Archive for category Islam

When Christians Have More in Common with Muslims than with Other “Christians”

As I am writing a paper entitled, “Evangelism within an Islamic Context,” I came across this interesting quote from Norman Geisler: 

There is indeed much common ground in communicating with Muslims. Among the more important doctrines are the following: (1) The believe in one God; (2) the creation of heaven and earth; (3) the sinfulness of mankind; (4) the need for forgiveness; (5) belief in moral absolutes; (6) acknowledgement of revelation from God in the Law (Taurat), Psalms (Zabur), and Gospels (Injil); (7) the belief in prophets of God (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Jesus); (8) the virgin birth of Christ; (9) the sinlessness of Christ; (10) that Christ was called the ‘Messiah’; (11) his bodily ascension into heaven; and (12) his second coming. In the light of this, it is ironic that evangelicals have far more in common with orthodox Muslims than we do with liberal Christians. 

See Norman Geisler, “Jesus and Muhammed in the Qur’an: A Comparison and Contrast” Southern Baptist Theological Journal 8 (2004), 55.

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What Does the Qur’an Teach About Jesus?

While Islamic teaching holds that Jesus was merely a prophet, the witness of the Qur’an itself is that Jesus is an exceptional prophet. Amar Djaballah explains: 

In summary, the titles of the Quranic Jesus show him to be a highly esteemed prophet and apostle, with a uniqueness that Muslim tradition is not able to explain satisfactorily.* 

Djaballah is referring to the different texts in the Qur’an which point to Jesus as being in a special class of prophet, a class that Mohammed himself does not seem to attain. For instance, the Qur’an testifies to the following regarding Jesus: 

  • Jesus was born a virgin (Surah 3:45-50).
  • Jesus is sinless (Surah 6:85).
  • Jesus is the Messiah (Surah 3:45).
  • Jesus performed miracles (Surah 3:49).
    • One of these miracles is especially interesting (although only attested elsewhere in the Gospel of Thomas). Surah 3:49 and 5:110 teach that Jesus created a bird out of clay while He was upon this earth. 
  • Jesus ascended into heaven in bodily form (Surah 3:55).
  • Jesus spoke at his birth (Surah 19:27-35).
  • Jesus raised the dead (Surah 3:49).**

Question for Muslims: since none of the above is true of Muhammed, how can he be called the greatest prophet? 

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