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Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2021 12:01 am

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 14, 2021 12:01 am

Throughout history, various religions have been used as justification for violence and war. Is Islam a peaceful religion that has been abused by aggressive extremists? Today, R.C. Sproul and Abdul Saleeb examine what the Qur'an teaches about violence.

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Sometimes preposition the New Testament uses is the preposition into.

We believe in true Christ on this is the fundamental thing that happens to us when we were born again when where confections to Christ. Our faith unites us to him, the spirit unites us to him, and in that way we are bound together, and underneath all that is the fact that in everything Jesus did, he was representing us and because he was representing us everything he has done is really ours. None of these things are what we want In ourselves. All of these things we draw diving from our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He hears everything that he fills our nothingness union with Christ a teaching series with Sinclair Ferguson visit Lincoln series to learn more today on Renewing Your Mind nor in the Koran says Mohammed this is a command for you to go and kill the pagans of Mecca nor in the Koran. Is there a restriction put on the people who are supposed to engage in acts of violence and war against unbelievers.

So these are universal commands for all times and all people who actually commands Muslims to kill Christians and Jews is a serious charge especially in this pluralistic agent which were encouraged to believe that all religions are the same today on Renewing Your Mind. We returned to an interview that Dr. RC spoke invented several years ago to examine what Muslims believe and what were about to hear something every Christian should shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 unfolded.

I had a special guest on Renewing Your Mind by the name of Abdul's to lead a converted Muslim who co-authored a very important book entitled answering Islam with Norman Geisler, Dr. Geisler and Abdul collaborated on this book, subtitled the crescent in the light of the cross and in the course of those interviews that I conducted with Abdul our phones rang off the wall literally in the whole history of Renewing Your Mind. We had no response ever even close to the precedented response. We had to that series of interviews with Abdul and because of that overwhelming interest that was expressed by our listeners. I've invited Abdul to return to our program that we might conduct some further investigation and queries with him as our special guest let me welcome again to Renewing Your Mind Abdul solely thank you so much RC and last time we did the phone interview. This time I have the privilege of being in your studio and thank you for having me now.

I'm so glad to see you alive and well and in person. I'd like to just set the framework here for just a moment to Abdul before we get your input. So often we see the term in the news media fundamentalist and historically it is been used as a pejorative term and insulting term against Christians of the right and course the term fundamentalism has a long history in America with respect to Christianity.

Going back to the turn of the 20th century and the so-called modernist controversy.

The conflict between 19th century liberal theology and Orthodox Christianity, and at that time, the great Orthodox scholars of Princeton seminary people like BB Warfield and others set forth what they consider to be the nonnegotiable essence or substance of historic Christianity.

The foundational principles of the historic faith, which they called the fundamental thinking that these are the tenants that every believing Christian would certainly affirm right now hundred years later, most it seems that the term fundamentalist has undergone a shift that now it means and I'm thinking, moralistic, probably somebody that's biased against the Blacks and all the rest of it has a very negative cast to it. But if you just look at the word any orthodox Protestant any orthodox Roman Catholic would certainly have to be called a fundamentalist insofar as that these historic face all affirm the fundamentals of historic biblical Christianity.

Now there are many who call themselves Christians who would deny the atonement of Christ who would deny the resurrection of Christ, and think that you can have on atonement lasts or resurrection less Christianity and so they still bear the label Christian even though they categorically reject these dimensions that we would say are basic and foundational to historic Christianity. Now I don't know how that applies across the street to Islam because when we discuss methods of Islam. The news media keep referring to the radical terrorist branch of Islam as being an expression of fundamentalist date Muslim religion and we have seen many representatives of Islam stand up and denounce the activity of the terrorists saying that it is inconsistent with Islam itself. We had a couple of Muslims who listen to our interview that we had before and they called in complaining that you would misrepresented Islam because their view of Islam was that there was no place for violence and so on. Now was talking then to liberal Muslims or major estate to question the other way. Abdul is in your judgment, what we call the dark side of Islam. This proclivity for violence is that fundamental basic foundational to historic Islam or resinous.

