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Darkness to Light - Vol. XIII, No. 6
Darkness to Light
Volume XIII, Number 6
Light Web site
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
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The LORD Has It Under Control: What the Bible Teaches About the Sovereignty of God - This book is for the person struggling in life and for the person struggling with how God sovereignly works in people’s lives. It goes through the Bible more or less in order. Along the way, I relate examples of how I believe the sovereignty of God has been operating in my life, in hopes that my experiences will help the reader to apply the principles to your life. It also addresses the question of the relationship of God’s sovereignty to the human will or volition.
By Gary F. Zeolla
I received an email from a Muslim a few years ago. It was rather lengthy and made a long list of claims about the Bible, the Quran, Muhammad, and Islam. I did not have the time to go through each claim one by one at that time, so I put it aside and forgot about it. But I came across the email recently. The claims it makes are often made, so I figured it would be good to use that email as the basis for an article now.
The emailer's comments are in black and enclosed by greater than and lesser than signs. My responses and quoted Bible verses are in red. The latter are indented and can be indentified by the superscript verse markers. They are quoted from my Analytical-Literal Translation. Quotes from other sources are in purple.
>The teachings of Paul contradict the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is telling us that salvation is achieved by following his life example, but Paul tells us that Jesus died for our sins. Who is to be believed? <
This claim is patently false and shows an ignorance of the Bible. The Gospels and Jesus Himself clearly teach He would die for our sins and that salvation is attained through faith in Him.
21And she [Mary] will give birth to a Son, and you [Joseph] will call His name Jesus [“Yahweh saves”], for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
27And having taken the cup and having given thanks, He [Jesus] gave [it] to them, saying, “Drink from it, all [of you], 28for this is My blood, the [blood] of the New Covenant, the [blood] poured out on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:27,28).
45For even the Son of Humanity did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life [as] a ransom [or, price of release] for [or, in the place of] many” (Mark 10:45).
23And having taken the cup, having given thanks, He [Jesus] gave [it] to them, and they all drank of it. 24Then He said to them, “This is My blood of the New Covenant, the [blood] being poured out for many” (Mark 14:23,24).
19And having taken bread, having given thanks, He [Jesus] broke [it] and gave [it] to them, saying, “This is My body, the [one] being given on your* behalf; be doing this in remembrance of Me.” 20And in the same manner [He took] the cup after [they] ate, saying, “This cup [is] the New Covenant in My blood, the [blood] being poured out on your* behalf” (Luke 22:19-20).
46And He [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it has been written, and thus it was necessary [for] the Christ to suffer and to rise from [the] dead the third day, 47and [for] repentance and forgiveness of sins to be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46,47).
29The next day he [John the Baptist] sees Jesus coming towards him and says, “Look! The Lamb of God, the One taking away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
13“And no one has ascended into heaven, except the One having descended from heaven—the Son of Humanity, the One being in heaven. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness [see Numb 21:6-9], so it is necessary [for] the Son of Humanity to be lifted up, 15so that every[one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be having eternal life.”
16For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, unique] Son, so that every[one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be having eternal life! [cp. 1John 4:14] 17For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. 18The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing already has been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, unique] Son of God (John 3:13-18).
30Now indeed many other signs Jesus also did in the presence of His disciples which have not been written in this scroll. 31But these have been written so that you* shall believe [or, be convinced] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and so that believing you* shall be having life in His name (John 20:30,31).
> The word “son of God” in Hebrew means one who is close to God. This phrase was used by all the Hebrew prophets so Jesus is no exception to the rule. <
This is another claim that is patently false, in several ways. First “son of God” is a phrase, not a word. Second, this phrase does not appear in the Old Testament (OT); thus it is not a Hebrew phrase and was not used of any of the Hebrew prophets. It does, however, appear in the New Testament (NT). The Greek phrase is uiu tou theou and is used 48 times in the NT, with every reference being about Jesus (e.g. Matt 14:33; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:34). The phrase indicates His unique relationship to the Father.
