Islam’s Understanding Of God

There is an irreconcilable gulf between the Christian and Islamic proclamations of God.

Scripture is very clear that anyone who distorts the good news about Jesus Messiah, his incarnation and resurrection from the dead along with his return as the king of Israel and judge of the nations, is a liar and an antichrist.

Many Christians may not like the idea of calling Islam “antichrist” but there is no ideology that better fits the bill.

Comparatively, most people have no problem expressing their disgust towards the Nazi regime and the Third Reich and yet Islam has been responsible for the deaths of far more Christians and people overall at an estimated 240-270 million people.

So the various Chrislam movements in the earth really only pave the way to the lake of fire for Muslims and so-called Christians alike who determine that salvation can comes through a means other than from Jesus Christ.

Nonetheless, the Islamic world is rich with people who are searching for truth even now millions are coming to know Jesus, many in secret.

Therefore it is wise to understand the different ways that Islam approaches God and how this can cause confusion in our discussions with them about Jesus, both for them and for us.

The following article by Rich Wendling and Daniel Shayesteh is very helpful in laying out the basics of the Islamic worldview:

How hard is it to share the gospel with a Muslim? By observing a few basic pointers, any believer can begin effectively sharing the good news of his Creator God.

Encountering a Muslim is no longer limited to a handful of Western tourists who happen to visit Egypt, Turkey, or some other popular Middle Eastern destination. Nearly 2.5 million Muslims now call the United States home, another 3 million reside in the United Kingdom, and similar numbers inhabit every other major English-speaking country.

So more than ever, Christians in the West need to understand the unique challenges of sharing the gospel with Muslims. Every believer’s heartbeat should be to lovingly share Christ’s gracious work in a way that any precious soul can understand—regardless of his or her religion.

This task may sound intimidating, but if you have already studied the basics of defending your faith, you are well on your way. In fact, apologetics (a well-reasoned, Bible-based explanation of your Christian beliefs) is a powerful tool in any kind of evangelism. Whenever you bring up deep topics, such as the purpose of life and eternity, people are easily drawn into fruitful conversations that they find very relevant to their lives.

With an apologetics approach, you are able not only to defend your faith but also to lovingly challenge them to reconsider their own beliefs.

The Fundamental Issue in Every Conversation

Before you begin a conversation with Muslims, remember that each person evaluates all “evidence” in light of presuppositions. Presuppositions are those underlying beliefs that drive how we think and interpret the world around us. A Muslim’s presuppositions, usually ingrained in him since childhood, will color the way he interprets everything you say.

This article will examine the Islamic presuppositions about God and His revelation. By bringing these presuppositions to the surface, you can demonstrate the fundamental flaws in Islam and then graciously point to the truth of the Bible. As the Holy Spirit pulls down “spiritual strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5), He can also open the heart and mind of the Muslim to hear the gospel.

The next article in this series will examine two other critical issues: the Muslim view of man’s sinful nature and salvation. By the time you finish both articles, you should be ready to converse profitably with any Muslim.

Islam’s View of God and the Christian Response

The Quran’s description of Allah, Islam’s supreme being, creates two insoluble contradictions: he is unknowable but we can know him; and he is merciful, but he has no just cause for his mercy. The Bible, in contrast, gives logical reasons we can know God and find consolation in His mercy.

We will examine each in turn.

An unknowable, impersonal god. Absolute monotheism is the core presupposition of Islam. The doctrine of tawhid (oneness) in Islam states that Allah is utterly transcendent (Quran 112:1–4). In other words, He is not just monotheistic but a wholly distinct, unique, indivisible, and completely separate (impersonal) being who is unknowable by “personal” beings like us. Allah exists without a place, independent of creation, with no resemblance to his creations. Nothing in all of creation can be compared to Allah.

This central doctrine of tawhid creates an interesting logical challenge. How can one know anything about something that is unknowable?

The Hadith, or tradition attributed to Muhammad, also teaches that Allah has ninety-nine names that describe various aspects of Allah’s nature and personalities. If Allah is unknowable, then how can we attribute ninety-nine names to him and make him known?

The Bible, in contrast, reveals that God is personal, and He has revealed Himself in the Bible so that He can be known. In fact, the Bible teaches that God created mankind for the express purpose of knowing Him personally.

A just but merciful god. Islam calls Allah just (Quran 4:40), and to be perfectly just, Allah must punish all sin. Yet the Quran also teaches that Allah is merciful, forgiving those whom he chooses to forgive (Quran 4:110; 73:20). This creates a logical contradiction, which prevents Allah from being either just or merciful.

If he is truly merciful, why isn’t he saving people during their life on earth rather than leaving their destiny uncertain until the afterlife, as the Quran teaches? To withhold salvation until the afterlife means that Allah ignores people’s daily cry for freedom from sin and Satan. In other words, he is uninterested in establishing heavenly justice while his followers live on earth, thus liberating them from Satan’s present dominion.

