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No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity Paperback – August 30, 2016
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There is no one I'd rather read on this subject than Nabeel Qureshi. His knowledge and method draw out the most important issues and demand a decision between the world's two largest religions. This remarkable book inspired me to reach out to conversation partners for additional dialogue about the evidence for Islam and Christianity. -- Collin Hansen, editorial director, The Gospel Coalition
With clarity and precision, Nabeel takes his reader through the principal competing truth claims of Islam and Christianity, demonstrating through his own personal search how the Christian world view makes a compelling case for our allegiance while that of Islam falls far short. With an easy-to-read style, this book is a treasure both for those wrestling with the big questions of life as well as those wanting to help in guiding Muslims to find the answers they seek. I highly recommend No God but One! -- Mateen Elass, Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond Oklahoma
About the Author
Nabeel Qureshi is a speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and an MA in religion from Duke University.
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It seems to me, Nabeel Qureshi is a discerning, yet a humble man. And I would also add "first rate intellect." Here's why: In describing his analysis of the two faiths, he admitted it is nearly impossible to be objective: "It is virtually impossible to study these matters objectively. Not only do we all have a vested interest in defending the faiths we and our social circles have believed for years, but our beliefs color the way we receive information. The same data will be interpreted differently by people from disparate worldviews...our presuppositions affect the way we interpret the evidence, and we often see what we want to see."
Wow! After reading the above lines, I realized I had terribly underestimated the intellect of the author.
The author was for many years a dedicated believer in Islam, but he discovered that his reasons for rejecting Christianity were not nearly as solid as he had been told: "Examining the claims of Islam and Christianity over four years, I went from utter conviction in Islam to reluctantly embracing the gospel." Dr. Qureshi took special interest in the historical claims of each religion, and decided to thoroughly examine the claims of each religion. "What I discovered time and time again was that Christian doctrines held firm whenever they could be tested historically."
The format of the book makes it easy to follow: Dr. Qureshi presents a major issue, then presents both sides of each doctrine, followed by a detailed critique. Of course, the author is good at this type of critique, since he has lots of experience from the OTHER side not too long ago. He explains, "I had to follow the evidence and the truth, no matter the cost. I left my religion of twenty -two years and became a follower of Jesus in 2005."
Before reading NO GOD BUT ONE, I assumed there were substantive differences between the two religions--but still, some of the differences surprised me. Most importantly, I had no idea that Islam teaches that Jesus did NOT die on the cross. Of course, this sets a major divide between the two religions: "At no point is the schism between Christian and Islamic theologies broader than on the person of Jesus. For Muslims, the doctrine of a divine Christ is anathema, and the Quran teaches that he who subscribes to it will make his home in the flames of hell."
The author emphasizes that "the central claims of Christianity are explicitly rejected by Islam." It's not just a little difference--it's a "fundamental incompatibility between Islam and Christianity...the central claims of Christianity are explicitly rejected by Islam."
As another example, the crucifixion is central to Christianity, but this very core of the Christian faith is explicitly rejected by Islam: "The Quran teaches the exact opposite: Jesus was not killed, nor was he crucified...He either died by crucifixion or he did not. Either Islam or Christianity has to be wrong."
Okay, I get it. These are HUGE differences, which cannot just be papered over.
Besides the doctrinal difference, the author clarifies certain things that Muslims hold dear. I thought this was an important section. I certainly want to avoid needlessly insulting people of other faiths because of my ignorance. In particular, Islam teaches that the Quran is like God incarnate. That's why desecrating the Quran is a horrific affront: "The Quran is, to Muslims, the eternal Word of Allah himself. It is the closest thing to God incarnate. To Christians, the eternal Word of Yahweh is Jesus. The Quran holds in Islam the place that Jesus holds in the Christian faith. So to comprehend the insult of burning a Quran, a Christian would have to imagine someone burning Jesus."
I likewise did not know that the term, "prophet" has a different meaning in Islam: "The concept of prophet in Islam does not mean the same thing that it does in the Bible. Prophets in Islam have a higher status than all other people, being men chosen by God to lead mankind. The Quran uses the term to mean a divinely appointed leader, not necessarily one who prophesies."
In summary, I found NO GOD BUT ONE ALLAH OR JESUS to be a well-researched, helpful explanation of the most significant differences between Islam and Christianity. The author discusses these issues in a calm, yet scholarly fashion. I appreciate his attention to detail and his scholarly, yet friendly, approach.
Advanced Review Copy courtesy of NetGalley.
This book provides compare/contrast of Islam to Christianity, and does a fine job of it. Even as a believer I would venture to say you will add to your faith in Jesus Christ. There are several quality points that I would recommend any believer should know when befriending a Muslim. As Qureshi states in his testimony, a strong relationship is very important when dealing with the weight of religion and eternal life. There are many suggestions throughout this book on how to handle yourself and avoid offending your Muslim friends.
You won't be disappointed in this purchase. I received this book as part of the launch team in return giving my honest review. I enjoyed this book enough to purchase 10 more to give to others!
Question 1 : What are the differences between Islam and Christianity? He subdivides them into 5 perspectives:
(1) 2 different solutions – Sharia vs Gospel
(2) 2 different Gods – Tawhid(Monad) vs the Trinity
(3) 2 different founders – Muhammad vs Jesus
(4) 2 different scriptures – Quran vs Bible
(5) 2 different holy wars – Jihad vs the Crusades
As someone who had been a follower of Yahweh (the word he uses for the Christian God) for only 22 yrs of my 60 yr life, I was most struck by the loving, relational qualities of my God that Nabeel describes. There is an example under each subdivision but one core comparison: For Muslims the expression of Allah in the physical world is the Quran and for Christians the expression of Yahweh in the physical world is Jesus. Through reading this section I grew to feel the love of Yahweh more than I ever have and to love Him back more, too.
Question 2 : Can we know whether Islam or Christianity is true?
Christianity and Islam both make claims about the past that can be tested against the records of history. Nabeel determined that to believe Christianity to be true one would have to prove that Jesus died on the cross, He rose from the dead and He claimed to be God. After examining these ideas, he moves to what would be needed to believe Islam to be true : is Muhammad a prophet of God and is the Quran the Word of God.
His key closing thoughts to me were : After carefully considering the “common arguments (for the inspiration of the Quran), I saw that far from being so strong that they can vindicate the faith, they actually need to be vindicated by faith”. “But if there was one thing that Islam had taught me, it was that I must submit to God and not to man. That meant following the truth, no matter where it led.”