>In fact, the Revised Standard Version [RSV] of the Bible which is based on the most ancient Hebrew documents does not state that Jesus is the begotten son of God. <
Here is more confusion on the part of the emailer. But first to be clear, the OT was originally written in Hebrew and the NT in Greek. The phrase “only begotten Son” which I believe the emailer is referring to occurs in the NT. It is thus the translation of a Greek word, not a Hebrew one.
The Greek word is monogenes. It is used of Jesus in John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1John 4:9. It appears in all Greek manuscripts in these verses. However, it is translated differently in different Bible versions. The King James Version, New Kling James Version, and New American Standard have “only begotten Son.” The RSV, New Revised Standard Version, and some other version have “only Son,” while the New International Version has “one and only Son.” The Holman Christian Standard Bible is the same, except to capitalize the O’s, “One and Only Son.” My *ALT has “only-begotten [or, unique] Son.” However, it is translated, the point is clear--Jesus has a unique relationship to the Father.
>Furthermore, there is no direct quote in the Bible where Jesus says that he is God or God in the literal sense. Furthermore, there is no place in the Bible that talks about Trinity. The faintest idea is found in the book of John, but it does not say that those three are the same substance. <
The deity of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity are most definitely taught in the Bible. This is demonstrated in Scripture Study #9, “The Doctrine of the Trinity” in my Scripture Workbook: Second Edition, 2 Volumes in 1. It lists over 600 verses that support these doctrines. The next two Studies then provide additional verses and refute common objections. It is not possible to repeat all of that information here, so I will just refer the reader to my book.
> In the Abrahamic sense, God is the creator of the Heavens and Earth, therefore, everything is subordinate to him. Jesus was created by the will of God. He was created in the likeness of Adam.<
Nowhere does the Bible teach Jesus was created. Again, I will refer the reader to my Scripture Workbook for refutation of such a claim. In His humanity, Jesus became flesh and took on flesh and blood (John 1:14; Heb 2:14). And that humanity would be after the image of Adam, in the sense that we all have the same human image as him. But in His deity, Jesus is uncreated.
> The problem we have here is that Paul has redefined Christianity based on his own plausible rationale. When he writes, he says: “I think.” This means that he is not sure about what happened in the cross. <
There is no conflict between Jesus and Paul. This is demonstrated in Scripture Study #3, “The Reliability of the Scriptures” in my Scripture Workbook. Paul thus did not “redefine Christianity.” Moreover, nowhere does Paul say “I think” in regards to Jesus and the cross. And when he uses that phrase, it is not to indicate uncertainty but his thoughts on a matter, just as we use it today (see Act 26:2; 1Cor 4:9; 7:40; 2Cor 10:4; the only times he uses that phrase).
> 300 years after Christ the Roman Bishops had a meeting and democratically elected Christ as the second member of the Trinity.<
The deity of Jesus is taught in the Bible, in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers (Church leaders and authors immediately after the apostles and mostly direct disciples of the apostles in the late first to mid-second centuries), and in the writings of Church Fathers from that time on. The emailer is probably thinking of the Council of Nicaea in 325. It is true it affirmed the deity of Jesus, but the council did not originate the idea. The council was convened to address the new claims of Arius that Jesus was only “like” God rather than of the same substance as the Father.
>Jesus came to fulfill the spirit of the law that was forgotten by the Jews at the time. They were fasting without putting their heart into it. They were making a big noise when they engaged in almsgiving. Paul does the opposite by taking the spirit out and telling people that Jesus died for our sins therefore we all get free tickets to heaven if we believe in the crucifixion. Muhammad made the ultimate union of spirit and letter. <
It is true Jesus taught that fasting, almsgiving, and the like must be from the heart. But that does not negate that His main purpose for coming was to die for our sins. When talking about His impending death, Jesus declared, “Now has My soul been disturbed, and what shall I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But Because of this, I came to this hour” (John 12:27).
