!

    As we both believe in the gospels – to one degree or another – then I suppose that if I can show you from the gospels that what I believe is what the gospels teach – and that the texts that I use are reliable – then you will have to accept what I say. Are we agreed?

    I acknowledge the reference of Matthew you gave. I haven’t read the Bible for a while now, so thank you for reminding me of that verse.

    However, now that i have explained my perspective, you must understand that i cannot agree to your proposal. For one, i believe the evidence for the Qur’an being the complete word of God is too great – thus it would not make sense for me to rely on “lesser” texts, even those that were originally divine in origin. Plus the evidence for the corruption of the Bible is far too great. Are there not many Christian scholars who are in disagreement about the origins of various verses and books within the Bible? There are many versions of the Bible – which one would you be preaching from? Why should i trust that it is the correct one? Even the four main gospels disagree in places. There is no chain of narration for the Gospels, meaning that no-one knows for sure exactly who wrote them and whether the versions we have now are 100% reliable.

    Again i am not saying all this to offend you – i am trying to explain why the Qur’an is simply an “upgrade” of what you already have access to. All God’s revelations are equal in truth at the time of being revealed, but once they have been altered by the hands of men, or lost in parts to history, they cannot be fully relied upon, especially when in the presence of the complete truth.

    At this point i would propose that it would be futile for us both to argue over the authenticity of the Gospels or other books within the Bible. I have read the Bible and the Qur’an and both my heart and head can clearly see where they are similar, but also the large differences between them in terms of consistency.

    If you have read the Qur’an and have not come to the same conclusion then that is fair enough. But it would be interesting to know what you found to be lacking in the Qur’an. Again i am not a student or scholar of Islam, but i can always refer your questions to those more knowledgeable then myself. It would be an interesting exercise for me as i am always in need of more knowledge!

    So, I am ready to accept all the good and true ideas of Islam, but, of course, I will reject the evil and false ideas that Islam teaches.

    Naturally, however it would be better to first entirely accept or reject the origins of those ideas, i.e., the Qur’an and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him). In terms of morality, i cannot think of a good example where Muslims and Christians differ… even if Christian women do not observe official “hijab”, i am sure they have been taught to dress modestly – and the nun’s habit looks very similar to what muslim women wear (in fact a sister i know was mistaken for a nun while on holiday in Italy!). There are definitely some other issues we disagree on but they are not on issues of morality, and are due to differences in the scripture. For example, the Qur’an does not describe the exact sequence of events involved in the creation of the heavens and the earth, but this is described in detail in the Bible (Genesis, i believe?). Also Muslims do not believe in the concept of original sin (but neither do all Christians i think). The Qur’an relates that both Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to eat from the tree which then lead to their expulsion from Paradise. They were both accountable for this sin, but they asked God for forgiveness and being oft-Forgiving, He accepted their repentance. Thus there is no sin to “inherit” and each person is accountable for their own actions.

    On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.” [Qur’an 2:286]

    I pray that my response was helpful, God-willing, and once again i pray God guides us both to the truth – it is truly a journey of a lifetime.

    Best wishes,

    iMuslim

  3. ConcerendEngineer says:

    iMuslim,

    I glanced over your recent post and will read it through carefully later. In the meantime, I found a very interesting website that “proves” the doctrine of the Trinity. Check it out:

    http://www.contenderministries.org/biblestudy/trinity.php

  4. ConcernedEngineer says:

    iMuslim,
    I also propose right from the get-go, that we respond directly to each point the other person makes. I think that in our zeal, both of us might default to teacher mode and gloss over the other person’s major points. While we each may already be dismissing certain arguments as erroneous, wrong, heretical, etc, out of respect for the person (not necessarily the idea or doctrine), we should at least read it over and respond to it directly.

    In this way, we might both learn something about patience – which I think we can agree would be a good thing. ;)

    So, when I get a chance, I will read through and respond to each of the points you have thus far made that I have yet to respond to. I ask that you do the same for me (because I have made some really important points that you really can not afford to miss).

  5. ConcernedEngineer says:

    “I am very happy that you took my advice to be just that. We are both approaching each other for a similar purpose – to call the other to what we each perceive to be the truth.”

    Yes, we are. Of course, the difference is that I am right, and in rejecting the doctrine of the atonement, you are wrong.

