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Similarities and Differences between Christianity and Islam – Week 2. CEC Focus Groups May 2011. Week 1 – Introducing Islam Week 2 – Similarities and differences between Christianity & Islam Week 3 – Responding to Islamisation

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Presentation Transcript
overview of the four weeks
Week 1 – Introducing Islam

Week 2 – Similarities and differences between Christianity & Islam

Week 3 – Responding to Islamisation

Week 4 – Sharing the gospel with Muslims – obstacles & opportunities

Consider the importance of “double listening”.

Overview of the four weeks
similarities and differences the importance of double listening
Similarities and Differences - The importance of double listening:

The task of this focus group is to apply “double listening” to Islam - we need to listen to what Muslims believe and understand their culture. Then we need to listen to Gods word and then use it to speak into their beliefs and practices

similarities differences the lens of john chapter 1
Similarities & Differences- The lens of John Chapter 1:
  • In your groups read John 1 v 1 -14?
  • Identify two concepts that Islam would agree with ?

The eternal nature of the Word of God - in the beginning was the Word John 1 v1

The Qur'an is the uncreated speech of God, and that he who holds the creation of the Qur'an is an unbeliever. Sura x:xx

God as creator – “Through him all things were made, without him nothing has been made which was made John 1v 3

"It is Allah Who created everything in the best of form…It is He Who created and perfected all things." Sura32:7, 87:2

  • Identify two concepts that Islam would disagree with?

The Word was God - The Word was with God and the Word was God- he was with God from the beginning John 1 v 1-2

Lo! Alahpardoneth not that partners should be ascribed unto him. He pardoneth all save that to whom He will. Those who ascribeth partners unto Allah hath wandered far astray. Sura iv 116

God became incarnate –The word of God became flesh and dwelt among us - We have seen his glory , the glory of the one and only who comes from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1v14

The literal meaning of the Islamic doctrine Tanzih is "to declare something pure and free of something else". This definition affirms that Allah cannot be likened to anything: "Nothing is like Him." (Sura 42:11)

  • How would Islam reconcile these conflicts?
similarities differences the dangers of pluralism
Similarities & Differences- The dangers of pluralism:

What is it liberal commentators and politicians want us to say?

All roads lead to God

We are all people of the Book

We believe in the same God

Their view is that this is tolerance - the reality is different

it isn't tolerance to redefine someone's religion to make a political point ands in doing so diminish their beliefs

It is more tolerant to understand and acknowledge the differences fairly and then be able to enter dialogue / discussion around these differences

similarities differences uniqueness claims
Similarities & DifferencesUniqueness claims

“ neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved

Acts 4 v12

“ if anyone desires a religion other than Islam never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be among the ranks of those who have lost

Sura3:85

Islam and the Gospel have incompatible claims of uniqueness

slide7

Similarities & Differences

Sovereignty of God

God is almighty and predestines everything in the universe, including both good and evil

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.

Sura 2 255

He is nearer to man and his jugular vein Sura 50:16

.

Christians have a similar belief in God’s sovereignty but stress God’s nearness

“ Our God is in heaven, he does whatever he pleases” Psalm 115 v3

“God is able to do far more abundantly than all we can ask or think Eph 3v20

Christians maintain a balance between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will and responsibility - but there is less stress on God determining everything and none on God decreeing evil

Islam and the Gospel have a different view of Gods sovereignty

slide8

Similarities & Differences

The Nature of God

The oneness of God is bibliical

“Hear O Isreal the Lord our Lord is one Lord” Deut 6v4

However the Trinity is not three Gods but one God revealed in three persons -

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth … and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”

Gen 1v2

Jesus as the eternal “Word of God” acts in creation (John 1v1) - he becomes the Son of God in Bethlehem (John 1 v 14) .

Allah il-waheed - God is one

Lo! Alahpardoneth not that partners should be ascribed unto him. He pardoneth all save that to whom He will. Those who ascribeth partners unto Allah hath wandered far astray. Sura4:116.