As for Paul, he does not “take the spirit out.” He doesn’t mention fasting in his letters, but he does teach we are to give alms with a right attitude (1Cor 9:7). And he strongly taught that inner heart attitudes are more important than outward rituals:
28For he is not a Jew, the [person] in the open [fig., who is so outwardly], neither [is] circumcision in the open [fig., outwardly] in flesh; 29but a Jew [is] the [person] in the secret [fig., who is so inwardly], and circumcision [is] of [the] heart, in spirit, not in letter, whose praise is not from people, but from God (Rom 2:28,39).
As for “free tickets to heaven if we believe in the crucifixion”--it is a common human mindset to think we must earn our way to heaven. But we cannot do so, as no matter how hard we try we will always fall short of God’s standards. But Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have assurance of salvation. But works based religions like the one Muhammad created leave no place for assurance. You can never be sure if you have done enough to be saved. Thus you are on a treadmill, always striving but never knowing if you are good enough. But by faith, I have assurance of my salvation, as I am not trusting in myself but in Him who died for me.
13These things I wrote to you*, the ones believing [or, trusting] in the name of the Son of God, so that you* shall know that you* have eternal life, and so that you* shall be believing [or, shall continue believing] in the name of the Son of God. (1John 5:13).
>The Quran has scientific facts that have been recently discovered by science. Not a single scientific statement contradicts science. Furthermore, the Quran challenges man to look for contradiction. <
Before responding to these claims, let me relate my experience in reading the Quran. I read the Quran many years ago, and it was the most spiritually and emotionally depressing experience of my life. The whole time I was reading it, I felt this foreboding presence of evil. I got so depressed, I could barely function. Halfway through, I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped reading. When I did, the depression and sense of evil lifted. A few months later, I decided to finish it, and the depression and presence of evil returned. But I was determined to finish it. When I did, once again, the problems dissipated. The only other time I had such an experience was when I read The Satanic Bible. I know this is very subjective, so I am not claiming it proves anything. But it was my experience, and one I have no desire to repeat. That is why I have not written much about Islam, as to do so would require studying and quoting from the Quran, and I just cannot go through that again.
I relate all of this to explain why I cannot respond in detail to the emailer's claims, as that would require reading the Quran again. But I did Google “Quran scientific facts” to get an idea of what he was talking about. The first page to come up was Invite to Islam, Scientific Facts in the Qur’an. It lists nine supposed “scientific and historical facts found in the Quran which were unknown to the people at the time.” But many of them are rather tenuous.
For instance, #1 is “Origin of Life.” It quotes Sura 21:30, which says, “We made every living thing from water? Will they not believe?” The article then says, “In this verse water is pointed out as the origin of all life.” It then claims this is confirmed by recent science that tells us living cells are made mostly of water. But that is confusing two issues: the origin of life and what life is made out of. Yes, living cells are mostly water, and water is essential to life. But science does not teach life sprang spontaneously from H2O molecules. In fact, science still is unable to explain exactly how life originated.
Another example is #6, “Sun’s Orbit.” It claims the Quran is correct in Sura 21:33, “It is He who created night and day, the Sun and the Moon, each floating in its orbit.” It says this refers to the sun orbiting around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, a fact only recently discovered by science. However, a more honest reading of that verse is it says the sun and moon orbit around the earth. That is something that was believed by most everyone at the time, but which is of course incorrect.
However, the Bible does what the emailer claims--provide many scientific facts that were only later discovered by science. I give a list of such in Scripture Study #3, “The Reliability of the Scriptures” in my Scripture Workbook. That chapter in my book also demonstrates that the Bible is not contradictory. But as for the Quran, one thing that do remember from reading it is that some Suras (chapters) teach congeniality towards people of other faiths, while other Suras teach such are to be killed if they do not convert to Muhammad’s newly created religion. That is a major contradiction.