Unlike Islam, Christianity offers an answer to the apparent dilemma of a just but merciful God: the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ satisfied God’s justice while enabling Him to show mercy. Unlike Allah, the God of the Bible extends His justice to people while they live here on earth, allowing them to trust Him and be saved now (Matthew 12:18–21; Isaiah 42:1–4). So God’s approach to people, as revealed in the Bible, is both just and merciful.

Islam’s View of the Bible and the Christian Response

Islam teaches that the Torah was Allah’s first revelation and the gospel was second. But both became corrupted, so Allah gave the Quran to Muhammad to put people back on the right path. Muslims believe the Quran is Allah’s third and final revelation, his perfect, unchanged words.

This brings up another contradiction in the Quran. The Quran teaches that Allah’s words cannot be changed (Quran 6:115; 18:27), yet it also teaches that the Torah and Gospels were changed and became corrupted.

In contrast, the Bible recognizes no other writings as Scripture, and in fact it warns against adding to or taking away from its teachings (Proverbs 30:6; Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Revelation 22:18–19). There is no evidence from Bible manuscripts or history that the Bible was ever changed. (Indeed, all the surviving manuscript evidence points to the opposite conclusion.)

But the Quran itself teaches that Muhammad changed some of its verses and that his followers shredded the Quran (Quran 2:106; 16:101; 15:90–91). For this reason, it will be eye-opening for Muslims if you encourage them to compare the Quran and the Bible and they discover that the Bible is absolutely trustworthy while the Quran is not. Since Islam teaches that the Bible—especially the first five books of the Old Testament and the Gospels—is God’s Word, it is extremely appropriate to refer to the Bible when you show how Christian and Islamic beliefs differ.

Islamic Belief in the Bible’s Corruption and the Christian Response

Muhammad claimed that the Bible predicted his name and that he would come after Jesus to complete His unfinished mission. After the death of Muhammad, his followers searched the Bible but did not find the name Muhammad. So they announced that the Bible was corrupted. The Christian should challenge the Muslim to consider the possibility that Muhammad was wrong and the Bible is correct.

Muhammad gave a second reason that the Bible must be corrupted: Christians and Jews believe that God has children but God does not have sexual desires and cannot have children. Muhammad did not know that God is called a spiritual Father of His people (John 4:23–24) but He was never a “father” of any human as a result of a sexual relationship. The Christian should show the Gospel passages that describe Jesus’s conception and show that no sexual relation was involved (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:29–38; John 1:12–13).

The third reason for claiming the Bible’s corruption is the trinity.

The Quran incorrectly teaches that the Christian doctrine of the trinity is that there are three gods: God the father, Mary his wife, and Jesus their son (Quran 5:116). Muhammad taught his followers that Christians called Jesus God and made Mary equal to God, so they believe in three gods.

He did not know that the Gospels never call Mary God and that Jesus was the personal revelation of the One true God who, in His desire to build a personal relationship with His people, took on human form (John 1:14) to die for their sins (Matthew 20:28). It is important to correct these mistaken views, which are among the main reasons Muslims have rejected Christianity for centuries.

Islam’s View of Christ and the Christian Response

The doctrine of the Trinity deserves special care when you talk to Muslims. Since the oneness of God is central to their thinking, the trinity is a very difficult concept and must be introduced with care. It is usually wise to delay this discussion until the appropriate time, such as when you are explaining Christ’s loving role as Savior.

Allah is described as a god of love (Quran 11:90; 85:14). But this is problematic for tawhid, which describes him as impersonal. Love requires a personal nature that searches for another personal object on which to express love. (In other words, love exists only between two persons.) Love cannot be attributed to an impersonal being.

Also, since Allah is impersonal, he is without multiple persons in his own being on which to show love before creating the world and teaching love to his creatures. If Allah did not have the attribute of love before creation, how could he create beings with this attribute? A nonloving God cannot create loving creatures.

Unlike in Allah, the very nature of the triune God of the Bible is love (1 John 4:8). Each person of the Trinity— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has loved each of the others from eternity. The triune God has always had an object for His love.

Indeed, God’s desire to reveal His loving nature in each Person is the very reason He expressed His love to humanity. As the Father, He loved to save people; as the Son, He put that love into practice; and as the Holy Spirit, He carries His love through to the end. We will examine this important topic in more detail in the next part of this series.

Islam’s View of Sin and Salvation
God Made Us to Overcome Barriers

God created all human beings, including Muslims, with freedom of choice and the capacity to listen, read, and understand. By God’s grace the barriers that separate anyone from Him can be overcome. Unless the barriers and misconceptions are pointed out and corrected, they cannot be removed. The Christians’ challenge is to understand the basic presuppositions, practices, and shortcomings of Islam so that they can give well-reasoned arguments for the Bible’s truth, which God can use to reach the Muslim.

The Quran vs. the Bible

Though the Quran claims to confirm the Torah and the Gospels, it actually contradicts them in many key areas. For example,

The Torah states that God created man in His own image and good (Genesis 1:26); the Quran states that Allah created man in toil and trouble (Quran 90:4).