    “However do you not accept it because you think the evidence is lacking or because there are teachings of Islam you do not agree with (such as Jesus not being God) or some other reason?”

    There are teachings of Islam that I reject (such as Islam’s rejection of the doctrine of atonement – big deal). Therefore, a book that teaches this error is a book that has errors in it. It goes against the revelation I have received from the Almighty; thus, it is wrong.

    That said, I am sure that there are some wonderful and beautiful and poetic passages in the Qur’an. Some of the passages probably do encourage things like charity and kindness and other “Biblical virtues.” So, the Qur’an does not get everything wrong, but it is certainly not the inpsired Word of God.

    “Have you ever read the translation of the entire Qur’an?”

    No. I also have never read the Book of Mormon or the Bhagavad Gita.

    “In case you do not know, the Qur’an was actually revealed in Arabic, and it has been completely preserved in this language for over 1400 years.”

    Perhaps some day I will learn Arabic, but I think I would rather learn Hebrew and Greek – and maybe Italian and Latin and perhaps Spanish first. I also want to run a marathon, climb mountains, play sports, play music, and spend some great time with my wife. Yeah… I’m probably not gonna get to Arabic.

    “The English translations are sufficient for the purpose of understanding the message and learning basic lessons, but one cannot rely on them to make formal Islamic rulings – only the original Qur’an can be used in this case.”

    Since I reject the Qur’an, this does not really matter to me.

    “Islam teaches that every nation has been sent a Prophet to guide the people to worship God alone, and to steer them away from any wrong-doing. Some Prophets were given revelation such as Abraham, David (Psalms), Jesus (Gospel), and Moses (Torah). These were specifically mentioned in the Qur’an, but there have been many more. The remaining Prophets were sent as warners to their people and relied on the previous revelations available to them, such as Lot, Solomon the son of David, Zachariah and his son John. etc. Thus over the course of time there have been many thousands of Prophets sent in order that no people would be left to go astray. That is truly the Mercy of God. May God’s peace be upon them all.”

    When the Bible uses the word “nation” as I have been taught, the Hebrew word is better translated “people group.” How exactly are you using the word nation? See this is significant, because, if by nation, you mean a certain people bounded by a political and geographical boundary, that is one thing, but if by nation, you mean, “people group,” well, then the nation of Papua New Guinea has thousands of nations (tribes) – with different languages and cultures.

    Are you saying that Islam teaches that every single people group or tribe has had a prophet speak to them?

    While talking about nations in Genesis 12:1-3, God made Abraham several promises.

    “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.’

    ‘I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
    I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
    I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
    and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'” (New International Version – emphasis mine)

    Now Abram was a Hebrew (Genesis 14:13). He was a descendent of Shem and Eber (from which the word Hebrew comes) (Genesis 10:21-26, 11:10-27). He became the ancestor of the Arabs through Ishmael and Esau and the Israelites through Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Isaac was the son of the promise, and the blessed nation being discussed here is Israel. However, Israel was blessed to be a blessing to all nations. This covenant was often forgotten by Israel, and they often mistreated those who were not Israelites – pridefully seeing themselves as “God’s people” while the rest of the world were “Gentile dogs.” The prophets repeatedly confronted them for these and other sins.

    But the point is that through Israel came many prophets (as you have pointed out already) – Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jonah, Malachi, etc). Very rarely did people listen to the prophets. They told the people to repent, and people don’t like to repent, so many prophets were killed.

    And then, according to prophecy, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary – the Son of God. John 1 clearly teaches that Jesus is the incarnate Word – which was with God and which was God from the beginning.

    In this way, God kept and is keeping His promise that He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. Through Jesus, people from all nations are coming to faith and being blessed. God’s family is a multicultural family. In Christ, we are united. All of us who believe in Christ, have been freely justified by faith.

    Won’t you recognize that no one can be made righteous by observing the law, that through the law we merely become conscious of sin? Won’t you recognize that God will not abandon His holiness and justice? Won’t you realize that you therefore need a Savior? Can’t you see that Jesus died on the cross for you, paying the price for your sin, so that you can receive the free gift of salvation? Don’t you see that salvation can never be earned, but only freely given and freely received by a merciful and just God?

    As for the Islamic charge that the Bible has been corrupted:

    If the Torah was corrupted, then why 1500 years after Moses, did Jesus quote the Torah when He was tempted?

    Which parts of the Torah have been corrupted?

