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Millenium Biography: Prophet Muhammad
IMAM AL GHAZALI
The following is the text of an e-mail exchange between myself, Bill McLean, and a Christian Minister whom we will call "S." S. gave his permission to reprint his words but wanted his identity to be anonymous.
I was at your site tonight. I downloaded a few things. Thanks. I am not sure where you are coming from. Do you believe that the Koran is also the Word of God? Do you believe that Allah and Yahweh are the same God? Is Jesus God in Human Flesh? What is the purpose of your site?
In His Grip,
Bill McLean wrote:
Thanks for visiting my site. I pray that the information you found there will be beneficial.
Now let me answer your questions.
Yahweh and Allah are most definitely the same God. I know that some people have tried to say that Allah is the pagan Arab Moon god, but there is NO evidence to support that accusation. Muslims do use a crescent moon as a symbol of their religeon. This is because they use a lunar calendar as opposed to the western solar calendar. The significance of the crescent moon comes from the celebration of Ramadan which begins with the sighting of the crescent moon that follows the new moon.
Jesus is not the same being as the Almighty God. HE is God's Word made flesh. We could argue endlessly over the definition of the Trinity and never resolve the issue. Muslims eliminate the argument by eliminating the Trinity. In Muslim theology, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are separate entities from the One Supreme Almighty God of the universe. Muslims do deny that Jesus is the Son of God. This is because they perceive having a son to require the taking of a wife and the act of procreation. Of course that perception does not exist in the Bible. It does however exist in a Gnostic/Christian writing titled "The Apocryphon of John" which was in circulation at the time of Muhammad's life. Perhaps this heretical writing had an additional negative effect on the Muslim perception of sonship.
The purpose of my site is to provide provocative "food for thought" that will encourage people to examine their our lives and beliefs. Christians and Muslims alike must be honest with themselves before they can be honest with each other or with the Almighty God. We must all come to genuine repentance.
Well, I hope this has answered some of your questions. May the Almighty open your eyes that you may see more truth in His Word.
In the Service of Allah,
Thanks for the speedy reply. I do have a few more questions for you. So, are you a Muslim or a Christian?
Do you deny the Tri-Unity of God, i.e. that God is the Father, God is the Son, and that God is the Holy Spirit while be the one True God?
Are you saying that the Koran is to be obeyed just as the Bible is to be obeyed?
Is the Koran equal in authority to the Bible?
Do you believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God?
What do you do with the many contradictions between the Bible and the Koran? When the Bible and the Koran disagree, which one is right?
I am very curious as to how you have come to your conclusions. You must know that they are not popular with orthodox Muslims or Christians.
In the Grip of His Grace,
Bill McLean wrote:
Let me try to answer your questions in the order you asked.
1. I consider myself to be an Islamic-Christian. By that, I mean that I am a Christian who recognizes a lot of error in the modern Christian practice and theology and that I recognize a lot of truth in the foundations of Islam.
2. I believe that the One True Almighty God is One God. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are highly exalted and function in perfect harmony with the Father but they are separate beings.
3. All of God's Words are to be obeyed. It does not matter what title you place on the cover of the book. If God says it, we should obey it.
4. I guess the real question is, "Is the Koran God's Word?" After reading the Koran several times, I must say that it is. I should qualify that by saying that the Koran is specifically God's Word to Arabs at the time of Muhammad in much the same way that the book of Galatians was God's Word to the church at Galatia in the time of Paul. Of course, in addition to the specific time and message, there are eternal truths that can be learned from the book of Galatians and the Koran.
5. I do believe that the Bible, as it was revealed to the men who authored the Bible, is the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God. Needless to say, scribal errors and errors in translation have led to many heretical doctrines in the modern church.
6. I find very little contradiction between the Bible and the Koran. Of course if you look for a reason to debunk the Koran, or the Bible for that matter, you will be able to find things that you can twist or take out of context to accomplish the task. For example, you have probably seen books written about the "dis"-harmony of the Gospels. If there were an irreconcilable difference between the Bible and the Koran, I would give the Bible the final authority.
I know that my views are not popular but God forbid that we should base our theology on popularity. Let us base our faith on the truth of the Word of the Almighty God.
