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" So there is common ground for starters. Now, to avoid more generations and centuries of killing and hatred, Christians and Muslims must indeed find common ground. And for the Christian hoping to convert the Muslim, common ground is just the launching pad.
Another way of bringing the discussion down to familiar territory for the Muslim is to point out that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Muslims may believe that Christians worship "three Gods, and are therefore polytheists," Pratt explains, and Christians may think that "Allah" is different than "God." Getting past this point and explaining that the prophet Jesus Christ was the Son of God (and that it has been made clear in the prophecies through the Holy Bible) and that the "Holy Ghost" or "Holy Spirit" is not a God but rather a divine spirit that is ever-present and never-ending will likely bring about good dialogue for starters.
In the International Students' material ("How Can We know the Bible is the Word of God?") the emphasis is on the fact that the Bible is "historically accurate." And while not putting down the historical accuracy of the Qur'an, a Christian must make a strong effort to lay out the truth about the Bible. Archaeologist Nelson Glueck argues "categorically" in this material that "no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference." Excavations in the Holy Land have verified the writings in the Bible again and again as historically accurate, according to William Ramsay (quoted in the Religion Profile). The Bible was written by men who were teachers and taught "the highest standard of ethics, including the obligation to always tell the truth," and even though many of the writers of the Bible "paid a high price for their truthfulness" - martyrdom. It can be explained to the Muslim that few people are willing to die for what they know "...to be false," the Religion Profile asserts, and therefore the authors of the 40 books in the Bible who gave their lives by standing up for the truth of what they wrote should be believed and respected.
Writing in Time Magazine ("Should Christians Convert Muslims?"), David Van Biema explains that any Christian attempting to convert a Muslim should know that "Of the three Abrahamic faiths, Islam is the most ferociously opposed to the straying of its flock" (Van Biema, 2003). Indeed, Van Biema continues, Shari'a law calls for "the death penalty" for Muslims who leave the faith for other religions; if not death, at least "persecution" is quite common in some Muslim countries. So a Christian asking a Muslim to convert is risking harm to that Muslim, albeit the Gospel according to Matthew (the "Great Commission") says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."
CONCLUSION: The devout Christian trying to convert a devout Muslim has a Herculean task, a very steep mountain to climb. Among the two most difficult teachings of the Christian faith to put across to the Islamic believer are: one, that Jesus Christ was not just a prophet but the Son of God; and two, that sin is not just a matter of having made bad decisions, but in fact sin is a moral rejection of God, which cries out for acceptance of Christ's dying on the Cross as a path to forgiveness. If those two Christian principles can be conveyed (and accepted by the Muslim) through respectful, honest dialogue, the Christian believer will have completed a task only a very few accomplish.
International Students, Inc. "Secularism / Is Jesus the Only Way to God? / How Can We Know
The Bible is the World of God? / World Religions Overview."
Pratt, Douglas. "Islam: A Challenge to Christianity." The New Zealand Journal of Christian
Thought & Practice 15.2 (2007), 2-9.
Shipp, Glover. "Evangelism: Sharing Christianity with Muslims." The Christian Broadcasting
Network. (2007). Retrieved Feb. 4, 2008, at http://www.cbn.com.
Van Biema, David. "Should Christians Convert Muslims?" Time Magazine. 15 June, 2003.
Retrieved Feb. 4, 2008, at…[continue]
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