    How do you know that Mohammed was an authentic prophet? How do you know that he really heard from God? How do you know that he recorded the supposed revelation correctly?

    What – specifically – does Islam add to Christianity? The Bible tells me to be good and kind and righteous and holy and merciful and humble and all that other good stuff. What does the Qur’an have to add to that?

    On the end times…
    We are in the end times, and there are many false teachers and false prophets. Mohammed was a false prohet. Same with Joseph Smith. (It is interesting how much Mormonism parallels Islam. When I debated a couple Mormons a couple months ago, I told them some of the same things I’m telling you).

    “This is truly one of the many miracles of the Qur’an – since the time it was revealed not one letter has been lost, added, or changed from it’s proper place – as God promised. That is a proven fact – not a hypothesis/ theory!” Even if the Qur’an has been preserved completely (which I highly doubt), the initial “revelation” was no revelation at all – but a deception. Anyone who preaches against the message of the cross is in error.

    “I acknowledge the reference of Matthew you gave. I haven’t read the Bible for a while now, so thank you for reminding me of that verse.”

    What do you mean by “acknowledge”? This is a huge deal. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the Living God, and Jesus said that he was right and that this knowledge was revealed to him from above. Are you acknowledging then that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the Living God?

    Without the atonement, there is no salvation. Salvation can never be by works. To think otherwise is prideful and arrogant.

    God bless. May

    He lead us both to His truth.

  6. iMuslim says:

    Bismillah-irahma-niraheem – In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind

    Thanks CE once again for taking the time to respond.

    I have tried to do the same for most of your points, but some i have not responded to on purpose (such as your comment about not having the time to learn arabic and comparing Islam to Mormonism) as i didn’t think they related to the overall debate.

    There are teachings of Islam that I reject (such as Islam’s rejection of the doctrine of atonement – big deal). Therefore, a book that teaches this error is a book that has errors in it. It goes against the revelation I have received from the Almighty; thus, it is wrong.

    With all respect, this is a BIG mistake. When assessing the validity of a revelation you do not look at just WHAT it says and whether it agrees with your ideas of God and religion. If this was the case, how would you convince me that the Bible is the absolute 100% word of God when it may contain ideas that i do not agree with as a muslim, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him)? How would you convince a Jew to accept the teachings of the Bible when it takes away from the idea that the Children of Israel are no longer the “chosen people”? How would convince a Hindu to accept Christianity when it preaches monotheism (supposedly) when they are polytheistic? How would you preach to a Buddhist or a non-religious atheist when they do not believe in God at all?!!

    This method is flawed and unscientific.

    To assess the authenticity of a revelation being from God you have to take several approaches. Firstly you have to first define who and what God is. If you do not believe in God in the first place this becomes more of a challenge, but for us it is simpler. Christianity and Islam share in the idea that God is perfect in every way. Perfectly good, perfectly wise, perfectly just, all-Knowing, all-Seeing etc. So now the revelation – both the Bible and the Qur’an – must be judged on this basis AND NO OTHER. Forget the atonement and any other ideas that are based on religious doctrine.

    If God plonked you on this Earth today as a conscious being with a blank memory and no preconceived notions of there even being a God, and you were in the middle of nowhere with no priests or imams or any other person to influence you, what conclusions would you come to from observing the world around you? You may come to realize that there is a God from witnessing the miracles of life and the order of the surrounding universe, and that he must be wise and powerful to achieve such splendour, but could you honestly say that the Trinity would ever come to mind?

    Also, if you came across the Bible and the Qur’an, what impression would they make on you and how would you know they were from God without anyone to tell you so?

    This is the reasoned method for first assessing the nature of God and then the authenticity of any texts that are proposed to be revelations from God.

    So based on the idea that God is perfectly perfect, what should we expect from His revelation?

    1) If it is derived from a perfect being, the revelation should also be perfect. Thus there should be no contradictions in the message.

    2) The basic message it preaches should be obvious, plain and easy to understand as it has been targeted at a very wide audience, people of all intelligences and backgrounds.

    3) If it contains any specific prophecies, these should have been fulfilled. Of course some prophecies may take place at a time that has yet to pass, such as those that relate to the Day of Judgment or the “end of days” as in Revelations.