It's a very broad question RC and let me answered by by saying this, the fundamentals of Islam, like the Christian faith has its own fundamentals. The fundamentals of Islam include such doctrines as the absolute oneness of God that sin nonnegotiable. The doctrine of the unity of God. The other fundamentals of faith in Islam include belief in the fact that God has sent prophets believe in angels that God has created angels belief in Revelation that got in order to guide humanity has sent prophets with these messages and revelations from God to direct them to the straight path and believing the day of judgment, that there will be a day that we have to give a response for IDs and I interrupted this point Abdel now in terms of Christianity, we can look at the Bible as the primary source book.

But then we also look at historic creeds where we have the ecumenical councils of the early church and then all of the various confessions of the various groups of Protestant groups have their Lutheran creeds, Baptist creeds, presbyterian creeds, and so on and they differ at various points from one another but yet these historic expressions of faith would all agree on the resurrection, and these other foundational principles are there such historical documents apart from the Koran that affirm foundational precepts to Islam, not in the terms of my Christian creeds. There have been some creeds in Islamic history, they have not been universally accepted.

But the points that I just mentioned to you, they are basically the fundamentals of Islam which are agreed upon by all Muslims of all various sects or denominations, whether they are conservative or liberal. Basically, these are the things that all Muslims have affirm that there is only one true God that God has created man in angels that God has sent prophets that God has given revelation to humanity for their guidance and that there was a day of judgment that we have to reckon with God. So in that sense is of the fundamentals of Islam.

Now let me say something some Muslims object to the term fundamentalism being used to describe them. They said no that's a Christian term that doesn't describe us and that Islam has never dealt with these issues, that's true. What's in this sense, all Muslims are fundamentalists in the sense that all Muslims believe that the Koran is the actual neutral word of God. You don't have any liberals in the Islam faith that deny the inspiration the Koran like we have multitudes of professing Christians who would deny the inspiration of the Bible. There are there are very few there are very few in numbers and their voices are very insignificant and they do not command any audience and usually those kind of liberal Muslims are greatly persecuted in the Muslim world for saying such things is not like there is freedom of opinions in the Muslim world where you have liberal Muslims publishing liberal books about Islam. Those voices are completely shut off.

But let me bring your attention to a book that I was just recently reading by Diana Eck of Harvard University. She teaches the pluralism project at Harvard.

She has a book called a new religious America and she has a section entitled American Muslims cousins and strangers. And in this book Diana X talks about the Muslim apologist nymph by that week that talks about this issue, fundamentalism, and then this is what Diana Eck goes on to say many Muslims would point out all Muslims are fundamentalists in the sense that they take seriously the revelation of the correct so Muslims basically believe that the Koran is the actual neutral word of God come from heaven to Prophet Mohammed, and that since the vast majority of Muslim are fundamentalists and that's one of the fundamentals of the faith that the Koran is the actual neutral word of God which are saved and will not end from your experience that worldwide Islam would be more monolithically committed to the inspiration of the Koran, then professing Christians absolute towards the bow absolute maps of the Koran has the Highest Pl. in Islamic faith and Islamic life will how would you answer somebody who said that in these issues that we discussed.

The last time that you misrepresented Islam remained.

I thought that everything that was substantial that we talked about you, backed up by direct citations from the Korea I would obviously not agree that I have misrepresented Islam, but I would like to take this time RC and basically defend my thesis by providing documentation for where I get my idea about violence and as I emphasized last time, there are many devout Muslims that, for various reasons that this is not the place to get into those reasons but for various reasons, ignore or rationalize away the issue of violence in Islam. So there are many devout Muslims would take the Koran seriously and at the same time are peaceful loving people. But what I'm saying is very emphatically that those Muslims who are engaging violence in various shapes or forms withers the persecution of Christians, oppression of women destroying the freedom of religion or speech or killing their enemies. Those Muslims that are doing those things are justified for their actions based on the Koran and the example of Prophet Mohammed. So that's the distinction I'm making that there many devout Muslims that are not engaging violence and somehow they ignore portions of the Koran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammed I do for you. Go India and give you documentation. Let me frame this issue because it touches on another question that comes up and we have lots of calls about it, not with respect to Islam, but with respect to Christianity single doesn't the history of the church reveal that Christians have a proclivity for violence wasn't the Holocaust propagated by Christians in Germany against Jews.

