Today we continue with chapter twenty-four of Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Please leave a comment on your reading below. This is where you can interact with others reading the book, ask questions, or add your own thoughts. Series index here. Click below for the audio intro, chapter 24 study questions PDF, and summary:
Chapter Twenty-Four: Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam
Chapter twenty-four looks at the second largest religion in the world: Islam. The author notes the particular challenges to addressing Islam due to its cultural positioning. However, he notes that regardless of how Islam is perceived politically, its truth claims must be assessed like all other religions. Groothuis starts by outlining six key doctrinal areas held by Muslims, including their belief in God, angels and demons, prophets, holy books, God’s judgment, and divine decrees.
The author then goes on to explore some common claims by Islam against Christianity. These include the claim that the Bible has been corrupted and distorted, that Jesus was not crucified, the Jesus is not divine, that God is not truine, and that Jesus was merely a prophet of Islam. Groothuis gives concise responses to each of these claims, then concludes with some key shortcomings of Islam, showing that it does not succeed as a replacement for Christianity.
Whatever may be politically expedient in discussing Islam should take a back seat to evaluating rationally Islam’s worldview and its relationship to Christianity. (Christian Apologetics, p. 600)
But the case against Islam includes not only the historical reliability of the biblical documents but also an understanding of Christianity as a conceptual system that better explains salient aspects of reality. (Christian Apologetics, p. 611)
Unlike Islam, which teaches salvation through works, the gospel teaches that salvation is entirely through the loving grace of God as demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Christ follower is thus freed to love God, receive love from God and love his or her neighbor (or enemy). This deep-seated emphasis on divine and human love is absent from the Qur’an. (Christian Apologetics, p. 612)
- What do you think is the biggest reason for Islam’s growth worldwide?
- How would you answer the claim that the Bible has been distorted and corrupted?
- Do you see any way to build a bridge to dialogue starting from Islam’s teaching that Jesus was a prophet?
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Problem of Evil