    4) If it contains information that is of a scientific nature, e.g., describing the creation of the universe and of life, or any other phenomenon that can be investigated by experimentation and investigation, this should not contradict that which has been proven to be scientific fact or at least very strong theory. For example the “Big Bang” theory is widely accepted due to various observations such as the expansion of the universe etc, but it cannot be proven because no human being was around to witness it.

    It is simple, if God created the universe, and God revealed a scripture, then knowledge derived from the study of the universe should not conflict with the knowledge found in the scripture. Also if the information contained therein is proven to be true, and at the time of revelation no-one could have possibly been aware of it, then it would be strong evidence to suggest that it was of divine origin as it fits with the idea that God is all-Knowing.

    5) If the Book makes any claims about itself, such as it cannot be changed or that no-one can bring a book like it (as the Qur’an does) then these claims must be fulfilled.

    6) The revelation should be complete, with no parts missing, no parts modified or added to. If there is evidence of such tampering then one should easily be able to point to those modified verses or books so that they can be removed and the book restored. This can only be done if there is an unbroken chain of narration all the way back to the person to whom the scripture was revealed, so that each generation of believers can continuously monitor the texts in case anyone tries to modify it.

    There may be other evidences specific to the revelation in hand, for example, the Arabs at the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him) were masters of poetry and language and were astounded by the linguistic style of the Qur’an, especially as Muhammad was an illiterate man. However this aspect of the Qur’an is beyond our comprehension as neither of us are fluent in the arabic language. So it is not a miracle that can be universally appreciated, but then again, neither can the scientific miracles of the Qur’an. However the other points i have listed should be sufficient for anyone to come to a decision about whether the scripture is a genuine revelation from God, whether we are talking about the Bible, the Qur’an or the complete works of Shakespeare!

    Now, if you put the Bible through that kind of scrutiny, without bias, without letting any preconceived notions and alliances influence your decision, and at the end of it you can still hand-on-your-heart testify that it is the absolute word-of-God, then that is the end of the matter. I will not advise you any further. I will respect your decision and will wish you the best in life.

    I personally think the Bible fails the test. It may partially fulfill some of the points, but failure in other parts undermines any remaining truth. On the other hand, i find that the Qur’an does indeed fulfill these criterion. However, until you read the Qur’an and put it in through the same unbiased assessment then i think we have nothing more to talk about. As i have no authority over you, anything i have to say about the Qur’an will simply go in one ear and out the other. On the flip side I will automatically reject any criticism you have of the Qur’an knowing that you have not even read it.

    How do you know that Mohammed was an authentic prophet? How do you know that he really heard from God? How do you know that he recorded the supposed revelation correctly?

    Excellent, excellent questions CE. This is the right approach! (Sorry if that sounded patronizing!)

    This brings me nicely onto the second method for verifying the authenticity of revelation – by assessing the one to whom the revelation was supposedly sent.

    1) The character of the supposed Prophet must be excellent and noble as He is the messenger of God.

    2) If He has been given knowledge of future events – i.e., prophecies, these should have been fulfilled where appropriate (same as for the revelation itself).

    3) Prophets are usually allowed to perform miracles through the Power of God as signs for the people.

    Perhaps there are more points than these but i think those are the main
    ones.

    It is important to remember that the revelation and the Prophet go together, so the authenticity of the revelation relies on the authority of the Prophet, and vica versa.

    Once again i say Muhammad (peace be upon him) fulfills the above criteria. I know this from reading his biography and teachings which have been preserved just as the Qur’an has, with an authentic chain of narration. However unlike the Qur’an, many false narrations exist about the Prophet Muhammad. Thank God, the work of the early muslim scholars meant that the hadith [narrations – see glossary] could be safely categorised into strong, weak and fabricated. Lying against the Prophet and Islam is an extremely serious sin which will result in a most terrible punishment:

    Narrated Al-Mughira: I heard the Prophet saying, “Ascribing false things to me is not like ascribing false things to anyone else. Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in hell-Fire.” [Al-Bukhari].

    Note that Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not differentiate between a lie that favors him and a lie that belittles him. All lies are wrong, but especially lies about the religion. This is because the one who feels the need to lie in order to promote his religion is in fact saying that his religion is deficient and incomplete, that it cannot defend itself, and out of his arrogance he thinks he can “fix” it with his lie. Surely this is a catastrophe! May God protect me and all the muslims from such despicable behavior.

