Friday, March 25, 2016

Christianity and Islam: Theological Essentials

Last Fall I completed my ECLEA teaching book, Christianity and Islam: Theological Essentials. Since that time I have read a wealth of material that led me to make some additions and changes and, most importantly, add a concluding chapter on bridging the divide between Islam and the gospel, particularly by using the Qur'an and various aspects of Islamic culture, thought patterns, and practices as bridges to the true Jesus and the gospel. In a sense, this final chapter ties the rest of the book together and makes it very practical. I have used multiple Muslim sources, and the bibliography lists which sources are by Muslims, ex-Muslims, and non-Muslims. Also, for all the sources that are online, I have included the internet address so that you can easily find and read the source materials on your own. I have posted the book on the "ECLEA Courses" page of the ECLEA website ( You may download and use it for free. Here is a synopsis:

Christianity and Islam: Theological Essentials covers all of the most important aspects of both Christianity and Islam, as follows:

1. Basic overview of Islam (size and growth, Islamic sects, sources of authority, the "five pillars," the six articles of belief, festivals and holy places, and a history of Muhammad and Islam)

2. Jesus and Muhammad (the Islamic view of Jesus, evidence for the crucifixion, evidence for the resurrection, biblical evidence that Jesus is the "Son of God" and implications of that fact, the Qur'an's view of Jesus, and the character of Muhammad)

3. Sin and salvation (according to Christianity, according to Islam, and implications)

4. Yahweh and Allah (their similarities and their differences, and a detailed discussion of the Trinity)

5. The Bible and the Qur'an (the development of the Bible, the Islamic view of the Bible, reasons why the Bible is reliable and has not been corrupted [including the Qur'an's and Muhammad's affirmations of the reliability of the Bible], Muslim claims that Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible and a consideration of the major biblical passages Muslims believe prophesy of Muhammad, the development of the Qur'an, contradictions and errors in the Qur'an, and the Islamic "doctrine of abrogation" and its implications)

6. Bridging the divide between Islam and the gospel (factors that lead Muslims to turn to Christ, factors that facilitate the witness of the gospel to Muslims, using the Qur'an and Islamic culture as a bridge to Christ and the gospel, and dealing with questions and objections)

I also include three appendices: the chronological order of the Qur'an's surahs, a sample of what Muhammad and Islam require and forbid Muslims to do and believe, and the "99 names of Allah."
If you have any particular feedback, comments, suggestions, or critique, I would love to hear from you. Enjoy!

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