The Torah states that people have a right to inquire about the prophet’s words and deeds (Deuteronomy 18:20–21); the Quran states that people have no right to question the prophet and his successors at all (Quran 33:36; 59:7).

The Gospels state that lies come from the devil in whom is no truth (John 8:44); the Quran states that lying is legitimate under certain circumstances (Quran 2:225; 3:28; 16:106).

The Gospels state that Jesus died, was buried, and rose on the third day; the Quran states that Jesus did not die but was raised alive into heaven (Quran 4:157–158).

The Gospels declare Jesus to be the Son of God; the Quran declares Jesus to be a mere man—albeit a prophet—but not the Son of God (Quran 9:30).

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6); Islam rejects this concept and teaches that Jesus was a prophet but Muhammad was a greater prophet.

The Quran contradicts the Torah and Gospels in hundreds of other ways, too. The Quran cannot be true if it confirms the Torah and Gospels and yet contradicts most of their key doctrines.

https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/islams-view-of-god-and-his-revelation/

Christians Can’t Prove God Exists And They Don’t Have To

Do you remember the part of the bible where God insists that Christians go out and prove to people that he exists?

I hope not because that part doesn’t exist.

It’s common for me to encounter people that demand “prove that God exists!”

When I tell them that I cannot, the retort is often a satisfied “that’s because you can’t!”

Exactly! Now I think we’re on the same page.

God does not require that I prove he exist for the simple reason that he has not given any Christian that kind of power.

Since many people think the bible is a book written by uneducated shepherds, let’s put our 21st century education to the test and see what is required of Christians.

After all, failing basic comprehension of such an ancient book sure would be embarrassing, especially since we live in such an advanced and enlightened time and culture.

Biblical Premise #1: Everyone Knows God Exists

Even if a person doesn’t believe the bible, that does not change the goal and mission of Christians, which has never been to prove that God exists.

Indeed, scripture makes the claim that we all know God exists by default.

That includes people:

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It also includes the demons:

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” ‭‭James‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s kind of a given that the Angels and the living creatures acknowledge God exists so that’s everyone that exists right there.

So if everyone that exists already knows God exists, sounds like us Christians can take a weight off with regard to proving God exists and indeed, we can!

Biblical Premise #2: Christians Need Only Testify About Jesus And Welcome Those Who Recieve Our Testimony

Go therefore and prove God exists? Nope! 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

If people join the Christian family, we teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded. If people don’t join, then they won’t be interested in doing much that Jesus commanded.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Testifying to the nations doesn’t mean they need to accept the testimony. After all, Jesus himself testified as God’s faithful witness, was largely rejected by his home town and turned over for execution by his own nation.

““The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

““If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” ‭‭John‬ ‭15:18-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus makes it clear that the Christian witness will be rejected, so clearly there is no onus to prove God exists when we are promised both rejection and persecution for our testimony.

We claim to be witnesses of Jesus Christ, testifying that we have encountered him: believe it or not. We can’t prove it and we don’t have to, we only have to make our witness known.

Biblical Premise #3: Biblical Faith Is Not So Much About Believing God Exists But Rather About Recognising, Loving And Honouring Him

Remember the verse from about about the demons?

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” ‭‭James‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

They believe God exists and they have seen him – they just don’t like him. Yet, they love sin:

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”” ‭John‬ ‭3:18-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This was my own experience – I loved my sin and I hated God. In his mercy, God convicted me of my guilt before him and I received his forgiveness for sin. I became a new man who, while still prone to the temptation of sin in my flesh, actually desired to please God through obedience.

“Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” John‬ ‭15:23-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I may not have known God before I met him but I knew about him. You could tell because I had a vicious hatred of him, of talking about God, and of Christians especially amongst the religions of the world.

I did not like to hear that I was under God’s condemnation for sin and without repentance, I could not receive salvation. That’s exactly why I loved naturalistic atheism – it made God disappear, at least in my mind.

And like Jesus stated in the verse above, my hatred of him was without cause. I had never been mistreated by a Christian nor did I really know any Christians other than through casual associations.

In summary, the Christian does not try to convince the world that God exists but rather testifies that turning to God in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from the judgment to come. Furthermore, the kingdom of God has already arrived in part but will soon come in fullness, replacing the kingdoms of humanity permanently.

Biblical Premise #4: God Will Give Everyone Proof, Ready Or Not

Our testimony is that Jesus is coming back to reign as king over the nations.

When this happens, the leaders of the nations will make war against him but will be swiftly and deftly defeated.

Our witness can be ignored for now but the time is coming when God will send his son in power and glory:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians‬ ‭2:5-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:11-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭2:1-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“On that day the Lord will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭24:21-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

““Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:29-31, 36-51‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There’s no pressure to convince anyone that God exists or that this will all happen but we ignore the warning at our own peril, Christian or no.

Conclusion

Simply, Christians can’t prove Gods existence and we have never been required to by God, only by those who demand the impossible. However, we should always be ready to explain our hope in Christ Jesus and at a certain point in history, our confident hope will be vindicated.

“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:13-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