Muslims have a mistaken understanding of the Trinity that Christian believe that Jesus is the offspring of a physical relationship between God the father and Mary the Mother

Islam and the Gospel have a different understanding of the Trinity

slide9

Similarities & Differences

The Person of Christ

Jesus is a revered prophet of Islam

He is a created being Sura 3:59, born of a virgin Sura 19 v19-21

He is superior to all other men Sura 66:12 He is the Word of God and Spirit of God Sura 4:171.

He is the Word of truth Sura 19:35 and holy Sura 19:19

But he is not God….

Jesus himself claims to be the son of God

“ In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God”

John 1v1

“Thomas answers him - my Lord and my God” John 20V28

“Jesus did many other signs … these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God”

John 20-30-31

Islam and the Gospel have a different understanding of Christ

slide10

Similarities & Differences

Man – the image of God

The relationship of man to God is as a servant to his master

“Man is not made in the image of God”

Sura 42:11.

“Man is made out of the dust of the earth” Sura 23:12

Man is created in the image and likeness of God

“ Let us make man in our image after our likeness”

Gen 1v26

The image is distorted but not destroyed. God reaches out to us to make us His children in Christ

“ With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness”

James 3 v 9

Islam and the Bible have a different view of man

slide11

Similarities & Differences

Man as a sinner

When Adam sinned it was personal to him. It did not amount to a “Fall” for the whole human race

Man is created good - as a clean sheet but being made of clay he is weak and fallible.

“Man is not made in the image of God”

Sura 42:11.

“Man is made out of the dust of the earth” Sura 23:12

Original sin means we inherit a fallen human nature from our parents. We sin because we are sinners

“Therefore … sin came into the world through one man and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all men sinned

Romans 5 v 12

Islam and the Bible have a different view of man’s sin

slide12

Similarities & Differences

Consequences of the “Fall”

Work , sweat and struggle were part of the original creation order: Sura 90:4

Death is not the enemy it is part of the original created order

Man “falls” from paradise to earth

Painful toil and sweat are a product of the curse Gen 3 v 17-19

Death is an enemy resulting from the fall of the man Gen 2 v17

Islam and the Bible have a different views of the Fall

slide13

Similarities & Differences

The “cross”

Muslims do not believe that God would allow an esteemed prophet to suffer such an ignominious death. They believe that Judas or Simon of Cyrene were substituted in his place

“they killed him not nor crucified him but it was made so to appear Allah raised him to himself”

For of a surety they killed him not Nay Allah raised him up unto himself

Sura 4:157-158

However it is compromised by these verses

So peace is on me The day that I was born, the day that I die and the day I shall be raised up to life again Such was Jesus te Son of Mary

Sura 19:33-34

Jesus Christs own words

“ the son of man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged and crucified On the third day he will be raised to life

Matt 20v18-19

He has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself

Heb 9v26

The lord has laid on him the inquity of us all

Is 53v6

Islam denies the “cross of Christ’

slide14

Similarities & Differences

Salvation

Only possible through Christ Jesus

“Salvation is found in no-one else for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”

Acts 4v12

Salvation is received by grace through faith

“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this not from ourselves – it is the gfft of God

Eph 2v8

Only by submission to God and Quran can we escape the “blazing fire” Sura 3:85

Salvation is by falah (self effort or positive achievement) Sura 23:102-103

Islam and the Bible have a different view of Salvation

slide15

Similarities & Differences

Conclusions

Despite claims that Muslims are also “people of the book” there are serious theological barriers to overcome - including

Claims of uniqueness

Sovereignty of God

The Trinity

The person of Christ

The cross

The Word of God

Incarnation of God

Man – as the image of God

Man – as a sinner

Consequences of the fall

Salvation

There are significant theological barriers to overcome on the road from Islam to Christ

slide16

Similarities & Differences

The difficult journey to faith

Slowly the light dawned and I slipped to my knees and cried out “O Lord I do believe. Forgive my stubbornness and scepticism and receive me. …. I rose from my knees a changed person. It seemed to me that my whole being was singing How Great Thou Art and the peace of mind, the rest , the security that I experienced that night, April 26th 1975 I had never known before

More than two years of research and study found their fulfilment in the revelation to my soul that Jesus Christ was my Lord and my God to the glory of God the Father

Into The Light

Steve Masood - Muslim convert