I would later learn that the peaceful Suras are the earlier written ones, while the violent ones were written later (The Suras are not in chronological order in the Quran). That is because when Muhammad first started to promote his new religion, it was in the minority, thus forced conversions would not have been successful. He thus preached religious tolerance. But as he acquired a following and thus an army, he resorted to violence to propagate his new religion and disavowed any concept of religious tolerance.
Although Muhammad patiently endured persecution in Mecca, his attitude quickly changed when his numbers grew in Medina. Soon he would tolerate no criticism whatsoever. According to our earliest biographical source, a man named Abu Afak—who was more than a hundred years old—wrote a poem criticizing people for converting to Islam. Muhammad demanded he be killed, and Abu Afak was murdered in his sleep (4Truth.net).
Also, a word about the Muslim doctrine of abrogation (naskh – see suras 2:106 and 13:39). This has to do with later revelations given to Muhammad superseding or abrogating earlier ones. About three-quarters of the Koran’s 114 suras (chapters) are the peaceful Meccan ones, while about one-quarter are the more violent Medinan ones. So while the Koran does speak about peace and nonviolence in religion, these are the earlier Meccan suras (such as 2:256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” which we so often hear about), which are abrogated by the later violent Medinan suras, if a conflict arises... Altogether there are around 100 passages in the Koran which speak of the use of force and the sword (compared to some 120 earlier, more peaceful and tolerant verses). (Culture Watch).
This pattern continues to this day. When Muslims are in the minority in a country, they ask for tolerance, but when they become the majority, religious tolerance is no longer respected. That is why there is no true religious freedom in most Muslim dominated countries today. “78 percent of Muslim-majority countries have high levels of government restrictions on religious freedom, compared with 43 percent of all other countries and 10 percent of Christian countries” (Washington Post).
>If the Bible does not mention Muhammad as a false or true prophet there must be serious problem with it because his impact in world history which continues to our day is TREMENDOUS, especially his impact on Christianity. <
The Bible was written between 1400 BC and 100 AD. Mohammed lived 570-632 AD. It thus would be impossible for the Bible to mention Muhammad.
>Many previously owned Christian lands continue to be in the hands of the Muslims today. Furthermore, Jerusalem was captured and remained in the hands of the Muslims for over 1000 years.<
This is very true. The entire Middle East and all of Northern Africa were Christian lands until the onslaught of Muhammad and Islam. But by the sword, people were forced to convert to Muhammad’s new religion or die. And after Muhammad’s death, his followers continued this practice of forced conversions and military conquest. Thus what is being admitted to here is that Islam was a violent religion from the start and that pattern continues today with ISIS and other radical Muslim groups trying to exterminate Christians from these same areas.
Muslims, on the other hand, did not rely solely on preaching to spread their faith--they turned also to the sword to conquer vast areas of land in the Middle East and Northern Africa during the seventh and eighth centuries. When they attacked or occupied new territory, they gave its inhabitants three options: convert to Islam, pay a special tax, or die. Under these circumstances many chose to pay the tax, and many others chose to convert to Islam (Open Study).
In “Exterminating Christians in the Middle East” (Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2015), Robert Reilly highlights the parallels between Nazi Germany and the similar story “playing out again, as Christians are being wiped out in the Middle East.” He references Pope Francis’s recent remarks: “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus.” He continued: “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place.” Notably, Mr. Reilly, the Director of the Westminster Institute in McLean Virginia references how “Middle Eastern Christians are being exterminated by Islamic State, or ISIS, simply because they are Christians” (Orthodox Christians Network).
>Muhammad is the founder of a cult without images.<
This is true. Muhammad was strongly opposed to the practice of the veneration of images that was common in his hometown of Mecca and that had crept into the Christian Church by his time. And he was right to oppose it, as Protestants did later in the Reformation.
> he is the founder of 40 empires. <
I’m not sure of the number, but the general idea is correct. Many nations fell to the Muslim military onslaught during his lifetime and afterwards. But again, this only proves that Muhammad and his new religion are violent from the start and to the core.