We see the crusades against the Turks in Jerusalem, and so on. As part of Christian history, and not only that, which are outside of the Bible, but you see the Old Testament wars conducted under presumably the direct management of God, who commanded the arraignment the utter destruction of the inhabitants of Canaan as the children of Israel entered the land under Joshua so what we want to frame this question expand the many pieces on the tables and was this taken one by one. Let's hear about the violence in Islamic foundational precepts how that would differ from the Christian faith if it does okay very good. Let me start RC by reading very few verses from the Koran. I have a lot more verses but I'm just going to pick a very few of them to set the context of the Koran. First of all in this debate.

For example, in chapter 2 of the Koran versus 192, 193 we read fight in the cause of God.

Those who fight you and slay them wherever you catch them and fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression. I stopped there immediately.

Somebody screaming there. The text of the Koran clearly enjoins people to fight and to slay the enemies of God was the context of that album will the context of that obviously is towards the end of the prophet Mohammed's life when he was in Medina and he was attacking the pagans of Mecca, so they would fight between the believers and unbelievers, but that may read some verses and I will set the historical context for you more down the road here.

Another chapter of the Karen chapter 2 verse 216. Supposedly, God is saying this to the Muslim people fighting this prescribed for you and you dislike it, but it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and you love a thing which is bad for you.

So God is apparently telling people that you don't even like to fight but I'm commanding you to fight and destroy the enemy side timeout. Let me be the devils advocate here for second FFF. Now you've quoted text and I trusted you did, giving us a get accurate data there, but there's also a historical context for that text. Now, for example, I could read a passage from the book of Joshua or enough in the book of Deuteronomy where God gives the mandate to the Jewish people in Israel to go into Canaan to slay men, women and children there and to institute the band not permitting them to allow any of the people to remain alive because all ideas of scorched-earth policy as God is commanding the Jews to take this land and rid it of all pagan influences now that was by direct divine mandate to the Jews at that point in redemptive history. The church is not taken that to mean that therefore, Christians or Jews of all ages have a mandate from God to slay pagans right (when there was a particular historical reason and context for that mandate now could not Muslim person come back and say to you, Abdul. Oh yes, we know that that's found there in the Koran and that revelation came to Mohammed for his day, but it has no broader application beyond that particular initial conquest. What would you say that you have put your finger on a key issue. RC effect.

This was one of my responses in regard to the issue of violence in the Old Testament that from the Old Testament. It is very clear that God's command to Joshua is for a special time, a special people and a special purpose. We have an ongoing gently wore guidelines there later Old Testament. This is not continued and obviously with the coming of Christ. This whole thing is put aside as well that he has no foundation for Jean.

That's exactly right. And I would say even Judaism that they do not have a universal mandate for this spreading of the faith and if guys like Solomon, Hitler carried on against the Jews in the Holocaust and they may have come out of Protestant Germany. They were acting in direct violation of Christian pre-asset in that slot as that's another and likewise the crusades there's no New Testament mandate for carrying the sword to relieve Jerusalem from the Turks, and so on. So that was a misguided black mark on the face of the church. It's not biblically based at all absolutely. And this is one of the things I point out the difference is not that Christians have never engaging violence and Muslims have Christians have done horrible things in the name of Christ and in the name of religion.

But when Christians are engaging violence they are betraying the teachings of Jesus Christ and the example that he set for his followers. Whereas when Muslims are engaging violence. There are not only not betraying the foundation of their faith, but their effect fulfilling the will of God as they understand that may let the devil back in this area there for second but doesn't Christianity hold of the just war theory that there are occasions in times when the state even under God can and must engage in violence it will of the just war theory. RC is a far different cry than the war justification that Islam provides.

I know it's not a work conquest, but again, if a Christian is involved in the just defense of their nation against aggression, then they're not violating the New Testament will discourage excessive there if you look at Romans 13. For example, is one example where Maxwell I was trying to generate where your sign is different from the resurrection and defense that's correct, you're saying that there is no biblical justification for aggressive, violent, that's correct. That's optional. Thank you for the clarification. That's correct.

