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Between Allah & Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims Paperback – February 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (February 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830837469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837465
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

American Muslim ’Isa, black feminist Libby (short for Liberty), and Evangelical Evan have conversed before in Catholic philosopher Kreeft’s work (A Refutation of Moral Relativism, 1999; If Einstein Had Been a Surfer, 2009), but then they were his former students, exploring a single large theme. In these interfaith dialogues on many subjects, they’re his Boston College undergrads again, and two priest-professors, one traditional, one liberal, occasionally counsel them. The bones over which they contend include Islam versus the West, Jesus and Muhammad, surrender (the definition of islam), liberals and conservatives, feminism, sexual morality and moral ambiguity, war and pacifism, abortion and compassion, and eight others. They argue knowledgeably, articulately, and respectfully, though ’Isa’s congenital inability to soften his words quite mortifies Libby. In the introduction, Kreeft states his admiration for something about ’Isa that he believes Christians should emulate. He can’t define it, he says, but readers who also feel it may conclude it is a compelling, utterly natural combination of compassionate openness and moral groundedness that they, too, admire. --Ray Olson

Review

"In this popularized fictional conversation among university-level participants who represent the best and worst arguments for each side, Kreeft invites us to reflect on basic theological questions concerning the nature of being God, the nature and content of divine revelation, the character of morality (public and private), and the future of the world." (Nelson D. Kloosterman, Comment Magazine, September 2010)

"Kreeft's book is a strong encouragement to look past our theological differences, create bonds of friendship and trust, and work together for the common good. . . [A] commendable attempt to help Christians see Muslims as our neighbors rather than as the Other." (Stan Guthrie, Books & Culture, March/April 2010)

"Given the current state of the world, Between Allah & Jesus fully deserves to be called a must-read for everyone, regardless of spiritual belief or political affiliation. Kreeft creates a way to look at the perceived divide between Islam and Christianity without violence." (J.G. Stinson, ForeWard Reviews, (www.forewordreviews.com), March 2010)

"Between Allah & Jesus, through its sympathetic proposal of a brith and peace-loving Muslim student, gives readers a hopeful sense of what could be, if the culture war within Islamd ends with jihadist defeat." (Marvin Olasky, World Magazine, May 8, 2010)

"Committed Christians, who want positive approaches to Islam, may wish to consider reading." (William Collins, Library Journal, January 2010)

"Peter Kreeft has written an important, original and groundbreaking book. At a time when there is fierce prejudice against Muslims and Islam, not surprising in the wake of 9/11, Kreeft has the knowledge to treat Islam both sympathetically and critically. With exemplary courage, Kreeft spells out what Christians in the West can learn from the Muslims. Indispensable reading!" (Dinesh D'Souza, author of What's So Great About Christianity)

"This is a rare and sincere attempt to delve into the Islamic mind and heart, with respect and understanding. With its depth and pertinence to our post-9/11 world, I can say that this work surpasses many previous attempts by famous Orientalists to compare Christianity and Islam. Christians and evangelists can learn a lot from the fictional debates and dialogue that enrich this work. This personalized discourse could be used to teach missionaries authentic ways for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslims." (Hicham Chehab, evangelist and former Muslim activist)

"With inimitable subtlety, Peter Kreeft's literary meditation has produced a series of fictional dialogues that bring out how good Muslims and good Christians, despite the grave and irreconcilable differences marking their respective creeds, are really natural allies in the culture war against a common enemy: sin. These insights by the author, born out of a diligent love in investigating the beliefs and life practices of truly devout Muslims, map with courageous honesty minus the usual platitudes the shared moral and spiritual territory between such Muslims and equally devout Christians. Kreeft captures that primordial purity and elemental spirituality of the Muslim believer living in total surrender to God's will. Not only can Christians learn much from Muslims about the importance of submission, tradition, family, divine commandments, spiritual tenacity and rejection of the ills of modernity, Kreeft also uses precisely these strengths in Islam to level a scathing critique at the moral and spiritual laxity of the secular West. All in all, a fascinating read and a tour de force in the indirect communication through creative literature of abiding, universal verities." (Habit C. Malik, associate professor of history, Lebanese American University (Byblos campus))

"Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn more about the morals and values of Muslims. Through the moral, intelligent and open- minded Muslim young man 'Isa, you will learn not only about Islam, but you'll come to a greater understanding and security in your own Christian faith." (Dr. Nabeel T. Jabbour, professor and author of The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross)

Customer Reviews

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By j.mart on March 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an excerpt from an excellent review from the current issue of Books & Culture magazine:

Whose Submission?
A Muslim-Christian dialogue.
Stan Guthrie | posted 3/04/2010

"It is November 22, 1963. Three luminaries--John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and Clive Staples Lewis--have just died and will soon commence a great debate about issues of ultimate significance. In the first line of Peter Kreeft's classic 1982 book, Between Heaven and Hell, JFK asks, "Where the hell are we?" Reading the prolific Boston College philosophy professor's latest work, Between Allah and Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims, I had a similar reaction.

