Addressing Islamic Teachings About Christianity -- By: Michael Edens

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 05:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: Addressing Islamic Teachings About Christianity
Author: Michael Edens


Addressing Islamic Teachings About Christianity

Dr. Michael Edens

Associate Dean Of Graduate Studies & Professor Of Theology & Islamic Studies New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary*

Introduction

In September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, in a scholarly address, quoted the fourteenth century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’” Benedict did not explicitly agree with the statement nor repudiate it.1 However in multiple Islamic locations violence against Christians and Christian institutions followed.

Beginning shortly after the pope’s address, Jordanian Muslim scholars instituted two pleas for dialog. The second of these, proposing a reasoned dialog between Muslim and Christian communities,2 engendered a response from Christian scholars.3

Recently, the trustees of the International Mission Board (SBC, USA) provided guidelines for cross-cultural evangelism especially among Muslim peoples.4 Although helpful, both of these discussions expose a reluctance to address core Islamic teachings concerning Christianity so as to enable coherent Christian conversations with Islam and Muslims. While the author applauds quests for common ground and clear communication by Muslims and Christians, it is imperative that Islamic teachings concerning core Christian beliefs be addressed for meaningful conversation to begin.

Islamic Teachings Observed

For serious followers of Christ meaningful discussions with Muslims should begin with Muslim understandings of divine revelation, the Bible, the nature of God, the person of Christ, and the purpose and work of Christ. This paper explores the Qur’anic and Islamic

view of divine revelation, the Bible and the nature of God. The purpose of observing these Islamic teachings is to open discussions with Muslims in these and other areas of concern.

Islamic Understandings Of Biblical Texts

The Qur’an repeatedly cites the Christians and Jews as people of the Book and identifies the Torah of Moses, Injil of Jesus and Zabour of David. Both biblical testaments are said to predict the prophet of Islam and the Qur’an. The entire host of biblical prophets are claimed as Muslims and precursors of the communi...

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