Christianity And Islamism -- By: George F. Herrick
BSac 23:91 (July 1866) p. 406
Christianity And Islamism
Church History fully details the relation which Christianity sustained to Judaism, whether of correspondence or of antagonism. The relation of Christianity to ancient forms of Heathenism also has been so elaborately sketched by Christian historians, that systems of heathen philosophy and belief, the nature of Paganism, and the state of the ancient pagan world, have never been more vividly and faithfully portrayed than in those portions of church history which describe the aggressive movements of Christianity. This is true also in reference to the latest onward movement of Christianity, which is even now making, and that too on a broader plane than ever heretofore. Christian enterprise, in the form of missionary effort, encounters the same forms of Judaism, which has been growing more dry and dead now for almost two thousand years, and meets with multifarious forms of heathen superstition and pagan cultus, and detailed accounts of these systems, and of the triumphs of Christianity over them, are added every year to the accumulating records of the militant, and to-be victorious, church of Christ.
But the relation which Christianity has held to Islamism occupies but little space in the annals of the church. Yet since the early conquests of the religion of the cross were
BSac 23:91 (July 1866) p. 407
achieved, a religious system has arisen and spread over territory once conquered by Christianity, till its devotees are few less than the entire number of the professed adherents to the faith of Christ.
It is true that a ready general explanation maybe given to this seemingly strange silence, in the statement that the relation of Islamism to Christianity, so far as it has not been one of absolute exclusiveness, has been of a worldly and political, not of a spiritual nature; and that its record should therefore be sought in the annals of the later Roman empire and of European and Oriental states, rather than in those of the Christian church.
But spiritual forces underlie all the great movements of human society; and it is hoped that a perusal of the following pages may assist in showing, both that Islamism held, in the outset, a more positive attitude towards Christianity, and was more indebted to Christian doctrine and the Christian scriptures than is acknowledged by Mohammedans, or generally supposed among ourselves, and also that the claims of the Mussulman — particularly the Turkish and Arabic Mussulman— portion of the “field” which Christ has assigned to the labors of his disciples are more actual and urgent, and the present aspects of the field more encouraging than is generally recognized, even by those who are interested in the aggressive o...
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