I hope this has been of some help. If you have any more questions, comments, suggestions, or problems please let me know.
In the Service of Allah,
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I really do appreciate it. Bill, I guess this is all very interesting to me because I have never met or heard of an Islamic Christian. From my perspective, Islam and Christianity are totally different. Islam teaches many things which are not in agreement with the Bible. Just one example is Polygamy. Though people in the Bible practiced polygamy God has never condoned it. The Quran teaches that a man can have up to 4 wives.
I too have read the Quran and I find it to be a jumbled mess. Unlike the Bible, the Koran seems much more human in origin than the text of the Bible. I believe the Bible to be inerrant, inspired and infallible in the original manuscripts. However, I believe we have a reliable copy of the original today. The scribal errors you mention do not change even one major Christian doctrine.
If the Quran is the infallible Word of God, then it stands to reason that it would not contain factual errors of science. By "factual errors" I mean errors that can be physically examined. I am not talking about contradictions between scientific theories and the Quran. I am talking about hard evidence that can be checked out.
But first, there is a question we must answer: "is it legitimate to judge the Quran?" Many Muslims believe in the Quran as a blind leap of faith. They really do not care if it is filled with mistakes and contradictions. As far as they are concerned, they were born Muslim and they will die Muslim. The more closed minded they are, the more fanatical they become in their religion. When ignorance unites with arrogance, fanaticism is born. I pity those whose religion is only the product of an accident of birth and culture.
Many people blindly follow whatever religion they were born into. How sad it is to have an unexamined faith; a faith that cannot stand up to reason and science; a faith that merely shouts slogans, stamps its feet and beats its breast in a mindless mob. They do not believe in Islam because it is true. To them Islam is true because they believe it. Not because it have been proven true.
Thankfully, there are millions of Muslims today who have received a university education and understand that an unexamined faith is a worthless faith. They are open minded to scientific facts and evidence. They want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
One of the questions which puzzled the ancient Arabs was, "Where did the sun go when night time came?" The Quran gave them Allah's answer.
He [i.e. Zul-qarnain] followed, until he reached the setting of the sun. He found it set in a spring of murky water. (Surah XVIII (Kahf) vs. > 85-86)
We agree with Muslim scholars that Zul-qarnain refers to Alexander the Great (see Yusuf Ali's appendix on this subject in his translation of the Quran). According to this surah, Alexander the Great traveled west until he found out what happened to the sun. It went down into and under the murky waters of a pond. When it was completely covered by the water, darkness fell upon the earth.
To the early Muslims, this surah gave the divine answer as to why darkness fell when the sun set in the West. They assumed that the sun, like the moon, was the size perceived by the human eye, about the size of a basketball. Darkness came when with a mighty hissing roar it went down under the dark waters of a pond. They boldly and proudly proclaimed that this marvelous answer proved that the Quran was indeed the Word of God.
Today, modern Muslims are quite embarrassed by this passage and try to ignore it or to quickly dismiss it as poetry. But the passage is not part of a poem. Thus it cannot be dismissed as figurative language or poetic license. In the context, it is part of a historical narrative which relates several historical incidences in the life of Alexander the Great.
The mistake was based on the erroneous assumption that the earth was flat. The authors of the Quran did not know that the earth was a sphere which revolved around the sun. The reader must ask himself if he is prepared to believe and to defend the Quran in this passage. Either the sun sets in a pond or it doesn't. It is either one way or the other. There can be no middle ground, no compromise, no evading the issue. If you agree with us that the sun is shining on the other side of the earth and thus it does not go down into murky water, then you must also agree with us that the Quran contains scientific errors.
"So what?" you ask. "Who cares!" you cry. Only those who are brave enough to seek the truth will care. Those who are intellectually lazy or dishonest will close their eyes and pretend to see nothing. It only takes one error to disprove the Quran. That's right. Just one little error and the whole book goes down in defeat! You have just discovered one irrefutable error in the Quran. What are you going to do about it? There is only one place you can turn for the truth about God. I challenge anyone to find even one error in the Bible.
Bill I would encourage you to pick up two books by Robert Bowman, titled "Why You Should Believe in the Trinity" and "Orthodoxy and Heresy". These books will help you a ton in your search for truth. Also, I recommend a book by Norman Geisler titled "Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross".
