Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jesus: More Than a Servant, He is the Way

I'm rapidly approaching the completion of my reading through the Qur'an (finally). Today, I've read through Surah 44 (the "chapters" of the Qur'an are called "surahs"). This Surah contains a few verses that are relevant to Christian apologetics. Verses 81-82 deny that Allah has a Son, and I hope to comment on these verses, along with the many other verses denying that Jesus is the Son of God, in a future post, but today I'd like to focus on verses 57-59 and 64.

44:57 begins a discussion about "(Jesus) the son of Mary;" as part of this discussion, 44:59 says, "He [Jesus] was no more than a servant." Now, this view of Jesus is a serious demotion from what the New Testament texts have to say about Him; John, who knew Jesus (John 21:20-24), identifies Him as the "Word," who was with God and who was God (John 1:1, 14): who was glorified with God before the foundation of the world (John 17:5). The author of Hebrews specifically speaks of Jesus being greater than God's servants: the prophets and the angels (Hebrews 1).

44:64 says, "For Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a Straight Way." By comparison, Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6), making faith in Him absolutely essential to salvation (see also John 3:16). According to the New Testament, it is not worshipping Allah or following the "five pillars," but rather trusting in Jesus and His work on our behalf, that leads to a soul finding security for life after death.

In conversations I've had with non-religious people, I've often heard that 'all religions are basically the same.' In some conversations I've had with Muslim friends/co-workers, my friends have sought to emphasize the similarities in Islamic and Christian belief (in order to say, again, that we are 'basically the same,' so I do not need to worry about their souls). But Christianity is first and foremost centered on Jesus Christ: on the good news of who He is, and what He has done on behalf of sinners. Islam-- first by contradicting the biblical witness concerning Christ and then by disregarding the exclusivity of Christ-- is not a religion that is essentially the same as Christianity with only incidental differences; rather, it is a religion that is essentially different than Christianity, with only incidental similarities.

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