>He is the prophet for one fourth of humanity. If this exponential growth continues, most of mankind will be Muslim by 3000 AD.<
This is also true, and very scary. And unfortunately, many today in the western world do not realize the dangers. If or when Islam becomes dominate in an area, all freedoms are squashed out, starting with the freedom of religion and continuing to the rights of women. Women are thus forced to bear children and do little else with their lives. Thus the Muslim population is growing faster than non-Muslim populations due to the number of children being born. Thus as Muslim migrate to or flee into western counties, they will gradually dominate those counties. Add to that, non-Muslims being slaughtered by radical Muslims in areas already controlled by Muslims, and it is very possible that Islam will become the dominant world religion. In fact, I am of the mindset that the one-world religion prophesied in The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, is Islam. But that one-world religion is an oppressive religion opposed to the true God of the Bible.
Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2010 and 2050 and, in the second half of this century, will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group. While the world’s population is projected to grow 35% in the coming decades, the number of Muslims is expected to increase by 73% – from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050….
The main reasons for Islam’s growth ultimately involve simple demographics. To begin with, Muslims have more children than members of the seven other major religious groups analyzed in the study. Each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, significantly above the next-highest group (Christians at 2.7) and the average of all non-Muslims (2.3). In all major regions where there is a sizable Muslim population, Muslim fertility exceeds non-Muslim fertility (Pew Research Center).
> I can also come up with review of the literature (dozens of books and articles) coming from the other side of the fence indicating that Muhammad was the greatest man that has ever lived. It is easy for a Muslim to laud Muhammad. It is easy for a non-Muslim to belittle him, but when someone from the other side of the fence states that he was the greatest man that has ever lived, it carries a TREMENDOUS amount of weight.
Jules Masserman who was a Jew used a sociological viewpoint to show that Muhammad was the greatest. His criteria were as follows:
1) the person who gave a common belief to his people
2) the person who benefitted his people the most
3) someone who created the greatest society where people feel relatively secure
He gave Muhammad position one and Moses position two. He admitted that Muhammad did everything that Moses did to a much greater degree.
Michael Hart used a scientific viewpoint to find out who the greatest man was that ever lived. He stated that Muhammad was first. Isaac Newton was second, and Jesus was third. Interestingly, he gave his own lord and savior position number three. <
Saying who is the greatest is a very subjective opinion; thus “science” has nothing to do with it. It is also something Jesus said a person should not strive for (Luke 22:24-27).
As for your list:
1. Mohammed did not “give” his belief to people; he forced it on them at the point of a sword.
During these last ten years of Muhammad's life, infidels were evicted or enslaved, converted upon point of death and even rounded up and slaughtered depending on expediency (The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth).
2. Mohammed did not benefit women given the way they are subjected in Muslim societies.
In many Islamic countries, women are often illiterate and have no rights in essential critical life decisions, such as those involving child-rearing, marriage or education. And why should they? Various Quranic verses, age-old Islamic traditions, and core Islamic teachings render women as nothing more than chattel and the property of their male relatives—never the equal of men (Frontpage Mag).
Islam does not contribute to modern-day science, which has benefited all of humanity.
There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, but only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science (one for physics in 1979, the other for chemistry in 1999). Forty-six Muslim countries combined contribute just 1 percent of the world’s scientific literature; Spain and India each contribute more of the world’s scientific literature than those countries taken together. In fact, although Spain is hardly an intellectual superpower, it translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years. “Though there are talented scientists of Muslim origin working productively in the West,” Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg has observed, “for forty years I have not seen a single paper by a physicist or astronomer working in a Muslim country that was worth reading” (New Atlantis).
If Mohammed benefited people spiritually depends on if his religion is true. That would be a whole other topic; but I will say, it conflicts with the Christian faith, so they both cannot be true.