[This book seems to stand Kreeft's 1982 classic, Between Heaven and Hell] on its head--or at least its spine. In Between Heaven and Hell, Lewis the Christian apologist ... steers his nominal Catholic and liberal intellectual compatriots toward the truth of Christ. In Between Allah and Jesus, however, it is the Muslim protagonist who serves as the primary light-bearer in religious matters ... This character's name is 'Isa (the Muslim name for Jesus). Just as Lewis the Oxford don served as a representative for Christ, so 'Isa the college student can be seen as one of "the least of these," a stand-in for the Lord. In several instances, 'Isa even claims to be a better Christian than his Christian foils. Further, 'Isa's nickname is Jack, which of course happened to be Lewis's nickname, too.

...

Like Kreeft's Lewis, the Muslim "Jack" is a voice of reasoned religious debate--even presenting a variation on the famous "trilemma" argument for Muhammad. He passionately discusses submission to God, the evils of abortion, and other issues with a cast of less well-formed Christian characters.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By art lewis on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kreeft can be extremely entertaining, clear, and imaginative on the subject of philosophy and on Christianity. Many of his other books are definitely worth reading. But this book has large problems.

It's relevant to consider Kreeft's subtle transformation during the course of a friendly debate between Kreeft and Islam-critic Robert Spencer on the subject of Islam. The debate was held November 4, 2010 (AFTER Kreeft had written this book), at Thomas More College and can be watched on youtube.

During the course of the debate, Kreeft expresses about Islam views that, as we watch him, we find he is quite ready to part with. In fact, the more the debate progressed, the more I got the feeling from him that his views of Islam were often almost throw-away lines, nothing to which he was seriously committed, if confronted with countervailing facts, of which the debate revealed quite a few. Kreeft more and more seemed to be yielding to Spencer's views as the debate went on, and in his answers to Spencer offered fewer and fewer objections. Finally, at the end of the debate, Kreeft yields the whole point over which they were debating to Robert Spencer!

Early on in the debate, Kreeft admitted he is no expert on Islam. Perhaps if Kreeft had waited to write this book until AFTER his debate with Robert Spencer, the book would not be saddled with its worst flaw: it is too uninformed about the core texts of Islam and particularly about what those texts (Qur'an, canonical hadiths, and earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad) show us of the morally horrifying aspects of Muhammad's character and Islam's global theocratic program. Kreeft was no doubt trying to be loving and Christian in the way he wrote the book, but for Christian love or any love to be effective and actual it must be well-informed and realistic, rather than edging toward the Panglossian.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many books out there on comparative religion...I doubt if very many are like this one. Rather than present facts, Peter Kreeft offers an on-going conversation among a diverse group of individuals, one of whom happens to be a Muslim. We're invited to listen in, and the discussion is never boring. I recognized a few lines from other books in the mouths of Kreeft's characters, and at times I wondered just how representative his Muslim was. Then I began to engage in conversation with a Muslim at a coffee shop I frequent, and recognized some things my new friend said that had been voiced in Peter Kreeft's book. Excellent, engaging book that is hard to put down, and one you'll want to discuss with others.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RockOn on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a lot of books written each year. This is one of the great ones. This book takes fictional characters and places them in conversation with each other. This is like taking a step back into the college years and having discussions with friends about faith, religion, and other issues. What I like about the book is that it does a good job of seeing beyond one's own perspective and into the heart of others. This book does not go into great depth of trying to prove a point but rather lays a great foundation into the minds of how different individuals think, rationalize, and project their thoughts. At the end of the short read, you may not change your mind into any of the topics that the book delves into, but you will have a greater appreciation into how others can think and be different. The good news is that this book only serves as a launching pad to a much larger novel due out soon titled "An Ocean Full Of Angels". The conversation will continue and I will be a part of it. I suggest this book if you are a deep thinker and like to open up your mind to a wider world of faith and how other perceive religion in the world of humanity. A good read in a ocean full of junk. Highly recommend! MAD
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More About the Author


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--- NEW! -- Charisms: Visions, Tongues, Healing, etc. (feat. Dave Nevins)

---"Beauty" -- The branch of philosophy dealing with aesthetics.
---"C. S. Lewis and Mere Christianity" -- C.S. Lewis' masterpiece
---"Christianity in Lord of the Rings" -- The cleverly disguised role of God
---"Culture War" -- A call to arms, mapping key enemies and battlefields
---"Existence of God" -- A magnificent overview of the arguments
---"Good, True, Beautiful" -- C.S. Lewis on three great transcendentals
---"Happiness" -- How do you get it? Christ's version vs. the world's
---"Heaven" -- The heart's deepest longing
---"Hollywood Screenwriting" -- Encouragement to film's creative storytellers
---"If Einstein Had Been a Surfer" -- Rediscovering intuitive thinking
---"Lord, Liar, or Lunatic" -- The famous argument for Christ's identity
---"Problem of Pain" -- C.S. Lewis's brilliant exposition on suffering and evil
---"Sex in Heaven" -- Imaging the fire of God's love
---"Sexual Reconnection" -- Healing the link between sex & love
---"Shocking Beauty" -- The live character of Christ
---
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