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-The Bible and The Quran: Some Major Contrasts

by Dr. D ~ April 2nd, 2016

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There are some obvious differences between the Bible and the Quran. Some of those major contrasts revolve around the teaching contained in the two and others around references to characters and history.

One glaring difference is that the Quran is one book written by one man in one lifetime while the Bible spans thousands of years and is actually comprised of 66 separate books written by as many as 40 different authors.

Here’s a very good recent article I ran across that lists 6 major differences and contrasts between the two sacred books representing the two largest world religions:

Six Startling Contrasts Between the Bible and the Quran” by Jeff Sanders, PJ Media

Content Headings:

1. Conversion Stories

2. God’s Compassion

3. God’s Grace

4. Descriptions of Heaven

5. Views of Women

6. Teaching of History

<Read what is under all six and the whole article>

Response: We have written about the differences between Christianity and Islam when it comes to the teaching of God’s grace and compassion before. The different views about the status of women is common knowledge and displayed daily in the cultural treatment of women in major Muslim dominated countries today. Heaven or Paradise according to Muhammad and the Quran seems to be oriented towards satisfying male physical desires more than anything else.

The real eye opener in the article is in the section on history. Major historical errors and anachronisms along with outright ignorance are openly on display in the Quran. Here’s a few of the more shocking mistakes listed in the article:

Moses is called an "apostle" in Surah 43:47. "Apostle" is a Greek word, popularized long after the time of Moses (c. 1446 B.C. …

Several times Muhammad says that Haman was a co-conspirator with Pharaoh to thwart Moses (Surah 40:25; 28:6,8,38; 29:39). … In the Bible Haman was a minor ruler under the Persian King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) in the fifth century before Christ. That would be 1000 years after the time of Moses! …

In Surah 19:27, Muhammad got Mary the mother of Jesus and Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron confused. Here he calls the mother of Jesus "the sister of Aaron." The problem is that the two ladies are actually separated by over 1000 years of history.

And the prophet of Islam also states that Pharaoh threatened to "crucify" Moses (Surah 7:123). Joseph warns his fellow prisoners that Pharaoh will "crucify" them (12:41). Again, these are anachronisms. Crucifixion never existed in Egypt in the time of Joseph or Moses. It was created by the Romans around 200 B.C.

The entire article is excellent and well worth reading if you really want to know some of the major contrasts between the Bible and the Quran along with some of the differences between Christianity and Islam.                 *Top

 

For more on the differences between Christianity and Islam see our previous articles:

"-Islam and Christianity: Some Major Differences"

"-Comparing Islam and Christianity #7: The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus"

"-Dueling Jesuses: Isa of Islam Vs. The Son of God of Christianity"

"Comparing Islam and Christianity #6 -The Divinity of Jesus"

"Comparing Islam and Christianity #5 -Miracles and Spiritual Gifts"

"Comparing Islam and Christianity #4 -The Holy Spirit"

"Comparing: Islam and Christianity #3 -The Virgin Birth of Jesus"

"Comparing: Islam and Christianity #2 -The Righteousness and Justice of God"

"Comparing: Islam and Christianity #1 -God’s Love?"

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-“It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming”

by Dr. D ~ March 25th, 2016

Here’s my favorite message of all time for Good Friday: “It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming” by Dr. Tony Campolo. It has become a tradition on this blog to post it every year on this day.

Here’s a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.

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The whole tape is great but the best part is toward the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he was attending.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is just a taste of what the climax is like in the 45 minute tape/sermon.  it doesn’t really do justice to the original but this printed abbreviated version is inspirational none the less:

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this:

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

*Top

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-Celebrating The Resurrection of Jesus and Easter 2016

by Dr. D ~ March 22nd, 2016

Here are links to some of the past articles we have featured on this site on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the celebration of Easter:

 -Resurrection of Christ: Wright On! Listen to this! New Testament scholar N.T. Wright is right on in this short video on the Resurrection (2:23) 

 

 -Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? Yes! If not, as Paul says (I Cor. 15:14) the entire Christian faith is in vain. Here’s a link to a great article on all of the facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus–a timely pursuit for the Easter season:

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

by William Lane Craig, professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. This is the best and most concise article that I have found on the Resurrection of Jesus. 

 

 -Was Easter Really Borrowed From a Pagan Holiday? Here’s a good article by Anthony McRoy that contradicts the popular notion that the Christian celebration of Easter was borrowed from pagan sources:

“Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?”

McRoy provides historical evidence that the name ‘Easter’ was actually derived from the Old High German ‘eostarum’ which meant "dawn" and not from the name of a supposed pagan goddess.