3. The only people who “feel relatively secure” in Muslim counties are Muslim men, and then only if they ascribe to the same version of Islam as the dominant Muslim sect in the area. But women, Christians, Jews, and all other non-Muslims are anything but secure, being slaughtered daily today and throughout history. And even Muslim men, if they do not ascribe to the same version of Islam as the dominant Muslim sect are slaughtered or driven from their homes, as we see happening today in droves. And this problem can be laid at the feet of Muhammad, “Muhammad's failure to leave a clear successor resulted in a deep schism that quickly devolved into violence and persists to this day as the Sunni/ Shia conflict” (The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth).
>The BOOK of Isaiah states:
“The book will be given to him who is not learned. The angel will say, READ. He will say, I AM NOT LEARNED.”
The first word in the Quran is: READ. Muhammad’s answer which is found in the Hadith was: I am not learned. The only prophet in the near East who was illiterate was Muhammad.
The only BOOKS are the Psalms of David. the Gospel of Jesus and the Torah of Moses and the Quran. The only one who was not learned was Muhammad of all these four. Even scholars who hate Islam admit that he was illiterate. <
The emailer is both misquoting a Bible verse and taking it out of context. The text being referred to is Isaiah 29:12, but the emailer is not quoting it correctly, as I cannot find any version that reads as he has quoted it, and the word “angel” does not appear in the text. I will quote the verse from my ALT, with the previous verses for context:
9You* shall faint, and be out of your* mind, and be hung over, not from strong drink nor from wine. 10For the LORD gave you* to drink a spirit of deep sleep; and He will close their eyes, and of their prophets and of their rulers, the ones seeing the secret [things]. [Rom 11:8] 11And all these things will be to you* as the words of this having been sealed scroll, which if they shall give it to a person understanding letters, saying, “Read these.” And he will say, “I am not able to read [it], for it has been sealed.” 12And this scroll will be given into [the] hands of a person not understanding letters, and he will say to him, “Read this.” And he will say, “I do not understand letters.”
The point of this passage is people will not understand the teachings of Isaiah, because God will keep them from understanding it. In no way is it a prophecy of a to be coming illiterate man who will be a great religious leader.
As for the comments about “the only books,” I am not sure what the emailer’s point is here. There are far more books than that in the Bible, and of course, they were written by men who were not illiterate, as an illiterate man cannot write. It is said Mohammed dictated the Suras of the Quran to others. But how that proves anything is beyond me.
>Who was Muhammad, and why did God make him so successful?<
He was a shrewd and ruthless military leader. Muslims can claim that was from God, but I believe the source of his bloody ways is far different.
Stinging from the rejection of his own town and tribe, Muhammad's message quickly become more intolerant and ruthless - particularly as he gained power. Islam's holiest book clearly reflects this contrast, with the later parts of the Quran adding violence and earthly defeats at the hands of Muslims to the woes of eternal damnation that the earlier parts of the book promises those who will not believe in Muhammad (The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth).
Now when one reads the Koran, the hadith, and the biographies of Muhammad (which I have done), it becomes clear that Muhammad was not at all a man of peace as Jesus was. Instead, we find a political ruler, a military commander, and a harsh master. Here is a brief outline of his involvement in warfare, killing and violence. When we talk about this, we must be aware of the chronology of Muhammad. He was born in Mecca in 570. He started receiving revelations and visions in 610. For the next dozen years he sought to more or less peacefully spread his new faith. He was rejected, so he fled Mecca in 622 (the hijra, which begins the Muslim calendar). His last ten years in Medina were his violent, bloody years of military conquest. He died in 632 (Culture Watch).
Muhammad once said to his followers, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.” The Jews of Qurayza resisted Muhammad and attempted to form an alliance against him. When the alliance faltered, Muhammad acted quickly. His armies surrounded them and “besieged them for twenty-five nights until they were sore pressed and God cast terror into their hearts.” Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina. . . . Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. . . . There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. Every male who had reached puberty was killed. Muhammad divided the women, children, and property among his men (taking a fifth of the spoils for himself) (4Truth.net).
