Understanding Islam & Christianity: Beliefs That   Separate Us & How to Talk About Them  -     By: Josh McDowell, Jim Walker
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Understanding Islam & Christianity: Beliefs That Separate Us & How to Talk About Them

Harvest House Publishers / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

For years, international apologist Josh McDowell has been alert to the challenge of Islam and how Muslims' objections to Christianity can raise deep doubts in believers' minds. His recent on-the-ground research with Muslims in the Middle East has crystallized into this practical resource focusing on Jesus and the gospel. Aided by Islam expert Jim Walker, McDowell lays out the evidence on the crucial issues:
  • What kind of prophet was Jesus? Was he the Messiah?
  • "Son of God"? "Son of Man"? What's that about?
  • The Trinity - do Christians believe in one God or three?
  • How are God and Jesus related? Can they both be God?
  • The gospel - how could God dishonor his Son by letting him die horribly? What good did his death do?
  • What is salvation?
  • What does the Quran say about Jesus and the gospel?
  • Aren't the Bible's accounts of Jesus corrupt?
Understanding Islam and Christianity provides believers with authoritative evidence from Scripture and history to intelligently approach conversations with Muslim friends and neighbors with assurance and confidence.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0736949909
ISBN-13: 9780736949903

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Publisher's Description

Islam’s objections to Christianity can raise doubts among believers. This practical resource centers on Jesus and the gospel, hitting crucial issues like Jesus’ role as prophet/Messiah; his equality with God; his dishonorable death; and the trustworthiness of the Bible’s accounts. Here’s authoritative evidence to help Christians with Muslims’ questions and challenges.

Author Bio

Josh McDowell has been reaching the spiritually skeptical for more than five decades. Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has spoken to more than 25 million people in 128 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 148 books, with over 51 million copies distributed worldwide, including Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex, Experience Your Bible, Evidence for the Historical Jesus, More Than a Carpenter (over 15 million copies printed in 85 languages), and The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World magazine as one of the twentieth century's top 40 books. Josh continues to travel throughout the United States and countries around the world, helping young people and adults strengthen their faith and understanding of Scripture. Josh will tell you that his family is his ministry. He and his wife, Dottie, have been married for over 40 years and have four children and numerous grandchildren.

Jim Walker has been involved in Islamic ministry and research for over 20 years. He has led and taught numerous seminars for Christians interested in learning about Muslims’ faith.

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. San Antonio, TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    very informative
    December 9, 2013
    San Antonio, TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Understanding Islam and Christianity

    I have read a lot of books by Josh McDowell and according to our pastor he is one of the best theological writers out there. So, it was a given that this book was a must read for me, but besides my high respect for Josh McDowell, I picked this book because I used to have a friend that was from muslim family, but I know nothing about their belief nor about Quran. I did my best and converted my friend to Christianity but I was just like so many others that come to Muslims with 180 degree disagreement. We don't even ask about their faith we just plain out say they are wrong. Did you know that they believe in the same God we do? Do you know that they believe in Jesus? That there are so many similarities between the religions?? The sad part is the key difference between the two-- believing Jesus is the Son of God. They dont and that cuts out their salvation. They live a life that is constantly weighted on the scales. For each sinful deed or thought they have to do something good to balance the scale. Can you live with that kind of stress? Can you imagine not being able to just ask for forgiveness for your sins and go on but to do good things for all the bad?? I know I couldn't.

    Do you know why in reality they curse christians and kill them? Do you know the truth about crucifixion or the resurrection? And so-so much more..

    This book holds so many answers..

    Josh McDowell took Bible, Quaran, Thorah, and history and proved the truths about everything we believe today.

    My father isnt a Christian and lately he started trying to prove the Bible wrong. Well this book brought forth a great debate and I finaly managed to prove to him that we Christians aren't practicing a blind faith but have proven facts that solidify Bible and all it is teaching!! ;)

    Dear reader, do you have doubts and questions about all this religious business? Do you want to know the detailed history of each of these Great Books? Read this book and find answers to all your doubts.

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.
  2. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    covers only a few topics
    September 28, 2013
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    The authors begin by showing the agreements between Muslims and Christians. They then focus on questions Muslims ask about Christianity (mostly Jesus).