    I am afraid i am going to be a tad lazy right now and refer you to this good website to read more about Muhammad and why we believe he was a Prophet of God – frankly the list is too long for me to try and explain here, mashallah: Muhammad: A to Z

    I’m not sure it is worth me answering any more questions or responding to any other points as everything I say will be based on Islamic teachings which are in turn based on the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad. If you reject the validity of these then my words mean nothing and my answering will simply be an academic exercise.

    However, as you did insist on me replying to your points i will, but i won’t in future unless you are prepared to do some basic research on Islam, i.e., by reading the Qur’an and the biography of the Prophet. If you are not prepared, then that is your own choice but please do not preach to me about Christianity any further as i have already done my homework, mashallah:

    Q: Won’t you recognize that no one can be made righteous by observing the law, that through the law we merely become conscious of sin?

    A: The Law as revealed by God enables His servants to differentiate between right and wrong. Following the Law helps us to attain piety and closeness to God, as our intention should be to worship Him by obeying His commands and staying away from that which he He has deemed to be harmful. It also shows our reliance and trust in God, that we believe He is All-Wise and Kind and thus He only commands what is in our best interest.
    God also informs His servants that if they break the Law, we should immediately turn to Him for forgiveness as He is the only One capable of absolving sins. He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. If we do not ask for forgiveness out of arrogance and we persist in sin, we are also reminded that He is swift in punishment.
    It is a matter of balance. Hope in God versus fear of God keeps the believer on the straight path, God-willing.

    129 To Allah belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and punisheth whom He pleaseth; but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    130 O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah. that ye may (really) prosper.
    131 Fear the Fire, which is repaired for those who reject Faith:
    132 And obey Allah and the Messenger, that ye may obtain mercy.
    133 Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,-
    134 Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-
    135 And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah.- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.
    136 For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!

    [Qur’an 3:129-136]

    Q: Won’t you recognize that God will not abandon His holiness and justice?

    A: I do recognize this – when did i not? God is the Holiest of the Holy, King of Kings, Light upon Light, the Magnificent and Just.

    Q: Won’t you realize that you therefore need a Savior?

    No – for one this concept has nothing to do with God’s Holiness or Justness. It fact testifying to this will only detract from the Magnificence of God. I don’t need a Savior – i only need God. God is capable of forgiving the worst of sins as long as one is prepared to sincerely repent. God does not need you, God does not need me, God does not need Jesus, God does not need any of His creation. He is the Self-sufficient and the Supreme, and is not deficient in any way. He was the First and He will be the Last. Dear CE, I really do not know any other way to communicate this to you, so once again I shall let God speak for Himself:

    1 Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
    2 Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
    3 He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
    4 And there is none like unto Him.

    [Qur’an 112]

    Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). [Qur’an 2:255]

    Q: Can’t you see that Jesus died on the cross for you, paying the price for your sin, so that you can receive the free gift of salvation?

    A: 164 Say: “Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.” [Qur’an 6:164]

    Q: Don’t you see that salvation can never be earned, but only freely given and freely received by a merciful and just God?

    A: Interesting wording – freely given and freely received. Why do you ask me this question when you yourself deny that the Mercy of God is free? You insist that a price must be paid – the blood of Christ. Yes, i do believe forgiveness is free on condition of repentance, and that there is no way i will enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of Hell other than through the Mercy of my benevolent Lord. We do good as we have been commanded to do good, and we refrain from evil as we have been commanded to stay away from evil. The rewards and punishment for these lie in God’s Hands alone.

    If the Torah was corrupted, then why 1500 years after Moses, did Jesus quote the Torah when He was tempted?

    For one i cannot be sure this happened due to the Bible failing the test of complete authenticity in my eyes. If it did happen i think the mor

    e interesting question is why would Satan think for a moment that he could tempt Jesus, who you propose to be God? Even Satan knows God better than we do as He was in His presence before being cursed. So this verse if it was true would actually make sense if Jesus was a man, a Prophet, who could be tempted as men are prone to temptation. As a Prophet inspired by God, God would have given Jesus knowledge of that which is true in the Torah and that which is false. In fact that was the mission of Jesus – he was the Messiah, sent to the Children of Israel to purify their altered scriptures and call them to the straight path of God.

    Which parts of the Torah have been corrupted?