 

Finally, here’s a link to our most popular article of all time during Easter week and one we traditionally post on Good Friday:

-“It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming”

 

May you and yours be blessed this Easter season.                 *Top

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-Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

by Dr. D ~ January 31st, 2016

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Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? In America it is now ‘politically correct’ to say they do and those who claim otherwise are viewed as bigoted Islamophobes in the main stream secular media. A controversy over this issue recently boiled over in the press when Wheaton College administrators suspended  a professor, Larycia Hawkins who taught Political Science, for asserting that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

Well do they really? My answer is:

Yes, No, and Maybe So, depending on the context, but mostly No. 

To put this in perspective, sometimes I wonder if the person sitting next to me in church on Sunday is worshipping the same God and some of those folks might actually prove otherwise on Monday! The fact is, every believing person has their own definition of God or Allah, or Adonai whether they are Christians, Muslims,  Jewish or whatever.

As one who studied Christian theology extensively in seminary and holds an advanced degree my usual conclusion on this subject is in the negative (no) since there is such a wide difference between the Christian and Muslim understanding of God: who he is, what he does, and what he requires of humanity.

 

-Yes: What Christians and Muslims Have in Common

Nevertheless, sometimes we can say yes- there are some things that we do share in common when it comes to our beliefs about God or Allah:

-Monotheism

-The God of Abraham

-Creator of all Things

-Involved in History and Human Affairs

-Judge of Eternal Destiny

 

-No: What Christians and Muslims Differ On

-Jesus

-Holy Spirit

-Trinity

-Fatherhood of God

-Salvation

-The Bible and Quran

Muslims were the first historically to say ‘no’ and to look upon Christians as not only heretical in their understanding of God but as polytheists. Everyday they begin with a prayer that intentionally refutes the Christian Trinitarian understanding of God which includes God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

From a Christian understanding it has to be ‘no’ because Muslims reject the divinity of Jesus and do not really believe in the Holy Spirit. Christians in their Fatherhood understanding of God have a far more personal relationship with the Creator while Muslims substantially see Allah as quite remote.

Also Christians believe that they can have an assurance of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus while Muslims can never be sure of their destiny since Allah as taught in the Quran can be rather arbitrary in his judgment.

 

-Maybe So: How Christian and Muslim Believers View God

Fact is, that where the rubber meets the road, one’s personal understanding of God can be quite different from the theological dissertations of the major religion one is part of. That is why I can say ironically that I am not 100% sure that the person I am sitting next to in church on Sunday has the same understanding of God in their personal life as I may have and in some ways may be worshipping a ‘different’ God.

I can think of two different Muslim families that I had business relationships with in the past that were far more ‘Christian’ in their practical understanding of God and the love that they expressed than some professing Christians that I know. Folks that I obviously had much in common with and found myself praying for quite often.

Christian missionaries in Muslim lands have found lots of Muslims that are predisposed to conversion since they hold a more personal understanding of God that squares more closely to the Fatherhood understanding of God in Christianity than the remote autocratic Allah taught in the Quran. It should be noted that Christian Bibles in Muslim lands use the title of ‘Allah’ for God in their translations and any outreach to Muslims begins with what we share in common.

 

-Conclusion:

This article is not meant to be a definitive theological answer to the question- Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

IF we are talking about the Old Testament God of Abraham who is the one true God and Creator who is involved in history and human affairs and is ultimately the judge of all humanity then: Yes, we are talking about the same God in that case- Jews, Christians, and Muslims. 

If we are talking about the full theological understandings about God in the Bible and Allah in the Quran than the answer must be: No we do not worship the same God. Our definitions about who God is and what he does are quite different.

If we are talking about personal understandings of God or Allah, then: Maybe some Christians might be far closer to some Muslims in their worship than most on either side will want to admit.                 *Top

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-Happy New Year 2016

by Dr. D ~ January 2nd, 2016

May God Bless you and yours during this new year.

With the new year, many want to improve their lives in 2016. One of the best ways to do that is to read the Bible daily in the new year.

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Several polls taken during the last year have unfortunately demonstrated that American Christians are somewhat illiterate when it comes to the Bible and particularly Biblical teachings. One good way to reverse the trend is to set aside time to read the good book everyday. An excellent idea is to read through the whole Bible or at least the New Testament during 2016. There are a number of good programs to help you in the process.

One of the easiest ways to get it done is to get a ‘One Year Bible’ where the whole year is divided up into daily readings usually with a selection from the New Testament, the Old Testament, and from Psalms. You can even get it in your favorite version at the book store or at Amazon.

If you find that reading all of it in one year is maybe too much, then you could read just the New Testament and Psalm offerings for each day and then maybe save the Old Testament or the following year (or visa versa).

There are also a number of good plans available that allow you to use your regular Bible for the reading. Here’s a few online: The One year Bible Online, Bible Year-eSword, Bible Gateway

You could also get the Bible on CD or tape and listen to it on the way to work this year or download it into your iPod, iPhone or MP3: iTunes, Apps me now

There are lots more Bible helps available just search online.

May God Bless us all in 2016.               *Top

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