I believe you have the right idea about examining ourselves and checking all truth with the Bible. However, I do not agree that the Quran is the Word of God, nor do I agree that Allah and Yahweh are the same God. The evidence is just not there. I believe Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, i.e. he is God in human flesh. He is 100% God and 100% man. He was born of a virgin and fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his being the Messiah.
Here are just a few:
He would be born of a virgin (Micah 5:2) and He was (Matt. 2:1-6)
He would be born in Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14) and He was (Matt. 1:18-25)
He would be taken into Egypt (Hosea 11:1) and He was. (Matt. 2:15)
He would heal the sick and make people whole (Isaiah 53) and He did (Matt. 8)
He would be crucified (Psalm 22:14-17) and He was. (Matt. 27:31)
He would die for our sins (Isaiah 53) and He did. (John 1:29, John 11:49-52)
He would be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10) and he was. (Matt. 28:1-10)
Bro, lets keep dialoging. I am really interested in your spiritual journey. How did you become so interested in the Quran and Islam anyway? From your perspective, how does a person receive salvation? How do you reconcile with the fact that much of what the Quran teaches is simply 7th century Arab cultural life style not a revelation of God?
In the Grip of His Grace,
Servant of the Most High God
Bill McLean wrote:
I certainly don't want to argue the error of scripture. The example you give from the Koran is not error. If Alexander followed the sun, He would find that it set in the Atlantic or at least it would appear that way. At dusk, it would appear murky. Just how Arabs of that time interpereted Muhammads words is irrelevant.
I have attached a couple of articles that point out some apparent problems with the Bible.
I am not trying to disprove the Bible. I only mean to re-enforce my previous statement that if you look for error, you can find it.
I became interested in Islam because of the very thing that you said concerning following the religeon you are born with. I tried to put myself in the shoes of an Arab who was born in the middle-east. If I were in that position and had a genuine heart for God, what religeon would I follow? Would I blindly accept Islam? Would I seek out truth in other religeons? Would I go to hell for following Islam even though I had a pure heart before God? But I am not in that position. I was born in the US the son of a Christian minister. I know that Christians believe they are right in their theology. So do Muslims. I seek the truth of the Almighty God with a pure heart and undieing thirst. I will consider the foundational writings of all religeons that profess faith in the One True God. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Gnosis. I reject the eastern religeons of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. as they do not believe in the One True God.
It is by grace through faith that one receives salvation.
There is no need to reconcile the cultural aspects of the Koran. After all, that is when and where it was revealed.
How do you answer a Muslim who says the Bible is corrupt?
Bill McLean wrote:
I answer Muslims who say that the Bible is corrupt in much the same way that I answered you when you said that the Koran is corrupt.
You see, I do not believe that either Book is corrupt. However, I do understand that many people search for corruption in what they perceive to be their opponents Scriptures.
Your time will be much better spent when you look for the error in yourself and look for what you can learn from others.
Muslims do not have their religeon all right. Neither do Christians.
Should we throw out the Bible because a hare does not a hoof or chew the cud? Of course not. Neither should we throw out the Koran because ancient Muslims may have interpreted a passage in the Koran to mean that the world is flat.
I know that this entire discussion may be offensive to you. If so, please look inside yourself to find the root of the offense. I say this because I know that an offended spirit has great difficulty moving in faith. As we know anything not of faith is sin.
There are many people in this world, Christian and Muslim, that I do not agree with 100%. But the Scriptures do not say that the people of God will ever come to a unity of doctrine but rather a unity of faith.
I have enjoyed our exchange. It has afforded me an opportunity to set down in writing the words that have so often been verbalized. At this point I would like to ask your permission to use this dialogue in a possible future addition to my website. Of course, I would withhold your name and e-mail address (all personal information) and I will not use any of your words without your permission.
I am by no means offended. I am seriously challenged by your theology. I do not agree that Islam and Christianity are at all compatible, however, I believe my interactions with you does challenge and encourage me to look inside and at how I need to be more understanding of what others believe. I love the Muslim people but I do not believe in the pluralistic view the world is forcing on us all. This view says we must be tolerant of everyone and that truth is what you make it, that truth is relative. Mohamed and Jesus can not both be right. Jesus claimed he was God in human flesh. The Quran denies this. Pluralism would say both are true. That is not possible.