    Wow, that is a big question which i am not fully qualified to answer in terms of a verse by verse analysis etc. Also i wouldn’t wish to dare criticize specific parts of the Torah or even the Gospels as Muhammad (peace be upon him) discouraged this. Parts of these books are true and parts not true, and thus for me to point to one part and make a judgment could have serious implications if i was wrong. The internal contradictions in the Bible, as well as the uncertainty over its contributing authors, as well as its incompatibility with certain known scientific facts was sufficient grounds for me to reject it as being the complete word of God. Also the fact that i have confidence that the Qur’an is the true word of God after rational assessment means that i do not have to worry much about the other revelations other than to know enough to give advice to my friends and cousins in faith.

    I would rather you do your own analysis by putting the Bible through the test i described above and see what you find. That way i do not insult you or any true words of God that remain in the Bible, and naturally you will trust your own judgment more than mine.

    What – specifically – does Islam add to Christianity? The Bible tells me to be good and kind and righteous and holy and merciful and humble and all that other good stuff. What does the Qur’an have to add to that?

    It is not the morality of Christianity that is in question, but the tenets of belief. As you said there have been non-believing people such as the Greeks who did get certain aspects of morality right. The major problem is your associating partners with God by saying Jesus was the Son of God. You have no right to make such a claim. All the Prophets called to One God. The Qur’an was revealed to destroy this and other such misconceptions and give those people who genuinely wish to worship God the chance to do so. I pray you are one of those people, but only God knows what is in the hearts of men.

    What do you mean by “acknowledge”? This is a huge deal. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the Living God, and Jesus said that he was right and that this knowledge was revealed to him from above. Are you acknowledging then that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of the Living God?

    Sorry, my bad use of English got me in trouble! I meant i acknowledge the fact that you quoted this verse – i.e., i wasn’t ignoring your point. I didn’t mean that i believe this verse to be true. I cannot be sure of this verse being legitimate for the all the reasons i have mentioned.

    Anyway, I hope i have satisfied your requirements for answering your points.

    I will reiterate that this debate becomes futile if we only going to argue ideas that are based on the revelations we hold to be true. I have rejected the Bible as being the complete word of God after reading it noticing the inconsistencies that cannot possibly be attributed to a perfect God. I did not have the same experience with the Qur’an. I do not expect you to trust me on that – i simply ask you to do the same research and see what you find. If you agree then in the words of the Christian peoples: Praise the Lord, Hallelujah! If not, then i can only pray for us both, that God lets us die upon the truth and forgives us our sins.

    Respectfully yours,

    iMuslim

  7. Daniel says:

    I see both of you as sincere people. As you argue back and forth I can’t help but be saddened. Obviously, you both can’t be right and, though you cannot see it, it’s entirely possible that both of you are wrong.

    Take care!

  8. iMuslim says:

    Dear Daniel,

    Do not worry!

    I don’t know if you took the time to read through the conversation CE & I are having. We are not arguing, though of course we are not agreeing on everything either.

    If i wasn’t a muslim, I would be more worried if the likes of CE did not approach me with news of salvation – it would make me think “What’s wrong with me? Am i not worthy to hear the news?”.

    As i said in a comment way up there somewhere, people call to Islam, Christianity and perhaps other faiths out of love for humanity. They believe what they have is going to make life better for themselves and for everyone. OK, some of us may be wrong but in the end life is a journey and we have to keep our heads screwed on throughout to be able to differentiate truth from error, and of course pray for guidance.

    There is no room in faith for arrogance and coercion, and i believe both CE & I appreciate this, God-willing.

    BW

    iMuslim

  9. ConcernedEngineer says:

    On the nature of revelation:

    What is greater: the revelation itself or the principles used to judge the revelation? Can the revelation of God be judged by men? Should the revelation of God be judged by men? Are we to place ourselves over God’s word – judging it? Or are we to place ourselves beneath God’s word – to be judged by it? If we are the ones to judge the revelation, then ultimately, isn’t our faith in ourselves and our own ability to discern spiritual truth from error?

    How do you know that the principles you set forth are adequate to judge the revelation of God? Wouldn’t this have to be revealed to you? And if so, then the revelation comes before the principles and is over the principles. So, how then do you discern the authenticity of the ultimate revelation?

    These are some of the questions that have confounded philosophers for centuries.

    “How would you convince a Jew to accept the teachings of the Bible when it takes away from the idea that the Children of Israel are no longer the ‘chosen people’?”

