Understanding Islam & Christianity: Beliefs That Separate Us & How to Talk About ThemJosh McDowell, Jim WalkerHarvest House Publishers / 2013 / Trade Paperback$11.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
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LarikSan Antonio, TXAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5very informativeDecember 9, 2013LarikSan Antonio, TXAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Understanding 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.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5covers only a few topicsSeptember 28, 2013bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2The 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.
Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Communication StarterSeptember 24, 2013Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I 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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