6/9/13 What is Quakerism?
6/16/13 What is the ground for belief and behavior?
6/23/13 What is the path to peace?
6/30/13 What is meant by "all people are created equal"?
Panel: Jonathan Switzer, Senior Pastor at Crossroads Valley Chapel; Annette Breiling, Founder of Friends Meeting School in Ijamesville and Trustee of Sandy Spring Friends School.
7/7/13 What are the major views on the Lord's Supper?
7/14/13 Does one's view on the Lord's Supper matter?
7/21/13 What are the major views on church liturgy?
7/28/13 Does the church's liturgical practice matter?
Panel: Jonathan Switzer, Senior Pastor at Crossroads Valley Chapel; John Bromhal, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Damascus.
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[Public Domain: Free for download]
A Harmony of the Four Gospels in English By Edward Robinson http://tinyurl.com/34fvwc (available as text or pictures)
The NIV Harmony of the Gospels
By Stanley N. Gundry, Robert L. Thomas
Islam – Mohammed 570 AD in or near Mecca (Arabia) – raised as an orphan by uncle, was a camel trader, married a wealthy widow. About AD 610 at around age 40, during some reveries and meditation in caves near Mecca, received revelations from the angel Gabriel. Began reciting the Koran, various people wrote it down, debated Mohammed’s literacy. Poetry doesn’t always make sense, no stories (just allusions to stories, many to OT stories), even for native Arabic speakers about 1/5 of the text is puzzling. With presupposition of knowledge of OT, allusions do make sense. Koran has 114 suras, 17 verses less than Shi’a version. There are two short ones at the beginning and two at the end, the rest are arranged shortest to longest (instead of by chronology or topic). 90% of Muslim leadership today would likely say that the Koran was passed to Mohammed in perfect form, and the Koran is eternal with God.
Koran supersedes Scripture as the Jewish Scriptures are considered corrupted. As such, God sent Jesus, who is not God’s son, and did not die on the cross [someone else died and it only appeared as him – he ascended to heaven without ever dying], even metaphorically to give a final call and revelation, prophesying the coming of Mohammed, but Jesus failed to write anything down. The disciples screwed up the message. The eschatology is that there will be a great resurrection, Jesus will willingly subject himself to the resurrected Mohammed. Jesus as Messiah is a teacher, not a savior. Humanity is placed on earth not for fellowship and communion with God, Allah creates mankind because it pleases him to create slaves. The problem in the world is not sin and fallenness, it is ignorance. The solution is teaching as the prophets and Jesus attempted and Mohammed succeeded in.
Options – convert, be killed and go to hell, or submit and accept third class citizenship under Sharia law and have no standing against the Muslims, dimitude. Taxes of anything (firstborn, farm) to be collected until you die (and your progeny that does not convert as well) and go to hell.
- Sunni – majority of Muslims.
- Shi’a – majority of Iraq, minority in Syria, great majority in Iran, Bahrain, some in Saudi Arabia. Authority does not pass down biologically through descendants of Mohammed as Sunni claim. Line continues down through 12 Imams. In Shiite Islam, they are similar to caliph and speak from God, sometimes infallibly, but they are not prophets as there is no prophet after Mohammed. The 12th Imam was one who did not die, he disappeared, expected to return at the close of the age, not messiah, he is Mahdi, promised one.
- Sufi – “charismatics” of Islam, exist as both Sunni, Shi’a, or neither. Put emphasis on existential encounter with God, emphasize devotive, contemplative side. You want to show yourself as reflective of a heart of Allah. The law flows out of and finds proper expression in heart in love with Allah. The rise of Sufiism corresponded with the time and region where they first overran areas Christian monasteries of the Eastern Orthodox. Islam at large does not seek a relationship between Allah and his creatures other than slave to master. Sufi Islam does somewhat include this. Sufi is often persecuted by Sunni and Shiites.
- Some other significant variants of Islam
Key theological differences
- Nature and character of God
Atlantic Monthly, 1999, What is the Koran?
- Transmission of the Bible
- Transmission of Koran
Response by Christian to Islam over the centuries:
- E-5 Evangelism
i. God uses El with Abram, as it is a high God name, but it is also a generic name, establishing a bridge. God uses adjectives to characterize his attributes, i.e. El Shaddai, El Elyon, etc. for contrast. When Mohammed used Allah, that did not mean to his original hearers what it does today, it was just the generic name of God.
i. 1st century evangelism took place because of:
ii. They did not deny Christ by participating in pagan ceremonies.
iii. The call is to build a bridge and make a contrast. Without commonalities, there is no understanding and our message is incomprehensible, but without biblical contrast we fall into syncretism.