    Firstly, the Jews are still the chosen people – in a sense. God has not forsaken the Jews.

    Secondly, God will reveal Himself to whom He is pleased to reveal Himself in His timings and in His wisdom. My job is to honor God and proclaim His truth with wisdom, boldness, humility, and tact. When talking with people of different beliefs, I will quote Scripture, for the Scripture will not return void. I will also use reason and challenge them on their most fundamental presuppositions.

    I agree that the revelation of God will have no contradictions. However, it may contain mysteries and poetry. I would not be so arrogant as to “go lawyer” on God’s Word.

    The idea that the basic message should be obvious, plain, and easy to understand….

    Well, to those with pure hearts and childlike faith – yes. The basic message will be made clear to such people – honest seekers. But to those who are not pure and who lack childlike faith – to those who are not honest seekers, to those with depraved minds, the basic message will be very difficult – indeed impossible (outside of a miracle of God) to understand.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

    ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

    Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased throught the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look to wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

    This is not to say that God is foolish or weak, but that even the “weakness of God” (which – his worst weakness is not weak at all – for He is perfect) is much stronger than man’s strength. Likewise his foolishness (which – his worst folly is not foolishenss at all – for He is Wise) is wiser than’s man’s wisdom. It appears foolish and weak to men though. The message of the cross is a message that says that God became a man and died on the cross for the sins of the world to provide atonement for sinners. This idea is foolishness to the “wise” of the world (those who are wise by the standards of the world). It also makes God look weak to the strong of the world. But we who believe recognize this as the wisdom and power of God. Now to Jews, this message is a stumbling block – not foolishness. Why is that? In order to understand why this message would be a stumbling block, you have to have some familiarity with the Tabernacle and the Jewish holidays. But what it comes down to is this: God had instituted among the Jews laws and regulations to guide their lives and their worship of Himself. This included making sacrifices. Lambs, bulls, goats were all used to sacrifice to God. Every year, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Jews would have to make a sacrifice – to “atone” for the sins of the people made during the year.

    Now, God was using this to show the people that it is not by good works that you can be forgiven.

    Now, Jesus was the Lamb of God – slain for the sins of the world. In fact, He was slain on the Passover. When the Jews were delivered from Egypt, they had to kill a lamb and sprinkle blood over the doorposts of their homes, so that the when God struck down the firstborn of Egypt, He would not strike down the firstborn of the Jews. Jesus was that Lamb of God; that’s why to Jews, the message of the cross is a stumbling block. Those Jews who do not humbly receive the Messiah Yeshua into their hearts, but yet consider themselves “religious” end up stumbling over this message. For everything in the Jewish religion points prophetically to Jesus – the Messiah.

    God will certainly make good on all authentic prophecy. Many prophecies have been fulfilled; some are yet to be fulfilled.

    As for science, as an engineer, I am a big fan of science. Studying science is a great way to learn about God’s creation. However, God can interfere supernaturally and break the laws of physics if He so pleases. (like making a Virgin birth happen, etc).

    Any and all claims that God’s word says about itself are true.

    In the time in which we live, the revelation of God is complete – in a sense. However, I think it is still possible for God to speak to us through His Spirit. But this will never contradict the Scripture (and the same vice-versa). I have to take some time to think and pray about your sixth test more.

    In all these test though, you have to understand that as soon as we rely on “common sense” to evaluate and judge the revelation, then we have essentially exalted our own common sense above the revelation. That is not to say that we should throw out all principles and God-given common sense, but that we are dependent on revelation to know that our common sense is good, godly sense. Thus, ultimately, we rely not on our own common sense, but on God to reveal Himself to us.

    And now, I have to do some work. ;) I will respond to your other points later.

    Peace to you, dear friend.

  10. ConcernedEngineer says:

    In the midst of my last post, some of my writing may not have been entirely eloquent and clear. I was having some trouble saying what I was trying to say. Any error or lack of quality is my own. Everything that was true and good and right is of God.

    By the way… I do intend sometime in the near future to buy a Qur’an and to begin reading it.

  11. ConcernedEngineer says:

    “Obviously, you both can’t be right and, though you cannot see it, it’s entirely possible that both of you are wrong.”

    This is certainly logical.

    Of course, I am right – as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures teach. iMuslim is sincere, but severely misguided. Rejecting the atonement and the divinity of Christ is a horrible insult to God. God will forgive, but confession and repentance need to happen.