There is no justification for having crosses on your shield and going in slaying the pagans because they're not Christians reclaiming lands that's a different thing than just war issues that the church has raised but RC I want to first said that Koran you context then what I want to do if you do not let the devil back in the studio for one of said at the context of Prophet Mohammed himself, and then I will getting the historical things about the rise of Islam and violence that goes back to the very heart and roots of Islamic faith. Let me just read two more verses very quickly. Chapter 9 of the Koran verse five flight and slay the pagans where ever you find them and seize them beleaguered them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war chapter 9 verse 29 fight those who believe not in God nor the last day, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the people of the book, so Muslims are commanded to fight even Jews and Christians if they do not acknowledge the religion of truth and if they do not submit themselves and bow themselves in submission to the Islamic authority. Chapter 47 verse four of the Koran.

Therefore, when you meet unbelievers smite at their necks at length.

When you have thoroughly subdued them blind at bond from the on them.

Chapter 8 of the Koran smite T above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them. This because they contend against God and his people. Now I'm reading just a few portions of the Koran because, for the sake of time, we don't have much more to get into, but RC is one of the differences that you effect you pointed out between the Koran and portions of the Old Testament is that the commands in the Koran have absolutely no time restriction on debt nor in the Koran says hi Matt this is a command for you to go and kill the pagans of Mecca nor in the Koran. Is there a restriction put on the people who are supposed to engage in acts of violence and war against unbelievers.

So these are universal commands for all times and all people and in fact we have seen that being carried out through Islamic history in the past 1400 years. Now some moderate liberal Muslim can say will these verses no longer apply to us, but he has no authority to say that the vast majority of Muslims do not agree with that view that there are verses in the Koran that are just for a special time and place, because this is the word of God for all time and all people. So that's a big difference between the verse is missing the Koran and the verses that we see, for example in the book of Joshua. That's one issue, but Muslims RC may be because we have a Protestant slant here. They do not only just look at the Koran.

They also have the traditions and sayings of Prophet Mohammed and his actions. These are important sources for Islamic law. We hear a lot about Sherry at law, Islamic law, Islamic law doesn't just come from the Koran and the Koran is very limited in that respect. So what Mohammed said in his lifetime and how he acted in his lifetime provide the foundation for the culture of Islam and for the Islamic law which Muslims implement and I have in the studio with me today. Books that are the most sacred books after the Koran in the Islamic world.

For example, the sins of Prophet Mohammed are called had teeth. He sayings were collected thousands of them in various books and collections. We have had teeth of Adm. Hardy which is the most sacred collection of Islamic writings right after the Koran we have the hadith of Muslim another Muslim scholar who collected Prophet Mohammed sayings and so we have had these that basically promotes the use of violence for spreading the faith basically promotes a very aggressive view of Islam and so Muslims will engage in violence and aggression not only refer to the Koranic verses what refer to these sayings and actions of Prophet. While this interview took place several years ago.

These insights about the Islamic religion or his current is today's headlines we as Christians need to study and understand them.

Dr. RC Sproul's guest today on Renewing Your Mind. Was Abdul solely by a former Muslim who is now a Christian missionary working to evangelize Muslim communities here in America.

If you like to study this topic further.

Our resource offer today will help you do that it's the entire interview that RC did with Abdul solely it's a two CD set titled the dark side of Islam. Call us with your gift of any amount will be glad to send it your way. Our phone number is 800-435-4343 in her web address is Renewing Your Mind.word and let me encourage you to check out other resources on this topic on our free app there you'll find articles on apologetics, including how we as Christians should interact with her Muslim coworkers, and neighbors. You can download the app when you search for Ligonier in your app store and before we go today at like to share with you and encouraging closing thought from Abdul solely I think it's very important to emphasize that Christians should not be afraid of reaching out one of my biggest complaint about the church in America is that Christians are so afraid of establishing relationships with their Muslim neighbors Muslim coworkers or colleagues, and I think we should not let this incident prevents Christians to even pull farther away but that in fact if we claim that we are people that want to take the love of Christ to others. These are the times were Christians to show that love in very practical ways to their Muslim neighbors and friends and will learn more about how to interact with her Muslim neighbors and coworkers tomorrow with a message from James Anderson series exploring is not so I hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind

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