Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bible and the Qu'ran: Let's Compare

The Bible and the Qu'ran are in essence very different books. The Bible was written over the course of hundreds of years, in different genres (parables, advice, dreams, etc), by a wide variety of authors, (nomads, leaders, scholars, fishermen, etc). Thoughtful Christians do not take every word of the Bible literally but they should believe it absolutely. The Qu'ran was written by one man over the course of his own lifetime and is meant to be taken as literal commands. Whereas the entire Bible is an unfolding of drama of redemptive history and claims to be and is un-contradictory, (there are however mysteries which appear contradictory but are not). The Qu'ran provides an easy way out for it's contradictions (and they are there); very simply, the later, more violent writings supersede the earlier more peaceful writings. Those more gentle and tolerant passages in the Qu'ran were written very early in Mohammad's prophetic career. If you put the Bible and the Qu'ran side by side and read them closely you will find they teach radically different concepts. At the very heart of the Christian Faith is the concept of grace; Jesus gave His life and rose from the grave. That great redemptive act in history was the THE act whereby Jesus established his people. Mohammad built his religion by conquering with the sword. Although that approach may be effective in the short term, the essence of what the Qu'ran teaches is not a message of grace. Peace.

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