I would not mind you using our dialog on your site. I do wish to be anonymous. Please don't not change my text expect for spelling errors. I spell awful.
Here is another question for you. Who pays for our sins? From what I see in Islam, we must earn our way to Heaven. There is no assurance of salvation. Allah only gives assurance to those who die in Jihad. Jesus offered ETERNAL life to all who believe in HIM. Jesus call us to worship HIM as God and when we place our faith in HIM he saves us by granting us repentance and forgiveness because of his death on the cross. Only a perfect lamb could pay for my sins. There is only one perfect man, the God-Man Jesus Christ. Mohamed never received a salvation message by grace through faith in Christ alone. He received from Allah a salvation message that is by works.
Bill, are there others like you... Islamic-Christians?
Have you ever heard of Dr. Jamal Badawi? He is probably the most well known Muslim Scholar in the U.S.. Not only is he a genius but he is known to be one of the most brilliant, learned, conservative Muslim scholars who knows more about Islam, the Quran, the Hadith, than you and I may ever know. Badawi, a true Muslim, would most assuredly disagree with your views. What do you think about that?
Thanks again for taking time to dialog with me.
Till Every Student Hears,
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot
Bill McLean wrote:
I too am repulsed by the pluralistic view you mentioned. Truth is not relative. Truth is God's Word. Faith comes from God's Word. Many people today are so "tolerant" that they freely associate with witches and buddhists as if their pagan philosophies were somehow on an equal footing with God's Word. Sad.
Islam teaches salvation by grace not works. God's grace affords to those of us who are willing the opportunity to repent, (that is, turn from our old life to a new life of submission to God), with repentance automatically comes good works. This also what the Apostle Paul said that his teaching was when he was on trial. (Acts 26:20)
You stated that Jesus calls on us to worship HIM as God. I can't find that in the Bible. Can you show me where it is?
There are others like me, Islamic Christians. To my knowledge there is not an organized forum in today's world but the Koran refers to "Christians who are true believers."
I don't know that Dr. Badawi would disagree with me or not. Nor do I know if the Pope or Billy Graham would agree or disagree with me. Modern Muslims and modern Christians have an impure form of their religeons. You only need to read the newspaper and you will see Christians embracing homosexuality and Muslims twisting their religeon to justify murder. Although those are examples from the extreme end, between the extreme and the truth are many other errors.
I only know that I have a clear, honest conscience before the Almighty God. This surely is more important than whether or not any person agrees with me. I firmly believe that those who only study their own "camp's" beliefs are at a disadvantage. It almost seems like arrogance to believe that your organization, denomination, or church has it all figured out. Within Christianity alone, there are thousands of different groups who all think that they have it all right. Well obviously they can not all be right. Someone has to be wrong. All that I do and all that I ask from anyone else is to accept the possibility that we may be the ones who are wrong. We must be willing to change when find that we are wrong.
In the Service of the Almighty,
Today I celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. Grace to you and peace form God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (I am tired of the same old "Merry Christmas!".)
Here are some verses to start our chat...
Matthew 2:9-11 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Matthew 14:31-33 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Matthew 28:9-10 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
John 20:25-29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (Note Thomas calls Jesus his LORD and his GOD)
You know what he said to Satan in the wilderness "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’" Matthew 4:10
If Jesus is not God the Son, not God in human flesh, but was indeed a "prophet of God" who knew he was not God, why would he allow himself to be worshiped? This would have been blasphemy for him to receive worship if Jesus indeed he was not God.
Bill, long before Islam arose, long before denominationalism, the essential doctrines of the Christian Church taught that Jesus Christ was and is God, because his deity is taught all through the whole Bible. I could spend hours pasting scripture texts for you on this on without taking them out of context.
Many messed up Christian churches today still cling to this truth from the Bible. For nearly 2000 years this has been the case. Shoot, Billy Graham and the Pope believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, and I have serious issues with both of them doctrinally. This is not about me or you being right or wrong. This is about the Bible and the Quran being right or wrong. Even if the Bible was a fake, as it stands it still teaches that Jesus Christ is God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, and Adoni.
