Monday, June 13, 2016

Islam and the Bible

Islam’s view of the Bible and the Christian response
The Quran teaches that Allah’s words cannot be changed, but it also teaches that the Torah and Gospels were changed and became corrupted.
The Bible warns against adding to or taking away from its teachings (Prov. 30:6; Deut. 4:2, 12:32). There is no evidence that the Bible has ever been changed.
But the Quran says that Muhammad changed some of its verses. –Encourage Muslims to compare the Quran to the Bible to discover that the Bible is trustworthy while the Quran is not.
Islam’s belief in the Bible’s corruption and the Christian response
Three Reasons that Muslim believe the Bible is corrupted:
  1. Muhammad claimed that the Bible predicted his name, but after he died, his followers searched through it and could not find it. They announced that the Bible was corrupted.
  2. Some Christians and Jews believe that God has children, but God does not have sexual desires, and cannot have children. – Show the Gospel passages that describe Jesus’ conception and show that no sexual relation was involved (Matthew 1:20, etc.).
  3. The Trinity
The Quran incorrectly teaches that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is that there are three gods: God the Father, Mary his wife, and Jesus their son. – Correct these mistaken views (the Gospels never say anything about Mary being God).
Islam’s view of Christ and the Christian response
The doctrine of the Trinity needs special care when you talk to Muslims. Since the oneness of God is central to their thinking, the Trinity is a very difficult concept and must be introduced with care.
Allah is described as a god of love. But this creates a problem for tawhid, which describes him as impersonal. Love requires a personal nature that searches for another personal object on which to express love (love only exists between two persons). So, since Allah is impersonal, he is without multiple persons in his own being on which to show love before creating the world and teaching love to his creatures. If Allah did not have the attribute of love before creation, how could he create beings with this attribute?
God made us to overcome barriers
God created ALL humans, including Muslims, with freedom of choice and the capacity to listen, read, and understand. – The Christians’ challenge is to understand the basic presuppositions, practices, and shortcomings of Islam so that they can give reasoned arguments for the Bibles truth, which God can use to reach the Muslim.

Presuppositions and Apologetics
Islamic view is based on presuppositions that color the way a Muslim understands the evidence for Christianity. – Recognize the presuppositions, and, we can chip away at Islam’s Foundation.
Islam’s view on sinful nature and the Christian response
The Quran says that people are descendants of Adam and Eve and are sinners, but is also says that sin is Allah inspired! Muslims believe that humans sin because Allah willed it.
  • Romans 5:12, 18, 19
Islam’s view on salvation and the Christian response
The Quran teaches that salvation is based on purification and good deeds. Muslims can become righteous through prayer, alms giving, fasting, and live according to the Quran. It also states that Allah has already determined everyone’s destiny. It teaches that everyone will be led into hell by Allah, and then the righteous will ascend to heaven. So no one really knows his destiny. Even Muhammad was unsure of his salvation. – When sharing his faith with a Muslim, a Christian should contrast the uncertainty of Muslims salvation, with certainty of Christians’ salvation through Jesus. Contrast the Muslims ‘good works’ belief with the Bibles’ teaching that no one can be saved by good deeds. It is only by Jesus’ righteousness that one can be saved (Romans 5:21). Contrast the belief that ‘all will enter hell’ with ‘Satan and his demons, and all the unsaved will ONLY enter hell (II Peter 2:4; Rev. 20:15). Contrast, ‘salvation is through Allah’s arbitrary choosing’ with the Christian hope that truly repentant hearts can be saved by grace through personal faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
Sharing your faith with a Muslim
  1. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…
Recognize that we cannot reach the Muslim on our own. Ask God to purify our hearts and attitudes.

  1. And always be ready to give a defense…
Prepare by understanding Muslim presuppositions, beliefs, culture, and understanding ways to make the Gospel more understandable to Muslims.

  1. To everyone who asks you…
Build strong friendship with your Muslim friend, based on honesty and love. By doing this, Christians can gain an opening to present the Gospel.

  1. A reason for the hope that is in you…
Seven key blessings of the Gospel:
  • We can know God and the truth, but Muslims cannot. Muslim cannot know Allah, but we can know God because He wants to be “known” and “dwells” in our hearts. (Exodus 33:11; Isaiah 40:5; Acts 17:23; I Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19)
  • Muslims cannot rest assured in God’s justice. If people are crying out for God’s peace, justice, and salvation now, then why should God wait until the afterlife like Islam teaches? But the God of the Bible answers our prayers NOW! (I John 5:14-15; II Thessalonians 1:6-10)
  • Through Christ’s grace we are reconciled to God, and can whole heartedly submit to Him on earth, but Muslims cannot. Muslims cannot submit meaningfully to a god who is impersonal. You can only submit to someone you can know and who is revealed to you.
  • God’s grace gives us new identity as redeemed being, but Muslims don’t have this privilege (II Corinthians 5:17). In Christ, being comes before doing (Ephesians 2:10). People must be established in God’s kingdom before they are able to do good works. In Islam, doing good comes first in order to become good.
  • We have God in us (Galatians 2:20), but Muslims do not. Immanuel means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He seeks to have a personal and intimate fellowship with us.
  • Through the Gospel we are reconciled to the God of love and peace, but Muslims are not. God is a great lover of humanity (John 3:16). He loves reconciliation and unity (II Corinthians 5:18). We are united with God and can reflect His love and peace to others through our words and actions.
  • Muslims don’t have salvation, or the joy of salvation, as we do. They need to realize that salvation must happen NOW, and not in the afterlife (Hebrews 9:27). If we separated from God on earth, we need to have salvation on earth. God desires humanity to enjoy love, and unity with Him in this life.

  1. With meekness and fear.
Our attitude before God is the key to fruitful conversations with Muslims. We cannot be proud or arrogant. If we present the Gospel in a gentle, nonthreatening way with honesty and humility, our Muslim friends will hear our message more clearly.

-Elizabeth

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