A Common Word?

A couple days ago I ran across an article, or series of articles, in the Washington Post by Alison Lake. She was detailing her conversion story from Catholicism to Islam. It is a three part series, and the links are below if you want to read them.

Part 1 – Confessions of a convert to Islam

Part 2 – Converting to Islam Today

Part 3 – “Why Don’t You Love Jesus”

I will say just one thing about this author and her series of articles.

She says she is a convert to Islam. One must wonder what she means when she says this, because based on the evidence of what is present in this article, she was never a Christian.

However, I don’t want to focus on commenting on those articles specifically. Rather, it started a thought process about the god of Islam and the God of the Bible.

The Muslim community will readily tell us that they love and respect Jesus. So, what exactly do they believe about him?

  • Muslims believe that Jesus was a messenger of God (Quran 5:75)
  • Muslims believe in the virgin birth (Quran 19:16-21)
  • Muslims believe that Jesus performed miracles (Quran 5:110)

However, as Christians, we believe that “the love of God that we get strength from is the love of God uniquely expressed through Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins because he died on the cross and rose again” (John Piper’s words, used because it is perfectly expressed). This truth of Jesus is radically rejected by Islam.

Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God, they do not believe in the Trinity, and they do not believe that Jesus died on a cross.

If you remember a few years ago (2007), an open letter was written from leaders of the Muslim faith to leaders of the Christian faith. It calls for peace between Muslims and Christians and tries to work for common ground and understanding among both faiths.

There was a response to that called “Loving God & Neighbor Together: A Christian response”, and was taken out as a full page ad in a Sunday New York Times. John Piper discusses this response at length here.

However, we cannot come to a common ground between us. There is not a common word between us. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. Jesus said in Luke 10:16, “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Therefore Muslims do not believe in the one, true God.

I hope all Muslims will come to know the truth of the true God and His only begotten Son, and will believe in His power and His love and the unique saving power of Jesus.

Christians should, as Piper says, continue to reach out to the Muslim world and present the truth of gospel, but the gospel cannot be compromised.

– Adam Smith

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