Sunday, February 01, 2015

Questions for Muslims to think about

In my opinion, one of the most effective passages in the Bible to begin with when in evangelism with Muslims, is Mark 7:1-23.  (especially Mark 7:14-23)

After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.  [ If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”] When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him,  because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)  And He was saying, That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:14-23

I would like to see a debate with Muslims that takes Mark 7:1-23 and explores:

1.  Can external religious ritual washings (using physical water) cleanse the internal heart/soul from sin?

2.  What is the root of human sin?

3.  Where do sinful actions come from?  
use also Jeremiah 17:9 and Genesis 6:5 and Jeremiah 13:23

4.  Did we get sinful hearts and guilt from Adam?

5.  Why do human beings always die?  
Genesis 2:17

Genesis 3:1-8

Romans 5:12

Romans 3:23

Muslim scholars would likely disagree with his analysis, using Qur'an, Surah 30:30.  Surah number 30 is called "Romans".  

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Sahih International
"So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah . That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know."

Yusuf Ali translation:
" So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the Faith: (establish) Allah´s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not."'  See Surah 30 in Yusuf Ali translation.

This on-line translation is different than my own book copy of Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an, so I assume that the translation committee has made an updated translation.  My older Qur'an/book says, "nature, being upright" for Fitrah.  The word "pattern" appears to be the new way they are translating Fitrah.  

There are two different Arabic words that are translated as "religion" - حنیفا (Hanifeh - usually understood as "original monotheism" (of Abraham).  In Islamic history, the people before Islam started who were searching for the true religion of Abraham, were known as the "Hanifeh".
The second one is "deen" (or Al-Deen", the religion, الدین ).

"fitrah" فطرت  is also translated as "upright nature" or "nature".  

But, Sam makes a good case for this, for some kind of teaching similar to the Christian doctrine of original sin, that is in the Islamic texts.  

6.  How do Muslims deal with the weight of all that evidence from both the Qur'an and Hadith?

7.  How do Muslims explain this issue, without avoiding all those texts that Sam has provided, both from Hadith sources and the Qur'an? 


guy fawkes said...


Why would a Christian lead with this?

"1. Can external religious ritual washings (using physical water) cleanse the internal heart/soul from sin?"

The Muslim will just counter by asking about Baptism. If you respond as a Baptist he will respond by saying you don't speak for anybody but one sect.

It is interesting that you, a Sola/Solo Scriptura kinda' guy would take on a Muslim who is a Koran Only person. Neither of you obey a final court of appeal above your own private interpretation of the books held to be authoritative.
One Muslim says Islam is a religion of peace and the jihadist passages in the Koran are to be read in a spiritual sense. Another Muslim says the words of their book endorsing bloody jihad are to be interpreted literally.
I have heard the videos of debates between Muslim and Christians on the Trinity and or the divinity of Jesus too. The argument often comes down to the accusation of Christians and Jews having monkeyed with the scriptures.

Finally, what can you say to a Muslim when he says the Trinity is Father, Son and Mary. Are you going to say, "Oh, only Catholics believe something like that. Real Bible Christians don't even believe she remained a Virgin or was especially holy".

guy fawkes said...

It is also interesting that a Calvinist and a Muslim would would discuss this stuff seeing you both believe in a capricious and predetermining all things version of God.

Ken said...

Guy Fawkes/ Jim wrote:
It is interesting that you, a Sola/Solo Scriptura kinda' guy would take on a Muslim who is a Koran Only person.

You obviously don't know much about Islam. Islam is more like Roman Catholicism because it has:

The written traditions of Muhammad - called "Hadith" -

Sunnis - have six canonical collections - they provide historical context and interpretation for verses in the Qur'an. Without these you cannot understand the Qur'an:

Sahih Al Bukhari
Sahih Muslim
Sunan Abu Dawood
Jami' Al Tirmidi
Sunan Al Nasa'i
Sunan Ibn Maja

Shiites have there own collections - google it and see - Shiite collections of Hadith.

Also they have equivalent to canon law = Fiq - jurisprudence rulings.

They have imams/Mullahs (prayer and mosque leaders, similar to priests in RC, or pastors in Pr.), Muftis, Qadzis (Judges)

The Shiites visit graves and pray to dead saints - similar to Roman Catholicism.

The Shiites are several groups, the Fivers, the Seveners, and the Twelvers (12 Imams) -
Imam for Shia is like a Pope in RC, but the 12 Imam went into hiding, so they have Ayatollahs now, that are like a Pope in RC - similar to a "vicar" or "representative of God on earth"

Sunnis have a Caliph - similar to the Pope in RC.

They have the Sunna - the words and deeds and customs of the prophet - most are written in the Haddith, but some are in other books such as:

The Tarikh (History) of Al Tabari
The Sirat ol Rasool - the biography of the prophet, by Ibn Ishaq.

They use the classical commentaries on the Qur'an also - the Tafsirs.

Islamic scholars have to use all those tools to come to decisions and interpretations and make rulings in Islamic law.

There are some groups in the west that are "Qur'an Only" Muslims, but they are small.

The only similarilty is that Protestants don't use icons and statues in worship contexts.

So, you don't know what you are talking about.

Ken said...