> The Encyclopedia Britannica which was written by Westerners says that Muhammad was the most successful of all the religious personalities that this world ever had. It also says that he is the most profound individual that this world ever had. We did NOT write any of these books. <
The article on Muhammad on Encyclopedia Britannica’s website was written by a man named Seyyed Hossein Nasr. That sounds like a Muslim name to me. I read the article, and it is clearly bias in the favor of Muhammad. Nasr glosses over the violence and lust of Muhammad, while making grandiose claims about him. That only proves a Muslim thinks a lot of Muhammad. Not exactly earthshaking. However, a far different picture of Mohammed can be found in other biographies of his life. See, for instance, The Life of Muhammad: An Inconvenient Truth and The Historical Muhammad: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly.
>The intellectual superiority of Islam over Christianity is clear. For 1400 years scholars from Christianity have gone to Islam, but how about the vice versa? I can only think of one case but he never wrote a book to explain it. He must have done it for money or status or both. <
I have no idea where the mailer got this from, but I can only guess it is due to him being isolated in a Muslim country and thus having no access to a free press. If he did, he would know how wrong this idea is. The vast majority of the major scientific discoveries and practical innovations of the past couple of centuries have come out of the western world, especially the United States, not Muslim countries. Everything from the telegraph and locomotive to the Internet and smart phones were invented in the USA. The Hubble telescope, probes that fly by Pluto, and the like all came from the USA. I don’t know of any major innovation that makes a difference in people’s everyday lives that came out of a Muslim country, and no Muslim country has ever put a man on the moon or a rover on Mars.
Despite trillions of dollars in oil revenue over the past sixty years, Muslim progress in many other areas, such as scientific research, social issues and education, lags badly behind the rest of the world… Innovation, meaning to create something without precedent, is a risky and therefore dangerous business in the Islamic world. The reason for this is because Islam already has a word for innovation, “bid’ah”. In Islam, this word is essentially the same in meaning as ‘heresy’, which is yet another capital crime under Islamic law. Hence creativity and individuality are utterly stifled in a totalitarian fashion, even in Muslim countries where Islamic law has not yet been fully implemented. Improvisation is also discouraged for similar reasons. This is a major reason why Islamic countries are usually characterized by a near-total lack of scientific research and reluctance to embrace technology in general (Frontpage Mag).
A study in 1989 found that in one year, the United States published 10,481 scientific papers that were frequently cited, while the entire Arab world published only four. This may sound like the punch line of a bad joke, but when Nature magazine published a sketch of science in the Arab world in 2002, its reporter identified just three scientific areas in which Islamic countries excel: desalination, falconry, and camel reproduction (New Atlantis).
The lives of Muslims today have changed little from their tribal ways. New ideas, scientific research, free exchange of information, liberty, encouragement to learn etc are all denied in such a climate (Culture Watch).
>It usually takes someone who diligently seeks the TRUTH and humbleness to come to Islam--the natural religion of man where one submits to the will of God.<
Seeking truth requires access to correct information, something that is restricted in Muslim dominated countries, so I cannot fault the emailer too much for his many misconceptions. But this does explain why Christians and westerners in general have a such a difficult time dealing with Muslims.
Moreover, it doesn’t take humbleness to think you can make yourself good enough for God through religious rituals, but that is the foundation of Islam. The Christian faith, on the other hand, teaches that people must admit they cannot make themselves good enough for God. They thus must trust in Jesus Christ and His atoning death on the cross for their sins to be forgiven and to brought into a right relationship to God. That takes true humbleness.
1In that hour [or, At that time] the disciples approached Jesus, saying, “So who is greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?” 2And Jesus having summoned a young child, He set him in the middle of them 3and said, “Positively, I say to you*, unless you* are turned around [fig., changed inwardly] and become like such young children, by no means shall you* enter into the kingdom of the heavens. 4Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens. 5And whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me” (Matt 18:4).
36The one believing [or, trusting] in the Son has eternal life, but the one refusing to believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36).
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