So, here is a logical syllogism:
A. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God the Son, i.e. God in human flesh, second person of the ONE Triune Godhead.
B. Muhammad and the Quran teach that Jesus was not God's Son, not God the Son, i.e. God in Human flesh, not the second person of the ONE Triune Godhead.
C. Therefore the Quran is wrong and Muhammdd is a false prophet.
If the above logical syllogism is wrong, i.e. not true, then the Bible is wrong and the Quran is correct. Bill, the Quran and the Bible can not both be true. Either the one is true and the other is false. The Quran contradicts the Bible all over the place. I will provide evidence if need be.
If Jesus is not God then he could not have paid for our sins as the Bible says he does. 1 John 2:1-2 "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
Bro, I leave you with this passage to ponder...
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn (Jesus) into the world, he says, "Let all God’s angels worship him."
7 In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire."
8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."
10 He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
13 To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
I love the challenge of this dialog with you. I mean you no harm. Thanks again.
In the Grip of His Grace,
Servant of the Most High God
Bill McLean wrote:
Jesus was worshiped. So was Daniel. (Dan. 2:46) Rev. 3:9 says that the church at Philadelphia will be worshiped. Phil. 3:3 Paul said to worship God and rejoice in Jesus. Jesus said to worship the Father not "me". (Jn. 4:24) In Joshua chapter five verse fourteen we see that Joshua worshiped the captain of the host of the Lord. In Luke 14:10, Jesus explains how even we can receive worship.
So then, what is the significance of this worship? If receiving worship means that one is a deity, then Daniel (a true Prophet) is God. The members of the church at Philadelphia are gods. How ridiculous!
Clearly there are different types of worship. There is worship that is due to the one Supreme Being and there is a different worship that is honor and reverence that can be given to anyone of honorable character. It is this second type of worship that Jesus received. No where does the Bible say to worship Jesus "as God." No where does Jesus ask to be worshiped "as God." Jesus did not "ask for" any type of worship but rather said repeatedly that we should worship God the Father.
The Bible does state that Jesus is the Son of God. The Koran does state that God has no son. Contradiction? Not at all. Let me explain. My oldest son is my wife's child from a previous marriage. I have raised him since he was only twenty months old. In genetics he "is not" my son. In relationship he "is" my son as much as our younger son is. So he is my son and not my son at the same time. Both are true. This is the same with the Bible and the Koran in reference to Jesus. In the Bible, we see Jesus described as God's Son, relationship. In the Koran, sonship is denied, genetics.
You ask, "How do you know that?" Simple. Koran 72:3 states that god has not taken a wife that He might have a son, genetics. The Bible does say "begotten Son," but the word "begotten" also appears in the Greek text to describe Isaac as Abraham's "only begotten son." We know that Abraham had more than one son so the Greek word for begotten clearly means something other than or more than simple offspring. We know that Jesus was born to a virgin with no earthly father. But this does not imply that that Jesus was God's heavenly offspring. Jesus said that His mother and brothers were those who do the will of the Father, relationship. (Matt. 12:46-50)
The Bible says that He was God's Word in human flesh, so does the Koran. The Bible says that He was born to a virgin, so does the Koran. The Bible says that He was the Messiah, so does the Koran. The Bible says that He was a spirit sent from God, so does the Koran. The Bible says that His followers will be exalted in the day of resurrection, so does the Koran.
Where does it say that Jesus had to be God to pay for our sins? It does say that Jesus was without sin of His own which enabled Him to voluntarily take our sin. By the first man, Adam, sin came into the world. By the second Adam, Jesus, sin was taken away. (Rom. 5:10-19)
Nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus was or is a part of a tri-une godhead. The trinity is an unscriptural doctrine. It is an invention of men. The only scriptural interpretation of "trinity" is that of a triangle. The Father God is at the top. Jesus is below and to the Fathers right hand. The Holy Spirit is also below the Father to His left hand. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both subordinate to the Father. They also function in harmony with Him but they are not the same Being as the Father.
In the Service of the Almighty,
I have not heard any more from S.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions
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