We live in a generation where anyone who has the ability to watch any news media cannot escape hearing about Islam. Since 9/11, coverage of the “fastest growing religion” has been frequent and constant in our society with no end in sight. There is even a small group of Muslim’s who gather in the Moncton area as well and hence there is an opportunity for Christians to meet and share their faith with those of the Islamic faith.
It is tremendously important to know where we stand on the subject of Islam and how they differ from the Christian faith. We have often heard individuals ask “do not Muslims and Christians worship the same god?” The answer to that question is no but such an answer will not suffice since we need to give a reasonable explanation as to where they diverge.
There have been numerous volumes written on the subject of Islam especially over the course of the last 10 years or so. The vast majority of books are written as a general overview of the religion but very few get into any specificity. James White’s book “What Ever Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an” is a much more focused book dealing explicitly with the teachings of the Qur’an itself especially in regards to what it has to say about the Christian faith. The book is much more definite than your average “Islam 101” volumes and the average reader will appreciate the specific focus within the book on Islam’s holy scripture.
Dr. White has spent numerous hours examining the Qur’an and the hadiths, researching Islamic sources, debating many well-known Islamic apologists which truly gives him tremendous insight on this faith. The book is nothing short of a well documented resource for anyone wanting a closer look at what Islam has to say about the Christian faith.
The first chapter gives a historical account of Muhammad’s early years, his encounter with the angel Gabriel, how the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad was passed down, some important points about his life including his wives, his conquest of mecca and his eventual death. This is a general introduction that serves as a useful background to understanding the historical background of the Qur’an.
In the second chapter, Dr. White explores some relevant points regarding the Qur’an including some of its content, its language and how Muslims view their holy book.
Chapter three includes the primary tenets of the Islamic faith with a special focus upon tawhid (Unitarian monotheism) as well as the Islamic teaching of shirk, mithaq and fitra.
I truly enjoyed chapter four dealing with the Qur’an’s denunciation and unfortunate misrepresentation of the Christian doctrine of the trinity. Dr. White demonstrates that the writer of the Qur’an could not have truly understood the true doctrine of the trinity which places a big question mark on the claims that it was written in eternity by Allah.
Dr. White then moves on in the 5th chapter to go through the Qur’an’s teaching on Jesus Christ. He briefly addresses all 25 instances where the Qur’an speaks of “Jesus, son of Mary” (Isa ibn Mariam). This chapter also deals with the consequences of the Islamic Jesus in regards to the intercessory work of the Lord Jesus. Obviously a whole book could be written in regards to this topic however in the short space dedicated to it, Dr. White manages to give some compelling arguments against the Qur’an’s version of Jesus.
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