    They move to how the two differ over what it means that Jesus is God's Son, answering the Muslim objections. They also look at other titles given to Jesus, including the title "Son of God," what Jesus meant by it, how the Jews understood it, and why the Muslims reject it. The Quran's teaching on the subject is compared with the Bible. They explore the understanding and history of the Christian's Trinity, revealing the Muslim misunderstanding. They answer Muslim objections to the belief.

    Next they address the atonement and the Muslim objections to it. They explore the differences in the understanding of "salvation" by Christians and Muslims. Then they answer the Quran's claim that Jesus was not crucified by examining the evidence from the Old Testament, Quran, New Testament, historians, and medicine.

    The Muslim claims that the Bible predicted Muhammad are investigated, both the "counselor" Jesus foretold and the "prophet" Moses foretold. Both ideas are soundly defeated.

    Then the authors address the Muslim claim that the Bible has been "corrupted." (I don't understand why this wasn't the first topic covered. The authors admit that the use of the New Testament in proving answers to previous issues relies on its reliability. (183) So why not prove its reliability before using it as proof?) They also clarify how the New Testament Canon was determined. (This is McDowell's expertise and it shows. Fifty pages of the book are given to this topic.)

    Next is an evaluation of the Quran. They note, "Muslims believe that the Quran in their hands today is a copy of the heavenly Quran. It is eternal, uncreated, an attribute of Allah." (235) They then give evidence to show that the Quran is, in fact, the creation of men. They also show how the truth of the Bible is confirmed in the Quran. This is followed by an evaluation of Muhammad's life.

    I am not sure of the value of this book. For a Muslim to read it, or for a Christian to use it in dialog with a Muslim, the Muslim would have to accept the Bible as accurate. The authors themselves admit, "Most sincere Muslims we've met and with whom we have discussed this topic [of the crucifixion] are adamant in insisting that Jesus was not crucified and for the most part disregard any evidence that says otherwise. We can understand that mentality when one believes the Quran is from God and is afraid to question his own faith." (132) My understanding is that Muslims believe the Christian Bible has been "corrupted" and the Quran corrects it. The authors do show that the Bible is affirmed by the Quran, but that is at the end of the book, not the beginning.

    The scope of this book is limited. There is nothing about heaven, how non-Muslims live in a Muslim society, jihad, etc. This book basically covers the persons of Jesus and Muhammad. I think the title is a bit of a misnomer.

    The authors freely quote other sources, lots of other sources, and at length. So if you've read much on the topic, this book may not contain new information for you. This book would serve as a limited introduction to a comparison of Islam and Christianity, specific to a few topics.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
  3. Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Communication Starter
    September 24, 2013
    Floyd Johnson
    Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have now read three books that attempt to respond to offer a Christian response to Islam. The previous two were:

    Camel How Muslims Are Coming to Faith in Christ!

    Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices

    Like those previous two, the newest book suggests that the way into the hearts of the the Muslim community is through listening and understanding. Surprisingly, this is also the same lesson that I heard in the World Religions course that was part of my seminary education 40 years ago. It was also one of the primary lessons learned in my evangelism course at the same institution. It was also a primary lesson presented as I completed my degree in Community Counseling at the University of Nebraska.

    It appears that it is difficult to accomplish that task with people - both those who are like us and those who are different. Of course, to some extent, that is true for everyone.

    The current book is as much a call to listening as it is a call to understanding - for the Christian to understand the Muslim and for the Muslim to understand the Christian. Too often we argue against stick men that we have built from rumors and stories told by others, rather than listening to those whose beliefs we disagree with.

    I am not sure whether Understanding Islam and Christianity is written for the Islamic or the Christian communities. Regardless, the contents of this book can serve as a bridge between these two communities.

    As one might expect from Josh McDowell, the book is a clear statement of Christian doctrine, a carefully researched study of the beliefs of Islam by one who has lived within their culture for many years. The book examines both the theological and historical roots of both Islam and Christianity. Though not a long book, it does provide a scholarly look at two cultures that have stood opposed to each other for centuries. It is a recommended read for both the Islamic and Christian communities. Perhaps it will open lines of communications that have previously been closed.


    This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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