    The thing is Daniel, by throwing up your hands and rejecting both Islam and Christianity, you are wrong. I know this sounds arrogant to you. In point of truth, if I am wrong, then I am to be pitied. If I am wrong, then I am a great fool – not to mention a blasphemer.

    Philosophically, Christianity has the goods on Islam. In Islam, there is no real security of salvation. And there is no real rhyme or reason to Allah’s mercy and justice. According to Muslims, are they saved by the mercy of Allah or by being righteous? How does Allah fulfill His justice while extending mercy?

    Christianity asserts that we are all sinners – by nature and by practice. We are not sinners because we sin; on the contrary, we sin because we are sinners. No amount of good works can ever be accomplished to atone for our own sins. Praying five times a day does not cut it. We are totally depraved.

    Furthermore, because of our sin, God will judge us. He is just and holy. We deserve to go to hell.

    But God in His grace sent His Son – Jesus Christ. God became a man. As a man, He was tempted in every way – yet without sin. He understands our pain, our suffering, our temptations. He has great compassion for us.

    And then, in the ultimate demonstration of His love and mercy and justice, He gave His life for us – the just for the unjust to redeem us to God. Jesus did not merely die a martyr’s death. He paid the price for our sins. God is just, so He can not let sin go unpunished. The debt must be paid in order for God not to abandon His justice. And Jesus paid the debt, so that all who have faith in Him would be freely justified by His grace through faith.

    Philosophically, this is the only way anyone could be saved. If this doctrine is false, then the logical conclusion is that we would all be damned. Islam presents a story that says, “You might be saved. Just work real hard and pray real hard and do what is right.” The problem is we have failed. So, then, logically, God is just to punish us – to send us to hell.

    The horrible thing about Islam is that in rejecting the doctrine of atonement, it opens up wide door to pride and arrogance. A Muslim will either recognize that he does not measure up, and therefore, will live under the tyranny of the law and will die without any confidence. (Unless of course he dies a martyr’s death – in which case his confidence is severely misplaced). Or a Muslim will think that he is a pretty righteous dude and will become smug and arrogant.

    In Christianity, we are able to rest securely in our salvation – knowing that Christ paid the price for us. Having freely received the free gift of salvation, we are changed from the inside out – not from the outside in. We then desire to do good works – not in an attempt to earn God’s favor (as if we can or should try to earn the love of God), but out of an expression of thanksgiving and praise for the precious gift of salvation, we are compelled to live completely for Jesus!

    iMuslim, you seem to indicate that you believe that the Bible was originally the Word of God. Do you suppose that – even if it has been altered – that by studying the Bible and cross-referencing and triangulating that you can get the essential message of the original manuscripts? Do you believe that the Bible in its original manuscripts was the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God? Or do you think that the original manuscripts also were corrupted?

  12. dining_philosopher says:

    Didnt know that you were a British Indian. I thought you were from the middle-east.

  13. ConcernedEngineer says:

    iMuslim,

    Do you deserve to go to hell?

  14. iMuslim says:

    Dear CE,

    I think we are both spending a lot of time here! Anyway, if it is for the sake of God then perhaps we can hope we are being rewarded for our efforts.

    Daniel is an interesting and sincere person from my experience – elsewhere on my blog he reveals that he used to be Christian (to the point of almost joining the clergy) but now is an atheist. So he is very familiar with the scriptures and doctrines you are quoting.

    iMuslim, you seem to indicate that you believe that the Bible was originally the Word of God. Do you suppose that – even if it has been altered – that by studying the Bible and cross-referencing and triangulating that you can get the essential message of the original manuscripts?

    But why would i want to do all that when it’s all in one place in the Qur’an? Why make life hard when God has made it so easy?! Subhanallah

    Do you believe that the Bible in its original manuscripts was the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God? Or do you think that the original manuscripts also were corrupted?

    When God revealed the Gospels to Jesus (peace be upon him) the revelation was true and complete. At some point after Jesus was taken up into the heavens by God, the revelation became corrupted – i don’t know when and how exactly – though i suspect a man named Paul has a lot to answer for.

    I have replied to your other comments in my latest entry.

    BW

    iMuslim

    P.S. I’m glad to hear that you are planning to buy a copy of the Qur’an – but you can also download it for FREE from here.

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