As far as baptism is concerned, that is true - If we explain the gopsel properly and emphasize repentance and faith in Christ, they understand baptism is an external symbol of an internal reality of change (repentance and faith or conversion).

we tell Muslims that Roman Catholcism is wrong and they agree with us that statues and icons of Mary and praying to her is wrong. They can see that Muhammad got the wrong message from the the ancient Christians of the 6th and 7th and 8th Centuries - because of all the emphasis on Mary and statues and icons, relics, pilgrimmages, etc. - it is obvious in Surah 5:116, 6:101, 5:72-75 - that Muhammad and the Arabs got the wrong impression from the Marian piety that grew after 451 AD.

Those that the Spirit of working in, as we share the gospel, can see the logic that external washings does not reach into the soul. they are symbols of repentance and faith

Ken said...

Most Muslims have thought that the Trinity is Father, Son, and Mother Mary. That is what they saw when they saw the icons of the Madona and child and the people praying to those icons and statues.

See Surah 5:116
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

Ken said...

I agree that Islam's doctrine of Allah's sovereignty is capricious.

But Biblical Calvinism is not.

Ken said...

I pray you would really study more and see the difference between God's Sovereignty in the Bible vs. Islam

I have written on this subject before here at Beggar's ALL. Start with part 1.

There are other articles on these issues under the label "Sovereignty" at the side bar.

zipper778 said...

That's a good start for information about Islam Ken. Thank you!

guy fawkes said...

WOWEE! Islam sure is just like Catholicism!
Are you kidding?

Islam, Mormonism,Unitarianism, Oneness Pentecostalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Sabelianism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Garner Ted Armstrongism, monophsysitism, Apollinarianism, etc. etc. are all heresies from Christianity.
Try proving any of them wrong using the Bible Alone as one man's interpretation is as good as another's.

guy fawkes said...


You should read up on the battle of Lepanto.
Then get yourself a Rosary and start using it.

Ken said...

You are welcome, Zipper778. Glad the information on Islam was useful for you.

guy fawkes said...

You read Arabic?

Anyway, I doubt if you are bringing them in in droves. Even if you do, you only make them like Apollos. Catholic Aquila and Priscillas will still have to come along and convert them to the fullness of Christianity.

No thinking Muslim would become a Protestant as Islam is about 1,000 years older than that religion.

guy fawkes said...


I should have said, ' Islam is 1,000 years closer to the time of Christ than Protestantism is. Protestantism's definition of faith, being divorced from history and almost all intellectual content, has little more claim to speak for God than Muhammad did.

Granted, a non zealous Muslim could have a conversion, at least temporarily, to Protestantism based on emotion, guilt or some inner struggle due to some sort of sin issue.

But once he gets over the emotional high and starts thinking about just who this Jesus is that he has accepted, if he has a brain at all, some very thorny questions are going to arise.
The Bible alone has not been a sufficient authority for dispelling heresy and error on the two natures in one Person of Christ or the broader issue of the Trinity. Not if you scan any Church history book.

Just turning to what was said in the early Church by such luminaries as Athanasius, Cyril, Augustine or Leo won't help either as it brings up the question as to why they were right and Arius, Nestorius and the Gnostics wrong since they all used the same Bible.
As for the decrees of councils, they are just the decisions of fallible men with no binding power on anybody's conscience, right?
The question of the Church being infallible is going to eventually come up and since Protestants believe the Church can and has erred, the Muslim convert is going to have nothing solid to build upon other than the burning in the bosom,or interior conviction of some spirit.

guy fawkes said...

You crack about the water of of Baptism made me think of this quote from Tertullian on the sacraments;

"Thus in Baptism the flesh is washed in order that the soul may be cleansed: the flesh is anointed that the soul may be Consecrated: the flesh is signed with the sign of the cross that the soul be fortified: the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands so the the soul may be illuminated by the Spirit: the flesh feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ that the soul may likewise be fattened".

God became man so the man may become Godlike.

Divine grace comes to us through the humanity of Christ. We must touch that humanity. Christ went down into the waters so that the Baptismal waters can cleanse our souls. Your view is anti-incarnational.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...

I don't speak or read Arabic, but I do speak and read Farsi (Persian, the language of Iran, 40 % of Afghanistan, and Tajikistan), and I recognize Farsi words in Arabic, because they came from Arabic. The Arab Muslims forced Islam on the Persians ( Iranians) ( Persia and Persian come from Parsee and Pars. "Parsee" became "Farsi" because the Arabs do not have "P" in their language.) 40 % of Farsi is Arabic. (but sentence structure and grammar is closer to Latin and English, it is not a semitic language.) The Arabs forced the Persians to change their script into the Arabic script, so I can read words. (Arab Muslims conquered the Persian empire from around 636-900s AD and forced them to become Muslims by their Jihad and Wars.)

Many Iranians are disillusioned with Islam as never before in history. Many are coming to Christ. (because of the government's harshness.)

Ken said...

When former Muslims and Muslims read the New Testament for themselves, they see clearly that Roman Catholicism has added many man-made traditions to the faith, as those Roman Catholic doctrines that Protestants object to are not in the Scriptures.

no pope
no Marian piety
no prayers to Mary or statues of icons
no prayers to dead saints or visiting grave
no pilgrimages in the NT
no indulgences
no purgatory
no treasury of merit
no transubstantiation
no genuflecting to bread and wine
no perpetual virginity of Mary
no Immaculate conception of Mary
no sinlessness of Mary
no Bodily Assumption of Mary
no NT priests
no mono-episcopate
no clerical celibacy rule
no works of merit added to faith in order to gain salvation
no Apocrypha